Reading Radar – Kingdom of Dreams and Soul Siphon

Welcome, readers, to my picks for this week!

Reading Radar tends to focus on self-published and crowdfunded projects, especially by authors who have not had huge exposure in the market. This week, I look at two more works I want to read – and I think you should check them out too!

InksharesKingdom of Dreams by Kevin O’Coffey

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This one has pictures – by the author, no less! If I could draw, I’d be doing something very similar to what O’Coffey is doing with Kingdom of Dreams. The byline gives it a nice, weird feel right from the start: “Nightmares that eradicate bullies, possessed vacuum cleaners that bestow binding quests of kingdoms torn asunder. Adolescents have many normal problems–these are not.”

O’Coffey is adding illustrations in with the text, turning this into a mix of graphic novel and standard novel. The pictures I’ve seen so far only add to the surreal, creepy, but perhaps not-too-serious vibe suggested by the byline.

The story is about Jimmy Reve, a boy who just wants his bullies to go away. One day, the bullies start to disappear, one by one, and Jimmy realizes his problems are much worse than he thought. He is introduced to the Kingdom of Dreams, and has to find a way to fix the damage he has caused – or he will disappear next.

This work is currently seeking backers. I usually toss in $10 to one Inkshares book each month, and I think this will be my choice for December. Check it out – I think this project deserves a proper chance.

Website Visitor – Soul Siphon by James Harrington

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This book appeared on my radar thanks to a visitor to my website! I tracked down a like for a previous post, and found that James Harrington’s latest book is Soul Siphon, and that it came out last April on Amazon. So I decided to give the preview a read.

This book has a cool premise – good enough to keep me interested through the free preview. The story follows Corban, a man who was possessed by a demon and who died as a result. He is brought back to life by a mysterious figure and joins others who have been mysteriously resurrected. From the looks of it, these once-dead characters have mystical powers based on how they died. It seems they have been recruited into fighting evil beings – but honestly, it’s a bit hard to tell where this story is going from the preview.

The writing is a bit clunky, with a lot of tell where there could be show. Entire paragraphs are written in the past perfect tense, describing backstory without allowing the reader to experience the events. The prose could use tightening – a lot of sentences could be shorter and simpler. The worldbuilding and detail seem interesting enough to merit a full read, however, so I’ll give it a shot.

That’s it for Reading Radar this week. What are you reading?


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Part 3 of “The Faces They Wore” now up at my other site #amwriting

In case any readers here weren’t aware, I’m sharing some previously published short fiction.

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Go have a look over at my other site, where you can read Painted Blue Eyes and The Faces They Wore – both pieces that appear in books by the Busan Writing Group.

Click the links below for more info:

Painted Blue Eyes

The Faces They Wore

Reading Radar – Fae Child and Enemy of an Enemy

It’s that time of week again!

I’ve looked around the internet and decided on some new reads to get me through the week. Here are my choices for November 27 – December 3.

Inkshares – Fae Child by Jane-Holly Meissner

The author of this book sent out an update this week – Fae Child stands 89 orders out of the minimum 250 it needs for a basic publishing deal from Inkhares. The book follows Abbie is she is pulled into the world of Fae from her Oregon home. Meanwhile, a changeling double of Abbie appears back in the real world – a double that looks and acts almost like the real Abbie. I’ve read over the sample chapters, and I just love Meissner’s imaginative details in her descriptive prose. The dialogue is fairly crisp, and I can see great potential for this story in the YA fantasy market. I wish Meissner all the best in her campaign, and I’m certain this book is a good investment and well worth a read.

 

Amazon Promotion – The Enemy of an Enemy by Vincent Trigili

Oh, free books, how can I resist? I found about The Enemy of an Enemy by promotional email – at time of writing, the book is still free on Amazon Kindle. I thought I’d just click the big yellow button and scroll through the first chapter, because hey, why not? Here’s the thing – I’m still reading. It starts off as sci-fi, with the main character, Vydor, as the captain of a ship sent to investigate a secret research colony. Fantasy elements work into the story as magical forces are introduced into the plot, making the story a mash-up of genres. Unfortunately, I’m finding the writing style a bit clunky – the narrative doesn’t use contractions at all, for starters, and there are other quirks with the grammar that suggest the writer is coming at this English story from another language. I like the idea. though, and apparently there are several more books in the series. Worth a look, I think.

 

That’s all for this week’s edition. What are you reading now?

 


 

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Reading Radar – Human Resources and Nightlord: Sunset

Just two books on the reading list for this week, but they are two good ones!

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Inkshares – Human Resources by Robert Batten

A zombie virus breaks out, but big corporations step in to save humanity – only the corporations are run by vampires (because of course they are). Humanity is saved, but kept as a subjugated food supply! With a good cast of characters and well-paced narrative. This book has already met the minimum orders for publication, so if you can support it, you will be helping Robert Batten get to 750 orders – a threshold that will net him full editing and production support from Inkshares.

Online Book Club – Nightlord: Sunset by Garon Whited

Over at Online Book Club, they choose independently published books and have their reviewers look over them. The selections are hit-and-miss, but this month’s choice looks really entertaining. the hero of the book unexpectedly becomes a vampire and is forced to live and play by the rules of the Undead. From what I’ve read so far, the writing style is amusing and well-written. I admit to nearly dismissing the book based on its premise and less-than-thrilling cover art, but the reviews were enough to get me interested. At least look at the free sample pages on Amazon – it’s worth checking out.

That’s all for this week’s edition of Reading Radar. What are you reading?


Consider buying a copy of eFiction Vol. 06 No. 04, Nothing Too Familiar, or Convergence to support the author of this site.

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Why I had to stop my serial and write a novel instead.

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I went about writing a serial almost exactly the wrong way.

I started writing the serial for Far Flung over a year ago. I remember well why I started – I really, really needed to write and publish, and I was sick of passing my work by an unknown gatekeeper. Oh, I wasn’t afraid of rejection (okay, maybe just a little) , but I hated the whole routine of write something, submit it with fingers crossed, hear nothing for 3-4 weeks, and then get a ‘yes’ or more likely a ‘no’ with no feedback whatsoever.

I had read some great serial fiction, and decided to try it myself. I had an idea planned out, and a few chapters that I had run through my writing group. I went ahead and started with JukePop as my first main outlet, and later on made my own website dedicated to releases of my fiction.

I lost my ‘lead’ quickly.

I had 3 chapters ready before I posted my first chapter of Far Flung. I thought, somehow, that having the motivation to post regularly would get me writing new chapters quickly. I thought posting a chapter twice a month was enough. Obviously, both ideas were proven wrong.

First, simply having a serial in production can motivate, but it doesn’t change your writing speed. It definitely doesn’t help your overall quality. What I didn’t fully realize was the need to PRE-SCHEDULE. If you want to do a serial, you must must must must pre-schedule posts. From my experience, I’d say having a month or even two month’s worth of posts ready before you post the first part is ideal. The most successful serials post 2 or 3 times A WEEK, not per month. So if you are a slow writer, plan accordingly by giving yourself a HUGE leeway.

I didn’t have enough traffic to support it.

I started with JukePop because they (are supposed to) have a system for paying authors. I still can’t figure out how – I think you have to be an American in the USA. I tried running ads and placing Amazon referral links on my other website, but I just didn’t have the traffic. Even using Web Fiction Guide to promote my story and review other stories, I couldn’t bring in enough hits. Why not?

I was rushing out my writing to keep up regular posts. I was finalizing each chapter on the day I wanted to post it. Neither quantity nor quality were up to excellent standards.

So what am I going to do about it?

I’m novelizing it. I’m taking the chapters I did get out and constructing a better narrative to tie them together and bring Far Flung to life. I’m leaving what’s already out mainly so that I can show my improvement later on. I will share edited versions of the current Far Flung serial based on the improvements made for the upcoming novel. The edited serial will tie-in with the novel and hopefully help me promote and sell it.

I will do another serialized work in the future, but I will approach it more like a novella. I’ll write about 20,000 – 40,000 words before the first post even goes up, and have that much read and critiqued first. I’ll make sure that first post gets noticed on Web Fiction Guide and other sites – and I’ll have a link to buy my book at the end of each post.  Having a book ‘legitimizes’ me – I need to have a full novel out to improve my own confidence and my credibility.

It’s too bad I don’t have another chapter for the serial right now, but what’s coming will be worth the wait, I promise.


 

Reading Radar – Lore of the Aos Sí, The Stolen, and The Gods are Bastards

All right, it’s time again for what I’m reading & what I think you should be too!

InksharesThe Lore of the Aos Si by Christopher Lee

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I preorded this book both because Christopher Lee is very active and helpful on Inkshares, and because this book looks cool. The Lore of Aos Si is about a brewing war between Man and Fae in 3002 B.C.E. At first glance, it may seem like there’s a lot of, well, lore and backstory to get through, but the narrative starts right in the action. What I’ve read so far from the previews shows me a well-paced narrative with lots of lore worked into it. I wish the best for the fundraising campaign – you can help make sure this book gets published by pre-ordering here.

JukepopThe Stolen, from The Law Unto Herself Chronicles by Jennifer L. Barnes

This is an urban fantasy that’s very popular at Jukepop, and I decided to check it out and see why. With a huge cast of characters, it can get confusing to follow, but the fast-paced dialogue keeps it moving briskly. I just started in on the first  chapters, and I’ll definitely be reading more this week.

Web SerialThe Gods are Bastards by D.D. Webb

Another serial with multiple characters to follow, and in a humorous story, too. This is labeled as a ‘Fantasy Western’, but even in the first few chapters there are hints of other genres woven into the plot. Each character sees the world in their own way, which makes the characterization stand out wonderfully. Certainly worth a shot!

That’s what’s on my “to-read” list this week!


 

Consider buying a copy of eFiction Vol. 06 No. 04, Nothing Too Familiar, or Convergence to support the author of this site.

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Read ‘Painted Blue Eyes’ over at tccedwards.com!

As I work on my novel, I’m also sharing some of my previously published short stories.

Over the last two weeks, I posted the story Painted Blue Eyes at my other site. This story was published in June 2015 by FictionMagazines.com – the issue which featured it, Vol. 06 No. 04, can be purchased on Amazon.

Go over to the two-part post on my other blog and give it a read!

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Read Painted Blue Eyes for Free


 

Consider buying a copy of eFiction Vol. 06 No. 04, Nothing Too Familiar, or Convergence to support the author of this site.
Or you can help support this site by leaving a tip. Contributions can be made in any amount starting at $1 US. Thank you for the support!


Leave Tip