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The word count is past 42,000, and the main draft may be finished by the end of the month. I call it the main draft rather than first or rough, because I'm one of the weird, rare writers who works to polish their prose from the start and edits throughout the initial writing, so that the final product is very close to the original finished draft. I'm not saying this is superior; actually, I think this insistence on having my language just so before I put down a sentence is why I could never finish writing more than a short story on my own before this. On the other hand, I do want beta readers to help me with cultural aspects (Rafael is part Latino) and other details, such as making sure I didn't mess up the proper terminology for shipboard life, military work, firearms and equipment, and such. It's one thing to do a little online research, but the people who delve deeply are worth listening to-- I respect readers too much to disregard correct usage.

It Is Now Officially a Rewrite!

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As many of you know I've been working on "The Door" for the last four years. And looking back on that sentence I'm wishing I'd phrased it differently, because it makes me sound like someone who is the lamest handyman in creation. Hmm... there might be another blog post in that. I can see it now "Choosing Your Words Carefully"...

     Anyway, getting back to today's topic, yes I've been working on that novel all this time and it still isn't finished. In fact the closest I've gotten is halfway. Why? See below...

    But seriously, I was trying to put too much material and characters into the story. I had forgotten one of the cardinal rules I try to write by, which is "Keep It Simple Stupid". When you have a story that already has a number of twists and turns built into it, DON'T MAKE IT MORE COMPLICATED! Secondly, if you are building a series you don't have to introduce every bloody person who's going to appear …

Designing Your Own Bookcover: Not As Easy As You Might Think - Part III

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As usual I started experimenting with a basic quick sketch of what I had in mind. I knew right from the start that I wanted to incorporate the title into the image for this one, especially since it was our more traditional two word titles. Naturally I aimed for an actual door, knowing it would be fairly easy to incorporate the word "door" into the wood grain.

     From there I started testing out different color schemes for the wood grain itself. But then I started asking myself, how would a door that had been exposed to the elements for almost two centuries look? So I did some Googling, to find images to get a better idea of what such a door might look like. Here's a few of the examples I found:


     So now I had a basis to build upon. Yet I also felt that whatever I created should have good strong colors that still gave that weathered yet somewhat foreboding feel. So I pulled out my soft pastels and started laying down some colors in order to start forming the pa…

Designing Your Own Cover: Not As Easy As You Might Think -- Part II

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When it came time to work on the cover for "The Vampyre Blogs - I: Coming Home" I was finding myself coming up against a wall as far as cover art ideas went.  The other books had been relatively easy because of their two word titles: "The Bridge" and "The Ship". But this time the title was much longer, so I needed to come up with something different.
Since we were using the word 'blogs' as part of the title, I thought about incorporating a computer or laptop into the picture.  So I experimented with Adobe Photoshop and came up with this image:

While very effective in many respects, some people told me they missed seeing my original artwork on the cover. Many said it helped make our books stand out more.  So I began wracking my brains for a a new cover style and wasn't coming up with much. Mind you, at this point we had not even started writing the novel and decided not to worry about it.  I figured once the story was written I'd get some …

Designing Your Own Bookcover: Not As Easy As You Might Think -- Part I

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As some of you may or may not know, besides being an author I'm also an artist.  I work mainly with soft pastels and charcoal, and have designed and painted the covers for three of our books. Now I  do not consider myself a 'professional' cover designer, but I've also seen artwork on books that many times had very little to do with what goes on in the story. And as one of the two authors who knows the story inside and out, and as an artist who had taken awards in various art shows over the years, I felt I was qualified enough to give it a shot. Especially when I had a specific image in mind that would incorporate the title of the book into the artwork itself. "It should be a piece of cake," I told myself.

I suspect a number of you already have an idea of what came next. Our old friend the "Learning Curve" decided to make his presence known.

First there were the experimental designs


I knew right from the start that I liked the title being part of th…

REFLECTIONS ON 2018 AND WHAT’S TO COME IN 2019

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With 2018 drawing to a close, I’m sure a lot of us are reflecting on what’s happened in each of our lives as well as wondering about what 2019 holds. For me 2018 was a strange year of revelations, new opportunities, as well as upheavals. Two bouts with bronchitis, the second one becoming pneumonia, really took a lot out of me and my vacation time from work. I was supposed to be off this last week and not returning until January 2nd.

Our 1st anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time” had been slated to be released in late September/early October but didn’t see the light of day until early this month (not a great time to push a new book, not when the big publishers are pushing a bunch of titles they’ve been holding back in time for the holidays). However, things will pick up. I know this from past experience, so I’m not too worried.
However, the big question of course is what can you all expect from us in the coming year? Well, quite a lot. Firstly, we’ve been gathering our thought…

Book Review: Deena Remiel's "The Book Waitress"

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REVIEW BY ALLAN KRUMMENACKER
5 - STARS   "Serving up a deliciously creepy read..."
This is the first book I've read of Miss Remiel's and I have to say she did not disappoint.

Camille Dutton is a fascinating protagonist who finds herself on an island community where she' is expected to simply work at the local library. "I'm a book waitress..." she keeps telling people. Nothing more, nothing less. She doesn't consider herself amazing or unusual. But she soon finds herself being slowly surrounded by people who seem oddly fascinated by her. Even some of the books in the library seem to have taken an odd interest in her like set of "The Devil's Handbook" which seemingly falls off the shelf of their own volition.

Then there's the strange yet fascinating gentleman named Derek Gallagher, who like her is not native to the island.  But his purpose for being there is not a new start, but to delve into a strange series of disappearances (es…