Amazing what $150 will buy off sites like Shutterstock and Photo Bucket, huh?
Amazing what $150 will buy off sites like Shutterstock and Photo Bucket, huh?
Only 2 years ago, I thought I would have to say goodbye to everyone. Not because I didn’t think I could cut it as an author, but because I believed I had hit a natural end to things.
What I didn’t know was that my life would take another turn–this time for the better. Only a few weeks ago, I just started a new job. And I’ve been working nonstop.
I haven’t had the time to write on any of my new novels or my current projects because I’ve been so wasted, tired, and exhausted. I didn’t think working full time was going to be this difficult, but it is.
And only because I’m not as young as I used to be. Standing on your feet in arch-killing shoes takes a toll on you and your body. But somehow…I’m managing. I’m winning the battle.
Plus…everyone’s nice. We’ve had a couple bad days, but all and all, it’s a good place to work.
So things with the book situation has been just as chaotic. I managed to fish out $1500 for edits, new cover art, and banners for Codename: Velocity in the two years since my last blog entry–thanks in part to my Salvation Army job which brought in some really nice money for the holidays.
My new job chipped in the last $200 because I needed new cover art due some possible copyright issues with the Mark II cover. The new Mark III cover is gorgeous and I’ll be posting it in a moment.
But as I said, a lot’s changed in two years. I still can’t believe it. But it’s here. My dream.
I can almost feel it. The only downside to my career is that I’m not writing commercial fiction. I don’t know what it is, but it’s not the stuff that will make people sit up and take notice.
It’s just stuff written for me. By me.
September 21, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mother of Two Finds Time to Update Books
[Joplin Metro Area]Author Jennifer Oneal Gunn has completed revisions of the first book of her series, Fire, Ice & Blood-The Story of Jake and Holly Book 1 (Revenging the Evil Series) and would like to share the news with her readers.
Jake Louglin is special, extraordinary, in fact. He’s been using his power of premonition since he was a kid, but the night he used his gift to save his Holly was the night he was changed forever. Now in the present day, he and Holly have a family. They created a brilliant son, Chase. While living their life, the family used their gifts to lay ghosts to rest.
One skeleton filled their closet to the brim, the Loughlin’s then had to…
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It’s only been a month since I last checked in. Some work has been done on the novel, but a lot still needs to be fleshed out.
This past month has been slow and busy and I’ve been working as hard as I can. I still have a few months left before my January deadline with my editor, but I’m still hoping to be finished soon. (Crossing fingers.)
Here’s what’s transpiring and what’s going to change in the near future:
As I am closing on the end to Codename: Velocity, some things have been brought to my attention. Something that didn’t actually occur to me for the past couple years since I started working on this book series.
And that’s this: There won’t be a HEA story line as I first thought it would be.
Particularly after the third book, The Front Lines.
And the reason for that is because of an idea that has been churning in my head for awhile. Or rather…a thought.
A “What If?”-scenario that was commonly used in the comic book industry to great appreciation of its fans (DC and Marvel alike).
So here’s the question: With the story line progressing as is and the danger of losing the war with the Horde is too terrible a thing to contemplate, why not make it happen?
Because it’s clear from the first book that things aren’t going so swimmingly on the front lines of the Canan Maritime Provinces in the Northwest Quadrant of Amrican. From what Jaen has been able to discern from future projections over the war, the front lines are barely holding and they could collapse any day now; allowing the Horde full access to the Southlands, to the Wastelands, and to every corner of the continent–including where the Compound presently resides. (In what used to be present day southern Nova Scotia.)
And that thought and idea appealed to me greatly. I love chaos and disorder. I love a good war yarn. (See my Price of Freedom novel series.)
And even though the projections show the Horde retaking the planet in less than five years, the mortality rate of the genetic bio-weapons conceived through Project Titan in the year 3,006 A.D. (it’s 3026 now) would stand at an appalling 83% in losses on the battle field.
In short, none of them are ready to face their biggest threat. But given the circumstances, they don’t have much time left. All the training in the world won’t prepare them for what lies ahead–which means I may have to end up tacking on a few extra books in the series to compensate.
Because–honestly–I thought the war would be over by the time Distant Shores debuted, but this new third draft has thrown cold water on that supposition. (Fuck…me!)
Everything is different in the third draft–compared to the second–and has a surprisingly slightly dark and edgy tone despite the whiff of romance and sex in it. (Just one chapter of sex so far between Mari and Velocity–compared to the 13 chapters of sex in the second draft version.)
It’s all or nothing now and it’s left me to wonder who the survivors will be able to keep up with the Horde. They are legion and the genetics only number 370. The numbers and odds are stacked against every one of them–even they have abilities and powers that defy the human imagination.
It simply won’t be enough. At best, they would only delay the inevitable. At worst…well, let’s just say it won’t be a pretty picture.
And I always thought–and believed–that this series would have its own HEA towards the end of the tenth book, but now…?
Nope. No chance of that.
Well, the prototype cover I shared on my blog last month will be tweaked a bit–so will the back cover synopsis. And the reason for this is because the third draft of Codename: Velocity has completely changed the overall dynamic and theme for the novel.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’ll still be a romance novel. But a different kind of romance.
I initially assumed that the second draft version of the book was good enough to be published. I mean, it was a pretty good foray into both straight and lesbian relationships. But it was still rough around the edges. And now that I think about it, it still had a few hang ups in the story structure and plot. Nothing that would endanger the book, but would drive the reader fucking nuts.
See, my own exploration of this centered on a very much younger version of Velocity and her best friend and partner, Mari. (Codename: Blue Mercury.) I didn’t think anything could get really started between her Controller and herself because of some sticking issues that surrounded their platonic relationship.
I didn’t think age would be much of a problem because nothing was really going to happen between them. Nothing sexually of course. (With her and Mari–that was a horse of an entirely different color.)
But I soon realized–after talking about it with a couple of online friends and authors (not too mention my editor)–I had hit a legal snag that would really kill the book before it even got out into the public domain.
Especially when we are talking about Amazon.
So I went back and fixed the glaring age issues in the book; modifying some things here and there and doing a general change over without really impacting the story line. But in the end, I realized that by changing the age of the characters (Velocity and Mari’s), I was essentially transforming the nature of the book itself. It wasn’t so young and innocent as I had hoped. It was something else.
Something I hadn’t planned for. At all.
Then my editor offered some suggestions on a key chapter of the novel (the beach scene) and I thought it would be prudent to expand on it. But in doing so, I really fouled things up. Now the book was really in trouble and I started to see it as an amateurish attempt at romance. (“This is not good!”-sort of way)
So I told my editor after I completed the new chapters and the changes that I would have to go back and rewrite the novel using the new configuration. I thought I could get away with expanding on the existing chapters of the second draft, but I encountered yet another problem–an obstacle really: The book’s dynamic had changed. The current chapters weren’t going to work.
Outside of the first three–or four–original chapters, the rest of the book had to be dumped in favor of the new format.
So instead of writing from a 16 year-old’s point of view, I was now writing closer to that of a 19 year-old’s. And in doing so, the book changed considerably.
I did manage to tie in some of the second draft elements into the new third draft, but I didn’t rewrite any of those chapters from scratch. Everything was pretty much brand new and raw in nature. But gone was the indecisiveness of both Jaen and Velocity.
That was the one glaring problem I fixed in the third draft. I did it by getting them to come to terms early on in the novel without having to drag it out for much of the book. (Which–I think–saves on the reader’s patience.)
The other thing is that I established early on that both Mari and Velocity were already involved in a relationship of their own and had been for the past couple of years. (From the age of 16–which was a dynamic in the second draft.)
So this cut out a lot of the soul searching and questions that both characters would have and face, and give them a chance to push things along at will.
I also did some new character creations as well (Controller Treys, Healers Lin and Tarla) and gave Maven a more of a role in the third draft of the book than I did in the second. (He’s Mari’s Controller and only got an honorable mention, but he wasn’t present at all in the entire book.)
I also expanded on the combat training scenes in the book. The one with the drones and the Controllers in the second draft only ran a short seven pages. The new revisions made it possible for me to extend it to a mind-blowing 21 pages.
A second combat training scene will be included before the book is done–one that I had planned on saving for the opening of The Southlands. But since the book has changed so much, I’m giving readers a second bonus into the training regimens of the genetics at the Compound.
I had also planned on a sweet beach scene between Mari and Velocity towards the end–with her confessing to her friend–but since I already established their relationship early on, this ideas was quickly jettisoned.
I also toyed with the idea of a heavy sex scene between Jaen and Velocity, but the more things started to change, the more I came to realize…not happening.
So I’m going to settle with her sleeping with him at some point in the first book (no sex I’m afraid) and go from there.
But the book will still focus on the romance triangles between all three characters and still focus on the romantic interludes of all three of them, but it won’t be a fantasy novel.
So I have two months to finish this book. My editor gave me a January 2016 deadline to finish the novel, but I think my August 31st or September 2nd will be just fine.
Oh. One more thing. This book has a number of 10+ page chapters and a few 20+ page ones.
So be prepared when the book becomes available for purchase. I’m still hoping for a 2017 launch date, but it might be pushed back if the edits are as extreme as I think they will be.
The reason is because my editor and I agreed that even though the novel has some fantasy and dystopian elements in it–neither one is strong enough to be an overpowering presence.
What takes precedence in this book is the romance elements between Velocity, Mari, and Jaen. So despite my best efforts to create a rather unique book (and reading experience), I got sucked into writing romance for the first time in my life.
Lucky for me, the market for romance novels remains a hot commodity, so I’ll just slide this cover reveal in and let you decide for yourselves whether or not it meets the grade.
Release date on this novel is either slated for December 27th, 2016 or February 1st, 2017. And the reason for this is because I still have to pay my editor the $1,002 for the edits and formatting and that won’t happen till this coming December when I go and work for the Salvation Army as a regular bell ringer.
The edits are going to be extensive and because this is a 166,000 word novel, it’s going to take some time to get the book done. I have no timetable for the completion of said edits. Though, don’t be surprised if it is completed in say 4-5 months.
After which, onto Createspace where I will be spending a couple of hours (at most) figuring out their application formats and such.
I keep forgetting how many books I have on tap and how many I still have yet to write. But if all holds true, I’ll enough to keep me company for the next 20-30 years.
Adding to the pot just means I have a lot to do and a lot of worlds and characters to write about.
This new series is no different than any of the other ones I’ve crafted on such short notice, but with each one, I seem to be doing better and better. (Not to say my writing style or approach is terrible or in jeopardy here. But with each new book, I keep discovering why the journey of a writer means so much to me–even if others have their doubts.)
So…based on a deviantart picture I found on the site, I created a new book series spanning five novels that is part dystopian, part cyberpunk, part science-fiction-fantasy, with a dash of light romance mixed in.
The first novel, Into The Mind deals with a machine construct born from years of genetic engineering and advanced cybernetics. (There is no time frame in this series. Just a world that had gone to ruin and been reborn into something else.)
A girl whose job is to police and protect a sprawling megalopolis (Ekodi) on the planet Terminus. But she’s not alone in this venture. Thanks to DNA re-sequencing and advanced cloning, there are thousands of like-minded units born and bred in her image.
Thousands of Kaitlins.
All tasked to securing the city, protecting the inhabitants within, and instilling order wherever they go.
Pretty simple, right?
During a routine patrol with a few of her other “sisters”, Kaitlin comes across a crime in progress at a distribution warehouse in the lower district. A housing enclave containing supplies and food stuffs for refugees from the outside world lucky enough to come across the city and survive.
Going in, the girl takes point while her sisters secure the parameter. It’s inside that she crossed paths with a boy (Akao) whose mission seems to be grabbing whatever he can and leaving while the getting is good.
However, he never expected to run into her. Or her sisters. But he manages to elude everyone with his pilfered goods before she or anyone else can intervene.
The encounter leaves the machine construct troubled and confused by what went on–setting up a conflict of interest that has no resolution. At least…not yet.
Instead of reporting the break-in, the girl instructs her sisters to keep quiet on the matter until she’s had a talk with her creators and masters. But because of a scheduling conflict of its own, Kaitlin is never able to talk to her team and she’s having to go to bed thinking about the boy and his crime of passion.
All of which sends signals of their own to her, leaving her in quite the mess.
The next morning, she returns alone to the scene of the crime, trying to figure out the reason behind the break-in, and privately hoping that the boy would return. A boy who is no older than she is…categorically speaking.
Either through luck or fate, Akao does return–leaving the pair mutually surprised by the sudden turn of events. As far as introductions go, this has got to be the worst case of bad timing for either one. Only because the warehouse owner shows up unexpectedly, demanding answers to the crime.
Answers that Kaitlin alone has no information on. Akaeo does, but he’s not privvy to handing it out for free. So instead, he comes up with a cover story about his “accidental” discovery of the crime scene and patently points fingers at the girl in question who is deep inside enemy territory.
Not used to being lied to, Kaitlin struggles with a suitable answer for the owner, a dilemma all its own–before finally establishing her own identity through the Network.
After which, it’s a simple matter of taking Akao into custody. But along the way, the boy decides to go off the beaten path and bring her back to his place for the time being–promising to show her something that would change her world forever.
What she finds challenges everything she’s ever believed in. Another world unlike Terminus that is on the verge of awakening after a 500-year slumber. A place of such great mystery and danger that Kaitlin’s very existence could be in peril.
A planet called Earth.
The other four books in the series is called:
Songs of The Silent
The Long Sleep.
A month’s worth of writing is okay…right? I mean, I managed to squirrel away 14 chapters to my Death Dealer novel from March to April…right? So is it okay for me to take a break, jump tracks, and go onto another book series for the time being?
It’s not like I’m running out of steam, ideas, or motivation to write here. I’m just simply bouncing around on a whole list of projects.
The story is thus…
A couple days ago, I came across a FB game that had some pretty cool space-Western themes in it which intrigued me and got the hamster wheel upstairs spinning again and I thought, “How cool would this be if I could turn something like this into a book series?”
Something radical…something awesome…
And hey…! A new experimental series that I can play with and make it work–like my Codename: Velocity novel. (Which has strong LGBT themes underwritten in it.)
So I put together a couple ideas, the first four novels in the series, and started writing out the first chapter to the book–with a reasonable goal of 90-100,000 words.
So here’s the premise to the book and the series: Two smugglers are on the run from the Bureau after being falsely accused of murder. The eldest sister is Tara Earhart and is in her mid-20s. Her younger sister, Zahra is only 17, but quite the spit fire and roundabout troublemaker.
After making a pit stop at the Trader’s Guild to renew their pilot licenses–happens every six months–the two women end up meeting with one of their friends (and suppliers) at Christopher’s Landing. Unfortunately, the Bureau got there first before they did and offer them two choices in their ongoing predicament: They can either serve five years hard labor on some nondescript prison planet of their choosing, or they can enter the Gun Frontier (a lawless quadrant of known space) as Gun Rangers–with the option of being able to pay off their debt to society by tackling some of the worst criminals and scum of the universe ever imagined.
And as a personal bonus…they get paid exceptionally well for their job and their ship, the Luck Dragon gets free service and resupply for as long as the contract (or lives) last.
So the book series spans the following ten novels:
The Pale Rider
The Big Heist
No Man’s Land
The Royal Hand
At Summer’s End
The Road Home
So as it stands…I’ve never wrote a space-western before. Familiar with the concept, seen both Star Trek and Firefly (a few episodes), but it’s been the one thing that’s eluded me for the past 20 years. I can write science-fiction, fantasy, romance, paranormal, but Westerns is something I had…well, no real desire to try out because I was taking things a little too literally.
So I’ve decided to put all these smarts, creativity, and imagination I have accumulated to the test and put something like this together.
Keep in mind, it may morph into something else, but I have a strong feeling that this is going to be more fun and entertaining than my previous books–which had a more serious bent to them.
Wish me luck.
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