Have you seen this?

Many of you may have noticed that Amazon has been tweaking their product pages. Among the changes they’ve made is allow readers to leave a review for the series as a whole, which is separate from the reviews of the individual books. The link to the Loralynn Kennakris series page is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZPR9FWM/

If you have previously reviewed one or more of our books and would like to leave a review for the whole series, that would earn our undying appreciation! :-)

In other news: Our first two attempts to set up a mailing list crashed and burned. You wouldn’t think a simple mailing should be that complicated. However, I think we finally have the solution and we intended to have that set up this week. Watch this space for an update.

Get Acquainted Special Offer

We are running a special to allow people to get acquainted with both of the Loralynn Kennakris books! We’ve dropped the price of The Alecto Initiative to $0.99 for this week. So if you missed it, you can pick up both Alecto and The Morning which Breaks for under $5!

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to a successful launch of MWB!

Are You Lost?

If you find yourself a bit lost with all the names and places that are appearing in the series, we have a little help for you: a handy map! Download it to see what and where. We’ll be updating this map with each new book to reflect key events therein.

Galactic-Map_Morning

Finally!

The Morning which Breaks (all roughly 640 pages of it) has been submitted and is in review at Amazon.

We will update here as soon as it goes live!

It lives! As of 1500 PDT, MWB went live. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KIVZMSQ

Here it is: a Date!

We finally have a date. Since we can’t predict Amazon’s approval cycle (though we hope and expect it will be quick), it is the date we will submit MWB for publication, not the date it will actually go live on Amazon. That date is: no later than Memorial Day weekend.

The pacing factors right now are getting the final cover and finalizing the glossary.

Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with us through this long haul!

Bottom of the Ninth

The draft of MWB will be ready very shortly! Accordingly, per our agreement with Amazon, we have removed the pre-press chapters today. So yes, this blog will look a little empty for a bit. Never fear, once MWB is published, you can watch this space for info on the progress of the third novel the Loralynn Kennakris series!

We’ll be back tomorrow with an update.

Somewhere a Clock Ticks

I don’t know if anyone beside myself recalls “Around the World in 80 Days”, the Jules Verne novel made into a rather charming movie with David Niven as the protagonist: a British eccentric named Fogg with a decided fondness (nowadays we would say an obsession) for clocks, who nevertheless manages to get the girl in the end. You can tell from that fact alone, without knowing anything else, that this novel was written in the 1870s.

I find it somewhat ironic that in the 140 years since that story was published, we have out-Fogged Fogg to a degree unimaginable up until very recently. Fogg was famous for having a clock in every room. We—especially we here in the US—generally have up to a half a dozen, maybe more. We are surrounded by clocks to an astounding degree (anything with a chip in it has at least one), and the clock-makers (like our society in general) are obsessed with dividing time in ever smaller slices. And all these clocks are busily ticking away, counting off the increments of that most problematic entity and making some of us feel guilty or apprehensive or frustrated (or all three) by doing so.

We have been, to no small degree, among of the afflicted.

You see, quite some time ago, we set ourselves a deadline. And then we let it pass. And let it pass again. In fact, between last September and Christmas, we let it pass four times, at which point we decided that deadline needed to be retired, so we did. It’s our deadline; we can put it out to pasture if we want to.

But we cannot stop the clocks from ticking, nor can we ignore the fact that the task to which we set ourselves goes undone. And that is why I am thinking on clocks.

But I am also thinking on clocks because, now finally, the end—well, at least the beginning of the end—it is in sight, or better yet, in focus. We can see details formerly obscured and conquer them. And we are doing so. Now, as the clocks tick, the To-Do list shrinks in proportion and we get closer and closer to unleashing the fruit of all this labor on an unsuspecting world.

No doubt the world will remain unsuspecting as it will take no notice whatsoever, but a teeny-tiny fraction might, and it is possible that you are in it. At least we hope you will be in it. So watch this space for an announcement in the not-too-distant future.

That is all that I will say for know, except that I knew this mountain once, and now I know how she felt.

Our Minority Report #2

So what have we been up to since our last update? Mainly contracting bronchitis and trying to recover from it. Other than that, where are we on The Morning Which Breaks? Well, we did get Part 1 back from its first proofreading pass. We sent Part 3 to some additional alpha readers for suggestions and have already gotten some feedback. The main feedback was that we really needed to expand the glossary, and that a list of characters would be helpful as well.

So we did that. The glossary now boasts 247 entries from Admiralty to ZANG, and a biographical list of 86 personalities from Alandale to Zayterland. We will be including the glossary as part of MWB (and all subsequent novels, suitably expanded), as we’ve been informed that having it as separate document made things clunky.

So how else are we doing? Part 2 has expanded to 30 chapters and will likely stay there. Two new chapters have been added and completed, a few other chapters have been revised to account for these new chapters, and we have eight chapters left to complete. Only two are still in outline form; the rest are at least half done. Part 2 is current ~168 pages.

Again, for those who like nitty-gritty numbers, the manuscript is 139,450 words long as of this writing (rounded to the nearest 50 words), equaling ~420 standard paperback pages. (For comparison, Alecto is 54,930 words and 162 pages.) With the glossary included, the full volume will probably break 500 pages on completion.

Finally, we will be ready to release a couple of new chapters from Part 2 to interested parties this weekend..

As always, we greatly appreciate your support for our efforts, and let us know if these updates are helpful to you!

New Chapters and Infodumps

We have two new chapters from Part 2 ready to release those who request them. Please leave a comment and let us know if you prefer PDF or Kindle format, and whether you would prefer to download them from the site or have us email them directly to you.

These two chapters (and probably the next one as well) are rather more infodump-ish than most. Infodumps are one of the main hazards of writing sci-fi. Larry Niven explained it nicely back in the early 70’s (or before) and a short bit I call “The X-ray Laser Problem.” Niven was writing a series of sci-fi mysteries at the time and he wrote the piece to lament that these were tricky. Say you have a locked-door murder mystery (his example). In contemporary fiction, the reader knows all the limitations and such, but in sci-fi, what if the bad guy had an x-ray laser that can shoot through walls?

You can’t just drop that on the reader at the end (if you want to still be read). If there are x-ray lasers in that universe, you have to say so and describe what they can do and what they can’t, and how this adds to the mystery. The problem arises though when the author gets carried away talking about his uber-cool x-ray laser. After all, he did research and exercised a bunch of creativity to invent the thing, and he naturally wants people to know all that. So he infodumps.

Back when Niven wrote his piece, there wasn’t much infodumping. At some point that changed and now some successful authors (David Weber comes to mind) have made infodumps part of their style. I don’t know how this came about (maybe it was Tom Clancy who showed that readers actually liked a wealth of technical detail), but the views on infodumps have evolved and are still evolving, and they seem to be getting more controversial again.

Our Minority Report #1

As we have ceased posting new chapters here, we thought it might be nice to give people a report on the completion of The Morning Which Breaks. We will endeavor to update this periodically (weekly is the goal, but we all know how that sometimes works out) so our readers can stay abreast of our progress.

To recap, MWB is presented in three parts. The current status is as follows:

Part 1 is completed in beta draft form and is being proofread.

Part 2 is still in work.

Part 3 has been completed as an initial rough draft and is in alpha review (a silly name for us rereading our own work).

The breakdown for each part is as follows (page refers to a typical paperback page):

Part 1 is 194 pages long and consists of 23 chapters, plus Prologue.

Part 2 is currently 145 pages long and consists of 27 to 28 chapters: 18 of these have been completed as a rough draft; 4 are ~50% complete; 5 or 6 are in outline form only.

Part 3 is 56 pages long and consists of 12 chapters, plus Epilogue.

As writing is an elastic business (especially the way we do it), the numbers for Part 2 are soft, in the sense that we may discover the need to add chapters to it as the story continues to evolve. And it is possible that as we complete Part 2, it may be revealed that we need to add to Part 3. (The closer you think you are to being finished, the more holes have a way of making themselves known.)

For those who like nitty-gritty numbers, the manuscript is 131,650 words long as of this writing (rounded to the nearest 50 words). For comparison, Alecto is 54,930 words.

Finally, we will be ready to release a couple of new chapters from Part 2 to interested parties shortly. Check back in a day of so for updates.

As always, we greatly appreciate your support for our efforts!