Papa Zulu – Second Revision 1/2 Done!

editing1Editing is such a slow moving process, which is why I hate it so! As it’s not enough that you go through your initial draft and make all those pesky corrections, then you have to go over the whole thing and implement them. Then, assuming you haven’t made additional mistakes, you got to wait on beta readers to pick out anything you missed. Only then can you finally submit your work and wait for the kudos and criticisms from the reading public to come in.

At least, that’s the process when you’re working from a paper manuscript and doing most of it yourself. Were it not for the fact that this way is actually faster for me than scanning line after line of a doc file, I would have abandoned it a long time ago! And of course, its become a necessity since I can’t afford most editors rates. Oh, the slings and arrows of being an indie writer/teacher!

papa_zuluBut alas, this post was supposed to be about good news. After finishing the edits on Papa Zulu‘s first draft – the sequel to my Whiskey Delta zombie-apocalypse novel – I am now half done implementing all the edits and rewrites I made there. The process has felt arduous, but I’m actually surprised by the progress. I seem to be able to get four to five chapters a day done, far better than my initial prediction of say, one!

And in case its not patently obvious, I am very anxious and impatient to get this done! I was so hoping to have this novel finished by the end of this past summer. Despite its initial success, Whiskey Delta has been accumulating dust over at Amazon and the reviews have ceased since the last few (which were all really good). So I am determined to get the ball rolling and figured the sequel would be the best way of doing that.

thumbs upAnd of course, part of why this editing process is taking so long is that I am determined to get it right this time. Whiskey Delta still only has a rating of 3.5 stars thanks to all the people who penalized it for having editing mistakes. In my haste to get it out there after Max Brooks mentioned it by name (thanks again, Rami!), I took some serious flak for that. This time around, I want there to be no mistakes, or at least as few as possible.

I’m also hoping that getting the sequel out will help me get the ball rolling on the third one – Oscar Mike. I tell ya, that book has been through two starts and stops now, but I just can’t seem to capture the essence of what the third book should be about. Somehow, I feel that some sales and some feedback on the second installment might help me get my priorities straight for the latest.

Such is the life we’ve chosen isn’t it, my fellow indies? I sincerely hope you’re all doing well with your own pursuits and your works are garnering praise or at least some constructive criticism. And may we all find our way to that lovely person, known as an editor, who can take some of this arduous process of our hands and help us to do better!

New Cover for Whiskey Delta!

Whiskey_Delta2Call me fussy, but since I decided to create a video trailer for Whiskey Delta, I’ve begun to think extra hard about promotion and marketing. What’s more, creating that trailer required me to open an account at Shutterstock so I would have images that I alone have the rights to and can use without worry of copyright infringement or rights.

And so, what you see above is how the new cover will look like now. Rather than the small arsenal that was featured on the original, this one has some real, bonafide zombie content to show the world! It’s something I’ve been thinking about for some time now, and even approached some friends and family who I know are skilled in visual arts. I mean, a zombie novel should have one on the cover right?

Addendum: All this experimenting with the first cover has made me want to redo the cover for the sequel. Now that I got images which I feel more accurately express the content, I feel I must tweak some more! And as usual, I produced a few different versions because I can’t seem to decide on which one is best. What do you think?

Cover One:

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Cover Two:

papa_zulu5Cover Three:

papa_zulu2Cover Four:

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Another Great Review! ‘Bout Time!

Whiskey_DeltaIt’s been awhile since Whiskey Delta got a rave review over at Amazon. Sure, it got some good ones lately, but they really didn’t seem to take my mind off the few bad ones. Somehow, a person saying “this was good, but” doesn’t take the sting out of another person saying “this sucked!”
But a five star review with nothing but good things to say is something truly rare and wonderful. It came a few days ago and totally brightened my day:
Outstanding! (5 out of 5 stars):
Brilliant Storytelling, Outstanding Military Adventure writing and, Most Importantly….Remarkable Characters that make it all matter. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book.
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Another good thing about it is that it also served to encourage me to finish editing Papa Zulu, but in a good way this time. Rather than trying to get the next book out there, and corrected for grammar and typos in advance, I am actually eager this time to let a satisfied reader see what happens with the story.