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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp out to Beta Readers

Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp

I am delighted to be able to say that Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp has gone out to my beta readers for this book.

What does a beta reader do? After an author has completed a manuscript and gone through it at least once looking for errors that need fixing, it should go to several people who have writing skills and critical reading skills. They will look for plot inconsistencies, things that are beyond belief, grammar and punctuation errors. And of course, those ever-present pesky typos.

I recently read a traditionally published book, by an author who has been on the New York Times Bestseller List. I was enjoying it immensely until about page 500. It turned out the entire plot twist hinged on the police overlooking a very critical and obvious piece of factual information from the autopsy. Bzzzzzz.

This is beyond suspension of disbelief. It made me feel as if I'd wasted all the time I spent reading. I did finish the book, it was near the end. A beta reader, or an editor, should have said to that author, "This just doesn't make sense."

So I hope my beta readers will be honest with me. Then again, if they think the story is too outlandish, I really don't want to completely scrap the manuscript. Let's hope they find it enjoyable without too many huge gaffes.

I'm thinking the book should be ready to purchase in about three weeks. Meanwhile, you can get up to speed by reading the first three Anastasia Raven stories: Smashwords or Amazon


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ready to Begin the Harvest Ball

Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp

It's not giving away any big secret to say that the climax of this book occurs at the Harvest Ball. Everything so far has been building toward it, and anyone reading the book will be sure to notice they are almost at the end. I'm finally ready for the big night to begin in Chapter 42.

That said, there's a lot that happens, so there are quite a few more chapters to write.

I was on a roll today, and didn't have any other work assignments or hours. I devoted the day to wordcrafting, and managed to squeeze out 3024 of 'em. For those of you waiting for this Anastasia Raven book, I hope you won't have to wait much longer.

Meanwhile, here's a sample from Chapter 40:
    I was showing the kids the backstage areas where they could change and make entrances and exits, when the lights went out. The dim recesses of the stage became murky with no windows located there, and the loud music ceased abruptly mid-song. The quiet was so welcome I realized my ears were ringing.
    “Sorry,” Mick called from the balcony. “I think our amps did that.”
    “I’ll take care of it,” hollered Todd. He motioned to one of the musicians, opened the door that led directly to the basement and said, “Th’electric panel’s down here. I’ll show ya’.” Raising his voice again, he yelled at Mick, “Ya’ might need t’ get an extension cord and plug those lights in a differ’nt circuit.”
    “Where can I buy one?” Mick yelled back. “I’ve used all ours.”
    “Jouppi’s Hardware,” Todd and I said simultaneously. “South end of Main Street,” I added loudly.
    I heard Cody scream “Geronimo!” from the hallway.
    It was just past one, and there were still hours to go until the Ball began, when the noise level was sure to be exponentially louder. I shook my head in hopes of stopping the ringing in my ears and the ringing switched to my pocket. It was my phone.

You can find the first three Anastasia Raven Stories at Smashwords or Amazon