2011-12-20

Off Course Promotion

My latest book "Off Course" will be available for free as part of a 5 day promotion begining on December 26th. I've signed this book up in the Kindle KDP Select program meaning the book is available ONLY through Kindle. I'm supposed to be able to share in a large pot of money for this but there's no telling how this will work out. People wanting to read my book can do so for free and I will still get paid. I will keep you informed as to how this goes.

Due to having to work 12 hour days last week and this week I've not had a chance to begin work on my next book. I have definately decided to work on "When Ships Mutiny" next. I actually started this book over a year ago and shelved it. I pulled it out and tried to modify it a bit but that didn't work out. The original started off with the first encounter between humans and an aggressive alien species. It then jumped ahead several decades. Then again. This jumping around gave the story a disconnected feel and I didn't like it.

Next round, I tried to make it into a sort of fictional historical novel with an introduction explaining that the historical details were blury and the stories in the novel were based on interviews and historical documents. But that didn't work out well either. So, I finally decided to dump most of the entire first draft and start all over again. This time the storyline will proceed smoothly forward from beginning to end. I hope to begin work on it in earnest in early January.

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-12-17

2011-12-07

The Holiday Season

Tis the holiday season and that usually means no time to write. With shopping and work I've had no time at all to write anything. I'm glad I don't rely on my book sales to support me! Speaking of sales - the Galactic Alliance series is still going strong in the UK with 889 books sold last month. I'm now averaging over 35 books a day with most of the sales still in the UK. Translight actually made it into the top 500 books sold on Amazon UK.

I did put the book cover for "Off Course" up on my web page. Take a look and let me know what you think. Cheryl is nearly done with her proofing. As soon as she finishes I get one final cut and then it get's uploaded for publication. Of course she hasn't had much time either. She gets to take her mom around shopping in the wheelchair. We also have a lot of birthdays this time of year which makes for even less time to write. I've pretty much decided that I won't ever get much writing done during November and December.

I'm still torn between writing Dragonverse 3 and "When Ships Mutiny". Guess I'd better decide pretty quick so I can actually begin writing. The writers group is meeting this weekend so maybe I will bring a selection from "When Ships Mutiny" to read to see what they think.

I've given up the search for a local science fiction club. My wife found a listing of clubs on the internet. I've written to them expressing my desire to be put on their mailing list. Being able to email another author (Jed Fischer) has been nice but I would like to have conversations with science fiction enthusiasts. I hope to link up with at least a couple of them. I sent along some information concerning my books as well in case they want an author in their midst.

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-11-21

Happy Thanksgiving

I have a new computer! The system I replaced was a single core machine which was having a hard time doing what I needed it to do. I sometimes process videos and it was taking a LONG time to finish. I've also been wanting a dual monitor system and with a slimline PC it was nearly impossible to find a video board for it. I ordered a new HP quad-core (Intel I5-2400) with 8 Gig of RAM. The next day, I was trying to use Photoshop to merge a large photo back together that I had to scan in two pieces and it aborted due to insufficient RAM. The new system is now up and running and the photos have been successfully merged.

I never realized how many programs I load onto a PC until I kept a list of the ones that I loaded while setting up the new PC. My minimum load consists of 18 programs: Office 2003, AnyDVD, HP printer driver and scanner software, TrueCrypt, LibreOffice (used to be OpenOffice), DropBox, VLC, Quicken, Foxit Reader, 7Zip, Gadwin Print Screen, SyncToy, DVD Shrink, Virtual Clone Drive, GoFlex Dashboard, Flash Player, Free Video Studio, and Any Video Converter. There have been a few more (such as ShareZa, Microsoft keyboard driver, etc) since then and I'm sure I will load more.

As for my latest book (Off Course), I have selected a cover and am currently waiting for Cheryl to finish with her proofing. She is not finding many errors this time around - practice makes perfect. She is nearly done and I am on-track to publish by the end of the month. With the holiday season upon us, finding time to work on writing is becoming difficult even though I am on vacation. I am still undecided as to which book to work on next.

I've mentioned that my book sales have been doing very well especially in the UK. That abruptly changed three days ago when sales suddenly dropped to zero according to Amazon. But, when I look up my book in the rankings I find that (as of right now) it is still listed as #3 in Technothrillers, #6 in High Tech SciFi, and #717 in ALL paid Amazon sales. So where are the numbers? I suspect a problem on Amazon's end. I've sent them an email but at this time have not received a reply. How good are sales? How about 514 total books sold thus far this month!

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-10-24

The never-ending process of writing

I have reviewed all but about 20 pages of Off Course. I think I will be able to call it complete and print it off while at work tomorrow for Cheryl to proof. I hope she can get the proofing done quickly. Book covers are in the works and both submissions should be done soon.

Now that I am pretty much done with my current project, my mind is turning to the next one. I have two possibilities - both will be fun to write. There is Dragonverse 3: Unlikely Allies, and then there is "When Ships Mutiny". I do not have a firm story line for either of those but I do have some general ideas. Dragonverse 3 is the farthest along and will involve a lot more interaction in this universe. Terry and Alexis have had two kids. One is bound to a dragon and one is not which forces Terry to have to bounce between both universes. I have a good story for the action in this universe but I need to come up with something for the other universe. I have an idea (thus the title) but need to work on it a bit.

When Ships Mutiny has also changed a lot since I started writing it almost 3 years ago. With the new plot I will have to dump everything I've written so far and begin again. That's okay - it will be a better story anyway.

I am blown away by my book sales!!! As of tonight as I write this I have sold a total of 447 books in both the US and the UK. Somebody got my book into the top ten list and its been selling like mad ever since.

Jed Fisher wrote a very good review for Translight! on Amazon. He is an author I've been in contact with. I have been so terribly busy with my mother-in-law in the hospital that I've not had time to return the favor. I have a note on my desk reminding me to read his second book as well as give him a very good review. I just haven't had much access to the internet on my days off because I've either been sleeping or running around.

As a side note - I've been reading the Perry Rhodan series. There are 138 translated books available in English and I plan on reading them all. So, right now I am working on finishing up one book, thinking of my next, reading Perry Rhodan, reading a calculus book at work, reading "The Daily Coyote" in the bathroom, reading Photoshop Elements: The Missing Manual every so often at home, all while working 10 to 12 hours a day. What a life!

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-10-17

Off Course first draft COMPLETE!

The first draft of "Off Course" is complete. That means it's time to start at the beginning and begin the rewrite process. This book was a bit more difficult to write than my others. I haven't quite figured out why. Perhaps because I started it with a general idea of where the story would be heading, or maybe because it's science fiction without the hard-core space battles I'm used to writing. Whatever the case, I think I have a good book here. I need to do the multiple rewrites though to make it into a better product. I'm shooting for a Christmas release.

Sales of the Galactic Alliance series are still very strong in the UK with sales having already exceeded what I sold all last month. In order to try to bolster US sales, I'm thinking of sending out emails to a bunch of scifi book clubs to see if they would be interested in my books.

I signed up for DropBox. This is a REALLY cool internet-based file sharing site that pretty much allows me to store my book on the internet and access it on any computer. It will synchronize across all machines keeping an up-to-date copy on each machine as well as on the internet. I may no longer need to carry my little portable drive around with me. To check it out, click on the above link or here

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-10-13

Nearing the end - The title has been chosen

I finally settled on a title for my latest project - Off Course. I have also started on what should be the final chapter. This book seems to be taking forever to complete. It might be because of all the hours I've been working this year, or the excessive number of nights I've been working, or just the fact that I've had a lot of things to do around the new house this year. I think it has turned out pretty good so far. After the final words are typed in and THE END is glaring at me on the screen, it's time to return to the beginning and start the editing process. I think I will be making at least 3 passes myself before handing it over to my wife Cheryl for her proof reading. She was surprised to find that this book does not involve any battle scenes.

I have also started the process of having a book cover developed. My best friend from high school was visiting us this summer and I learned that his wife is a very good artist. So is my sister. So, I've started a bit of a competition between the two to see who can come up with the best cover. I sent them each a description of a Keldan and so far I have two close but not exactly the same pencil drawings. Once I've got the Keldan cleaned up in their drawings it will be time to have them pencil up the entire book cover. I will take both to work and have people vote on them. The best one will end up on the cover. The other will receive honorable mention in the book body and both will be showcased on my website.

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-10-08

Why my sales are so high in the UK

I was wondering why my sales have been skyrocketing in the UK. This morning, I woke up with an idea in my head - why don't I go to the UK specific Amazon site and see where my books rank. The link associated with this blog will allow you to check the status live. Bottom line - Translight! ranks in the top 10 of technothrillers and was #1,484 of all paid books purchased on Amazon in the UK. AMAZING!

Work on my latest, still unnamed book is nearing completion. I have about 2 more chapters to go. Of course that does not mean the book is ready for publication. I must go back through it at least 2 more times to clean it all up. I also have to come up with some cover art for it and a name. It has also been suggested that I change the name of the ship from the Star-Pulse to something else. I was thinking of the Eli Whitney but that is still up in the air. The great thing about using a computer to write is that changes like that can be done in the blink of an eye. I will keep you posted.

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-09-24

Hubs

I never heard of Hubpages.com until a fellow science fiction author clued me in on it. Here's how the sequence unfolded: I've been going to a writer's group meeting once a month for about a year now. The person running the meeting told me about another science fiction writer she has been in contact with and asked if I wanted his email. I wrote him and introduced myself and when he replied he told me about Hubpages. It is an opportunity to promote my book but Hubpages is not a promotional site. So I used a Powerpoint presentation I had created about how to self-publish to build a Hub page. Not only is it educational but it promotes my books as well. The more web presence I can get, the better.

Will be heading to the bookstore today which means I will get some more writing done in my current book. Speaking of that - I must pick a new title as "Trust But Verify" has already been chosen.

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-09-22

Progressing well

I've managed to get quite a bit written on my current book while in training. Took the test today and wrote about 5 pages. I hope to have this book finished and ready for a second pass in another couple months. I don't think I will have much time this weekend as it looks like we are going to be busy and not making any trips to the book store. I am fast approaching a point in the book where I have to make a critical decision. If I go one way a second book becomes a must. If I go another route the book has closure but leaves an unanswered question hanging in the air which is okay but not something I like to do. I can go another route and have complete closure at the risk of adding an element to the story that has been done before. I have some thinking to do.

Oh - as of this writing I've sold a total of 132 books - mostly all of them in the UK. Thank you to my foreign readers! Come on Americans - are we becoming a country of illiterates? Are we so lacking in imagination that many of us don't (or can't) enjoy a good book?

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-09-17

Email from a fan

I recently received a very uplifting email from a fan of the Galactic Alliance series.  I won't post it here because I believe in keeping people's personal lives personal. It is the first email I've received from a reader of that series and it described how the book echoes the depression he felt when he lost his wife and unborn child.  It is emails like these that help encourage me to write even more especially since I've been trying to include a human element in all of my stories.  Science fiction is more than just a story about high-tech weapons and futuristic societies spanning the stars.  There is always one or more characters who's lives we are following and that is what the story is really about.

Work on "Trust But Verify" is proceeding well.  I should have time to write quite a few pages in the coming week.  I will be in training next week and that usually means I have quite a bit of time to write while the rest of the class studies.  I've never had a problem remembering things we are taught and I never have to study in order to pass a test - so while the others hit the books, I write one.

I am beginning to work through the logistics of a third Dragonverse book.  There are many possibilities and I think I've settled on one that will keep the reader flipping pages.  As with all my past books, I never outline, I never write down notes, and I have only a vague idea as to where the story will go when I sit down to write.  Often, the story takes on a life of its own and even I am surprised as to how things eventually come together.  On rare occasions I write myself into a corner but after sleeping on the problem for a few nights I always find a solution.  Dragonverse 3 will be the next book I work on following my current project.

View or purchase my books at Smashwords.  Visit my web page.

2011-09-12

Progress - at last

My best friend that I've known since junior high drove down last week from Minnesota and spent most of the week here.  I did, however, manage to continue working on Trust But Verify since I got up early and they did not get to the house each day until around 11:00.  I've broken through the writer's block by altering a significant fact that plays an important part in the book.  Prior to the change, I would have had to come up with 6 to 8 months of things to occupy the crew of the ship while repairs were underway.  I made a minor change by saying the ship carried a spare which allowed me to greatly reduce the repair time and focus on the main story.  I had to go all the way back to page 40 to make the change and then alter several references to the repair throughout.  I have no idea how people wrote books before computers!

On another note - we had our monthly writer's group meeting at the Barnes & Noble in Mentor and I actually brought one of my chapters to read.  Normally, I don't because the way I write means I have a work in progress that is not really fit to be read by anyone else.  But, I was confident that this particular chapter was close and I brought it.  The group had some good feedback such as change the name of the ship.  The ship is currently named "Star-Pulse".  They suggested changing it to the name of a famous person or a city - something more along the lines of how ships today are named.  I agree and will be changing the name.

Two more interesting items before I close this blog entry.  Number one - I've sole a total of 62 books as of today on Amazon.  I couldn't be happier!  Not for the money, but for the fact that my books seem to be selling quite well.  It give me encouragement to write more.  I only wish more of the purchases were from the US.  Most are from the UK which strikes me as very odd.  Second, I asked if anyone was reading my blog - guess the answer is yes.  Frank Hall (fellow Perry Nuclear employee) recommending I use the blog as a sort of sounding board to get the writing juices flowing.  I might just give that a try even though I do most of my plot planning either in the shower or while I'm trying to go to sleep.  I usually wake up with a completed plot - the unconscious mind is a wonderful thing and I take advantage of it every chance I get.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-09-03

Writer's block kicks in

Progress on "Trust But Verify", which used to be Phobia, and which might be renamed yet again has pretty much ground to a halt.  It's not like I don't know how I'm going to end the book - I do.  The problem is I've gotten myself into a situation in the story where I need to fill in about 6 months of time and I don't have anything exciting to fill in the gap.  I might have to seriously re-think the timeline.

Here's the gist of the problem.  The ship is damaged and cannot be fixed without outside help.  I said the hyperjump pylons are made of a single crystal that takes nearly 6 months to grow and the ship can't do it by themselves.  So, I need to rethink the damage and how long it takes to repair the ship.  I'm on page 110 now and would like to get moving on it.  I want to start Dragonverse 3!

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-08-27

Book sales

As of 2000 08/27/11 I have sold 91 books this month on Amazon.  This is a new record for me.  I wonder why all the sales?  Not that I'm complaining of course!  The vast majority of them are from the UK.  Does that mean that reading is declining in the US?  I certainly hope not.

I've been struggling to complete a section of Trust But Verify.  I haven't had much time to write plus, for some reason, this one section is just darned hard to finish.  I'm on page 102 of the book's first draft and I know how I'm going to end it.  But, as it often happens, the book might decide to change the storyline as I write it.  I really can't explain how that works either.  I'll sit down at the keyboard with a section of the book in mind and as I write things begin to change and alter seemingly on there own.  Before I know it I'm way off course and trying to figure out where I'm at.  But, I let the subconscious writer do the work and often it turns out better than I had anticipated.

I hope to have the current chapter finished by tomorrow evening.

I opted out of the Amazon upload with Smashwords.  They were having issues uploading to Amazon and I've always uploaded my own version there anyway.  Why have two versions on Amazon?  But, Smashwords still exposes my books to a lot of places I would not be able to publish to on my own.  I still love the company.  But I will stick to uploading to Amazon as a separate step in my publication process.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-08-21

My new website

I just finished building (rebuilding really) my website from freewebs.com.  You can check it out at http://dougfarren.webs.com.

I managed to get quite a bit of writing done yesterday at the bookstore on my latest book "Trust But Verify".  The more I work the book over in my head the more things I discover I need to alter and change to make it fit the title and make the book even more enjoyable.

I've been wondering if anyone is actually reading these posts.  If you are, please drop me a quick line at farrendoug@hotmail.com or my facebook account to let me know.  Otherwise, I might think this is a waste of time and delete the whole thing.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-07-31

07-31-2011

It's been some time since I last posted.  I've been working (when time permits) on Phobia.  The title, however, is going to be changed.  It is not "science fictiony" enough and I want a title that sounds better.  Phobia sounds too much like a horror novel.  I'm up to about page 90 and it's been rough going.  I've had stumbling blocks that I had to work through; parts that didn't make sense I had to fix; questions as to what will happen next and how that had to be answered; and trying to get the interest up to actually work on it.  Right now I'm stuck on a scene where the crew is taken to the remote crash-site of an ancient (4,000+ years old) ship.  The hull is pretty much intact but the insides have been destroyed by nature.  Do they recognize the ship type?  If so, then one of the races trading with humans is hiding a dark past.  Is it an unknown design?  If so, then there is the possibility of a malevolent race out there just waiting to wreck havoc on our planet.  What to do?

No time to write this morning - I have work to do on and in the house while I have time.  Perhaps later?  I doubt it.  Trying to write and work long hours often does not work out very well.

Sales of Dragonverse books 1 and 2 have been pretty poor despite several encouraging feedbacks from folks in the UK.  Those who have read the books REALLY like them so why aren't they selling?  I do have the germ of an idea for a third book but so far I don't have the urge to write it since sales aren't there to support it.  Perhaps I will finish Phobia then work on When Ships Mutiny and then work on Dragonverse 3.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-06-12

Writer's group

Even though I worked 12 hours the night before I decided it was high time I attended another writer's group meeting.  I'm glad I did as I was reminded as to how important character creation is as part of a book.  Since I am often more comfortable interacting with a keyboard I have often found character development to be quite a chore.  I tend to put myself into too many of my characters which, in itself, is a character flaw.

There was another male member there as well and I could swear I know him from someplace.  He read a short story and did a VERY good job of it.  I'm not sure if the story would have the same impact if simply read by another person but he turned it into a very good narrative which held your attention.  I think he should market the book as a collection of short stories and push to make an audio book as well.  Fact is, he could probably make some good income by doing audio books as a side job.

I am now on vacation but will try to find some time to write.  I will continue on with Phobia even though I'm sure I need to revise the characters in it a bit based on the observations in paragraph one above.  I don't like the title either but until a better one comes along that's what I'm sticking to.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-06-06

Dragonverse 2 is out!

After putting my wife's comments in the book I spent every spare minute available going through it one last time.  I am glad I did.  I found a major error at the end of the book that Cheryl missed.  Took several hours to correct it.  I have created the Smashwords version and uploaded it this morning.  I don't have time to build the paper version so that little project will have to wait until after I start my vacation next week.  All the components are in place but there is simply no time with me on 12 hour nights.  The plant is starting up and this week should not be too bad.

Phobia is now about 45 pages long and progressing well.  I stopped work on it while completing Ishnef's Revenge but now I can get back to work on it as well.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-05-30

Dragonverse 2 in final draft

My wife has completed her proofing of Ishnef's Revenge.  All of her changes are now incorporated into the draft.  I will be doing another quick scan of the book before final formatting and submission to the publisher.  I will be creating several different versions: One for Createspace which will become the printed version; One for Smashwords for submission to Meatgrinder; And one for submission to Amazon.  I hope to have the electronic version ready by next Monday and the printed copies in my hand in a few weeks.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-05-23

Phobia

It has been too long since I have written a blog entry.  My only excuse is the fact that I've been working 12 hour nights six days a week and on my one day off I'm trying to keep up with the yard and house work.  I have, however, managed to work on my next book which is tentatively titled "Phobia".  I say tentative because I am not sure I'm going to keep that title.  It doesn't have that science fiction ring to it.  Anyway, I'm up to page 48 and things are progressing smoothly.  The book was stuck in limbo for a long time while I tried to figure out where to go with it.  That little problem has been worked out.  My advise for new writers - keep your day job and just write whenever and wherever you can.  I get a 30 minute unpaid lunch which means I can do pretty much anything I want.  So, I write while I eat.  Any time I am idle, I think about my current work and, if I have a computer handy, I write.

Until next time.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-04-12

Dragonverse 2

My cover for Dragonverse 2 is complete.  This is actually one of two possible covers.  The other is being worked on by a coworker at the Beaver Valley nuclear plant who does air brush work.  He accepted the challenge of doing the book cover for free since it is something he has never done before.  If his is better than mine then I will use his.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-04-06

Price reduction of Dragonverse

I just dropped the price of Dragonverse on Smashwords to 0.99 as an experiment suggested to me by Cheryl.  If she is right then sales should increase.  I will leave the price as is until after the outage.  If sales do indeed go up by at least 3 times what they were then I will leave the price at 0.99.

In other news, I've been working on Phobia and I think I'm off to a great start.  Most of the bugs that stopped me from continuing on with this book have been solved - in my head anyway.  I spend almost every waking moment and the moments before sleep trying to work out the remaining details.  I think it will be a good addition to my collection of authored works.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-03-16

Second edit complete

The second pass through is complete.  Minimal changes were made.  Now it goes to Cheryl (my wife) for her expert grammatical review.  I've sent a copy to my sister who will most likely be doing a book cover for me.  I also have a guy at work who does air brushing and he has offered to do a free cover as well.  I will choose the best.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-03-07

First draft is complete!

The first draft of Ishnef's Revenge is complete!  I am now working 12 hour nights at Beaver Valley and one would normally think I would not have any time to write.  But if you thought that you would be wrong.  This is my first night and the plant is still in the process of being shutdown which means we have very little to do.  Thanks to the portable version of OpenOffice and my portable 500 Gig hard drive I can write even on a Vista computer with full security enabled.  This successful combination has allowed me to finish Ishnef's Revenge while waiting to do other work.

I know I have some editing to do and that process will begin immediately.  Once the second pass is complete I will give it one more and then turn it over to my wife Cheryl for her proofreading.  I have also run into someone here at Beaver Valley that is a very good artist.  He has never done a dragon before but wanted to try.  So, in exchange for creating a dragon for my next book I will be giving him credits in the book cover.  He does air brushing and is quite good at it.  My original plan was to use Photoshop Elements to alter a photo of a dragon statuette but if he can draw that same statue with larger wings then that will be the one I will use.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-03-04

Dragonverse is nearly complete!

I try to write anytime I have an opportunity.  So, last week while I was in training (something the power plant does 3 times a year) I took my little Cloudbook (which runs Linux) and wrote during lunch and on long breaks.  The result - I finished the final battle scene which is the next to the last chapter of the book.  All that's left now is to finish the final chapter.  Once that is done, I go back over the book again adding, changing, and cleaning it up.  I will then take a short break and when I know I have some uninterrupted time I will run through the book one final time to ensure everything flows well.  Then I hand it to my wife, Cheryl, for her editorial review.  She is my proof-reader.  Once that's all done and all changes are made I upload the book.  One thing I've not done is to put the little dictionary items at the head of each chapter.  I've also not put the dragon pictures in the book yet.  All that will come after the second round of changes.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-02-13

Writer's group

Yesterday I attended my first writer's group meeting.  It wasn't what I expected but, then again, I've never been to one before.  It's run by L. T. Fawkes, a writer of mysteries.  I will not be able to attend next months meeting but I should be able to attend the one in April.  I did find it quite surprising that none of the writers there (7 women) had heard of Smashwords.  I explained it to them and told them of my success with the company.

As for Ishnef's Revenge - I'm working on a pivotal battle scene that will set me up for the end of the book.  I've gotten about 130 pages written which puts the book far shorter than Dragonverse.  I need to add an elven glossary to the book.  As I write this, a unique way of doing so has just occurred to me.  In a printed book, the glossary could go at the front or back.  Putting it in the front of a second book is traditional but my books are targeted for mostly electronic distribution.  I believe, for each new word in the book, I will put the definition at the top of each chapter in which that word is used.  For electronic books this seems to be the best of all worlds.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-02-05

Humanverse / Dragonverse Date / time calculator

Instead of racking my brain trying to figure out how to convert from Dragonverse time to Humanverse time and vice versa I've built a calculator in OpenOffice Calc to do it for me.  Since the two universes operate on different times (Dragonverse time is about 1.03 times longer) I'm constantly trying to figure out if it's daylight or night or evening etc.  The calculator will solve all that.  I'm currently on page 115 and progressing quite well.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-01-30

Chapter confusion

My previous post has been edited to correct the chapter numbers.  I have recently finished chapter 16 and I'm about to begin chapter 17.   I'm pretty sure how things are going to proceed from here although there are times when the book itself dictates where it is going as I write it.  The rescue I talked about in the last post has been successfully pulled off and the primary antagonist is proving to be an exceptionally nasty individual.  As recommended by a reviewer, I'm going to attempt to work in something completely unexpected towards the end of the book.  The timeline is a bit in jeopardy as well because of a change in the Beaver Valley resource sharing.  Instead of going for 4 or 5 weeks it looks like I will only be going for 2 which will cut down my one day a week writing time.  But, if all goes well, perhaps I can make up for that lost time and work some more on the book while I'm home.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-01-19

Hot on the trail of chapter 16

I received my second piece of fan mail the other day from a chap in the UK.  He started the Galactic Alliance series at book 3 - Honor Thy Enemy.  He really enjoyed it so he went and bought the first two plus Dragonverse.  He wrote a very good review of Translight! on the IPad bookstore.  Sales of books have been doing quite well - especially on Smashwords.

Just finished chapter 15 and trying to get started on 16.  I've created a bit of a problem though.  I need to engineer a rescue - quickly and do so in a way that the book can keep going for another 20 chapters.  One of my main characters is looking at pending torture unless rescued.  Oh well, just another day in the life of a writer.  I get to not only create problems, but I'm forced to solve them as well!

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-01-07

Working on chapter 10

Chapter 10 of Ishnef's Revenge has been started.  Back when I started this book I knew I wanted to have it end in an unexpected way and to have lots of action.  That was about it.  I had no idea how to accomplish either of those two goals.  I simply started writing and let the story play itself out.  I had a really hard time getting through chapter 8 and 9 - just couldn't find the right words - nothing seemed to work.  Today, I was in the book store working on the end of chapter 9 (which had some pretty good action in it) and suddenly the rest of the entire book blossomed in my mind.  It's amazing how it happens.  I was trying to figure out where to go after the last action scene and POW! the whole rest of the storyline suddenly appears.  Cool!  

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren