Just a few additions from the Reedsy newsletter and making their best of the week lists!
I got a cool writeup in the Reedsy Discovery weekly email, but I'm not sure what to do with it.
Will discuss options with promotions next week, however for your previewing pleasure, here it is:
"In the dystopian future of Lucien Telford’s The Sequence, scientists have started editing the human genome. Leading geneticist Kit McKee is hiding out in China, having faced backlash for her startling discoveries. Now, she’s working on a secret project that could change humanity forever — but for better or worse? When two detectives discover a string of genetically edited corpses, they suspect the latter. As the mystery unravels and combines multiple narratives, the morality of scientific innovation is brought into question: Does the betterment of mankind justify any means? What happens when innovation falls into the wrong hands? Trust me, you won’t be able to put this thrilling sci-fi down."
It's happening. Day 4 of 6 starts tomorrow morning. High drama in the skies as we save the simulated aircraft from exploding engines, fires, and failed critical systems, over and over again.
It's exciting/stressful to be back in the seat, but I am enormously grateful to be returning to the air after a long and arduous hiatus on the ground. I don't know how you groundies do it :)
The Sequence should be available for purchase later this week! Check back here often! As soon as you can buy it, there will be 'buy now' buttons right here on this website.
My first ever live stream Q & A is accessible here, with Vince from Boomers On Books.
I feel like it went fairly well, largely due to Vince's kind demeanour. Have you ever been interviewed online, broadcast live? I was terrified. Imposter syndrome ran cold through my veins, leaked from my pores, chilled me from the inside. I shivered throughout the entire discussion.
I'm getting close to publication. Maybe two weeks to go now. A small miscommunication has meant further but minor delays.
Check back soon, there's plenty more to come...
I’m proud to announce a positive Kirkus review!
This moment of letting go, of relinquishing control is mind-bending and much more difficult than I envisioned. Now it’s up to the opinions of others to decide if they have enjoyed my book. Reading a professional review of your own work is unnerving to say the least. And now that I have them in my back pocket (one review was positive one was neutral) I feel as though the work I’ve put into this novel is beginning to see some real world payoffs.
It’s an odd day. Mixed emotions doesn’t begin to describe it. This afternoon I received my advance physical copy, and to date the only physical copy in existence, of The Sequence. Yet I’m anxious. I look at the book, I pick it up, flip through pages and put it down, out of easy reach. I could rewrite it again and again. I know that my writing has progressed since the submission of the final draft. Perhaps it’s because I am so intimately aware of every page. Perhaps it’s because I am so elbow-deep in the sequel, False Ignition, that the story now reads as historical. At any rate, I am also over the moon to be in possession of this physical representation of my active and ongoing imagination. Release date, August 2021.
My manuscript came back from that lofty evaluation with over 16000 individual edits. Some as simple as punctuation, some more involved with plot, character, structure. This was a struggle for me.
I stared at both versions, the manuscript I had submitted and the returned, edited version, for a week, paralyzed by the entirety of it. And then I set to doing the work, changing my story and making it better thanks to the efforts of my editor. Three versions lived on my monitors, submitted, edited, and the version I was working on. I was in foreign territory, but working within its borders.
I spent weeks rewriting. During one unforgettable phone call with Kevin, I asked if it was PC enough to write, “…at least it was made by the Japanese.” Kevin’s response was that the statement itself isn’t offensive, and anyway it sounds like something Dallas would say. This momentary comment on a character I had created, that someone else now knew well enough to predict their mannerisms, blew my mind.
In essence, for the first time throughout this process of artistic creation, I felt I had succeeded at writing.
So it’s a decent book?
Turns out it wasn’t terrible but it needed a couple of rounds of editing and polish. Kevin had some additional comments further to what was mentioned in the previous blog post.
“This novel feels like maybe your fifth or seventh manuscript rather than your first. And perhaps you have several other manuscripts in your desk drawer that you wrote prior to this one. All that to say, this manuscript is on par with some of the best sci-fi novels out there. It’s gritty, smart, realistic, and it has a lot of sass.
“On a more technical level, the dialogue is snappy and authentic with a good technical argot, the pacing is tight, and the high-tech elements are easy to understand without your having to be overly didactic.
“Overall, it’s a strong debut with a clearly developed style that I know will instantly earn you some lifelong fans.”
After reading this and then running around the block with excitement, I spoke to Jordan, my point of contact at Friesenpress. He mirrored Kevin’s sentiment. My elation grew. What I was as yet unaware of however, was how much work lay ahead of me. Editing, as it turns out, is a difficult emotional journey.
Debbie of Friesenpress, to her credit, needed to coerce me to hand over the manuscript for review. I held it tight, unwilling. She reminded me that it will not resemble its current state by the time it gets to publication.
Debbie was correct.
So imagine my surprise at the editor’s response to my manuscript submission.
And I quote, “I am very impressed with this manuscript. It feels like it was written by a seasoned author who has spent years developing his craft. In terms of tone, for me it lands somewhere between William Gibson and David Mitchell. It’s highly literary, authoritatively technical, and it asks some intriguing ethical questions.”
High praise indeed. Validation for the question burning behind my eyes at all times, "is this book any good?"
One day, at the suggestion of my wife, I approached a Canadian publisher, Friesenpress, to inquire about their publishing process.
“So, you wrote a book,” Debbie said to me.
Imagine hearing those words, and what that was like to hear from an industry professional. Admittedly not a submission to a traditional publisher, however, as I’m sure all writers can imagine, the emotional acknowledgement of the achievement (of writing a novel!) from someone uninvolved is surprisingly, well, emotional.