Monthly Archives: June 2014

Shadow Sun: Possible Early Access

As you may have noticed, in the title of this post, I mentioned the magic words ‘Early Access’. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be an indie writer, and what an indie writer can give that others (those owned by a publisher) can’t. I started this self-publishing project with the decision that I needed to make money from my writing if I was to continue doing it, and while I’m not fully supporting myself by it, I’ve certainly felt better about the time I’ve put into writing books now that I’m being compensated. But I also know that I earned most of my fans because of all those years I spent posting for free online, drawing in readers one chapter at a time, and building an audience that was ultimately willing to buy my work.

So, I’ve been thinking about those things, and long story short, I had an idea…

Here’s what I propose, and I’m posting this because I want to know how many people would actually be interested in it. My idea is to open a subscription through Gumroad, where you buy the book (Shadow Sun) in advance, and in return, you get to read the chapters as I write (and edit) them (just like Wattpad). Then at the end, I’ll email you a digital copy of the full manuscript for free (format of your choice, because you already paid for it). You’d be buying the book in advance and reading as I go, then you’ll get the final draft later on once it’s completed and fully edited. (details may vary)

With the subscription, you’d automatically get all updates when I post them, and you can read the chapters one at a time, or else let them add up and read them at once, up until the finish. Then I’ll go further into editing in order to publish by the deadline (Feb 2015, hopefully). Currently, I have around 20 chapters completed (with quite a bit of editing), so that would give a good jump start into assuring that you’re going to get something to read straight away.

And Gumroad supports Paypal exchanges from over 40 countries, so most of you can be included. (On that note, those of you who were not able to get Nevermor because of unavailability, can get a Kindle compatible file through Gumroad.)

Considering the length of Shadow Sun and the amount of time I have to work on it, I anticipate around 40 chapters (maybe; could be more or less) So at that rate, and depending when I start, you’d probably get up to 2 chapters a week. Considering that I can pull it off, the book will be completely posted in 5 months, and that will leave me with some time to edit and rewrite what I need to. And then voila! On release day, you get a copy of the final version without lifting a finger.

If I do this, I don’t know when it will start. I still have to think on it a bit, and I have a few things that are going to occupy my time soon, so this might start in August. July possibly, but I don’t know yet.

This project would be good in a lot of ways, I think.

1.) You get to see it early, as I write it, like in the old days, chapter per chapter. (I will try to have the chapters in ‘good to great’ shape by the time I post them, so it’ll still be good quality, though it may still go through some tweaking before I publish it to get everything lined up better.)

2.) I can get input from the outside as I write, and if it’s really going downhill or ends poorly, I have people to tell me so before I release it, and I can rewrite if I have to. (This has been a heavy thought on my mind about this book. I really don’t want it to be terrible and ruin the whole trilogy. Writing a series is stressful…)

3.) I can stay in touch with my fans, which is something that I have missed since deciding to publish. I like to know what people are thinking as they read, and readers no longer comment like they used to. In a way, they can’t, so there’s no blame.

4) Knowing that I have to keep up with posting will push me to keep going, because I have to be honest – I’ve really been dragging my feet with this one.  I keep getting stuck, but if I have fans praising me as I go along, I’ll be more excited about it. (I’m fickle, I know. Sometimes I need a good kick.)

5) Perhaps some readers might write early reviews that can be ready to post before the book comes out, to help drum up interest in the series as a whole.

6) In addition to the chapters, you’ll likely be privy to some of my personal thoughts on the different parts of the story, my concerns, so on. I will probably ask for input at times. So in a way, it’s like you’re getting super secret commentary as I go along.

So, who likes this idea, and who would be interested in participating if I decide to offer it? Of course, you need to have read books 1 and 2 first. Some of you may think it’s a better idea to wait until the book is done before you read it, and that’s fine as well. I’m interested in hearing what you think. This is as much of an experiment as it is a way to reconnect with my fans, and just to do something different from other writers out there who have no control over their books.

So, just click below and tell me what you think, and feel free to comment!!

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Forsaken Dreamscape Deluxe Release and Book 3 Announcement

And so, Forsaken Dreamscape: Deluxe Edition is now available to purchase in ebook and print formats! If it’s not yet available through your favorite online retailer, just keep an eye out and it should be soon. But remember, the print version is only available through Amazon and Createspace for now because of pricing issues.  This version includes the original Peter Pan version, Neverland: Forsaken Dreamscape, as a bonus. The book also features the amazing new art you see posted all over the blog, by Omri Koresh.

(US versions; if you want to run your own search, try to looking up ‘Lani Lenore’ to see the listing for all my books)

Amazon (Kindle version)

Amazon (print)

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

CreateSpace (print)


Since that business is out of the way, it’s time to move on to the next thing. Even though I’ve already been talking about it a bit, I want to make it official:

Nevermor Book 3 is in the works, and it will be titled Shadow Sun.

This isn’t a surprise to many of you, I know. You’ve already seen the title at the end of book 2 or the beginning of book 1, and if you have the print version you’ve even seen a glimpse of the cover art. But I’m not going to show the full version to you yet. You’ll just have to wait!

I decided on this title a while ago, even before I knew what the book would actually be about – maybe even before I finished Book 1. I’ve always had a general idea, of course, but writing is a work in progress (often even once the story is complete; I mean, take this whole project into account) and sometimes the best details don’t reveal themselves until you’re in the thick of it. So as you might expect, this book might have something to do with shadows…and maybe the sun…and maybe both. But who knows… It could just be wordplay that I thought would sound intriguing. :p

If you’ve read the other Nevermor books, you know that I’ve mentioned the sun quite a few times. It’s not as if the people of Nevermor have a god (unless Rifter counts) but if there is a ‘greater power’ in the world, I certainly implicated the sun. As for other details about the book, well, I’ll be giving out some of those as I go along. Just keep up with the blog to find out. 😉

So how far along is Shadow Sun, and when can you expect to read it? Well, I released the other two books in February (2013 and 2014) and I aim for the same thing with this book. However, if I feel like the story is not up to my standards by then, not finished or otherwise not good enough, I’m not going to hold myself to February, but may give myself an extra month or two to sort it out. That’s further beauty in self-publishing. I don’t have a deadline except what I make for myself. There’s no one standing in line to make money off me, no pressure to get it on the page even if it’s crap.

But it’s not going to be crap, because I’m going to make sure it’s not. So, the people who really matter will win, and that’s you and me.

I’m over 70k into Shadow Sun, and at this point, I can’t say exactly how long it will be, though I estimate it will be around the same as the other two, landing somewhere around the 150k mark. Or more. Or less. Can’t say, really. I’ve recently been working on an outline of events, and once that’s completed, I’ll have a better idea of how many chapters are left and what the word count might be.

There’s a lot to do, and I want this series to go out with a bang (as I’m sure we all do).

In my last post, I mentioned a new idea for sharing Shadow Sun with you, and while I’m still thinking about it, I’ll probably address this soon. Look forward to finding that out in the future. I think it’ll be interesting.

For now: Deluxe Edition! Yay! Go relive that Peter Pan story you loved so much, or read it for the first time and see how it compares. 🙂

Project Nevermor Reviews: Tigerheart by Peter David

**Not long ago, I started getting the urge to read more, and that urge grew into a desire to explore other works based on Peter Pan (which I said I wouldn’t do until I was done with my own trilogy.) However! since I pretty much know where that’s going, I decided to give in to my desire to read other variations of Peter Pan or anything with a connection, such as what my own series is. So I finally broke down and ordered several different Peter Pan-related books that I’m going to read and give my impressions of on the blog.  I’m limiting my reading to only published works, books and graphic novels (indie works, yes – stories on Wattpad and such, no). Probably will contain *some* spoilers, but I tried to limit that as I could. So, this sort of post might show up periodically, because I have quite a few volumes waiting in line.**

For my second review along the way through other Peter Pan-related works is Tigerheart by Peter David. Why this one? Well, I was going out of town one weekend and this one was a nice size to carry around with me.

Relationship to the Peter Pan Story:

This is clearly a re-imagining of the Peter Pan tale – a continuation, even (almost) – but instead, the entire story is re-explained so that you don’t have to rely on Barrie’s version – however, if you have read the original book, it will actually enhance your experience. There are subtleties (and downright character-trait villainy), but it’s all in good fun, and if it at least makes you laugh and roll your eyes a little bit, I think this book set out to do what it meant to.

I feel that the author, Peter David, was thinking along the same lines that I was when I wrote Nevermor. In order to make this story his own (or perhaps avoid copyright infringement, which he denies in an interview at the end, orrrr for whatever reason) there is no mention of Peter or Tinkerbell or any others in this story – but everything is turned around. The characters are there, but renamed. Peter is referred to only as ‘The Boy’. Likewise, Neverland is called ‘Anyplace’ and is located from ‘the third star on the left’ (yeah). Wendy is ‘Gwenny’ Tinkerbell is ‘Fiddlefix’ and (probably the most ridiculous) Capt. Hook is ‘Capt. Hack’ with a hatchet for a hand. But everything is there, and everything has a place. It is a parody, a pastiche, which goes so far as to even mimic Barrie’s writing style.

 First Impression:

When I first began, I found myself thinking that if David was simply going to re-imagine the base story and change the names, but keep even most of the story and character details (such as the third star on the left, the sea creature swallowing a clock, and so on), and likewise write it in the style of Barrie… Why did he write this? I was just not sure why he felt the need. But after the first chapter, I could see a difference, and as he went on, expounding upon the characters that Barrie already created while, yes, making them his own, I began to appreciate this book more – even more, perhaps, than if he had used the original names, which would have just made it kinda dull.

And I found myself wondering (privately to myself and now openly here) if this had previously been a story written as a candidate for the official Peter Pan sequel contest that was held back in 2006, of which Peter Pan in Scarlet was the winner. But as far as I know, that’s only my personal theory and has not been confirmed.

Story

In Tigerheart, a boy named Paul Dear takes center stage – an original character inserted into a world that is different, but familiar. Paul is enchanted by the story of ‘The Boy’, and dreams of becoming like The Boy himself. His father told him stories of The Boy, which his mother always frowned upon, and though the stories of The Boy remain, no one seems to know where he is now. Paul sees The Boy in his reflection, and wonders exactly where The Boy is, if Paul is not actually The Boy, himself. (confusing)

The story, within the first couple of chapters, takes on a few serious issues that affect Paul’s life and mindset: the death of his baby sister, the decline of his parents’ marriage and his father’s eventual departure, Paul’s visits to a psychiatrist who puts him on medication, and the failing of his mother’s love for him. So while the book is written in a simplistic style like a children’s story, and is even funny at times, the subject matter is a bit deeper than that, though it’s glossed over by the style.

All of this leads Paul to seek out the Anyplace with the intention of finding a new baby for his mother among those who become lost. He only wants her to be happy, and by the way he sees it, this is the only thing that will make her happy again. He finds a petrified fairy in a curio shop, and soon enough, Paul is flying off to the Anyplace, meeting The Boy and taking on pirates. Adventures ensue, dangers are met, and eventually the truth is revealed to Paul and he finds what he has been seeking – and maybe teaches The Boy a thing or two along the way.

Writing

Tigerheart is written in a style similar to how Barrie wrote the original Peter Pan, and I feel a bit torn… Because while I’d like to deduct points from the review because the author didn’t even write in his own voice, I can’t quite imagine the book to be written differently. I really enjoyed reading it this way, and the story wasn’t such that it could be told through, for example, the voice I would normally write something in. Tigerheart is what it is, and while I usually search for stories that are written a bit differently than this one, I can’t see how this might have been improved by a change in perspective.

Another thing that I noticed is that while it’s written in a style that might have been meant for children, David is clearly playing to the adults. This is a story, written for adults, who want to relive a story they loved in their youth, but with a different twist. Adults reading this can understand what’s going on, in the same way that we, as children, didn’t understand themes in some of our beloved stories.  By the end (and throughout) David is certainly not hating on those of us who chose to grow up instead of staying in the Anyplace. Instead, there’s glory in realizing that one has to eventually grow up.

Verdict

In considering the rating, I have to evaluate the book not only for how much I liked it, but for what it is. So, in judging how the story was told, how it was put together, how it was written, and how the plot played out (even though I rolled my eyes a few times at the extent to which the author used EVERY detail from Peter Pan) , this is my verdict:

I couldn’t really see a reason to hate on it too much. It just worked somehow. I give it four stars, easily. I can’t give it 5 because I can’t say it’s among the best I’ve read as far as my personal taste, but I did enjoy it. This book was fun to read, funny, reminded me of the original Peter Pan and even The Princess Bride a bit, which is one of my favorite books. It had good messages, many quotes I liked, and was somehow original in the same way that it was completely not.

In this book, I did find a kindred spirit of sorts, and while some things might seem similar to Nevermor in ways (details based on ideas from the original, of course, or even the very idea of changing the character names) I want to be clear that I did not even know about this book until recently, and have only read it just now, so I was not inspired by this volume in any way when I was working on my own twist.

So now I finally get to update my own status!

Forsaken Dreamscape: Deluxe Edition is less than a week away! That’s June 17th, by the way. Everything is ready, I just have to hit the button when the time comes. 🙂 After that happens, I can FINALLY start talking about book 3, and I’ve been having some thoughts on a new method I’m considering in sharing that book with you, which I may talk about soon, if I decide to do it…

Also, the title of the deluxe edition has been changed, and if you start looking for it, the book is going to be called Forsaken Dreamscape: Deluxe Edition, instead of ‘Deluxe Peter Pan Edition’, because I chose not to put that on the cover, and the rules are that I have to name it what is says on the cover. Makes sense.

That’s all for now. On to the next project!