Tag Archives: promotion

My Favourite Bits…The Godsend

If the first book of Innerscape is all about Miira, the second is all about the two men in her life – Kenneth Wu and Jaimie Watson. Jaimie is the eighteen year old son of Charge Sister Emily Watson, and the accident that almost took his life is the reason she moved heaven and earth to have him inducted into Innerscape. Kenneth Wu is a brilliant doctor whose research changed Innerscape forever, but he has demons, and now the life he constructed for himself is unravelling. Read on:

Home is Where the Heart is

Despite it being the end of spring, the day was overcast and sullen when the taxi bearing Kenneth Wu drew up in front of his house.

“We have arrived,” the onboard AI said politely. But Kenneth refused to take the hint. Instead, he stared up at the immaculate little Victorian cottage as if he had never seen it before.

When he was a kid, the house had been a waypoint, a place to rest before going on to some place else, and little in his adult life had changed that sense of transience. Now though, he would have to go inside and stay there, licking his wounds until something happened to kick-start his life again.

But what if nothing ever happened? What if that house swallowed him whole and never let him go?

“Dear Passenger,” the taxi’s AI said apologetically. “I must ask that you vacate the taxi as another Passenger has requested transportation.”

“Of course,” Kenneth said, a bitter smile twisting the corner of his mouth. Apparently not even the taxi company wanted him around. At least the house would never throw him out.

“Here,” he said as he jabbed his thumb at the meter.

The biometric device hummed happily as it read his thumbprint and charged the fare against his account.

“Have a nice day, Sir!”

Yeah, Kenneth thought as he slid out of the taxi and began walking up the artfully designed crazy paving that led to the front door. A box trundled three steps behind him, its wheels going clickety clack on the uneven flagstones.

The box contained the sum total of the last five years of his life: a mug, a couple of first edition text books, some clothes, the folded frame of his exercise bicycle, and a few letters of appreciation from the families of his patients. Everything else, all the important stuff, was proprietary, born of his mind, but not his to take.

At least he would not bring shame to the family by going to jail. That was something.

Find something good in every day,” the therapist had advised his teenaged self, and Kenneth had tried to take her advice. But if not going to jail was the only good thing to emerge from this awful day, then what on earth was he supposed to find for the next day, and the day after that?

Placing his palm on the keypad, Kenneth let himself into the house and quickly reached for the control panel next to the doorframe, but he was not quite quick enough.

“Welcome ho-” The voice of the house AI began before it was cut-off mid greeting.

No, Kenneth thought as he listened to the echoes repeat down the long, empty hallway. This is not my home.

Home was his laboratory in Innerscape, but he would never be allowed to go there again.

Why this scene? Because this is the scene in which you start to get a hint of the seriousness of Kenneth’s childhood problems.

I know that therapy is common in some countries, but here in Australia it isn’t, especially for children, so knowing that Kenneth received therapy as a teen conjures up all sorts of negative possibilities. The fact that the mantra ‘Find something good in every day‘ continues to have relevance in his present hints at the depth of trauma he [may] have suffered.

I’m a pantster, so I knew Kenneth’s trauma would be bad, and I had a feeling it would involve his mother in some way, but I had no idea how or why until I wrote this scene. For me, this is the moment it hit me. This is the moment I knew. I also knew that I could not tell Kenneth’s story yet, and it almost killed me! But you see, Innerscape is Miira’s story so by necessity, Kenneth and Jaimie, and eventually Marisa Bell, had to be secondary characters. Their stories had to wait.

And before anyone says “But…”. Yes, I know they all became 99% major characters, but that 1% I managed to claw back had consequences. So for what it’s worth, I love this scene because I hinted at a heck of a lot but managed to restrain myself. 😀

There are also a couple of little things that most readers wouldn’t have noticed, and both involve the semi smart box that Kenneth brought home with him. Modern tech meant that he could command the box to follow him, but the ‘…clickety clack on the uneven flagstones’ comes straight from my childhood! lol

When I was about eight or nine, I had a little wagon which was just a box on wheels that I could pull behind me via a long handle. The reason I loved that little wagon was the noise it made. It was such a cheerful sound. In my mind, that contrasts so acutely with the sadness of Kenneth’s homecoming.

And last but not least, I love the paragraph about the contents of Kenneth’s box – ‘….Everything else, all the important stuff, was proprietary, born of his mind, but not his to take.’ Like Kenneth, my Dad was an innovator, but because he worked for one of the largest corporates of his day, when he left, he couldn’t take any of his inventions with him. They belonged to the company, paid for by a salary that was no bigger than that given to all the other engineers who only worked 9 to 5. Emlékszem Apu. I remember how much that hurt him.

So there you have my first favourite bit from The Godsend. The ebook will be free on Amazon for 5 days from February 2 to February 6, 2021. It goes without saying that I would love a review or two, but I’ll be happy if the story finds a few more readers. 🙂

cheers
Meeks

p.s. oh and I put a graphic of the schedule of promotions up on the sidebar. Clicking on it will take you to the post in which the graphic occurs.

p.p.s. Just had a very strange experience. When I went to publish this post, WP displayed an error message to the effect that I was not allowed to use ‘the provided terms’. After some experimentation, it appears that the tag ‘My Favourites’ is what caused the error. Some weird kind of copyright/trademark infringement? I thought you couldn’t trademark common words and phrases?


My Favourite bits…in Miira

Stephen King famously advised writers to murder their darlings, but thanks to Audrey Driscoll, another excellent writer, I’m about to do the exact opposite! I’m going to tell you which of my ‘darlings’ I like the most, and why. But I’m also opening these questions up to my writer friends. Which bits of your stories do you like the best? More importantly, why those bits instead of others?

I thought long and hard about those questions myself, and in the end, I kept coming back to two, very different scenes from Miira, book 1 of the Innerscape science fiction trilogy. The first one features the main character, Miira Tahn.

In the following short excerpt, Miira has just entered Innerscape [a virtual world for the old, sick and dying, or at least those wealthy enough to pay the price of admission]. As the final step in her ‘orientation’, Miira must attend a fashion show at which she will meet most of Innerscape’s current Residents. She’s been hurt by these kinds of people before, but she’s learned to beat them at their own game:

Thanks to Miira’s determination to find just the right ‘armour’, she and the girls were fashionably late by the time they finally arrived at the venue for the fashion show. All around them, beautiful people filled the spacious room, chatting over exquisite canapés and sipping the finest simulated champagne.

Yet even so, their arrival did not go unnoticed. Emily, and Jane wore lovely pastel frocks that enhanced their colouring, but both looked a little insipid next to Miira’s neon presence. She sailed through the crowd like a bright red exclamation mark, impossible to miss and even harder to ignore.

Smiling and nodding at the Residents she recognized, Miira led the way to their seats as if unaware of the ripples she was causing.

The front row seats they had been assigned would give them an unobstructed view of the gorgeous creations soon to grace the catwalk, but Miira knew the seats would also give the Residents an unobstructed view of her. She would be under the microscope, and heaven help her if they found any chinks in her armour.

She had always hated the scrutiny that was part and parcel of her role as the Lady, but over the years she had learned to give as good as she got. Now, as she waited for the show to begin, she welcomed the gorgeous people who approached with a half-smile and a knowing look.

The women did not like her, air-kisses notwithstanding, but each man looked her up and down with cool intent.

Miira returned their looks, her hooded eyes hinting at promises she had no intention of keeping.

Taken from Miira, book 1 of Innerscape

Miira is not me. But she may be the person I would like to have been during the six, miserable years I spent in an all-girl, Catholic convent school. I’d always gotten on better with boys than girls in primary school, so high school with only girls was… a shock. I learned that girls en masse are not always kind.

So the chip on Miira’s shoulder was probably inherited from me, but I like how she fought back. And I like the colour red.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about another one of my favourites, but this time the person wearing red will be the assassin. Make of that what you will. lol

Your turn!

Meeks

p.s. Don’t forget that Miira will be free on Amazon.com for five days starting on January 19, 2021!


List of book promotion sites

Apologies to all my non writer friends. Today’s post is to share info. about this very handy list, and save it somewhere safe for my own use.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually gone back to some of my own posts in order to check a how-to, or some other piece of information. Having it all here saves me trying [and failing] to remember where the hell I put it.

Now, to the list. It’s been created to allow Indie writers to find, use and keep track of promotional sites. In other words, collecting all your important information in one place. Again, saves on the memory doesn’t it?

I’ve only just discovered this list so I haven’t had a chance to try out the interactive part of it, but just having all this information in one place makes me happy. If I can actually track who I’ve sent what to, and when, then I’ll be ecstatic!

http://www.readersintheknow.com/list-of-book-promo-sites

If any of you use the interactive part of the list please let me know how well it worked [or didn’t].

On a more mundane note, the weather continues to stay most un-summer-like. I’m loving it, of course, because this is the most peace of mind I’ve had in January for years. Now I just have my fingers crossed for February. I’m supposed to start teaching again in February so I may get a little stressed out over leaving the house, and the Daughter, on hot days. Meh…I’d better not jinx myself!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Meeks

 


A changing of the guard amongst my posts

top posts pic for 13 jan 2015 2

It’s 9.43am on January 13th, 2015, and for the first time in almost two years, the top post on my blog is not ‘How to use the USB cable to transfer photos from the Samsung Galaxy SII….’ [etc]. And I’m rapt!

That particular post has brought a grand total of 63,882 visitors to my blog, and well over 100 comments. It also catapulted me back into teaching/training, so I am grateful, very grateful, but I’m glad it’s on the way out.

The reason that post is on the way out is because the technological niche it served is getting out of date. In a word, the Samsung Galaxy SII phone has been superseded by newer phones, and users have upgraded away from the SII.

But why does this make me happy? Don’t I like having so many people coming to the blog? Isn’t it a great way to get my name out there?

Well, last things first – no, the people coming to read that particular, how-to post are not interested in my other posts on bushfires, or climate change, or… heavens forbid, science fiction. The search engine brings them in [thank you Google]. They read. They may leave a comment. And then they go. Which is exactly what I would do if I were simply looking for information.

That said, a few visitors may read one of my other how-to posts, or even one of my more general posts, but in terms of generating visibility, I don’t think that how-to post has done much to increase the awareness of my presence online.

Which brings me to the middle question : don’t I like having people come to the blog? The simple answer is YES! I have loved each any every person who left a comment about the Samsung Galaxy SII post. But… those lovely people have been like ships passing in the night; they didn’t stay.

And finally, the first question last : why am I happy that my single most popular post is on the way out?

That question is a little harder to answer. Part of it is a strange sort of jealousy. I began this blog because the pundits said I had to promote myself in order to promote my book[s]. As I did not, and still do not, like Facebook, or Twitter, a quiet blog was the obvious solution.

Of course, being the contrary little person that I am, I then spent far less time writing about my fiction than I did writing about my other passions. But that was okay. Those passions defined me, and the blog was supposed to be about me as well as my work.

But then I wrote an odd little post that harked back to my technical writing days. I expected it to die a quiet death within 24 hours, but instead it exploded …and kept on exploding for almost two years.

This was not why I had started my blog! This was something that belong to my past. Why was it coming back to haunt me?

I’m not religious, but sometimes I really do feel as if fate is trying to rub my nose in things, and this time it seemed that fate was trying to tell me I needed a day job, as a trainer.

This past year has seen my ponderous ship turn in mid-stream and head off down the teaching path again. I haven’t been wildly successful, but I have had some very satisfying personal successes. Unfortunately, those successes came at the cost of my creative writing. To put it bluntly, this last year has been a terrible year for my writing.

I did have a couple of stabs at writing during the year, but mostly my creativity just fizzled, until recently. I have been writing again since just before Christmas and I feel 20 years younger, and at least 50 years happier!

Even if this rush of creativity fizzles out once I start teaching again, at least I’ll know I’ve accomplished a couple of things :

1. I’ll know that I still have that ‘something’ in me that comes up with ideas, and is in love with words,

2. And I’ll know that I finished the first part of Innerscape exactly on my 62nd birthday this time. [I missed publishing Vokhtah on my 60th birthday by three days].

Innerscape Part One is not published, but I did send it off to one of my wonderful Alpha Readers [also on my birthday], so it is a milestone. Where Part One will go from here is a mystery. At a whisker under 50,000 words, it’s too short for a novel but way too long for a novella, so… -shrug-

For a while there I toyed with the idea of publishing Part One in serial form, but then I realised that people reading it would want to keep on reading it, and the rest of the story is still a long, long way from finished. It simply wouldn’t be fair to publish the start of something that could take me years to complete.

So this point in time is not an end-point, it’s just a milestone. But it’s a milestone that makes me happy, and the decline of the Samsung Galaxy SII post feels like a small, reluctant nod from fate.

I think 2015 is going to be a good year. 🙂

-hugs-

Meeks


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