Go check out my latest post on Adventures in Creative Writing here
Go check out my latest post on Adventures in Creative Writing here
I just got a message from a reader who was pretty upset. Not for my fiction book, but for one of my computer language textbooks. It wasn’t about the actual content of the book, but the way that it was printed.
By the indignant tone, it seems the reader must think that I have have a set of quill pens in a backroom where I hand print each page, carefully glue them together and give each one a final hug, before they are sent into the wild.
Let me give you a hint. I don’t do that.
What I actually did was type a bunch of characters into a word processor and emailed the files to the publisher. A little while later, I received some galley proofs, which I looked over, and waved a rubber chicken over them to bless them for publication. That was it. End of story.
I had no input on the cover image, the margins on the page, what type of paper was used, what color ink was used, what font was used, the line spacing, whether or not it was translated into Swahili first, nothing else. So to complain to me that the printing looked of inferior quality, doesn’t really help all that much. Yes, I can and will complain to my editor, but at the end of the day, I’m not really expecting that my comment will go very far. It won’t be for lack of trying, but honestly, I’m pretty far removed from where those type of decisions are made.
Given today’s economic woes, I can imagine that publishers are trying to cut costs, and maybe the quality of the printing is suffering. If so, I’m not happy about that and I will do my best to fix it, but at the moment, I’m feeling pretty powerless.
I don’t fault the consumer for complaining if the product is substandard. I would do the same. But talking to me about it is like telling a musician that his CD sounds like crap. It doesn’t really help. Once he plays the music, it’s pretty much out of his hands.
If you don’t like the quality of a book, CD, or other manufactured product you should complain, but complain to the guy with the printing press, not the artist.
I got to talk with a real live Hollywood Producer about my book the other night. I wrote about it here. Go check it out.
I finally finished my latest book, “Imperfect Justice” and sent it out to three agents. I plan to send it out to a couple more tomorrow, and then wait for the responses. I find that it works better to do a few at a time rather than a mass mailing, especially if there is something wrong with the submission. Not that I expect that to be the case, but it happens.
I really tried to put my voice into this one, and I feel like it worked. It’s exciting, funny, and I hope I was able to provide enough intrigue to keep readers interested.
Given the workload of agents these days, I don’t expect to hear back for a few weeks, but we’ll see.
The book is similar to a movie from the seventies called The Star Chamber. In it, Michael Douglas played a judge who was irritated when suspects he knew were guilty got off on technicalities. He mentioned this to his mentor, Hal Holbrook. Hal told him about a secret organization that he belonged to that took care of problems like that.
Hal presided over a panel of judges that would review the evidence of the case and if they found that the defendant was guilty, they would send an assassin, to take care of business. My story is similar but told from the assassin’s point of view. Instead of a panel of judges my novel makes use of Functional MRI. The guys in the agency interrogate suspects by strapping them in the FMRI machine and asking them questions. By reading which part of the brain gets activated, they can determine whether or not the suspect is lying.
The interesting part of the story occurs when my protagonist, whose name is Dan G. Ross (get it? No, say it fast a few times.), has his twin brother Jimmy accused of a crime Dan knows he did not commit. When Jimmy is acquitted based on Dan’s testimony, Dan is forced to bring him in to the agency for questioning. Things get bad after that, but you’re going to have to read about it when the book comes out.
Wish me luck.
Even though I hate the name, I want the device. I have an iPhone, which I use almost continually, and the one thing about it that I don’t like, is the small screen. I find myself continually using two fingers to zoom into a photo, map, email, or webpage to see the detail that I want.
The big screen should solve that problem for most of my uses. The only time it probably won’t is in the car, and that’s not a good idea anyway.
The other reason that I want one, is that I want to put my book on it. I suspect it is going to be a great book reading experience and having my title on the device, definitely cannot hurt. Besides the cover is going to look great in color.
I received my advanced reader copy of Michael Palmer’s newest medical thriller, “The Last Surgeon” last week and read it in one day. The book will be released to bookstores February 16th 2010.
If you like thrillers, especially those with great characters, twisted plots (my favorite), and villains that make Charles Manson seem like not such a bad guy after all, you can’t go wrong with one of Michael Palmers’ medical thrillers. His latest “The Last Surgeon” is right up there, if not his best so far.
Nick Garrity, medical doctor to the downtrodden, is still dealing with the effects of his own PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from his military service in Afghanistan, when he is thrust into the focus of a brutal killer after teaming up with the sister of one of his victims. Together they must unravel the mystery connection, and the reason behind innocent medical professionals dying of what at first seem like random accidents or suicides.
The hours seemed to melt into nothingness as I feverishly turned the pages to find out who was behind it all, and what they were after. It was a wild ride, satisfying ending, and well worth the time to read.
I highly recommend you go to Michael Palmer’s website and pre-order your copy today.
Of if you would like to win a FREE PERSONALIZED copy of The Last Surgeon, go to Adventures in Creative Writing, and enter the contest.
I got to meet Captain Sully Sullenberger a few days back at a book signing. I am lucky enough to live close to him, and he was doing book signings at the local Costco.
I went about an hour early, and there were already 50 people in line, armloads of books in their hands, the atmosphere one of waiting for a hero to arrive. Just before the appointed time we heard a bunch of clapping and the message was passed down that Sully had entered the building.
It didn’t take too long for me to get up to Sully, and I had him sign a book for me, my brother, and my brother-in-law.
I also had something special for him. I brought along one of my books personalized to him. I had written the following inside the front cover
Wishing you clear skies and smooth landings
and of course I signed it. I told him that the story had some parallels to his flight and that I had written it before it happened. He said “Great, I’ll check it out” and seemed happy to take the book.
I started reading Sully’s book, Highest Duty, and the beginning chapters have brought back so many of my happy early flying memories, that I had long since forgotten. I’m really enjoying it, and I think you will too.
If you are a flying buff, you have to pick one up. If you are not, I still think you will enjoy it.
It’s my latest kick. I found “Dead Sleep”, I don’t remember how, got the audio book version, and absolutely loved it. It’s been a long time since an author truly made me care about a character, and with “Dead Sleep” he has done it.
His descriptive style is captivating. His dialog is spot on. His characters, as I mentioned already, really tug at the heart.
I’m in the middle of “True Evil” at the moment, and it’s great so far. I again picked up the audio version, and the narrator, is awesome. He makes the evil genius downright creepy.
As a writer I am attuned to small editing mistakes, and I have found a couple of scenes that had issues. For instance in Dead Sleep a guy is shot in the leg, barely able to move, yet a few scenes later, he is running. With some books this is the type of thing that will make me toss the book against the far wall in disgust, but because Greg’s overall writing is so good, I simply say “woops”.
If you like creepy medical based thrillers with a great underlying voice, and interesting characters, you can’t go wrong with Greg’s books. I can’t wait to read the next one.
I love reading(?) books from audible.com. I listen to them in the car while driving to work, I listen to them while working out at the gym, I listen to them when I am waiting for the wife to finish her shopping.
It’s a great service with a lot of great books. I do have one complaint. I wish their website would list the author’s book in order of publication.
If there is one thing that I hate, it’s reading a book from an author that uses characters from a previous work, and I haven’t read that work. I know that the author shouldn’t rely on the fact that you’ve read the previous book, but I have found very few authors that do it well. In my opinion it’s better to read the author’s book in the order they were released. That way you get the entire story.
Audible does list the books in order of audible release date, but I have no idea whether or not that relates to the published date, and also can’t tell if this was the third book the author wrote, the first, or the tenth.
But really it’s a minor complaint compared to the quality of material they carry, the level of professionalism of the narrators, and overall ease of getting books from the site. It’s great.
Every week on Monday I’m posting over at Adventures in Writing.
Today I am talking about writing deadlines.