Janus Challenge: New Cover!

With a roll of the drums… Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……. BOOM! NEW COVER!

I described my two newbie cover design mistakes in my previous post: genre-specific features and trilogy consistency. So let’s move on. Spoiler warning, more confessions…

I found the original “Janus Challenge” cover conveyed an optimistic wistfulness as the ship headed for the wormhole. I loved it.

BUT… as with everything you love (chocolate, sleeping late on weekdays, vacations…), there’s always a reckoning (weight gain, unemployment, the dreaded return to work…) Continue reading

Faces Of Janus: New Cover and Answers

Cover Confession Time

Newbie mistake #1: “Faces of Janus” was my first published book. If you’ve read it (thank you and I hope you enjoyed it), you’ll see how the two-faced image represented the JCorp logo, the lead characters’ internal conflicts, the deceptions encountered, and the disguises adopted.

But if you haven’t read the book (WHY NOT?), you won’t get these references.

A book cover is supposed to shout, “Hi there! I’m your genre! Read me!Continue reading

The Economics of AI: Example

I recently had a great time at the 68th British National Science Fiction Annual Convention: meeting old friends; making new ones; attending some fascinating panels…

The panels prompted my restless mind to explore tangential threads, as they should. Example… Continue reading

JANUS PARADISI

 

I am delighted to announce the publication of the second novel in my JANUS PARADISI series, set in the open source Paradisi Chronicles universe.

Take a look at both ebooks here.
Or read the first chapter of FACES OF JANUS here.

In FACES OF JANUS, Angel Flores’ security agents uncover the lie behind Earth’s greatest corporate conspiracy. They fight for places on humanity’s incredible journey.

Her lover, Zag, assembles a team of special ops warriors but falls for Katya, an operative with a secret past. Betrayal and secrecy on all sides put the whole plan at risk.

The hardest journey is the one on Earth. The stars can wait.



In JANUS CHALLENGE, Angel’s team have maneuvered their way aboard a great spaceship bound for a paradise planet in another galaxy.

But the battle is not over. They must seize the ship before the voyage can begin. Their special skills are needed again and again as the journey continues.

Zag struggles with his love for both Angel and Katya, whose behavior becomes more erratic until Angel’s life and the fate of the entire ship rest in her hands.

And when they arrive in that far galaxy, they face more conflict…


If you’re interested in becoming a Beta Reader or receiving Advance Review Copies, for future releases, please sign up here.

Happy Reading!
Andy

Catchup

Yes, I’ve been very quiet online recently.

images (2)Family affairs kept me on the move between Luxembourg and UK for a month or more, while I worked on my final edits for “JANUS CHALLENGE“, my second novel in the Janus Paradisi series.

Expect more about “JANUS CHALLENGE” very soon.

It’s so hard to blog or write dialog while driving up and down the UK’s congested Continue reading

Faces Of Janus: 100% 5 star!

Reader Reviews

51i8civxul-_ac_us240_ql65_With Janus Challenge straining at the release leash as March approaches, I’m starting to gather 5-star reviews for Faces of Janus (the first in my Janus Paradisi series)

Samples of kind words from readers…

I should have read this sooner! 😀

Intrigue, romance, fight between the classes. And for me a small kinship with the locale of the story, New Phoenix, Arizona.

There is fighting, spying, affairs and questions of whose loyalties lay where.

Even though there are few likable people, I really enjoyed this book, and their standoffish characters were integral to the plot so it fitted. The web of deceit and the clues littered through the chapters had me glued. The revelations were dropped like bombs, making them all the more shocking. It isn’t very fast paced but flows and has lots of action. I felt invested in their fight and finding out what was going on so I’m happy that there will be a book 2.

I have read many of the Paradisi books and this is one of my favorites.

Another enjoyable read. I’m really enjoying the different perspectives from the group of authors who have joined together to write the Paradisi Chronicles. Keep the stories coming!

Thanks to you all!

I’m always happy to get feedback…

… even from readers who liked it less than 5 stars 😉

Beyond Beginnings: Sequels

A Good Year End

In November 2016 I became a published novel author, building on my years as a short story writer. 51i8civxul-_ac_us240_ql65_51vykdagqhl-_ac_us240_ql65_

Where do you go from there?

You write the sequel.

Actually, I started writing the sequel long before I published “Faces of Janus“. It’s already gone out to beta readers, for publication in Spring 2017.

My Janus Paradisi novels run in parallel to Cheri Lasota’s Paradisi Exodus series. Our protagonists occupy the same place and time. Our characters come together and cooperate while pursuing their own objectives within a five book arc, so all planning had to be cooperative.

I had to understand her characters–their motivation, strengths, and weaknesses, abilities and relationships… We had to compare where she wanted her plot to go and where I wanted mine to go.

519bvtemdxl-_ac_us240_ql65_Underlying the whole exercise were the canon requirements of writing in a wider open-source universe, where many other writers establish circumstances or technology or characters that impinge on our stories. It’s a fascinating experience. Together we overcame all the obstacles.

So how did that work?

I’m not a plotter. I know who my characters are, where they are and what they want. I know where I want them to end up on the last page. I mark down a few “key” events for them to encounter on their journey. Then I sit back and let them control my fingers hitting the keyboard. It’s their story, after all, so I let them tell it. Often, the story they make me tell is different to the one I had in mind. (That really screws up plotting.)

So I’m a Pantser, writing by the seat of my pants. (Personally, I prefer the term “Organic” to “Pantser”. It51yudiocoel-_ac_us240_ql65_ sounds more professional.)

Cheri is a plotter. The events in every chapter are planned out well before she starts writing. Her characters go where she tells them, or else.

Naturally, my “Organic” gave way to her “Plotting”. There was no way we could share adventures without strict plotting. Together, we outlined the storylines covering the next two or three novels in our series.

Hectic Days Ahead in 2017

  • A print version of “Faces of Janus” is in the works
  • Janus Challenge” is with beta readers
  • Work progresses on the third in the series, targetted for publication in late Summer, 2017

I wish you all happy reading during the remaining bleak midwinter. Here are some suggestions: other novels set in the Paradisi Chronicles universe…

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51i8civxul-_ac_us240_ql65_

What’s With Wattpad?

I heard a few good things about Wattpad during 2014.

Wikipedia (December 20, 2016) says…

Wattpad is an online storytelling community where users post written works such as articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems, either through the website or the mobile app…

As of April 2014: [Yes, 2014]

  • 85% of its traffic and usage comes from mobile devices,
  • the site has 35 million unique visitors per month,
  • there are over 100,000 story uploads per day,
  • there have been over two million writers.

… According to the profiles visible on the site, many of these authors are teenagers.”

I took a look and found it full of YA, Romance and Undead Fantasy (not my genres), mostly written by teens. Still, I thought I’d give it a try and uploaded some short stories (horror, hard scifi…) to test the waters. I had a reasonable readership response, but few Likes or comments. Okay (shrug), I’m not Rowling or Atwood or Howey (yet). I’m not going to get swarms of eager readers seeking out every word I electronically utter (yet).

Persevering, I tried a novel.

In 2015, I started uploading chapters of my slowly developing “paranormal noir” novel. It’s actually more noir than paranormal but I write stories, not anally specific sub-sub-genres, so that’s the closest category I can claim for it. I call it “Bogart. With a ghost. Maybe.

Strange results

I had very few readers. Okay, weak promotion by me, no sex, wrong genre, bad writing, no monsters, no sex, overly mature themes (not “adult”), no sex… Lots of reasons for low readership. (Definition: “Adult themes” means lots of sex.)

But here’s the rub:

  • more people read chapter five than chapters three or four, and
  • chapter one was the least read (at the time)
Baffling!

I pressed on and submitted a few more chapters. The reader numbers continued to be inconsistent. I received one comment and one Like. (Thank you both.)

Seriously deterred, a few months ago I uploaded chapter one of my novel “Faces of Janus” to pre-announce its arrival on the market.

I received a couple more comments and Likes across my entire set of works. Nothing special, no interest.

I gave up and stopped checking my account.

Surprise, but still Strange

As I started to write this post, I checked the readership figures to post those oddly distorted early results.

Hmm… While I was busy ignoring my Wattpad account, I’d collected a growing readership for the short stories as well as for the novel chapters. But the readership pattern is still strangely skewed. Here’s the stats…

 

Can anyone make any sense of that readership pattern? Because I can’t.

Perhaps Wattpad is a platform for any aspiring authors reading this. But I’m not convinced it’s right for me.