Manuscript complete. Get out the red pen. (And the bourbon.)

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So, yes, the blog has been quiet for good reason. The manuscript for the sequel to The Grandfather Clock is finished. First draft. Very rough. Get me a drink.

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What my editor does to my draft. Photo Credit: myguerrilla via Compfight cc

Now the fun part. The other half of writing the book. First, I give it my edit. Then it goes to carefully selected Beta Readers (friends who are willing to read and critique in exchange for food and beverage.) Then to my trusted editor, who will then tear the whole thing apart like a piece of Walmart furniture left in the rain. Then I put it back together and give it to a copy editor to take care of all the typos I didn’t find or added in the editing process.

Four Months. Give me four months and I will give you the The Napoleon Bloom. April. There, I said it.

In addition to writing a lot over the last couple of months, I’ve also been reading some great stuff. Here’s a rundown of the best:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the most successful writer on my block is Nathan Van Coops. I read his time travel adventure In Times Like These and it was terrific. I’m not the first person to go reaching for sci-fi or much outside of the real world we live in. Van Coops has written a time travel adventure for people who live in the read world. I mean… he considers, very carefully, questions like: What happens if you travel into the future to the same place and the pretty field you were standing in became an interstate highway? Time travel in In Times Like These is dangerous. Mix in a serial killer and a story of great friends and you’ve got a book for everyone. Oh… and the book is FREE on Kindle, so what’s your excuse for not downloading it now? (Yes, you.) It’s the #1 Time Travel book on Amazon. Soon I’ll be tackling his sequel The Chronothon which I just picked up on audio book on Audibel.

A while back I told you about a great book about an escaped Australian convict hiding in Bombay by Gregory David Roberts called Shantaram. His sequel The Mountain Shadow just came out and I’m almost done reading it. It’s so good, I find myself waking up at 2am and sneaking 20 pages in. Seriously. The book is killing my sleep.

On audio book I’m “reading” something  a little different. It’s a New York Times Bestseller from a few years ago by Sam Harris called Waking UpHarris is a controversial writer, known better for another book called The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of ReasonWaking Up is a look at spirituality from a secular point of view (i.e. spirituality without organized religion.) Not new agey… Harris goes at spirituality from a scientific / neurological / societal / meditational / mindfulness focus that leaves the dogma out. So far, it’s thought provoking.

I’ll finish by sharing a very special moment that I got to experience for the first time as a writer. I’ve long thought that when an author finds their book on the shelves of the thrift store, they’ve really arrived. Well, a few weeks ago, my book appeared – second hand – on Amazon, offered by Goodwill of Greater Seattle. Now, I have several friends in Seattle, one in particular who bought copies of my book for all of her friends last Christmas, so I’d like to thank her for proliferating my prose in the Pacific Northwest to the point that someone tossed it in their thrift store box. Top it off that “Thrift Shop” hitmakers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis come from Seattle, I was soooo close to being an rap song… I’m gonna pop some tags / Only got twenty dollars in my pocket… 

You know the drill: Don’t forget to sign up for updates on the left. Got a question or comment? Leave it below or drop me an email at jkilewrites@gmail.com. Check me out on Facebook and Twitter too.

Cheers!

-Jonathan Kile

Rumors of my blog’s demise are greatly exaggerated

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I know, I know. It’s been a month.. more?.. a long time since I posted something. In the midst of trying to finish the manuscript to my second novel, The Napoleon Bloom, life threw a few curve balls. Much of my next book is set in Paris, and I actually wrote and never published two posts about the events in Paris (opting to spare the universe of one more in-expert opinion.) The good news is that I’m very excited about how the book is finishing. I just wish I could get it done.

The reason I wanted to get this post up is that I stumbled upon a new show on The History Channel that pertains directly to a “twist” in my novel The Grandfather Clock. When I was researching that novel, I read a book called The Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler, by Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams. In very detailed manner, the authors present the case that Hitler escaped the Fuhrerbunker and lived more than a decade in seclusion in Patagonia. I don’t endorse or refute this theory. Hitler’s body was never found, and lacking total proof in any direction, I don’t have a stake in either opinion. But it provided a cool motivation for the villains in my book. In cooperation with the authors, The History Channel is running a documentary series about Hitler’s supposed escape. It’s called Hunting Hitler and it airs at 9 p.m. every Tuesday night, or you can view episodes online (like I do if I can’t sleep.) After four episodes, the show makes no conclusions.

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Upstart cable station, The History Channel, is riding the waves of my book.

It’s exciting to see this get some mainstream attention because now, when I’m talking to people about my book, their eyes don’t roll into the back of their head when I start sounding like a foil-hat conspiracy nut. The show is good. I wish it were great. They feature investigators in Europe and South America as they follow the cold trail. The investigators tend act a little over-dramatically when they find clues and the editing is really heavy on “recap” after every commercial – but I might feel this way because I’m already really well acquainted with their research.

I can’t wait to talk about the real-life twist that comes up in my next book. But no spoilers on that right now. Thanks for checking back in. I promise more activity here and updates on the upcoming release. There’s something poetic about a Spring 2016 release of … The Napoleon Bloom. 

Don’t forget to sign up for updates on the left. Got a question or comment? Leave it below or drop me an email at jkilewrites@gmail.com. Check me out on Facebook and Twitter too. When my daughter gets older I’ll have her teach me Instagram.

-Jonathan Kile