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.
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 Up. Harris is a controversial writer, known better for another book called The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. Waking 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…