It’s hard work thinking of something to blog and all too easy to click the browser off. What with moving house and getting used to a new location there hasn’t been much time to think about writing. I was just getting back to editing a version of the ‘Bobby Olsen’ book when this week I decided it was time to find a new car. So that was the end of writing for most if not all of this week. The old car had lasted from 2002 so I can’t complain really. With my mileage being very low and the car paid off many years ago there seemed no reason to update it. But with several years of warnings from garages about ‘heavy corrosion’ on the suspension I bit the bullet on Wednesday and started looking around.
And here I am just two days later with a new car lined up and hopefully ready for collecting next Tuesday. Once I make up my mind on something I hate hanging around, I like to go out and get whatever it is done and dusted. Maybe I’ve been influenced by these rapid delivery companies, you order something in the morning and it’s on your doorstep in the evening. Anyway, after sorting out the insurance yesterday, a little complicated due to my annual insurance renewing three days after I get the new car, I hope by next Tuesday everything will calm down. After I’ve sorted out the switching of cars on the parking permit! Of course, with a new car I will no doubt want to get out and drive it around more so there goes the plans to get back to writing or editing…
On the book front I have decided to publish an e-book version of ‘Bobby Olsen’ which has the original hyphenated words in it, the version I wrote for the Writing Group and which was loved and hated in equal degrees because of the double-barrelled words. I’ll probably call it ‘The Original Bobby Olsen’ and make it clear in the blurb that the story line is the same as the earlier published version. A little complicated but I feel the original style deserves a chance out in the public domain.
I have managed to write several short pieces for my Writing Group over the last month so new writing has not stopped completely. With an August break from meetings I hope to have something new written for early September. I’m also reading part of a fantasy novel written by another of the group members, to give some feedback. It’ll be nice to one day go back to writing most of the day then go for a stroll along the seafront. One day…
‘Bobby Olsen’, my novella, is now available as a print-on-demand paperback from Kindle. Both the e-book and paperback have a different cover too. There may be a few tweaks to be made to the layout, to try and get all pages nicely filled with text, but the basic story is there on paper. An interesting exercise getting it up as a paperback and probably not helped by all the changes I made along the way, especially starting the tale as a sequence of separate 1500 word exercises. Putting them all together may be the reason my chapter headings are in different positions on the pages in the paperback version!
So, after delays caused by the house move, I have finally found time to finish editing my novella ‘Bobby Olsen’ set in late 1950s America. I can’t guarantee there aren’t errors here and there, I just reached the point where I wanted it published and finished, but the tale’s out there.
This is the ‘conventional’ form of the story, with the made-up hyphenated words removed. I will produce the original version later in the year as I know some of my Writers’ Group liked the language.
Now to consider publishing it as a paperback.
Bobby Olsen by Jamie Neve – find it on Amazon as an ebook now.
Finally, after a long drawn out house move, I have managed to finish editing my novella. I mentioned it earlier on this blog, the one where I had used a lot of hyphenated words I had created. In this edit I have removed these unusual words, partly because I was getting a bit tired of them after working with them for nearly a year and partly because I knew some of my Writers’ Group members were not keen on them either. So I now have a more conventional story. Later this year I will edit the hyphenated version as it was this style which gave me the inspiration for writing the story and also some people actually liked the use of these new words.
Last night I set up the chapter headings correctly and the page breaks, and inserted the front pages. Kindle seems to have produced a new beta version of a guide but I found that problematic as some of my chapter headings went in strange positions – my fault no doubt, I’ve played around with the original episodes so much. I used the simple guide Kindle had earlier in the year when I put up my long short story as a practice run for publishing on Amazon. With this novella I will try and publish it as a paperback too, just so I can have the book on my bookshelves.
It’s curious and amusing to read back over episodes of the story. Some of them genuinely bring tears to my eyes – and not because they sound awful! – but because I can’t believe I managed to write a certain phrase or paragraph. Some of the incidents also have great poignancy for the story and, as I was making the plot up as I went, some incidents were to have great significance on the outcome of the whole tale. One character I casually brought in for one episode ended up becoming a key figure right through to the end and into the follow-up novella. Those moments bring a lump into my throat. At that point I realise I don’t care if no-one else likes the story, I like it, and I realise it was a story I must have been waiting to write, simple as it is.
So now I must hold back from publishing straight away and go through looking for any obvious errors which are highlighted in red. I’m not worried about producing a perfect piece, I’m sure my friends will eagerly point out spelling errors and the such like, I just want the story finished and published.
The Double Game by Dan Fesperman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Overall I found this to be an engrossing book. It took a while to really grab me but the plot moved along well and the references to other spy thrillers made for a fun idea. Having the main character as a 50-something man made a nice change from the usual younger men who are able to muscle their way out of incidents or are experts with an array of weaponry. On the odd occasion, and I can only think of one right now, that he has to take direct action he is genuinely surprised he managed it. The character’s relationship with an old flame is well handled and is left nicely open at the end. There’s a good ‘subplot’ of the relationships between the main character and his father and his own son.
One criticism might be that the book moves at a relatively slow pace and there are few dramatic moments. The tension comes through the main character’s perception of being followed or watched rather than being physically threatened. I’ve not read a Dan Fesperman novel before so it might be that this is his trademark style. In some ways it is a refreshingly old-fashioned type of thriller. Give it a try and stick with it if your attention falters.
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The White Devil by Justin Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I started this book I wasn’t sure it would hold my attention. However I have to admit it did grow on me and after a couple of lengthy reading sessions I was quite addicted to it. I raced through the last fifteen pages or so as I was keen to find out the ending.
It’s a fairly conventional ghost story, there’s nothing new or novel in the plot and early on I found some of the erotic scenes a little voyeuristic and unnecessary – although as the story unfolded I did see why the writer included these brief, really quite innocent scenes.
The POV does alter throughout the book although Andrew is the main one used. It is a little distracting switching the POVs but I suppose it was done to show us the motives and ‘baggage’ of the other characters. As Andrew is in his late teens I suppose he would not have understood or guessed at the other characters’ motivations.
Andrew’s relationship with Persephone did strike me at times as just a grown up version of Harry Potter and Hermione but again, as the story unfolds, I could see why it was there.
The ending was well done. I’m sure readers will immediately think of an alternative one as I did. But the author probably got it right with the one he went for.
A surprisingly enjoyable read. Strange Justin Evans hasn’t seemed to have written anything else since 2011.
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