CRYO; A Changed World is written

Just over a minute ago I wrote the last sentence of CRYO; A Changed World. I can’t believe it’s done and I’m over the moon that I managed to keep to my schedule and have it complete before January – though only just.

A Changed World has been great to write, largely because I’ve really got to indulge in exploring a new world. Rise of the Immortals was all about the CRYO lotto, the cryonics process and what happened when the podmates first emerged back into the world. There was a lot of scene setting before John was even frozen. I thought it was important to convey the place he was leaving, and the struggle he found himself in when striving to fulfil his dreams whilst saying goodbye to loved ones. A Changed World is entirely different in the fact that it’s no longer a struggle of emotion, but the struggle for survival. The new world is unrecognisable and somewhat hostile, and the CRYO podmates have a lot to encounter. From inhospitable landscapes, flora and fauna, to new creatures and foreign cultures, John and his gang have many challenges to face in the new instalment.

Now that the first draft has been written, it’s time for the hard work to begin. The book came in shy of 90,000 words, but I normally add words as part of the editing and rewriting process, so I’m under no illusion that it’ll end up nearer 100,000; a similar length to Rise of the Immortals. I’ll be self-editing in January, before sending to another editor at the beginning of February. That means, all being well, it’ll be ready for publishing by March. I also have Keith Draws on-board again for the cover, so I’m excited to get to work on that.

Alongside editing, I’ll also be starting the next Inside Evil book; it seems like only yesterday I finished New Alliances! It’s going to be bittersweet for me as I’ll bringing all those story threads to an end, but will also have to say goodbye to my characters in more ways than one.

Anyway, for now, I’ll enjoy the adrenaline at the end of the race. Happy New Year!

NaNoWriMo; When inspiration finally comes to fruition

I haven’t updated the blog in a while and that’s been because every available word at my disposal has been thrust into this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those of you who don’t know). And, for the first time it looks like I’m going to complete the challenge; 50,000 words in a month. I reached 40,000 yesterday so thought I’d take a brief gulp of air and push my head up to see what’s happening.

Many years ago as I was walking passed a building site, inspiration struck me. The first year accommodation for my university were four concrete and skyline-domineering tower blocks. They really were an eyesore, but I had many good memories. When the site was sold to developers, I assumed they’d simply blow the towers up; you know, Vegas style. As I walked by on this particular day, an extremely long crane with a unyielding set of metal jaws rose into the air instead, and it began to dismantle the towers from the top downwards. The image immediately sparked something in my head; it was like a great creature reaching into the air and causing destruction with ironic grace. At that time I was writing Inside Evil, and there was no way I could fit in these beasts. And so, CRYO took its first footsteps of life.

Like all things, the CRYO tale took on a life of it’s own; so much so that these beasts almost didn’t appear at all. John and Kath, my main characters in the first novel, took over my head and led the story where they wanted it to go. But finally, as I hit 30,000 words in the sequel, years of thinking finally came into alignment and the huge crane de-constructing my former home finally wormed its way into the pages of my book.

This year, NaNoWriMo has been a complete God send. It’s fitted in seamlessly with my writing schedule, and I intend to have about 60,000 words written by the end of the month; that’s two-thirds of CRYO – A Changed World complete. It’s been extremely interesting writing this sequel and taking John, Anne, Amity and co into the great world beyond the CRYO station. They’ve discovered – actually, they still are discovering – a lot of new things and are leading me in great circles around my story milestones.  There’s also the battle of a language barrier between my CRYO survivors and a new race to contend with ….it’s a difficult line to write a new language without it becoming absurd, whilst trying to put enough in to show the difficulties my characters face.

Whilst I was aiming to get this sequel out towards the end of February, it’s looking like it might come early…and that’s something I’m extremely pleased to hear!

A new novel for NaNoWriMo

Oh, NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month for those who don’t know). Every November, writers around the world grow beards, lose contact with loved ones and become smelly because they don’t have time to wash; all in the bid to get 50,000 words down in just one month. It’s an epic challenge, and one that, sadly, I’ve never managed to complete. However, with November rearing its head next week and another novel to get on the road, I’ve decidedly to participate this year.

As you’ll have seen in my previous post, I’ve made some changes to CRYO; Rise of the Immortals. That’s mostly because I’m about to start writing CRYO; A Changed World. I left my cast of characters perilously trying to survive in a new and alien world after winning a place on a cryonics scheme. It’s about time I got back to them. I really want to get the sequel written by mid-January at the latest so my editor has a good six weeks – aiming for a publication date at the end of Feb 2014. With the first installment being just over 100,000k and the next at least that, I need a kick start, and NaNoWriMo is perfect.

I’ll be adding a little widget to the sidebar in a moment so regular visitors can track my progress. I also have a profile over at the official website. And, if you’re a writer and so inclined, feel free to add me as a buddy too so we can spur each other on!

New CRYO cover and blurb

One of the things you often hear when publishing is that it’s crucial to get THREE things right; cover, blurb and sample. It sounds pretty obvious, but it can be hard to know what people are looking for. A cover has to make readers stop in their tracks, the blurb has to cause interest and the sample has to  result in people having that ‘I HAVE TO BUY THIS BOOK’ moment. It’s well reported that even if one of these factors is lacking, sales can flat-line. H. M. Ward is a famous example for this. Initially, her books (Damaged, Scandalous etc) were selling, but not amazingly. She then changed the cover art, tightened up the blurb and BAM – New York Bestseller list. So…you can see how important it is.

CRYO200pxWith this in mind, I’ve decided to change up the CRYO cover. I love the Rise of the Immortals artwork, and the novel is my favourite – because I love the SciFi genre – but for some reason, it’s just not attracting readers. The few reviews I’ve received are extremely favourable (as you’ll see from the above link), and I’m about to embark on writing the sequel. With that in mind, I thought it was time for a change. In addition, I gave the sample a once over and changed a couple of bad style choices that had been overlooked.

So, the new blurb goes like this:

Would you accept a one-way ticket to the future?

Earth is dying, but John Carlody has the chance to escape. He wins the most anticipated lotto ever;  the opportunity to become part of CRYO, be one of fifty people to enjoy the latest cryonics technology and journey forward half a century.

However, a dream come true could be a making of a nightmare. CRYO isn’t what it pretends to be and John is about to discover their secrets. But will he be too late?
Since changing the blurb and cover I’ve sold a grand total of….drum roll….two books. BUT, that’s more than I had been shifting. When I say it’s not attracting readers, I mean it. So, we’ll see what happens with the new details. It’s not all about the novel….in some ways, the packaging it more important than what’s inside. It’s great to have a exciting book and all, but if no ones reading it, what’s the point?
Like the new cover & blurb? Prefer the old one? Let me know…for us little indie’s these details are vital!

CRYO; Rise of the Immortals at Barnes & Noble

cryofor kindle-revMorning all, just a little book update today to let you know that CRYO: Rise of the Immortals has finally landed at B&N. It can be a little frustrating waiting for B&N to pick up Smashwords distributions, especially when other places, such as iBooks, pick new works up so quickly. However, it’s finally available – HERE.

CRYO is one of my real book loves, and John Carlody is very like me in many ways. He dreams of going to the future and finding his place in the world, but when given that golden opportunity, he finds himself second guessing and wondering if he’s making the right choice.

John’s life is ordinary. Whilst skyscrapers soar towards the heavens, leaving a dying Earth far below, John has little to enthuse him about the modern world. He’s the black sheep of the family, the recluse, the one who never did anything worthwhile. That is, until John wins an elusive ticket to the CRYO program. Within seconds, his life explodes in a flash of cameras, notoriety and intrigue.

The chance to sleep for a few decades and wake in a new world, a place where life might be better, is all that John can hope for. But, is CRYO everything it says it is? Is the promise of a prosperous future unfounded? Only time will tell, as John becomes one of 50 new immortal souls to ride out the journey of time….

If you’ve had your appetite wetted, then you can download the sample at B&N. CRYO, is also available at Amazon, Kobo and iBooks, and there’s a couple of reviews over at Amazon.co.uk.

Happy Hump Day! 🙂

CRYO: The Rise of the Immortals has arrived

cryofor kindle-revI’m over the moon to announce that CRYO: Rise of the Immortals has finally arrived. I got the final revisions this morning, spent a couple of hours making corrections and going through the manuscript one final time, before uploading to Amazon. As ever, Amazon were pretty swift off the mark, and CRYO: The Rise of the Immortals is already available to purchase.

This is a novel that has taken a LONG time to write, and there have been a lot of revisions along the way. Scrapping characters, changing existing ones, creating new ones. Throwing whole storylines away in favour of an alternate route…it’s certainly been an interesting ride.

If you’d like to know more, the the CRYO page now has the full first chapter, or alternatively you can download the sample from Amazon itself. Whilst CRYO is available at Smashwords, it’s still going through for Kobo, and could take some time for B&N because I have to wait for Smashwords to send the manuscript through.

Cover Reveal – CRYO; Rise of the Immortals

I feel like I’ve been waiting MONTHS to get this artwork. In fact, it’s only been a few mere weeks. Keith Draws has done an amazing job with this cover, and it’s everything that I wanted and more. This has been a novel which has been in the works for years, so to see everything finally coming together is rather incredible.

The book itself is currently with my editor and I’m hoping to get it back and corrected in the next few weeks so that I can make a December launch! For now…I’ll have to just gaze at the cover….and keep writing the next Inside Evil book too. 🙂