Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ask a Superhero: Book Title

Welcome to our weekly feature where we ask a question of a Superhero, Dave Johnson, aka Powerhouse and the Emerald Avenger.

Interviewer: Our first question comes from Ms. Verity Callaghan*, she asks, "What do you think of the title of your book?"

Mild Mannered Dave Johnson: "The Adventures of the Amazing Powerhouse"?

Int.: Um-that's not the title. That was only a working title, but now we've chosen a new title.

Dave: You laid off the title?

Int.: In a matter of speaking. The title is, Tales of the Dim Knight.

Dave: Dim! I'll have you know that I got a 91 on the IQ test, and that's still an A! And I have a GED, and it took me years of study to get that degree. Dim? I don't think so. I'm as bright as the Northern Lights of Alaska.

Int.: And humble too.

Dave: Yes, I'm a mild-mannered janitor by evening, Superhero by late nights. And when I leave work at about 7, it's kind of dark out, but not really. It's more dim. Hey, that's it! That's why they called it, The Dim Knight because when I leave and it's fall, it is dim. Well, I thought you were insulting me. I'm sorry for all the horrible things I thought of doing to you that would violate the Super Hero code.

Int.: Quite all right.

Dave: Why are you snickering like that?

Int: Got a question for Dave. E-mail askasuperhero@laserandsword.com. Want to read more about the wild and varied adventures of Dave Johnson? Then follow his story every Tuesday at Laser and Sword Magazine. Tales of the Dim Knight is set for release September 1st.

*Verity Callaghan is a character in Andrea's Graham's Purple Earth saga.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Yet more excuses not to write

I’ve been trying my best to think of something interesting to tell you in the lead up to Alpha (sorry, Alpha Redemption) being let loose on an unsuspecting world. I was hoping to have some fascinating snippets of esoteric information to share with you regarding the arcane inner workings of the publication business. The only interesting thing I’ve done (no, really) is to sign up with the Chicago Manual of Style Online in the hope that I could, hopefully, pick up some tips on how to improve, where possible, my use of and application of, commas, because, apparently, too many commas, can make, your, text, virtually, unreadable. Or so they say.

I suppose I could tell you about the re-reading, and re-checking, and re-re-reading. Or I could tell you about the gnawing feeling that you’ve missed something somewhere in the manuscript that you’ll only spot when the thing hits the shelves. Or maybe I could mention the glaring error I spotted this weekend in a rather important plot point that required a quick rethink and some hasty alterations but which, ultimately, actually turned out for the best. Or I could tell you about the anxiety that comes with suspecting that this is really all just a weird but wonderful dream and that any moment now you are going to wake up. I could tell you about all these things but, to be honest, all that has happened is that I have found yet more excuses not to write.

Does editing count as writing? I’m not sure. Certainly I’m thinking about writing but that’s not the same as tapping away at those keys as if your life depended on it. I’m making corrections but that’s nothing close to hammering out a brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box story complete with that wonderful new-plot smell. Does fretting about character and development and pace count as writing? In my dream-world it does, but this is not that world (I know this because donuts do not grow on trees), and so I have to log those hours in the “Time Wasted” or “Not Really Doing Anything Constructive” columns of my swanky new time-management system that basically consists of my desk disguised as a post-it note.

Sometime over the next few days I have to stop tweaking the manuscript and hand it over so that Splashdown Books’ editor, Cat, can have a good laugh. This, too, makes me nervous but then I bet that doesn’t surprise you. I enjoy writing but I also take it a little too seriously and so always want to improve on it. And I always think it could be much better. I’m told this is a common trait among the artistically inclined. Normal people look at what we’ve done and see a story that they like or don’t like. We look at it and see dodgy dialogue, problematic punctuation, clumsy characterisation, and annoying alliteration. To be honest, at this point I can’t see anything anymore, never mind a story. So maybe this is a good time to hand it on to someone who knows what they’re doing and trust their judgement. Between Grace and me, we should have found most of the errors, so hopefully Cat won’t laugh too hard.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Alpha Renamed and My New Personal Website

One of the things I'm doing in the run up to September 1st is building a personal website to help promote myself and my writing. Please drop by and have a look, and tell me what you think. It can be found at:


The planet on the front page is the work of Zoë Demaré (http://newauthors.wordpress.com/author/bubblegumninja/).

Also, my novel has been given a new name. Since I began writing it I have always referred to it as 'Alpha' and the name stuck but really needed to be given some thought. Some ideas were thrown into the pot by the Splashdown authors and we have settled on 'Alpha Redemption'. The theme of redemption is at the very heart of the story, so the name suits very well.