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Posts Tagged ‘the scent of death’

The Scent of Death, the second in the Adventures of Captain Swashbuckle, is live today here and here. Fresh from their deadly trip to the Amazon, the crew find themselves trapped in a web of intrigue and murder that stretches from the halls of Washington, D.C. to the steppes of Mongolia! Hot on the trail of a missing diplomat, hounded by spies from the Japanese Imperial Army, and dodging assassins on two continents, they must solve not only the mystery of the kidnapped ambassador, but of an ancient weapon that kills without a trace–and may claim them as its next victims!

Plus, the first book in the series, The Choking Rain, is on sale in September at the bargain price of $1.99. When an invisible killer terrorizes the streets of Los Angeles, an ex-fighter pilot tries to get to the bottom of the plot, only to end up its latest victim! Can four ordinary people, following in his murdered footsteps, stop an international conspiracy to bring the United States to its knees as a prelude to war?

 

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To go along with the The Scent of Death (available for pre-order now at Amazon and Smashwords, hint, hint), I ordered a new cover for book no. 1 in the series, The Choking Rain (on sale through September). Although the cover has been uploaded, those sites have not yet posted it, so here, for the first time ever, in a Graffiti on the Walls of Time exclusive, is the new cover for The Choking Rain.

cover

 

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In honor of the upcoming release of The Scent of Death (Amazon, Smashwords), the first book in the series, The Choking Rain (Amazon, Smashwords) will be on sale for $1.99 the entire month of September!

Return to the days between the wars, in the depths of the Great Depression, when adventure waited in every port, and the world hadn’t quite been explored…

In February 1932, Los Angeles, soon to be the site of the Summer Olympics, is plagued with torrential rains–and murder. Men are dying in the streets in broad daylight, to all appearances victims of an invisible hangman.

Eric Reinhold, an ace pilot dubbed “Captain Swashbuckle” for his aerial feats in the skies over Germany, is drawn into the plot, but while investigating, he is gunned down by vicious criminals, leaving behind a small band of dedicated friends to carry on. Can four ordinary people overcome a terror aimed at toppling the entire United States–when they may be harboring the mastermind of the plot in their very midst?

 

 

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The Scent of Death, second of The Adventures of Captain Swashbuckle, will premiere on September 15.

The year is 1932. An ambassador disappears in the Far East, and a government bureaucrat dies suddenly in Washington, D.C. Are they related? What do they have to do with the recent Japanese invasion of China? And do they pose any threat to the United States?

One man thinks he has the answer to these questions. One man who may be the only person who can prevent a catastrophe that could change the course of history.

One man–who won’t let being dead stand in his way.

covernew2

The Choking Rain, first in the series, is on sale now at Amazon and Smashwords.

 

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Writers are like sharks: If we don’t keep moving forward, we drown. (Not in water, of course, but in our dreams. It’s messier.) And so now that I have (finally) finished editing The Scent of Death, I find myself starting to outline the next book in the series, currently tentatively entitled The Killing Scar. As I have mentioned, TKS will bring back an enemy from Eric’s past whom Eric thought was dead, and who, ironically, thought the same thing of Eric. Whether either of them survives this time depends on my mood.

I had planned to bring out TSD in mid-September, which seems feasible, since the cover is almost ready (I hope). I am hoping to find a couple of beta readers just to go over it and ensure I haven’t made any huge plot errors…if anyone is interested, you can email me at brianklowewriter@aol.com. All I ask is that you read the book and get back to me within a week or ten days, so if there are any necessary changes I can make them. (I’ll even throw in an e-book of The Choking Rain for your trouble. If you were moved to leave a review on Amazon, I would be grateful, but it is not required.)

So in a couple of weeks I hope to start serious work on The Killing Scar, and be done with it some time around Thanksgiving. Given the exigencies of the season, editing that will probably take the rest of the year. The first half of 2018 will be occupied by writing no. 4, Marauders from the Moon, and no. 5, The Invisible Crimes. Then we’ll see where we stand.

It’s funny; I have never planned this many works in advance before. It makes me feel like a real writer. Up until now, if I planned a year ahead, it was only to finish the current novel. Life certainly can surprise you.

What will really surprise me is if I can carry this off. The Experiment hasn’t ended, it’s only gotten additional funding…

#SFWApro

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I’m editing The Scent of Death, and it’s going… pretty well. As in, I’m not having to erase large tracts of pages and replace them. There are the usual awkward phrasings, the repetitious words, and some inconsistencies that I am correcting (all of them, I hope). But in the main, it’s going okay.

But it’s not going quickly. It feels as though editing is taking longer than the writing did. This is ridiculous, of course; last night I edited sixty pages. (If I could write sixty pages in one night, I’d be producing a novel a week.) But it feels that way.

The problem is that when you edit, you are rereading a novel you just, in effect, read. And when you write the whole damned thing in two months, you haven’t even had time to forget the beginning, let alone the ending. In my whole life, I have immediately gone back and read a novel a second time exactly once. And I wasn’t reading that one critically.

Which is the other problem, or really, the second half of the problem. You aren’t just reading the book, you’re editing it. You’re deliberately finding all the faults in your own work, and that’s everyone’s favorite pastime, right? How can a project which you tackled so joyfully a few weeks ago be such a pain in the neck now?

It’s kind of like being Victor Frankenstein, and after the first flush of creation, you see all the warts and flaws. You’d like to just start again and fix some of those things in the next version, but you’re still stuck with what you’ve just done. A book, like a seven-foot-tall golem, wants to go places. It wants to be seen by people. It doesn’t like being chained in a dungeon. So you have to let it out, but you can’t let it out like it looks now. People would be frightened. They’d call it a monster–and then they’d call you one, too. Worse yet, they’d call you a bad writer. Pitchforks and torches are one thing, but bad reviews…

So you edit your little monster, and you teach it some manners, and  you let it out, hoping that it won’t do too much damage and that eventually, when the next creation is ready, it will help them forget about your earlier, flawed, attempt. But then, if you’re lucky, to your surprise people start to befriend your monster, and to see in it the beauty you had always wanted to show, but thought you’d failed to do. And you realize that, after struggling through all that editing, maybe you didn’t create such a monster after all.

But by then, you’ve got another little creation coming out of the printer, and he’s all covered in warts and flaws, and his ears are where his nose should be, and you wonder if you’re ever going to get this right…

#SFWApro

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I’ve been scouring my sources lately for ideas on how to promote The Scent of Death and, incidentally, my other books. I mean, to hear the Gods of Self-publishing tell it, there’s no reason in the world that you can’t be living off of your writing after a half-dozen books. (And apparently they do, so more power to them.) But you know what? That’s not a lot of help to those of us struggling to find a readership.

Granted, they’re talking about half-a-dozen books in a series, which I haven’t reached. That’s why I’m looking to push TSD, because I’m hoping to turn these books into a series–which is only possible because I recently discovered that (if I give up eating and sleeping) I can produce three to four books a year (which apparently is critical), but I haven’t done it yet. So, again, maybe those people are right. But this post isn’t for them; it’s for all the indies in my league who are wondering just how to get ahead. I am here to share my wisdom.

So. In a rare flash of insight, I went to the successful self-publishers that I know through my various on-line communities, and I asked them: If you have no reader base to speak of, and you’re not already a famous author, and you’re not a Youtube star, how do you start? How do you get those first few hundred readers for a new series?

News flash: They don’t know. (Before I go on, let me stress that these are nice, helpful people who volunteered their time to pay it forward. They just didn’t have any answers.) Two pieces of advice were repeated often: Buy as good a cover as you can find, and start a mailing list. Other than that, your guess is as good as anyone’s.

Buying a good cover is problematic: First, what makes a good cover? (How long is a piece of string?) My research says a good cover is one that features decent artwork and says something about your story. Since you’re probably limited to artists who work in stock photos, however, it’s wise not to set your sights too high.

And start a mailing list. Everybody says this, so it must be true, but it seems to me if you haven’t been able to sell a lot of books because no one knows who you are, getting people to sign up for your mailing list may be tough as well. You’re supposed to offer incentives, like an unpublished short story, but who’s going to want an unpublished story from some guy they never heard of? I’m going to try it, but I’m skeptical. (Then again, I didn’t think I could write a novel in seven weeks, either…)

There is paid marketing, of course, but… Writing isn’t a good-paying gig in the first place, and you want me to throw money at it. Not to mention that there are at least a hundred ways to advertise out there, and a thousand different opinions from experienced people as to who you should use, how much you should pay, who you should target, and whether the whole idea of advertising actually works at all. (And that’s not counting free marketing, like Twitter, Facebook groups, Goodreads, and of course, blogging.)

If I have any advice to give, it’s to do what you can afford. Start with the free stuff. It may work for you. (I’ve tried several venues. Some worked, most didn’t.) Create a mailing list (it’s one of the free things). If you want to spend a little money, there are lots of folks out there willing to help you do that.

But most of all, what you can afford is time to write. (If you can’t, you have other problems.) So write. Write as much as you can, get it out there, and write some more. At least then, even if you don’t sell, you’ll be doing what you love.

*Which means I’ll probably delete this before you ever see it.

#SFWApro

 

 

 

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