Late catch up for May

I have been off the radar too long!

What’s happening?

Progress

The first half of Bian’s Tale 1 is with my editor (minus a couple of chapters I’m obsessing about). I have the first quarter of Bite Back 4 in draft form. The whole writing thing has become very slow. It’s not that I’m enjoying it any less, but that the ‘voice’ for Bian’s Tale seems a bit slippery. It goes down on the page okay, then when I come back to review it, it’s wrong.

Anyway, I’ve made these comments before and you’ve all been kind. So I’ll leave it by saying that predictions for numbers of books to be written this year are obviously going to be wrong. 🙂

Projects

Mostly, not progressing while I fuss over writing. However, I am this close to a German version of Sleight of Hand. I’ve just got the sample formats back and they look … German. There’s been a bit of to and fro with some of the names of things. For example, ‘Diakon’ is a Greek word and is actually used in the church in Germany, where it is the equivalent of the related word in English ‘Deacon’. So, I’ve changed it to Dexion for Germany (based on a development of the Greek root Dexi for right). The book name in German is “Die verborgene Hand” which means the Hidden Hand. Many thanks to Peter and Moritz for their initiative in getting this going and for their hard work in the first draft translations.

Other projects waiting for my attention – audio version, cover rework, short stories and spin-offs, lots of things.

Sales

Raw Deal 19,500

Sleight of Hand 19,800

Hidden Trump 14,200

Wild Card 5,000

So HT is now at 72% of SoH, but WC is only at 25% of SoH. I am still hearing from people saying that they didn’t realize that WC was out, so Amazon are still not promoting it to people who have read both SoH and HT.

Book recommendations

I’m concentrating here on books that I thought I might not enjoy…

Bitter Snow by Lauren Sweet. This is an excellent Urban Fantasy rework of the Snow Queen set in small-northern-town, modern-day America. The protagonist is a teenage girl. Now that makes it YA, right? I have a barge pole that I keep handy for YA novels. Well, yes and no. It’s difficult to describe exactly how this sneaks out and grabs you with its icy hands, but, believe me, it does. The story is going to be split into 9 parts, and the first 3 are out now. (  )

Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge. Psychological chiller. Set in England. Simple scenario, small cast. Must be an obvious solution, right? Wrong. Bluff and double bluff. Real heart-in-mouth chiller. Really neat. ( http://www.amazon.com/Look-Behind-You-Sibel-Hodge-ebook/dp/B00JPFB11S/ )

Naked in Death by ‘JD Robb’. Futuristic(ish) police procedural based around Lieutenant Eve Dallas. Recommended to me somewhere on this site or FB. I will search you out and thank you! This is, in fact, Nora Roberts, and she damn well should write a good book, she’s had plenty of practice and tops the NYT list often. In fact, I screamed at her when she did a little bit of PoV head-hopping, which I hate (and which publishing houses would not allow a newbie writer to do). It’s a tribute to the rest of the book that she got me back and left me happy. There are lots more in the series. ( http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Death-Book-1-ebook/dp/B003MQM7B4/ )

A Drink Before The War by Dennis Lehane. PI thriller. I’ve had troubles with Lehane before. Then I started Mystic River and the writing led me back to give him a second go. ( http://www.amazon.com/Drink-Before-War-Dennis-Lehane-ebook/dp/B004ZLS5QQ/ )

All recommended!

Books I’m having trouble with…

Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh. Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance. Umm. Good writing, highly regarded writer. If this story is what you’re looking for, you’ll love it. For me, stuck at page 100 and waiting for something to happen, other than orgasmic pondering about why she’s so attracted to a handsome angel who kills and tortures humans for a hobby, who holds her life and her organization in his hands, and to whom she is instantly, constantly and aggressively insulting…

Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard. SciFi. Dumb capture. Then endless hormonal meltdown while trying to sword fence with hot pirate who’s just kidnapped her whole ship’s crew. Just not for me.

Tell me if you disagree!

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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first book, 'Sleight of Hand' is available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/Sa0D3n

4 responses to “Late catch up for May”

  1. Mark Henwick says :

    Not sure why some of those links work and others don’t???

  2. Susan Illene says :

    Happy to hear you’re at least making progress with your books. It does seem like you’ve got your plate full with so many projects. While forward progress might seem slow, I’m sure you’re actually getting a lot done between everything. One of the reasons I’ve put off doing audio for my books is because I know it’s going to take a lot of my time. Between working on two totally different novels at the moment and daily management of publishing stuff I can’t spare much time for anything else.

    As for the Nalini Singh book, I can see why you might not like it. There is a camp of readers who love cold, hard, ruthless heroes. Admittedly, I’m one of them. I can gobble up books that have that type of male love interest, which is funny because I’d never put up with that crap in real life. Hell, if my husband asks for a glass of water I’m looking at him like “get off your a** and get it yourself!” So, yeah, I have no idea why it appeals to me in fiction so much, but I generally get bored with the “good guys” unless the author is particularly good at making them interesting.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      “Get it yourself.” Lol.
      Yes, Nalini Singh has a huge following, and she’s a very good writer. As I said, if you like this style, you’ll love this book.
      I think my impatience was partly because I’m looking to learn things from every book I read, and I know I’ll never manage to write in this style, with this extreme a character.

      Your approach is probably much more disciplined than mine. I spend a couple of hours on this project and that project, then I’m disappointed when overall progress is slow! For example, I’ve dug out an old short story I wrote to see how bad it was, drafted up a skeleton of another spin-off idea, I’m working on a poster for a convention (a reader is going and offered to place it) etc. etc.

      And summer’s here.

      • Susan Illene says :

        Yeah, Nalini’s style of writing is different. Not as fast paced as yours either, but I wouldn’t worry about trying to replicate her hero anyway. He’s on a very extreme end even when compared with other ruthless male characters.

        The key for me is I tend to focus on one project at a time. I know a lot of authors who can work on multiple books simultaneously with no problem, but I’m not as good at it. The only reason I’m doing two now is a new story idea hit me so hard about a month ago that it wouldn’t shut up and let me work on the Sensor Series until I sketched out some of the plot and wrote the intro. About once a week I play with it some more. I don’t feel it’s something I have to rush to complete, though. If it turns into something great then maybe I’ll put it out next year, but if not that’s okay. I’m just enjoying exploring a different storyline when I need a break from Darkness Clashes.

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