No More Mr. Nice Guy

(Alice Cooper reference).

First, a warning: this entry will probably sound like sour grapes. But it’s not, honestly. It’s just me giving voice to my frustration because I feel that my book wasn’t given a fair shot.

Local ReviewA local magazine published their review of Back To Newtonberg. It wasn’t a good one. (The review is included on the right, but I will not reveal the name of the magazine.)

I’m not upset that the reviewer didn’t like the book. What I am upset about is that based on her review (in which she got the name of the book wrong for a start), she didn’t read it. Or if she did, she didn’t pay attention to what she was reading.

I don’t claim that the Newtonberg books are great literature. Although I admit the influences of Garrison Keillor and Jan Karon, I do not pretend that I am even near their league as an author.

But I do know that I told the story better than this review makes out.

The reviewer’s plot synopsis bears no similarity to the actual plot of my book. She says “most of the content centers around Madge and the mysterious document she had received…nothing clues the reader in about what the document is.”

Um… Madge is DEAD. Has been since book two. The reviewer even points this out in one of the later paragraphs. And the document is her story (which makes up the bulk of All That Remains) that MIKE received and is shared with Nikki. And furthermore, it is a very small part of this book. The manuscript is referred to briefly in the first few chapters and that’s it.

The whole tone of the piece is very condescending. Maybe she didn’t mean it to be taken in such a way, but I read “OF COURSE the people of Newtonberg embrace her whole-heartedly” and “The Good Father Nichols” as if being said in a very snarky manner.

Look, I understand that not everyone will like the books. And I take to heart her comments about adding depth to characters and developing the plot a bit more.

But please — make an effort to at least present the facts correctly. Even Roger Ebert gave a fair review of the content of films he hated. When he reviewed The Brown Bunny, he said he disliked the film, but at least his readers knew the basic plot when they finished reading his column.

Being that this review might be the only exposure some people in East Texas have to my book (not to mention Galveston — where I have found out these reviews are reprinted as part of their local magazine), I hate to think that what they are reading isn’t true.

Rant over. I’m off to plan my next book.

A little down, but not out by a long shot.

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, Publicity

Regeneration

(Divine Comedy reference!)

So the Newtonberg trilogy has come to an end. Well, one particular story arc at any rate.  What’s next?

Short answer: I’m in the “research stage.”

Long answer: I’m mulling over an idea, originally conceived about fifteen years ago, that I think is promising. It’s not set in Newtonberg, but it will tie into the series.

In the meantime, I have a lot of work to do. It’s another historical tale, so I have a lot of research to do on the time period. And I’ll have a whole new town to create, and a completely new set of characters to populate it.

I won’t say anymore so as not to ruin any surprises.

I sincerely hope you read and enjoyed Back to Newtonberg. And I hope you’ll enjoy what happens next.

 

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Filed under Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author

Who Me

(Buckethead reference in the title!)

It’s my birthday! And once again, I’m giving YOU a present.

If you haven’t read my books yet, here’s a special offer: until December 31st, all of my eBooks are FREE on SmashWords.

Welcome to Newtonberg is already free, so there is no special code needed for it.

To get All That Remains free, use coupon code CH79H at checkout.

For Back to Newtonberg, use coupon code UQ22Q at checkout.

Thanks again for all of your support this past year. Feel free to share this post with everyone you know to help get the word out about the books!

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, Publicity, Welcome to Newtonberg

My Little Town

(Paul Simon reference!)

Lots of important news!

First of all: November 1, 2014, is the launch date for Back to Newtonberg.

On that date, it will be available as an eBook from SmashWords and Amazon. Over the next few weeks, it will make its way into the Kobo store, iTunes, and other online retailers. It is already available for preorder from Amazon & SmashWords.

Both the regular and large print books will be available from Amazon and CreateSpace immediately, and from Barnes & Noble and other retailers after that. Your local bookstore should be able to order it for you if you don’t want to order it online.

Secondly: the large print versions of ALL of the Newtonberg books will now be available from Barnes & Noble and other retailers. Up until now, they were only available from Amazon and CreateSpace.

And last of all: eBook prices have changed at SmashWords. Back to Newtonberg will still be $2.99. The cost for All That Remains has been reduced to $1.99.

And Welcome to Newtonberg is now FREE.

That’s right — FREE.

No discount codes. No coupons. No nothin’.

Gratis.

F-R-E-E.

Now for the caveat: THIS IS ONLY AT SMASHWORDS. Due to their restrictions, Amazon will not allow me to set the eBook price at their site any lower than $2.99. So if you buy any of the eBooks there, the price is still $2.99. I can’t do anything about this unless I give them exclusive distribution of the title, and I won’t do that.

So there we have it, folks. Just because I’ve been slow in updating the blog doesn’t mean I’ve been bone-idle. I’ve been busy. Working to bring the new book to you a month ahead of schedule. And in the immortal words of Bryan Adams: “Everything I do, I do it for you.”

(I’m not sure if I apologize for that bad song reference or not.)

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, Welcome to Newtonberg

It’s Me…

It’s been a long time since I wrote, but it’s been a very productive time.

I finished the final edits and layouts of Back to Newtonberg and submitted them to CreateSpace. I am happy with the digital proofs for both the regular and large print editions, so I ordered print versions last weekend and I’m expecting them either tomorrow or Friday.

Also, CreateSpace has changed for the better — it is now FREE to put your book into expanded distribution (it used to cost $25). So now ALL print editions of my books — both regular and large print — will be available from all major retailers.

I have the eBook version mostly ready — I just have to go back and add italics, underlines and boldface.  When that’s done, it will be ready to submit to SmashWords.

Once I sign off on the print editions and get the SmashWords version approved (and the corresponding KDP version for Kindle), I’ll be restructuring the pricing on the previous books. I won’t reveal my plans now, but I will be making the announcement soon.

All in all, it’s been a long trip to get Back to Newtonberg ready for you, but I’ve enjoyed it.

I hope you do, too.

Next time, I promise not to take so long to post.

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Filed under Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author