Monday, 12 December 2011


Posted by RLL for REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. © RLL, 2011.

Welcome to the sixth and final pre-publication blog for my Amazon Kindle book, Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords. M-Minute, H-Hour, D-Day, has come. My novel is still unpublished as I type. Ah, but readers of the blog know all writing is time travel. I look forward to the immediate future, when readers who stumble on this blog can actually purchase the book. And books unwritten.
   Chills. I can’t begin to explain the massive spine-tingling thrill connected to the mundane act of typing the preceding paragraph. Deployment-Day has arrived. I may have to fight my way ashore with my own entrails tied to my body, if technical weirdness calls a halt to proceedings.
   If that happens, I shall retreat, regroup, reconnoitre, re-evaluate, and return in strength. Wars are not won by evacuations. Though they may be permitted to continue as a result. This particular blog has a Churchillian theme to it. Why?
   I open my book with a quote from Churchill. No other reason.
   Now what? I have committed my force to battle. Wishing it well, I must divorce myself from any emotional connection I’ve made with that force during training. Storming a beach is not the same as fighting through the hedgerows. This act of publication is not the end. I certainly hope it’s not the beginning of the end. Merely the end of the beginning.
   That would have been a great point on which to end the blog. Now I still have the invisible stuff to deal with. The one thing readers never get from my writing. That’s the view of endless blank space. To you, it’s the story. A chapter. This blog. To me, using my ability to travel in time, it’s blank space and story in the same breath. You never get to see the blank space.
   Well, you’re not missing much. Some writers fear the blank space. I welcome it. It’s my playground, canvas, undiscovered realm, and workplace. The country of the mind I type my way across. You won’t find it on maps produced by Google.
   The only strange thing about it is that I don’t see anything strange about it. I hope that you took something useful from these blogs. Though I won’t be disappointed if that isn’t the case. I’ve been blogging away with one eye on readers who are writers.
   There’s a great shroud of mysticism that obscures the work of writers. Often, purposefully, it aids the creative flow. By all means, steep yourself in the aura of the Celtic Twilight. Drink deep from the wells of Tir Nan Og. Bathe in the dew of the Mists of Avalon. Scry for meaning in twigs cast next obelisks.
   But for sanity’s sake take the boat home when it comes to business. There’s no place for mysticism when dealing with commerce. If you think there is, you’ve been viewing the world through rose-tinted websites. I know, I know…
   All these opinions, and I haven’t been published by Amazon. Well, mentally I have been. I use time travel to look forward to the Amazon site and my books perched there. Crows on the line, ready to take flight. If I had no opinions on publishing, with books about to come out, I’d be in a strange place. A padded place.
   This e-publishing business is a new thing for me, and I demand the right to make my own mistakes. Just as I demand the right to learn from them. The views of others are welcome. I like variety. Reminds me that I’m awake. However, I made sure I wrote these blogs in the same way as I wrote my stories.
   Without the intrusion of a committee. People are welcome to make comments on the blogs. The people who commented on the first blog had no influence on the writing of the second. Or any of the rest. For these blogs were written as a series before being cast into the world. I sat down, typed what I wanted to get across, and that was that. Just like writing a story.
   Six publication dates. Two days spent writing the blogs. I was writing other stuff as well, during that time. What did I want to get across? Something in a thin slice, a brief view, of my creative process. Not yours. I don’t know anything about yours. This is how I do it. No, it isn’t. I’ve let readers catch a glimpse of the more obvious things I do. Typing.
   I wanted to let readers know that I had a book for sale. Having done that, I will now go and do more typing. I’ll also fall in and out of baths, consume food, rage at the television news, and take the bins out. Riveting stuff, I’m sure.
   As all writing is time travel, I shall also act as a star in the sky, passing my light to you long after my mundane existence is done. Until local solar activity switches the blog off. By then, these words might be redirected through some distant server on another world. Or not.
   FINISHED WITH ENGINES, indeed. That might have made for a good blog title. Why deliver a report, from a fugitive? I think that, in self-publishing, you should be on the run. Writing a story? Want to get on with it? Drive it as though you stole it. They’re after you. No time for noodling about. Get moving. Blogging about my writing is not getting my writing written.
   I don’t want to be sucked into an endless vortex of publicity. Oh, I’ve devoted time to publicity. The minimum amount required to write the blogs and click buttons that put my words out there. But blogging is not novel-writing. It may increase awareness of my work, but there’s no way to know if it’s selling my work. I do know this. Blogging doesn’t put a meal on the table or transfer a bin to the street.
   Yes, I’ve used the blogs as a way of counting down to publication while I tied off legal loose ends. I pulled the pin on a grenade and developed the sense of purpose required to step away from the explosion. To walk away from the book.
   The book. Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords. If sales go well, a series. Might be a series even if sales don’t go well. Do I have a plan, in that direction? I have three more book covers designed. And I accepted the notion that events in book two must be handled so carefully that I’ve already written close to a hundred pages of book three. Though I must be certain that the material doesn’t clash with one character’s activities in book four.
   For now, it’s my publishable books I’m concentrating on. Written. Gathering electronic dust. The fans, who aren’t even fans yet, will have to wait for Neon Gods Chastised by Thieves or…no. I’ll say no more. Using my time machine, I’m staring at those covers as though they are on Amazon. One wayward bus could end all that, if I fall under it. Lessons in crossing the road? Those are best picked up the easy way.
   Lessons in writing? There’s an easy way to pick up lessons in writing. It’s the hard way. Turn up for work. Put the hours in. Reap what you sow. I could squeeze that scrap of information into a book on electronic publishing…but it would be a one-paragraph book.
   Time for some shameless plugging. This will not compel you to purchase my work. You are reading the last of the six pre-publication blogs. The plan is to deploy the book and post the blog. Meaning the sixth blog is available before the Kindle publication. The book takes a little while to cycle through the deployment process.
   In that sense, the last blog becomes an indicator of a countdown. Readers may be curious. Is it out yet? I’ll go and check. That’s as devious as I’ll be, kiddies. I’m far more devious than that, when it comes to storytelling.
   Once the book is out, you might decide to purchase a copy. Great, if you do. Well, kiddies, if you do, recommend the book to everyone. Hell, recommend Kindle to people. Screw it, recommend the act of reading on general principles.
   I have taken up your time, only because you made the decision to keep reading. Keep reading. I would walk around bookshops, looking at the people there, thinking, these are my people. Not my kind of people. My people. Readers, in general. With specific tastes, I’m sure. People who might never go for one of my stories. Potential readers, just the same.
   Think you’d like to read more? Amazon does free samples. You don’t even have to buy a Kindle machine. The software is available for a personal computer. Hell, you can wield Kindle as a tool on a mobile phone. They’ll be building the capacity into toilets, next. Unless I’m behind the times, and it’s been done. We’ll pretend I wrote this before that happened.
   If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this blog, you have a pulse and are awake. Final thoughts? I’m looking forward to not holding the book in my hand. My fiction was prepared for so many different formats down the years. The electronic format is just one more.
   Earlier in the year, I planned to write for radio or publish Kindle novels. If my work had gone out on radio, I wouldn’t have been able to hold the fiction in my mitts. Why foam at the mouth to have a paper copy of my novel to hand? Either way, radio or e-book, the work is released into the ether. So…
   Rather than write for radio, I decided to publish on Kindle. And I did that by deploying my book minutes before I posted this blog. Thanks for reading. Not necessarily my writing. Any writing. Reading betters our strange species. How? Words fail me. Ah, but you smiled reading this…


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