Just Say Maybe’s First Draft, my own beta-reading adventures, and NaNoWriMo

12079458_495311300650567_6586857160253186904_nThis past week I accomplished a pretty awesome feet. I finished the first draft of my new book, Just Say Maybe. I’m pretty excited about this, as you can imagine, because this is a project I’ve been really excited about for some time now, and it’s been a difficult one to write given the material. Tuesday’s Gone’s first draft took me two months to write, but Just Say Maybe has taken me over 10 months and had starts and stops along the way.

It tops out so far at 58,000 words and is my shortest book so far. Tuesday’s Gone had around 80,000, and Twenty-Five at the Lip ended at 120,000. The book I finished earlier this year, Don’t Look Back in Anger, is 140,000. That one requires a lot more work in editing and is a much older piece compared to Tuesday’s Gone and Just Say Maybe. I started it right after completing the first draft of Twenty-Five at the Lip and had a post up once about my protagonist Scott Carter having been stuck sitting in a club for over three years. It was a thinly conceived idea when I started writing it, but my cover artist Jenny Johnston and the few who’ve had a chance to look at it have said good things about it. It just really needs some TLC.

In the interest of helping out friends I’ve also had some great experiences beta-reading some AMAZING drafts of books that promise to be incredible reads. My high school friend, and April Camp NaNoWriMo 2015 cabin mate, Nova Arbella had me look at her novel Haley Wall. It was an absolutely gripping read about a relationship between two childhood friends who grow up on the same street and meet up from time to time as they get older. It’s a story written in first person from the guy’s point of view and I was really able to empathize with his perspective on life and Haley.

Author Liz Millar sent me a draft of her zombie apocalypse novel, Sam. It was so well conceived and put together with research and detail I could swear she was a literary engineer. It’s another piece written from a male perspective, but again quite adeptly, particularly given that her protagonist lives a great deal inside his head. It takes place in England as her character Sam prepares for, experiences, and then adapts to the apocalypse learning to live in a zombie infested world.

IMG_3139This year for NaNoWriMo I’m teaming up with my elusive friend Jeremy Brinkett, who is apparently stockpiling ammunition, canned goods, and aluminum foil in some underground bunker somewhere. We’re going to be working on a piece entitled The Delirium which is about the zombie apocalypse. It’ll be a fairly veiled exercise in anti-UN and Socialist literature, and so far we’ve got it mapped out so that the entire story can be told in three novels. Check out the WWI German soldier for the cover, I thought it was a nice creepy touch.

downloadIn one final plug; this week is Diana Serra Cary’s 97th birthday, and you may remember that I’ve got several posts about her and the inspiration that went into my novel Tuesday’s Gone. This week, in honor of Diana’s birthday, Tuesday’s Gone is free to download on your Kindle and Kindle-enabled devices. From Monday October 26th to Friday October 30th you can get the e-book version of my novel for free.

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