The novel gets a second map

Some people have asked whether I’d include another map or two. You see, I do listen!

Map of Tenochtitlan and the Temple Complex

Map of Tenochtitlan and the Temple Complex

Why is a map not always a good thing? Because it stifles the imagination and interrupts the narrative as the reader flicks back to the find it and orient the action in the tale.

Warning! This map is based very loosely on fact.

This is likely to be the last post before the 1st of October, the closing date for the headline competition to win a free, signed copy of the book. I’ll announce the winners no later than Tuesday the 2nd of October. By then, I should also have received the second half of the manuscript back with all the proof-reading corrections and checked them all for incorporation. The time is drawing near!

Only three weeks to finalise the cover art

Half of the proof-reading is done! Within two weeks I’ll have the remainder back and will need to send the whole thing off for typesetting shortly afterwards. The end is in sight.

I’ve been trying to work on some new ideas for the cover. I can’t make my mind up whether to follow the mainstream historical fiction covers and incorporate some figures. It would make things more interesting, but the problem is that good artwork costs money…and I’m on a budget. I’ve had a go at drawing some warriors. Perhaps they’ll look OK if they’re small enough and blended in to a larger backdrop.

Aztec Warriors

Image of Aztec warriors for use in New Fire cover?

You know what it’s like when you’ve been working on something so long that it just leaves you cold?

Paying for proof-reading was money well spent!

Excitement! After nearly two weeks without “My Precious” manuscript, I’ve got it back half way through the proof-reading. Now I’m very glad I took the decision to spend money on this! My most common error is a lack of commas, but there are many other minor problems that, compounded, would have grated.

I must check and approve, or reject all the changes in the next week, so as to be ready when I get the second half back. In the meantime, there’s also some artwork to complete.

Self-published author hits the big time!

There’s a seriously funny book on my bookshelf called How Not to Write a Novel by Sandra Newman and Howard Mittlemark. Irrespective of whether you want to write a book or not, if you love reading, you’ll find this book a real joy. The book opens by citing the case of John Kennedy Toole who, unable to find a publisher for his novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, took his own life. Apparently his mother took up the cause and eventually got it published to great acclaim!

Of course, no such histrionics are necessary these days. Any fool can foist his mindless drivel on the rest of poor, unsuspecting humanity thanks to the mini-revolution that is print-on-demand and the disruptive technological advances that have resulted in the e-publishing phenomenon. Thankfully, humanity is largely protected from the tide of fatuous, illiterate shite that’s pumped out by the fact that, without the help of an agent, most of these pitiful scribblings will remain forever undiscovered. Yes, there will be exceptions like 50 Shades of Grey!

And so it seems that planet earth will remain safe from my novel. Efforts to promote the book are not progressing well. After nearly two months, this website has managed to attract no more than 24 subscribers, although this obviously increases the odds for those of you eager to win one of the 10 signed copies. Google Analytics reveals a peak visiting day of 18, shortly after I posted on Facebook. The fact that the ‘new post notification’ system in WordPress wasn’t working won’t have helped engage those subscribers I have.

In short, my own personal PR machine is lamentable, which is a shame, because the first chapter of How Not to Write a Novel is about creating a plot, a compelling storyline, which is what I’d like to do here. I want you, my avid audience, to stay tuned as an extraordinary story unfolds. ‘Self-published author hits the big time,’ the dramatic ending should read.