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River Escape by Sam Grant.

River Escape, is a sequel novel and  was published in March, 2018.  this has  has led to requests for copies of both novels for reviews.   Sea Breezes, a maritime magazine requested copies  and they have since reviewed both novels  in their magazine. A reader in London has subsequently  ordered print copies form the author. Amazon has led to sales, but without effective promotion the visits to the site are limited, so far. It is very positive to have a review from a leading nautical journal.  The author’s best online response has been through promotekdbook.com for Kindle editions.    Dancing on the Beach by Sam Grant has been in their most popular novel rating in 2016 and again in 2018.

The author has reserved a stall at the Small Publishers Fair, the Silk Mill Frome.  The event is on Saturday 7th July, 2018.  It is hoped that all four novels will be available for purchase.  Also Poems with themed notes. Latest publishing news is that Four new Sam Grant poems have been chosen for publication in 2018.   Both Dancing on the Beach by Sam Grant and Galactic Mission have been listed in a young adult book  section. Preview chapters  for  Sam Grant’s  novels and poetry anthology are available @ url amazon.com/author/grantsam.   They are also available from good bookshops. Please give the ISBN.

How long do you wait for a review?

I write comments-at risk of repeating a point already made. One writers forum is quick to point this out!  My answer is that ideas, suggestions are refreshed  each time they are written. New, and fresh  in that the unconscious mind has acres and acres of space to work in, where the conscious mind is momentarily  struggling to remember where there’s a spoon to get coffee out of a jar. When the unconscious mind is revisited it has  re-assessed, revaluated, previous ideas that were written down-all be it previously  with sincerity and yes, this unconscious phenomena  is prepared, to deliver improvements on original utterances.   A criticism here would be that the original comment was not properly edited.  Again, this could be with the limited capacity of the conscious mind, still perhaps disturbed by the hunt for a coffee spoon.  The unconscious mind is a multiplex of complex activity.  Like some vast hanger where ideas, concepts, plans, and reviews can be tried out on different levels.  Unnecessary verbiage, contraption, device discarded or most likely stored for possible future reference.  The conscious mind can applaud its erudite review and writing, but the real in depth slog has been performed behind the scenes.

This paragraph is  a means to cover tracks where repetition is argued to be in evidence and is really a  follow up  about “actual” reviews.  The hen’s teeth availability for  review of one of my  novels has moved on. Two reviews have been given for separate action, mystery novels.  This  has led to a reader of Sea Breezes to order a copy of each, which have been sent. Amazon  might have competition on the horizon!  River Escape by Sam Grant is the sequel and was published end of March, 2018.  A fourth novel and I have really  made more effort on promotion than with previous novels. The first ten copy print- outs disappeared, because magazines and journals asked for copies for possible review. Note needs to be made  of  the “possible”.  To be fair, main stream publishers pay journalists thousands of pounds for them to expectedly read and review  one or other of  their author novels. It is said there is no such thing as s free review. I’m delighted to have a review from a sent  request for  copy, but understand the demands of editors and was delighted that Sea Breezes were able to dedicate time to the read  and then reviews for   Atlantic Hijack and most  recent novel River Escape.

Atlantic Hijack, went live, as the saying goes in 2014.  To manage a review four years later is I believe positive. The novel is set in the nineteen-sixties. The author lived  and worked through these years and there is that  unchanged authenticity that life experience can give.  The nature of things is that historically in fifty years time both these action, mystery novels might evoke interest. Technological change has been significant in the merchant marine. There are already automated ships being tested.  Driverless cars and unmanned ships are a distinct possibility for the near future.  The complex manned cargo equipment aboard ships, as in the nineteen-sixties, very much in the past, but of historical interest and with a mix of characters who are skilled professionals, there is opportunity for great dialogue and interaction reflective of life at sea, but with  liberal application of fiction.

The positive reply about  reviews is that they can be effective and  achieve sales.  Good replies about a novel online are also encouraging, but the reviews that  really count are   from magazines or organizations that have a direct interest in the genre, be it, romantic thriller, romance, science fiction, crime thriller, historical fiction, or in this case action, mystery thrillers.   It can be said that the author has followed up on his suggested advice about seeking reviews for a novel or novels, and is delighted that Sea Breezes has reviewed Atlantic Hijack and River Escape.

Submission to possible reviewers.

A new phenomenon-not experienced before, as an author is that of being asked for copies for possible review. Yes, that has now happened. This is at variance from handing out copies. Handing out copies involves donations to hospitals and schools etc.. Not wholly altruistic, because you hope that after the reader has donated to the hospital the amount he or she deems acceptable, then they might after a read of your novel  talk about it . The novels donated  are brand new. That newly cut separation of the pages would occur when the out patient or nurse?- has selected the author’s  novel to flick through.  Perhaps  enticed to donate to the hospital, take away and read. Hopefully, also  talk with friends  about it.  Even buy another title at full price from a good bookseller.

The other giveaways are the obvious, perhaps?  On a radio show the host will receive a copy. Then there are writing groups where you give out  a free copy. Inadvertent giveaways are bookstalls where a few copies can be  missing at the end of the days sale. You contribute to the stall and it is a risk you take that not all copies will be returned. Even to have your novel shop lifted can be a reward when you are starting out as a new novelist and writer?  That your novel’s, cover and contents, became  worth the risk of  stealing  to take away and  read!

Copies to magazines and newspapers ? The reality is that you might  be asked for a copy, but unless you already have connections through a literary agent or the media there is  slim chance you will even get a reply, let alone a  review.  Genre is important. It makes sense to target magazines or journals that are appropriate. Science journals  for science fiction might not be as appropriate as science fiction, mystery, fantasy and the paranormal that is advertised on a site. You sort of cover all bases, then.  It needs to be said that interest and leads can come from unexpected source. The author’s romantic thriller achieved good replies from readers on an American site and is still a most popular read in 2018.

The  latest novel is about a sea mystery and adventure, but readers we  are told, do like to read about workplace experiences.   A main character who serves aboard a merchant ship ticks that box. From the review aspect three sea organizations  with regular magazine issues  have asked for copies and copies and these have  been posted. Fingers crossed there might be a review that has positive elements!

A distinct category of reader-yes seafarers have written positive replies to a first sea novel, but this author is hoping for a wider audience of readership for his sequel novel.  What author doesn’t want to appeal to as wide a readership as possible? The author is  enthusiastic about writing novels and has started a fifth.  That epic individual sea adventure film might,  be in the offing! Stranger things happen at sea!

Current writing toward publication.

“Type cast,” is an oft stated fear that actors have. It could be age related, in that  older actors with a mortgage, and  family commitments might relish a long running series playing the same part. Equally, a crime writer or children’s author can value  character or characters  who appear in each new novel. Publishers are  keen on repeat successes after all.

A follow up to the  first novel, was originally intended. Whilst waiting to get published  writing continued.   A first chapter led into a  second, third, fourth and finally a first draft. It can be how the Irish man says when asked for directions- “I wouldn’t start from here, if I were you.” Then you do.  That is travel along a writing path with a new genre not entirely sure of the direction.

Last  year there was a return to the sea mystery genre.  This novel in first person.  A sequel to a first novel, but a complete story in its own right.  The main character narrator is now married with twin daughters.  A planned publication date is 2nd April, 2018.  Suggestions to footnote technical seafaring terms,  when they appear in chapters, has been taken up. There are nine  foot notes in all.  Life aboard an oil tanker with  terms relevant to  portrayal and  authenticity.

Three poems have been chosen for publication in three separate anthologies and books. These are scheduled for publication on 31st May, 2018.  The poems were composed for competition themes and then chosen by editors for their individual anthologies.

 

Why a Sequel?

It might not be true for other writers but whilst preparing my first novel, story line deviated from the plot. Chapters were written about characters  in varied environments and situations. A strong back story developed, which allowed understanding  and  hopefully sympathetic portrayal of individual characters.

Unwittingly a change from third person to first person and the complete re-write of the novel into first person left a back story about the characters. Also the elimination of about thirty thousand words in the final text!  Crime writers are renowned for creating a main character who returns to solve new crimes.   The character is in place for the follow on story.  Usually, they stay the same age, with their astute faculties ever present to solve yet another seemingly unsolvable crime.  My character started out aged seventeen, although narrated from the vantage point of a twenty-three year old, in both the prologue and epilogue. The intention was to write a sequel, but novel ideas and plot lines can be worked out and stored, but not developed into a full length novel.  The term marination is sometimes applied to the intervening process. There’s also a contrary process where you intend to write with a certain plot line, but decide on another. This was the case with  a first sea novel The original plan was to have a disturbance ashore. Gang warfare or similar, but this idea was changed for a terrorist attack.

       A Captain’s Duty by Richard Phillips was published in 2010. The film with Tom Hanks came out just as the author completed his fictional terrorist attack.. A real life terrorist attack by Somali pirates, portrayed by a world famous actor had huge potential to attract film goers and quite rightly so.  But then who would to want to read my fictional portrayal from the nineteen-sixties with a seventeen year old in the lead role?  A first novel is unknown territory, but the novel  did attract readers.

Kindle,can be  an excellent  medium when you have chapter headings and a good story. With non-existent publicity from book shelf display Kindle is invaluable, because yes, these readers do give replies. A second novel lifted spirits from the doldrums when it was voted a most popular read in 2016 on a Kindle site.  The author continued with the publication of forty poems. A number previously selected and published by another publisher suggested the possibility for this poetry anthology.  A science fiction novel was well advanced when the author joined a new writing group.  Subsequently published in March, 2017.

Three years had  elapsed before the start of a second  sea mystery , but as explained the story was already developing before the first novel.

Main stream publishers do like authors who write in the same genre. Previous background success means a potential readership is there with an opportunity for momentum. Self-publishing does mean that you as a writer can expand and develop writing skills in varied genres, without the strait-jacket of being tied to a commercially hungry publishing behemoth.  A first novel   assists to blend a sequel story line with the characters and their further development. There is that paradox in the  writing  journey where chapters never published from earlier novels  can still be ingredients for the development of  sequels.  A framework cradle to develop a newly crafted novel.

 

 

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