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I’m back

It’s been a while since I last posted here and a lot has changed. Well, maybe not that much, but it feels like a lot. Enough that it’s going to change the way I’m approaching blogging, and writing in general (but more on that another time).

I finished working at Verizon in June last year, after 14 years with the same company. Since then I’ve been writing and doing a few other things. As of tomorrow I am once again employed and that’s going to take some adjustment. It’s a part-time role which suits me because I can carry on taking Oscar to and from school, and still have time to write and publish.

Even working part time, I’m going to have less time to spend on writing and publishing though, so why am I back to blogging, you might ask. Well, the simple answer is that I like writing here, and that’s a good enough reason. But it’s also because, while not having traditional employment, my time became sprawling. Things that I used to be able to do in a couple of hours took whole days. Returning to blogging feels like a way of fighting against that tendency.

While I’ve been away from blogging I have also been thinking about my upcoming writing projects and there are going to be some changes there. All for the better, I think.

Anyway, just wanted to check in and let you know what’s going on. I’ll be posting more regularly going forward so you shouldn’t have to wait so long for my next post.

Heinlein’s Fourth Rule

Heinlein’s 4th rule states that “you must put it on the market” and that is something that I haven’t always done. I have been writing for publication for more than ten years now and have only published about 50% of what I started writing.

Some of those projects are lost forever, started in some random notebook when I thought writing longhand would solve all my problems. I can’t do anything about those. Others were written on a computer but abandoned halfway through a first draft, they will be tricky, but not impossible, to get back into.

I can do something about the rest though and I spent a pleasant half hour this morning trawling through Dropbox and downloading stories that I never got around to publishing.

They range from short stories to trilogies across multiple genres. One series I got as far as having covers made, but never quite got around to publishing. That one didn’t get published because I came up with a new plan for the series and they weren’t compatible. I nevere got around to writing that series, so now I can publish what I originally wrote.

I am trying to get better about finishing what I start. In the middle of the process, when the excitement of starting something new has worn out, it is easy to convince myself that a project isn’t going anywhere, or that it’s no good. The thing is that I know that is the worst time to actually judge a story. And even when it’s done, I don’t think writers can really judge the quality of their own work.

There are some new projects on my list that I’m really excited about. Maybe I will even get around to continuing the series that almost, but never quite, made it to publication. Either way, I am excited for people to finally read them.

Weekly Update: Preparing to Launch

A weekly update on the projects I am currently working on.

The Ladies Adventure Society Book 1

Status: First Draft WIP

I started working on this book in August under the series title Twilight of the Angels. A few thousand words into that draft and something didn’t feel right. Rather than force my way through, which I could have done, I took some time away from it to come up with a solution. The Ladies Adventure Society had always been another title for the series, but the title didn’t quite fit with the book. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that was the series I wanted to write. So a bit of reworking later, that’s where I am. The new draft started last Friday and as of today it currently stands at 18,000 words. Or about a fifth of the way through the first draft. Best guess is that I will publish the book sometime next year.

Abomination: Remastered

Status: Cover and Formatting WIP

The re-edited edition is finished, and my designer is working on the new cover. The new-edition contains a lot of updates and corrections that should bring it in line with my original intention. Over the course of the next year, I am going to be doing remasters of all my old work. This one is the first and should be available from the first week of October, all things going well.

The Ghouls: Remastered

Status: Editing WIP

I started the re-edit of this on Thursday. It’s a more recent book than Abomination, and I’m finding there is a lot less to fix. So work is going quickly, and it looks as if it will also be available in October.

Social Media

Status: New Instagram Account

One thing that I have never done a good job at is social media. I am going to be using it a lot more this week and have set up a new Instagram account you can find by clicking here.

The Shadow Walker

Status: On Hold

The first draft is finished. While I work on the remastered editions, this will remain on hold. Hoping that I will release it in the next twelve months.

JRV Press

As of last night I officially own the domain name

This is the name for the company that I will be using to publish my books going forward.

The name stands for Jude Robert Victor. This is the name of my oldest son.

Jude was born on 12th July 2013 and he died suddenly and unexpectedly on 1st June 2021.

I haven’t written about Jude’s death here yet and now does not feel like the time to do so. What I will say is that Jude loved books. He devoured them, both metaphorically and literally. We have dozens (hundreds?) of books that still have his tooth marks in them.

It seems like a suitable name for a publishing company. I think he would have appreciated it.

Remastered Editions

It’s pretty common for movies to be re-released as ‘remastered editions’ or ‘directors cuts’. It’s less common for it to happen with books. And I’m not sure why that’s the case.

I started publishing about ten years ago, and I have learned a lot during that time. I have gotten better at writing and publishing and I want my work to reflect that. 

A lot of the stories that I have published haven’t sold particularly well, despite getting some reasonable reviews. Part of the reason for that is that I have done no promotion. One reason I haven’t done is because I don’t feel confident in the books themselves. I wouldn’t say there is anything wrong with them, although I suspect they read amateurishly and don’t represent the best I can produce.

Which is where these remastered editions come in. I am going through all my backlist titles and re-editing them and making them as good as I can today. Once I have done that, I think I’m going to feel a lot happier promoting them to people.

Avoiding the Star Wars Problem

I was born in 1983, just before Return of the Jedi came out. There were no new films produced until I was almost an adult. Star Wars was something I was always aware of and when the original films were re-released, I saw them at the cinema. Star Wars was cultural background, so I heard all about the problems with the new editions.

Although my backlist is not Star Wars, I am keen to avoid changing things that change the stories. I don’t want to have a Greedo shooting first moment. So I am limiting the changes I can make.

These remasters are a spit and polish. They are an attempt to improve what is already there and make it as good as they should have been in the first place. That’s why I’m looking at grammar and spelling and making things clearer where they aren’t already clear.

This is also a question of time. I believe that the best thing I can do to get more readers is to write new stories, and that is what I am using most of my time for. But if those readers want to delve into what I have written previously, I want them to enjoy the experience, not give up and say that my past work is terrible.

The First Remaster

I have gone back and forth on what the first release should be. If I was further ahead, then I would go with the zombie books, which are by far the most popular titles. I have, in fact, already remastered the first book in the trilogy and started work on the second. But then we have Halloween coming up and I thought it would be good to have something ready for that.

The first remaster that I will release is Abomination. It’s a haunted house story. It’s a standalone title. My plan is to have it ready and published in October so that I can promote it for the spooky season.