I want to pass along updates on my writing. Since my last entry, the edits on Exposure, book five in the Consortium series, are progressing nicely. I finished editing my first draft of the novel and turned it over to my editor, looking at the finer corrections that I would easily miss.
One thing, I’m glad I did my initial edit of the book. Using my editing tools, I found anywhere from one hundred fifty to two hundred grammar, spelling, and related errors. If I had left these to the editor, it would have taken longer to resolve and cost much more money. So far, my editor is documenting less than ten corrections or suggestions. With spelling and grammar issues aside, my editor needs only to concentrate on continuity and mistakes that standard editing tools miss.
I find this aspect interesting, as I use three different tools against the same text until they all agree. Then I reread the result. Obviously, I’m too close to the story, allowing my mind reads words that don’t exist or are something completely different. It’s amazing how the human brain can fill in the blanks, especially when too close to the material. Otherwise, editing the book will go on forever, even after it gets published. I can’t have that. I want my readers to enjoy my story and not edit it.
On another event this past week, Amazon decided to unpublish my book, ‘Her Overseer.’ I published this book on Amazon in 2015. While the book is not a best seller, I know of at least one book club that featured it. I know, as I was an invited guest the months they talked about the book.
Why they suddenly decided to unpublish the book on me is unknown. Amazon claims it violates its “content guidelines for appropriateness.” Yet, I know it passed those guidelines at least twice when I first published it and again a year later. I don’t remember exactly when the second review occurred, but that’s okay.
I learned over the years that there is no appeal process for this ruling, and without lots of sales, it’s impossible to get it published again.
What about the other two books in the series, numbers 1 and 3? They’re still published and available to purchase.
Will Amazon decide to unpublish the entire series? Possibly, only time will tell. In the meantime, I’m taking a hands-off attitude.
So if you read book 1, ‘Her Client,’ and decide to read the second, and then finish the series with book 3, ‘Her Essentia,’ it is available from other distributors. I’ll be updating my website with their locations in the next week. The webpage for this book is:
We had the most magnificent thunderstorm overnight. Despite their danger and possible damage to our environment, I love watching them form before breaking out in lightning and thunder. I love the feel of the concussive force against my chest as they roll across the landscape. I love seeing the bolts of light gather strength and reach out to the ground in impressive displays of their power.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I protect myself, mindful of the danger. I stay safe and if necessary, flat to the ground. I know the danger, having observed my mother get struck once when I was a kid. The experience scared me to death. Come to think of it, I had forgotten all about the incident until just now. It’s been decades since I recalled watching the bolt jump from the sky and touch my mother, pulling weeds from the garden. She was okay shortly later, but at the time, scary.
Perhaps I’ll write a story involving lightning and thunderstorms one day.
The other day, I made the commitment to once again, redesign my website. While pretty, maintaining it is problematic. The theme it uses are very restrictive and let’s not get started on the SEO components. I’ve tried to take advantage of several plug-ins only to find that they cannot work with the primary template of the theme. A template used on most of the pages of the site. It’s very discouraging.
So, sometime in the future, probably in the fall, I will release my updated site and add the functionality that I struggle implementing. Wish me luck.
My latest book ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ is selling well. It is outselling the ‘Her Client’ series by a significant amount. It pleases me that it has also brought traffic to my other books, including ‘The Taste of Honey,’ ‘Broken Steele‘ and ‘The Breakup.’ I still need to finish the third book in the Mona series, called ‘Lucky Bitch.’ The first draft is done but I need to go through it again, clean it up, send it to editing, and well, a whole bunch more before it is published.
I’m still hoping that ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ will take off and launch an exciting future. In the meantime, I’ve been tossing around ideas and framework for a new book. It’s a serial killer drama, and I have already written two scenes for it along with a rough outline. However, it’s too early to tell whether I will proceed with the concept. Time, inspiration and perspiration will tell. So far though, I like it.
Lastly, on my concussion recovery front, I am doing surprisingly well. It seems that the chiropractic work is succeeding. I am ecstatic. However, it’s only been a month and while these latest sessions indicate that I am ‘Holding,’ my body is still reacting to the realignment of my vertebrae. He calls it ‘retracing.’ There’s lots of information on that on the web so that I won’t go into it now. Let’s just say that the nerve endings in my brain must find new ways around the detours to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B.’ They are not happy and tortures my body until they settle down. Much like lightning. The parallels are uncanny.
I’ve experienced everything from vision changes, extreme neural and physical fatigue, and dry mouth. It seems I can’t go a minute or two without taking a sip of water. I wake up with a dry mouth and to bed with one. The dry mouth symptom started minutes after my first adjustment and is only now, four weeks later, starting to settle down. Doc tells me that this is normal as my body is flushing built up poisons.
That’s all well and good, but I need to pee every twenty minutes or so. Too many times I find the bathroom already occupied, as I stand outside, restless as my body jerks around trying to contain the imminent expulsion of poisons.
“Damn it! Whoever’s in there, get the hell out, please!”
Yesterday, I received this intriguing comment from one of my readers. My life partner girlfriend also wants to know the answer to this question. She cringes at many of my stories. As many times as I try to satisfy her with a reply, sooner or later, she brings it up once again. I figure everyone of my readers is thinking the same thing. So I thought I would give it a stab and try to answer the question.
The reader asked the following question.
“Just finished the 2nd book. [‘Her Overseer,’ book 2 in the ‘Her Client’ trilogy] and I need time to think about this one? Guess my question is how do you think of these things in such detail? It was pretty gruesome. Are there things you write about that you’ve done or want to do? Just wondering.”
The book, ‘Her Overseer’ is gruesome. It is brutal and graphic. It is the second part of a three-part story within the ‘Her Client’ trilogy. There is a twist in book 3, ‘Her Essentia’ which I think readers will enjoy. My girlfriend cringed reading the first two books, but by hanging in there, she found redemption in the third book.
Frankly, I don’t know how I think up these scenes and describe them in such detail. They just appear in my head as I write them. To me, it is a natural progression of the story that seems obvious as I write.
I’ve been an avid reader all my life. From a young age, I’ve always been interested in mystery/suspense and true crime novels. Later I added science fiction to the list. The more fantastic the story, the more out there the characters behaved, the more I liked it. However, I’m not referring to fantasy stories such as depicted in today’s graphic novels and the like. I like realistic stories that are plausible and could happen in real life. Some of my favorite books from my early years included the true crimes of the FBI, which depicted the thoughts and reasonings of characters on both sides of the law.
My paintings and drawings reflect a naturalistic world. I love realism in my creative works. I don’t do abstract or fantastical creatures, such as depicted in much of today’s art. The one exception would be my love of mermaids.
But fantastic creatures that nature could not possibly develop on this planet through natural selection … no.
I also believe in monsters. Not the kind thought up by the creative minds of scary movie, no, I mean the human kind of monster. The kind that actually exists.
I write what I believe could naturally occur, here on earth, by humans. Nature is uncaring and brutal. Sharks and other predators don’t care about the feelings of their prey. They kill and eat what they want and move on. Orca whales have been observed playing with and tormenting their prey before killing them. From the lowliest of life on earth to the king of the jungle, this is how nature developed life on our planet.
All humans have this drive built into our DNA. Societal norms try to adjust us to not act upon our baser instincts but we all let it out, at some time or another. A husband beating his wife to belting a misbehaving child when a simple spank of the hand would do, are just two examples of human instincts struggling for release. I could list thousands of examples supporting my belief. Fortunately, most of us suppress this impulse as best as we can.
My stories delve into the realm of humans who drop their shields and let out their baser instincts. My monsters are real, and I have little doubt that the monsters depicted in the ‘Her Client’ trilogy, are real and they exist. They hide and stay out of the limelight, but they exist. In the real world, a rare few are discovered and make the news, but I believe that the known monsters are a small percentage of the total out there. No one can convince me otherwise. My scenes are gruesome and describe a realistic interpretation of the human monster hiding in all of us.
As to the reader’s follow-up question, no I don’t write about what I’ve done, nor what I want to do. Like 99.99999% of the population, I suppress my inner instincts in everyday life. However, I will grant you, that perhaps it is possible, that as I write, I allow a tiny fraction of my basic human suppressed instinct out, enabling me to write in such detail.
I’ve been told that writers write what they know. I don’t believe this. Look at Stephen King’s novels. Do you really think he did all that he wrote about? Do you think he thinks about really doing it? I doubt it. Do I wish I could actually do what I write about in my scenes? Definitely not. I’m a pacifist at heart. It’s all in my imagination, knowing full well that these monsters do exist.
On thing I discovered in my writing journey is that I like to write from the character’s point of view, rather than a third party, observers point of view. I like to write what the characters think and feel. At times I will bounce from the protagonist’s point of view to the antagonist’s point of view and back again. I find it interesting to reveal their thoughts and ideas. I like to expose their emotions of surprise, love, lust, anger, fear, rage, bloodthirst, relief and revenge as the scene develops.
In ‘The Taste of Honey,’ I wrote a scene where one of my main characters goes through an ordeal of her own choice. She is offered many opportunities to avoid the tribulation. Yet, she chose to go through the ordeal, knowing she would die in the end. All because she loves her family more than she loves herself.
I wrote the scene from her viewpoint. I tried to capture her every thought, fear, and desire she experiences. I tried to capture everything she endures, moment by moment, from her point of view. I attempted to convey all of her senses; taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell; as she lived and died throughout her ordeal. I believe I was successful and again, all from the characters point of view.
Just know that not all of my books are gruesome. My free short story, ‘A Mermaid’s Irresistible Curiosity’ is a love story with a twist. It’s not gruesome nor brutal. It’s a story about a misguided mermaid who lives a life of instant gratification who falls in love with a fisherman. You can find the short story on my website, RichardVerry.com. It free and you can download it and read it at any time.
I hope that this explains the question and alleviates any concerns about my writing. More importantly, I hope this explains things to the love of my life, my girlfriend, and committed partner in love and life.