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 My novels 
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Extraordinary
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Post Re: My novel (now available on Amazon.com)
Andrew wrote:
Groucho wrote:
In other news, my publisher has just worked out a deal where my book will be available in Great Britian soon. :thumbsup:


Congrats! Let me know where it's retailing - i'm intrigued.


No idea. But at least you'll soon be able to go to your local bookseller and ask for it, and won't have to pay for it to be imported.

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Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:07 pm
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Extraordinary
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Post Re: My novel (now available on Amazon.com)
I will try to remove details as best I can, but some might sneak by me, so I will put up a spoilers warning just in case.

*spoilers warning*

Quote:
I don’t usually read fantasy so I read it keeping in mind that I wanted to give you back details. Some of these are nitpicks that I think had I not been reading looking out for comments I might not have picked up on.

First thing first, I liked the general pacing and timing. I know you had said you wished to pick up the action faster, but I do not see how you could have picked it up any quicker here. By page 39 you already had someone attempt to kill Terin. If anything, I at first felt the character development was too fast. I had no reason to wonder why certain characters were considered to have questionable afifnities and why the duke had faith in them anyways. So it wasn’t shocking. You did do an okay job afterwards though throwing back into suspicion these characters and possibly even putting them into a positive light. So I guess some characters remain mysterious at the end of this book, but for the most part I felt their backgrounds were weakly developed.

My favorite part was the time-cycle. Your general plot was really strong, especially why he was forbidden to see the prophecy. I thought that was a fantastic twist, and the timing for it was very good. My favorite part was probably the way you planted the story about the one spell the barbarians used. That one fell into place perfectly without you having to state upfront what happened. It unrolled real-time with the reader. The only downside to that subplot was the last page and a half where you try to suddenly wrap up the subplot cleanly. I thought it was already explicit enough what happened, and the ending with them felt too rushed. That is something that could easily be revived in a subsequent book without having to be spelled out here at the end. I really liked coming to the realization myself, and that last page sold it a bit short. It was very well placed right down to when Dar first talks about the disarming spell.

For the most part, it seems weird for me to say that the timing and the organization of the episodes were very good and yet I would have liked to see you slow down. It makes no sense at all, but that is what I felt. The events worked well, were in good order, and some of the ‘big reveals’ like who Carver was were great. In general your strengths were the ‘twists’ on certain characters and the big time-travel. But I got no sense of the topography of the land and little sense of the physical characteristics of any of the people involved. That is what made it hard for me to visualize this book as I was reading. That’s where the ‘slow down’ has to be…in the details.

This sounds nit-picky but I want to give you an example of what I mean: Your description of Duke Aramis. You describe him and several of his actions and emotions. (Pg. 12) Duke Aramis was a good-looking and fairly young noble whose long blonde hair curled around his head…friendly clean-shaven face…active eyes hinted at intelligence. What I don’t see in this passage is anything that in particularly helps me visualize him in my own mind. He remains faceless except for he has blond hair. What does ‘fairly-good looking’ mean in this land. After all, there is a running joke about Terin not being as good-looking as the prophesy says he should be, and yet I still have no idea what is considered an aesthetic ideal among these people and Bata.

Maybe had you said "he was fairly young for a duke of his power. He only had slight creases beginning to fold below the corner of his left eye, which were a consequence of his anger. Whenever he was hiding his anger with someone, it was rumored in town, his left eye would squint slightly. Looking at him now I found the asymmetry of the small lines on his face to be rather rogue-ish, and they were complemented by a silver streak of peppered hair that sprouted likewise form the left side of his face. It made him appear as though he smirked from that side of his face, even when he didn’t, and, as I sat on his left side, I got the distinctly uncomfortable feeling I was either being secretly observed or secretly laughed at by His Grace. I cringed uncomfortably as I felt instantly why so many are left in awe of him."

Does that make sense? There are many times through out the book where you say someone ‘looked angry’ or ‘looked hurt’ and that is not really conveyed to me because I am not exposed enough to what Terin saw (as the 1st person narrator) that led him to believe someone was angry, hurt, or attractive. The same thing goes for topography. I got a feeling of “And the next day we walked further up the road and got to a house. The following day we walked through the woods and got to a tavern. The next day we thought we’d cut across a field and try to find the city.” I don’t really get a sense of how these spaces they pass through and reach relate to each other on a map, how hard the trek has been, how much the terrain has changed, and so forth. Where the Ashbury City is in relation to the field where the battle and the caves are, etc. It would have just made the entire book feel more holistic to me.

I know its difficult to find a balance because on the one hand, listing off details of how people and places look can be seriously boring, but on the other hand I get much excited by the course of events if I can see them in my mind and visualize what is happening to the main characters and how the main characters look. Also, the ending gets a tad-over-the-top tell-not-show. The banquet somehow felt like a bit of an anti-climactic ending. Perhaps because I felt that you were trying to wrap everything up with a neat bow rather than letting some stuff dangle over into the subsequent adventure you want to write. Letting some stuff come back up later in the series will make it more complex and allow for people to get into the longer story instead of it feeling too episodic.

Like I said, this sounds really picky but I enjoyed the book. It was a light, pleasant read, and for the most part I found that you did a really good job planting information early and letting it surface again throughout. I liked the Carver twist and the Barbarian twist, I liked the time-zone break and the joke at the end about Dar's age. I liked how Terin is suspicious of everyone and takes a long time deciding who to trust, and I liked how the second prophesy from the gypsy about the quill being stronger than the sword resurfaced perfectly. I just wanted to be able to see all this in my mind better.


Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:48 am
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Extraordinary
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Post Re: My novel (now available on Amazon.com)
Thanks for the review!!!

And the warning about SPOILERS I hoped worked.

Here's a spoiler free version. Three ellipses ( ... ) means something was edited out.


I don’t usually read fantasy so I read it keeping in mind that I wanted to give you back details. Some of these are nitpicks that I think had I not been reading looking out for comments I might not have picked up on.

First thing first, I liked the general pacing and timing. I know you had said you wished to pick up the action faster, but I do not see how you could have picked it up any quicker here ... If anything, I at first felt the character development was too fast. I had no reason to wonder why certain characters were considered to have questionable afifnities and why the duke had faith in them anyways. So it wasn’t shocking. You did do an okay job afterwards though throwing back into suspicion these characters and possibly even putting them into a positive light. So I guess some characters remain mysterious at the end of this book, but for the most part I felt their backgrounds were weakly developed.

... Your general plot was really strong, especially why he was forbidden to see the prophecy. I thought that was a fantastic twist, and the timing for it was very good. My favorite part was probably the way you planted the story about the one spell the barbarians used. That one fell into place perfectly without you having to state upfront what happened. It unrolled real-time with the reader. The only downside to that subplot was the last page and a half where you try to suddenly wrap up the subplot cleanly. I thought it was already explicit enough what happened, and the ending with them felt too rushed. That is something that could easily be revived in a subsequent book without having to be spelled out here at the end. I really liked coming to the realization myself, and that last page sold it a bit short ...

For the most part, it seems weird for me to say that the timing and the organization of the episodes were very good and yet I would have liked to see you slow down. It makes no sense at all, but that is what I felt. The events worked well, were in good order, and some of the ‘big reveals’ ... were great. In general your strengths were the ‘twists’ on certain characters and .... But I got no sense of the topography of the land and little sense of the physical characteristics of any of the people involved. That is what made it hard for me to visualize this book as I was reading. That’s where the ‘slow down’ has to be…in the details.

This sounds nit-picky but I want to give you an example of what I mean: Your description of Duke Aramis. You describe him and several of his actions and emotions. (Pg. 12) Duke Aramis was a good-looking and fairly young noble whose long blonde hair curled around his head…friendly clean-shaven face…active eyes hinted at intelligence. What I don’t see in this passage is anything that in particularly helps me visualize him in my own mind. He remains faceless except for he has blond hair. What does ‘fairly-good looking’ mean in this land. After all, there is a running joke about Terin not being as good-looking as the prophesy says he should be, and yet I still have no idea what is considered an aesthetic ideal among these people and Biata.

Maybe had you said "he was fairly young for a duke of his power. He only had slight creases beginning to fold below the corner of his left eye, which were a consequence of his anger. Whenever he was hiding his anger with someone, it was rumored in town, his left eye would squint slightly. Looking at him now I found the asymmetry of the small lines on his face to be rather rogue-ish, and they were complemented by a silver streak of peppered hair that sprouted likewise form the left side of his face. It made him appear as though he smirked from that side of his face, even when he didn’t, and, as I sat on his left side, I got the distinctly uncomfortable feeling I was either being secretly observed or secretly laughed at by His Grace. I cringed uncomfortably as I felt instantly why so many are left in awe of him."

Does that make sense? There are many times through out the book where you say someone ‘looked angry’ or ‘looked hurt’ and that is not really conveyed to me because I am not exposed enough to what Terin saw (as the 1st person narrator) that led him to believe someone was angry, hurt, or attractive. The same thing goes for topography. I got a feeling of “And the next day we walked further up the road and got to a house. The following day we walked through the woods and got to a tavern. The next day we thought we’d cut across a field and try to find the city.” I don’t really get a sense of how these spaces they pass through and reach relate to each other on a map, how hard the trek has been, how much the terrain has changed, and so forth. Where the Ashbury City is in relation to the field where the battle and the caves are, etc. It would have just made the entire book feel more holistic to me.

I know its difficult to find a balance because on the one hand, listing off details of how people and places look can be seriously boring, but on the other hand I get much excited by the course of events if I can see them in my mind and visualize what is happening to the main characters and how the main characters look. Also, the ending gets a tad-over-the-top tell-not-show. The banquet somehow felt like a bit of an anti-climactic ending. Perhaps because I felt that you were trying to wrap everything up with a neat bow rather than letting some stuff dangle over into the subsequent adventure you want to write. Letting some stuff come back up later in the series will make it more complex and allow for people to get into the longer story instead of it feeling too episodic.

Like I said, this sounds really picky but I enjoyed the book. It was a light, pleasant read, and for the most part I found that you did a really good job planting information early and letting it surface again throughout. I liked the ... twist and the ... twist, I liked the ... break and the joke at the end about ... I liked how Terin is suspicious of everyone and takes a long time deciding who to trust, and I liked how the second prophesy ... resurfaced perfectly. I just wanted to be able to see all this in my mind better.

I bolded the good parts. :thumbsup:

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Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:24 am
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Post Re: My novel ("I liked it!" - Dolce)
This is cool! I think I'll try to find a copy and read it

A couple questions

How long did it take you to write it?

Do you know how much one page in paperback takes up in Microsoft Words (or did you do it on a typewriter or something)/How long is your book

Did you write the book independantly and then found a publisher, or was the deal in place beforehand?

Are you making money?

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:53 pm
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Post Re: My novel ("I liked it!" - Dolce)
Shack wrote:
This is cool! I think I'll try to find a copy and read it

A couple questions

How long did it take you to write it?


Years, because I only found time to write every now and then and then I rewrote and rewrote. I've been working on the sequel for over 8 months now, because it's hard to find the time...

Shack wrote:
Do you know how much one page in paperback takes up in Microsoft Words (or did you do it on a typewriter or something)/How long is your book
It's about 115,000 words. In Word, with double space 12 point type, it takes up about 400 pages.

Shack wrote:
Did you write the book independantly and then found a publisher, or was the deal in place beforehand?


Wrote it first... had a hard time finding a publisher, and settled for this small publishing house in Canada. Hoping to find an agent to sell the sequel to a bigger publisher -- if I ever finish it...

Shack wrote:
Are you making money?


Yes, but not much. I need a big publisher who can get me into the book stores. (You can order the book at any book store, but generally speaking unless you're with a major publisher who is pushing your work, the book stores don't even know about it so don't order it). I sell about as many in e-books as I do in paperback, actually.

Thanks! Hope you order one and enjoy it. Here's a link for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Arch-Enemies-Mich ... 684&sr=8-2

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:05 pm
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Post Re: My novel ("I liked it!" - Dolce)
Thanks, for the second question though, judging from the Amazon listing it as 400 pages, does one page in 12 point double space font = 1 page in paperback?

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Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:17 am
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Post Re: My novel ("I liked it!" - Dolce)
Shack wrote:
Thanks, for the second question though, judging from the Amazon listing it as 400 pages, does one page in 12 point double space font = 1 page in paperback?


Apparently so! I've never thought about it before!

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Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:26 am
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Post Re: My novels
The sequel has just been released in e-book form; the paperback should be out in a month!

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The cover is by Hugo-nominated artist Alan Beck.

You can order the e-book from Double Dragon: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/sin ... x=51&y=105

Here's the back cover blurb:

Werewolves, barbarians, and misguided goblins stand in the way of Terin's attempt to resolve three contradicting prophecies.

If he can live that long...

Accompanied by his fellow squires, Rendal, an expert swordsman, and Darlissa, a biata spellcaster, Terin sets out to obey his Duke's orders -- orders that go against everything he believes. Can fulfilling the barbarian prophecies help him find a way to morally obey the Duke's orders as well?

“Here Michael A. Ventrella takes up the mantle of Christopher Stasheff. Terin’s exploits are as entertaining as those of Rod Gallowglass, and fans of The Warlock in Spite of Himself will hugely enjoy 'The Axes of Evil'.” - Gregory Frost, author of Shadowbridge and Lord Tophet

"Humor, danger and a twisted tangle of unlikely prophecies make for a page-turning adventure." - Gail Z. Martin, author of The Chronicles of the Necromancer series

“'The Axes of Evil' is a taut nail-biter of a thriller. Edgy, funny and dark.” - Jonathan Maberry, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Dragon Factory and Rot & Ruin

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Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:33 pm
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Post Re: My novels: second novel just published
The paperback is now available: http://www.amazon.com/Axes-Evil-Sequel- ... 871&sr=1-7

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Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:48 pm
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Post Re: My novels: second novel just published
Who designs the covers for your books, Groucho?

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Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:16 pm
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Post Re: My novels: second novel just published
Argos wrote:
Who designs the covers for your books, Groucho?


The first one was done by the publisher. I didn't like it that much so I asked if I could get someone else to do the second cover, and he said OK if it was within the budget. I asked Hugo-nominated Alan Beck to do the second book. I like it better than the first, but it's still not great.

One day when I'm with a bigger publisher, they'll be better. :mer:

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Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:18 pm
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Post Re: My novels: second novel just published
Irrespective of its content, I would most certainly not buy a book with a cover such as yours. Plain black and white would be much better, I think, even if it might be uncommon for this genre.

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Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:23 pm
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Extraordinary
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Post Re: My novels: second novel just published
Argos wrote:
Irrespective of its content, I would most certainly not buy a book with a cover such as yours. Plain black and white would be much better, I think, even if it might be uncommon for this genre.


Well, apparently you're not the target audience. It's a young adult fantasy.

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Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:27 pm
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Post Re: My novels: second novel just published
I saw 'UP'!

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Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:28 pm
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Post Re: My novels: second novel just published
Here's what I've been doing lately:

1. I edited a collection of short stories that take place in the world of my novels. It's just been released today. The paperback will be out in a few weeks but the ebook is here now. http://double-dragon-ebooks.com/single. ... x=58&y=107

2. I have a new short story, the second in my pirate series (argh!) that was released in a book this week as well (what timing!): http://www.pillhillpress.com/shoppe-wic ... press.html

Both will be available through Amazon and other dealers shortly.

3. I finished my third novel -- Bloodsuckers -- about a vampire who runs for President. I'm shopping it around to agents in the hopes I can get a more prominent publisher this time.

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Wed May 11, 2011 1:57 pm
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Post Re: My novels
Updated:

A new short story collection I edited and have a story in came out a few weeks ago.

Image

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1771150882/ref ... Irb1VRF4DD

Then I have a story called "Hell, I Must Be Going" (starring Groucho!) in this book that just came out:

Image

http://www.amazon.com/Dreamers-Hell-Her ... 103&sr=1-4


Then I have a story called "The Jesus Secret" in this book that came out earlier this year:

Image

http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Tails-VII ... 1771150742

:thumbsup:

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Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:52 pm
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