Here Comes Lap 6

Yay. Another lap done. Here comes number six and seven. Easier proofs this time around. Five was tough, a character consistency read through. Now I’ve got a grammar/spell check, and a final formatting and readability check. Should be able to get these done by the weekend, leaving me a week or so to move on the cover, layout, and contest. (I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I want to frame that.)

Otherwise, I’m working on a WWII Thriller set in the Straits Settlements, Australia, and places in between. I’m almost to twenty-thousand words and I have a lot left. I may actually bump the 100,000 word barrier easily.

And that’s the update. Look forward to cover art, official synopsis, contest and rules, and all the details about the release of Bloody Sunday.

A Release Date

After getting well into my fifth review of Bloody Sunday, I am convinced I can finish my reviews and get everything ready for a Monday, January 29, 2018, release date. While this may be an odd date, I should let it be known that Monday is the biggest day for Kindle e-book sales. Thus, I’m offering the digital version of the book for free during the first week of release. Monday through Friday, February 2.

I will also be releasing the hard copy version of Bloody Sunday, on the same schedule.

In addition, there will be contests and prizes for reviews, of which I will say more later. For now, suffice it to say that work is sufficiently advanced that it’s time to start the countdown.

Yay!

P.S. The manuscript cover above is a Baroque document. Nothing nearly as fancy as what I intend to publish. But as the days roll by, you can be assured that peaks and previews are in the works.

 

Time for Five

As I have mentioned before, I am trying to imitate some of James Patterson’s strategies for writing a great thriller. One of his strategies, and probably the one that I am adopting the most, is to review/rewrite each book seven times.

That said, I am on review number five with Bloody Sunday. That means it should be ready, and I can begin reviewing rewriting Chris Hunter #2 shortly.

 

A Belated Cheer

Merry Christmas, or Happy Christmas, depending on your geographical location. While I don’t believe the superstitions I do support th pe holiday, I celebrate it because my family does. It’s  also a good time to try a five star buffet, if you’re alone and in Asia.

i remember the Christmas buffet in Laos, with suckling pig and goose and all kinds of other meats and treats appropriate to the occasion.

I rmember the department stores in Saigon, with their elaborate displays and decorations. Particularly the Saigon Tax Centre (peace be upon it) . The four story building filled with electronics and tourist goods went the extra mile each year, putting up reindeer and santas, Christmas trees and snow flakes. It was the premier decorated store, and on Christmas eve, walking back from work, I struggled to get through the pedestrians crowding the sidewalk and taking pictures.

i remember a Christmas on Bui Bien, me and a neighbor/friend ate turkey legs  he bought at the store. We drank beer in plastic bottles from Hoa Vien–the best brewery in town–and sat on his balcony watching the police surround an alley and capture a dead man.

I remember my first Christmas in Saigon, living in my best friends apartment for the month he took off to return to New York and his family for the holidays.

I remember office parties where the children unwrapped presents and left the floor of the venue covered in glitter and fancy paper. A mess we left for the staff to clean up, something that was very foreign to me from my own experiences in church growing up. We always stayed to help clean up and it seemed odd to let such a mess alone for someone else.

In juxtaposition to that, I remember tossing trash in the gutter. Street cleanliness in Saigon is the job of an underclass that sweeps the streets nightly. When my best friend protested, I simply said I was creating jobs, which I was.

Beer and wine made for good fellowship and  camaraderie.

Things now which I must avoid, for my own good and the good of others. Though I did try non-alcoholic wine for the first time Christmas Eve. It’s not very good and when I need the taste of alcohol I’ll stick with near beer which is much better and doesn’t leave me grouchy the next day.

But Christmas, yes, Christmas. A special time of year regardless of beliefs, for even Buddhists celebrate it in a way, they just don’t offer a holiday for the day.

So to all who read this blog, Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and may the New Year bring you many good things.

Goodreads.com and Haiti

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5153048.Steven_Jacob

I’ve updated and developed my Goodreads.com author page. There’s some other Steven Jacob writing as Steven Jacob who I’m trying to get removed from my page, but I have to contact Goodreads.com to do it. Which I have. Now it’s a time to relax and wait for customer service to respond. Anyway, you can visit Goodreads.com and rate my books, though I only have two so far. (Three with that interloper Steven Jacob’s book: something about technical managers.)

I posted the site link to Facebook already. This post will make it available on LinkedIn as well.Now, onto something else.

I’m reading a Robert Ludlum novel. I’m striving to learn from his writing how to write a really good thriller. As I mentioned in my last post I’m somewhere near the seventy-thousand word mark on a book tentatively titled Shell Shock. I’ve determined that I need to scrap most of the third act that I’ve written so far. This means more work for me, but it also means I’ll have a much better book. I’ve written about ten thousand words in two rooms and a lot of useless internal monologue. This will be disposed of.

But that’s not the most pressing document.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m editing Bloody Sunday. This is a story about how an American reporter and a local intellectual and his child react to a massacre that happens at a school voting booth in November of 1987.

The massacre in the book actually happened. I read it in the introduction to Haiti Shattered Nation by Elizabeth Abbott. It’s primarily a journalistic reporting of the Duvaliers and their reigns, but it also discusses the aftermath during the Junta and beyond. In the introduction Ms. Abbott gives a short description of a voting massacre that was instigated by General Henri Nampby so as to delay a legitimate vote by the people of Haiti. It read only three or four pages, but it instantly spiked my interest.

I’m not sure exactly how long it took to follow the bulk of Bloody Sunday but it came pretty quickly. It’s a chase, a cat and mouse between the reporter and the head investigator of Port-au-Prince. While I have never been to Haiti, I’ve read a great deal about it, and actually have a Geography of Haiti dating from the year in which Bloody Sunday is set.

And there I’ll leave it. That’s the project closest to fruition. So I’ll leave with that update, an update of an update, and bid adieu.

 

Holiday Update

I don’t know how many people still pay attention to my page on Facebook, but I’ve been absent for a while. I blame that on a slump in motivation following three months of work as a temp-document review attorney. While that made me some money, I most definitely did not enjoy it, and I struggled to get there everyday. I blame my meds and my disease on that, though it just might be laziness.

Once I finished with the temp project I was working on, it took me some time to find the motivation to write consistently again. I have finally reached that point, though, where I am writing daily, and working to get more product up. I’m working on three projects right now, two of which will see the light of day coming in early 2018 and the other will require a bit more work to get ready. I’m two thirds through the third issue.

The first product that will see the light of day is Chris Hunter #2: War Crimes.

  • War Crimes follows the story of the son of a victim of Tuol Sleng–the Khmer Rouge secret prison in Phnom Penh. When he finds out that the father of Chris Hunter’s best friend was a torturer at the prison, he kidnaps Leak and thus begins the journey of a small group of Khmers who are dissatisfied by the general amnesty granted by King Sihanouk after the war, and the equally useless Special Tribunal for War Crimes.

I finished writing the first draft of War Crimes this last weekend, and now I have to give it the full James Patterson rewrite: seven drafts.

  • The second project is Bloody Sunday. Based on actual events, Bloody Sunday tells the story of a reporter and a child who come together to expose the corruption and terror imposed on the 1987 general election in Haiti by the then Junta and the left over private army of the Duvaliers. It’s a cat and mouse game, one that runs nearly 70 thousand words long. I’m currently working on the fourth draft. I may try a few agents to see if I can’t get traction on this before I release it. I’m not sure, though I will let you know later on.

The third project is tentatively entitled Shell Shock: A Patricia Scott Adventure.

  • I’m currently working on the third quarter of a 120,000 word novel. It’s easily digested in four parts, which may be what happens if I go forward with an Amazon platform for this novel. Though by the time I’m done editing it, I’m hoping for a major thriller. We’ll see what happens. Patricia Scott–or Scotti–to her friend is a criminologist and former Army MP. During her tour in Afghanistan as a security forces trainer she experienced trauma the likes of which caused her to experience PTSD. As she is dealing with this miserable condition, she is also threatened by a family history that lends itself to murder and mayhem and they’re coming after Scotti full force. This is later in the year as I’m still not finished writing the first draft.

I also have a fourth option I’m debating. I’ve written about one and a half entries. I may or may not give you more information about this later.

I’m also working on polishing several first draft novels which I will annotate at a later date.

For now, this is the agenda. I’ll update you as more events unfold. I do know, though that 2018 will see more stories than 2017.

All of you that are still noting my updates, there you go. It’s a simple situation and one that will be balanced over the part time work I’m waiting on–something I can do remotely. More on that later too. Now, go out and read. Support your local authors.

 

 

 

 

Update Belated

My work as a document reviewer is now over. I learned that it is difficult to write while stuck in a chair reviewing documents for legal relevance eight hours a day. And it has been a hard couple of weeks getting back into the swing of things.

But now that I can say that is finished for a while, I can focus on writing. I am in a position to announce that come the end of November I intend to release War Crimes, the second Chris Hunter adventure.

War Crimes takes place in Cambodia and examines the reality of the Special Prosecutor for War Crimes in that country. There’s still plenty of action, don’t get me wrong, but there’s also the larger theme of the efficacy of a process which has largely proven a waste of money, time, and effort on the part of the UN.

In releasing this, I intend to give Kickback a week of free sales. Starting on Digital Monday, Kickback will be available for free download until the end of that week. And then out comes War Crimes. I’ll update you more on that later.

Otherwise, I am editing a book I’ve written set in Haiti under the junta that replaced Jean-Claude Duvalier and promptly acted to continue his actions of suppression and cruelty. But again, more on the later.

I’m also working on other projects that will be revealed in the fullness of times.

I’ll keep you posted.

Projects Reviewed

I have started working as a document review attorney, which takes up much of my time and creative energy. I am editing a new book and preparing for another, at the same time I am contemplating the exact nature of the second Chris Hunter Adventure.

There is one thing that I will say, though. While Leak, Chris’s friend in Cambodia who was introduced in Kickback, will play a major role in the next episode. I am contemplating something far more serious for the characters than I had originally envisioned, and as such I am preparing major revisions.

I will talk more of the next book project, which is stand alone–for now–and is based in Haiti, during the 1987 Junta.

But that’s got another month of work. What needs to happen is a rewrite of War Crimes, the second Chris Hunter adventure.

As it stands, War Crimes examines some of the difficulties faced by the extraordinary chambers of the war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh. Tensions flare, however, when a surviving victim of one of the war criminals–one who got away from the tribunal–holds a Greater Dragon facility hostage until the war criminal is delivered to him, Chris and Leak must find the criminal and deliver him before shots are fired and a massacre ensues.

Some of that may change in my rewrite. We’ll see.

One thing I am experimenting with is a bit more patience between when I work on a first draft outline and when I start the first draft story. That is one thing that Patterson apparently does, something that I will try my best to imitate, the art of writing multiple drafts of the outline before beginning work on the substance of the thing.

Thats it for future details. What you need to do, in the meantime, is buy and read Noy and Her Ungrateful Husband Khamsouk, and Kickback. They are both available now for download on Amazon and can be read on any Kindle enabled device. And remember, the Kindle app is free to download and works on just about every platform except Linux.

Chris Hunter

Kickback returns.

and to review. . .

Kickback, a Chris Hunter Adventure, is the first of a series that I will be publishing as I finish each episode. I have countless story ideas based on my ten years in Asia. I’ve seen some questionable activity, and I’ve participated in some of the same.

In Kickback, Chris is up against a killer who is targeting Greater Dragon Vietnam, the fund’s Vietnam branch. Faced with an office full of suspects, Chris struggles to uncover the truth, before more people are killed.

Chris Hunter grew up in Orange County, his family torn apart when his grandmother and caretaker dies. Already in a gang, his grandmother’s death puts him in a position to take the next step. . .initiation.

It’s a long way from innocence, but it’s the beginning of Chris’s journey to life, violence and Asia.