2023 WORK JOURNAL
I recently posted a question in one of my Facebook groups about artificial intelligence created book covers, and I was astonished at the amount of vitriol it generated. You would think I had advocated selling their first born into slavery! The admin locked the post and I don’t blame them!
Mostly I was curious what all the fuss was about. I received a bunch of replies about how AI creations steal artists work, etc. none of which applies to me as I make my own covers for my own books and always pay royalties when I use parts of photos from reputable sites like Shutterstock, pixaby, and BookBrush.
I wrote more on Cloned Ambition today. I got a couple of chapters done. Hopefully, I’ll get more done tomorrow.
It’s a rainy Saturday morning. I remember those from when I was a child. It meant Daddy stayed home instead of going out to work, Momma didn’t do any housekeeping chores because she didn’t want to make him feel as he was in her way, and after cartoons went off I went to my room and read since I didn’t want to watch whatever football game was showing…
Today I tried to work some on Cloned Ambition. I say tried because since it was raining, my son decided to organize the medicine cupboard and get rid of outdated stuff and put extras in the office shelves so we could actually find the current meds. Don’t get me wrong, it’s needed done for months, but he wanted my input so he interrupted me like every 5 minutes or so to make a decision on what to throw out. It’s this kind of stuff that makes writers lock their doors when the creative muse strikes! I could have done that, but then either Andrew or Vernon would have been pounding on it to see if I was okay…and then pouted because I locked them out.
I’m three chapters (And a lot of bits and pieces) in and I realize this is going to be a longer book than some of the others. But I’m regaining my enthusiasm for it, now that I’ve gotten The Arcadian Web down in rough. I’ll be able to let that one cook a while and work on Ambition without it intruding.
Such a lovely surprise: when I tried to open one of my books, I was told Word couldn’t be opened. I’m doing a hard reboot, so we’ll see if that restores the app to functioning.
I’m in here on Facebook so I won’t take a blunt instrument to my desktop.
I considered just opening the damn thing in Pages or Google Docs (which I might have to do), but neither of them have such excellent editing capabilities—when the bloody program works that is!
I just got one of those basawakward compliments from my son (at least I’m hoping it was a compliment and not a subtle insult). I think I’m safe tho’ as he doesn’t do subtle. He said I was the kind who would go along on the quest to rescue the princess and then slap her for being an idiot.
I realized when he said it that I probably write my heroines like that too...
I just had a horrifying thought: They say that girls marry a man like their daddy and men a woman like their mother…
It’s too late in the afternoon for coffee so I made a cup of Oolong tea. I couldn’t concentrate on my WIP (either one of them) so worked on the free reader magnet I’m doing: a workup of Confederation Planets and people in my Space Colony Journals Universe. I still need a cover for it. It’s short only about 90 pages. I’d like to get the maps redone by someone who is really good at making them. I did them using graphic tools from Word because I can’t seem to get the mapmaker software to work the way I want it to…
Eventually I plan to create one for Rulari, St. Antoni, and the Outlawed colonies too.
I’ve been having a lot of trouble lately with the Microsoft programs for MAC. I am considering switching to Google Docs. I’ve never used it so I expect there will be a learning curve, but I’m tired of excel either going bad or refusing to save my changes. I haven’t yet had too many issues like that with Word, but I’d like to have a backup on tap. Google docs also has a newsletter template (it would be nice to use a regular publisher program again for the local art events newsletter I publish. It can be done in either word or pages, but neither of them is really designed for desktop publishing. We’ll see.
I also saw an e-book template. I might try it too…
WELCOME TO 2023!
Well, here we are again. I hope 2022 was productive and safe for everyone. I had a few challenges: My husband had to undergo open-heart surgery (he had a triple by-pass). I had to learn to cook without salt (his new diet). Our two Ford trucks bit the dust and we had to buy a new one for the pool service. My computer kept eating my tax documents…
However, I was blessed also: Vernon survived the surgery and he is now doing well. (sadly, one of our pool service customers who was also a member of my local art guild, did not). Vernon is now keeping track of his own medicine, and in consequence doing a much better job of it. He is also learning to cook (although he is frustrated because he expected to immediately become a good cook). I finished the first three books of my new series, and they are now out and selling well, although I wish sales were higher.
My goals in 2023 are to learn how to record my books into audible format without it costing me an arm and a leg, to learn how to make video trailers that includes both voice overs and music for my books, create dust jackets for hardback books, and make each of my books into a hardback.
I’m looking forward to completing the Outlawed Colony Series and publishing the last three volumes of it. I am planning to do at least one more book each on the new five colonies. Web of Arcadia is coming along excellently. Book 7 will be on Barsoom (City of Deception). I don’t yet plots for the other colony books (Lemuria, Shangri-La and Halcyon), but I expect those will come to me.
NEW SERIES RELEASE DATES:
BOOK TITLE SERIES NAME SERIES NO RELEASE DATE
Babylon Shattered Outlawed Colonies 4 2/1/2023
Cloned Ambition Outlawed Colonies 5 6/30/2023
Arcadian Web – Arcadia II Outlawed Colonies 6 7/31/2023
City of Deception – Barsoom II Outlawed Colonies 7 9/30/2023
Daughter of Shadows Shangri-La II Outlawed Colonies 8 11/30/2023
Halivaara Wheel Lemuria II Outlawed Colonies 9 1/31/2024
Dawn of the Clones Halcyon II Outlawed Colonies 10 3/31/2024
2022 WORK JOURNAL
The stuff I wrote on 12/24 was supposed to be my last blog for the year. Oh, well…
I had intended to do some VPS repair invoices but I couldn’t get on the Keller site for some of the prices, so I wrote instead. I got a little more done on both Ambition and Web today—my guys went to see the new Avatar movie, so I had some uninterrupted time once they left.
I’ve been struggling with Ambition; I need to do a scene at the movie set and I wasn’t sure exactly how to describe it. I finally decided that since I previously established that much of California’s coastal area had been destroyed, LA would have been a part of that, so studios would have needed to find other places to film. How they made vids would have really changed too, with a lot of stuff being done with CGI. This vid was being made using clone labor so there wouldn’t be as much oversight from state safety departments. On my version of post-apocalyptic earth, industries of all kinds use clones (even though creating fully human clones is against the law), law enforcement doesn’t really know what to do about this since no one can decide which law is being broken; no one has decided if the clones are property like robots or human beings with rights. But I digress.
When I realized describing the vid studio was what was actually holding me back, sat down and wrote out what conditions the studio would be working under and it finally came together more. I also had to start with Scarlet’s life at a younger age than I usually introduce my characters and I think I’ll need to do that with Dagmar and the others too…
With Arcadian Web I’ve been doing my usual scene jumping in my writing so it’s a little disorganized. This time I wrote Abby’s final battle with Stella (my bad girl villainess). I really need to do some character development there, as I’ve mostly been concentrating on Abby and Cosimo and neglecting my bad guys.
Christmas Eve! This is going to be my last blog for 2022, so I hope all of you are having a great Christmas (Hannukah, Kwanza, winter Solstice, etc.). Please remember to use a designated drive when celebrating the advent of 2023.
WOW! Really socked in here today. My guys declared a foggy day schedule and didn’t leave the house until noon. Guess this means we’re going to enjoy a traditional San Joaquin Valley foggy Christmas. Sure hope Santa has Rudolph with him!
Rereading Babylon Shattered for editing. It doesn’t release until Feb 1, 2023, So I have plenty of time. If you’re interested, I’m developing an ARC team for it. Just Click here: https://gaildaley.com/Become-an-ARC-reader-on-Gail's-Team.php The books will be sent out on January 15th.
I’ve redone the cover on Babylon too. Same image but I decided I needed the lettering to pop a little more so I changed it to red. We’ll see.
I admit I’m struggling a little with getting motivated enough to write—my trouble is I have bits and pieces written out in my head, but it’s a matter of putting them all in coherent form. I find myself simply jotting down these bits and pieces (a scrap of dialog, a scenery description, little minor details that are easy to skip over in favor of getting the main points in a scene typed out…
I did manage a short chapter in Web this morning in between putting a load in the washer. I still have to sort and put away the clean clothes in the laundry baskets, which isn’t my favorite chore…
I wrote another chapter of Arcadian Web today. If this keeps up, I’ll have the rough draft done in two weeks. I haven’t even written the blurb for it! Of course, with the other books, I kept needing to change it as the book evolved, so I suppose that’s not a big deal…
The Marabunta were an inspiration. Since they are both spider and wasp, I made their bites an aphrodisiac (sort of like a vampire’s bite) so the prey will hold still and be eaten, and the sting on the other end causes brain damage like Alzheimer's Disease. (A type of brain disorder that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.) This is a gradually progressive condition so eventually the poison in the sting kills you, even if you live over the initial attack.
This made the plot just roll right along. I’ve even figured out a way to reconcile the differences between the two brothers! and Ivette and Cosimo. The kids are about 8 now, and I’ve been able to show how much they’ve progressed.
TGIF! Yes it’s the weekend. Andrew and I had to make a trip to Walmart yesterday and it was already packed like a can of tuna. So glad I’m doing most of my shopping online now!
Still working on plot angles for the Arcadian web. I’ve got most of them ironed out. I ran a couple of them by my best beta reader (Andrew) and he started talking about horror genres. But he hates any kind of spider the way I hate snakes…
Since I intend to cover the Declaration and Investure Ceremony, Cosimo’s family will attend, so I can do a few updates about the children, Ivette and Mathias. In this book the children will be about 8 (they were 3 in the first one). It’s a good way to clear up a few plot lines left over from the other books (about Ivette’s friend who died and why she blamed Cosimo for it, etc.).
2022 12 07
Isn’t that the way it always is? As soon as I quit fighting it and concentrated on The Arcadian Web instead of Cloned Ambition, the entire plot and ending of Web slipped into place. I haven’t got it written yet, but I do have it all plotted out.
I’m also late getting the December issue of the Art Event Calendar out. It should have gone out by Dec 1. I think I will start a new tradition with it: In the future I’m going to close it down for the holidays—by this time almost all of us (myself included) are really busy trying to get our holiday sales online and still squeeze in a little family time. I plan to apologize to the subscribers and explain that the newsletter will be back in January of 2023.
2022 11 21
The best laid plans. I had intended to spend time on Ambition this month, but instead the 2nd OL book set on Arcadia grabbed my attention and insists on being written. So, I’ll probably spend a few days on it. I’ve chosen Mathias’s older brother Cosimo as the hero (yes, I know but sometimes it’s fun to work with a flawed hero). HIs opposite MC is a woman named Abigail Trelawny who raises giant wasp-spiders called Marabunta. The silk from the webs they make is used in Arcadia’s top of the line body armor.
I’m moving the scene for this one out of the area around the capital to the southern Islands (a little like Florida’s keys). Lots of fun and new stuff to create!
And I haven’t even done the cover!
2022 11 04
Today I started working on developing Cloned Ambition. It’s a completely new planet, so I have to start from scratch developing the planetary description, the animals, history and other things for creating an entirely new world. I decided to make the planet similar to St. Antoni as far as plants go. When I created Lemuria, I spent most of my world building time creating the plants and animals as I intended to use them as obstacles for my characters. On Halcyon, I will be spending the majority of my world building time on creating the two clone societies. When I created the other worlds, most of the things the colonists did to develop the infrastructure of each colony was history. Here, the clones are basically tabula rasa. They were kept ignorant and uneducated with a few exceptions (Scarlet, Dagmar, Napoleon and Yael), so most of them only know how to perform in the specialized areas they were created to serve in. Although an underground education movement exists on some of the clone farms it was only after they arrived at Phoenix that many of the clones received even a basic education. On Halcyon, they must learn to grow food, harvest and preserve it, make their own clothing, learn basic health care, all the things normal humans take for granted.
I plan for the new colony to provide unskilled labor to some of the other Outlawed Colonies in return for teaching them skills and helping educate them. When they return to the Settlement, they will be able to pass on their knowledge to the others.
Basically, I’ve got about four to five weeks of intense world building to do in between creating a plot for the book. So Much fun!
2022 10 25
Well, I got the chapter on the villain done on Babylon. I already had the courtroom scene, but I just need the final chapter and then the first draft will be finished. Can't say how much I'm looking forward to that! I'm hoping with all the other things going on this will be an easy edit.
Doing quite a bit rewriting and editing on Babylon this week. It’s not anywhere near finished, but in order for the final chapters to work I needed to revise some of the earlier chapters and lay the groundwork for them. I even wrote a couple of background scenes I’m not sure will fit into the actual book just so I can get one of the murders down in my head. This is a kind of Cozy, so I’m trying to keep the actual murder off stage (it’s done with a knife so it could be gory if I let it).
The funny thing is us I wrote a knife fight into Avalon as a part of Devon’s duel with the guy who fed Tash a date rape drug—turns out she was allergic to it and proceeded to barf all over the guy anyway, but Devon was angry enough to fight him…
2022 10 05
I see I haven’t posted a blog all of all of August or September. Well, to be fair, I’ve been a little busy. What with Vernon going into the hospital and all the tests they are running. On Friday, he goes in for open heart surgery (triple by-pass). so much fun. Between taking care of him and other stuff, I haven’t had time to write, much less blog.
Today though, was a good day. While he went in for pre-op tests, I had about 4 hours, so I spent it re-reading what I had written on Babylon and making a few changes. Surprisingly, I only have about four chapters left to finish it.
2022 10 1
So proud of my hubby today—he actually made a very tasty stew! All I did was watch and walk him through the steps.
2022 09 30
Heirs of Avalon
Book 2 of The Outlawed Colonies
A Futuristic Science Fiction Thriller About Stolen Technology and Murder
The theft Top Secret technology is the catalyst for a lab tech's murder and plunges two couples into a web of criminal activity
Returning home to Barsoom after a successful mission to earth, Randal brings an unexpected dividend with him: A data crystal with the formula for finding earth-type planets. When the data crystal is stolen and a lab tech murdered during the break-in, his father and his fiancée’s father come under suspicion. It’s up to him, his fiancée Judith, and some new friends to clear their fathers of murder and find and retrieve the stolen crystal before it falls into the wrong
2022 09 29
Vernon Daley’s bypass surgery is scheduled for October 10th, so I’ll be spending my birthday in the waiting room at the heart hospital. I’m just praying he’ll come through this safely and that life can get back to normal.
I’ve been playing around with writing a second Arcadia novel, this time using Mathias’ brother Cosimo as the hero. Using a flawed hero is a challenge so he will have to do a lot of growing and changing. I’m also trying to finish (at least the rough draft) of Babylon, finish editing Predator, and get the outline done for Cloned Ambition. Work keeps the worrying at bay.
2022 09 28
I have a new pet peeve. We bought a new pan with a lid at Smart & Final so Vernon can pop unsalted popcorn (popcorn is one of his favorite snacks). The blasted thing came with stickers and tags which will have to be soaked to remove them. So frustrating.
Only two more days until Heirs of Avalon is released! I’m excited! Unfortunately while Amazon is willing to do preorders for the paperback, they won’t allow eBook preorders unless you publish through them. I don’t like being pushed around so I’m considering a couple of solutions for this, including handling eBook preorders that ordinarily would have gone through Amazon privately through my own website.
2022 09 26
I dug out an old favorite—Lions Pride by Anne McCaffery to read. It’s been a while, but it’s still good. It’s a part of her Talent series.
We did our own BBQ yesterday—chicken breasts corn on the cob and vegetable skewers. It tasted great, but I was wiped yesterday evening and I’m still dragging today. Not sure why.
I am looking forward to The Heirs of Avalon’s debut on the 30th. Two of my ARC readers posted some 5star reviews on Goodreads so I’m pretty happy about that. With any luck Amazon will pick them up after the 30th.
Jackie’s Reviews on Goodreads
Sep 25, 2022
it was amazing Murder and Intrigue once again will keep you gripped. Well written with strong characters that keep you wanting to learn what could possibly happen next. A binge worthy read. Don’t miss out once it’s released.
Another great Science Fiction thriller from Gail Daley
A data crystal essential to the Outlawed Colonies is stolen leading to murder. Families are embroiled in the resulting fallout. But what of the crystal?
Gail Daley again weaves a wonderful futuristic story with strong characters and an intriguing storyline that leaves you wanting more.
Highly recommended if you enjoy this genre
Once more Gail Daley has given readers a fascinating view of the future in worlds similar, but differing in many ways, from Earth society and development. Action is a constant in her writing and this book does not disappoint. The characters are well-drawn, with some familiar to readers of past books in this series. However, it us a novel that stands alone as well. I highly recommend it to adults and young adults. I received an ARC, and this is my honest review of this novel.
2022 09 24
6 more days! Heirs of Avalon
Book 2 of The Outlawed Colonies
A Futuristic Science Fiction Thriller About Stolen Technology and Murder
The theft Top Secret technology is the catalyst for a lab tech's murder and plunges two couples into a web of criminal activity
Two couples from different worlds search for stolen technology while working to uncover a murderer.
Returning home to Barsoom after a successful mission to earth, Randal brings an unexpected dividend with him: A data crystal with the formula for finding earth-type planets. When the data crystal is stolen and a lab tech murdered during the break-in, his father and his fiancée’s father come under suspicion. It’s up to him, his fiancée Judith, and some new friends to clear their fathers of murder and find and retrieve the stolen crystal before it falls into the wrong hands
2022 09 18
Woke up about 2 AM this morning with a migraine and it’s hung around all day. I had forgotten what it was like. Those 5 years taking that hormone suppression after the cancer spoiled me (one of my triggers is hormone shifts). So much fun.
I actually did manage to get some of the pool invoices ready to go. Not the ones for the customers who have overdues—didn’t trust myself with those. Hopefully tomorrow the migraine will be gone, and I’ll be back to normal…
2022 09 16
I haven’t done a lick Of work on BABYLON this week— too much else going on. Selling the 2004 truck, going with Andrew to the DMV to get his DL renewed (new photo so we had to actually go down there).
I did get what I thought would be the final draft of Heirs of Avalon uploaded, then I found a stray quotation mark smack dab in the middle of a sentence.
so I’ll have to fix it. Aargh!
Finished the chapter on Clementine’s preliminary hearing in the trial of Trapps murder done. The next chapter is supposed to introduce Devon, Tash, and Fidget to Shanghai-La. I haven’t done a Portal scene for any of the colonies from the POV of the colonists before although I’ve done plenty of arrivals from earth, so I need to do a little thinking about it. I’m considering doing it as a carnival type event for the colonists. After all, it’s a pretty big deal; Laughing Mountain always has an event every three months enabling the colonists to come across to market their specialties for the weekend event. Barsoom’s weekend coincides with a Renaissance Faire and Shanghai-La’s with the Psychical/paranormal fair, which attracts fortune tellers, card readers, aura readers, and Wicca practioners, from all over the State so the Shanghai-La people fit right in. It also attracts a couple of would-be Vampire and Were groups…
Another hot day. Andrew and I left the house after I took a breathing treatment. For some reason it’s always worse in hot weather. Stopped at Lowes for new filters for the Frig and the air conditioner before going on to Walmart where we bought a few things for the bathroom and the laundry and a few groceries. Got home around 11:30 and it’s already too hot to be outside 🥵🥵
I drew up the animals I intend to use for Halcyon. I decided to use suidae this time. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, Suidae is a family of artiodactyl mammals which are commonly called pigs, hogs, or swine. In addition to numerous fossil species, 18 extant species are currently recognized (or 19 counting domestic pigs and wild boars separately), classified into between four and eight genera. Within this family, the genus Sus includes the domestic pig, Sus scrofa domesticus or Sus domesticus, and many species of wild pig from Europe to the Pacific. Other genera include babirusas and warthogs. All suids, or swine, are native to the Old World, ranging from Asia to Europe and Africa. I again went for 3 varieties large for draft animals (Porcina Maximus) horse size for riding (Porcina Equine) and pony size (Porcina Palawin) for pulling small carts or wagons or maybe a child’s riding animal. Not that the Clones have any children yet…
After that, I Worked a little on Babylon. This chapter is about Clementine’s preliminary hearing, so I’m watching a lot of old Perry Mason shows to get in the mood. Maybe I’ll even work in a way to use that famous phrase “irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial” 😂
Won’t that be fun?
Apple downloaded an update last night. I wish they hadn’t, because every time they “improve” a program, the other programs I use start acting up. I’ll probably need to re-install office 365 again. I was going to do that anyway because of ongoing issues with excel for MAC, but I was kind of hoping to be able to do that on my timetable not Apples. 🥸
On a better note, I decided what type of riding/draft animals I needed for Shanghai-La. Most of my colonies in this series need some kind of native animals the colonists can adapt for transportation and cultivation because none of them can tap into Earths manufacturing base.
Shangri-La is a relatively poor colony as far as the average citizen goes. Their socialist economy means there are always shortages of essential items, so the average family can’t afford air sleds, etc. (although the technology is available) so an inexpensive way to get around was needed.
This time I’m going to go with the Camelid family as I haven’t used them in any of the other books. On St. Antoni I went with tricorns (an animal with equine DNA although more closely related to zebras and donkeys).
On Lemuria I went to Africa for inspiration using giraffe (Raffes) for riding and elephants (Elf’s) for draft animals. Barsoom didn’t need any animals for transportation as the colonists use robots extensively, disguising their single sleds as birds of prey and their larger transports as old-fashioned carriages or wagons. The same for Arcadia as that colony was at pains to develop an industrial base. Unlike Barsoom the Arcadians didn’t feel the need to disguise their technology though.
The Llama/Alpaca/Varuna line is what I’m using for a base on Shangri-La. (With suitable changes of course). I needed three because I wanted one the size of Welsh ponies for riding and pulling carriages, one about the size of a Clydesdale for draft work, and one the size of miniature horses for pulling small carts (groceries, etc.).
Still trying to decide what to use for Halcyon. Since the story line requires the colonists split off (one faction following the Clone Familia Manifesto and the other showing allegiance to Napoleons dictatorship) some type of riding/draft animals is going to be needed.
2022 08 07
I worked more on Babylon this weekend. I have to do more world building, so I worked in a shadow government in opposition to the socialist regime and talked about food shortages and other things to explain why everyone cheated on reporting how much they make. I also threw in a little excitement when Clementine helped Old Timothy at the Market. and then I had an attempt to take her and an older lady prisoner because the captors wanted to find out where Trapp hid his blackmail list...fun times.
2022 07 29
I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to talk about promoting books. As a writer who is constantly searching for new places to promote my work, I get my name on a lot of sites’ email lists. In consequence I get lots and lots of e-mails claiming they can boost my book sales by advertising on different social media sites. Most of them want between $50--$100 to promote your book. Whenever I try out a new site, I always follow them on Twitter or whatever social media site they claim to advertise on. So far, most of the tweets have been duds; by that I mean there is no evidence they’ve promoted my books. However, I was very pleased with a site called BookPings (https://bookpings.com). They have done as they promised. I’ve had lots of tweets about my two latest releases Game Theory and Paladin, and both of those garnered a review each. (Which is pure Gold to Indie writers like me!)
This is especially helpful, as I’m not getting as many responses from my ARC reviewers as I need. If you like science fiction and would like to get free copies of some of my books please click on this link and sign up. Thanks https://gaildaley.com/Become-an-ARC-reader-on-Gail's-Team.php
I finally finished a chapter in Babylon that I’ve been working on for almost two weeks. One of my supporting characters does a Tarot card reading for the MCs mother. It required a lot of research among other stuff. Back in my salad days I read the cards as a hobby. I had forgotten how involved it is. I wanted a certain outcome for the plot, so I had to figure out which cards I wanted (they can mean different things depending on their position—upright or reversed and also where they are in the layout). Also, which layout is used can have a different meaning. I used the Celtic Cross layout as it’s the one I’m most familiar with.
Anyway, I got it done. I Also need to do some plot work on the love interest...
Spent all day on our truck insurance. FYI never pay the insurance the day before it expires—our trucks were sidelined until we got the email with the updated insurance cards 😬 So much fun.
Needless to say, I DID NOT get any writing done today either. 🤨 I’m thinking of revising the cover and blurb for Alien Trails. I recently did a group promo for “Lost Places”. Since the 1st half of the book is about finding an abandoned city left by the forerunners I thought it would be a good fit. Sadly, it didn’t get very many clicks, so I’m wondering if it’s the cover or the blurb. I’ve noticed a new trend in sci-fi covers without figures. I might just remove Juliette and the Dactyl and leave the ancient city. Maybe add a spaceship… (old cover here—still working on a new one)
Took another fall 🤯 today. Vernon and I were at Jim Manning Dodge in Dinuba. I got up from the table in their waiting room and tripped over my own feet. Did a pratfall there in front of God and everyone. I’m okay except for some bruising and I barked up my knee. So embarrassing. I know tomorrow will be worse because I’ll be stiff and sore…
I left a copy of The Clone Initiative on the table. One of the inexpensive promotional thing’s writers can do is leave a copy of a book in a place you do business with in the hopes the staff will read it and talk about it to their friends…
Needless to say, I didn’t get any writing done today.
Another hot day. Andrew just told me now he knows how the ant under the magnifying glass feels…horrible analogy.
I finished another chapter of Babylon this morning. It’s inching along. I’ve decided that two of Mason’s cold case files are going to be connected. Much simpler that way. I think I’ll also tie that into why Clementine is being framed for Baxter Trapp’s murder. Still deciding if I want the cop investigating his murder to be part of the conspiracy or just a willing dupe who goes along with the frame up because she hates Clemintine so much…
Got another chapter of Babylon done today. This one I wrote in my sleep, sort of. To make sure I don’t have nightmares, I use a method of directed dreaming. Basically, I start a scenario during REM sleep and it keeps me focused on good things.
This one was about Clementine’s mother reacting to being told her daughter was arrested for murder, by one of Clementine’s enemies, who unfortunately also happens to be the police officer investigating the Murder. I have a lot of character development to do on the two MCs as well as all the secondary characters. A lot of world building as well as this is a completely different type of community. I understand the basic concept of a socialist society, but that is an economic system, more than it is a culture. Since I already decided there was going to be a Shadow culture designed to circumvent the socialist precept of the one designed by the founders, it’s taking a lot of time to design.
The other colonies are all different too but were fairly easy to create a culture for; Arcadia in book 1 is pretty much like Laughing Mountain with a few differences that didn’t require too much thought (ultra-modern and futuristic).
Barsoom in book 2 was the same tech wise except they disguise the modern stuff to fit into a renaissance theme. Culturally, there was quite a bit of throwback to the renaissance, concerning honor, secret societies, plotting and spying on each other, etc.
Lemuria in Book 3 was very similar to the American West with modern weapons and more dangerous animals and plants (especially the plants).
Halcyon (book 5) is going to be hard too; I’ve got a society that’s creating itself from scratch so to speak, with two competing sets of values fighting for supremacy, a leader who’s a sleaze with women, and husband/wife leaders who oppose him…
The proof copy of Heirs of Avalon came today. So far I’ve only found 3 mistakes I thought I’d fixed. I might not have updated the PDF version for the paperback tho’. That’s the trouble with needing so many different types of manuscripts, sometimes one of them gets lost in the crowd.
I have a lot of special graphics I add to the printed books to make then look better. I have to delete those off the eBook because they don’t look the same due to the different formatting, hence the different formatting for e-books and print issues.
I now have 3 books in the new series ready. Game Theory will release June 30th. Still undecided if I want to hold Avalon back until November. I might move it up to October.
Wow. Invoices due to go out today. Waiting for Vernon to go through them before I seal them for mailing.
Worked on Babylon today. Mostly I rewrote the opening chapter. I was going to start it with the Clementine in jail for murder, but That involved too much backstory (ruined the pacing), so I moved that chapter to no 3–with suitable revisions.
I Also created a few more characters (including Clementine’s pet Ismelda—she's about the size of a Guinea Pig and smells like cinnamon).
Well, I fumbled through Avalon’s rough draft and decided it seems coherent. Sometimes when I write, I will write some scenes out of order and it’s a bear to get them to mesh. This time it all fit together, despite writing the duel sequence several months ago. I always find lots of skipped words or words out of order when editing one of my rough drafts, so I’ve got a lot of work to do.
I also need to get into a good mindset for Babylon. It will have a lot more paranormal stuff (the colony WAS founded by a group of psychics, fortune tellers, etc. after all). I still have all the preliminary research I did on different types of psychic talents (a whale of a lot of material!). So, I need to go back through that. My heroine is a psychometrist (she reads objects and crime scenes), she is also a burglar, creates false IDs, and she can fake a great palm reading, among other things.
Finished the final chapter of Heirs of Avalon last night. It’s now in the first draft editing stage. I’m amazed at how quickly it went. I’m not wholly satisfied with the ending chapter, so I might add more to it. Depends on how the first read through goes. I just hope the final two books flow as smoothly.
I think I finally have the covers for the new series completed. I revised the one for Cloned Ambition as the previous 3 just didn’t seem a good fit for Science Fiction.
2022 05 25
It's coming down to the wire for the release of my first book in the Outlawed Colonies series. Upon re-reading what I've written, I discovered I had posted the books out of order; Series Order should be Game Theory 1, Heirs of Avalon 2, Apex Predator 3, Babylon Shattered 4, and Cloned Ambition 5.
I also redesigned the covers somewhat. Game Theory, Apex Predator and Cloned Ambition, I only tweaked a little. For Babylon Shattered, I threw out the entire cover and re-did it. On Heirs of Avalon, I went for a completely Sci-Fi Cover, getting rid of the woman and leaving the background.
The release Schedule now stands as follows:
GAME THEORY Book 1 06/30/22 Pre order link: https://books2read.com/u/mlLEkW
HEIRS OF AVALON Book 2 11/30/22 Pre order link: https://books2read.com/u/3y1MYV
APEX PREDATOR Book 3 12/20/22 Pre Order link: https://books2read.com/u/4ELPxY
BABYLON SHATTERED Book 4 03/30/23
CLONED AMBITION Book 5 06/30/23
Early this morning (like about 2AM) I pulled out the outline and what I had written on Babylon and scrolled through it. Not much there, just a couple of chapters. Writing up background on both MCs as well. I’m never sure how much is going to make it into the actual story at this stage, but it sparks plot and scene ideas, so it’s good.
I also wrote a few more chapters on Avalon. These are all lead in chapters. The 1st attempted kidnapping of Judith and Tash, and the detective's daughter. I need to do a little more development on the crime mob and the victim's involvement with it to justify her murder and the kidnapping of relatives and friends of investigating officers and potential witnesses to keep them in line…for that I’m going to want a good plot hook. Still thinking about that.
It’s time to let Game and Apex cook awhile. Games release date is June 30, so I’ll still have time to tweak it if I need to. I bumped Apex out to Nov 30; so it’s cooking too. I figure to have all three books as a set ready for Christmas. In my spare time I need to work up a couple of ads for that.
Got the proof copies back on Ape Predator and Game theory this week. It was pointed out by my favorite beta reader that all the text on the front was really distracting. He didn’t like the guy either, but after reading the blurb he said he did fit the story. While I was looking at covers I decided the girl on the front of Avalon looked too much like she belonged on a historical romance so I just got rid of her and decided the cover looked better that way. I changed the tag line on Game Theory so it didn’t repeat what was on the back.
Game Theory is up for Pre-Order. I’m excited it will be out the end of June.
I had to rearrange the titles in my Outlawed Colony series. If you’re reading the books the sequence should be Game Theory, Heirs of Avalon, then Apex Predator. It just makes more sense.
Not all authors are this picky about the sequences of their tales they’ve tied together…but I know how aggravated it makes me because one of my favorite authors has a bunch of book trilogies set in different 3 time periods and she starts in the middle, bounces back to the Victorian era and then to the future.
It did mean I had to re-do the covers to show the correct series numbers and release dates. Fortunately, Game Theory is finished so the release date for book 1 of June 30th works fine. I might move Avalon’s release date from Sept 30th to Nov 30th, with Apex set to release just in time for Christmas. It makes it so much easier when I have lots of time for re-writes and editing
Wow! Worked some more on Avalon last night after I tweaked the cover. I think the tag lines are much more readable. I changed the font an added a little bit of color as well. Still not completely satisfied with the wording, but I do have lots of time to work on that. Those of you who read Clone Initiative, will remember that Randal was sent to earth to implant a virus in the Portal Authority programming to prevent its search engines from discovering the colonies who use the Laughing Mountain portal. In this book we discover why he chosen for the mission was not left to chance. Like Mathias Bedingfeld of Arcadia (Game Theory) he works for a secret government agency.
FYI Game Theory as well as Apex Predator are both available for ARC reviewers and for Pre-orders.
Wrote another couple of chapters on Avalon today. I’m really happy with the way it’s coming along. I did some more development on Judith and Randal’s relationship. I decided to make it a little rocky—he’s been gone nearly a year. They’ve been engaged since they were children, so it wouldn’t be unheard of for him to take her for granted, and for her to feel neglected… I got the murder chapter done, and next up is the arrest of both fathers.
I’m not happy with the fonts on the description. The title is okay, but I think the description is a little hard to read, so I might change it…
Today I uploaded book 2 (Game Theory) of the Outlawed Colonies to D2D. It doesn’t release until Sept 30, so I’ll have time to proof the paperback copy. My proof copy of book 1 (Apex Predator) should arrive any day.
Time to start work on Heirs of Avalon (book 3). I actually have the opening chapter and several others completed, as well as the outline so I’m doing ok with it (doesn’t come out until Dec). Babylon and Ambition are a different story. Babylon is supposed to be a type of cozy mystery but I barely have the 2 MCs on the drawing board. For Ambition I’m going to try something a little different. It’s sort of a David and Bathsheba retelling (hero is NOT the David character) and the wife is a lot tougher and smarter…we’ll see how it goes
Uploaded the final drafts of Apex Predator this morning. My author copy should get here in about two days. I re-read Game Theory And did some expansion (mostly character building and a little more work on Cosmo’s and Alexandre Marconi’s relationship). Marconi is my main villain. Cosimo, Mathias’s half-brother isn’t really a bad guy, but between trying to keep his drunk, gambler father out of trouble, he’s managed to get himself in the trap he was trying to keep his father out of.
I see I don’t have the finalized covers for Apex and Game on my iPad yet.
Worked some today expanding some chapters on Apex and a little bit on Avalon. Somehow I always end up working on more than one book at a time. Apex is in the 2nd draft stage. Time to sit down and read it in entirety to make sure it’s coherent. I think I will also run it through that developmental editing program recommended in one of my groups. Editing site $20/month
It’s got a free tryout. If I’m happy with it I’ll subscribe.
Avalon on the other hand needs lots of work. I’ve got chapters 3, 4, and 5 done, (yes I know—it’s out of sync, but I roll that way sometimes). It’s a mystery about stolen technology, and I have 2 pair of amateur sleuths trying to clear two innocent men of the crime.
I finished a new painting for the art show tomorrow. I just varnished it so it will need time for the varnish to dry and harden before I can frame it. It’s a seascape. The one I was working on for the old west category isn’t going to happen. It was so awful I gessoed over it. Also, the little 5x7 I was working on. Looked like a value study not a finished painting! Oh well, that’s life I guess.
Worked on both Game Theory and Apex Predator some this afternoon. Both are about 2/3 finished. Apex needs the final battles and the conclusion. I wrote the final chapters for Game 4 months ago, but it really needs some work in the middle. I want a little more development of the bad guys and their plot to overthrow the government.
I found a new site on the net for developmental editing. I think I’ll give it a try. Editing site $20/month
It’s got a free tryout. If I’m happy with it I’ll subscribe.
I pushed the release dates on my new series forward two months. I realized I had intended to finish Apex Predator in the middle of tax season. Since I’m the one who has to prepare the taxes, I didn’t feel I could do either projects justice if I split my focus.
I did rework the series covers, completely changing all of them except Game Theory. For that one, I just rearranged the title and author placement.
I also did a little work on a small painting for the Old West and Rodeo Art Show. I’m calling it Follow Me.
Big lightning storm here. I had to shut down the desktop and my local barometer (son Andrew) came down with a migraine. I was just getting into Apex again too. The plot, which had been a little fuzzy, was finally coming together. I’ve decided to use Devon and Tash to tie the books together. In Clone Initiative, I already set him up as a Portal expert so I can legitimately have them appear in this series books.
I also spent some time reworking the covers for books 3 and 4. I’m not totally happy with the Apex cover either, but so far I haven’t found one I like better. I really would like one with Zach fighting the bear (Ursa Magnum which is supposed to be about 4 times the size of a grizzly). I could draw and paint it, but it wouldn’t fit with the other series covers…
Well, the oncologist said everything looked great, and it’s coming up on 5 years clear in April. He released me until next year. If the mammogram comes up clear too, I’ll be all set for another year.
I didn’t get any writing done today. Somehow the day just slipped away.
I did a couple of ads for Cradle and Paladin with awesomegang.com we’ll see how it does with sales…
Worked a little more on Apex today—mostly beefing out chapters I’d already written. Sometimes when I write I am in such a hurry to get a scene down I skip important details, I’m aware of these when I write, but a reader isn’t because I haven’t told them yet.
Still working on two books at once. I was kind of stuck on Apex, so I jumped ahead a couple of chapters. I also worked some on Game Theory, mostly on character development.
Moonstone just gave me a coffee bath—fortunately it had gone cold—but it sure made a mess. I had to stop and rinse out my new shirt. I hope the coffee comes out. Now she’s sitting here gripping at me, because her tail got wet…
2022 03 08
Good News on the home front—The doctor was pleased with how the wound from Vernon’s surgery is healing. For which I give a big thanks to God—I just wish that first Doctor had gotten all the bad stuff out so we wouldn’t have needed to live with this for a year!
Facebook frustrates me. I actually have two (2) author pages—one of which is apparently a business account (Gail Daley writer) and the other a fan group (Gail Daley author) and Facebook won’t allow me to connect the two. I have followers on both pages too. On the Group site I can actually add events and files. On the business site Facebook has restricted me (who knows why!)
Apparently I’ve been posting to each of them without paying attention to which is which.
Group Page Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GailDaleyWriter
Business link: https://www.facebook.com/gaildaleywriter
The only difference in the url is one of them has the word ‘group’ in it!
When we got back from the laundromat, I Wrote some on both Apex and Game. I’m introducing two characters (Devon Morton and Tash Higgens) who will appear in 4 of the 5 books to tie the plot about an attempt to attack earth, together. Each book will be an independent story, but the theme of colonists being unhappy with functioning in secrecy will tie them together. Most of these plotters will be 2nd and 3rd generation colonists who, never having been to earth have no real idea of how much power earths combined governments and industrial giants can muster and think beating them will be a simple matter.
Each story will deal with its unhappy citizens in its own way. And all the plots are different. Apex is a safari/archeological expedition/thriller. Game Theory is about foiling an attempted revolution. Heirs of Avalon is a murder mystery about a piece of stolen technology. It also has a nice knife duel I went to a lot of trouble researching to make it accurate. Shattered Babylon is a cozy mystery about a woman who is framed for murder trying to clear herself. Babylon takes place on a colony of psychics which has a socialist government and whose citizens employ indentured servants (if you’re unsure how indentured servitude works, click on this link
I finished two chapters of Apex Predator this weekend and sent off the local Art Events magazine. It feels good to be back on track finally. Since I’ve been promoting how dangerous Apex's planet is, I’ve got 3 obstacles to overcome in the next 3 chapters. First up, I’ll be starting off with a bang—I call these flying predators a Glitter Swarm. Basically, they are like meat bees, only they travel in huge swarms. When they find prey, they cover it, each taking bites out of it, virtually eating it alive. The colonists call them Glitter Swarms because of the way their iridescent wings glitter when the sun hits them.
The next deadly critter is actually a plant. The Lotus Field covers about 20 acres. It exudes (farts) an enticing perfume to attract its prey. When the prey enters the field, another type of gas fume arises, this time a soporific, which puts the prey to sleep. Once the prey is lying helpless, digestive acid rises and the body slowly dissolves. Lots of fun.
I haven’t quite finished creating the next Predator species—I’ve done insects, and plants, so rightfully the next Predator needs to be animal. I’m leaning toward a velociraptor type, but I haven’t quite made up my mind yet…
Well, I thought I had successfully attached a link to a photo. The link seems to be there, but it did not go to the link site when I posted it on Facebook. It pulled up a nice copy of the ad, but it didn’t go to the site, unless it was double clicked. Obviously I’m still doing something wrong…
I’ve been experiencing some interesting times—trying to learn how to add music to videos to show off my book series. Since I already have adobe, I thought I would try it first, so I clicked on the search engine link and signed in. Frankly I was a little disappointed. There were NO instructions on the site. I had to do a live chat to get instructions, and the agent wasn’t very helpful. She finally sent me a link and I added one of the videos I made on BookBrush. Unfortunately, it needed re-sizing to fit the format (edges on both sides were cut off). And guess what—none of the size formatting options worked. When I tried the direct app, I discovered it wanted another $20.00/month for the video option (probably why the link the chat agent didn’t work right) now the agent knew I was signed in so presumably she could see what was available on my plan, so why did she let me waste my time trying to make it work? Two other options Movai and Upbeat are both cheaper and claim to do the same thing, so I’ll probably try them next. On the bright side, I finally found out how to attach a link to a photo in photoshop. FYI the Photoshop tutorial was lousy—it made the whole thing seem terribly complicated. However, wickihow (https://www.wikihow.com/Add-a-Hyperlink-to-a-Jpeg-in-Photoshop ) had a step-by-step explanation that was SO easy to follow. Photoshop should get them to write all their tutorials!
This was in answer to a question posted on the Facebook Group Indie Authors about why books published by Indie authors vary so much in size. The standard sizes for trade paperbacks are 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 or 6 x 9. Choosing the size generally depends on how many pages will be in the finished book. A very thick book may intimidate some readers, so changing the size from 5 1/2. X 8 1/2 to 6 x 9 will make a book appear thinner. Conversely, a book that seems too thin may make a reader think it’s overpriced, so decreasing the height and width may give a reader the impression they are getting good value for their money. Crazy, huh? But it’s all about marketing individual books. When writing, I try to keep my page numbers between 350 and 400 pages for a 6 x 9 trade paperback.
Anybody miss me? Our internet went down Friday. We didn’t realize how dependent we are on it for entertainment; I couldn’t do my painting app, my kindle couldn’t download a book from the cloud because it was too slow and it would time out, Netflix runs through our home modem, so it was down. Vern usually entertains himself reading articles off the internet, so he was bored. I tried to do some writing but I’ve been storing my current novels on the cloud too so I couldn’t get to them. The tech brought out a new router when he came today. He checked out the outside connections too and discovered squirrels had chewed through the wiring on the pole. 😂 That was almost as funny as the time our garage flooded and we discovered mice had eaten all the rubber fittings out of the washer! Critters—gotta love ‘em!
I watched one of Book Brushes webinars this morning. It was all about a new thing they’re bringing out called elements. It was interesting, but I’m betting by the time it shows up where I can use it, I’ll have forgotten what I learned about it. I DID learn how to use the animation feature and I went back to a couple of ads I’d made earlier and animated them. It worked! Now I just need to learn to add music and clickable links. The gal doing the webinar said it can’t be done, but I know there MUST be a way because I’ve clicked on other people's ads and been taken to places like Amazon or Nook. A link can be added to a photo in excel so it must be possible in other programs! I also worked a little more on Apex, mostly world building research. I’ve about decided to use what I think North America would have looked like when the bigger mammals were around (the big Sabretooth tiger, the cave bears, Wooly mammoths, etc.). Lots of fun.
Started rewrites on Paladin and I am of course I am finding the usual ton of bloopers. But at least it seems to be coherent, which is a blessing. I also started a little writing on Apex Predator. I Finally decided on the object I intend to have Zach accused of stealing. Since I already dropped a few hints about an attempted takeover of the Portal, I decided to have the bad guys try to build a second gate to bypass the original leading into Laughing Mountain. What Zach is accused of stealing is blueprints for this second gate.
I’m reconsidering the cover for Paladin. I’m beginning to think the books have too much of a sci-fi vibe (I gave the A.I.s a secondary role in the first two books), and they definitely play a larger part in book 3. So I’ll be aiming at the sci-market for the 3rd book. Unfortunately, changing my target audience means redesigning the covers on the first two books (and I just redid the one on Spell for fantasy market😬!). I’ve been doing Makee-Learnee on marketing for more years than I can count—the only way I could afford a good advertising firm would be by winning the lottery 🤣 The good news, is I got my 1099 from D2D (not including Amazon sales—they do their own) today and the amount is larger than last years.
Worked a little more on Paladin today. Mostly fleshing out the citadel battle chapter. I only need the wrap up chapter and then I’ll have the book ready for editing and rewriting. It will make it tight to meet the Jan 31 deadline, but I’ve already pushed it out once, so I hate to do it again. I’ve also been considering redoing the cover. The present one works great as an e-book, but I need to think long term, and it’s too short to wrap around the hardback cover. D2D supplies a complimentary spine and back cover on the paperback, but I can’t take it that page along for the hardback, which I have to do on Amazon, as D2D doesn't offer a hardback format yet.
Welcome To 2022! This is a brand-new year. While I hope the challenges of 2020 and 2021 are behind us, I know that is unlikely (the next round of the covid viruses Delta and Omicron) started back in November, and if they run true to form, another new one will take their place soon if it hasn't already. It’s almost scary how science fiction predicts life. In 2017 when I wrote Warriors of St. Antoni, I used an apocalyptic series of events (including worldwide pandemics) as a basis for my dystopian earth society the St. Antonians fled from. When Covid 19 came out of China in 2020, I felt like Dr. Frankenstein. Just so you know, I DID NOT have advance notice of the pandemic! I made it up out of my twisted imagination! But enough about the past. I am looking forward to starting my next sci-fi series, The Outlaw Colonies. It’s a spin-off from my St. Antoni Series and concerns a few of the other illegal colonies serviced by Laughing Mountain: Lemuria (Apex Predator), Game Theory (Arcadia), Heirs of Avalon (Barsoom*), Babylon Shattered (Shangri-La) and Cloned Ambition (Halcyon). *BARSOOM(R) is a registered Trademark, of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. And Used by Permission
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