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Blog

Author of the Saga of Ukumog discusses the challenges of being an author, the tools and processes he uses while writing, and sometimes posts something completely unrelated. This blog is the author exposed.

Filtering by Tag: Book 2

Desecrated Giveaway

Louis Puster

Hey Everyone! Very quick post this morning.  Desecrated (Book 2) and the new edition of Wracked are both out and available on Amazon.  I will post more about that later.  This morning I just wanted to let all you Goodreads.com members that there is a giveaway going on for 3 copies of Desecrated:

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Desecrated by Louis Puster III

Desecrated

by Louis Puster III

Giveaway ends August 01, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Frustrations and accomplishments

Louis Puster

Hi folks! It has been quite some time since I updated the blog here.  Those of you who follow me on other social media or twitter might have gotten an inking of what is happening with the books.  So let me put it all officially here.

Book 2 is complete, for the most part.  It is not yet available because I decided to do two things:

  1. Create a map for the world setting
  2. Have my new editor go over Wracked and re-release it along with Book 2

Item 2 also has had a great deal of progress.  It is merely waiting for me to do the final pass over the edits and then layout the book.

The first item is where my frustration lies.

Over the past few months, I have been working with both Illustrator and Photoshop to create a vast map of the entire world.  My goal was to use vector images to give me the freedom of putting pieces of the map in books instead of the whole thing.  The reason for this is simple:  Each book is part of the great puzzle of the story, and so too should the maps be.  In theory my goal was something very doable, reasonable even.  In practice I have learned a lot about the way these programs and image types work together.  Unfortunately this has led to hours upon hours of work that have turned out half useless.

So, now I am shaking off the disappointment of my failures and soon I will move forward with the maps to give the books, and their readers, the content they richly deserve.

I only ask that you bear with me as I try to bring more of the dark world that hums in my thoughts to life.

Book 2 Progress

Louis Puster

Today I finished the preliminary layout for Book 2.  Last time I did the layout in a program called Pages, but this time I used Indesign.  So far everything seems good.  I am hoping that there is no surprise waiting for me when I send the PDF off to the publisher. I am still working on some art for the book, and there is some tweaking to the layout that I still need to do.  Progress, yes.  Still not done and ready to go out into the world, however.

Once I get the art and components settled - I then have to do the layout for the eVersions of the book as well.  Last time I did that part in Indesign and my hope is that doing the first part with that software might make the eVersion creation faster, smoother, or both.

My goal is to make it available in all formats on the same day.

Weddings, Maps, and Things

Louis Puster

Recently I went to the island of St John for a lovely wedding on the beaches there.  It was the first wedding I had ever been asked to be in as a groomsman, yet somehow I don't think it was like any other wedding.  The bride and groom gave each other a high five after they were pronounced instead of the customary kiss.  I do so love my friends.  I have some pictures from the trip that I might post sometime in the future.  

Rather than stride boldly directly into writing Book 3 of the Saga of Ukumog, I have been doing other work on the whole series and the world.  The most recent project is creating a map for the world that isn't a pile of hand-drawn scribbles.  A map that I might someday be able to present to the fans of the series.  Well, here is a tiny taste of the work in progress:

As you can see, there is a lot more work to be done (even what you see might be tweaked a bit), but I wanted to share this tiny fragment with all of you since I haven't posted in a while.  More to come in the future!

 

Currently, I am debating attending a local convention this fall and trying to promote my books.  Ultimately it would be amazing (and nearly impossible) to have book 2 available before the convention, but it is very unlikely.  I am still trying to work out the details of that trip.  I would rather not wander the halls with a backpack full of books and trying to talk to people about the series.  I have always done much better with that sort of thing when I have a table or someplace set up for me to chat with folks.  Last minute planning though might leave me without a specific home amidst the ocean of con goers.  I will let you all know when and if you can find me at any cons in the near future.

 

Until next time, internet.  Be well!

Revisions and short stories

Louis Puster

Right.  Since my last post about writing, I have finished my proof of Book 2 and sent it on to a few trusted folks for them to have a go at it.  Honestly, I find the whole revision process the most annoying and frustrating thing about writing.  I didn't realize this when I set out to write a book, but it is actually impossible for anyone to completely proof/edit their own stuff.  It simply cannot be done.  Well, I suppose if you had magical powers or indeed had made a deal with some greater power for the ability to write perfectly with a natural knowledge of how your intended audience would receive said perfect words, then you might be able to do it.  But without magic, it is kind of impossible.  

The problem is that you can't always know what combinations of words mixed with tens of thousands of other words will, with out any chance of failure, tell the story you want to tell.  There is also the comprehension factor, wherein your audience might not completely see all the implied or hidden things where the words don't say what you want to share.  I have found this particularly difficult in a first person story wherein the "author" doesn't exactly know what is going on, like say in Wracked.  Things left unsaid, or tiny problems of continuity that the main character misses don't always speak to the audience.  Sometimes people just get confused.  Whereas when I read it - I know exactly what Wrack is missing or trying to say.  So it isn't easy.

 

Ultimately, my big problem with revisions isn't the making changes part, or the add things to clarify part, or even the this is too much part.  My problem with revisions is the waiting.  I am an impatient person when it involves the things that I am working on.  I want to do them well from the get go and share them or even move onto the next project.  It's the doing that I enjoy, not the waiting.  Perhaps, I just need to learn to be more patient if I want things to be the best that they can be.

 

Ok, so...  Today my intention is to work more on the secret Short Stories that are a tiny thread in the Saga of Ukumog.  I want to finish these up and share them with everyone (again with the impatience).  When I left off, I was about a quarter of the way through the overall story.  My goal is to quickly finish the first half, because the story will be told in two parts, then perhaps work a little more on Book 3.  I just can't seem to stay away from Wrack, Brin, and Avar.

 

Between you and me, I am aching to work on Book 3.  Like you, I can't wait to see what happens next.

First Proofread

Louis Puster

So far I have done my first real proofread through chapter 5 of book 2.  It is interesting how many little mistakes one can make as your fingers furiously try to pound out all the words that come flowing through your mind.  Telling a story is hard sometimes.  

When I am writing, one of the things that I worry about is the pacing of a scene.  I very much want the story of Wrack to feel like you are watching a movie and so the pace is very quick.  I certainly do not spend pages and pages of the reader's time describing things, because the timing doesn't feel right.  Also, writing from the character's perspective is sometimes tricky.  How many things go by in our lives that we misconstrue or completely glance over?  That somewhat imperfect narration is important for me to get correct.

 

I have seen other writers, big writers, say that you should keep your words away from other people until they are perfect.  I don't want perfect - I want perfectly flawed.  It is more important to me that the feeling, the message, of the work be delivered to the audience than that all of the facts are straight.  People sometimes miss the facts, and so too then does a character writing down the broken memories of a mysterious life.  I like Wrack's imperfection.  It makes him real for me.

Music of the Soul

Louis Puster

I am not a musician.  When I was young my parents tried to get me into music by letting me experiment with different instruments.  My natural impatience always got the best of me though, because I wouldn't improve fast enough for my overactive personality.  I have, however, always had a bit of music in my soul.  There are a few nameless tunes which I think are my own that seem to arise within me during certain states of mind and such.  I hear them drumming in my head, and feel the pulse of the strings in my heart.  It can be very powerful, especially when the outside world is quiet.  

It is hard for me to write without music.  Most often when I am writing I have my headphones on and the volume cranked.  Sometimes I even dance and sing a little while at the keyboard, and I am grateful that there is no video of any of that.  Tonight, this musing on music has made me wonder about the characters in my series.  My mind turns to try and listen to the music that runs through their souls.  What is it that Brin hears when there is no sound but he crisp flames of a campfire against the cold air of the Spikelands?  Does Wrack hear violins, or is it wind instruments that compliment the flow of his heart?  And more than anything, what music does the audience hear when they read the words that tells the story of Ukumog?

 

When writing Wracked She Wants Revenge drove the pistons in my fingers.  The second book found me listening more to the likes of Daft Punk in the beginning and then as I came to the end it switched to listening to Adele.  I love how someone else's expression, even if it is focused on a completely different subject, can fuel another person's creativity.  In the absence of the greek gods of old, have our own artistic expressions become the modern Muse?