Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
I write a lot. If you keep up with my monthly count posts (the only thing I seem to do consistently over here) you’ll have noticed that I’m averaging about 75,000-words a month so far this year. It’s just what I do.
But in 2015, I was almost forced to quit.
I didn’t run out of ideas.
I didn’t have a drastic change in my schedule.
I didn’t get frustrated and decide to throw in the towel….
I had two grand mal seizures.
But the seizures weren’t actually the problem. If you’ve ever looked in to anticonvulsants, you’ll have seen they have an AMAZING list of unfortunate side effects. The one I’m on presently had the potential of an allergic reaction that might have made all my skin fall off and, you know... killed me.
My first medication was the problem.
So there’s a fun little drug called Keppra. It’s apparently the oldest anticonvulsant medication on the market. It’s had the most testing. It’s what the emergency room will hand you if you show up after a seizure. It also made me functionally schizophrenic.
It’s really hard to deal with fictional universe when you’re not 100% certain if the one you thought was real actually is.
But I fought through it. 2015 was my worst writing year. Then I got a decent doctor, I got on meds that didn’t play mad-scientist with my brain chemistry, and here we are.
So I picked up a copy of Jason M. Hough’s newest book at Phoenix Comicon a few days before it’s release. It’s the first in his Beyond Dire Earth duology and it is a fantastically fun read. I knew it’d be great, so I bought two! One for me, and one for you.
I meant to put this giveaway up last week… on the book’s release date, but the week after PHXCC is always a bit of a blur and before I knew it, Friday was here and gone. So here it is, a week after release, your chance to snag a signed copy of INJECTION BURN.
So what is this awesome book about?
Skyler Luiken and his ragtag crew of scavengers, scientists, and brawlers have a new mission: a long journey to a distant planet where a race of benevolent aliens are held captive behind a cloud of destructive ships known as the Swarm Blockade. No human ships have ever made it past this impenetrable wall, and Skyler knows not what to anticipate when they reach their destination.
Safe to say that the last thing he expects to find there is a second human ship led by the tough-as-nails captain, Gloria Tsandi. These two crews—and their respective captains—initially clash, but they will have to learn to work together when their mutual foe closes in around them and begins the outright destruction of their vessels—along with any hope of a return to Earth.
Sure, but how do I get my mitts on it?
All you have to do to enter to win is comment below and answer this question:
If you wound up on a “ragtag crew of scavengers, scientists, and brawlers” what would your position be? Are you a control freak captain? A hide in the shadows tech, looking to do her job and be ignored? Or are you the one skulking about on sleep-shift sabotaging the ship for a corporate pay-out?
How will I know if I win?
Check back next Tuesday (6/13/2017). I’ll pick the winner from the comments using a random number generator and I’ll let you know about it here and we’ll work out the shipping details via email. If you don’t come back (and I don’t have any other means of tracking you down) I’ll have to spin the wheel again and pick a new winner.
If you want to be certain I can get ahold of you, include your twitter or instagram handle (and make sure I know which one it is) at the end of your comment. I don’t suggest putting your email in there.
If you don’t care about signed books, and want to grab a copy of your own:
A while back, I picked up the latest book from an author who's back catalog had been enjoyable. There were stories I loved and stories that shot for the moon and just barely missed, spiraling off into space where the good and the bad got lost in a mishmash of familiar.
But that latest book...
As an author, every book is a promise. You make that promise with your blurb, your first page... sometimes with your name. In this case, the promise started with genre and name and even though the blurb had me reaching for the book with trepidation, the rest of the series had been SO. DANG. GOOD.
Established authors give an expectation simply by dint of being the one who wrote the book.
This book did not fulfill the promise set out by the author.
Reader, I was disappointed... and then, I was offended.
The content itself was not something that would offend anyone. It was the laziness the book was written with. It felt like a throw away. Like a collection of words smashed together with only the intent of fulfilling a contract.
I know this author can write beautiful books. I have fallen in love with their characters. But this book was sloppy. Characters never became likable. Characters suddenly did things that made no sense for the people they'd been set up as. The reversal felt too shallow and was repetitive of the recurring plot problems in the beginning. The resolution resolved next to nothing.
In short this book lacked believability. There was nothing to grab on to. No door to float on as the ship sank.
By the end of the book, I was so offended--I'd held out that entire time because I just knew this author would manage to pull it off, and then she didn't--that I returned the book.
That's not something I do. If I get five pages past the sample and realize I've made a mistake, sure. But I don't return books I've read all the way through. This one though... I was that offended.
My disappointment festered for a week and I sat down to write the first version of this post, thinking I'd sorted through my thoughts. I was still mad.
More importantly, I no longer trusted that author.
That lack of trust translated to my venturing to Amazon where I cancelled a preorder of a new book. I haven't bought one of her books since. Because I don't trust that the new ones will fulfill the promise.
The book that so offended me was from a series that was delightful otherwise. I don't imagine she would have half-assed the first book in that new series... but maybe.
Maybe she'd become complacent. Under delivering on a 3rd book seems safe enough. A readership from the first two is likely to continue on to the third and a readership after a few series is likely to give an author leeway. In theory, this first book in something new should be crafted in a way to draw in virgin readers... but I don't trust that anymore.