I received an email letting me know that I AM is a finalist for book of the year in the science fiction category.
The Kindle and paperback editions should be available on Amazon soon, perhaps as early as this Saturday—March 18
From the back cover of BOSWORTH:
Jim and his mom moved into town and away from the city after his father was killed in an automobile accident. He struggles to deal with the loss of his dad and is still recovering from his own injuries. Bo the beagle, a long-time imaginary childhood companion, returned to Jim during his stay in the hospital—a fact his mother reluctantly accepts. Bosworth is an old town filled with Victorian era homes, but there’s more in store for him than just old houses and imaginary friends. A dark, hidden fear has been with the town for longer than most can remember.
People don’t speak about it, but Jim and his friends will soon learn that they can’t avoid it.
Bosworth is a coming of age story, a dark paranormal drama set in the small fictional town of Bosworth, in Orange County New York. The story takes place between Sept and Nov 2015.
This book is not recommended for people under the age of 15.
Bosworth is the fourth novel written by Michael Selden. His first npvel, a middle grade parable, called “The Boy Who Ran”, won the 2014 IPPY Gold Medal for juvenile fiction. His second novel, “The Balance”, was a story set in a dystopian post-apacalyptic future, and his third novel a science fiction story, called “I AM”, which revolves around a dark comet on a collision course with the Earth.
Michael worked as a research physicist and program manager for almost thirty years before he moved to a small mountain town in Colorado to write novels.
His planned fifth book will be a continuation of the story started in “The Balance”, with the subtitle: “The Wastelands and the Wilderness”. It is planned to be ready fror release sometime in 2018.
Excerpts form all of Michael’s books can be found on his web site:
For those contemplating retirement with some trepidation:
There is work and there is life and as long as your work isn’t work, then it’s life, but when it stops being that way, then it’s time for a change. You have only yourself to blame for staying in a situation where you’re unhappy. For myself, I had several lifetimes doing different things squeezed into the years, so change wasn’t daunting for me, it was a familiar friend. Retirement from what you used to do isn’t the end of work, it’s the beginning of another stage of life and work, one where you choose what to do and toil only for yourself.
I remember sending an email to some of my long-time colleagues the day I decided NOT to take another job at my company (although I had offers), and not to seriously consider that job in California, and not to agree to work on the NASA project, or any other job.
The email expressed how I felt and was drawn from memory, from the books collectively called “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever”. In that series, there were people who’d trained and worked to become a part of the leadership, a nobel undertaking, but who instead took a decision to break off and push forward in a different, unique direction, unconcerned about the normal ambitions most people pursue. They were called the “unfettered ones”. These free spirits released from service went off on their own to study, often narrow and arcane subjects, and they worked even harder than those who served, because this was their passion. There was a ceremony, called the ‘rite of unfettering’, and that rite was stuck in my head:
Rite of Unfettering (quoted from the books):
Dream that what is dreamed will be:
Old eyes clasped shut until they see,
And sing the silent prophecy –
And be –
(From the books by Stephen R. Donaldson)
I would hazard to say that this attitude might serve well when it’s time to cast aside the mortal part of ourselves that we inhabited during our brief stay, too.
Bosworth is a Coming of Age Paranormal Drama set in Orange County NY in 2015
I’ve included a sample from the book on my web site, a PDF document that can be read here:
I hope you read the sample (Prologue and Chapter 1). Please let me know what you think.
Copyright, Michael Selden 2017
Draft Cover Reveal for the book BOSWORTH—my 4th book.
The book should be out in both paperback and Kindle editions by March 21. I’ll be posting a couple of sections from the book on my web site as the book is released.
While I’m waiting for the proof of BOSWORTH, I thought I’d start working on The Balance Part 2—The Wastelands and the Wilderness.
For those who haven’t read The Balance:
“The Land” escaped targeting during the war, and was protected from the worst of the destruction and much of the aftermath by the Western Mountains, a tall range of mountains that runs along the western border. Prior to the war, two organizations prepared for the war and positioned underground facilities in The Land, as well as other strategically selected places globally.
One of these was ‘The Council of God’, an ecumenical group formed by the different Christian faiths, which also welcomed Islamic and Jewish groups into its membership. Together the member of this organization was determined to save and many lives as possible and then to lead people to a lead them to a more faith-based society, rooted in an agrarian economy and which turned its back on most technologies.
The second organization was The Order, a group rooted in science and technology, and which had survived as a secret society for centuries. They were committed to creating human and technology time capsules globally, so that the survivors of the war wouldn’t have to start from scratch and could cut centuries from continuing the progress made before the war. But this group was also concerned about the spread of dangerous technologies and knowledge. They intended to provide education, the benefits of technology, but to closely hold core knowledge that might lead to the creation of more destructive weapons.
The Order had a second purpose, as well. They were intent on advancing human evolution, too, and wanted to control how that evolution proceeded. To that end they created the Future Man Project, a set of genetic engineering programs intent on improving empathy, foresight, and the health of humans. These were the Healer program, the Sensitives Program, and the Prescient Program. Each program sought out and amplified key characteristics of the people involved and developed. The intent was to push these characteristics as far as possible and then to fold them back into the general population through planned breeding. The programs were all started about 50 years before the war and by the time the story begins (200 years after the war) they’d created beings with abilities that seemed almost supernatural.
Following the war, the Council and the Order, realizing that they needed to work together to accomplish their missions, formed an agreement, called The Balance. It was a measure to retain control of technologies and dangerous knowledge while nurturing the faith based civilization and yet allowing The Order to provide access to technologies, including a monopoly on their control. In exchange, the Order agreed not to challenge the Council’s teachings and to assume a junior role in leadership.
Suspicion and acrimony grew in the relationship from time to time, but the two organizations managed to keep the agreement for around 170 years. At that point the secret of the Future Man Project came out and a natural catastrophe was used as an excuse to purge The Land of The Order and of technology in general. Order members, and particularly the products of the genetics programs were rounded up and executed. A few members escaped and some lived on in the Council-controlled society, hiding who they were. One of these was Phoebe, the main character in the first book The Balance. Phoebe was from the Sensitives Program and she managed to hide in plain sight, living in the port town of New Bright Sea Harbor.
Besides The Order, other people decided they didn’t want to live under the rule of The Council, and following The Purge, which drove the Order out, they escaped to the west, beyond the Western Mountains. People in the Land are told that the Wastelands are still hot with radiation and unlivable, but these escapees discovered that they could live there and formed villages and small towns along the coast of an inland sea. Far to the north, lay the Northern Wilderness, an area that had never been developed. Rugged and harsh, the Wilderness is also split by a chain of mountains and contains an active volcano that often produces fog-like conditions and makes portions of the north a dangerous place to visit.
Part 2 of The Balance continues to follow the machinations of The Council and The Order. The Council wants to stamp out any remaining members of The Order. Meanwhile, The Order has been trying to find a way to assume their role in society and to reestablish The Balance. The story begins in The Land, where the Council is trying to find and destroy the active Order Cell that has been operating in The Land since the Purge.
All characters and content copyrighted and registered through the US copyright office to Michael Selden
Map from the book:
After you’ve gone through editing, and you’re happy with your manuscript, it’s time to go to book design. This includes interior layout and font selection as well as cover design. To make it easier for me to get through the entire process, I chose to stick with a tried and true design house. I know the quality will be there and that the designer will work with me to help make the book as good as possible.
I’ve been using Belle Etoile Studio This is a two-person book organization, Michael Trudeau is an editor with experience in both non-fiction and fiction and Jamie Kerry, who works the design side of the house.
Michael supported me with The Boy Who Ran and Jamie has done the design work for all of my books.
While working with Jamie, I’ll usually also be working with a proof reading editor. The proof reader is a second layer of editing and he or she also looks for design errors. I like to do two rounds with the proof reader to minimize the number of errors, although I know all too well that perfection is virtually impossible.
The BOSWORTH Manuscript is back from editing, and the editorial suggestions have all been reviewed and adopted. The final script is just shy of 71 thousand words—it shed a couple thousand words in editing.
I’ll be reading through it one more time by myself, “listening” for awkward phrasing or cadence before I send it to the designer. Jamie will select a font for the print edition and layout the interior, making sure the words wrap well in my selected book size. I’ll be using an 8-inch by 5-inch format, perfect bound, with a gloss color cover. Meanwhile, I’ll put together the front matter and back matter pages—these are things like the title page, the copyright warnings, acknowledgements, and so forth.
Once that’s done, I’ll work with a second editor, acting as a proof reader, to look for residual errors in both typos and the print layout. As we do that Jamie will use the image I provide to make the cover design.
Should be out in March
Cover image by Paola Sbriccoli The image uses a combination of drawings and adapts and extends (through drawing) the photo of a beagle by Claude Valroff, openly shared for use and adaptation on Wikipedia. The photo was of a female dog, but I don’t think Bo (the dog in the book) minds so much. Bo was named after one of my mother’s dogs.
Bosworth is a Coming of Age Paranormal Drama.
The last group of chapters is with the editor, John Hudspith. I anticipate working through all of his suggestions this coming week—the first full week of February—and then I’ll take a last pass at the document before sending it to Jamie at Belle Etoile for design. Paola (the person who drew the cover image for The Boy Who Ran) is drawing the cover for this book, too. And Chip is lined up to do proofreading. He did the proof reading / final editing of The Balance, which had remarkably few remaining errors for a book its size.
Writing Bosworth has been a real pleasure, and I hope readers will like it, too.