The Amazon Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 50 copies of the Bosworth Kindle Edition ends May 22
AMAZON is running a giveaway sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 50 copies of the kindle edition I am making available.
For details, click on this link:
Bosworth is a Coming of Age Paranormal Drama written for a young adult and older audience. The story is set in the fictional town of Bosworth in Orange County NY.
Jim and his imaginary friend, Bo the dog, have recently moved to Bosworth after his father was killed in an automobile accident. He’s still recovering from his own injuries and dealing with the psychological issues that plagued him as a young child. He soon learns that the town has a history of having children disappear, usually in the fall, and he has to struggle with a sense of isolation in the town while he deals with the loss of his father, and the town’s terror of the “Bosworth Monster”.
The contest will run from May 5 to May 22 and AMAZON will choose the winners from among the entrants when the sweepstakes is over.
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.
The fictional town of Bosworth is located in Orange County New York. Many people commute to nearby communities, or even the 2-hour trip to the City. It’s a small community of seven thousand people, near to the recreational areas along the Delaware River. The population in Bosworth increases dramatically during the summer months. Every fall people unconsciously hold their collective breaths.
Jim and his mom recently moved into town, after Jim’s 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. A long-time imaginary childhood companion, Bo the beagle, returned during his long stay in the hospital—a fact his mother accepts but wants to change. 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. They don’t speak about it, but Jim and his friends will learn that they can’t avoid it.
Bosworth is currently undergoing post alpha-read edits, and is expected to come out sometime early next year.
From November 11 though November 15 the kindle edition of THE BALANCE will be priced as “free” on AMAZON.
THE BALANCE is the first installment of a 3-part story set in The Land—the only surviving area of Earth after a global thermonuclear war. Prior to the destruction, almost 200 years before, two factions attempted to prepare for the war.
One faction, The Council of God, stored quantities of food and seeds. They wanted to leave behind modern technology, whic they blamed for the war and to form a faith-based culture.
The Order created living time capsules to protect the advancements that humans had achieved, along with scientists and educators, so that humans wouldn’t have to start all over again.
These two factions emerged after the destruction and were forced to create an agreement to co-exist—called The Balance—but eventually the Council drove the Order into exile.
Th story of The Balance begins in New Bright Sea Harbor, where Phoebe, a genetically engineered daughter of an important lost Order member, struggles to hide who she is. Abandoned by the Order, she lives with her adopted father, Daniel. She’s managed to reach the age of seventeen. The exiled members of the Order realize she’s still alive and they want to protect her before the Council discovers her existence. They see Phoebe as a potential path to re-establishing the agreement and returning to the Land.
The second part of the story, subtitled “The Wastelands and the Wilderness”, is planned for release in late 2017 or early 2018.
Pick up a copy on Amazon between Nov 11 and Nov 15
I’m creating this post to set up a discussion of the book IAM, and I will answer questions that are not inappropriate.
WARNING THIS TOPIC WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK “I AM”
I AM is a realistic science fiction book—realistic meaning that the hard science in the book is valid, even if there are purely speculative elements. For example: The laws of physics are obeyed, however, there may be certain forces or characters that do not necessarily conform.
I AM shares a major theme of human evolution with the book “2001 A Space Odyssey” by Arthur Clarke.
Often times, I’ve read or seen fiction that takes all of the guesswork out of a story or theme, or a character. These are the books written in such a way as to force you to feel only one set of emotions, or to completely characterize a novel or movie.
If I were an actor, I’d hate to play a part where the writer has dictated exactly how I need to interpret a character, and in much the same way feel the reader is a contributor to a story—the character is drawn out, I have my own vision of what a character feels, but I do not want to impose only one way to feel under every situation. This is he difference between leading a reader,or a viewer, along a path and dictating every step.
I feel that the telling of a story should allow the reader a little wiggle room as to precisely what a character is feeling and thinking. Without this you aren’t left with the ability to make some of your own choices. In the same way, I tend to replace what is written inn books I read with my own dialog or interpretation, while staying within the bounds of the character’s core being. This leaves some readers wondering why the book isn’t written the way they’d like—telling them absolutely everything—but I think it gives more credi to the reader, as I like to be given credit when I read. I am a part of the story’s interpretation, just as the writer is, or the actor is.
Meanwhile, a book or film THEME is something only the author creates. However, these themes are often overlooked.
Once again I am in Italy—Rome and heading for Matera on Monday.
I traveled on Oct. 11and return to the US in mid-November.
I’m currently prepping a Beta version of BOSWORTH—a Coming of Age paranormal / psychological thriller. I’d planned to put a draft out to my beta readers already, but am having jet lag issues.
Rome is one of the locations where the main charcetr in DISOBEDIENCE lived—that is a supernatural thriller I plan for 2018 or 2019. Previously I was here researching the period from 1880 to 1920, although this trip will reprise some of that I’m also setting up another research trip to Provence, France for next year, where the character lived from 1920 till the beginning of WW-2.
I did an e-book giveaway for I AM in September, which resulted in almost 12000 downloads, and I plan a giveaway for another book in November.
I just saw the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, and it was a horrible romance. I mean there was no sex in it at all, therefore I’m giving it one star.
I just read “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and there was hardly ANY action in it. It was boring, a horrible action book—I’m giving it one star, even though I didn’t actually get past the first few chapters.
These may not sound familiar, but if you browse through reviews of different books, and I do now and then, many of the low ratings come from perspectives like these. Someone is expecting to read a particular kind of book and they’re disappointed when it doesn’t match their preconceptions, or they expect EVERY book to be the kind of book they like. The truth is that there are many kinds of films and novels, and each one is trying to accomplish something. Maybe it’s entertainment through pure action, or maybe it’s trying to make the reader think.
It’s useful to actually read the book description and , if possible, sample text from the book. Books fall into different genre, from romance to scifi to drama to mystery and so forth, and within each of these there is still a spectrum of sub-genres and types. Insisting that one flavor (lots of action and shooting or lots of gratuitous sex) be imposed on every book read leads to a kind of flatness. My suggestion: find out what kind of (flavor) book it is before reading it (as much as is practical), then try reading the ones that past this muster. if it’s not your cup of tea then stop reading it, but if you don’t actually read a book all the way through then don’t rate it. Other people may be look precisely for the kind of book you don’t like. That’s one of my own criteria. I will not rate a book I didn’t finish, and I won’t rate books based on my preconception of what the book was. I evaluate books based on what that book’s mission was and on whether or not it fulfilled the author’s clear intent. Of course I do have objective criteria as well: Did the plot make sense—was it self consistent? Were the sympathetic characters sympathetic and compelling (and did I think about the characters after I’d finished reading)? Did the dialog flow well, or was it stilted? Did I learn anything reading this book—did it make me think (if it was intended to make me think)?
Rating a book is more complex than “was it what I wanted to read?”
What are your thoughts on reviewing books?
I have set up a 5-day period where the Kindle edition of the Science Fiction (#scifi)book, I AM, will be offered for free.
An annual plant is a plant that grows and lives for a year or so and then dies. A perennial will live for two years, or longer, maybe indefinitely. For me, this same description can apply to books as well. There are books I find that are good to read, but I really only want to read them once and when I’m done, I will probably not think about them again. They don’t become a regular part of my thinking, or my life. Then there are books that stay with you—where the characters take up permanent residence in your mind and you’ll see parallels in the world that remind you of that book—those characters—those situations. These are the books I like the best, because the characters are not only sympathetic (or antithetic), they are relatable; you understand their thinking and, while reading, they are a part of you. That doesn’t mean I don’t like ‘annual books’, too—I do. But they come and go and when I’m done, they’re mostly gone. Some excellent books fall into this category, too. I could name some, but then the classification of annual versus perennial book is a subjective thing, although (I think) many can agree on certain perennial books. Books like, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, or “The Godfather”. The characters in these books are as real as the people around you—and they last; the themes and heart of the story make them timeless books.
Even though I use multiple editors, my own eyes, and a proof reader, errors inevitably remain in books. This is because after reading something so many times one stops seeing the errors—our brains automatically fix things without us being aware of it. I’ve never actually seen a “perfect” book, but we should all strive to do the best we can within reason. I intend to collect errors in the book I AM, normally typos or a missing word. As I go through the book, or as people email me errors they find in the book, I’ll post them here. After a while, when I think I’ve found as many as I can, I intend to “fix” them.
I keep a paperback edition of each book near a chair in my office and that’s the copy I use to find errors. I use a highlighter pen to mark them. Feel free to post errata you find in the comments section below, or email me using the link on the web site.
I’ll collect errata sent in that are not on the list below and add them to the list. When my next book, BOSWORTH, comes out I’ll send a signed paperback edition copy to up to five of the people who’ve submitted a valid error not already listed. This quasi-contest will end when I release BOSWORTH, at which time I’ll start a new search competition for that book.
Page 98, last paragraph, 5th line from bottom: “no matter much” should read “no matter how much”
Page 138, 5th line from bottom: “An extension event” should read “An extinction event” (this was a spellchecker error)
Page 198, middle of page: “Not hard to see now, isn’t it?” should read “Not hard to see now, is it?”
A look into the future where Earth is ruled by a benign alien race living in ships orbiting the Earth. Look up from virtually any place and you can see their ships.
But why did they come? They aren’t slave masters and don’t seem to need anything from us?
Childhood’s End is an engrossing look at a what if scenario. We move from character to character through the book, and forward in time. The characters are “real-ish”, if a bit stereotyped, and a bit dated, having been published in 1953. Clarke is more focused on plot than on building complex characters. This plot is interesting and I have read the book at least twice over the many years I’ve owned a copy, but Clarke’s real, hidden, focus is on something else I won’t spoil for you, but which falls into the message category.
Still, I liked the book and if plots and themes are what drives you forward, this book’s for you. If you’re looking for complex relationships and sympathetic characters you won’t be drawn in, nether will it appeal to you if you want to see a lot of action and violence. It does offer a philosophical look forward at humanity that is unique in some respect, and consistent with another famous book of his 2001 A Space Odyssey.
I marked it with 3 stars when I originally rated it, mostly because I like more character depth, but it is a good read nonetheless, and (from me) 3 stars is not always a bad rating.