Writer of Horror Fiction

Posts tagged “editing

My article over at Indie Inside has gone live!

I’d mentioned that I’d written a brief article for Pat Douglas, a fellow author, over on his website, http://indie-inside.com.  It has gone live now, and I hope you’ll click on the full link and head on over there: http://indie-inside.com/the-joys-of-the-other-stuff-guest-blog-w-patrick-dorazio/.  For anyone who has become a writer and believes that when they get published that they can just sit back and bask in the glory of being famous, this article is for you.  It’s also for anyone else who ever wonders how you can get the word out on a writing project.  Whether you self-publish, get with a smaller publisher, or manage to swing for the fences and get with one of the big publishers out of New York, much of the promotional work responsibility is in your own hands.  There is tons you can do to help promote your stuff, and my article goes over just a small smidgen of that.  So pleased check it out…it might make you cringe, but perhaps it will bring a smile to your face…because I tried to be funny (just a little bit-probably failed, but give me a B for effort).

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A cool website to check out.

Just a quick note here on a website a friend and fellow author, Pat Douglas, has put together.  He gets a lot of traffic there because he puts up interesting articles and all kinds of cool stuff, along with promoting his own writing, naturally.  An article I wrote will be appearing there tomorrow, and I hope any new or aspiring writers find it interesting.  Just a few thoughts on the writing world in general and promotion in particular.  You can check out articles from plenty of different folks in the writing world there.  Just hit the link and mark it as one of your favorites: http://indie-inside.com/


Review of Kody Boye’s “Sunrise”

Back in October of ’09, I wrote a review of Kody Boye’s Sunrise.  Kody, who was under the age of eighteen when he wrote his book of the zombie apocalypse, clearly had talent, but his story was somewhat raw, which was something I expected from such a young man still learning his way in the world.

At that time, I stated that the criticism I would have of the story would go hand in hand with what I find appealing about his writing style: his youthful idealism and exuberance.  He wrote of romance in the time of the world ending with a great deal of zeal and perhaps with what some might call immaturity, although when seen through the perspective of someone who was not yet an adult, the perceptions he had should be understandable.

Kody Boye has changed since then.  Now, as an adult, he has taken the time to revisit his first novel and revise it in ways that are more in keeping with his increase in adult experiences and relationships.  In its earlier version, I would have been very comfortable stating that the story was all about gay characters and their experiences during the zombie apocalypse.  Now, with the revisions that Kody has made, I would say that this story is about the experiences a group of people have during the zombie apocalypse.  Some of the characters are gay, and it remains a theme in this book, but while it remains a key part of Dakota and Jamie’s experiences and their existence as main characters, it doesn’t detract from a story of the apocalypse, of human relationships, and how people manage to not only survive, but to thrive during times of great peril and tragedy.

Essentially, this story starts out with Dakota, a boy who has just turned eighteen, hiding out with his friend Steve, an Iraqi war veteran, in Steve’s apartment in the weeks following the start of the zombie apocalypse.  With their supplies running out, they are forced to find a way out of their town with hopes of finding a safe haven.  They end up at a modified apartment complex with several members of the military and several civilians there, including Jamie, a corporal who forms an almost immediate bond with Dakota.

Several key characters are introduced and developed within the pages of this book, and much is revealed about them as they fight and struggle to survive the undead…and the unique, intriguing new creatures that appear later in the book that may or may not be a new hybrid creation.

Kody’s writing has matured, and while some of his youthful abandon and exuberance has perhaps disappeared on these pages, it has been replaced by a sure hand that understands more about how adult relationships work, grow, and evolve.  No, how some of them evolve is perhaps not perfect, but nothing ever is.  Some of the imagery Kody creates seems a bit extravagant here and there, though he does paint a vivid picture that allows you to feel that you are a part of the landscape he is creating.

Sunrise is a tale of the apocalypse, of relationships, and of the struggles we all face to find love, understanding, and a place to call home in a world filled with death and destruction.  Kody Boye has matured as a writer and is someone to keep an eye on.  I see great things in his future.

Sunrise  can be found here:  http://www.amazon.com/Sunrise-Kody-Boye/dp/1468149652/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326921549&sr=8-1&tag=vig-20


My interview with Hydra Publications

Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Frank Hall, a good friend of mine who runs Hydra Publications, a small press from Indiana that focuses on speculative fiction.  I did an interview with him, which was a lot of fun, and we chatted about my projects, past, present, and future.

It was a lot of fun, and it is posted over at their website.  You can check it out here:  http://www.hydrapublications.com/2011/12/26/interview-with-patrick-dorazio/


The Dark Trilogy is now on Kindle!

Just a brief while after it hit smashwords, my trilogy is now on the kindle!  I am pretty thrilled about this one because it is FINALLY on the kindle, without the errors that the faced the original release of Comes The Dark that led to my publisher and I agreeing not to do any more kindle releases until the entire trilogy was ready to go.  And now, it is ready to go!

Here is the description:

Patrick D’Orazio’s Dark Zombie Trilogy (Comes The Dark, Into The Dark, and Beyond The Dark), was originally released on the Kindle in an unedited form under the first book’s title, Comes The Dark. It is being re-released with the entire trilogy as it was meant to be read: edited and expanded, with additional chapters not appearing in the original Kindle version, along with the Dark Stories that have appeared in the author’s blog that provide a full fourth book of additional stories about many of the secondary characters appearing in the trilogy, including Megan, George, Jason, Michael, and Ben. The Dark Trilogy, Revised, Expanded, and with Additional Stories is over 250,000 words of an intense saga of the zombie apocalypse.
The end came with a whimper, not a bang. The mysterious virus came out of nowhere and engulfed the world in a matter of days. Everyone who was infected seemed to die…and rise again. Governments collapsed, armies disappeared, and entire civilizations turned to dust as the human race tore itself to pieces. Jeff Blaine had a good life: a beautiful wife, adorable children, and a nice house in the suburbs. He liked his job, loved his family, and spent his lazy suburban Sundays out on the deck, barbecuing with the neighbors. Things were perfect until everything fell apart. And no matter how hard Jeff tried, he could not spare his family from the horrors scratching at the door. Now, with his family gone, his life in ruins, the only thing left is raw anger and pain. As the world continues to sink into darkness, Jeff does as well. So he ventures out into the desolation with no better plan than to destroy as many of the monsters that stole his life away before they destroy him as well. But soon Jeff will discover other survivors unwilling to give up. They will force him to decide whether or not to give in to the venom that gnaws at his soul. Should he continue to fight to survive, or succumb to the things in the darkness?

Just click on the picture below and it will send you on over to Amazon so you can pick up a copy:


It slithers towards the light, from Beyond The Darkness…it is almost here!

Well folks, the short delay on Beyond The Dark is almost at an end, with the formatting being completed tonight on the book, there is very little else to do but to put the cover and back cover together and wrap it around a proof, make sure it looks like it should, and then get it out there!

In addition to the final book of my trilogy being released very soon, the Kindle and other ebook form of the entire trilogy will also be released.  It will be entitled The Dark Trilogy: Revised, Expanded, and with Additional Stories.  I know it is a mouthful, but just call it The Dark Trilogy, for short, heh.  My publisher and I have discussed price points for this electronic release and agreed upon $4.99, which will be for over 250,000 words, including the three books plus every last story that appears in the Dark Stories page of this blog…and another little one that doesn’t appear here as well.  250,000 words is a hefty sum, so that price should be a pretty decent one for the zombie fans out there who have e-readers.

I would say that Beyond The Dark should be ready for createspace within the next couple of weeks (and I think perhaps sooner), and then amazon maybe a week or so later.  The kindle version should also be available very soon.

For any of you good folks reading this who haven’t checked out any of my trilogy, check out the first three chapters of Comes The Dark, which I have moved to its own separate page for easy access.  It will give you a taste before you buy.  And then, feel free to hit up my bio page and you can click on the links showing both Comes The Dark and Into The Dark, with Beyond The Dark to soon be joining them.

For now, here are copies of the front cover of Beyond The Dark and a rough up of the back cover as well.  Stay tuned, more will be coming soon as the release happens!


Some updates on the trilogy, meandering thoughts and whatnot

It’s been a while since I posted just some random thoughts, or even some updates on my experiences in writing.  Most of my blog posts have been book reviews and updates on stuff being released, Dark Stories, etc.  So I thought I would post some comments based on how things are looking these days.  It’s been around six months now since Comes The Dark came out, and this whole process of writing, promoting, editing, and all that wonderful stuff has changed for me since the book’s release.  It used to be that I was always preparing for something to happen, and it seemed like a distant dream.  For several years, when I meandered down the path of writing the manuscript that became my trilogy, it almost seemed theoretical that it would ever be published and that this whole effort was being done for nothing more than a “see, I told you I could do it!” perspective.  But then it became real, and the first book was released.

Things went great with that, and have been great, no doubt about it.  Sure, there have been a few negative reviews, which are almost like a badge of honor for a writer.  Having someone tell you that you suck and please stop writing is sort of a tough one to handle at first blush, but you can either ignore it, or try to extract something from that which motivates you to do better.  You can’t respond in kind, by lashing out, because it does no one any good, especially me.  Even trying to explain why you did something in your book that someone really didn’t like is pointless, because the inevitable truth that you have to embrace as a writer (especially of genre stuff, and in particular, sub-genre stuff as this zombie stuff has been called) is that there will always be people for who your work does not resonate, and in fact, they do truly hate it, because something you said, did, or didn’t do really rubs them the wrong way.  And if you try to absorb all that criticism and validate it in your mind, it will drive you crazy.  You will have one person who sights that you poured on the emotions far too heavily in one scene, and then someone else will come along and point out that your characters seemed emotionally withdrawn in that exact same scene.  I would never say that you can’t extract something out of the critiques you get, but you have to be true to yourself in the end, and let the chips fall where they may.  And trying to get everyone to like your stuff is a tough way to go through life, and there will be a LOT of disappointments along the way.  I want people to enjoy my work…otherwise, I wouldn’t have tried to get any of it published.  But knowing that you have done your best, no matter what, has to stand for something.

I will be the first one to admit that I have a lot to learn about writing, and a lot to learn about the editing process.  I know that there is always room for improvement, but at the same time, sooner or later, you have to step back and tell yourself that all that can be done has been done.  I’m not sure when that point is, but I think sooner or later I will find it.  It probably has something to do with being a bit OCD now and then, and not having the ability to walk away from a story and just leave it be, knowing that I’ve done all I can with it.

With all that said, I am taking another swipe at having some edits done to my trilogy.  The third book, Beyond The Dark, is complete and I am satisfied that it is the best it can be, with no further tampering from me.  I have had several edits done to it, and I know well enough to leave it be after that, because better editing minds than mine have worked it over and slapped it on the grill.  If it keeps cooking it will be overcooked and no one wants that.  But in conjunction with the edits being completed on that book, I have had an editor have another go at Comes The Dark and Into The Dark, and those edits will be implemented with the paperback and electronic versions of the book that are sold after the release of Beyond The Dark.   In fact, there will be several releases in March  for the grand finale of the trilogy.  Here they are, briefly:

Beyond The Dark is being released as a paperback and on Smashwords, naturally.  The edits, as I mentioned, are complete, and I am very happy with them.  I honestly think that this is the most compelling of the three books, for many reasons I won’t divulge here.

Future versions of the paperback and smashwords versions of Comes The Dark and Into The Dark will be the revised versions, though we won’t be advertising that.  The new copies sold will just have some new editing touches that won’t change anything with the stories, but will do a bit to get rid of some of the typos and grammatical errors that were in the original releases.

The Dark Trilogy, Revised, Expanded, and with Additional Stories will be released for both the Kindle and smashwords.  As I mention here: https://patrickdorazio.com/2010/11/22/announcement-about-the-kindle-version-of-comes-the-dark/, there was a snafu with the kindle release of Comes The Dark.  It was the raw, unedited version of the entire manuscript for the trilogy.  We pulled that version off the market, but not before a substantial number had been sold, and as you can guess, many of those kindle readers assumed that Into The Dark would end up being an entirely new story, not one that had appeared already in the version they had (mind you, there were some new chapters added and it was edited, which the raw manuscript was not), so we did not release Into The Dark on the kindle, nor are we releasing Beyond The Dark as a stand alone on the kindle either. Instead, we are releasing, as the title describes it, the entire trilogy, plus all the stories that appear here, on my blog, under the page heading “Dark Stories”.  It will be around 250,000 words and include a lot of stuff that didn’t show up in that raw and unedited kindle version that went out.

 

Maybe that will allow my OCD to relinquish control of me and let this trilogy rest for a bit after all that is said and done in March.  And that is the key, I think.  I need to focus 100% of my efforts on new stuff, and not on revising, editing, messing with, or otherwise tweaking stuff I have already done.  Granted, I have written my fair share of short stories and have outlined and even started writing new novels over the past few months, but the focus has been splintered with a LOT of it devoted to the trilogy.  I will continue to promote the Dark trilogy via the net and in other places, but it has been crazy for the past year, with so much effort put into something I had already written, and re-written, several times.  But that is what it takes to get a novel out there, and ready to go for public consumption.  I will even mention that another publisher came along and chatted about buying the rights to the trilogy and doing a re-release, which was very flattering, but a very daunting prospect.  The idea of once again diving into this trilogy of books, which has consumed so much of my time, effort, and energy over the past few years, was terrifying.  I just couldn’t do that.  I love these books-they will always hold a special place in my heart, and I love talking about them, promoting them, and doing whatever is needed to make them appear more polished and professional, etc.  but as far as writing, editing, etc…that all needs to be in the rear view mirror for me.  I need to focus on other projects and throw myself into them like I did this one.

With that in mind, I though I might give some vague ideas of what the future holds.  Because regardless of the guy on Amazon who pleaded with me to stop writing, I plan on doing some more…and I hope to get better at it-perhaps enough, someday, that he might change his mind, or might be able to brag to his friends that his comments were the ones that motivated me to get better and I actually did!  I guess there are crazier dreams out there.

I will finish off the Dark Stories.  I still have a handful of these stories to offer up to you, and I intend on finishing them before the release of Beyond The Dark.

There are about 15 submission calls for short stories that I would love to tackle.  Realistically, I will probably go after no more than 5-10 of them, but I will give it my best shot.  Another stab at keeping my writing diverse and not just tackling zombies, but other horror stories, sci fi, fantasy, and other genres as well.

I have two novels outlined, and I will admit that one is a fourth book in the same universe that the Dark Trilogy takes place in.  In all, the plan would be for five books total, with the fifth book being the final chapter in the tale.  The other novel is another horror tale that includes both our dear friends, the zombies, as well as their arch nemesis (well, at least I think so), the vampires.  And no, neither side are made to look like the good guys.  This one will hopefully be a very dark, very grim tale.

I have at least two or three other novels floating around in my head, including an overhaul of a book I wrote back in college.  High fantasy, as it was originally written.  Granted, the book was bad, really, really, bad.  But my new slant would be to do an overhaul with a few winks, a nudge here and there, and not try to take it so seriously.  Would it be outright comedy?  That remains to be seen, but I think I would like to take a swipe at doing my best to overhaul this sucker.  Another would be a YA adventure story, which is one that got into my head over the past few months and I really want to run with it.  It would be something very personal because of the elements of the story and the main characters, but unfortunately, I really don’t want to divulge much else because again, I haven’t done much with it yet.  But one of my longterm goals is to write YA fiction, and this would be my first step into that arena, perhaps beyond a few short stories I plan on doing before the novel would get done.  The final book floating around in my mind, and that I have created a description that would fit nicely on the back cover of the book, would be a futuristic novel.  It would actually have noir elements, would be at its heart a mystery, and takes place a decade after the zombie apocalypse has come and went-the humans won, and the zombies were wiped out…but someone out there knows the secret to creating zombies, and wants to bring them back…the main character’s job would be to stop them, and discover why they want to do such a crazy thing.

Again, this is all just ideas floating around in my head.  It is always fun to come up with ideas that you believe can be turned into novels, and then doing your best to putting them down on paper and get rolling with them.  They don’t always continue to speak to you after you start the writing process, and you realize that a good idea was actually only that-an idea.  But the ideas can morph and change into something completely different, which is also part of the fun.  You have the opportunity to change a story mid-stride and make it into something you never expected, but really gives you the juice to go the distance with it.

I guess that is it for now.  Sorry for the long explanation of things, but a lot on my mind lately, and a lot of things going on.  And for better or worse, I wanted to share it all with you. 😉