adventures in dysthymia

Saturday, July 11, 2015

What, Another Novel?

I have been offline for a while, thanks to internet connection problems. And no, I couldn't get on with a mobile device — I have horrendously bad cell reception out in the sticks where I live and have trouble making calls, much less getting online.

In fact, that was part of the problem with getting my satellite internet connection sorted out. I could talk to the nice kids at support with no problem if I went a couple miles up the road, but I needed to be at home to try the remedies they suggested. Frustration as I kept losing my calls!

I actually found the problem myself, eventually, when I got tired of trying to talk to them. Bad coaxial cable leading from the dish into my house. I have my own cable hooked up at the moment, running in through a window. Will attempt to bring it through the wall when I get ambitious.

So what did I do with myself while I could not get online? I sat down and wrote the 'serious' more-or-less mainstream novel I have had planned for some time. Almost 68,000 words, titled “Shaper,” it revolves around surfers in large part. There is something of a mystery sub-plot but that is mostly to hang events on. Here's a pic of the cover I worked up, before I ever actually wrote the narrative:

I will almost certainly publish through Arachis Press again. Maybe sometime in the Fall. Here's a blurb for the novel:

Ted Carrol had found his 'last place.' A place where he could live quietly and build surfboards and where all the kids called him 'Shaper.'

His settled existence was not to last. Into Cully Beach swept Michelle and her daughter Charlie, two women escaping a dark past. How could Shaper have known he was going to fall in love?

Surf and suspense, smugglers and self-doubt, combine as Shaper must solve their mystery and that of his own future, in a tale both serious and funny, romantic yet real.

Shaper — a novel by Stephen Brooke

Now, do not assume I churned out this novel cold. I had been jotting down ideas, investigating characters, creating the town in which it was set, etc. for at least a couple years. And there was a short story, called “Surf,” that I adapted for one of the chapters.

So, what next? I've already started work on another poetry collection, to be called “The Tower.” Finished off six pen and ink illustrations for it and am working on the layout and choosing the poems when I feel like it. No hurry on that, but it will no doubt appear before the end of this year. And, of course, the children's poetry book, “Awful Alvin,” is appearing this month. Officially, August First, but the ebook is available right now directly from Arachis Press. Print to follow in a couple days, both available at other retailers eventually.

I will also be starting work on the second 'Malvern' novel, the sequel to “Coast of Spears.” Back to fantasy adventures, like my five previous novels! Those are written in a much tighter, more straight-forward manner than “Shaper.” Hey, I had to write a 'literary' novel someday, you know.

Also, Arachis Press may be putting out our first book without my name on it as author. I've been looking over a collection of short stories and think I want to publish it. Indeed, I wouldn't mind looking at more work by other writers. I can't do much to promote it but I can provide formatting and sales.

So, back to something. Work, maybe. Oh, and I will be taking off for Nashville this coming weekend, just a couple days. Cat won't allow more than that.

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