Wren words, renaming, promo & autumn clean – 2020 Writing Week 42

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This has been a good week for getting back on the writing horse – averaging around 2,000 words a day, taking the count up to 56,000. That’s about 10,000 for the week, which is great. Words A lot of big stuff. Deep backstory that has underpinned the whole series, kind of the ‘mythology’ if you will, coming to the fore. It’s exciting for me. For a long time I’ve known the Apex had an incredible hold over his followers. I hadn’t broken out how. Now I’m doing that. It’s pretty cool how tech is playing into it. I’m psyched to …

New Saint Justice cover!! – 2020 Writing Week 41

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I’ve been mummering on about the genre of Saint Justice and my Christopher Wren series for bleeding ages, so finally the time has come for me to announce the new, please-to-God-be-right cover. Feast your eyes: What do you think? I did a lot of testing to get here. I shared it alongside another, more standard vigilante thriller cover that the excellent designers at Damonza produced (for $500), with a range of different audiences: My ARC team – they came up pretty much split on this and another My writer’s marketing group – they preferred this one FB ads via the …

Investigating thrillers – the male romance – 2020 Writing Week 39

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Along the way in my recent investigation of the thriller genre (reading Baldacci’s Memory Man, Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X, Mark Dawson’s The Cleaner), I first called these books ‘cosy thrillers’. Now I’m refining that to ‘male romances’. What does that mean? Well, they’re fantasies for men, just like romances are fantasies for women. What does a romance do? Romance – a lady gets a good man, happily ever after Male romance (thriller) – a man protects a single mother and her son from bad men, has sex with her and moves on I suppose these are evolutionarily-based human directives. The …

Full steam ahead – 2020 Writing Week 38

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Aaaaand, I am back into writing. Hoo-fucking-rah, am I right? Today I plugged back into Wren book 5 for a cheeky 1500 words, which puts the count at 35,500 total. Basically halfway done! And it feels it, too. Couple of major movements left, we’ll be all set. To boot, I spent a few hours throwing out ideas for another thriller series. One that is less literary, more of a ‘cozy’ thriller, with more black and white issues, more a superhero ‘fantasy’ vibe to the main guy’s life. Thus far it’s at 9,000 words. I’ve got the story going forward. The …

More literary/genre musings – 2020 Writing Week 37.5

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I’ve been reading up some more on the difference between literary and genre, and found a way to express that feels true for me, as the guy who writes it. When I’m writing, I want to feel like I’m on an adventure. I’m exploring a new space. Maybe it’s the human condition. Maybe it’s a social issue. Maybe it’s how far a plot/character thread can go. I don’t know exactly where it’s going, and I don’t know exactly what the end is. All of these unknowns are what make this kind of writing so fascinating for ME. I’ve always just …

I write literary?? – 2020 Writing Week 37

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Maybe I write literary books. I’ve heard people say this before. My writer friend Matt has said I’m a literary writer yearning to write genre. I took it on board, thought I understood it, but yesterday the same idea hit me deeper than before. First, let’s look at what ‘literary’ writing is, and why I have resisted embracing the label for so long. Here are 6 features of literay fiction according to Wikipedia: A concern with social commentary, political criticism, or reflection on the human condition. I definitely do this. With Wren the social commentary, political criticism and human condition …

More Chris Wren noodling – 2020 Writing Week 35

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Today’s thinking about the Wren readthrough takes in a new direction. Yesterday I remade the cover and rewrote the blurb, but am thinking one or both of those may have been missteps. Here’s the ‘new’ cover (quote marks because it may not be the cover for long). I made it dark after feedback from the 20books thriller group, and a survey of other dark thriller books out there. One key is – there’s a lot of black, often they’re monochrome, and often feature red heavily. I do rather like this. Maybe it’s too much though – could be signaling horror, …

Christopher Wren crossroads – 2020 Writing Week 34

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It feels like I’m standing at a crossroads for the Christopher Wren series right now. For months I’ve been eliciting and getting feedback, working on the book, trying to increase the uptake from book 1 to book 2 and onwards through the series. There are lots of pieces involved in this, but primarily it’s been about reducing the violence. BUT What if this is the wrong direction? My earliest inclination in the marketing copy for Wren was to use lots of horror-tinged words like bloody, gory, terrifying, vicious, brutal etc… Over time I’ve been counseled not to use these, which …

Rush of Wren critiques – 2020 Writing Week 33

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In the last week a number of Wren critiques have come in, kind of reaching critical mass for me. At the same time, I’ve had a couple of fantastic reviews. Let’s go with fantastic first. A review on one of my Facebook ads. Usually all I get on these is people arguing about whether Tom Cruise makes a good Jack Reacher. I actually deleted all of those. But the good review said this person loved Christopher Wren. Honestly, this may be the first person to say this. In the early days, a lot of people said he was impressive, but …

Writing Retreat wk 1 – 2020 Writing Week 32

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This week has been week 1 of mine and my wife’s writing retreat. We have a 2 week summer holiday that was going to be a couple of different trips, which all got squashed by corona, so now it’s a staycation. A Writing Retreat staycation! Intense writing. I did the following to prepare for this: Make a sun screen hood thing for my laptop so I can write in the garden without screen glare. Wear a black shirt helps. this involved ordering black card from Amazon and necessitated waiting a day. Right after I made my screen, family came for …