Audio Excerpt

In the past year, we have released a few excerpts from the book.  We decided to share another one—this time one you could listen to.  We hope that you enjoy this audio excerpt of “Voyage of Truth”!

It’s Coming Together

Beta Readers…people you pay to be brutally honest about your manuscript.  Fortunately this process was not too painful. We have been told that we have a great story and great dialog…and in my opinion that is all you need.  However it was suggested that we do a bit of tightening up.  You know what that means…DRAFT 18.

Of course we know to sift through the notes and take the good and toss out the bad.  We are confident that we will be putting out a strong first book by time it is all said and done.  We also know that our book is coming out sooner or later…hopefully sooner.

In other news, we have another draft for our book cover!

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DOPENESS! Further confirmation that its happening! We are pleased with our cover illustrator, Sasha Fowler.

Fear of the Unknown

If you think the scariest part of writing a book is starting to write it, you’re wrong. To me, that’s actually the most fun part. Why, because it’s a place where I can escape and not be critized.  But now… Now it’s time to recieve reviews from foreign eyes. (Deep Bass) The Editor. When I first submitted the book to our editor, I was losing sleep asking myself so many questions.  What if she told me I was a horrible writer? What if she told me that I needed to scrap the entire manuscript (3 years worth of writing) and start over?  What if she said there was no hope and I should go back to twirling signs in front of H&R Block?  These thoughts continued to haunt me because I hated dressing up as the statue of liberty.  Yet, when I received the feedback from her- Christine-, she offered no words of condemnation but gave much praise.  But the scary part still wasn’t over.

Just today we sent the manuscript to three beta readers.  To date, this is the scariest part because their job is to only critize it. Good or Bad.  As I question myself as a writer and my ability to appeal to a mass audience, I realize that the unknown will always be scary.  I know I’m good writer but I know I can’t please everbody. It’s like getting an HIV test, knowing you haven’t been with anybody else but the unknown of “What If” is always terrifying. Uncertainty is what causes my nerves to be on edge.  Every step that we make with this book moving forward is another step into uncharted territories for us.

Editors: A God Send

The subtitle could have gone many different ways… Editors: The Often Overlooked Investment in your Book, Editors: The Best Thing Since Rice Milk, Editors: The Geniuses behind Most Books and Editors: The Difference in a Good Book and a Great Book!  But I feel the the one we went with kind of sums up all the above.

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Picking the right editor for us was a process.  There were lots of factors to consider with pricing (of course) being the top factor.  Also, we needed to know that the editor understood the writing style and the genre of the book.  Could the editor make suggestions without changing the author’s voice. So after looking at a few options we decided to go with Christine…who has proved to be amazing and has not broken our bank account!  Expensive is not always better.

I will show demonstrate the difference in the first excerpt that we shared:

Original Excerpt:

Can you please lower your voice? I’m trying to help you.”
Sultri defiantly raises his voice, “I’LL LOWER MY VOICE WHEN I SEE CAPTAIN LYME’S FACE!”

The woman carefully gives a signal to security and

Sultri sees him approaching. “What did I do wrong?” Sultri begs, “I asked to see the captain and no one wants to help me.”

The security maphlete calmly requests, “Do you mind coming with me sir?”

“Yes I mind!” He looks back at the woman and squints, “Why does everybody keep treating me like this?” Feeling rejected again, Sultri tries to repress a surge of emotions and breathes forcibly through his pulsating nostrils.

The security maphlete repeats and tries to grab Sultri’s elbow, “Please sir, right this way.”

“I said No!” Sultri screams and chucks the security away. Sultri tightly balls his fingers and cries, “I tried to be nice all day but now I am done.” He looks around and sees more maphletes closing in.
Dena and other civilians are kindly escorted out of the area into the maphlete’s cubicles. Dena stands on her toes and peaks over the partitions to finish watching the outcome.

Sultri is surrounded and outnumbered by a handful of maphletes with activated RDs. His teeth start to chatter and sweat beads from his brow. He instantly remembers the x5 cards he injected earlier and cannot control the inundation of endorphins in his blood stream. Sultri’s vision blurs and doubles while the surrounding voices start to echo. He closes his blood shot eyes and hears from a maphlete, “Can you please come with us sir?”

Sultri opens his eyes and looks past the threatening maphlete. His heart rate starts to beat faster and his pupils suddenly dilate. Sultri lets go of reason and allows his imprisoned rage to take over. He secretly activates his own RD and screams, “The answer is still no!”

Edited Excerpt:

“Please lower your voice. I’m trying to help you.”

Sultri raises it instead. “I’ll lower my voice when I see Captain Lyme’s face.”

The woman signals security and Sultri sees the Maphlete approaching. “What did I do wrong? I asked to see the Captain and no one wants to help me.”

The security Maphlete asks, “Do you mind coming with me, sir?”

“Yes, I do.” He looks at the woman and squints. “Why does everybody keep treating me like this?” Sultri tries to repress his rage and breathes forcibly through flared nostrils.

The security Maphlete tries to grab Sultri’s elbow. “Please sir, right this way.”

“I said No.” Sultri pushes the security away. Sultri tightly balls his fists and cries, “I tried to be nice all day, but now I am done.” He looks around and sees more Maphletes closing in.

Dena and others are escorted out of the area and into the Maphlete’s cubicles. Dena stands on her toes, peeking over the top of the partitions to watch.

Sultri is surrounded and outnumbered by Maphletes, all with loaded ACs. His teeth start to chatter and sweat beads across his brow. He remembers the x5 cards he injected earlier and cannot control the inundation of endorphins in his blood stream. Sultri’s vision blurs, doubles and the surrounding voices start to echo. He closes his burning eyes and hears from a Maphlete, “Come with us, sir.”

Sultri opens his eyes and looks past the threatening Maphlete. His heart rate increases. Sultri lets go of reason and allows his imprisoned rage to take over. He secretly activates his arm cannon. “The answer is still no.”

 

With just a few adjustments here and there, the paragraph flows so much better.  A fresh pair of eyes were definitely needed in order to make the needed changes to the manuscript. We are so married to the text, even able to memorize portions that we were not always able to see what needed to be corrected.  My advice, if you are a writing and thinking about publishing, don’t cut corners—get an editor.  So far Christine has been a great investment for us!

Inspiration for Creatives

As a creative person, I realize that I can sometimes be a bit how do we say “emotional” when it comes to well pretty much anything.  Erkyah Badu so accurately states why I feel this way on her live version of “Tyrone” when so simply says:

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Also as an artist I realize there are times when my mind is over flooded with so many ideas.  Sometimes it is hard to determine which idea I should move forward with and which ones I should shelve.  Usually, I want to work on everything and admittedly that doesn’t always work for me.  For some reason, writing a script, editing a book, writing a blog, and producing a short at the same time is not productive.  You can do it but there will be a lot of dropped balls.   So when I came across a quote from Steve Jobs, it made me stop and think.  I had what Oprah would call an “a-ha moment.”

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying “no” to 1,000 things.

Basically— concentrate your focus in order to do something great instead of many things “good”.  What? Was this man a monk?  He basically spoke in proverbs!  Now if only he left a clue on how to choose the 1,000 things to say no to…