Meddling Kids

Hey-o! I listened to an interesting audiobook about a week ago. It was Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. I’ve loved Scooby Doo pretty much always, so the title and the cover got my attention.

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Here’s a snippet from the audiobook description: “With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.”

I will admit that I’m not overly familiar with the Hardy Boys (read a book or two) or the Famous Five (who?), but all I saw in this was Scooby Doo. It was like someone took the character traits from the original show, dropped them in a blender, and then combined them with a few new bits in a cast of character collage. It felt like fan fiction more than an original.

I did like the writing. It was campy like a Scooby Doo episode. The story was good. It actually would’ve been just fine without leaning so hard into the Scooby Doo knockoff gimmick.

I feel I should also add that the lady that narrated the audiobook did an excellent job.

 

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Cover Art Behind the Scenes

Greetings, cats and kittens! I am pleased to say that I have returned to my writing duties. It has been a bit of a slow-go so far, but I’m getting there. I am still spending far too much time on the Playstation, which I think might be linked to my energy level. Basically, the less energy I have, the more hours I log on the Playstation instead of working or recording or whatever it is that I should be doing.

But today, we have cover art.

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This was an interesting cover to work on. The forest background was a creative commons image I grabbed from one site or another. I took the photo of the ax and the flowers by my little, old self.

The ax is the one from my garage. In the book, the main character actually uses a hatchet, which has a different shape, a shorter handle and such, but I didn’t think anyone would really notice or care. Plus, I cut the handle off at the top, which makes it less obvious.

Some of the flowers were from Hobby Lobby and the leafy bits might’ve been from Michaels. Here’s what they looked like before I taped them to the ax handle. The berries were actually white before I painted over them in photoshop.

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Here’s the before shot of the ax. The blood is also photoshop…probably.

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And of course, the brat was there to “help”.

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The rest was photoshop history. A little digital paint, a little text gradient and the thing was done-zo!

If you’d like to see the cover and the snazzy antler graphic on the title page, the paperback version of Wild Spirits of the Hollow is now available on Amazon at this link.

Catch y’all later!

Updates

This is my birthday month! YAY! Please give me a moment while I put on my crown.

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I have been SO lazy lately. I’m still not writing anything but notes for future projects. I do have a  series in the works that will likely begin in either the tail end of this year or the beginning of next year. There’s a lot involved, so I’ve been busy putting all my thoughts and ideas into some kind of logical order.

The series is going to consist of creepy/dark short stories and novellas, so each “book” will be either 3 short stories or one novella-length story or maybe something close to novella length. I plan to release one book every month, but I’m not releasing any installments of the series until I have at least 9 months of releases ready to go.

This probably seems daunting, but it’s not as crazy as it might sound. I went through a bit of an obsessive writing spurt a few months ago, so significant progress has already been made. I’m going to finish out my notes for the last few bits and then hopefully embark on another obsessive writing spurt. Momentum is easier to keep when the works are shorter.

Other updates: Scifi novel is on hold. Audiobook – I am procrastinating like nobody’s business. I plan to submit another quality check to ACX by the end of the week. I’m getting closer, and that is very exciting. By the time I get that all worked out, audiobook production is going to feel like a superpower.

That’s it for now.

Current Mood+Who I Write Like

Current mood:

sloth

I have been lazy. I am not writing, aside from some notes for future projects. I have not been editing.

I’ve been brushing up on the writing/plotting skills. Future projects are going to be much more exciting, for sure.

I also did do a who-I-write-like text analyzer thing. Apparently, I write like this guy.

cody

 

 

 

I have no idea who that is, but I plan to check him out. I was hoping for someone who specializes in one of my preferred genres, but you know, whatever.

Catch ya later, alligators.

 

 

New Toy

Guess what. I have a thing! I’m super excited because I am 99.9% sure this is going to fix the issues I’ve been having with the audiobook recording. I gave it a test run earlier, and so far, there is much magnificence. AND it’s pink!

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I’ve been fighting with Audacity for quite some time. I’ve cruised forums, watched youtube videos, downloaded like 10 plug-ins, learned how to use Nyquist code, etc. It turns out that I had a hardware issue the whole time. I’m still pretty new to the audio game, so I’m still feeling my way around. Learning is always good!

I’m on a bit of a writing break at the moment. I might do a short story here and there, but I need to step back, disengage, regroup. I haven’t done that in quite some time. My writing might be suffering because of it.

I have been reading, though! If you have anxiety and/or your brain won’t shut up (like mine), this book might help. It’s about inner peace and meditation and dealing with the stress that comes from fixating on problems. I’m a bit over halfway through, and it has already helped me a lot. I will say that it can be repetitive at times, but the read is definitely worth it.

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In which the author was informed of shortcomings

Okay, so apparently, my writing has some somewhat slow patches. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I might improve…well, everything, so this is a good time for the you-kinda-suck meteor to hit.

I’ve officially entered slash and burn mode with my scifi book. There’s too much of it. The feedback I’ve gotten from test readers has been about 95% negative. Most of the complaints were about pacing.

When I think about where I might’ve gone wrong, it was likely in my initial notes. I plot out my novels pretty thoroughly, but then I neglect to read the notes before I start writing. I read them as I write, of course; that’s what they’re for.

But what I need to do is a note edit between the writing of the notes and the writing of the book. That’s definitely happening in the future.

I also need to focus on cutting almost all the scenes that don’t involve people running for their lives. I have grossly underestimated the importance of constant running. There are authors who can get away with a slower pace. I am, apparently, not one of them.

I’ve actually gotten similar feedback on my writing once before during the edit of my first middle grade novel. I ended up halving the word count by the end of it, and the pacing was better after that. Turns out, the thing that was wrong with that book is also a thing that’s wrong with at least some of my other writing.

But those are things I can fix.

I will have to make an effort to keep the action from being repetitive, too. I don’t want to end up at a point in which readers are like oh, good, another shootout. We didn’t have one of those like two pages ago.

This book probably still won’t be constant running, but I can definitely make it more consistent running.

/Takes out red marker/

Wild Spirits of the Hollow, Last Blog Tour Day!

Okay. Here are some more links to some fantastic book blogs! This is the last day-o.WS-ebook-cover

Momma Says To Read or Not To Read, Chapter 1 Excerpt plus Giveaway

Simply Kilena, Chapter 1 Excerpt plus Giveaway

Supernatural Central, Interview

Storyteller SK Gregory, Chapter 1 Excerpt

Sapphyria’s Books, Spotlight Plus Giveaway

Ramblings of a Book Nerd, Chapter 1 Excerpt

Okay, I think that’s it. Catch you all later!