Featured Site of the Week
Irevuo is a site I’ve only recently encountered, coming to my attention when its operator, Cristian Mihai, followed mine. He doesn’t offer much in the way of personal information, which is certainly his prerogative, and I don’t know whether he’s U.S.-based or works from another country, whether English is his first language, nor even what “Irevuo” means. He does handle English well, whether it’s his native tongue or not, as he posts several times a day on the subjects of art, music, movies, and writing, both his own philosophy, and reviews of the works of others.
His offerings are very insightful, as you might expect from anyone I recommend; you regulars know that I wouldn’t steer you toward a junk site just because the owner posts a lot! An example of a post that really touched me as a writer was So you want to be a writer… Most of my friends, and many of my readers are also writers, and if you aren’t yet writing at the level of Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, you should read this . . . for me. After you do, you’ll realize that it was really for yourself.
Irevuo; a site worthy of a lengthy exploration.
This Week’s News
Terror in the Shadows, C.W. Hawes’ Lovecraftian horror novel, is live and on sale through Amazon.com. This is the third installment in the Pierce Mostyn Paranormal Investigation series, and takes place in rural West Virginia as Mostyn and his team attempt to deal with shadowy forms that come out of the night to murder whole families and eat the corpses. Late evening read, anyone?
William J. Jackson pens the The Rail Legacy series, a brief description of which might be a sort of steampunk X-Men. That isn’t exactly what it is, of course, but it will put you in the ball park. The currently three-book series isn’t new, but he is constantly offering deals on one or another of the titles. This weekend, for example, the entire series is £3.44 for U.K. readers, and book one, An Unsubstantiated Chamber, is free for the asking until further notice. I’ve read this; you should, too!
The View from the Blimp
Here in my own little corner of the literary world, anyone who has been reading my material on a regular basis knows that I have been having trouble getting started . . . started on Beyond the Rails IV, that is. I do have a story line developing, which anyone who read BtR3 will understand entails some difficulty, given where I left them. It is developing nicely, though, and my notebook is growing in volume and detail as it comes together. My tentative subtitle is The Devil You Know, which seems to go with what I’ve put together so far.
While I’m offering teases of future projects, all the time I’ve been steampunk-blocked hasn’t gone entirely to waste. I intend to, by the end of April, and hopefully before that, lay a major product of a completely different sort before you for your consideration. It promises to be a major experiment with my established audience, but my hopes are high for acceptance . . . and that’s all you get for now. To quote Dr. Betruger, “Great things are going to happen here, you just wait.”
Of course, the main purpose of this page is to support Beyond the Rails, and I can’t do that without occasionally thumping my chest and bellowing about how great it is, so for those of you who cannot tolerate a blowhard, BLOWHARD ALERT!
I wrote these books, so obviously, I think they’re just great! They have found a niche as a fun ride for fans of Jules Verne and Firefly. Here are some important events in it the first volume’s unfortunately somewhat obscure lifetime:
If I could tell a story like this, I’d get a job just so I could quit it and spend all my time writing. Excellent work! I’m hooked—on to the next adventure of the Kestrel.”
This was from a writing.com member who went by the handle of “Evertrap.” I was on top of the world when I read this. How could anyone think of anything more supportive to say?
FIRST PUBLIC SUPPORTER
An Australian literary blogger, Arabella Bramble, featured Beyond the Rails on her personal blog (now unfortunately closed) before I ever considered turning it into a book. Among other things, she said,
“This is a story that is off to a great start with an interesting cast of characters from diverse backgrounds thrown together initially on an airship called the Kestrel. This is classic adventure stuff taking place in a colourful setting.”
FIRST REVIEW AS A BOOK
Kaz of Books Anonymous said,
These stories are the best fun. Seriously. Yes, Jack’s a mate of mine, and regulars on my blog will have seen his comments on various posts, but, as I said to him when I reviewed the first of these stories ages ago, I didn’t review the story because he’s my mate. I reviewed it because it was a cracking good story.”
It should be noted that this was also the book’s first review by a friend.
BEST REVIEW TO DATE
The Good, The Bad, & The Bizarre took a very favorable view of humble little Beyond the Rails. They especially approved of my portrayal of women, noting that their dialogue and actions passed the Bechdel Test. They also noted in this long and detailed review that,
We have to say, this book single-handedly convinced us to reconsider our dislike of Steampunk. This is a feat all by itself. And with that, we can’t say that it’s anything but Good, even though it has plenty of Bizarreness everywhere – which, of course, just adds flavor to the whole shebang.”
I’m especially fond of this one. Good, Bad, Bizarre has regrettably closed their doors, but I very wisely kept a copy, and the review can be read in its entirety here.
WORST REVIEW TO DATE
Beyond the Rails was the subject of a giveaway due to ship in January 2014. Ten days before the announcement of the winners, I was stricken with pneumonia and H1N1, and to make a long story short, spent two months in hospital and rehab. Goodreads member Shayla gave it one star, and stated,
Update: More than a month later, and still no sign of the book. He was able to get a relative to email all the winners saying that he’d been ill and would get the books out soon, but apparently couldn’t get anyone to actually send the books. I suspect he backed out and just made up the hospital story. Whatever.”
That review can be read on my book page at Goodreads. It takes a special brand of self-importance to rate a book you plainly state you never received. The little cherry on top came from Goodreads member Danielle, who Liked Shayla’s review, and added it to her Do Not Read shelf; their loss.
So that’s Beyond the Rails through the eyes of others. I hope to sell a lot of copies, and I hope it continues to stand on its own merits in the eyes of its readers. I would never ask anyone to buy a pig-in-a-poke, and so have made a free story from each book available as samples under the “Beyond the Rails” tab at the top of the page. Drop in for a visit and draw your own conclusions. The books are for sale on amazon.com, and I’m currently working on the continuation. I hope you take a look, and I hope you like what you find. Steampunk is obviously not for everyone, but mine is light on technology, and heavy on characters, so take a look; you might just discover a whole new world of reading enjoyment.