books · editing and proofreading course · formatting · oath of god · self-publishing · sneek peek · vastian lore · writing

Tuesday Temptations…

Well, I’ve made progress on Oath of God and can happily confirm a publication of 2017, my deadline is end of April, but then there’s proofreading, editing and formatting to do! Not to mention, the gruelling process of writing out the final blurb for the back cover and sorting out Createspace for the paperback version, which will probably result in several PDF’s before the final version is approved. I’m kind of hoping I’ll get it right after only three tries, maybe, rather than the fifteen or so PDF files I did for Vastian Lore. This was mainly down to the fact I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and I’d never done formatting before. Oh, yeah, and I got the measurements wrong the first time, which I realised when I did the re-editing and re-formatting. That was a ‘lightbulb’ moment, I can tell you! Mainly, this is down to Createspace putting the measurements in inches and for some reason Microsoft likes centimeters! After I realised my mistake, the renewed version of Vastian Lore looked a lot more professional. Although, I still have much to learn.

Admitting mistakes makes us human, I guess…

And I’ve seen a few eye-watering errors in traditionally published books, so it’s not entirely restricted to self-publishing.

I have to say, there’s been huge strides towards professionalism and amazing books by Indie/self-published authors and it’s been great discovering some really intriguing stories.

I got good GCSE results in English and also have a Diploma in Editing and Proofreading and I can still get it wrong sometimes…It’s how our eyes see words on the page versus the screen and also how our minds can just skim over certain things without realising it’s spelt wrong or the grammar is clumsy. What is expected of us, as writers, is a much more concise and accurate way of writing down what we’re actually thinking and how to put that into a format that others can process in a way that is easily understandable. Our imaginations have to be visualised by readers, by looking at those words on the page and seeing the image the author wishes to portray in their mind’s eye. It isn’t always easy and I work hard to ensure I can write in a way that is accessible to readers and also enjoyable.

I admit it’s always tempting to over share, to get excited by the prospect of a new project and a story that is developing, but I wouldn’t want to spoil too much for the reader…

However…I think it’s also important to let others know there is progress and the book will be published soon!

Here’s another snippet from Oath of God

‘Told you this was a bad idea,’ Valdis snapped, wiping the blood off his chin and making more mess as the wet gore smeared across his palm and stained the sleeve of his already grubby shirt.

Lilah rolled her eyes and grimaced. She was slumped against the grotty wall of the alley and for now she didn’t even have the strength to come up with one of her usual snarky remarks.

Valdis ripped his knife out of the corpse next to him, rolled onto his knees and upright, leaving his kill in the pool of gore leaking out his body and the rest of his recently deceased friends.

Idiots had thought they could take an Immortal and trained assassin. A simple walk and investigation to find that stupid blade, Lilah insisted he recover had turned into a failed robbery.

Valdis frowned, doubt grew in his mind, but then he shook his head, convincing himself it was a bout of thievery gone wrong and not anything sinister.

‘When you’ve done admiring your handy work, this position isn’t exactly comfortable.’ Lilah coughed and her bronze skin was sallow as if she had some sort of liver disease.

Her head lolled to the side as if it weighed too much for her to hold it up and she rattled out a breath…then nothing happened…Valdis cursed, her chest wasn’t rising or falling now.

Striding over, he winced at all the blood caked on her clothes, but there were no visible marks…He squinted, there was a fading bruise on her cheek. Her healing ability was working, but her eyes were slitted and only showed their dark colour as a black line between her lashes.

Crouching, he hesitated a moment before pressing a finger to her neck. She knocked his hand aside, eyes blazing with cold fire. ‘What are you…? I have no heartbeat, you fool!’

Valdis rocked back on his heels. ‘Just checking.’ He got to his feet, leaving Lilah to make her own way. He’d rather avoid getting his head bitten off. Or anything else important.

Lilah pulled herself upright. ‘Stupid,’ she muttered, plucking the front of her cloak, dark fabric glistening with a blackened stain. ‘Look at this. Ruined. It’ll never be cleaned.’

Stepping towards him, Lilah’s face greyed like a corpse and Valdis shot out his arm. Her fingers clenched his wrist. To be fair, there’d be less risk if he were holding a live snake.

Valdis shifted. His gaze searched the alley. ‘You think they knew? About the sword, I mean?’ He glanced down at his threadbare attire. ‘Unless they thought I had coins stashed.’

Pulling away, Lilah scraped back the hair that’d come loose from its braid and gave him a dark look. ‘I should have let you handle this alone. It would have saved my clothing.’

‘I told you not to follow me.’ He crouched beside one of the bodies and rifled through the dead man’s tattered cloak, finding a crumbled bit of bark paper scrawled with faded ink.

‘Be more convincing and I’ll stay home next time,’ Lilah replied, but her gaze was fixed on the corpse Valdis was in the process of desecrating with his search for information.

Reading the scrawl inked onto the paper, Valdis grimaced. ‘And we both know how well that would work.’ He stuffed the note in his belt pouch and stood.

‘It might, if you put in more effort.’ Lilah raised an eyebrow, but his sudden reticence soured her tone. ‘Well…Are you going to tell me what you found?’

‘There’d be more chance of a pig doing a fly-by.’

Lilah opened her mouth to say something else, but decided against it. She scowled.

Probably a good thing. Valdis frowned. She might admit porkers did have wings.

Lilah kicked aside a clump of refuse with her boot. ‘Where did you hide the blade?’

Valdis stared. ‘You do realise I was probably drunk when I stashed the damn thing.’

Lilah smiled. It wasn’t pleasant. ‘Yes, but the blade is bound to your soul, not mine.’

‘Thanks.’ Valdis glowered. The alley was probably one of the least delightful places he’d been. Although, there was that time he’d been trapped in a reeking sewer for three days.

‘I’d suggest haste.’ Lilah remarked. ‘Before anyone else tries to knife you.’

‘Any more helpful hints? Pluck out an eye so I can better see?’

‘If you like.’

‘Sadist,’ Valdis muttered.

‘Idiot,’ Lilah said.

Valdis raised an eyebrow. ‘Really? I expected more flair and you choose, Idiot?’

‘If the cap fits, you’d better wear it.’ Lilah smirked, obviously enjoying the fact she knew something he was failing to see. To be fair, when he worked with her, that was normal.

The alley was typical of its kind. Narrow. Didn’t smell all that great. Valdis wrinkled his nose. The place had been used a convenient dumping ground and the defining odour was stale piss and underlying fragrance of decaying faeces, with cloying blood from the corpses.

Valdis sighed. ‘I don’t time to spare. I have this mythic dragon and a girl to murder.’

‘Be serious?’ Lilah snapped. ‘Or would you prefer to live out your misery as a toad?’

‘How about you search through other people’s shit?’

‘Why have a dog and bark yourself?’ Lilah said, but when she glimpsed his less than impressed expression she rolled her eyes. ‘Fine.’ She pointed to a big pile of discarded rags.

‘Sure?’ Approaching the uneven mass of discarded clothing and torn fabric, laid out for the rag-man to collect, Valdis hesitated. ‘The swords going to be at the bottom, isn’t it?’


Wiping his bloodied knife on his tunic, Valdis sheathed the weapon, gritted his teeth and pushed a hand into the damp folds of the pile. ‘Some days I really hate my job and you.’

All snippets are completely random and subject to changes during the final edit…

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed that little peek inside my imagination! 😀


2 thoughts on “Tuesday Temptations…

  1. Createspace is good, but yeah, it does take some tweaking to get things right, particularly for the cover. I use their Word templates for the internals, which seem to work quite well.

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