I know these aren't popular, but I create them for myself (to give away to my family for bragging rights) and I keep monkeying with them, updating them and trying to get the price down.
I've gotten rid of Amazon, Library and Bookstore sales, and I keep refining the formatting.
When I started, my first book "Love & Family" cost 17.50. Now all three of my books (from the 25 chapter "Love & Family" to the 17 chapter "An Unknown Attraction") are now available for $9.98.
I realize that most people wouldn't be here unless they liked reading stories online, but if you want one of these for your bookshelf, or for someone in your family who isn't as comfortable with reading online, check out
Looks like Lazeez has changed his stance on what's allowed in the story chapters themselves, so he's now stripping out my references to where readers can pick up the ebook versions of my stories.
If you want a copy, or just don't like to wait for the story to appear a chapter at a time, if can be found at either:
1) www.smashwords.com/profile/view/crumblywriter1 or
2) www.vincentberg.net (you'll find the links there, at least).
Someone wrote to complain about everything not in the 'revised' Prologue. (Sorry, 'complain' is too strong a word, they were merely commenting on the prologue, observing that it was less a 'rewrite' than simply 'more of the same'. I wrote a lengthy reply, which I'll try to reiterate here without tackling any of his specific comments directly.
Yeah, I tried to be 'smart' (because of the odd way the SOL posts stories), and decided to post the short Prologue separately from the first chapter. Normally I'd have posted them together, but SOL takes any and all posts you make in the same 3 day period as being the same post, and since most of my readers check the 'Updated Series' page, I wanted the first chapter to appear there instead. However, I'm not sure that worked, as the scores on the Prologue have been poor. <sigh>
Actually, since posting it, I'm been reconsidering the whole Prologue. It's like when they advise writers to throw away their entire first two chapters, I'm not sure the Prologue really adds anything to the story. It was intended as a way to 'hook' the reader by giving them more information than the story's characters had, but it was an early 'experimentation' of mine that I'm not sure was really justified. (Plus, even now, it takes up a lot of the 'free read' section of the ebook, which doesn't help either. I think I'd prefer them to just read the entire first chapter.)
But the first chapter will appear first thing Saturday (as close to 12:01 as I can get it, although SOL has been going to bed earlier and earlier, so recently I've had to start posting it in the early evening (around 8 or 9 the previous day). <sigh again> 'D
But no, this wasn't meant as a 'rewrite', that's why I keep referring to it as a 'revision'. I've cleaned up the language, clarified a few confusing points, and added a bit more detail--specifically about people's thoughts and responses--but I haven't changed any essential story details. Cate is still Cate, everything they deal with is still there. What I was trying for was to apply everything I'd learned about writing to what was already there, so there's more 'show' than the previous 'telling' passages, a few additional dialogues where there had been simple summations before.
As far as more substantial changes, what I've always wanted to do was to change it from 1st person to 3rd person. The whole Prologue and Biographer's sections were my attempt to force a 3rd person perspective on a 1st person story after it had already been written. So when I started on Book 2, I converted the entire 1st chapter, essentially reading each paragraph ahead of me and retyping it so all the references were correct, as well as making modifications on the fly as I went. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, that was way too much work for too little payback, so I immediately took it back, but because I like the newer changes, I had to examine the entire thing line by line, changing everything back to 1st person. Talk about a huge waste of time!!!
Book 2 is similar, since I was essentially happy with how the story worked out. The pacing was good, the dialogues and the interactions worked well, and the action was nicely paced. So I've started to cut back on those edits until I see what the reaction to Book 1 is. The books I really want to change are Books 4 and 5 (previously book 3, "Racing the Clock"). Since that was was written on the fly, it had a LOT of stuff I thought would have been better served on the cutting room floor. So I'd like to hack it apart somewhat, but I'd probably not add anything new (aside from a few small things, like removing the initial "Fox" reference in the scene with Clara Thomas (MSNBC would have worked as well), or yanking out the "Let's try this new idea. Hmm, that didn't work, how about this one?" between Cate and Alex. I'd thought that would show how people approach scientific problems, but instead it simply confused the readers.
But... now I'll wait and see how many people read Book 1. If there's enough people to justify making the later changes, I'll continue, continuing at a chapter a week so I have time to revise much of books 4 and 5. But, if no one is really interested, then I'll simply can the whole thing, post 2 or even 3 chapters a week to get through them a bit faster, saving my energy for editing the final book 6, "Building a Legacy", which everyone has been waiting for (P.S. It's written and is with the editors, waiting their edits and my 2nd pass revisions). I've also started a completely new story, and I also want to attack GD 3 before I forget what was happening, so I'm hoping to use the time the story takes to post to finish those.
So, long story short, don't expect any major changes. It should read a little easier, but nothing substantial has changed, I've just 'cleaned it up' a bit. The problem is that I didn't want to just dump "Building a Legacy" on an audience who'd forgotten what had happened before, and since it wasn't ready in time, I really didn't want to simply disappear for another 2 or 3 months like I did between GD 1 and 2. People didn't respond well to that short hiatus.
But beyond all of that, the Prologue had even less of the 'clean up' than the rest of the story has. About the only thing I added to the Prologue was a bit more dialogue, and some more detail to Allison's responses, since I wanted to keep the 'teaser' quality of it. You should notice a bit more 'flavor' of the cleanup effort in Chapter 1 on Saturday.
But most of [his] questions about new material are addressed in the final book, which I should have ready relatively soon. That one addresses many of his issues in an ongoing basis, rather than trying to address them one at a time in the older story. Cate addresses her issues, they try to decide if Cate is 'draining his energy' as well as her trying to determine how she's going to eventually deal with his impending death. Book 6 also becomes more theoretical. But, yes, Alex qualifies as an atheist since he doesn't specifically believe that God can exist (a point the writer made), but he's conflicted in that much of what he's doing seems to point to a world of 'spirit's which counters his own disbelief. But, each time he starts to question his own believes, they learn a little more which reinforces his disbelief in God. So it keeps going on and on as a questioning of faith, and of 'non-faith' as it were.
But, finally, much of this 'revision' was my attempt to broaden my market beyond just SOL and ASSTR. I'm trying to push the books to the broader 'ebook' market, and trying to post them to other internet areas in an attempt to find new readers, both for the older stories and for my future stories.
So, I hope that explains what I'm trying to do by rereleasing my 'older' material. There's actually a method to my madness, but hopefully what I'm doing will be a little plainer when I release the first chapter on Saturday!
After talking about it for so long, I've finally started posting my Catalyst series. As you may have noticed, I've made a few changes--mainly in the name of the first book. If I've done the revisions correctly, hopefully you won't notice any changes, but I hope it reads more smoothly and it's been filled out a lot more.
I'll post this book (16 chapters) once a week, but I'll decide how I'll handle the rest once I see how much demand there is for this one. If there's a big demand for the rewrite, then I'll do the same to each subsequent book, if not, then I'll save everyone time and just post the other books as they were twice-a-week, leading up to the never seen conclusion.
In order to make each 'book' a little easier to manage, I've repacked the entire series, trying to keep each book to around twentysome chapters. That's made it a six book series instead of the four it was planned for originally.
A brief note about the initial posting: the Prologue is basically only a teaser, to give the readers an advance insight into what's going on, so they can nudge the characters towards understanding what's going on. I'd have posted the Prologue with Chapter 1, but SOL has a strange rule that anything posted in a 3 day period gets listed under "New" stories, and most of my loyal fans look for my stories under the "Series Update" instead. So I'll post the first chapter this Saturday (June 1).
I'm putting the finishing touches on the eBook, so that will be available soon.
OK, it seems that almost all the response to the ending of the book is focused on David's assertion that AB- is the universal blood type. I'd discussed this many times throughout the story, but since it's so counter-intuitive, I guess it really needs to be discussed in detail each time the subject is broached.
Plasma and whole blood blood-types are polar opposites. That's because red blood cells absorb antibodies, leaving the whole blood free of those antibodies. Thus if you are donating blood, Type "O" is the universal blood type, even though type O is loaded with antibodies. But plasma and whole blood are different.
I'd almost finished writing the story when an editor suggested I reexamine blood types and plasma donation, which proved to be difficult, since plasma usage was largely abandoned by the US, meaning there's now very little documentation about plasma in the literature nowadays. I had to scramble to change all the references to blood types, and during the revision I tried to explain the differences between them, but of course, since it runs counter to what people are told each time they donate blood, a couple brief explanations are really sufficient.
Looking at the segment in chapter 20 again, I realized that the way it was written there isn't really room for David to explain the differences between whole blood and plasma as she discusses what he's planning to do in the future, but I've tried to adjust it to make it a little clearer. It now reads:
“No, Alice,” David responded, directing the answer directly to his own daughter, “you and I can’t travel everywhere. As the only type ‘AB-’ survivors, we’re the only universal [plasma] donors, and thus our blood is too valuable. Since our [plasma] can help everyone, we need to stay in a central location so we can supply whoever needs more plasma.” David paused, a wicked smile growing on his lips as he reviewed each of them, especially those he’d treated. “However, the others, with their various blood types, will set out for different cities. They can donate blood plasma on their own, assuming they can find the medical supplies. Tom already assures me he can hook them up to run off a car’s power supply as long as the car remains stationary. We’ll give them as much of our universal blood as we can, as well as a cross sampling of the other blood types, as much as we can manage.
Since it doesn't discuss how plasma differs from whole blood, it's unlikely to prevent confusion, but it's the best I can think of without rewriting David's whole discussion of his future plans.