Update on Through Stranger Eyes with a request for help at the end

At the end of this post, there’s a request on a friend’s behalf. If you don’t want to read my following ramble, skip to the end of the post and read the last paragraph.

The project I’m working on at the moment (provisional title, Through Stranger Eyes) is coming along fine, though slow, which means I once again failed to stick to my deadline. By deadline, I don’t mean a date where I would have finished everything about it and have it ready for betas. That’d be awesome, but no. What I mean is a date when the current round of edits had to be over, so the next round could start. I have yet to tinker with individual words (filter words and more active verbs) and sentence lengths and this usually takes time.

The reason for the delay is that I started querying and pitching The Darkening once more (most agents are back from holidays, plus I waited and hoped far too long on feedback from competitions I participated that never came), and at the same time I started researching ways of crowdfunding. Why? Because I may be submitting and querying agents, but I still have to keep my options open, in case every agent I approach turns my book down. A rather shocking possibility, but possibility nonetheless. I don’t know if you were aware of the following fact, but apparently, horror is a hard sell nowadays. I sure didn’t know it. There’s an abundance of horror books out there, so it never crossed my mind. Bad research on my part? Maybe, but then again I’d rather not
write solely following a market trend, since these things change with a snap of the fingers. I’m also unwilling to just shelf my work and forget I ever wrote that book. I may be emotionally attached to it, but I started writing not only because I had stories I wanted to tell, but also because I wanted others to read those stories. I don’t write for myself, which is why I struggle (perhaps too much) to perfect my craft and, through it, the quality of my work. I don’t have anything against those who write for themselves, it’s just not what I want.

So, I’ve spent a great deal of energy on researching marketing plans, strategies, promoters, editors, expenses, in addition to honing my craft, editing my own work, and of course reading to improve my writing skills. I’ve also decided to self publish a couple of my short stories in the following months. Not only will this put my name out there and, who knows, perhaps grant me a couple of readers, but I will also learn things related to self publishing first hand. It’s all nice and helpful when I read articles and posts about it, but unless I do it, everything I read will be something theoretical. All this, however, takes time, and it seems a day doesn’t have enough hours in it anymore, and I sometimes feel too drained.

Finally, the request I mentioned earlier. It’s not for me, but for a writer friend. Mind you, I will be in his shoes at soon, and you may have been in his at some point in the past. He is in need of beta readers for his current project, an epic medieval fantasy novel titled “Flakes of Fire” (about 135,000 words), for an adult audience. I’ve already offered to read for him, but one beta is never enough. In fact, it may be disastrous, especially since I’m not as experienced as a lot of you are. His open calls for betas on Goodreads and other sites have gone largely unanswered (we all know how hard it is to get beta readers when we embark in this journey) and there are no writing groups near where he lives. That’s pretty much how things are with me as well. I too don’t have a writing group (not many Greeks writing in another language, hehe. There are some but not too many), so I offered to help him by turning to you. If you would like to read something new, something fresh, if you have the time to spare and help a new writer, please let him know. His name is Yoann and his email address is: yo.re02[at]gmail[dot]com. Replace [at] with @, and [dot] with a period/full stop “.”

Thank you all.