It’s now officially out in the world! My cyberpunk thriller, Through Stranger Eyes, book 1 of the Matriarchs – Silicon Gods series, has just been released. For the time being, the book will be an Amazon exclusive, meaning any of you with a Kindle Unlimited account can read it for free! However, if you’re not subscribed to that service, you can take advantage of a special offer for reduced price that will last for the next five days!!!
Flesh comes cheap in a machine world.
Doctor Rick Stenslandt has always advocated against the fusion of man and machine. But after a near-fatal accident, he is forced to accept ocular implants or go blind, end up unemployed, and without social status.
But something goes wrong. Now he remembers people he has never met before—influential members of the corporate elite that governs the world. And they have all been murdered.
Worse, it seems he’s the next target.
On the run from the police and a pair of augmented assassins, Rick seeks refuge in the infamous alleys of the megacity. But to protect the ones he loves, he cannot hide forever. Now he must figure out his borrowed memories and his connection to the victims, before it’s too late.
If you enjoy cyberpunk, dark, urban, futuristic settings bathed in neon lights, hackers and dubious characters, mega-corporations that have taken control of the governing of people’s lives, then this is the story for you.
Lots of things have been happening for a while now. First of all, I’m getting ready to publish my next novel. The book’s official release date is October 13, 2019. The genre is cyberpunk thriller. If you’re unfamiliar with cyberpunk, then the best (and simplest) definition is that it’s a futuristic urban dystopia, and practically all things cyberpunk can be summed up as, “high tech, low life.”
If you’ve watched movies like The Matrix, Blade Runner (both films), or the TV show called Altered Carbon, then you have already taken a taste of what Cyberpunk is all about. Or you may have read books like Neuromancer by William Gibson or Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. If you’re a gamer, look no further than Deus Ex and of course the game all cyberpunk fans are waiting (myself included), Cyberpunk 2077. All the above fall under the category of Cyberpunk. As you can understand, the subgenre is quite broad and is tightly related to Science Fiction.
At the moment, the book is with a handful of blog reviewers to get the word out, and of course my trusty team of ARC readers in order to get some early reviews when it goes live. So I’m quite anxious to hear what they think of it. To be honest, out of all the stories I’ve written so far, this has been my favourite and I’m really looking forward to hearing their thoughts.
Hmm, I forgot to mention the book’s title, didn’t I? The book is called Through Stranger Eyes and the series it’s part of is called Matriarchs – Silicon Gods. Through Stranger Eyes is book 1 of 3.
I have also finished drafting book 2, though it needs a lot of work before any of my beta readers get to read it. A LOT!
Lastly, I have been trying to find a decent plot for book 3. So far, I’ve come up with 5 different plots, but none of them impresses me much. I know how the trilogy should end, it’s just that I don’t like the way the events leading to the end unfold. It will come to me eventually (hopefully), but for the time being it feels like I’m churning out sub par ideas, and that is what annoys me the most. To be clear, each book has its own story line and its own heroes. Events take place in different periods, and by the end of the series the reader will have a clear understanding of how the world has evolved and been reshaped from its key players. So each book has to have a strong and independent plot from the previous books in the series.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more info on the world, the characters, and everything else related to the book.
Quick reminder that the giveaway, Bad People With Guns, will end on September 5, so if you intended to read one of the available books but haven’t obtained one yet, you should hurry, especially if you’re a fan of thrillers, suspense, mystery, or crime fiction in general. Go here and download stories from Anna Willet, J. L. Stowers, Sara Cobb, and Simon Royle.
In other news, I’m happy to announce that the last of my betas got back to me. Unfortunately, they didn’t manage to finish Through Stranger Eyes. In their words, “I haven’t had the chance to start it yet. Sorry, but I can’t do it.”
It happens. Life always gets in the way of things and sends our best intentions down the drain. That’s why it’s important to reach out to more than one beta reader, and to have a decent personal relationship with them, so that they don’t feel that they’ve put themselves in an uncomfortable or awkward position when they have to tell you, “sorry, I don’t think I can make it.” Remember, betas are hard to find, they want to help, and perform an important task for us writers for free. Cherish them and understand that they too lead demanding lives.
So, what this means is that as soon as I get back to my computer (still waiting for you, summer, to bugger off and let me enjoy some cool days), I’ll go over the notes the rest of the beta team returned (I was lucky enough to get (feedback from four people!). I expect to have a hard time going over one beta’s notes in particular, since they gave them back handwritten, which means I will have to transfer them into my digital copy. And I have their thoughts recorded on a couple of audio files, so I’ll have to transcribe them too. Which is good, ’cause I can’t make out most of their handwriting. Oh well.
This is one of those moments where I sympathise with all editors out there.
However, here’s the thing: the first thing I noticed, from almost all the betas who gave me feedback, was that they enjoyed one of my secondary characters more than the protagonist. In fact, they liked that character TOO much. I’m not sure if there’s an underlying problem with this. What I mean is, I’m not sure if my main character is badly written or if that secondary character is so dominant that overshadows everyone else in the story. If the latter is the case, I’d have to figure out a way to trim her dominance a bit, which I’d rather not do (the truth is, I too enjoyed writing her scenes). If the problem lies with my main character and he is badly written, then I have the feeling I’ll need to rewrite A LOT of my story in the next months.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever read a book that, to you, one of the secondary characters stood out far more than the protagonist? Did this bother you at all? I’ve made a poll for your convenience. I would appreciate it if you could share this with your friends, as this will save me not only time, but part of my sanity.
Through Stranger Eyes is finally printed, and the red pen is anxious to have a go at it. Isn’t there something magical when you transfer the thing of your labours into a physical medium? I mean, when you type it and store it in the cloud or wherever, you know it’s there, it’s accessible, and if anyone ever doubts you wrote a book all you have to do is go online, access your files, and voilà! You can easily say, “Ha! In your face, nameless person who doubted me.”
But you have to admit there’s something so much better when the object of your desire, the reason you locked yourself away for weeks, months, or years and allowed people to think you’ve turned into a deranged hermit, is tangible and in your hands. I mean, it’s been three days since I printed it, and I’m still giddy and excited. Hell, I feel as if I can take on any one and any thing, maybe even tackle another one…
Just kidding. I will not start another story until I’m through with this one.
So this should keep me occupied for a few days (weeks or months, more likely). As I mentioned in an earlier post, once I fill this bad boy with as much red ink as I can fit on the margins of its pages, I’ll transfer all the changes into the digital copy, then turn on the macro function and sweep away all the nasty adverbs, filter words, etc that I have missed on all previous editing rounds .
My only concern at the moment is that the story came out at 140k words (!!!), which is 20-25k more than what I wanted it to be, and I doubt if I cut every adjective and adverb from the manuscript it would reach my intended word count. The funny thing is that the first draft was 128k words, but I needed to replace some of the scenes with new ones and ultimately had to add one or two extra, and that’s how I ended up with so many words.