Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I'm still grappling with the epub version of French Connection Blues. I finally got a response from Lightning telling me what the weird error messages mean...except they still make no sense to me. "The title is 9 characters long and should be 8"? WTF does that mean? They want it sent in using the ISBN in the title, which has 13 numbers, not including dashes or the .epub crap. I sent everything back to them -- epub file, PDF and Word doc -- and asked them to tell me what I'm doing wrong.

But this took the entire evening. And while going through the epub edition to verify I had everything right, I found some typos and a couple of formatting errors I'd missed -- Pete used tabs and the space bar to make indentations at the beginnings of paragraphs, and I thought I got them all but found I missed a few. I have to admit, my sense of obligation is dwindling fast, as regards this book. I'm now telling myself this is a learning experience, and I do NOT want to use Lightning Spark for e-book publishing; they are a pain in the ass.

I've caught a glimmer of what's going on with Reg in Underground Guy -- he's Tawfi's polar opposite. Uncertain. Confused. Too aware of how easy it is for evil to triumph over good. And somehow Dev is in the middle, having aspects of both...but how that will work in, I have no idea yet.

I also did work out the spine of the story...well, work on what I'd already done. Figured out what comes where, when. Added in more info at points to remind myself of what's needed. Expanded the roster of characters so it's not too obvious who the killer is. It's already shifting around, some, but that's par for the course.

I love finding characters in my stories. In The Vanishing of Owen Taylor, a lawyer who was going to be very secondary just shook his head at me and said, "Shut up and learn." Then he became a guy from Yonkers (married to a woman from Santa Barbara), who might be Jewish, might not, he never says, whose attitude is joyful at causing distress to the DA's associates, eats like a slob but is aware of it so has a bandana he uses as a bib when he's in a suit, has a minimalist office that looks freshly moved into even after having been there nine years, and wants to tell his wife Jake made a pass at him because it might impress her (joking, of course...I think).

I used a facebook friend named Preston as  his model, and even stole his name for the guy...though I made his last name Niemczyk. I defy anyone to pronounce it right...but even if you did, I wouldn't know.

Facebook Preston was first runner up as Square Hippy of the Year, a couple years back. Now he's an animation student in San Francisco and doing some amazing stuff. Very off-beat. I don't know if he's gay, straight, or pan-sexual, but I have a feeling he'd be fun to know, in person. If I ever get over my reticence in meeting new people...hell, just dealing with people, in general...I may call him next time I'm in SF.

Yeah, right, that's gonna happen.

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