The reverse jointed legs are grotesquely perfect.
The reverse jointed legs are grotesquely perfect.
The emails for Protocol and Soul have started to go out and will continue through the week. I'm staggering them to give Amazon's algorithm a longer feed. One thing I won't be feeding the Beast is a copy of the collected ebooks. I wanted to offer this as an option for the budget conscious reader.
It's called The Chronicles of Dave and it collects both A Protocol for Monsters and A Soul Full of Guns in one volume, with a shiny dollar cut off the sale price. Because The Dave, he does love him a bargain.
I could do it wth Amazon, but they don't make it easy. It would involve cover redesigns and added expense. So I've gone with iBooks only. I expect a thank you call from Tim Cook, or at least Eddie Cue any minute now.
I uploaded the Hooper ebooks to Apple on Saturday, including an iTunes-exclusive combined edition, which will be a bit cheaper. (It's not an option available, or easily avialble on Kindle, which would require me to redesign the covers and rename the volume).
I've been waiting for the books to go live. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Gave up waiting and dived deep into iTunes Connect, looking for any problem. Found it under 'Tax'. Although I'd filled out my US tax forms I also needed to lodge local tax forms, including some GST registration documents I'd neved heard of.
This occassioned a delay. And some swearing.
I think I've dealt with it now, but I guess we'll see.
You live and learn.
Both of the Hooper ebooks have gone live at Amazon. They should drop on iBooks, Kobo and the other stores within 24 hours, but most of the action will be with the Beast of Bezos.
Some folks will heave early copies. Beta readers, as a thank you. Anyone who left a review of Cairo and a name I could track down, also in thanks. (If you did leave a review but didn't hear from me with a thankyou link to free Dave, let me know and I'll sort you out).
For everyone else, the first links are here:
I'll drop other links in my own bookshoppe as they go live. Most of you will also be getting an email about the release in the next day or so.
For now, what would really help are early reviews on both titles. They don't need hundreds. (The magic number is apparently eleven). If you're inclined to help out, you will find I can be a very generous master indeed.
Or, you know, you could just buy the fucking things.
I'm getting artwork done for the covers of the Hooper ebooks. One of things I enjoy about this process is the back and forth with the artist, William Heavey. This was his first concept piece for the gnarly old Thresher that Karin takes down.
I had an interesting exchange on the Twitterz over the weekend with a reader who really really liked the first two Hooper books, and really really hated the last one. "It was shit," he wrote. I was curious to know why. I thought those books got better with each title as we came to know the characters and they came to know themselves. Especially Dave and Threshy.
But no, this guy loved early, unreconstructed Dave. He thought Ascendance was all Karin Vs The Monsters with Dave along as a whiny sidekick. I don't agree, but I totally got where that was coming from. Both Karen and Dave are very strong characters and both suffer from the Al Swearingen Problem in the TV series Deadwood. They're so big they fill up the screen and push everyone off to the side. It ensures a real struggle for dominance when they are together, a struggle Karen often wins.
There's more than one reason for this. Dave's powers and personality are so outsized that he needs some constraint on him, and not just the Threshrendum ability to mess with his head. He needed another character who could constrain him, and in this series only Karen/Karin truly has that ability. Those of you who've read the draft of Soul Full of Guns will also know there is another reason for giving her enough chops to cut him down if needs be. She has her own agenda. But to go into that would reveal significant spoilers.
The alternate view of Dave and Karen's relationship, and the emotionally unsettling effect it eventually has on him, was summarised pretty well by the One Book Two grrrls who were looking for both an explanation of his unpleasant personality, and some path to growth away from its worst aspects. As Nell put it: "The reveal was so totally on the money. The explanation rang true and with Dave’s background, southern upraising, father that was disrespectful to his wife and sons as well as abusive. Dave is not only fighting himself with how he feels in his heart, he’s fighting what he was taught by his no good, rotten excuse for a man that is supposed to be a moral compass"
For all that I am happier with this interpetation of Ascendance, I am going to have a think about how you get somebody like Dave to grow, without having them turn into a vanilla flavoured conventional hero.