Intro

For those of you who don’t know, I’m currently writing a novel – literary fiction.  It all started with the NaNoWriMo craze of writing 50K in a month.  I failed.  However the novel itself is steadily gaining pages day by day.

The novel, Literary Block, is about the life of 5 persons namely Sky, Sara, Jade Khan, Bertrand Roselmak and Terry.  It is a collection of the dairy and blog entries of the five characters.

Characters

Sky and Sara are teenagers.  Sky loves to write and is science columnist for some websites.  He loves science and has always planned to enter this field later when he’ll be working.  However with time he is slowly realising that maybe he’s more interested in writing and journalism.  This happens when at the same time, his science column is getting more of a reputation on the web.

Sara is a beautiful girl who’s a complete literary nut.  She frequently acts on stage and studies English and French literature at school.  However she is pertubated by the considerable number of boys who fall in love with her.  Ultimately, the doesn’t seem keen to actually fall in love herself but then maybe Sky could change this.

Jade Khan is a copyeditor at BusinessWeek and she’s bored with her work.  That’s why she created a community website mainly for young aspiring writers, called “Literary Block.”  Jade is well-known for the books she published.
Bertrand is a book publisher.  He has worked with Jade for one of the latter’s books, which his company published and is also in the Literary Block team.  He is also Terry’s publisher.

Terry, pensamed Kenton Pulse, is a SF writer whose first book was a mega success.  Unluckily the second book (a sequel) wasn’t as good in terms of the profits as the first one.  In the novel, Terry just got his latest manuscript accepted by Bertrand.

Excerpt

Terry’s blog (public)

4 November 2005

02:23

Title: Here we go again.

Hello dear readers/fans/bloggers/anybody reading this,

For those who don’t know me, I’m Kenton Pulse. And yes that’s my penname. I’m a science fiction writer and an avid science fiction reader! I have two published books namely “Automated People? and “Charged People,? which are in the same series, under my belt and a third is on its way (that’s the novel’s blog).

I’ve done this with every book that I was due to publish and I loved it every single time. Plus my editor at Evolution Collection, agrees that having a blog for a book is a great way to promote the book because of the author-audience relationship or something. He’s right of course.

So here I am blogging about my next book, “The Open Info World.? In this blog, I will recount the paining editorial process that every writer who’s getting his book published has to go through, give you some insights in the marketing process of the book and of course, post some snippets from the novel. I already have written the manuscript, which personally I like to call the first draft. Why? Just to give you an idea, I have four drafts of “Automated People,? in my office’s drawer and another four drafts of “Charged People.? It’s very stressful to do the editing mainly because that’s the stage when a writer writes under pressure. He’s got a deadline to cope with!

Anyway, it’s only two days ago that I received an email from Bertrand over at Evolution Collection that confirmed that “The Open Info World? would be published. No mention of when obviously but that’ll probably be in eight months minimum.

“The Open Info World,? is about the Open Source culture, Google (mostly Google Print) and Open Content. It takes place in the near future; in a future where the now-alternative Open Source browser Mozilla Firefox, is completely killing Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It takes place in an era where Microsoft Office has become second to Open Office from openoffice.org. And in an era where Google Print is considered as the king of the web.

In “The Open Info World,? I developed a new style in the sense that there are no protagonists or antagonists in the novel. I have personally been very much attracted to this concept a long time ago and I have finally decided to try it. I think it proved to be a success but that’s for you to decide, not me.

Watch out for more info on this blog as the news arrives.

Logging off from www.theopeninfoworld.info,

Kenton Pulse.

Terry’s blog (private)

4 November 2005

02:51

Man, I just posted the first public entry in my next book’s blog and I thought it looked good – except that as usual, it had of some lies here and there. Don’t blame but that’s what some people call marketing. When Bertrand asked me to blog about my first novel, “Automated People,? I was pretty excited about it. I had never experimented with blogging at that time and everybody on the net seemed to have started talking about blogging. I had the feeling that blogging would be the next big thing on the net and I was eager to try it out. I consequently jumped head first and gracefully accepted Bertrand’s offer. But now, coming to think of it, it’s not like I had a choice: Bertrand is my publisher after all.

So the following day I sent him an email informing him of my excitement to start a blog. In the afternoon, I had my blog set up at TypePad and I was ready to start blogging. From this point on, I was addicted to blogs and anything blog-related.

In the beginning of www.automatedpeople.info, it was all going cool. I was giving the world an insider’s view on book production and publishing. I published my thoughts about certain topics that were mentioned in the book. In other words, I was free to tell whatever I wanted. I was all free and blogging.

But then I started receiving emails from Bertrand, telling me to edit such and such posts because I was giving away too much information about the book. Then, I started to get emails asking me to completely delete entire posts from the blog because my thoughts about certain topics might enrage potential readers. I did as I was told although I did try to fight back. But Bertrand was the boss and I knew it – and I was going to get published for the first time and I didn’t really have the confidence to argue.

Time went by and we were about one month away from the release date of “Automated People.? The blog was very successful and Bertrand was frantic about it. He was rightly thinking that the blog had proved to be a great tool in the marketing and promotion of the book. The blog readers were happy because they were reading snippets and getting behind-the-scenes info. In fact everybody was happy, except me.

The readers’ enthusiasm started to panic me. I found myself constantly thinking whether the book would meet their expectation. I remember thinking that maybe I should just email Bertrand and cancel the publication. But I knew that I was too late then. The book would be published in a month whether I liked it or not.

By that time, I was no longer blogging at www.automatedpeople.info: Bertrand was virtually reciting whatever I was to post on the blog. I had become the intermediate.

The release date came and went and I was flooded by emails. Journalists were asking for interviews, readers were begging for a sequel and for some obscure reasons, some asked me why I was anti-Christ. By that time I had socialised with some other writers and I realised that all those emails should have been taken charge of by the publisher. Instead it was I who got the tough and extremely boring job of replying to all the fan emails while I had to forward the journalists’ requests for interviews to Bertrand. He told me that he would look over those. The lesson: I should never have put my email address on my blog.

A few months or two after the release of “Automated People,? I was commissioned to write a sequel which would later become “Charged People.? I was very honoured and I had a lot of ideas for the novel. I was told by Bertrand that I would break the news to my readers in an interview with France Inter, a radio station based in France. The interview would coincide with the release of the French version of the “Automated People.? I was furious. I emailed Bertrand and told him that I thought that www.automatedpeople.info, that is to say the blog, should get the news first. I firmly believed that it was my duty to tell the whole world the good news and not only the French people (not that I have anything against them – I live in Belgium). I firmly believed that I had to respect my readers and fans, who had supported me and implored the sequel right from the beginning, more than my future readers, that is to say the French, Spanish, German and Indian people where the respective editions had not yet been released.

Bertrand didn’t agree. But I had contacts by then. I had become great friend with another writer, who was also working with Bertrand and Evolution Collection for her book entitled “Life with full stops, commas and hyphens.? Jade, who was also blogging about the book, was of the same opinion as me and having published the mega-popular “Let me see your world,? with Bloomsbury, the famous publisher of the Harry Potter series, she had more influence that me. Bertrand finally gave way and told me I was free to blog the good news. It was great – with the exception that he actually wrote the whole post. I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t going to argue: I was to blog the big news for my audience.

The bottom line is that I started to hate working with Bertrand from this day. I thought many times of publishing “The Open Info World,? with another editor. It wouldn’t be so difficult now that I had two published books, one of them being a best-seller, I thought. But I didn’t give it to another publisher.

But that’s another story. Phew it fell good to let it all go.

What do you think? Tell me.

4 Responses to “My novel-in-progress”


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What’s up in my life?

1. Best friends: I love you people.
2. My own company: sky media
3. Science is so very cool
4. 6 month sabbatical.

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