Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What I Did On My Holiday And News! #scifi

Why hello there! Goodness, those seven weeks just zoomed by. But oh, so much to catch up on and so much to share. Where do I begin?!

Well, maybe with turning 45 and my birthday presents.

I also got a new MP3 player and the full DVD set of Jonathan Creek from hubs. ^-^

My daughter shares my birth month, turning 14 this year. Hubs made an incredible find while we were hunting for a Funko Pop Rey or Katniss: A NERF Rey Blaster. I didn't even know they'd done one! With eldest due to do her Rey cosplay in October, I've bought this to paint up. It's not 100% screen accurate but close enough for someone like me who doesn't have the budget for full scale replicas nor the skills to make one. FYI, I'll be posting the conversion over at my Tumblr blog in due course, along with my Solo blaster and more cosplay info as it's done. Last week I did a post about creating Rey's belt HERE.

The summer break was pretty hectic with two birthdays, and my middle child now having his own phone and arranging his own entertainment with friends like eldest. He also did a coding and robotics courses, while eldest and I went to see an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet at a local church. It's not our favourite work by Shakespeare but she's unfortunately been set it for her English GCSE years (exams), and the Mercury Theatre's Youth Performers group put an interesting twist on it.
We also took a trip along the Rendlesham Forest UFO trail, possibly the most significant UFO site in the UK (a separate post on that to come).

And hubs and I went to see Suicide Squad as our random film of the year. I'm not a fan of DC (I much prefer Marvel in most respects) or of Jared Leto if it comes to it, but Harley Quin looked fun. I went in expecting dark and violent (although it wasn't any more violent than an Avengers mass battle, maybe even less so) but I'm left kinda confused. Firstly, the whole concept for the film was fuzzy, and the motivation for a lot of the characters weaker than wet tissue paper. I really didn't get it. Also all the wiggling the witch does (really?!). Only Will Smith had any kind of presence and believability. However, I did love Harley Quinn, and even Leto's Joker worked (even if I don't like the actor). The rest...meh. I won't be rushing to see it again but we'll probably pick up the DVD. Despite its 15 rating here (and I'm not sure why since hubs reckoned it was less violent than The Force Awakens, any sexual content was implied, and the swearing was minimal (I've heard worse come out the mouths of teen boys leaving the local school) I'd let my older two monsters watch it. I'd rate it a B for entertainment if you're willing to ignore the motivation issues and just want 2 hours of nonstop action, explosions, and a sassy, crazy kickass psycho-girl, but a D for plot. The start is a little slow but after that its boom, bam all the way.

While I was (mostly) off social media, things were still happening publishing wise (aside from the usual hair pulling and wailing and what seems to be my annual debate over why I keep doing this and whether I should keep doing this and blah, blah, blah. I'm still here.). My scifi adventure novel Gethyon--my last book left with a publisher--was returned to me in June. Although it had been in edits since the start of this year in preparation for the rights reversion and an immediate re-release, it...had gone somewhat slowly. What can I say? Some days editing be like:
And other days editing be like:
I'll let you guess which Gethyon was. >.< Regardless, the edits are now done and the preparations for re-release are in motion. Gethyon is due to return on the 22nd of September, and is already up at multiple retailers for pre-order. Woo hoo!

Why that date? Well, not only is it the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, but also that of my middle child...who just happens to be part of the inspiration for the central character in the story. It's up for pre-order, a print proof is shipped, and the cover reveal took place last week. Did you spot it? If not, here it is again. :P

A Scifi Adventure Novel
B&N | Kobo | iBooks
In the meantime, a huge shout out to my sanity savers and supporters Dani Fine and Laurel Kriegler for keeping me going, and to RavenFire Media for my excellent cover. Would you believe the artist held that cover for me for two whole years?! And I had to keep it secret. >_<

The Kobo Saga
Another thing that kept me online when I should have been on a complete break was Kobo's continuing inability to pay me the royalties owed. I'm pleased (or perhaps more relieved) to say that I finally got paid on the 18th of August. I'll be posting about the complete saga next week. At the moment the majority of my books are down from Kobo because of their failure to pay, except for The Bones of the Sea because it's a freebie anyway and Gethyon on pre-order via Draft2Digital. They will all slowly go back up via D2D. That should hopefully ensure me getting paid on a monthly basis instead of six months plus whenever Kobo decide to pay me (even if it means paying an extra premium to D2D. It'll be worth it!). I apologize for any inconvenience to readers, but if you are desperate for a Kobo edition you can pick one up from Smashwords or All Romance eBooks/Omnilit (epub) until the transition is complete. I am done dealing with Kobo direct, even if that means missing out on their new promotions opportunities. I like to get paid the pittance I earn so I can pay deserving people like my editors and cover artists. :-/

But I know the real reason you stopped by is for the...
Chook Update!
My feathered girls are doing just fine and enjoyed a summer of roaming the garden. We did have one visitation from the fox: It had been so long we thought it had died from the mange it was clearly suffering from, but no. However, our increased security systems meant it left without a chicken dinner. Then we heard it harassing a neighbour's chooks and dashed down to warn them. They suffered a few moments of anxiety when they found one chook missing but luckily she turned up hiding in the undergrowth. After being thwarted at ours and chased off by the neighbour's dog, the fox left, apparently now lame as well as mangy. I'm afraid I have little sympathy after losing two of my girls to it. So here's a couple of photos of my girls.

Can you spot Kyru having a dust bath?

Front to back: Pitch, Scoop, Chiana and Effie

Back to catching up with everything...

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