Martyn K Jones

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A Coelacanth in the bathroom


… is the title of my latest short story with Leg-Iron books for their spring anthology. I’ve decided to err on the lighter side of things with a dark little comedy of errors which I hope readers will enjoy. Sort of a comic tale of the unexpected. Currently just under five thousand words and in the final editing stage before publication. Will post the links to Amazon etc when available.

In the meantime, here’s the artwork frontispiece. If this is the version Leg Iron books choose to use, if at all.

Still working on the artwork for my reading of ‘Blink’. Stars trilogy is still being restructured. Not much more to say. Manuscript at 69,000 words, which is still only about half way.

What can I say. Fiction writing isn’t much of a spectator sport. On the technical side, have just adjusted the site to make Smartphone surfing possible.

Update: Contracts signed for the text. Not sure about the artwork.

A Falling of Angels


Well that’s it. I’m finally happy with the Manuscript, storyline etcetera for ‘A Falling of Angels’, the second in the Paul Calvin series of telempathic Policeman sci-fi novels. I’ve even written a brief foreword. I’m sticking with my chosen cover art, and will be making it available as an eBook and paperback. The eBook will retail CAD$4.99 or about £2.80GBP, which fits in with my coffee and a cookie pricing policy for eBooks. It’s taken me almost two years to get to this point, so I think that’s more than fair. Whether anyone likes my work enough to buy is another matter. I’ll just punt the end result out there and get on with the next in the series. Considering the big publishers are asking double the price for eBooks, I think I’m giving value for money.

The one thing I’ve tried with this series is to keep my lead characters humanity front and centre. Paul is a cop-with-a-conscience trying desperately to keep in touch with his children while battling a bureaucratic Hydra and putting real bad guys away. I’ve also tried to veer away from the usual whodunnit formula. In my stories he is both predator and prey, enforcer and victim, playing his part in much larger investigations, but being key in bringing the bad guys to book. Both cog and Deus ex machina.

Release date for the paperback is going to be end of November 2014. The eBook should be available via iBookstore etc, by then as well. I’m pretty well au fait with the ins and outs of self publishing now, so frustrations caused by those pesky formatting distribution rejections should be minimal. All I need to do is fill and reformat the text, which will take until Tuesday and the Lulu.com eBook release date should be November 5th. Firework or damp squib is not my judgement to make. We shall see. I’ll post the links here and my Authors Den page.

The rough text on the ‘excerpts’ page has changed significantly in the finished product, which is a lot more polished and a better read. At least in my opinion. Which is all an author ever has when everything is ready to pitch out into the great unknown. In the meantime there’s a cover and marketing blurb to write and refine. Right now, I’m going to hang up my keyboard and go for a pleasant evening out in downtown Victoria, hoping not to trip over too many vampires, zombies and werewolves. Unless they are the names of cocktails on the menu.

More Cerberus cover art


Masks background

Still playing with ideas for cover art for the first in the Cerberus series of novels should Harper Vector not respond positively, and ended up with the above collage built from various components. I’ve gone for heavy on the symbolism this time, hinting strongly at story elements within the first MSS. I’ve tried to convey a sense of being haunted, and a couple of other things which I’m not going to let slip. The three heads are of course a direct reference to the three headed dog who guards the entrance to Hades, but the faces behind the masks have their own meanings. I suppose you could call it art.

Sticking to the black and white colour scheme I’ve adopted for the series, which it seems to work. Well, I like it.

A few thoughts on book covers


Recently I’ve been messing around with cover art. Thinking about creating something eyecatching which makes a strong visual statement, but isn’t too ‘busy’.

At the book fair last weekend, I was watching what other people were doing as far as cover design is concerned. I was also covertly observing the reactions of would be readers to the artwork on show. I caught a few vague nods of approval at the ‘Stars’ covers, despite it being an unpopular genre with the majority of browsers, and barely suppressed looks of veiled horror at the more ‘crowded’ cover work. Conclusion; the most popular covers seemed to be the simplest. Either text only, or a single strong and pertinent image that attracted the eye without distracting from the contents.

Still struggling with the murder scene for ‘a falling of angels’, and trying to rationalise some of my notes from 2005 and embed them into the Cerberus story arc.

Keeping chipping away at ‘Darkness’ at about 500 words per day, but the story needs expanding. There’s an element missing. Not sure what it is, but I think a revision of the counter plot needs to be done. I’ve killed off the original bad guys, but all I’ve got in their stead are a lot of faceless bureaucrats who are hard to nail down. Very unsatisfying.

Workspace


I’ve finally been able to amaze my wife. Angie tends to think I’m an untidy individual who needs ‘training’, so I thought I’d surprise her by showing off my new workspace. Excuse the cardboard at the back, but I intend to replace that tomorrow with a suitably sized piece of something so that I’m not looking at dangling cables every time I look up.

Experimental artwork now has its own page. Two examples of which can be seen on the left hand pinboard. Angie is stunned. Dog can hide under my desk without getting under my feet every time I try to turn around. Mission accomplished.

How long it will stay this tidy is anybody’s guess.

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