So… here’s the thing

August 18, 2014 at 1:54 pm (Uncategorized)

Once upon a time, a series was born.

In my brain. Then spewed out unto paper with ink and lead, then quickly into electrons via desktop and then laptop.

First offered to eXtasy Books circa 2003, I requested the rights to my series be returned to me as I was wanting to part ways with the publisher: I was going to self-publish Reaper, my way, raw and uncut.

Following that release, tens of thousands of people downloaded her free, from Amazon.

Royalties trickled in from paid sales…

Real-world issues (work, borderline workaholism, dishes, laundry, relationships, travel) resulted in consecutive titles of Reaper being greatly delayed.¬† At current, I promised a Reaper VIII this past summer and have not yet delivered —- shame on me.

There are a few essential flaws with Reaper, take for instance the (proud?) fact that she was self-published and therefore self-edited by myself ūüôā There is also the fact that she takes place in “The City” which we know is a city of several million people, which has a Pier, and colorful neighbourhoods, and oh yes, the park from the first manifestation of her Dark Thing — the City was faceless, nameless, and in many ways, lacked authenticity.¬† On one hand, I had complete creative license, no geographical facts or actualities to contend with — a fictitious Gotham in its own right, with elements of¬†Vancouver, New York, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Chicago all rolled in to one.¬† Another flaw? Samantha Bennet¬†lacks certain dimensions, more than that, I feel she needs a few more challenges — more bad guys to battle, more obstacles set between her and any semblance of a normal life.

And so, here’s the thing: I am going to re-write¬†Reaper.

From scratch, keeping the tasty bits and sturdy bones¬†that I can’t bear to part with.

Oh – and this time, she’ll be edited: I had¬†a freelance editor/journalist go over her once, and once I make the changes I feel are necessary, I will have her (and another¬†interested/interesting party) do the last round of edits with me, prior to the re-release of this whole series.

There’s a little thing called NaNoWrimo that some of you might have knowledge of: for the entire month of November, writers write in a sort of competition-with-oneself (and one’s peers) to pen a 50,000 word novel in 30 days — 1,667 words per day.

In a move something like a mini-sabbatical from work, I opted to use my vacation days in such a way that I could devote the entire month of November to my projects, one of which is Reaper, two of which are in early development.

Those two side-projects will probably end up taking a back seat, because I do feel that Reaper deserves my full attention: she’s nowhere near what I want her to be, at the moment, and she deserves the chance to become the apparition of my wildest dreams. While Reaper is in re-writes, I am going to be pulling the ebooks of the series from i.e. Amazon and Smashwords.

Once she is ready for re-release, she will be there in her new evolution in entirety (or at least, more than her current state).

And as for that City? That metropolis without identity?

It now has a face. And a name.

The City of Neighbourhoods: Toronto.

“Hmm,” some might say. “If your goal is to get Reaper into the hands of as many readers as possible, why set her in Toronto? Why not New York or San Francisco or Los Angeles or Chicago? London, even?”

My answer: because I am a proud Canadian author, that’s why.

I’m due to visit Toronto this week, and will be spying for landmarks & other places that fit the bill, merging with the existing landscape of the fictional City where Samantha Bennet lives and works, and real locations that will provide a fitting backdrop to the battleground¬†upon which Reaper will wage her war against evil. I cannot understate the amplitude of my excitement. I’ve got sheafs of notes and Googlemaps images and photos, along with the electronic alterations, and while it would seem a daunting task to accomplish in just seven days, I’m hoping to gather enough photographs & voicenotes & interviews & other material & certainties to make for an authentic first volume — or two.

I acknowledge that an American metropolis would be the more contemporary setting.

Yet even though a US locale would probably garnish greater favor from the market, my guilt and acute stubbornness (read: pride) insist that I use a Canadian setting from an authentic Canadian point of view with Canadian values and political and social climate (read: soapboxes and social issues) lightly guiding some of the fictional commentary.

In my mid-thirties now, I have found firm appreciation for my Canadian heritage. I am passionate about our incredible nation, and I intend to revere it and extoll its virtues – and shortcomings – in every aspect of my writing, be that paranormal fiction about things that go “bump” in the night in Northern Manitoba or an adult fiction romp, episodic indeed, about a vigilante nephalim rookie cop who resides in a bachelor suit above¬†the¬†fictional Toronto watering hole Charlie Fridays?

So: there’s the thing.

I’m re-writing Reaper. Start to finish.

If you want to get your hands on a copy of her before she undergoes my edits, I’d advise you to get one now.

As soon as I sleep off my night shift, I’m logging on to the distributors and pulling her plug.

Keeping reviews of my series in mind, I’m taking Reaper back to the proverbial drawing board,¬†in the hopes of making her so much¬†better.

Her readers deserve the best story I can possibly give them.

Many installments of that story, at that.

Sincere regards & happy reading,

Amanda M Holt, Amateur Authoress and Sleepy Health Care Worker

p.s. fans of the previous incarnation, forgive me. All I can pledge as that if you instill a little faith in me, I will make certain that Reaper 2.0 will be one Hell of a good, long, bumpy ride.

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