Guess this means the month is half over? Episode IV Winter Trails in now available for Kindle and Kindle apps. Find all today’s #FreebieFriday downloads here.
Again, this week, I have spent every available moment writing and editing. Winter Trails this week. Somehow, I managed to at least begin a page on Amazon’s Shelfari - www.shelfari.com/wordthunder This site is very useful for a series such as mine because I can add character lists, glossary and such. The site is very easy to use and you log in with your Amazon login. Writers, I am happy to add your book. Simply click follow. I also started an Echo’s Voice group on Shelfari for any who would like to discuss the series.
This week for #FreebieFriday both Episode II Favor Blue and Episode III Freedom’s Snare will be free. I have run out of free days for Choose. However, the response truly was amazing last Friday with nearly 3000 downloads for Choose. I couldn’t stay awake for the final moments, as the free deal goes until midnight Pacific; 3 a.m. my time.
When I finally went to bed Choose was 3 in free science fiction and Favor was 23. Favor was moving up steadily and so I was hoping they would both make the top twenty before the deal ended. It may have happened, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open to see it. Sells have remained steady all week, so I know the freebie days are a great idea.
A huge THANK YOU to everybody who downloaded or purchased the titles! Writing the series is great fun. Your response has been wonderful. I am very grateful to you all.
As you can imagine, I am writing and editing every free moment to stay on schedule. Unfortunately this has not left much time for writing the commentary that I hoped to write along with the series. To have an episode ready for download each Friday we must upload on Wednesday night.
So there I was last night trying to pull everything together for upload and I hadn’t even written a description. This was tough because Freedom’s Snare follows three plotlines: Jeff’s capture, Rick and Echo’s introduction to the wasteland and Apple’s adventures through machine land. Incidentally, I really had a great time writing that entire sequence with Apple.
I do realize there are a lot of characters in the series. All I can say is that if a character is important to the story he/she was introduced in Choose.
Again, thank you to the readers. I am happy to answer any question you may have.
Episode II Favor Blue is now available for Kindle. In fact, to celebrate the launch of this insane “Five Episodes in Five Weeks” project, I offer both Episode I Choose and Episode II Favor Blue for free download today along with Too Many Dandelions and And The Dominoes Fall. While I plan to offer some freebies every Friday in June, this will be the last chance to get Choose free, as I used up the other free days at the end of April.
Note that we are also celebrating the series at our store with Echo’s Voice gear
This weekend’s promotional campaign, offering the three Kindle books free, is going very well.
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who is downloading the books! Getting Choose into as many hands as possible increases the chance of finding readers who will enjoy the 6-part series this June.
I have said, and this is the honest truth, I am enjoying writing this series so much that it is worth it to me, for the fun of the writing. The original book Echo’s Voice now seems like a rough draft. When completed, the 6-part series will be about twice the length of the original work. The characters and the settings are much better defined. Six books, each about 40,000 words, makes for reasonably-sized installments for summer reading. Each would be about right for airport/flight reading, or for an afternoon at the beach or pool.
This past week I was working on a wild scene in Episode III involving Apple McMorris, one of the characters completely new in this series. She evades pursuers by attempting an outrageous escape through areas of city buildings known only to the janitorial robots. I hope readers will enjoy it as much as I am enjoying writing, because I was really having some fun.
The seven characters who carry the story forward, Echo, Rick, Lorenzo, Favor, Jeff, Selinda and Apple supply endless fun for this writer whenever they interact. Honestly, that is what I love most about this project. Somebody asked me if this could be considered a ‘young adult’ series. In Choose, when we first meet these characters, they are all between the ages of 17 and 22. Episode VI takes place about five years later (although, in all fairness I must warn readers that not all seven characters survive Episode VI). I would say this series is for anyone who enjoys a fast-paced story that takes jabs at current trends in our society, relentlessly.
Somebody else asked me about the role of religion in the story. In this future world, ‘confessing superstitious beliefs’ is not legal. A person can lose citizenship if faith is expressed, or at the very least lose any hope of advancement.
In this world it is also illegal to be gay, or to even be suspected of “gender disloyalty.”
Of course there is plenty of hypocrisy in these rules. Hypocrisy, greed, selfishness are all part of the human condition, and must be confronted. I have little patience with books that describe a utopian future where everyone shares everything and no one seeks power or control. Sorry, but that is not a world of thinking human beings. Human beings are not always nice and sharing. They want, and when they want, they sometimes fight to get what they want. If this simple fact is not understood, humanity is not understood. So the world I describe is pretty much like the world of every age, in that people will sometimes do very terrible things to gain a little power. Agendas often conflict. People make bad choices. Heroism comes in many forms, but it generally begins by saying NO to selfishness and greed.
While visiting my sister this past Christmas, I found plenty of time to catch up on reading. At the risk of sounding like the most boring reader you have ever heard about, I confess that my reading included The Servile State by Hilaire Belloc Copyright 1912 and G. K. Chesterton’s The Outline of Sanity.
At that time I planned to write a series of opinion pieces expressing my views about where we are headed as a society. However, by the time I returned home from this vacation, it was beginning to dawn on me that I had written about these very themes some fifteen years ago in the novel Echo’s Voice. My Christmas reading merely helped me to better shape the society described in that novel. The original novel seemed like an outline of what I wished to write now.
What can I say? Wiring a novel, particularly spending time with these characters, is a lot more fun that writing opinion pieces.
In the future world that I imagine in Echo’s Voice, centralization has practically destroyed innovation. Current political debates about big government being the problem or big corporations being the problem miss the point in my opinion. Centralization in both business and government destroy the possibility of the no-name inventor to invent. Excessive government regulations make it difficult for the family farmer or family business to function. Government and the too-big-to-fail type corporations have practically merged into something that is not exactly Socialism or Capitalism, but with the potential to evolve into something far more dangerous to those who value liberty.
As Beloc wrote a century ago:
“The most sincere and single-minded of Collectivists cannot but note that the practical effect of their propaganda is not an approach towards the Collectivist State at all, but towards something very different. It is becoming more and more evident that with every new reform and those reforms commonly promoted by particular Socialists, and in a puzzled way blessed by Socialists in general another state emerges more and more clearly. It is becoming increasingly certain that the attempted transformation of Capitalism into Collectivism is resulting not in Collectivism at all, but in some third thing which the Collectivist never dreamt of, or the Capitalist either; and that third thing is the Servile State: a State, that is, in which the mass of men shall be constrained by law to labour to the profit of a minority, but, as the price of such constraint, shall enjoy a security which the old Capitalism did not give them.”
As G. K. Chesterton wrote, The solution to centralization is decentralization. In other words, before it is too late we must strive to find ways to give as many people as possible the ability to control their own means of making a living. This can only happen if we really do believe in private property. I do not believe a move away centralization toward more family farms and businesses will happen with the passage of any law or regulation. No matter what the stated purpose of laws being passed today, they always seem to favor increased governmental bureaucracy and increased control by a few corporations. I believe that any move toward decentralization must come from us, the people, who make a conscious choice to purchase from small, locally-owned businesses, and to buy locally-grown produce whenever possible. I do not believe that change can come from one massive law or action. I believe it will require millions of small, seemingly insignificant actions by the people who still value liberty.
As Hilaire Belloc wrote in The Servile State
” . . . If we do not restore the Institution of Property we cannot escape restoring the Institution of Slavery; there is no third course.”
No matter your political beliefs, it is worth pondering how much liberty you are willing to sacrifice in the name of security.
“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
― Thomas Jefferson
When I say security, I mean such things as job security and life’s basics: food, housing and medical care in addition to safety. I wonder how many people would sign a life-contract today, becoming the possession of the government or a corporation, if that contract guaranteed all the basics of life for the entirety of life.
Imagine if the following option were offered to every citizen: You may have forty acres of land to farm or to start a business, or you must sign a contract binding you for life to the government or an approved corporation.
How many people would sign that contract? I don’t know if it would be the majority of people, but I bet the number would be impressive. Now consider current trends in society. Is the number of citizens who would sign this life-contract likely to increase after a decade? Two decades?
The six episodes of Echo’s Voice make for a fast-paced, entertaining read—I hope. Although a pre-release of the first episode Choose is currently available for Kindle (99 cents; free with Amazon prime) we plan to release the six episodes in weekly installments beginning in June; with the final released coming July 4.