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  • Douglas Daech


    Born near Detroit Michigan and transplanted to Tampa Florida in 1982, where he located the story called “Steeling Time”, the author now resides in Russellville, Kentucky.

    His past experience includes articles in the Tripolitan, (Journal of the Tripoli Rocket Association, June 1991) and TRASH (Tampa Regional Aero-Space Hobbyist). In 1993 and 1994 many articles were published in the Unauthorized Launch, the Tampa Tripoli High Power Rocket Club newsletter. A science fiction piece was also presented in the online magazine NTH Degree (May, 2004). Also, an award for creative nonfiction was granted in the 2007 Frank and Cellia Conley Writing Contest at Western Kentucky University

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A little Travel Writing…

One of the most attractive options for a writer is the adventures of travel writing. If you are the kind of person who can write on the go, loves to travel and doesn’t mind operating on the internet, then Travel Writing could be for you.

Stingray City

About twenty-five miles off the shores of the Cayman Islands, but still within those islands’ barrier reef, is the hottest tourist attraction of Grand Cayman. It’s called Stingray City. It’s a group of sandbars that sit in water ranging from 3 feet to 15 feet. Most tourists select the easy three foot sandbar, but divers who want an underwater experience choose the deeper one. Both locations are the congregating grounds for Caribbean Stingrays.

Many tours are there at the same time, so stay close to your boat!

In past years, Cayman fisherman would stop in the calm waters behind the reef to clean their catch before heading into land. It is said that they dumped their cuttings into the bay, attracting the stingrays. Over time the rays learned that when they heard the boat’s motors they could come for an easy meal. It was about 1981 when local dive instructors started using the deeper sandbar reef for their certification classes. Before long divers were feeding the stingrays and soon the animals became socialized by the continual human interaction. It was around 1986 that underwater photographer Geri Tzimoulis called the area Stingray City and the tourist destination was born.

Our guide told us a little about stingrays on the ride to the reef.

There are several dive shops and captains in the Caymans ready to take you on the beautiful 40 minute ride to the reef. Each captain boasts a crew of experienced divers to train you about the animals and assist you in every way. They will give a little speech and tell you about the animals, but once you’re there, no help is needed. You can watch from the boat if you like, but nothing is like the experience of swimming with the rays. The crystal clear water is only waist deep at the shallow sandbar, and once you step off the ladder on to the sandy bottom your work is done. Hundreds of Stingrays will be swimming around you, some may bump up against you, others will keep their distance, either way the sight is spectacular.

The Stingray City guides are in the water to help. They know which stingrays are the most comfortable with humans and will point them out, and pick them up. They’ll help you hold an animal if you want, or give a kiss. There are a hundred photo opportunities for stingray smiles, as the guides handle the rays and help you get close to them. Each tour boat is allowed to feed a small treat to the animals and if you are lucky enough to be selected, you may be able to hand feed one!

There are many companies that offer tours to Stingray City. Most of the hotel and tourist centers on the island will have multiple advertisements for the adventure. Brochures are in every lobby. We selected our tour from the excursions listed by our Carnival Fun-Ship. If they backed up the tour, we figured it would be a good one, and safe. It was better than good. It was great!

Prices for the tour vary, depending on the captain, and the package you select. Some trips to Stingray City can include additions like visiting the Starfish Reef, or a visit to the Sea Turtle Encounter. The longer tours will be at additional cost, and be a longer tour that may even include a tropical lunch. You have a lot of options.  The basic package of just the trip to Stingray City is running currently around $50, and less for children under 12 years old. The tour is a bargain for what you get!

If swimming with the stingrays might be something that you’d like to do, contact me and I’ll connect you with my wife Julie, a trained travel agent! She can give you all the details on a cruise to the Cayman Islands custom selected just for you. For an adventure you surly won’t forget, all you have to do is message me!

Book Excerpt from Douglas Daech’s current work in progress expected to release Dec 2020.

From Douglas Daech’s Upcoming Book, River Spirit


Barny Gunnis sat at the bar in the Drop In, where he always sat. The stool didn’t have his name on it, or his nickname, Bubba, but everyone knew it was his spot. It was the perfect distance from the TV mounted on the wall and right beneath the air conditioning vent in the ceiling. From Bubba’s vantage point, he could see who walked in the front door, and who walked down the hall to the johns, and what the bartender was doing. It wasn’t that he was paranoid. He just wanted to know what was happening around him. He wanted to know, in case one of his girlfriends walked in looking for him.

Bubba set the empty bottle of Bud on the bar and motioned to Carl, the bartender, for another. It was Tuesday, and they were two bucks a pop. It had been a long day. A few beers were exactly what he needed. He had spent the last six hours in the cab of a John Deer tractor with a broken air blower. The glass box cab on the tractor turned into a greenhouse after an hour in the fields. By noon he was wet with sweat and already thinking about a cold beer. It didn’t matter how many times he turned the A/C knob or tried to restart the fan. No air would come out of the vents. He was stuck with the worse tractor on the field, and they had 250 acres to turn. It was a long day. When Carl set the fresh cold beer in front of him, Bubba thought he might need 250 more.

Tuesday wasn’t a big night at the bar, even with the two-dollar special. There were a few regulars at the bar chatting with Carl and a couple of underage kids in the corner by the pinball machine. Bubba stayed to himself on the far end of the bar and nursed his Buds. By nine pm, he was the only one left in the place. There were five empty bottles lined up in front of him, and another cold one on the way.

Carl took the dead soldiers away and wiped the counter. “It’s kind of a slow night. I was thinking of closing up early,” he said.
“Yeah, I got to work in the morning, too,” Bubba said. “It’s going to be another long one.” He took a slug of the fresh beer.
“Mack Simmons was here the other day, and he said the north field was going to sit empty.”
Bubba huffed a laugh. “Well, he changed his mind. We’re turning it for Soybeans.”
“It’ll be an early harvest,” Carl said.
Bubba agreed with another swallow of his beer. “And worthless too, it’ll bake in the summer and be a waste of time,” he said
“Insurance loss?” Carl asked.
“Most likely,” Bubba agreed. “John Simmons is a smart old badger.” He finished his beer and set the empty bottle on the bar. “I’ll head out and let you go home,” he said. Then with an afterthought, asked, “Has Betty been by here today?”
“Haven’t seen her,” Carl said.
“Well, I might head over to Annie’s and have a jump in the river? Feel like a dip?”
Carl shook his head no. “I got to head home,” he said. “You want some to go?”
“Yeah, give me a six-pack. I’ll see you tomorrow after we finish that fucking Soy field.”
Carl laughed. “I’ll have a cold one waiting.”

Bubba left the bar and walked into the warm night that instantly brought sweat back to his forehead. He had a plastic bag with six bottles and a couple of scoops of ice hanging from one hand. The walk to Annie’s Gas and Shop was only about two beers down the road. He’d have a few left when he got to the river.

Behind the old gas station was a path that led down to the Red River. It was about thirty feet away from the building, and the single floodlight that lit the back of the gas station dimly filtered down to the bank. But, it was enough to navigate the rough path. Bubba got to the end and hung the plastic bag of beer on a broken branch sticking off the side of a six-inch Maple. The tree conveniently had several other pruned off branches for hanging clothes while late-night bathers skinny dipped in the river. Bubba undressed to his skivvies, grabbed a new beer, and tiptoed to the river’s edge.

He knew the terrain, and he knew the riverbank. He had been there many times before. Bubba stepped onto a smooth flat rock a few inches under the surface of the water, right where it was supposed to be. It was the best place to dive into the center of the river. He took a slug from his beer and jumped feet first into the water with a wide leaping step. Bubba held his beer high above his head, and when his feet finally touched the bottom, the bottle was safely inches above the surface. His well-practiced entry into the river never failed him. He had never lost a beer.

The cold water was a mild shock to his system that he welcomed and shook off easily. Bobbing in the stream, Bubba swam a few feet closer to the bank where he could get a footing. He didn’t water his beer, and once standing on the rocky bottom, he took another swallow.

“Do you have an extra one of those?” Someone asked. The words were smooth and pleasant and in a woman’s voice. There was a hint of a giggle after she asked the question. Bubba thought it was Betty at first. This was there spot. But the voice had a more youthful tone and not the scratch of a seasoned bourbon drinker.

He looked around. Up the stream a few yards, he saw someone treading water. Bubba was surprised he hadn’t noticed her before he jumped in. The fading light that made it to the river revealed a smiling face with straight blond hair. The floating locks rippled on the surface, surrounding an unexpected and pretty young woman. “I got a couple hanging on the tree if you want one,” Bubba answered, thinking it would allow him to see her better if she went to get one.

He didn’t think he’d be so lucky, but the young woman swam to the shore in two strokes and then started up the rocky bottom to the flat rock ledge. She stood there, motionless for only a second before stepping out of the water completely. It was long enough for Bubba to see her figure. The distant floodlight on the building glared back at him and gave him a silhouetted view of his visitor. The shadowed figure was defiantly not Betty. She had long, perfect legs. Her round and wide hips sloped to a tight waist, and then rose to a bust line he could only imagine. The stranger’s naked silhouette didn’t offer many details more than an outline of sparkling wet skin as it curved around her body into the light. Bubba watched her reach into the bag and pull out a beer. Too quickly, she turned to face him, and her profile only flashed before his eyes. But, he had seen enough to know that if there was such a thing as a perfect body, this angel was as close as he had ever seen.

She stepped back onto the flat ledge with her feet just covered by the water. The angel popped the top of the bottle and wiggled her toes. Ripples swam out away from her feet, into the river, and she followed them. “Thanks,” she said as she slipped back into the depths. The angel moved so smoothly that the stream didn’t mind the intrusion. Where the current pushed him and swirled around him, it seemed to part, and it welcomed the angel.

“Names Bubba, What’s yours?”
The blond swam to Bubba. She stood very close to him but didn’t touch him. Bubba had a clear view of her face. She was no one he had ever seen in these parts before. “It doesn’t matter,” she said. “After tonight, I’ll be gone, and you won’t see me again.” She swam away from him, into the deep. As she left, the angel passed her hand across the bulge in Bubba’s skivvies. “Swim with me,” she said.

That was all the invitation that Bubba needed. He tossed his bottle to shore and pulled off his underpants. Ringing them out and wadding them into a ball, the skivvies followed the bottle to shore with a second throw. Then, he followed the blond angel into the deep stream.

They were treading water together, fighting the current to stay in place when Bubba felt her legs wrap around his waist. The angel giggled playfully and tightened her legs around him. For a few seconds, they hung together at the surface, smiling at each other. No words were said. They were reading each other’s minds and expressions. Bubba was completely misreading what was in the angel’s mind.

She stopped treading water and took a drink from her bottle. Her legs were still tightly wrapped around Bubba’s body. Bubba paddled his feet harder and took deep strokes with his arms working to lift the added weight. The angel took another sip of her beer with one hand. The other hand rested on Bubba’s shoulder. She lifted herself higher on Bubba’s torso, sliding her wrapped legs to his chest, and locking them tightly. She wasn’t going to help.

Bubba realized he was in trouble when he couldn’t keep his chin out of the water. He was slowly sinking. He struggled to paddle closer to shore, just a foot or two would be enough. His nose was almost underwater.

Bubba struggled for his last breath and gulped in water with air. He could hear the angel of death giggling. As the water covered his eyes, he could see the blurry beauty take another sip of his beer. Her hand lovingly caressed his neck and shoulder. He could still hear her. The giggle turned to a heckling laugh.

When his feet came to rest on the silty rock bottom, he was still looking up through four inches of water. He used all his might to kick up and get closer to the surface, but he was too heavy. He tried to step into the shallows, but the weight was too much. When he tried to take a step, he went deeper, falling to the side. Bubba gave up trying to tread and used his hands and arms to unwrap the legs around him. He only had a few seconds left to get free. His last breath bubbled from his mouth as his body convulsed into spasms, begging for air. But there was none, and it took in only cold water.

As mysteriously as the angel came, she vanished. Her weight lifted from Bubba’s lifeless body, and her form melted into the dark water. The river was silent again. All that was left was Bubba’s sinking body, empty of air, sliding slowly across the bottom of the river. In a day or two, a submerged branch would catch it, and Bubba would hang there. They would find him on the riverbank only after enough gasses of decay formed to lift him off the bottom.

Indie Films: Bowling Green

When most people think of movie studios and film stars, they think of palm trees and southern California. Some location shooting has spread to other parts of the country. But still, the headquarters and studios are mostly far from mid-America. But that is changing fast. With the advent of streaming video and the availability of faster computers, independent productions are becoming more commonplace. Bowling Green, Kentucky, is the hometown of Magnum Caliber Films. This independent production company is one of the up-and-coming streaming success stories.

James Magnum Cook is president and CEO of Magnum’s Models/Magnum Caliber Films from Offices in Bowling Green, KY.  If his name sounds like something you’ve heard lately, it is because his name was used as the main character’s name in Douglas Daech’s books, Strings Attached and Twenty/Twenty. The character in the book is based loosely after the real man. He was a photographer before becoming the leading role in the books. Cook started Magnum’s Models in 2004. Working with models has always been a priority. His one-on-one attention and nurturing skills have developed many professional careers over the years. Cook has shot film and stage actress Syd Wilder, who now works in Los Angelas, and Heather Bree Long, model and actress from San Diego, CA. His credits even include early images of Spencer Scott who became Playboy Playmate Miss October 2007.

James Magnum Cook

Film making is his second love. Cook is a member of the Independent Filmmakers Alliance, The Internet Movie Data Base and of OMP, as well as many other film making communities. Magnum Caliber Films was created in 2005 and has produced seven films right here in Bowling Green.  In 2006 Cook personally started investing in other film project around the globe and is credited as a producer on over 60 projects ranging from short documentaries to feature length comedies and horror.

Cooks first involvement in film was diving head first into the fan film, Batman, Date with Destiny. It was directed by friend, and award winning author, Landon Cary Dalton. The production had a cast of over twenty actors, some of which were Magnum’s Models. Cook had roles both in front of, and behind the camera. After numerous actor changes and years of setbacks, Batman, Date with Destiny, was released in 2009.

Since that first taste of the movie business, Cook has produced or acted in several movies and shorts. Catwoman the Heart of Gotham, Loonies, and Return to Which Graveyard were early projects followed by features, Bloody Sisterly Love and Cellar Secret.

Detective Mason Hawk is a short drama produced in 2015 that carries over as a prequel to the 2017 feature release, Captive Audience: The Kidnapping of a Mother and Daughter. In this Feature, Hawk comes to the rescue and saves a mom and her daughter from a maniac sex offender who has kidnapped them. The movie can be streamed at You Tube. Just log in and Search “Captive Audience Film”. A direct link can not be provided because of it’s R rating.

Mike Hanlon, Tampa Artist

“What I do is what I am,” artist Mike Hanlon explains. The 75-year-old artist has done a lot, and as a result, he has been a lot. His whole life has been a series of job where it became the central element of his life. According to his brother John, whatever he does, he obsesses on until he gets it perfect.  For example in 1962, Mike’s interests led him to box.

His dedication resulted in an amateur featherweight championship. He becomes what he does.

Mikes dedication reaches to all jobs, and interests he takes on. After he learned to ride a unicycle, he took it one step further and taught himself to juggle. Before long he was juggling balls while riding the streets of Tampa on one wheel. After teaching his two brothers to juggle, the trio became known as the Hanlon Brothers and worked as street entertainers at festivals and grand openings. Juggling, rope walking, and clowning became his life.

It was in the early ’80 when I first met Mike. I was a friend of one of his brothers. I found Mike to be a quiet and thoughtful person. I took him to be a wise man of few words. I knew he was painting and had seen a few pieces hanging in his small apartment, but didn’t know the extent of his talent.

At the time, both my friend George and his brother Mike were living in studio apartments above Hugo’s Sandwich Shop in South Tampa, FL. Mike’s apartment had a tiny balcony that looked over Howard Street. Recently, I used his studio as a model for the home of the lead character in my book Sunset of Dreams, available at Amazon. I have fond memories of those days. Link to Sunset of Dreams at amazon.com/author/douglasdaech

Mike Hanlon could always draw pretty well, but it was not until the early ‘70’s that he put his talent to the task. Christopher Clark, a retired painter in Tampa, took him under his wing. Clark taught Mike to be more observant. Mike claims his life started during those lessons. When he started painting, he became a painter.

Obsession… Hanlon took Clark’s lessons in observation and painted 178 views of Tampa Bay from the same location over 178 days, rain or shine. Every day he saw and painted something different. The challenge opened his eyes and fine-tuned his skills. It helped him learn to look at things as an artist needs to see them.

Recently, Mike’s career has taken a giant leap forward. 2016 was a big year with a best of show title awarded at the Art and Frame competition. And, he received the 1st place judging in the Faces and Figures show by Tampa Regional Artists. Plus, his work was proudly hung in his local Fifth Third Bank.

      

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Hanlon’s current obsession is a one-man show of Larger than Life Literary Heroes, which kicked off last year with a series of exhibits at public libraries. His work hung in several Hillsborough County locations. Famous authors gracing the halls of libraries, is a perfect for his work. His Literary Heroes, Larger than Life exhibit will return to the Downtown Tampa location this Nov. and Dec. You need to be sure to see it!

His work is also available to see at Inkwood Books, in Tampa, where they feature one new author every month. The Reserve, a coffee shop in Sarasota, FL, also displays his work. In addition, this December, the Sarasota coffee shop, Khawa, will have work on display.  You can view Mike Hanlon’s website at http://mikehanlon.info. This website offers a complete reference of his work, including the Literary Hero collection. Be sure to check out his site and the facebook link, https://www.facebook.com/LiteraryHeroes for his latest shows and events.

Two Story Publishing is proud to feature Mike Hanlon and welcomes him to our family of authors and artist. If you have a talent and art that you would like to promote, please contact us at http://twostory.pub. We would love to see what you do!

 

 

 

 

It’s worth saying again….

Why Authors Like Pre-order?

When you received the Two Story Publishing Newsletter last month, it included an exclusive excerpt from Sunset of Dreams. You also received an invitation to pre-order with special savings. (If you didn’t get your newsletter click HERE!) This mystery thriller book is due to release May 1st at Amazon.com. The launch countdown is underway. The books and street team is ready. A book launch is a multi-step process. Each step is aimed to raise awareness of the product before it releases. The excerpt was just one of the promotional stepping stones to that big launch day.

exclusive book excerpt

Newspaper press releases are another step that helps generate pre-orders.  The goal of the media blitz is to advertise the product. This surely is a great benefit to the independent author.  It’s important to get the orders in fast! Top selling books get special attention by retailers and buyers alike. On launch day, all the weeks of pre-orders will be attributed to that one day, making it a killer day for sales.  It is that buzz that turns a book into a best seller. The press release works!

The second advantage of early sales is in getting reviews. Buyers need to know what other readers think regarding new books. Pre-orders are the fastest way to get reader comments. Authors need those early reviews to generate more interest and keep up the momentum. If you have ever hesitated to give a review, please reconsider. When you like an author, take a moment and help them by leaving a comment. It is best for the author if you leave the review while the book launch is still hot.

Pre-ordering helps the author more than the customer. Of course, buyers are happy to get their products fast too. When the pre-orders come in on launch day, they function as a booster to move the book up the charts. A good book launch can keep sales coming in for a while.

Speaking of pre-orders, be one of the first to get Sunset of Dreams. This new novel is going to launch on May 1st. In the book, detective Max Jones discovers the cause of the rising murder rate in the city of Tampa. The problem is that he cannot find anyone who will believe him. Things heat up in the Florida sun as he struggles to expose the killer. You can pre-order Sunset of Dreams for Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WV9LY72  The Special Launch Price of $2.99 will only last a short while. So, pre-order soon!

Why Authors Like Pre-orders?

Why Pre-order?

When you received the Two Story Publishing Newsletter this month, it included an exclusive excerpt from Sunset of Dreams. You received an invitation to pre-order with special savings. This mystery thriller book is due to release May 1st at Amazon.com. The final changes for launch are underway. The first stage is a great launch. A book launch is a multi-step process. Each step is aimed to raise awareness of the product before it releases. The excerpt was just one of the promotional stepping stones to that big launch day.

The pre-order window looks like this!

preorder-art

Newspaper press releases and social media posts are other steps taken to generate pre-orders. All the chatter creates a buzz around the product. The goal of the media blitz is to gain pre-orders. This is a great benefit to the independent author. Top selling books get special attention by retailers and buyers alike. On launch day, all the weeks of pre-orders will be attributed to that one day, making it a killer day for sales. The existing orders drive the book to the top seller list and give it more exposure. It is that buzz that turns a book into a best seller.

The second advantage of pre-order sales is in getting reviews. Buyers need to know what other readers think regarding new books. Pre-orders are the fastest way to get reader comments. Authors need those early reviews to generate more interest and keep up the momentum. If you have ever hesitated to give a review, please reconsider. When you like an author, take a moment and help them by leaving a comment. It is best for the author if you leave the review while the book launch is still hot.

Pre-ordering helps the author more than the customer. Of course, buyers are happy to get their products fast too. When the pre-orders come in on launch day, they function as a booster to move the book up the charts. A good book launch can keep sales coming in for a while.

sunset_of_dreams-kindle-ebook-paranormal-thriller-mystery-douglas-daech-tampa-florida-detective-paperback-book

Speaking of pre-orders, be one of the first to get Sunset of Dreams. This new novel is going to launch on May 1st. In the book, detective Max Jones discovers the cause of the rising murder rate in the city of Tampa. The problem is that he cannot find anyone who will believe him. Things heat up in the Florida sun as he struggles to expose the killer. You can pre-order Sunset of Dreams for Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WV9LY72  The Special Launch Price of $2.99 will only last a short while. So, pre-order soon!

Some Family Reading….

Over the last year or two, I have enjoyed doing my family tree on Ancestry.com.  I really didn’t know anything about half of my family history before starting that tree. My parent passed away when I was five years old and one side of the family was a complete mystery. It is good to see there is a blood line from my father’s family that is thriving. As I look at the tree, I see many characters that would be great fodder for a story or even a book!

My grand Uncle Otto lived in Collinsville IL. Many of the family came from that area. According to the Alton Telegraph, a local newspaper, he ran a small bar. Apparently, it was the local gambling house. In 1943 he was arrested and I guess it was closed down. My writer’s imagination can see the place in gritty black and white details like an old movie. Good old uncle Otto.

Aunt Minni, the sister of my grandfather, William A. Daech II, married a man named John Preston Brown.  This guy was in the race car business.  He either drove or rented race cars for others to have fun. His business was Brown’s Drive-yourself. The old photos of him and his car conjure up roaring adventures around the mud tracks of yesteryear. That’s good material for a chapter or two.

prestons-car

My middle namesake, William F Daech, was an overseer of a sugarcane plantation in the Caribbean. I imagine he was overseeing slaves, working the cane, chopping and burning fields for harvest. The cane was used to make island rums. He married an English woman and had a child in the islands, but the roots of the family ended up in the States and settled in Edwardsville where he ran a distillery. I can almost imagine their hot romance on the tropic plantation as a book by itself.

history-madison-county-page

Great Great Grandpa William also served as the treasurer and sheriff. He was very active in the miners union and was major part of the union bargaining conventions. He was quoted in the Marxist magazine, The Worker on his labor beliefs. He was very political. The historic documents mention that he was a druid.

Investigating my ancestry opened my eyes to living uncles and aunts that I didn’t know I had. It gave me insights into past roots that I never knew about, and it sparked my imagination of the adventures they may have lived. Who knows, a new book may be developing from the characters in my families past. Will it be fiction or non-fiction, maybe a little of both? Only the future will tell!

What’s Happening Now

The November Challenge (Nanowrimo) has come and gone. This is a yearly event held to inspire people to write. Everyone keeps track of a word count with the goal of a 50,000-word book, and communities of writers compete for the greatest word total. This year I did not participate. I watched from the sidelines and finished up previous Nano projects. November may be over for those writers, but the work has just begun.

Some people say, writing the book is the easy part. After that, editing, publishing, selling, and promotion are the real challenges. I guess it all depends on the individual. But all of the processes are time-consuming, and it’s almost impossible to be a part time writer. Sticking you neck out to be reviewed, critiqued and rejected can be painful too. I wouldn’t call that easy. It makes one wonder why a writer writes.

In 2015 My Nano project was Warp Drive, Patent Pending. https://www.amazon.com/Drive-Patent-Pending-Douglas-Daech-ebook/dp/B01MQQYRL1 

warpdrive-cover I finished the first draft in January. Serious editing began and by August queries started heading to agents. The cover image and the text were edited, polished and tweaked to perfection and it finally ended up on Amazon. Warp Drive, Patent Pending is offered as a Kindle e-book. It’s now available in pre-order status and set for full release on Dec 20th.

The writer’s job is never done. November was very busy. The 2013 release of Haunted Romance was revised and edited for print, and the cover had to be redesigned for the paperback layout.  E-books don’t have back covers, so one had to be created as well. Even three years after the release of the 5-star e-book, it’s not finished. The paperback version of Haunted Romance is finally available now at  http://www.lulu.com/shop/douglas-w-daech/haunted-romance/paperback/product-22963178.html

If that’s not enough for one month, November also saw the development of the CreateSpace paperback of Sunset of Dreams. This new Novel follows the investigation of murders by a detective in Tampa Florida. Only he sees the connection, and it is too outlandish to believe. But you can’t argue with the facts! Sunset of Dreams will be released in early 2017.

My latest adventure called Finding Kray is now being queried to agents for traditional Publishing.  This novel also takes place in Tampa Florida.  The city is plagued with vampires, and one hunter is ready for the challenge. Filled with twists and turns, fun characters and surprise events this novel was as much fun to write was it will be to read! Look for Finding Kray late in 2017.

 

Writing is only the beginning of an author’s job. Once a book is born it needs continual work for it to mature into a finished product. It may start in the month of November, but the work is never ending. The good news is that the end product lives on forever. That is why writers write.

A Tool for a Writer

Querytracker.com is an online writer’s tool that makes life easier.  It is a one stop shop to find agents and publishers, but it is much more. There are two versions available, one is free and can be helpful, but the premium Query Tracker option is worth the small yearly fee. It gives users the advantage to enter and track multiple projects at the same time as well as a bundle of other helpful tools.

What would a writer want in a query tracking tool?  Surly a record of who has seen what projects and when is needed. As well as some record of the agent’s response needs to be included. That is the guts of any tracker or simple database. But this site offers much more.  Query tracker includes a list of potential agents to send work. Better still, that list can be sub grouped into genres. You wouldn’t want to submit a sci-fi novel to an agent looking for romance work. In addition, the agent info page gives the writer a chance to link to the agency website to review guidelines and current needs. It also allows a place for private agent notes as well as a public comment area so writers can see what others think of that agent. Other tidbits of info on the agent are also available. What more could one ask for?

Query Tracker Premium has even more features that impress.  Besides a record of when and how a piece of work was submitted, writers can see a line-up of submissions made by other users. As those writers get responses and record that information, a writer can see where their work is placed on the timeline. This is helpful in judging if your work has been reviewed and gives a hint of the pace of that agent. It is also helpful because you can see the genres that an agent is actually reviewing, and what is being skipped.

One should remember that the reports on the site depend on the input of those using the tracker. The information is only as good as the updating made by the users. Query Tracker gives an author a good view of what is happening outside one’s own writing bubble too. Success and failures are reported, comments are made, and opinions offered. It creates a community of writers who exchange data and stay on topic.

As opposed to a home-made database system of tracking submissions, Query Tracker offers time savings because agent data is already loaded. It offers insight as to the performance of agents with the comments from other writers, something personal database systems cannot do. Writing can be a solitary life. An alliance with other authors is often welcome. Query Tracker gives a writer a glimpse of what others are doing in the writing community, without the chaos of other social media platforms. QueryTracker.com stays on task, has one job and does it well.

A question to readers…

old typwriter I believe it was Stephen Foster who said that a story is not written it is rewritten. I remember the quote from a poster in my high school English class, so the quote may not be exactly correct. That was a long time ago!  But, things have not changed much.  Stories are still being rewritten. The computer and word processors makes it easier, thank goodness, but the authors dilemma of what revision makes the best story is still a hard question. Additionally, agents and readers are always making suggestions on what they think would be better.

Currently I’m working on a story that is a comedy, but is not full of side splitting laughs. The classic description of a comedy is a conflict that is overcome and the main character succeeds and survives the challenge. My hero does have a happy ending, overcoming challenges both emotional and physical to win the day. It is almost a fairy tale happy ending, and from the beginning was planned to be exactly that.

But, maybe the ending is too sugar coated. Recently a completely different ending was proposed. It’s an ending that dramatically changes the story into a classic tragedy where the hero loses his battle. In fact in this ending he loses everything. It turns the story into a dark tale with a sad ending. It leaves the reader shocked and perhaps with the question of what happens next. It opens the option for a sequel and sequels in fiction are so popular these days.

What type of books do you like?  Are you always looking for a happy ending? Does a dark sad ending leave a bad feeling in your heart?  Would you be less likely to read another book by this author?  That’s really the question here. Is a sad surprise ending something you would enjoy? Does a story, where after chapters of learning to like a character, you see him fall victim to his adversary appeal to you?  What ending should I go with? I wonder.

Please respond here with your thoughts.

you can view my published work at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dugger50

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