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Congratulations. It's a...a..it's a... What the hell is it?
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:17 AM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Hi
I joined the queue a couple of weeks ago with the latest draft, though don't see any sign of it up anywhere. I'll give William a call out if still not up by Friday.
If it's been lost I'll do a quick final review and try and get it up again.
Many thanks
Mike
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:07 AM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Hey Tom
I should have reviewed here, as now my page numbers are all Bookkus, but I'll type it here in case such minor points aren't really appropriate for general discussions.
I got bogged down with other things recently and just returned to this review... hooked again. Some of the following points, if not all are really minor, but take that as a compliment as I'm thoroughly enjoying the story. There's virtually no grammarical probs and the pacing is great. Thinking back to the prologue, I still am not sure if the chap getting mugged while being couted by a hooker, is the assassin early on, discovering his abilities or an original playing. If the assassin, his target was lower than usual, and he seemed confident in his abilities so maybe not early on. Looking back, this could be clearer. I only mention as ALL the rest is clear and feels like it's moving forward, and as we always get judged on the first bit so it's gotta be beyond groovy. Maybe this has been looked at since my first glance.......... anyhoo back to the present;
P522 The chat they have over Bourbon seems to repeat on what we know of them already so I think it would need to fight harder for its place. If it's there to prepare Apprentice or me for a female original I think it could be left out and just show here response when they first meet.
P523 Word repitition..... Trees  said 4 times in short succesion............. did I say these were minor things?
P606 she did not believe... a few pronouns in a row, I'd use her name here........ Apprentice.
P607 The lady introduced her to wine........ a particular type or wine in general..... just I haven't checked back but did she possibly, maybe have a glass with Enforcer way back when....... maybe not!

The Raul/Saul reference is cool in that you didn't over-explain it.

I'm a bit confused at the whole First Wife thing. Who is she. I thought the Lady's first wife, then a vision of Enforcers first wife given to Apprentice by The Lady.... I don't know. Should this be clearer?
P645 She though derisely that his gun - Yipee, I finally found a typo (thought)

Back soon with more
Mike

P489 The high pitch voice told her all she needed to know........... nice, not too subtle, not too unsubtle.
P507 'What a dirty old man you've become' Enforcer says to himself... not so keen on, if there's to be a real love interest. It's just not the picture. I remember you saying that age is irrelevant as the machine repairs and heals and this kinda prevents ageing. As a mentor, he does come across as older, but maybe clarification, not as to what will happen, but what is on the cards might be useful.
Tom Wolosz
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:23 PM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Quick comment:  Bookkus posts new about the first of the month.  You should know in about two weeks if you're in this months list. Oh, and the Dandy (Chapter3 - the mugging) was explained in Chapter 14 (The Director) when they talk about the insident with the 3 thieves.
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 6:25 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


I shouldn't have taken that break from it, I'd forgotten that

I'll keep an eye for Seer in a couple of weeks. Don't think I'm able to make amendments to the copy you just revised
without leaving that queue, but I'll do my revision seperately and then I'm finally at the submission stage proper. If for whatever reason I miss the queue, at least I can do the wee corrections you highlighted, so happy either way.
thanks again and see ya there, Tom
Mike


Tom Wolosz
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:28 PM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Hi Mike,

  Really beat, but can probably stay awake long enough to answer a few questions.  Firtst Wife - a memory of the apprentice.  She remembers serving as a servant in the palace.  If you remember, when she first woke (at beginning of story) she mentioned having explored the palace.  The First Wife has nothing to do with The Lady.  Also, "dirty old man" is a joking reference that maybe has never made it to your side of the pond.  A "dirty old man" is an old geezer who drools after, and makes offensive comments to young women.  So acting like a dirty old man is kind of a joke.  
   Now that I've cleared that up I'm gonna go pass out - long day.

Cheers, and I'll be looking for Seer or The Desolate on Bookkus.  

Tom

P.S. Still haven't figured out who the killer is?
 
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 1:00 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


No, I bloody haven't!
Either you're more cryptic than you know, or I'll never be a detective.
Back on soon,
Mike
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 1:55 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Hi Tom
Just finished 'Agony.'
Excellent stuff. Least anyone else be reading this I'll try, and undoubtedly fail, to be a bit cryptic as to the ending....
I had discounted ******** as the killer, as I remembered occasions when he/she had run tests and research to find things out that would have been known to the killer. I'd wondered briefly if avenging actions had been perpetrated during unconsciousness.
I'm going to have to read back through now to see if on all the occasions when this research was been conducted there was another present for whom this mascarade (if that's what it was) was for.
I confess, I've found little to comment on over the last third of the book. I may have got a little carried away reading the story, but I just think that there are virtually no typos or inconsistancies to have found.
Just assume that every couple of pages, I've said 'good stuff' or put in a 'like' smiley face, or something equally useful and constructive.
P.762 The (Then) he thought, Try to be open......
P. 772 I think you've described the snow before the porch having been trampled, twice.
Apart from those, I've really no issues to point out.

I'm wondering what happens now. Has ******** blown his cover; will the director discover anything; will ******** continue his work, and to what ends? I'm also wondering about the vision given back on Devon's world, with the child. I thought that would come back into play.
Perhaps there were things which could have been discovered, but only by connecting, and to do so with such questions would yet blow the cover.

I though it was excellent that the hint was given that ********** was an ********, or at least thought she was after dealings with The lady. I had not imagined even with that...  possibly because of it, that she were not alone in this.
Her feelings and perspective at the end, which had been a little hard to understand previously, were credible, given the twist and worked well..... her swings still disturb me a little, but when I think over it... yea, I'm thinking that all works and makes sense.

Without spelling out the ending here... You know I like the happy ones, so no need for me to say a whole lot more there.
I'm thinking if powers can be taken away remotely, as with Lady, maybe there is some more opportunity for total closure here. If Lady was the first remote power extraction, he could have just worked out how to do this after the extra motivation caused extra research, after the Meastro and The lady. At the console, the remote process used on Lady could be repeated across the board, simultaneously breaking all connections everywhere.

I'm not sure about the 'Softly falls the snow' sub-title... I think something has gone over my head with that. Obviously I get the reference to the end line, but is there a metaphor here too. I feel there is but don't see it.
Also, you haven't seriously left the Maestro alive have you? He has to die a horrible death, surely.
Past deed on the enforcer were eluded to, to App by the Director... I was wondering what they were.... No actually, on thinking about it, that doesn't matter. But when we find out what happened to this enforcer, a reminder of his past deeds might justify the actions of the killer, other than 'the greater good.'

So a way was found to over-ride the rule that travellers could not connect, yea? Or was it just that this traveller had no need to, as his victims could no longer do so?

Anyway, I'll think on a while. I'm sure on a second read, I'll understand as I see each episode why certain folks can or can't do things, or be witnessed doing them. The last 'animal' chapter where undoing things would raise flags all over the place, was credible and I think probably feeds into alot of earlier frustrations the ******** faced.

Anyhoo, as I said, really good, and I don't know if you did a large revision before I got to the end, but certainly anything I read over the last weeks has been pretty much error-free.
Hold on - what was all that about with the lamp-post world then? Obviously it wasn't a distraction or the killer arranging a meet or trap... don't see why the director would have done it... who else? It was mentioned that ******** had hope it would be a bonding excercise, was it just that with a bit of training thrown in? He did say early on he needed the stakes to be high for training, but that one seemed like over-kill. I'll go with an attempt at bonding and a test, unless I hear different.

Lastly, anything else I oughta do on bookus? I still don't get how one moves from stage 2 on. The readers can still make comments, but there no discussion as such, just scattered independant comments. How do they decide what ascends?
I don't reckon there's anything to be gained by me pasting the likes of this on there as a coment... indeed it may spoil the ending for some, but vague remarks like, still reading, still good, will hardly shake the earth beneath anyone's feet.
Let me know your thoughts.
Cheers, and the very best of luck with this.
You know I'm a fan.
Mike



Tom Wolosz
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 3:20 PM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Hi Mike,

   Thanks very much for your comments.  Glad you liked it!  Got a couple of minutes so I can answer one question - lamp-post world.  Remember the lead in chapters: The Lady and the return to the butterfly world.  Character is not quite sane at the point of setting up a Level 1 training exercise. And remember - you never quite know what to expect with a Level 1.
   As far as Bookkus - now all you can do is sit tight and wait.  If I get a sufficient number of positive reviews William will send you an e-mail telling you that a discussion forum (closed to me) has been opened to discuss publication potential.  I know they want to publish something soon, but I'd imagine it might take at least a few weeks before the book gets to that point.
    Well thanks again.  I'll post some more later.
Tom




Tom Wolosz
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 3:24 PM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Oops, I forgot to mention that the "bonding exercise" was an insane and desperate attempt to win her back. 
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 3:36 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Training and bonding..... good, those were my two guesses. Well two of three anyway, the other one being to test her view of him. Just wanted to check!

Well that just leaves the Maestro. So long as he gets a slow and painful death in the sequel, you have a satisfied customer.
Catch ya later,
Mike
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 3:43 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Oh crap, yea!
Training and bonding.......... that's why he didn't want her to come along.... and was so angry with himself the whole time they were there after it all went pear-shaped............... and why he berated himself, reflecting that he had hoped they would bond at that world...............Doh!

Tom Wolosz
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 8:38 PM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Hi Mike,

     OK, let me try to answer some more of your questions. 

Lamp-post world.  I though I might be giving it away at the end of the chapter when she mentions that the entire event seemed like a Level 1 and he got defensive, but I guess not.

Now back to your list:

Sure he did things like run tests and research things he actually knew about.  What would you expect him to do in front of her?

He would appear passed out over his keyboard when he was in the machine, but like a lot of soldiers and sailors in combat – it sure helps to be stoned, drunk or whatever. He’s not a superhero, he’s a common person trying to right some wrongs and scared as hell that he’ll be caught. You might also note that I tried to correlate the anger and hate of each murder with his mental state following each visit to the world of an Original. 

The child:  Yes, the child is a teaser.  I will be getting serious about the second book this summer.

Hints: Yes, I tried to sprinkle them about through the story.  I worked a bit to get the wording just right on the one you mention, when the apprentice muses that “he’s a print, and she is an Original.”  If you read it carefully you realize that she need not necessarily be referring to the Lady. J

Her constant dreaming of having her own world.  Why would she be so sure she’d get one if she was just a print?

Actually, the Lady was not the first to have her power taken away.  The first was the Flyer in the first chapter.  There is no point to remote action.  Without being there to insure the demise of the “god” how would he know the Original would be killed?  If he lets the local prints in on it (as with the Lady) he leaves too much of a trail.  No, he’s walking a very fine line. It’s not until he despairs of losing her that he gets really drunk and makes a big mistake.

Oh, yes, he could break all the connections, but the only way to do that is to destroy Central (assuming that’s where the Machine is).  Devon tried and that didn’t work well.

“Softly Falls the Snow”  Well, first off I wanted a subtitle to balance the overly melodramatic “Agony of the Gods” title.  But more important I want the point made that these are people.  Here we have an omnipotent being (plus a couple dead ones) and the final scene could have been a husband crying on the grave of a cherished child or wife. Despite their power the world is oblivious and treats them like anyone else.  Truthfully, Mike, I didn’t give it that much thought – it just felt right.

Dead enforcer.  Well, he was a scumbag.  I think I made that clear with the chapter about the three thieves.  Also when he dies in the library the books make the point.  I also worried that I was giving away too much considering all the times I had her think about how this really didn’t seem like the same guy (obviously because it wasn’t!).

There is no rule that travelers can’t connect.  It’s up to the local Original to command that.  Of course if they don’t know someone is coming (and if that person knows how to over-ride their commands anyway….).

Well, I hope that answers your questions.  If not, let me know. Rest assured I will be looking out for The Desolate (or The Seer) on Bookkus.

Thanks again,

Tom

 


Michael R Hagan
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:32 AM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Yea... I don't think I have any other questions. In fact, if I'm honest, most of these I thought I had worked out (or been shown) for instance, being in the machine while passed out. I just wanted to double check that my conclusions were the right conclusions. :~)

I didn't get that the three thieves scene showed the original enforcer...(or rather that should be the enforcer that was not an original, but this might be my fault for taking that hiatus half way through. I'm going to read it again.
I actually think it's one of the few books that will be as good second time round as an understanding of the red-herrings and open statements will make it a different read.... if that makes sense.
That's exactly what I've tried with my creation too.
Hope this gets picked up, Tom.
On to stage 3!!!
Mike

Michael R Hagan
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:34 AM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Oh yea, forgot to say..... glad there's a sequel.
The child is a real hook, and as you may have guessed, I am looking forward to The Maestro getting a hot poke shoved up............ I'll leave it there.
Keep scribbling
Mike
Tom Wolosz
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:15 AM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Well Mike, I wrote it in the hope that it would be a book that people would want to read twice.  I got that from my dear departed mother who always talked about how much she loved reading Agatha Christie twice - the first time for the story and the second time to pick up on all the clues she'd missed the first time.

The Dead Enforcer:  Well, first you read the chapter with the three thieves, then the meeting with the Director where you learn that HIM was the guy who killed the three thieves, and then you find out that HIM killed the Enforcer and took his identity.  Stepwise revelation that spans the book.

BTW got a big kick out of a review I received on the other site (you may remember it): "Has anyone guess who the assasin is~? I have it on good authority we’ve been introduced to him/her by this stage, but I haven’t a clue." Emphasis is mine.  As they say MIke, ROFL!

The Seer is listed as a May book on Bookkus, so I'll review it once it's actually posted.

Cheers,

Tom

Michael R Hagan
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:59 AM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


You've quoted me, spelling mistakes and all.....
 How embarassing, I really must take more care with review comments.
See you over there,
Mike

P.S.   ROFL?
Tom Wolosz
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:13 AM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Rolling On Floor Laughing
Tom Wolosz
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 9:18 AM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


BTW Mike, not laughing at you, just the quote struck me as a perfect line from the book in that "we've been introduced to HIM..." could obviously be read two very different ways. ;~).

Tom
Tom Wolosz
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:28 AM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Hey Mike, just noticed your book is listed as science fiction in the May Books e-mail from William. I suggest you e-mail him and see if he can change it to Paranormal Thriller.  It might attract more readers that way.
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:43 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Hey, Tom
Yea, that would be a tad misleading.
Thanks for the heads up,
Mike


Michael R Hagan
Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2013 5:02 AM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Saw the kind words on the other site.
Thank you so much!
Tom Wolosz
Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2013 6:18 AM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Nothing that wasn't richly deserved Mike.  Good luck!
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013 4:43 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Hi Tom
Quick question, or two
I'm going through Agony again..... the clues seem more pointed now.
The Butterfly Man: The memory on the machine shows his demise... but he doesn't die, he changes (Oh, like a butterfly!) Is his death a fake memory uploaded by ********?
Also, am I right in assuming apprentice, after her initial disorientation from the transportation, did know all along what she was, and the whole apprentiship was just to give her an understanding of life's possibilities and how that reality worked?
Getting ready for the discussion stage.
Mike
Tom Wolosz
Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 6:13 AM
Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 122


Hello Mike,
  Memory in the Machine:  That's the death of the enforcer whose identity the Butterfly Boy took over.  He was the Dandy, then lured to the Butterfly world and dispatched.  Of course it also gives HIM cover in that it looks like the Butterfly Boy is dead.

  Apprentice: Her memories work their way back gradually, so she doesn't slip-up and give herself away early on (that's why the sense that she was safe was implanted).   By the time he reveals that she is a clone she's actually about 95% sure who she is, but his revelation is shocking enough that it terrifies her that it may be possible.  But she's over it by the time we get to his Level 1 exercise about 2 weeks later.  From that point on she knows she's under cover and learning the ropes (and hoping for her big payoff).
 
   And thanks for the great review.  SEER also looks to be off to a quick start.  Best of luck with that.  Hopefully, you'll also be at stage 2 within a month.

Cheers,

Tom  
C M Rosens
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 2:58 PM
Joined: 5/8/2013
Posts: 25


I'm unsure whether my story is "Traditional Fantasy" or "Epic/High". I've classified it as Traditional just for now, as it focuses on a small group of people, initially complete strangers, whose lives are intertwined by malicious faeries for a laugh. They are set on the path to mutual destruction, led to blame one another for various faerie-created tragedies in their lives and completely unaware that they are being manipulated.

It explores the idea of free will versus destiny, and how far people will go for vengeance and love.

However, the overarching arc of the series follows the Celtic Hero Cycle, so this book is mainly about the circumstances of a Necromancer's conception (he is the son of two of the characters - a pragmatic and irreligious fallen angel, and a blood drinking sadist). So it's not exactly a light and happy tale, and has a wide geographical scope. As the series focuses on the family created in the first story, it also covers a good fifty years. It's not George R. R. Martin broad and epic, but it does have a bit more scope than "Traditional" fantasy, perhaps?

So, um... what is it? Appreciate thoughts!

*ponders*.

Michael R Hagan
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 3:20 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Hey C M.
74 comments and you're the first to use the thread for what it was intended......... and personally I haven't a clue. Tom, who uses this thread is very wise in the ways of Genre, so I'm sure something more helpful will follow shortly.
In the meantime... it's over to the gang!
Mike
C M Rosens
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 3:59 PM
Joined: 5/8/2013
Posts: 25


Thanks Michael!

Do I get a prize???


MariAdkins
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 8:20 PM
Hey, I wrote about genre for my this month's Apex Blog entry.

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/2013/05/what-genre-are-you/


MariAdkins
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 8:21 PM
Malika - aside from "coming of age" what else is the main plot of your book?

TPNiedermann
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:50 PM
Joined: 2/21/2013
Posts: 40


Wall of Dust. What is it? I had thought it was a thriller, but it really isn't. It is a "literary" book. But what is that? looking for help. Here is the Synopsis: 

Wall of Dust is a novel of human spirituality, like The Alchemist, though much grittier. It is a story of the pain of loss and the struggle to recover hope. Aisha, a Palestinian schoolteacher, becomes deranged after most of her class is accidentally killed by a missile fired from an Israeli gunship. She embarks on a strange ritual, throwing stones at the “security barrier,” the eight-meter tall concrete wall that separates much of the West Bank from Israel.  She shouts the name of each dead child and hurls a stone at the concrete monolith. Beginning alone, she is soon joined by others and her little ritual takes the form of a mass protest. At several points she might be stopped, or worse, but she is helped in small but significant ways by several other characters, Israeli and Palestinian. Each character who intercedes has experienced a loss—a career dead end, a family estrangement, a crisis of faith, a simple loss of hope—that guides their actions. A sniper misses a shot, a teacher comforts, a stranger embraces, a father forgives, an Islamist relents. The chain of these events reaches its climax when a section of the wall collapses, with each character receiving a personal revelation into what it means for them.

 

This is a story of the pain of loss and the struggle to recover. It is, above all, a narrative of common spirituality, independent of religion or belief. The varied language and changing points of view add depth and understanding. Both Israelis and Palestinians have read the manuscript and their reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. 



MariAdkins
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:39 PM
TP, I would consider that piece "literary".

MariAdkins
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:57 PM
Malika -- young adult??

TPNiedermann
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:43 PM
Joined: 2/21/2013
Posts: 40


Thanks, Mari. That is very confirming. Now all Book Country needs to do is have a "Literary" category!
MariAdkins
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:07 AM
Malika, there isn't a YA category yet, unfortunately. But I believe that's something they're working on ...

TP, glad I could help. Kinda. LOL


Michael R Hagan
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 3:26 AM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Contemporary/Noir? Malika
What is the genre for stories set against a modern day backdrop, if not strictly thriller, fantasy, horror, etc?
TP yours sounds like a voyage of the spirit, but that's not quite right either....... in fact close, yet misleading.

What would 'My Left Foot' be classed as? They would be along those lines, maybe.
Michael R Hagan
Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2013 5:39 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229


Hey Tom
This kinda fits into the discussion of 'What the hell is it?'
I found a few black, really light stoney things on the beach yesterday. I think they're black jet.
How can I be sure of this, and know that it's not just pieces of long sea-soaked and smoothed coal?
I don't think black jet is meant to be found on the east of N.Ireland (could be wrong,) so this would be quite cool.
Best of luck,
Mike 


 

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