PSYCHOLOGICAL = happens on the inside of a human’s mind
Though into every life some of those people must fall!
I was checking through the pages for both Pride’s Children novels (so far), PURGATORY and NETHERWORLD, on their Amazon pages, and found the following earlier today:
Pride’s Children: PURGATORY – #753 in Psychological Literary Fiction
Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD – #660 in Psychological Literary Fiction
It made me think, because I set up that particular category with the following comment from reviewer David Rose in mind:
“…I cannot recommend this book, this trilogy, highly enough – but not to everyone. This is a book for readers who appreciate literary fiction and a very deeply developed romance with a thoughtful debate on ethics. I believe the pace and the delayed gratification will frustrate many modern romance readers who look for fast-burning romance, titillation, and simple love stories. However, if you are a reader who will appreciate a modern ‘Jane Eyre’, this trilogy is for you…”
D. Rose, PURGATORY review (used by permission)
The LITERARY FICTION, psychological, subcategory was coopted by the dark guys
We don’t need ‘psychological’ to represent negative human emotions only; we already have thrillers and ‘noir’ and ‘twisted’ and some really gory stuff.
The category, on Amazon as I just checked, was full of a slew of a majority of novels which would take you to a deep hole with little redemption even mentioned.
Plus a smattering of dark-ish stuff that doesn’t fit other categories, including disturbing works by many authors such as Jodi Picoult, and Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky.
Literary fiction is already by definition interested in more than the obvious, but where I see a possibility for exploring, and learning, and changing, many of these books have already made up their minds: it’s a dark place out there, BEWARE!
I’d like to allow for the full spectrum of human behavior
Humans make decisions for all kinds of reasons, change their minds, deal with consequences, make DIFFERENT choices, and have to correct course even when it’s hard.
In a category of books for sale, the balance is lopsided (which is cute in rabbit ears, less so in human behavior).
Positive, not forced or applied from outside, but because writers don’t only choose the knotty problems (or aren’t only rewarded for showing the grotty side of life), but because there is a core of resonance in most humans for the positive, good, meaningful experiences, even when they are not easy to acquire.
That’s what I’m interested in exploring through the characters in Pride’s Children – because Pride can be a deadly sin – or a warm human emotion.
If you have an Amazon.co.uk account, this is the time to acquire your copy of NETHERWORLD!
If you choose to review NETHERWORLD, buying a copy allows you to be listed as a ‘verified purchase,’ which carries a higher weight in the algorithms than just leaving a review after reading an ARC. Win/win.
If you have been waiting, now’s the time, and Oct. 24 is the first and least expensive day. The price goes up daily until it’s back at its permanent price, £8.87.
Or you can still join Booksprout – and get an ARC to review.
Can’t wait to hear what you have to say. That’s the part I’m really looking forward to.
Will try to take a shorter time to give you the final volume of the story. I’ve already started writing.
This is true of biographies and autobiographies and memoirs, too – unless you’re a celebrity whose fans will buy anything you produce, just to have a complete set.
Non-fiction is sold on the author’s competence in the field of the BOOK. Would you buy a trail guide from a guy who claims he never sets foot outdoors?
Before you know authors through their fiction
you will buy their fiction only on a recommendation from a good friend, a trusted vetter, or the biggie: how the book grabs you when you give it a few seconds of your time.
An author is someone who has learned – in my case, taught herself – how to access some of the streams of being human, and more importantly than just dipping into them for personal enjoyment, has learned to turn that exposure into stories for other people, for those who don’t have the time or the desire to spend part of their life on the process, but still want the results.
Think. Of a story by Flannery O’Connor. Of what it cost her to write (she died of the complications of lupus at THIRTY-NINE). But all you have to do is find or buy a copy, and you get everything she worked for delivered to your lap! You cannot ever pay her for those hours of labor, but you can enjoy the fruit of her labor, and be transported to the world she wrote about, visit it for a time (it’s kind of scary) and leave it behind.
Whatever input you allow your brain will change you
You can’t avoid it, any more than you can avoid learning at least something from the experiences LIFE puts in your path.
So you have to ask: How do I want to allow myself to be changed? How can I process something which turns out to be negative or toxic for me? Is there input that will do more than entertain, but will allow me to gain understanding or develop empathy? What am I watching/reading – and is it doing what I want?
What will the Pride’s Children trilogy do to me?
It will entertain you.
But it will also make you question how you see friendship, love, commitment, marriage, work, childrearing, and the relationship between the sexes. And a big extra: What are your preconceptions about disability, chronic illness, and the effect of having them on society. One point of view, mine.
But I hope it makes you think what your point of view might be, and whether it’s the right one for you.
If you would like an ebook ARC, I would appreciate if you would trundle over to Booksprout, create a free reader/reviewer account, search for Netherworld, and download the ARC. You then read, post the review at Amazon, and tell Booksprout (a new UK company which I’m trying out for this book) you’ve done so. Fast and easy – and a big help to me because I don’t have to supervise the process while I’m recovering from some stuff.
Anyone can join Booksprout.
Wait for the October 19 DEAL
If you have followed this blog, you get informed of sales. My first Kindle Countdown Deal starts October 19, 2022, and allows you to buy the book starting at a mere $2.99. Go to the US site on that date and until the countdown is over a week later.
I’m sorry that the Countdown is only available in the US, but that is all Amazon allows.
Over the course of a week, the price will slowly rise to the list price, $9.99, so the earlier you buy, the lower the price you pay.
Buy the book NOW because you can’t wait and don’t want to fuss with the review site
Go to your own Amazon site (the US site is here), and pay full price in your country (I believe going to the US site from a different country will redirect you to you country’s site instead).
Wait a while until I’m better and fully functional again
which is going to take a while. Then contact me at abehrhardt at gmail, and request an electronic ARC.
You should mention in your review that the review is voluntary and not in exchange for anything.
Posting your review
To finish this process you need to be able to post reviews at Amazon, and that usually requires that you have bought things on Amazon, a minimum of $50 worth over the previous year. We buy so much stuff there that it isn’t a problem, but some people don’t, and won’t be able to post.
If you can’t post on Amazon, post somewhere – on your blog, on Goodreads, etc. – and just send me a link so I know where it is. Thanks!
Don’t worry about royalties
I price my books so a full price sale in any format pays me about $6. This is the 70% royalty Amazon offers self-published authors.
What format you prefer – and how much more it costs – depends on Amazon’s costs – and is fixed; paperbacks cost more because of the physical costs of printing and mailing; ebooks are relatively inexpensive because they’re easily delivered to you in bits via the internet.
But my royalty is the same.
Ditto Kindle Unlimited
where I earn about the same royalty if you download the book AND read the whole thing. You have to have the paid KU subscription, and it counts pages.
So there you have it – how to read Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD and leave a review – in several different forms.
Especially because it will be a while before I can do much actual marketing.
Availability. It takes up to 3 days for Amazon.com and up to 5 days for other marketplaces to show as in stock. [IT IS SHOWING AS AVAILABLE]
Linking. The detail pages of your print book and eBook should link within 48 hours, but it can take up to 5 days. See requirements for linking. [THE PRINT AND EBOOK VERSIONS ARE ALREADY LINKED ON THE PRODUCT PAGE]
Product description. It can take 24-48 hours to appear on the detail page. [SHOWING]
Look Inside the Book. This feature will be available in 9-10 business days. [CURRENTLY SHOWING A SAMPLE FROM THE EBOOK; NOT YET THE PRINT VERSION – WHICH HAS MY PREFERRED FORMATTING]
Book Details. Changes to contributor, series name, series number, page count, description, keywords, and browse categories take up to 72 hours to appear. [ORIGINAL DETAILS ENTERED]
Next for me: waiting
So I still have some waiting to do, but the paperback version has been accepted, and will be available after a few wait periods.
I just ordered a couple of author copies – to arrive Oct. 5-7. Woo hoo!
NOTE: I price the print volumes so that I get about the same royalty whichever version a reader purchases (around $6.50) – the rest of the cost of a print version is paper, printing, and shipping – which is why ebooks are so much cheaper. But there’s nothing quite like the heft of your own heavy book, so I always get a few paper copies.
It has been a bit of an odyssey, as the book was finished in March – but cover and formatting were only finalized late last night, and Amazon accepted it in about an hour – record time!
I’ve set up a Kindle Countdown Deal for NETHERWORLD on Oct 19-26, starting at $2.99 and going back to $9.99 by the end, and it is in Kindle Unlimited for those with the KU service. They require that the book’s price not be changed for 30 days before a Countdown – so we have to wait until it’s been published that long.
Meanwhile, it is already available for the hard-core reader. I also set up a Countdown for PURGATORY, to start Sep 21-28, if you haven’t read it.
Good for Christmas presents.
The print version had an unacceptable flaw: on ONE page, the text touched the gutter margin; it is being corrected. ONE page. Picky, picky, Amazon. I like that bots and algorithms can maintain quality – a human would be bored to tears examining every one of 540 pages for minute errors; a computer does it quickly and without errors caused by ennui.
As soon as I have that tiny correction, up goes the paperback; hardcovers for both books will be available as soon as I can make the appropriate cover for PURGATORY (I already have the one for NETHERWORLD).
What can I tell you about NETHERWORLD I haven’t already?
It starts only hours after PURGATORY ends, back on Night Talk in New York City with our late night talk show hostess Dana Lewiston. Will she get some juicy revelations out of Andrew O’Connell, last minute guest?
And what was he doing in Boston that morning?
And what’s with the pigeons?
Dana has a secret, too.
And there is a waltz, and a festive treat. Why?
The fun process of getting editorial and customer reviews has begun
I will be out for some medical stuff for about two weeks – not much will happen until all that is over – we ME/CFS types have such a small amount of energy that appointments and such wipe us out, and we dare not push because the crash could make us permanently worse.
So the part I enjoy, after the book is finished, will be paused (the main reason for this post).
I can’t wait to get to Book 3 of the Trilogy
Life keeps interfering, but
I have a VERY rough draft (which I hope no one ever sees), and
Writing has begun (I couldn’t help myself)
I already have a good idea what I want for the cover!
You are up-to-date for now – and I’m excited to finally have something to offer readers.
Don’t rush – unless you can’t wait. Oct. 19 will have a Kindle Countdown Deal at a very good price for my doorstopper volume.
While the cover is being created piecemeal, and the formatting goes apace, tasks which I have thankfully uploaded to the friend who is doing the actual work – after which I’m asked to nitpick – I’m doing the remaining pieces only the author can do on Amazon:
Request an ISBN – done.
Fill in the sections for name and title and price and… – working on them.
Getting the files created for ebook and print cover and interior – he’s doing that for me.
Choose paper and distribution and… – working on them.
It moves toward publication – slowly because I’m slow, even with help.
And I don’t worry about it, because working with my friend has given the brain fog a routing – probably because he needs a piece here, a piece there – and reducing the tasks to small bites is one of the strategies for Overwhelming tasks which I’ve use for years.
I thought I had set up Pride’s Children as a series when I published PURGATORY
So I could add the remaining books in the trilogy as they were written and published, and any prequel stories or related stories, but apparently not.
I thought I had done that at the Library of Congress, too, but apparently not.
I think people will be able to figure it out, but I somehow didn’t. No biggie. I’ll give Amazon a call or and email and see if there’s anything I can do – when I have a moment – but it shouldn’t stand in the way of getting NETHERWORLD out there, in an ideal world. Oh, well.
I read the posts I’ve saved, and ran through the blurb books
and wrote a rough draft of the description above.
Thought about it for a while.
Thought about what I’ve been taught – the goal is to have enough ‘above the fold’ (what the reader sees on the book’s page WITHOUT scrolling or clicking) so that the reader will click ‘more’ (or Buy), and read the rest.
I used italics and BOLD to make certain elements stand out.
I moved bits around.
I added the first three lines of dialogue of the first Chapter as a sample.
Moved MORE bits around which gave me two short pointed lines after the blurb title.
And have declared myself satisfied – for now.
What’s there will also be on the back of the printed books
And probably won’t get changed on the back cover, even if I make changes to the book description text on Amazon for marketing reasons. That will be the same as PURGATORY – where you can see my original description.
Because changes to graphics files are never trivial, and I am reluctant to mess with what most readers won’t even notice – the back of the print version.
I also thought about Book 3
which I can’t wait to get back to, and which starts only a few hours after the end of NETHERWORLD.
And I already know almost exactly how that goes. Have even started writing.
But readers will, unfortunately – as I am the proverbial snail – have to wait a while more for.
Oh, to be Kary’s age again – but no one gets that privilege from where I am now in the ‘venerable’ age category. (I refuse to use the other designations.)
So that’s it for today – another little teasing appetizer – so that at least you get SOMETHING here periodically from me to know I’m not reading books on a beach and eating bon bons.
AND IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO REREAD PURGATORY to be ready for NETHERWORLD – soon is a good time.
I’ll do my best to help with names and storylines from Book 1 – hope to publish something here with some details for reference – but it is lower on the To Do list than I’d like.
WHAT NETHERWORLD’S PAGE 99 SAYS ABOUT THE BOOK AS A WHOLE
This is temporarily page 99, as the final formatting hasn’t been done, but it works well enough to prove (test) the hypothesis: is this page a satisfactory example of the book as a whole, from the author’s (me) point of view?
Minor but recurring characters are a consistent way of looking at a main character, and this is a very good example, so I’m glad it ended up in the Page 99 position.
Kary has no choice but to go see her lawyer, Joseph Farentz, Esq., whom she originally met at a CFS support group meeting when she moved to New Hampshire – when what she needs isn’t something she can get quickly, and she knows that he can. He is very proud he is still working – even though they share a major illness – as a small-town lawyer. She knows how reduced his abilities are and how limited the time he can keep it up, but accepts him at his own valuation, as she does most people. He has indicated interest in her several times, but she is interested only in keeping him as a friend, and has consistently found a gentle way to turn his attentions down without affecting his ego.
Based on the earlier part of the story, we are about to see what it might take to safely get Kary out of her rural retreat and off to any kind of an adventure: the signature on the papers is that of a famous director who heard about her involvement with Bianca’s screenplay, will be directing Andrew’s next movie, and wants her to come advise on it because his Indian costar’s wife is a big fan of Kary’s novels.
Kary knows it makes no sense – and she couldn’t possibly – but… the hook is baited just right, and she’s very tempted.
Because one of her problems is that everyone seems to have an opinion on what she can do. And she’d rather make those decisions herself, though usually in the negative (first line on page).
I like the Page 99 test.*
Except for posting an updated Page 69 and Page 99 test pages when the formatting finalizes what these would be for NETHERWORLD, I won’t be doing any more of these until LIMBO is written, but it was fun, and allowed me to look at the concept of making sure ALL pages are in some way representative of the novel, the story, and my writing.
If you’re a writer, have you ever tried these on your own work?
If you’re a reader, what will you think the effect on you will be as you get to these pages? I’d love the feedback.
Yes, I’m working on it.
No, this isn’t really a distraction. Think of it instead as ‘freshening.’ And if you don’t know what that is on a farm, go look it up. Another interesting word that says a lot.
And now I’m all interested in getting the final text to the formatter – to see where page 99 ends up – my ‘reason’ for playing with the new toy.
*I still recommend the test and the blog, but am sad to say SPAs are not welcome to apply, though it took some doing to find that out, as it isn’t mentioned.
This test comes from Ford Maddox Ford, again via the Campaign for the American Reader blog, but is a different way of assessing a book, and may well be apocryphal, as mentioned in his Page 99 Test post on Aug. 6, 2014, by R. John Williams, Yale professor and author of The Buddha in the Machine.*
In THIS test, Marshal Zeringue asks authors, ‘whether Page 99 reveals “the quality of the whole” about their books.’
That’s a little harder, and the authors who speak about their P. 99 implications have wide and varying opinions about it.
Why is it harder?
Because authors have somehow picked up the notion that they are supposed to let other people – interviewers, reviewers, readers – comment about their work, not themselves, or at least not themselves praising the book.
It means putting my opinions of my own work on record.
Specifically, whether this one page – 99 – is a good way to display the ‘quality’ of the whole.
Funny how that makes my stomach unhappy.
I much prefer the nice comments from reviewers (and usually have no trouble ignoring the less-nice ones).
I’m going to do it anyway
Never waste a good prompt is my motto.
Parental rules to my generation from our parents were meant to keep us from turning into the loud-mouthed, self-centered kid we could have become, because it would mean our parents hadn’t reared us correctly. ‘Children are meant to be seen, not heard,‘ is part and parcel of the same.
I don’t think these rules are followed quite as much any more, but, for example, I never knew my mother thought I had turned out okay until, as a grownup with three children back on a visit to Mexico, I happened to tell her I never felt I had met her exacting standards, and she replied something like, “That’s ridiculous! I brag about you to my friends all the time.”
That was the key. She never told us. And the eldest child does have the tendency to try to please, especially if she’s a girl. I think my four younger sisters figured it out, but they didn’t really leave home (Mexico City) and not come back, as I did.
We had no brothers; I suspect it would have been different, possibly worse, if we had.
I don’t think they meant anything bad by rearing us to enter polite society modestly, when it was our turn, but I was already the odd daughter, the one who wanted to be a scientist, and the nerve endings were exaggeratedly exposed.
Self-promotion is an absolute requirement for indie authors
Many of us aren’t so happy with that part of self-publishing, or maybe it’s only those of use who were older when we started writing.
Or even possibly I missed a lot of changes because, as a Person with ME/CFS, there was little energy left for me and my own concerns after the family got what I wanted them to have from me.
So, do I think that page 99 of PURGATORY reveals the quality of the whole book?
It reveals a lot of the main relationship: Andrew has come to visit for the first time, taking Kary up on a casual offer to drop in if he was in her neighborhood (rural New Hampshire vs. where they met in New York City on Night Talk). The only reason she got a bit of advance warning – less than a minute – was that, due to an overly-aggressive fan, she has had a gate installed at the bottom of her drive, and he had to speak into the CCTV and ask permission to ride his motorcycle up her mountain retreat; otherwise, he would have knocked at her door!
This scene is in Andrew’s point of view (pov), and we haven’t heard from him until this chapter after they said goodbye in NY at the end of Chapter 3.
In the intervening time, Kary was moved to take in the movie Roland, based on the medieval epic poem The Song of Roland, which was the reason he was on the talk show, and was blown away, whereas, being basically a recluse, she’d had no idea who he was when she met him. So their entire relationship is being torn down and replaced though neither of them know it.
The novel has many such accidentally-fraught encounters, each one showing the characters’ behavior under unexpected stressors. And how each character’s inner and outer lives complement each other.
Does this page 99 show off the whole?
It shows Kary’s self-control under extraordinary circumstances – a result of her medical training as a former physician: ‘Never let them see you uncertain.’
I know what is going to happen in scenes – I’m an extreme plotter – but not how, and it’s been fun to essentially listen to the characters to see what they do with my stage directions.
I love that this page has a good example of working characters – so many novel characters don’t seem to do much, but work takes a huge portion of most real people’s lives. They discuss their work – but expectations and reality are at odds.
And it lets a changing inanimate object, the fire in her fireplace, take one of its many mood-setting opportunities. I didn’t grow up with a working fireplace, but after I left home, my parents moved, and the new house’s massive fireplace was used in so many warm gatherings they were almost not complete without a fire (houses in Mexico City usually have neither heating nor air-conditioning, and can be chilly, especially in winter months).
It gives a nod to the relationship between writers and actors which is fundamental to the novels: each asks about the other’s work. She’s been writing earlier, he (and his feet) came from a morning of filming locally. Each is cagey, neither takes the bait to speak at length about themself.
In the whole, I think it does
represent the whole: two of the three main characters, a developing relationship, the settled homestead of the rooted character, the peripatetic nature of a working actor, and something of me as the author.
Not bad for one page!
If I am allowed to say so myself.
*I still recommend the test and the blog, but am sad to say SPAs are not welcome to apply, though it took some doing to find that out, as it isn’t mentioned.
If you’ve read Pride’s Children: PURGATORY, was there enough memorable about Andrew’s first visit that you remembered it?
Had you noticed the recurring fires?
Does this scene make you smile?
What do you think of books where no one seems to be employed?
Did you ever think anyone could make a movie out of The Song of Roland? Did it remind you at all of El Cantar del Mío Cid?
APPLYING Temporary p. 69 TO NETHERWORLD: a preview for readers
This is labeled Temporary for one reason: I don’t have the final formatted version of NETHERWORLD, so this might not even be p. 69 in the final version, but it will serve nicely as a placeholder for now.
This time it was that it is EASY in the new editor to get an image into a post – create an image block, and just hit CTRL v to paste the image in.
For some reason, I can no longer update my Media Library the was I thought I could, but pasting is MUCH simpler than that, and this post has the image!
It’s a screenshot, so a bit rough.
Problem temporarily solved? Who cares? Twill serve for now.
Temporary p. 69:
This page turned out to be centered on Andrew getting back to Ireland for a too-short visit before heading off to… India! to film another movie.
Andrew is talking to his agent, Maury, on the phone, as the page starts:
Andrew is in Ireland, where he’s used some of his movie salary to add a nice recording studio to the family farm
His band – The Deadly Nightshades – has gathered for a rare recording session, since he’s now seldom home
George, his long-time mate who was his manager during PURGATORY but moved home to help with the family farm (and married his Fiona, with Andrew as Best Man), makes an appearance in NETHERWORLD, the only one until the next volume
Maury Gibbs, Andrew’s agent, interrupted the session
Reality is intruding, hard: Andrew spends little time in Ireland – and the band is suffering; a planned CD is not moving very fast
Andrew wants everything – and it isn’t possible
I’ll replace/add the actual p.69 when I have it – soon!
Still a very useful test, I’d say.
Watch this blog – things are finally starting to happen.