September 22nd, 2013

Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Publishing Update (and other stuff)

The process of publishing Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story is so far smooth and uneventful.  I think it is an advantage to have had everything ready before beginning.  I was able to send in the manuscript as well as cover art, back page blurb, and author bio at the very start of the project.  I never had the feeling of needing to hurry up and complete something.  Basically, the project is now in the hands of Outskirts Press, although I will be contacted as certain points are reached or if and when there are decisions to be made.  Eventually I will need to go through the edits and approve or reject suggestions made by the editor.  And I will also need to review the galley proofs... hopefully I'll catch everything, and my second attempt at publishing will result in a volume cleaner than my first.

I've still got the painting materials out and waiting to be used.  I've got one remaining canvas, so plan to paint one last picture in the next week or so.  My thought is to paint something from C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series.  I'm currently thinking of the battle between HMS Lydia and the Natividad, from Beat to Quarters (The Happy Return).  I have a copy of The Hornblower Companion, which gives a fairly detailed diagram of that set-to.  From that, I should be able to fairly accurately position the two vessels, relative to each other and the wind at a specific time in the conflict.  Of course, the ships themselves will be largely from my imagination, but I'll try to make them as authentic as possible.  Of course, if I complete this project and am somewhat satisfied with it, I intend to post it here and also to following_sea  After all, it is for Hornblower fans, and I'm grateful to the community for allowing me to promote my own work there.

The cover art for Sailing Dangerous Waters ("Helm, Steer Between Them") has been out and about for a couple of weeks now, and I presume, seen by at least a few dozen folks.  I'm wondering if those people actually haven't noticed an apparent mess up in the flags flown by two of the vessels, or if it is a case of not wanting to point out what seems to be an obvious mistake and thus avoid embarrassing the artist?  If indeed, no one has noticed, a small but key point of the first book is validated.  (Potential spoiler ahead!)  When battling HRMS Hawke, no one aboard HMS Island Expedition notices the switch between red and blue in what appears to be the Royal Navy's white ensign.  It takes one of the ship's boys, Jack Haight, to point the fact out.  Like wise, the Gallician tri-color reverses the order of colors from the hoist to the fly when compared to the French.  So while there is an apparent error in the way the flags are depicted, they are correct according to the story.

Lastly, I don't claim to be any sort of whiz at establishing and maintaining an on-line presence as a writer.  I do try, however, and the one thing I've discovered is that I have to keep at it.  I try to post something here on Live Journal on a regular basis, at least once a week or so.  I try to keep my web-site up to date, and I try not to let my Facebook Page sit idle for too long.  Facebook is easy, as I can always find something to share on my Page.  I'm also to the point where my Page has enough likes that I'm getting insights telling me what works and what doesn't.  At the same time I'm amazed by those other Facebook Pages where the number of likes keeps climbing.  Every time I look, it seems that the number has increased by one, two, or even ten or twelve.  In contrast, I'm aware of several individual who have Facebook Pages who apparently started them and left them as is.  These pages have a handful of likes, one or two updates, and apparently haven't been used in as much as a year.  My thought is that people aren't  going to come back to something that isn't updated on a regular basis.  If anything, we want people to visit our sites, our blogs, and our social media places time and time again.  We want them to be familiar with us and our work, which just might lead to them buying our product and then telling others about it.

P. S.  If I haven't mentioned it, I finished reading Hungry as the Sea by Wilbur Smith a week or two ago.  It's a great sea book, set in the modern age.  Now I'm reading Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik, another Temeraire story in the tradition of His Majesty's Dragon.