New Year Updates

So, new year brings new news, yes? Well, sometimes. Actually, I just thought I should get on that totally hip ‘New Years Blog Post’ band wagon. Yeah, I could have found some cool stock images of fireworks and giant disco balls descending on polls amidst a flurry of confetti, but all that is so very 2014. Not cool. Not hip.

What is hip, you ask? Why, let me tell you, via this handy-dandy-what’s-hip-countdown list:

10) I updated my book review page with the new (improved) cover art for Imminent Danger. Whoo.
9) I just finished the latest edits/revisions of interior content for my wife’s first two books. And I’m just beginning the formatting and layout for her third book, releasing this year. Double whoo.
8) Giraffes. Giraffes are always hip and never out of season.
7) Top Ten Lists. Everybody uses them. Am I wrong?
6) We’ve also started revising the cover art for the series, so hopefully that settles a few peeves with the original versions and sets the tone for the rest of the series.
5) Cookies are great. Doesn’t matter what kind.
4) Mustaches. They are very much in, beards are starting to phase out. For better or worse, I don’t sport either one.
3) A cookie’s just a cookie, but Fig Newton’s fruit and cake.
2) New Years Resolutions – at least for the next 27 days.
1) Self-published authors. Definitely hip.

~ Meredith Purk


Through the Eyes of A Stranger – Pieces Book Release

So for the past twenty-four hours I’ve been working on finalizing everything for the release of my wife’s second book. (Well, I did sleep, so it hasn’t been a solid 24).

While there have been a few snags, everything is starting to take shape, though admittedly later than I’d have cared for. The Kindle version was listed as in review when I went to bed last night, yet when I awoke this morning it was back to draft status. Either something went wrong, or my addled mind imagined publishing it? Who can say. Hopefully, that is being corrected now.

And Smashwords, as elusive as the chemistry for a proper eManuscript is, is now pending review as well. I think I could write a book on getting bookmarks working in Smashwords, but someone else already has.

There still remains the Kobo eBook version, but Lulu is just about wrapped up as well (though distribution to the iBook store, etc. will take a little longer).

All in all, a great day! (Oh, and something called a PS4 came out, too? *shrugs*)

~Meredith Purk

13 days to go!

Yes, indeed, the time is drawing near. And here I sit, working on said ‘pictures’ and layout. Well, the layout is pretty much locked in. We know where the interior art is going. And I only have two pieces of artwork left to finished, a piece of scenery and a map. Then it will be off to the presses for an author copy!

~Meredith Purk

Pieces – Layout

No rest for the weary. Really, though, it’s not all that bad. I mentioned last time how we had finalized the cover art for my wife’s second self-published book, titled Through the Eyes of A Stranger – Pieces.

Map of Relic

A map of the world of Relic, introduced in the first book.

With that behind us, I’ve been working on the layout of the book. This includes all the formatting, fonts, spacing, styles, headers/footers/gutters and table of contents. For a typical written novel, layout isn’t too hard. You certainly don’t have all the considerations for artwork like you would in, say, a children’s book. But we do have a spattering of interior art in each of the books so far: typically about 4-6 images. See More

A Game of Thrones? Or a Game of… ahem.

First: These post will deal with something of a mature topic – namely, nudity on film. For those not familiar with the show or still catching up on its progress, this post will be spoiler free so far as plot is concerned. It merely touches on the sort of physical content in the show. My wife and I were recently loaned the first season of HBO’s A Game of Thrones.

Evidently, at her work, they were awed when she admitted she didn’t know anything about the show. Mind you, I wasn’t any more familiar with it. I knew of it. And I knew it was based off A Song of Ice and Fire. But I had never read any of the books or otherwise been familiar with George R.R. Martin’s work. My wife and I set a date night to begin watching the first season and find out what everyone was always prattling on about. Prior to then, I asked one of my coworkers about the show. He said he hadn’t watched it much, but that his fiancee was into it and she thought it was very good. When the time came, I was taken by surprise by the sheer volume of nudity. Continue Reading

Winding Down – or, Perhaps, Back Up

So it’s been a good, long while since I’ve been posting anything on here. That isn’t because there hasn’t been anything to write about – quite the opposite, in fact. Rather, it’s been important that I focus my energies on my book.

My wife’s second book is in the first pass of editing, while I am finishing a draft of mine to pass off to some beta readers. While they are in possession of that draft, I will be then working on the edits with my wife for her novel… and it will then be a game of back and forth between the two. Revisions, layouts, cover art, book trailers and so on.

After I’ve heard back from some of my readers I will probably post a little more about my book since I’ve been rather mute on the subject. I also have some other catching up to do on here, so look out for that.

For now, we’re going to resume some radio silence here on Radio Free Mars… be sure to enjoy some soothing beats by The Seatbelts.


~Meredith Purk

(note: these particular beats aren’t so much soothing as they are invigorating)

Of Pen and Ink – Story Gap

I mentioned Robert McKee’s story when I did a piece on Beats, Scenes and Sequences. Now I’d like to address another aspect of writing: The Story Gap.

The Story Gap is what McKee calls the gap between a character’s actions and the world’s reactions. This is yet another thing that I try to ensure is happening when I go through to check that my scenes are turning. In essence, this should have a place in a good scene without too much extra work on your part.

I’ll let Robert put it in his own words via the YouTube video.

See More

Some other Self-Published Author has …erm… self-published

Awesome news! Imminent Danger is officially available for purchase!

Well, that is what I would say if I were truly thrilled about it. You know, like if it were mine or something. But in all seriousness, you should check it out. I think its always cool when someone achieves book release.

Also, I’m not sharing this to get any drawings for a free magnet. I repeat, no free magnets in the drink nearest you.

~Meredith Purk