Tag Archives: book launch

Some summer holiday reading

Kindle_UnlimitedIf you have a kindle (or something that can run the kindle reader app) then you can get hold of both of the Jack Reusen books (and a whole heap of books by other authors too) by signing up to a month’s free trial of Kindle Unlimited over at Amazon, here’s the link.

Once you’ve signed up you’ll see that both of the Jack Reusen books come up as free, so you can read the whole adventure so far, for nothing.

Jack Reusen and The Fey Flame‘ introduces you to the land of Fey, as creatures (and other things) make their way through to the ‘matter-world’ (basically our world). Jack and his family have to discover a way of closing a collection of ‘breaches’ between the two worlds to make their world safe again.

‘Jack Reusen and the Spark of Dreams‘ is a slightly different kind of cover with blurb and barcode 2 trimmedadventure. People are losing their ability to dream. Every night more and more people lose the certain something that makes human beings so good at solving problems and creating things; the spark of dreams. Jack discovers that he could be the key to understanding what’s causing this change, and he may even be the only person who can solve it and bring back the dreams and imaginations of hundreds of people.

I hope that both of the Jack Reusen books give you and/or your kids something to enjoy over the summer holidays. Let me know what you think, all the best, John

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And…they’re off!

cover with blurb and barcode 2 trimmed

Another wee sample of Karen’s artwork

Jack Reusen and the Spark of Dreams‘ is ready! The artwork is done, the text has been edited, all files have been sent off to the printers, and now comes the waiting. (Though the wait won’t be too long for the kindle edition, which I’ll have ready sometime tonight.)

The process for print editions is fairly simple; first they send me a digital proof (which I expect to receive sometime early next week). After this comes approval of the proof, which is kind of an odd thing to do actually; basically I send them an e-mail saying ‘yes I like my own book, send me lots’. Once I’ve told them I like my book it can take seven to ten working days for them to to print up a bundle and send them to me.

I’ll probably end up posting a lot of updates on Facebook and Twitter once I’ve got a tracking number, so if you follow either account expect to see lots of posts about UPS on the day the books head my way.

To be sure that you get hold of one of the first copies you can pre-order one by leaving a comment below (they’re £6.99) and you can either pick them up at Fun Junction, get me to deliver them to you personally, or if you’re further away I can post one out to you.

Writing this book has been a totally different experience than the last one. Knowing that people have read the first, that some readers might be emotionally invested in certain characters (no I haven’t killed anyone, nor do I plan to), and knowing that there are many more books planned, has meant that I’ve had to be very careful with this one.

There are some scenes that had to be big and dramatic and they change characters in ways that might take them a couple of books to recover from. That’s what all these big delays have been about (I originally planned on having the book out in April). The trickiest part has been the fact that two key story lines run from just one early scene involving Fynn and Thea.

They come out of the event changed, but getting the balance between developing a character in that way, and just all-out changing them is difficult. Every change I made to that one scene (you’ll see what it is soon) had a heavy ripple-effect throughout the book, at times it was like playing Jenga with a sledgehammer. After a lot of work I think I’ve got it right and I hope you guys enjoy the journey that both of these characters go on.

Jack Reusen and the Spark of Dreams‘ is darker than the Fey Flame (though not by a lot), my proofreader/editor left me a note about three quarters of the way through the book that simply read ‘this is freakin’ scary!’. Don’t let this put you off though. I’ve left a lot of the scarier scenes open in a way that lets the reader fill in the gaps with their own imagination. This way, readers at my eldest son’s age (seven in a few weeks) will likely find these parts a lot less frightening than their parents.

Overall the story is based around what the world would be like if people didn’t dream, imagine, or come up with new ideas. Some of this is a little scary but mostly I wanted to deal with how important imagination is for everyone. Jack has to navigate a city that doesn’t dream and it doesn’t look like a nice place to live.

I’ve said before that there are ‘zombies’ in this book, but they aren’t undead, flesh-eating monsters; they’re innocent people who are sleep-walking through life and have lost something important because of it. Jack goes through a crisis of confidence but we all know that in the end he’ll have what it takes to help them.

Thea hasn’t been left out either; she gets to be an action hero in this book. Her fight scenes were some of the most enjoyable things I have ever written (though you’ll have to get a fair bit through the book to see them) and I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of girl she develops into in future books.

Sorry for the long post, as you can probably tell, I’m a little excited about launching the latest Jack Reusen book. I really hope you like it (when the books finally get here). I’ll keep you updated here and on the Facebook and Twitter accounts about when to expect them. In the mean time I’ve got a school book talk to prepare for. I’m off to Comrie Primary on Monday (my school between the ages of five and seven) and I’m really hoping the children there enjoy their introduction to Jack and his friends.

All the best, thanks as always for reading, cheers, John

Almost time…

wpid-imag1530_1.jpgThere are two big reveals to share tonight: a sneak-peak of the cover for ‘Jack Reusen and The Spark of Dreams’, and on top of that I’m sharing the title of the very last chapter, it’s that close to completion!

I’m so sorry for the long wait, editing has been a tough run this time round. I did something with one of the main characters that I wasn’t 100% happy with, unfortunately it was quite early on in the book so changing it has had a ripple effect. ‘Jack Reusen and the Spark of Dreams’  is looking to be ready around a month later than the April release promised at the back of ‘Jack Reusen and the Fey Flame’. To everyone who has been asking about it, I am so sorry for the delay, and thank you for all the support you have all shown so far.

As for the book cover I hope you like the wee snippets shared in this post. I put out a call for an illustrator a few weeks ago and an illustrator called Karen MacAllister came forward (pop over to her illustrator website and her blog to find out more about her work). She showed me some great wee preliminary sketches and we took it from there and, thanks to Karen we now have a really dynamic and intriguing cover.

wpid-imag1532_burst001_1.jpgTo be slightly annoying (building anticipation a bit), I’ve decided to only show small portions of Karen’s finished work. I thought it’d be more fun to share the finished article once the book is out.

I need to point out that Karen’s advice and knowledge were almost as valuable as her artistic skills in creating this cover. She really knows her stuff and de-cluttered my original plans to produce something that catches the eye and draws you in and I absolutely love the colour and tone she’s put into it.

I’m going to edit like a lunatic over the next couple of days, the book is all but done but I want to really do this justice (it isn’t easy getting the balance right in zombie scenes for kids). So many readers have been so supportive of this next leg of Jack’s adventure that I don’t want to let them down. Hopefully the story within will have the same draw as Karen’s fantastic cover.

As always thanks for reading, I’ll try and visit here more frequently over the next few days with updates so you should hopefully hear more soon. All the best, John

And as simple as that, here they are…

wpid-imag1318_burst002_1.jpgThe books have arrived! The official book launch for ‘Jack Reusen and the Fey Flame’ will be in Fun Junction in Perth this Saturday (21st February). I’ll be reading excerpts from the book and talking about stories and writing. There are three sessions scheduled, at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm and they’ll go on for as long as kids look interested.

My last few nights have been spent reading through the book to find the best, most exciting parts to share with those of you who can make it to the launch. I can’t wait to see what kinds of reactions I’ll get on Saturday.

I’ve also been working on book two (while not chasing up book deliveries etc.) and I’m fairly happy with the book’s progress, though I’ll need to knuckle down on Sunday if I want to meet my deadline of the end of the month. Provided I can get it done by then, I’ll have four to six weeks to edit it and neaten it up (and beta test it a little/lot) before sending ‘Jack Reusen and the Spark of Dreams’ off to the printers.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday in Perth (if you can make it along), all the best, John