Greetings again, dear readers, and welcome to another edition of the Mako Manifesto — this time by way of its new home at WordPress! Why the change from Blogger, you ask? Eh, it’s complicated. But suffice it to say, the decision to move had a lot to do with the business end of things, i.e. better distribution options, better analytics, and well… mainly because I’ve never been one to go too long without change.
And so here we are, with a new site, a new look, and lots of MAKO news to discuss.
RED SKY DAWNING (RSD) BETA is in the can
As of July 31, eyes not belonging to me were reading the latest adventure of Lee Summerston and the Renegades, thus officially beginning RSD’s final run to print whereby I get beta feedback by Labor Day then make changes in time for submission to my editor on Oct. 20. After that comes another round of changes followed by a round of line-edits followed by more changes and a proofread — BREATH — then the file is finalized and sent off to my e- and audiobook designers for production.
It’s a lot, I know, but I consider myself extremely fortunate as an indie author to be able to afford such a rigorous process this time around. That wasn’t the case with MAKO, as I was operating on a shoe-string budget and completely out of pocket. That meant one round of edits through friends then another through a solo-editor I found online who, to her credit, did a fabulous job considering the size and scope of the task she was hired for.
(Author’s Note: MAKO was re-released onto Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc. in January 2014 following a comprehensive re-edit and proofread.)
Fast-forward to the present, and RSD is getting the manicured treatment by comparison — a good thing, too, given the size of this story. As I’ve maintained all along, RSD is a much bigger tale than MAKO in nearly every way, though especially where world and character development are concerned. Bigger stakes, bigger themes, bigger conflicts, bigger everything.
Out with the story stuff already!
For those who follow me on social media, some of this might seem a bit redundant to you. However, in the interest of wetting the whistle a bit for those who don’t, here are a few of the themes we’ll be tackling in book two of the Mako saga:
• Five years have passed since the events of MAKO: At the conclusion of book one, it was pretty clear that every member of the Renegades (Lee, Mac, Danny, Link, and Hamish) had found something on Aura that he or she had begun to latch onto. Be it a career, a person, or in Danny’s case, the outright dread of returning home to Earth, something clicked for each of them, and that’s played a major part in sculpting their lives ever since.
• Danny is the star of the show: Yes, everyone is back — Lee and Mac included — but Danny Tucker is the protagonist of RSD, and it’s made abundantly clear right out of the gate that while he’s very similar to Lee in many respects, he’s also quite different in many others. Chief among these differences is the manner in which he deals with people who cross him… and we’ll just leave that right there for now. 😉
• Who are the Alystierians… really? In many ways, MAKO was the story of the Aurans, i.e. who they are as a people, where they came from, and why they’re at war with the Alystierian Empire. As is usually the case in war, however, there are two sides to the equation, and RSD is where we get the other’s point of view. Why did the Alystierians attack Aura in the first place? What forces drove that decision, and how have things changed since the ASC’s advent of a pure-caldrasite (C-100) technology, i.e. the SF-13 Mako Interceptor? Then finally, why are the empire’s commandant (Masterson) and chancellor (Lucius Zier) seemingly at odds as was briefly referenced in MAKO?
With regard to that last point, trust me when I say, folks, that not only is this rift explained in RSD, but it has far-reaching consequences for everyone involved.
• Lots of new characters: As has been alluded to already, RSD sees the introduction of several new characters — among them Katie Summerston (Lee’s sister, and a worldclass scientist/surgeon), Nathan Briggs (an Alystierian soldier on the Kamuir), and Zier. It also sees the fleshing out of other characters like Layla, who sports a new title in RSD, and Kris Wyatt, a man who readers will find has changed quite a bit in the last five years.
When will RED SKY DAWNING hit shelves?
Ideally, I’d love to have RSD out by Christmas. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, though it’ll largely depend on how soon I can get through my editors’ suggested changes which will surely be extensive—as they should be. That’s the job of a good editor, to point out where your story is weak so that changes can be made, and where your story shines so as to maximize that impact for the reader. It’s a long and arduous process. But in the end, and as any NYT bestseller will tell you, any story is always better for having gone through it.
Okay, gang, that’s gonna do it for this, our maiden voyage on WordPress. Thanks as always for stopping by, don’t forget to stay tuned to FB and Twitter for all the latest updates, and see you back here next time for another edition of the Manifesto!
PS- Just three more Saturdays until my beloved Seminoles of Florida State begin their defense of the 2013 National Championship in college football. Cool weather, ice cold beer, football, and a crock-potful of homemade chili… MAN, I love this time of year!!!