Research needed!

I have 38072 words – which translates to 175 pages – done!
38000 words of research, that is  🙂    

But with all the information I’ve gotten so far, it was enough to start writing. The research however is far from over. With every chapter I write (currently 77 pages) new questions come up. And I think the story – though made up – needs to be as close to reality of the 18th century as possible. You wouldn’t think it needs so much research, but the moment you ask yourself some simple questions, you realize it’s needed.

For example, what did people eat, what did they drink? Remember, most of the water, unless it was a mountain spring, was contaminated as there was no sewerage or water control. 

How did they dress (women started wearing knickers, eg. underpans, only in the 19th century!! How, on the Moons of Senthia, did they handle a period, I still have no idea!) And then some larger questions, like the influence of the church on the population or changes in the philosophical views at the time. It all influences the story.

Dan Brown, when addressing the new writers, said “When your readers buy your book, they are not only paying for the words in the book”. Meaning, they are also paying for all the words you deleted, either because they have been edited out so that your story is distilled to enable your reader the best experience possible. But he also means the many words of your research, because although none of your readers will see those words, they will certainly feel if the author did the research or not.

And I completely believe him. Research is mandatory. Because you see, some time in the future, next year, or the year after that, this book will be finished. And in that moment, I will ask you to put away your life, your busy, interesting life where you are the protagonist and the main character in your story. And I will ask you to put aside this particular life for a few hours and give your full attention to my book. To my story.

And this is a lot to ask. 
Your attention, your time, is the greatest currency.

For me to be able to ask something like that of you, I need to do the best job possible, and the research is at the very basis of it, because you will not believe my characters, you will not live in my story, if it doesn’t ring true. 

So, I’ll continue researching and writing, and to you I wish happy reading!

Yours, Tara Jade

“The Vision” is finally out!

It is time to celebrate. Not only is one book out, but the whole “Descendants of Earth” trilogy is finally complete. Yeey! I am so happy to have it finished. Clearly, the story was roughly there from the start. Those of you who finished the trilogy will know that I sprinkled clues from the beginning on, and they all, hopefully very rewardingly, wrap up in the end.

Considering that “The Senthien” took 6 years to write and “The Mind” 2, “The Vision” was surprisingly faster, only one and a half years from start to finish. (I have author friends who publish 3 books per year, I know, but this is my best timing!) Knowing my pace, I anticipated the book will be out February or March 2022, but I am really happy that the first draft was done pretty quickly and also that the post-production eg, editing process, was done within the “usual” 6 months I had anticipated. No bad surprises there 😉 Which means that “The Vision” came out before Christmas!

I wish I could celebrate this with you, my readers. Especially those of you who read “The Senthien” when it came out, 6 years ago (Ouch! So sorry for the delay). I really do appreciate your patience and your determination to stay with the story and find out what will happen to Dora and J. And not only that, but what will happen to the whole Uni galaxy!

To tell you the truth, when I was writing the first book, I didn’t know this myself. I had a very clear picture of what will happen to Dora and J, including the whole Monica trajectory. And I was so thrilled with the plot line there! I can even tell you that this particular story bit happened while I was driving, with a snowstorm racking the windows of our car, as we were going to see friends in France, some three hours away. I consciously wasn’t thinking about the plot line at all at this moment, but somehow my subconscious did, because all of sudden I had an ending for them.

At any rate, while I knew exactly the story lines for my characters, the whole social and political ending, with millions of Descendants and Humans in Uni galaxy, didn’t have a clear future until only a few months before the first draft of “The Vision” was done. I had various possible futures for it, just like with Dora when the current situation is not clear, many future scenarios are possible as well. I didn’t want to do a book-genocide, but I also didn’t want to let them off the hook either. In the end, with many extremely useful discussions, probing questions and intriguing feedbacks, mainly from the two people, I found my ending. So, to Tom Brown and Jade Phipps, thank you for helping me find the future for Uni 🙂

The trilogy is done.

And as for me? It is time to say goodbye to “Descendants of Earth”, to all my lovely imaginary characters I spend 12 years with, and it’s time to move on. Time to start writing another book, setting up another adventure, getting to know my new characters.

I am so looking forward to my new adventure! I’m sure you will love it too 🙂

How to deal with bad book reviews

Every author will face it: bad reviews. Some more, some less, but in all cases they will hurt. Bad reviews come mostly because your book came into the wrong hands: that reader wasn’t supposed to read your book but based on your cover or summery they thought they are and they read it. So, a large part of potential bad reviews can be avoided with careful considerations when deciding on your metadata: genre selection, book covers, blurbs and such. But even if your metadata is spot-on, you will still end up with some readers that were never meant to pick up your book in the first place. Here is how I dealt with mine.

Stephen, you rock!

I’m reading “On writing” by Stephen King.

I love it, as most of his fans or aspiring writers would/do.

Two reasons:

First of all, this is the first book of his where I can actually “hear” him, Stephen King himself. Not Carrie White or Stu Redman. But Stephen King. And it was very nice to “get to know” him like that. And funnily enough, he reminds me of Dan Simmons’ Martin Silenius, a satirical character in the epic “Hyperion”. Continue reading “Stephen, you rock!”

What’s a good book?

A good book is when I can’t wait for my next available free time to sit and read the next few pages. When I read the page on the left and my eyes keep jumping to the page on the right, desperate to find out what will happen. A book that I often rewind: I go back to read a paragraph again and again, because I really liked it. A story where I identify with a character: someone who is good, brave, but still has some minor faults I can relate to.

Continue reading “What’s a good book?”

Let’s talk about sex

Couple

It’s Tuesday evening, past 11, and my friend and I are still discussing the topic I brought up. She looks at me over a half full glass of Bellini and says, “You could still copy EL James… Take each third word, no one will point fingers at you for copycatting and it would still be a good sex scene.”

We are, of course, talking about writing sex scenes in my books. Continue reading “Let’s talk about sex”

The reader-pack: Alphas, Betas and Omegas?

Wolf-7I have just finished draft of the book ♯1!

But that doesn’t mean it will shine tomorrow on Amazon’s bestseller list. 🙂

There’s a long road still ahead.

At this stage my book is written and self-edited, but what I now need is a second pair of eyes (or several of them). So before I give the book to an editor, I need to get input from beta-readers.

Who are beta-readers? Continue reading “The reader-pack: Alphas, Betas and Omegas?”

Someone else

Long time not seen!

I’m finishing up the book  #1, and I’m trying to postpone all other things that come my way, including this blog, sorry.

But, I need to give it something to eat, otherwise next time I come back, I’ll see only bones.

Being engrossed in writing up my story, every now and then I need to do something else, just to give my brain a breather. So today, I read the part of the book I had started some months ago, but then stopped to finish up book #1. Continue reading “Someone else”