Friday, January 5, 2024

I am alive! And I've returned with not only a new novel, but my first actual physical release, with both paperback and hardcover editions available. Getting both of those set up was a real pain in the ass, though, as the program I usually use for image editing (an ancient version of Paintshop Pro) simply couldn't process images big enough without slowing to a crawl. And even when I did seem to get the covers made properly, converting them into PDF documents didn't work as intended, as their resolution ended up being so huge that only a tiny portion of the image showed up on the cover. Apparently because I was supposed to crop the background even though the rest of it wasn't visible beyond the image borders anyway. But hey, I finally got it done and learned something for the future, so that's something, at least! And since I plan to buy a new PC sometime this year (after having used my current one for about eight years), I hopefully shouldn't have to struggle with as much performance issues in the future.
To make sure the actual interior of the book looks good, I also spent some money on Atticus, which makes it incredibly easy to format both physical books as well as e-books, though I still spent considerable time fine-tuning all the settings and trying out different dividers. Though I ended up going with none of them, as all of them take up too much space for my taste, especially if they show up near the beginning or end of a page. And even a two line break looks off to me, so I ended up going with a single line for every scene break instead.
Apart from that, my only real gripe with the program would be that it doesn't offer a fully functional offline version. Sure, you can work on your latest book while offline, but only if you signed into Atticus while you still had an internet connection. And the most important part, converting the book to pdf and epub, can only be done online. Which may not be too much of an issue in this day and age, but if the site ever went offline, it would also render Atticus useless.
Aside from that, I can wholeheartedly recommend it, especially since it requires only a one-time payment. Though anyone that owns a Mac might want to have a look at Vellum instead, which is also supposed to be really good and seems to work entirely offline. So it may have been a better option for me too ... if I actually owned a Mac, or ever planned to buy one. But I can't even justify buying a game console since they always end up gathering dust, so a Mac would be even worse off.
Anyway, as for the book itself: here's the cover, whose blurb should hopefully be all I need to say about it! The only thing it doesn't mention is that it also takes place in my Mortaevum universe. Haven't gotten any of the physical copies myself yet, since I tinkered with the cover until the very last moment, and author copies would take a while to arrive, which could be a problem since I'm supposed to move sometime in the near future. Might have to get some retail copies instead to make use of my free Prime membership before it expires.

Mortaevum Fantasy Horror Novel

I've done more than just finish a single book, however. I actually decided to participate in NaNoWriMo last November for the very first time. And I hit the 50k goal with time to spare! Though I didn't manage to actually finish the book, which will most likely end up twice as long, at the very least. As to what it is: an indirect sequel to Lifelines, part murder mystery, part killing game, and somewhat inspired by the visual novels Zero Escape, Ever17 and Dei Gratia in the fifth day. The last two especially, since the story also takes place in the deep sea, but is supposed to offer a bit more tension than either of these visual novels, which have way too many slice of life moments. No idea when I'll manage to get the book done, however.

And since I finally released a physical book (because someone urged me to), I want to do the same for Grim Memoria and Lifelines, but that will also take some time. Partially because I might want to create new covers, but also because I want to look through them again. And also write a whole new ending for Grim Memoria, as I no longer like how vague I left it in the original release.

And that's about everything of note. So let's see if I'll manage to re-release these books and also finish that Lifelines sequel. Getting at least one of my full length Mortaevum novels out there also couldn't hurt, but will most likely require more revisions, as I plan to rewrite an entire chapter, and also make some changes to the one directly afterwards, so that something that happened early on in the book actually has a proper payoff (instead of none at all).