Finished!

The final edit of Lex Talionis is done, and the files have been uploaded to KDP and Createspace.  Still waiting on the final cover file for the paperback, before I can order the proof, but everything is on schedule for release on the 6th.

Editing is probably the most grueling part of the writing process, especially when you’re trying to squeeze three passes into three weeks, and the manuscript starts at 161k words.  The final version comes to around 165k words, only reinforcing its position as the longest book I’ve ever written.

As I read through the book three times, I sort of thought of a theme song for this final ride of the Praetorians’ founding team.  It didn’t come from any of the music I listened to while writing it; music with lyrics tends to be a bit of a distraction while writing.  I wrote it mostly to the soundtracks from all three Expendables movies, along with a bit of a few Western soundtracks, and Bernard Hermann’s score for North by Northwest.  Editing mostly happened to the soundtracks from Hell or High Water and Logan.  (It’s that kind of book.)  But this just seemed to fit the whole thing:

Updating “Kill Yuan”

It was brought to my attention that the option to update the Kindle version of Kill Yuan, for those who have already bought it and would like it with the new cover, was not automatically showing up.  I had thought that it was supposed to, but after some digging, I found that I needed to contact Kindle Direct Publishing and ask them to make the update available.  I did so, and just now got a reply that, while the changes are “minor” enough not to justify notifying those customers who had already purchased the book, the update is now available.

If you have already bought Kill Yuan, and want the new cover, go to the “Manage My Content and Devices” page on Amazon (or this link: (www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage), and there should be an “Update Available” button to the right of the title.

Kill Yuan Is On Audible

It’s going to be a couple days before it pops up on Amazon and iTunes, but the Kill Yuan audiobook is up for purchase on Audible!  Finally!

So, now there’s not only a new cover, more along the lines of the classic Action/Adventure novels (I got comparisons to old school Mack Bolan from both Jack Murphy and Larry Correia when I showed each of them), but now you can listen to all the carnage and mayhem in your car (or shop, or office, or whatever).

I really think Cody did a damned good job with this one.  He managed to make each of the voices distinct.  It’s a good listen.

Virtue Signaling Isn’t Virtue

And when it’s based on a lie, it’s even worse.

So, this is making the rounds on FB again:

“We are asking everyone to say a prayer for the US “Darkhorse” 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan and have lost 9 Marines in 4 days. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE IT ON EVERYONE’S PAGE…Even if its only for an hour. I am HONORED to re-post this! Sending prayers, strength and encouragement to the Marines and other soldiers and their families who lost their lives, and to the Warriors that are still fighting.
R.I.P. Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, and Sheldon Tate 27…. All are Marines who gave their lives this week for us ….for our freedom! There’s no media for them at all… not even a mention of their names. Please honor them by copying and pasting this post.R.I.P.
Please keep these Marines families in your prayers.

The reason why these names are not being mentioned in the media is that all of those men, the ones who actually existed, have been dead for close to seven years.

Here’s a rundown of the names on the list: http://icoolspark.blogspot.com/2010/09/honoring-fallen-millitary-and-keeping.html

Notice that they were actually scattered across multiple units, from multiple countries, and died on different days in different provinces.  So not only is the originator of this social media chain letter a liar, but he or she is a lazy liar.

So, why do this?  Why recycle a list of the names of men seven years dead, claiming that they just died in the last week, and worse, that their deaths are being ignored by the media?

The answer is a simple one: vanity.

The post calls for “honoring the fallen.”  Many will blindly repost it for just that reason, though they are not truly honoring the dead; they only want other people on social media to see them do it.  They don’t care about those men; otherwise they might actually have taken two minutes to look them up and realize that they weren’t all 3/5, they weren’t killed in Afghanistan last week, and that the post is bullshit.  But no, they’re better than the media and all those people posting stupid videos on Facebook, you see, and they’ll show you.  They’ll show how patriotic they are and how much they care about soldiers they don’t know, and couldn’t care less about outside of showing the world how good and virtuous they are on social media.

There are a couple of fitting passages from the Gospels that have something to say about just this sort of display, but I’ll leave you with a simple thought.

Before you open your mouth, or post on social media, contemplate why you are speaking or posting.  Are you really doing it for the fallen, or are you doing it for yourself, just to show others how much you care, with the minimum effort possible?

If the latter, perhaps it is better to refrain from speaking or posting.  Especially if, as in this case, you are easily shown to have been hoodwinked within a couple of minutes.

The First Draft is Done

Well, after a 4057-word day, the first draft of Lex Talionis is done.  Finally.

This thing is a beast.  It is the longest book I’ve written to date, topping the final draft of Hunting in the Shadows by over 13,000 words, weighing in at 161,860 words.  And that’s before editing, where a draft usually gains a couple thousand words.

But there were a lot of threads to tie up in this one.  It’s brutal, it’s bleak, but I think it’s a fitting end to the series.  There are parts that were quite uncomfortable to write, and probably will be a bit uncomfortable to read.  It is a cautionary tale in many ways, as the tagline, “War and Politics Have Consequences” should probably tell you.

I’m going to take a couple of days to let the gray matter rebound, and then it’s into editing.  I’ve got thirty days to get this monster ready to go.

Kill Yuan Second Edition

What’s that?  “Second Edition,” you say?

Well, as it happens, the story is the same.  A couple of typos have been corrected, but that’s the only change to the actual novel.

The big change is the cover.  A few people have expressed misgivings about or outright dislike of the original cover, finding it a bit too much like Archer, and therefore suggesting that the book is a parody, which anyone who has read it can tell you it is not.  It is an action/adventure thriller, along the same vein as the Praetorian series.

Now, I’d already been hearing a bit of this, though I’d also heard from people who really liked the cover.  But when the International Lord of Hate himself, Larry Correia, suggests, “You might want to consider a different cover; it looks like it’s a comedy,” you listen.  So, shortly after LTUE, I contacted Kevin Granzow, who has done covers for a couple of friends of mine, including Steven Hildreth and Ross Elder.

Behold:

The page on Amazon hasn’t updated with the new cover yet, though the preview file on “Look Inside” has, strangely enough.  The paperback is also going to be unavailable until I can get a proof approved; have to check the fixed interior formatting and how the cover file prints.  But it should be back up in a few days.

If you have already purchased the Kindle version of Kill Yuan, you can go on Amazon, go to “Manage My Kindle,” and there should be an option to download an update.

I also just approved the files for the Kill Yuan audiobook, so that should be up on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes in another few days, as well.  I’ll post again here when it is.

Now back to hammering out the last chapter of Lex Talionis.

A Few Thoughts On Syria

It’s been a few days, so some of the more hyperbolic stuff surrounding the Tomahawk strike on Al Shayrat Airbase in Syria has started to die down.  Now might be the right time to weigh in with a few thoughts.  This should not be taken as an exhaustive analysis; I’m not in that business, and have slightly less of a finger on the pulse of these things than I did a couple years ago, when I was keeping a close eye on the jihadi groups cropping up in Syria. Continue reading “A Few Thoughts On Syria”