Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Where Are You?


I'm Here!

Yeah, I've been negligent in keeping the blog up to date.  Feel free to whip me a hundred lashes with a wet lasagna noodle.  Mainly, I've just been focused on trying to put the ribbon on Zegin's Abduction.  I've gotten so wrapped up in the story - I purposely have ignored the blog.  My bad!

But, the good news is that I'm getting close to having the draft completed.  Once again, I'll be using a professional editor to run through it for me.  And I'll be picking some new art for the cover.

So, would you like a small taste of the story?  Well, here's a sneak peek at a portion of Zegin's Abduction - raw and pre-edit (so be kind):

Zegin's Abduction (Sneak peek)

“More sleep, more credits, and fewer scars,” Zegin mumbled to himself. “Well, at least there are fewer scars.” He smirked at his own statement while controlling the zipcar on his way to the Cydonia spaceport.  There was no one to listen to his snide remarks, which was all for the best anyway.  “Best to keep my remarks to myself,” he continued mumbling.  “Especially when enlisted with Navy Command.”  He chuckled at himself while remembering why he mustered out of the United Terranian Navy Command.  

He was one of the best at Cyber and A.I. Forensics but UTNC tends to chew up their best.  Lack of sleep, too much to do, and high risk discrete operations took their toll.  He mustered out and took his pension after 12 Sol years to become a starship troubleshooter, with the hope of getting more sleep, more credits, and fewer scars.  “That’s right!  Fewer scars.”

Zegin always talked to himself when he was tired.  He hoped it would keep him from falling asleep at the controls.  He could have used automated nav, but he would fall asleep for sure - which wouldn’t look very good when he arrived to meet his next customer.  Between the late conversion with Rebecca about her day at work and the howling of the neighbor’s banderdog, there was little sleep to be had the night before. 

Contributing to the lack of sleep was his curiosity about his new customer - Mr. Criswell, of Criswell Shipping Lanes.  Net research the night before revealed very little about Mr. Criswell or his business.  There was one entry for a port landing a few months ago, only for a half hour.  Barely enough time to take on fuel and refresh the ship’s systems.  Something in the back of his mind told him not to take the job, but he felt he was being overly cautious.  The lure of some quick credits, in a slow period, was strong motivation for this sleep deprived shooter.

"That's odd," Zegin stated as he pulled the zipcar to dockside of port 73. "It’s a shuttle - not a ship."
3 men were standing outside the shuttle.  They watched patiently as Zegin grabbed his gear and released his D-rack diagnostic robot from the back of the zipcar.

"Good morning gentlemen," Zegin said as he approached the men.  "I understand you're having some problems with the navigation computer on your ship, or is it with this shuttle?"  Zegin started to feel a little uncomfortable.  Rarely were there three people meeting him for his jobs and these three didn’t seem normal.  Something was a little different about the look of these three and as he got closer old memories came to mind.

"Haas low, Miiistar Thooomaaz,” the smallest of the 3 men stepped forward while bowing slightly.  He held his hands, finger tip to finger tip, on his chest, in a contemplative sort of way, slowly tapping each in succession.

Zegin froze at hearing the strange greeting as his D-rack bumped up against the back of his legs and stopped.  Zegin noticed the man's hands had no fingernails and the man’s eyes seemed to be recessed back farther than normal.  These guys are Sarreth, Zegin realized.  A chill ran up the back of his neck.  Thoughts of his encounters with them while enlisted with the UTNC quickly flashed by.  They are barbaric and slow of speech.  No fingernails, strange faces, and not exactly friendly with Terranians - especially after the mining belt encounters.

"Are you Captain Criswell?" Zegin asked while taking a quick look at the other 2 aliens, standing to one side of the smaller man.  He was still stunned at the realization that they had managed to penetrate the defense grid and actually land at the Cydonia port.  

Their gazes from recessed eyes were directly at Zegin, adding to his discomfort.  "Kaaap tan inn shhhhip," the little man, or alien, stated as he gestured toward the hatch of the shuttle.
Zegin decided this was not going to be his gig for today.  He needed to quickly get away and alert the authorities.  "Well, sir. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be able to help you out today."  He pulled out a quick excuse.  "You see, my D-rack is having navigation problems and I need to fix those before I can do any other jobs."  He kicked at the D-rack with one foot, trying to push it back toward the zipcar.  The D-rack squawked in defense and started to drift toward the zipcar.

"Yooo muuussst coommmm," the short alien gestured again toward the shuttle hatch.  

Zegin stepped back while keeping an eye on the shorter alien and trying to make a quick glance at the other two.  His heart raced as he calculated his exit away from the aliens.


Zegin noticed a small glint of reflection out the corner of his eye.  He turned to face one of the two other aliens as a small object hurled toward him, striking him under his right ear as he flinched from the movement.  A combination of fear, anger, and surprise swept through him as he watched the ground rapidly approaching his face.  He felt hands grab at his arms, stopping his impact with the ground.  He shivered at the thought of alien fingers with no fingernails gripping him tightly.  The revulsion was soon replaced with blackness.

(End of the sneak peek)

Where to go after KDP?

My exclusivity has run out with Amazon's KDP.  I now have the option of posting Zegin's Infection on other eBook sites and make it available via print.  I just need to take the time to investigate where to post.  All I need is time - and maybe a clone.  If anyone has recommendations, I'd be happy to hear them.  

Latest Statistics

Klout Score: 51 (-2)
TT.com Page Loads for the past month: 1100 (+230)
Twitter Followers: 1935 (+332)
G+ Peeps Following: 889 (+310)
Zegin's Infection Sales/Downloads: 45/558

Not sure what I think of Klout.  I know for a fact that I've increased my Twitter activity. I'm posting more and receiving more interaction.  But my score has been hovering around the same and dropping.  I'll keep at it for a little while longer to see if it's really worth tracking.  

Twitter and GooglePlus followers are up significantly. Mostly due to my interaction on both.  Most of my postings have been on Twitter with an occasional post onto G+.  I still haven't found the perfect tool for syncing Twitter, G+, and Facebook.

Sales for ZI have dropped off a little.  Once again, I don't have huge expectations for this release.  I think it'll pick up more once I get Zegin's Abduction released.  ZA will be a much longer story, not quite as pencil headed geeky, and will provide some background for what's going on in Zegin's universe.  It will lead the way to more stories as well.  Anyway, I hope that my next blog posting will be the announcement of completion of the first draft.

Till then, keep reading and writing.   

1 comment: