Friday, 16 May 2014

Dom Perignon or Cheap Cocktails?

'Out of Bounds' was released two months ago. Naturally since then I have been frequently monitoring its circulation and have been collecting precious feedback from those who have already read the book and wanted to tell me what they thought about it. The comments have been extremely rewarding and heart-warming. And I now know for a fact that I have readers worldwide. Contacts I have in the U.S., the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, India, etc are currently reading 'Out of Bounds'. Thank you everyone.

'Out of Bounds' also passed a recent critical test. My father mailed a copy of the book to an old friend of ours in South Carolina. My brother and I spent two wonderful weeks in his company in South Carolina and Georgia back in 97. Needless to say that 'Out of Bounds' is set in an area very familiar to him. So I was nervous to find out what his impressions would be. He sent me an email shortly after having received the parcel and said he'd start reading that evening. Two days later he'd finished the book and loved it. He told me it was a real page-turner and great story. My local settings were spot on (he even mentioned that he was familiar with the Charleston restaurant where Detective Bornholm meets a DEA friend) and that my use of American-English seemed genuine. He also rooted for Kyle all through the story and saw in him elements of the young Simon he knew in 1997. So thank you Jim and thanks for awarding me that rubber stamp of authenticity. My relief is huge. 

As I write this blog entry, 'Out of Bounds' ranks #2,560,447 in Amazon's Best Seller Books list (out of an estimated 8 million or more). Not quite the top 10 or 100 yet, but there is still a lot of room for progression. I got my first Amazon user review earlier this month (thank you again to the person who is concerned). Apparently reviews - in addition to sales - help with my Amazon rankings. So if you have read the book, I would be very happy to see what you have to say, and you'd be doing me a great favour by contributing your reviews.

A bit of history now. This time last year I was writing the final words of 'Out of Bounds' and was beginning to research literary agents in the UK. It seems like such a long time ago as many events have unfolded since. I remember toasting the occasion at a Chinese food dive near where I live. It was the worst Chinese food I'd ever tasted and the cocktail drinks weren't as exotic-looking as they looked on the greasy menu. The retching and stomach aches were only minor disruptions to an otherwise very pleasant evening. Some authors indulge in Dom Perignon when they finish a book - I guess I'm not quite there yet. 

I am still chugging along with novel n°2, feeling like a real diesel engine, spurting out seven hundred words here and nine hundred there when I get time to myself in front of the computer. Today I'm more or less at the half-way mark, but still ironing out secondary plot issues as I go along. The backbone of my story though is solid and chapter progression is working well, so these plot issues shouldn't be too much of a hassle to rectify. (I invite you, if you haven't, to check my March 29th blog entry - the Smashwords interview - I discuss my writing process).

Slowly but surely I'm making my way. It's too early to even contemplate the day I'll complete the manuscript, but I'll also aim to raise a celebratory glass of champagne to mark the event. Maybe I could raise several in your company?