BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

BEAR ALLEY BOOKS
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Comic Cuts - 30 August 2013


And the good news is...

I finally finished Boys' World Ticket to Adventure. I'm waiting on a proof, but I'm reasonably sure that everything will be OK. Of course, one tiny spelling mistake in a single caption and I have to re-upload the whole book and that takes forever as the printer has the slowest ftp connection in the universe.

I was originally hoping to have the book out by 2nd September, but I suspect it will be a few days later. Hopefully everyone who has already ordered will get their copies by the 9th. So that's the "official" release date as far as any date for a book's release is "official" these days.

The book clocked in at a mammoth 208 pages, far bigger than I imagined when I started writing it. This and the Ranger book were supposed to be a couple of titles I could knock out quickly after the two months I spent on Lion, a palate cleanser before I knuckled down to revamping the Valiant index. Just goes to show: when you estimate how long something's going to take, you should double your first guess and then double it again. That might put you in the ball park.

Now that I have Boys' World out of the way—barring the obvious proofing, correcting, printing and distributing—there are a whole bunch of things that I want to do, one of which is to take a couple of days off. I don't work seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day; however, there aren't many days when I'm not to be found in front of the computer for at least a few hours. Saturday is my day off but I often spend some time cleaning up cover scans while I'm listening to the Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo's Film Reviews podcast to see what I'll be missing at the cinema this week. (Every time we go I swear that it will be the last time. A tenner a time for tickets to movies that aren't filling me with thrills, although I did enjoy Elysium last weekend. If you give yourself up to the action and spectacle it's fine; don't think about the plot or the characters and definitely don't think about Jodie Foster's character. It looks great.)

Speaking of going out, I'm still managing to get out for walks every day—one of the reasons why the book has taken so long to write! If you read Bear Alley regularly, you'll know that I started doing a bit of exercise a couple of months ago because I was overweight and it was causing me back pain even if I was just walking to one of the local shops. After a few weeks just building up my stamina, I've been walking roughly three miles a day and have managed to lose over half a stone. But, better than even that, I'm now able to walk a mile without my back screaming and begging me to stop.

I figure it took twenty years to put the weight on, so it's going to take a while to take it off. I'm now on target to have dropped a stone by the end of summer and, while that still makes me "obese" according to the NHS, it's a step or ten in the right direction. And there's no reason to stop exercising at the end of the summer. I just need to find a suitable exercise I can do indoors. I may never get down to the six-pack stomach, but at least I can lose the moobs and jokes like "When Steve enters a room, most of him is still a minute or two away." (It's a joke that needs some work.)

Random scans for today... these are recent purchases from charity shops around town. I trawl through them every Saturday hoping to find something (anything!) but old, pre-decimal paperbacks are increasingly rare. But there's always something worth picking up. For instance, I found the second book in George Mann's Newbury & Hobbes steampunk series of Victorian-era SF/horror. Here are the first two. I shall be keeping a close look-out for the other two, The Immortality Engines and the recently (July) published The Executioner's Heart.

World War Z I picked up just to see what the fuss was about. It's now on the ever-increasing pile of books that I'll get around to one day.

There will be a few more 'What Would You Do?' features next week so you can test your wits against danger. There were occasions when the writers got it wrong, although, in one instance, the advice saved the life of a reader. But you'll have to order your copy of the Boys' World book to find out what happened there. We'll be taking a look at the life of another obscure author over the weekend and catching up with the upcoming releases early next week—I simply didn't have time to update the various lists this week. See you back here soon.

And for those of you waiting for the solution to yesterday's 'What Would You Do? ...


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