About three years ago I completed and self-published my first book, The Obeahman’s Dagger. I did it all – writing, editing, proof-reading, cover design, and layout and when it was done, I was a very proud writer/publisher. A Kirkus review pointed out some weaknesses but gave me a good grade overall. Another professional opined that I should have used a professional editor but that all things considered, I’d done a remarkable job. She congratulated me with an E for effort.
By this time, say about seven or eight weeks post publication, I was experiencing the reality of what I’d done, and it was not a pretty sight. I began to see that I’d done a terrible job and had actually published a draft. What’s that they say, worse than a crime, a blunder? Yep, that was what I’d done. Blundered.
Now if you look again at the list in the first paragraph, you’ll see that I did no marketing. And the second paragraph will tell you why. I had no confidence in the quality of the book.
So for a long time I just left it there, an admission that I wasn’t up to the task. I didn’t know how to write fiction and before I did anything, I knew that I had to take care of that bit of business.
Back to school then, to learn something new.
Gotta say that there were several inputs in this initiative – a number of books on the subject; an online course in Creative Writing from Wesleyan University via Coursera; and participation in two writing groups, Buffalo Writers Meetup and the North Tonawanda Writers Group.
About a month ago I decided to rewrite The Obeahman’s Dagger and to redo the cover. The new edition is up and available on both Smashwords and Amazon.
Here’s a description of the book:
Set in the Caribbean island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, this is the story of David Chelmsford, a young journalist drawn unwillingly into an occult adventure in the realms of West African Vodun and its Trinidadian equivalent, Obeah.
David Chelmsford is unhappy with the corruption, crime and drug abuse in his country. He is upset with the degradation of the annual Carnival and the loss of the beauty of the old traditions. He wants to write something better than the drivel that is inflicted on the public year after year during the Carnival season. When his photographer colleague stumbles on a police record that documents the existence of an active serial killer, operating in the confusion of Carnival, he is excited by the story and suggests to his editor that the paper report on the disappearances of young women every Carnival, as suggested by the file his friend unearthed.
His editor rejects the proposal insisting instead that his Carnival assignment is a story that will document the experiences and impressions of an American tourist who is in Trinidad for the annual Carnival. David accepts the assignment while remaining determined to follow the story about the serial disappearances on his own.
Both assignments collide violently when his designated tourist becomes the present target of the serial killer and David must go toe to toe with a powerful and ruthless opponent, one skilled in the arcane magic of Vodun and Obeah.
And here’s the new cover:
I would absolutely love to get reviews – good, bad or indifferent. Give me one star or five, I don’t care, just please let me know what you think. You may use the comment on this blog to request an Amazon copy. Happy to review your book in return.; I will review books for free copies.
I prefer science fiction, occult fiction, literary novels or non-fiction but I’ll read anything. My bias will not usually affect my judgement. I can’t promise to read everything I get; think my limit is about two reviews per month. The rest will go on a wait list, in order received. Contact me if you want to send print copies, though I prefer e-books. Less clutter.
If you’re concerned that my review might be less than brilliant, request a private assessment before I post the review for public consumption. Don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I’ll post here, on Goodreads, and wherever else I can. You need a verified purchase to post a review on Amazon.
Thank you, amazing reader.