Jihad and Unheard paperback

Now we could be embarrassed by the total lack of promotion on my part.  In the complete silence of book news when, let’s face it, I’ve clearly written and released a second book.  We could even be embarrassed at the fact that I stated in a blog back in November of 2013 that I was going to be writing said book in one month for National Novel Writing Month, but all that sounds exceptionally boring.  Shall we cut to the good bit?  The fact that said book is now available as a paperback along with the book it sequels.

Two-booksThe proof copy of Jihad and Unheard arrived in the post this morning and after a quick review to ensure the cover looks right (the cover for Hudud and Escape originally arrived far too dark) and the typefaces used are correct (as representing text on phone, terminal and blog requires a different look to that of the main novel text), I have deemed this proof copy perfect.  I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.

I know this will make some people very happy.  As I learned with Hudud and Escape, some people, quite simply, struggle with the act of reading a book on an electronic device.  And even so, there’s nothing quite like seeing these books so beautifully printed.  I’m very proud of the covers, which I designed myself.

Both books are available to buy now.  There are a few ways to buy them.

  • Buy from Create Space
    • Buying directly from the printers allows for the highest level of royalties paid to me though this method has the slowest delivery time. Please understand, I don’t make a lot of money from these books no matter who you buy from and I’m more interested in more people reading them.  As such, please read on.
  • Buy from Amazon
    • Amazon actually owns Create Space.  This being the case, they give the second best profits (except when buying from the robot sellers in the Amazon marketplace that sell them for a few pence less).  You can also share the Amazon link with your friends (who are more likely to accept it as a trust-worthy site) and write a review of the book on Amazon too (you can do this even if you don’t buy from Amazon, though Amazon will show a proof of purchase next to your review if you do).
  • Order from your local bookshop
    • This gives me the lowest amount of royalties, however, gets my book into stores.  This would actually be my preference.  Not always, but often, book shop owners will order more than one copy of a book when you order a copy.  This means you will get a copy and they will put the other on their book shelves to sell to others.  Of course, if you’re feeling especially fan like, you could go in singing the praises of these books and recommend they sell it to others.

So in case you hadn’t realised.  Jihad and Unheard is the second in the trilogy, which I am now calling The Hudud Trilogy.  I have started writing the third book (though at the moment it is just a prologue).  I’m taking this one slow.  Hudud and Escape was written in 23 days.  I had thought Jihad and Unheard would be done within another month, but I thought wrong.  The complexity of this book was much greater, involving narrative hopping back and forth not just around time, but the globe.  Indeed, a great amount of this book takes place in countries and times I only know from reading news accounts and other novels.  This no doubt means that I have written inaccuracies that only an author with a globe-trotting bank account could have afforded to prevent.  Alas, I am still a no-budget writer.  In the end, this novel took 1 year and 33 days to complete its first draft.  I finished not at the end of NaNoWriMo 2013 but a few days after NaNoWriMo 2014.  A few months of review and editing later, it was published on Kindle and Kobo and Google Play and now, finally, I have got off my arse and published it as a paperback.

I have learned a lot from my last novel and the time since writing it.  In truth, this has come from reading a lot more.  It’s not that I didn’t read before, it’s just that now I seem to be reading all the time.  I always have some book on the go and reading from the point of view of an author is, well to be honest, it’s very different.  I’m no longer just reading stories and enjoying them, but I’m noticing much more, how a story is written.  It can be as high level as seeing the way a narrative is ordered and as low level as how dialogue is formatted,something I very much struggled with in Hudud and Escape and have finally sorted properly in Jihad and Unheard.  Those who have read this book already have agreed that the quality of my writing seems to have improved greatly and I hope this improvement continues into the third and final book in this trilogy.

My aim is to complete this trilogy and then move onto something entirely new.  I have many ideas of what I’d like to do but have not settled on something yet.  My hope is that after the learning of this series, I will be ready to write something for actual publish.  We will see.

Hudud and Escape, a novel by Andy Barratt

On the 4th of November, I spotted a strange term trending on Google+, “#nanowrimo2012”.  I had no idea what it was or how much I would find myself tagging posts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ with #nanowrimo after I found out exactly what was going on.

NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month.  The challenge?  Write or begin a novel with 50,000 words in 30 days.  I’ve wanted to write a novel several times, I’ve even tried.  Particularly stalkerish readers may even remember posts on this blog from years ago where I stated that I was writing one.  They all failed and, after going back to them, they were all awful.  30 days and 50,000 words?  I thought that was doable.  I’d had an idea for a story floating in my mind for a few days, just a single opening scene, so I wrote it and had my first 4,387 words already done.

I found myself wanting to write more but with work during the day, I couldn’t write until evening.  This turned out to be a blessing as the ideas I had during the day were able to form into full chapters, ready to write in the evenings.  Then these day dreamed chapters became collections of chapters.  After about a week, I knew the entire story.  I actually had a full story, from beginning to end, in my head.  That’s something I’d never been successful with in the past.

On the 26th day of NaNoWriMo, I’d finished my first draft, I’d started late and finished early.  51,723 words written in 22 days!  By the 29th, I had my 2nd draft and so I took a break.  I saw people saying I should claim the domain name for the title of my book so I did that too.  I also wrote a site which I’m quite proud of, put on your headphones and head over to www.hududandescape.com where you can read the first chapter.

I’m now working on my third draft and soon, I hope, I’ll be looking for people to represent it, to see if it’s something people think is worth publishing.  I believe it is but then, I expect many bad writers think what they write is a masterpiece.  I know the feedback from those who have read it so far has been good though and I hope they’re not just being nice to me.

Check out www.hududandescape.com and if you know of someone who you think might be interested in publishing it, please show them the site too.