Eye of the Manticore is finished and in final editing stage

Posted on January 12, 2015 (Subscribe to Blog)

I started writing Eye of the Manticore, the first book of the Island of Fog Chronicles, back in November. I wrote about 3000 words while sitting in the van waiting for Lily to do her softball practice. I then resumed over Christmas. It's now finished, clocking it at 33,000 words. This is almost exactly a third of the length of a full Island of Fog book, so it's technically a novella.

Right now, it's on Google Docs being eyeballed by Brian Clopper. He's offering excellent suggestions as well as the usual nitpicks (picking up typos, etc). After that, I'll make all the necessary changes, put it on my Kindle, and read it again. I expect to note lots more typos and word changes.

As usual, I'm looking for beta readers. I don't need many though, so if you're interested, please let me know but be aware that my final selection will be limited to a very small group. Email me at keith@unearthlytales.com. Oh, and note that you'll have TWO WEEKS ONLY starting next weekend. This is a novella, the equivalent of about 7-8 chapters of a normal Island of Fog book. :-)

Publication date should be mid-February, a little later than I wanted, but it can't be helped. While you're waiting, here's some light elevator music and a tiny snippet...

      Thomas refused to move for hours. He lay low, listening to the breeze in the trees, the buzzing of oversized insects, and his own pitiful sniffling. He glimpsed that strange figure again, the one that blended in so well with the background. A screech caused him to glance up through the canopy of branches and stare in amazement as an enormous bird flew by, so impossibly huge he cowered lower and closed his eyes until it was gone.
      At one point, he held his breath when he heard a slithering, rustling sound not too far away. Absolutely still, he watched two upright shapes with straggly hair ease through the undergrowth. He could only see their heads and shoulders, but they looked like a man and woman with scaly skin. Draped in raggedy brown material that also looked scaly, they carried bows and seemed to slide rather than walk. The woman spoke, her voice low and whispery, an unintelligible language. The man grunted a reply, then brought up his bow and shot off an arrow with lightning speed.
      The arrow made a thwipp sound and thudded into something unseen that let out a shriek, some kind of large rodent. Perhaps the groundhog Thomas had chased earlier!
      With a burst of speed, the hunters dashed through the bushes and snatched up their prey—but Thomas was no longer interested in the furry creature they'd killed. He stared open-mouthed at them, at their thick, scaly, snakelike lower halves.
      "I want to go home," Thomas moaned softly, closing his eyes again. When he opened them several minutes later, the half-snake people were gone.
Comment by AN IGUANA on Monday, January 12, 2015...

I think it's about time I put myself forward for a beta read. As it's only 33,000 words (how DO you manage nice round numbers like that?) it should only take me four or five months.

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Monday, January 12, 2015...

Great! When your feedback arrives in 4-5 months, I'll add it to my "Would have been great but far too late so utterly useless" folder. :-)

I'm adding you to the list anyway, just in case you happen to get it done in the required two weeks.

Comment by KAT on Friday, January 16, 2015...

It's rare for a writer to be so talented AND prolific. I'm an Island of Fog Fan for Life.

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