The Dancing Queen E-Book 99 Cents 2/10 – 2/16

 [Cover of The Dancing Queen: A Jack Trexlor Novel by T.F. Torrey] A long time ago, I listened to “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring, and the lyrics of a “double-crossed messenger” “somewhere in a lonely hotel room” at “2 AM” spoke to me. I wanted to write that story. Around the same time, the lyrics of “Brandy” by Looking Glass spoke to me, and I wanted to write that story, too. After many years, I actually did sit down to write the story of that guy and that girl. At first, with the protagonist the doorman at a topless bar, the story fizzled. On a whim, I changed the protagonist to the bartender, and made that guy Jack Trexlor from The Desert King, and the story began to sizzle. A few months later, it was The Dancing Queen, a sordid tale of sex and drugs and rock and roll.

And this week, you can get it for 99 cents at Amazon. If you haven’t read it yet, now is the perfect time to get it.

Also, I would appreciate a thoughtful review at Amazon if you can. Amazon sifts through their reviews from time to time for no good reason, and when they do some of mine go missing.

Thanks, and enjoy!

The Dancing Queen On Sale Tuesday Through Monday

 [Cover of The Dancing Queen: A Jack Trexlor Novel by T.F. Torrey] The book of the week is The Dancing Queen. As I wrote last week, a thread of conflict hinted at in The Desert King, whose origin was examined in the prequel The Crazy Jack, finds closure in The Dancing Queen. That thread (Jack’s relationship with Penny, via his conflict with his father) is one of my favorite parts of the Trexlor books, and it came to me on its own, a wonderful find. This book takes Jack Trexlor in an unexpected direction. It’s raw and gritty and intense, and definitely not for everyone. But if you like Jack Trexlor, or you liked the other books in this series, you can’t miss this one.

And for the next three days, you can get it for 99 cents. After that, it will still be available for $1.99, which is more than a 50% discount, but act fast for the best deal.

Today only, both The Crazy Jack and The Dancing Queen should be available for 99 cents each. If you were hoping to catch up with the Jack Trexlor series, today is your day!

Finally, I’d like to see The Dancing Queen and The Crazy Jack come out of this with a few more reviews. The Amazon reviews for my books now display on my website, so I need them to make that look right, but many websites also require them to display my promotions. Reviews don’t have to be anything fancy. Even a quick line or two works just fine, and I really appreciate it.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Writing In Public: Year 1, Month 1, Day 15

Saturday slog

I arose late in the morning and had nothing to do all day but drive my writing forward. Sounds like a great day!

First, I looked into creating print files. As I’ve announced several times now, I was all set to pull the trigger for the print editions. However, I recently became unhappy with the page numbers, headings, kerning, and hyphenation. Not terribly unhappy, but mildly so. So in the early afternoon I checked out some alternatives for generating PDF’s from text. The cxx2xslfo project looks like it might be perfect. However, it will take some time to test it and adapt my exporter, so I won’t get to it right now.

Plus, more and more writers are saying that in their real experience, it isn’t worth the time and effort to get into print. (See these comments, for example.) So, that’s something. In the same page, you may notice people pointing out that Hugh Howey and Joe Konrath have concluded their testing and decided it’s best to go all-in with Amazon KDP Select, too. Contrarily, Dean Wesley Smith strongly advises in favor of print and against KDP Select. Hmm.


Later in the afternoon I turned my attention to Taxi Adventure. I spent most of the day taking out pieces that no longer matched the plot and rewriting that action to match what really happens in this final version. I’m not sure how many words I wrote total, but I do know that it was about a wash in terms of words added and taken out.

Most of the time, though not always, when I take out or replace a scene or subscene, I put into a Removed section of the book. So far in this book I have written and removed almost 17,000 words. What’s left in the book at the moment is about 64,000 words. So, that’s a lot.

On Outlining

What I’ve removed so far for Taxi Adventure isn’t the record, though. For Paper Cuts, I’ve written and scrapped well over 30,000 words so far. Threshold of Vengeance has over 13,000 written and removed words so far. Sure, one of Heinlein’s rules that I’m trying to follow is to not revise, but these stories were not completed in their original versions, and they don’t work. Scrap. The Dancing Queen was completed in its first run, but in the end it had well over 17,000 words written and removed. What all these have in common is that none of them were outlined before they were written.

The Desert King was outlined first, and it had almost no removed words (in its original and current version). Winter Kills was outlined first, and it had fewer than 200 removed words. Zombies Versus Comicon was also outlined first, and it had under 1,500 removed words. The Crazy Jack was outlined first, but then suffered through multiple painful, wrong-headed rewrites, and in the end it had about 16,000 removed words.

I think all this adds up to a good argument that outlining is the right approach for me. The wasted words aren’t really the point; they’re just the symptom. The real problem is that it takes a lot longer for me to write without an outline. It takes good time write good words, and it is a shame to throw them away. Plus, when you have a story of a good length that isn’t working, it is usually a lot of painful, difficult work to figure out how to change it to make it “work”, if you even can. And you might say that at least it adds up to a better story, but I don’t think so. When sections get taken out and/or rewritten, the pieces before and after them have to be carefully checked and probably at least partly revised to match the flow of the new piece. In the end, for me at least, I’m never quite sure that the new piece fits exactly. It is so much better to write it right the first time.

So, does “writing it right” mean outlining? For me, probably, at least so far.

So prepare to throw up your arms in disgust as I announce that, inspired by Dean Wesley Smith’s book Writing Into The Dark, I am planning to do a new novel in the near future with no prior development at all. No character development, no outline. Just take a general or specific idea, start typing in Chapter 1 and go. I am not kidding. It should be fun.

I just hope it doesn’t end up with a ton of wasted words.

All Jack Trexlor E-Books On Sale Through August 4th

 [Cover of The Crazy Jack: A Jack Trexlor Novel by T.F. Torrey]  [Cover of The Desert King: A Jack Trexlor Novel by T.F. Torrey]  [Cover of The Dancing Queen: A Jack Trexlor Novel by T.F. Torrey]

I’ve been so busy with my new challenge (and sciatica) that I forgot to mention that the three Jack Trexlor novels are currently on sale for 99 cents. I will be taking them out of the KDP Select program in a few weeks, so this is likely the last time they will be available at this price, so get them now and tell your friends!

The Dancing Queen: Still Not A Movie

 [Cover of The Dancing Queen: A Jack Trexlor Novel of Dark Suspense by T.F. Torrey] I can hardly believe that The Dancing Queen is still not a movie. It has so many parts that would be great on film: motorcycles and guns, hot girls on stage, leather jackets and silk panties, wild nights of drug binges, gratuitous nudity and a killer soundtrack. In a nutshell: sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Where can I buy a ticket?

Nowhere, unfortunately, because it still isn’t a movie. If anyone is interested, however, the rights are still available, and not unreasonably so. I could even show you a script.

In the meantime, The Dancing Queen is only 99 cents at Amazon until midnight Sunday. What a great deal! The book has all the awesome parts of the movie, but you get to use your mind! How cool is that?!

If you haven’t read it yet, go get it now!

Today Only: Get All Three Trexlor Books For $1.98

Because of overlapping promotions, TODAY ONLY you can get all three Jack Trexlor novels for the incredible price of $1.98. That’s right, The Crazy Jack is currently on its last day free, The Desert King is on its last day at 99 cents, and The Dancing Queen is on its first day of a Kindle Countdown Deal priced at 99 cents. Wow!

Get this special deal now, and tell your friends, but hurry, because the deal expires at midnight tonight!

(By the way, if you were signed up for my newsletter, you’d have heard about this earlier. Just sayin’.)