TagKotov Syndrome

Book Launch Announcement (Times Two)

Hello. Yes, I know this is a non-Monday post. I have something to say.

*clears throat*

KOTOV SYNDROME WILL BE RELEASING ON JANUARY 23, 2021!

Announcement – Part 1

Oh. Hi. If you can still hear over the sound of my all caps shouting, I have some things to tell you about.

I’ve been talking about my work in progress book, Kotov Syndrome, for nearly three years now. I recently shared that I have a fancy awesome cover created by the talented Lauren Restivo. Since that point, I’ve reviewed three proof copies of my book, done a few rounds of editing, and gotten very angry KDP’s inability to handle the italic version of Helvetica1Seriously. This was the weirdest thing. There’s no good explanation for it anywhere in KDP’s documentation. The only thing I can figure is that Word technically classifies Helvetica’s italic version as an oblique font rather than true italics. But still. It’s fucking Helvetica. It’s been around since 1957!. That said, I think I’m finally done with editing (aside from one last grammar and style check). That means I can finally submit my manuscript to various platforms and setup pre-order. That, in turn, means I have a release date.

As of today, you can pre-order Kotov Syndrome as an ebook and paperback through various channels. I’ll be linking to some places where you can buy at the bottom of the post. While I encourage you to pre-order via whatever channels you enjoy the most, if you don’t care, I would recommend pre-ordering the ebook through Amazon or Apple Books. The more pre-orders I can get for an e-book, the better. As for paperback, feel free to request through your own local book store or your shop of preference. I personally adore Barnes & Noble, but I know that’s a me thing. And hey…while you’re at it, you should totally request my book through your local public library. Because that’d be the coolest thing of all.

I do not intend to do a hardcover version of the book at this time. While I’d personally love a hardcover of the book, there wasn’t a ton of interest in it outside of myself — especially not at the price point I’d have to put it at in order to even break even on a hardcover. If there’s enough pre-order interest in my book, I might change my mind. Additionally, if I can get enough support on Patreon to be able to fund some advertising for the book, that would potentially change this as well. So, if you’re not a patron and wish to help put me in a position where I can do hardcovers, go support me on Patreon. Please 😀

One other quick note I want to throw out there. This book deals a lot with mental health issues, as you’ll see in the synopsis. For every book I sell (pre-order or otherwise), a portion of the money I make will to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I don’t know an exact amount yet, as there are still storefronts working on being setup. That said, I’m leaning towards something like 15% of the proceeds I’d make for a book.

Synopsis

So what’s this book about? You know, since I’m encouraging you to buy it and stuff.

Kotov Syndrome Cover

Kotov Syndrome focuses on a young woman, Erika Edens, who is struggling with life. She’s stuck in a dead-end job, suffers from mental illness and recurring nightmares, is estranged from her family, and is unlucky with love. Out of the blue, Erika’s ex-girlfriend and only previous long-term relationship, Abby Lin, contacts her out of the blue. There’s just one small problem.

Abby is a computer simulation. And she needs Erika to save her.

The story follows Abby as she adjusts to living life as a computer simulation in an android body in a world increasingly hostile to this technology. Meanwhile, Erika finally has her long-lost love back in her life. But can she put her demons aside long enough to co-exist with Abby as a roommate?

Trigger Warnings: Alcoholism, anxiety, bigotry, car accident, death, hate crimes, homophobia, intrusive thoughts, mental illness, racism, sexism, strong language, trauma/PTSD, violence

Feedback on Kotov Syndrome

While Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) of Kotov Syndrome are not yet available — more to come on that — I wanted to share some feedback I received from beta readers on the book. These pieces of feedback have been shared with the consent of the beta readers in question. While they did review a working version of the book, I feel like their feedback is worth sharing, hence asking them and then doing so. Quotes may be shortened for clarity, but are otherwise unaltered.

It’s an easy read. Like not in a childish way, but some books just seem heavy and need breaks. I didn’t want to stop reading yours. – K.N.

I read through it in 2 days on the first reading on my phone, so it is definitely not boring. – T.

Abby and Erika feel very real and they both feel very…whole. It’s absolutely like getting a glimpse of full, real people with rich histories that, even if I don’t know them, they’re there. – E.J.

The entirety of what I have written for Chapter 22 is “That… was terrifying”. SO. MANY. FEELINGS. – S.S.

I do really like Erika’s character though. She seems very real, and very flawed, which is nice. Not a heroine, yet relatable. – T.W.

Announcement – Part 2

Wait, you say, confused why I’m speaking for you in the middle of a blog post that you’re reading inside your own head. There’s a part 2 to this announcement? Yes, there is.

On the same day that Kotov Syndrome is releasing, author duo Jacob Crawford will be releasing the second book in the Dark Sentinels series, this one being called The Assassin.

For those unaware, Jacob Crawford is a mother-daughter author duo comprised of P.E. Crawford and E.V. Jacob. E.V. is a dear friend of mine and I could not be more excited than I am to be launching our books on the same date. I’m also the editor for The Assassin and believe me when I say that I am hyped as fuck for this book. While The Assassin is not available for pre-order at this time, you should consider picking up the first book in the series, The Shadows, to have something to read while you wait on our books to come out.

Where You Can Pre-Order Books

If you’re interested in pre-ordering either Kotov Syndrome, I’ve put plenty of links below to help you do so. As we get closer to the release date for these books, if there’s anything you can do — or would like to do — to help spread the word about said books, we’d love your help. More info on that to come in the near future. If/once The Assassin is available for pre-order, information for that will be posted here as well.

Kotov Syndrome Pre-Order Links

UPDATE (11/22/20): This page was getting insanely long, so I’ve moved all of these links to the new Kotov Syndrome page on my blog. If you haven’t already, go add the book to your Goodreads shelf.

WIP Update #7 – Title and Book Cover Reveal

Do not adjust your calendars. You are seeing another work in progress update less than two months after my most recent one. I know this has literally never happened with this specific work in progress, but it’s for a good reason.

Dear readers. I’m ready to reveal the cover and title for my book. The title of the work in progress that I’ve been working on since early 2017 will be Kotov Syndrome. The book’s title a nod to a phenomenon originally described in chess master Alexander Kotov’s book “To Think Like a Grandmaster”, wherein a player overthinks a complicated situation so much that they actually make a poor move out of desperation. The title also happens to be shared with a song by post-grunge band Rise Against, though no fiction book shares this title.

My artist for the book cover of Kotov Syndrome is the extremely talented Lauren Restivo. Lauren is the creator behind the work at Beanie Cap Prints where she has a portfolio of her work as well as some lovely prints and charms you can buy (I’ve purchased a few of the charms for myself and others…I’m a fan). You can follow her on Twitter where she often posts her artwork @beaniecapprints. She also does some 18+ art for those of you who are into that sort of thing. Not linking here for reasons1Read: The one time I did try to link to an 18+ artist’s work on my blog, Bloglovin’ threw a shitfit about my blog and banned me from being publicly shown for three years. So…, however, if you go to her Twitter bio, you should be able to find her account for that pretty easily. You can also support her on Patreon — which you should do if you can spare the money right now.

Without further ado, here is the cover for Kotov Syndrome. Hover over the image for a more clear version.

To say I’m excited about how the cover turned out would be a massive understatement. Lauren took an idea I had and ran with it, both making it her own and making it look far better than I had anticipated in my mind.

I don’t have an update quite yet as to a release date for the book, as I’m still finishing up some lingering beta reader feedback that got delayed due to COVID concerns. That said, this does put me one step closer to having this book — an over three year project at this point — published.


If you enjoyed the post you just read, please consider supporting me through my Patreon. Memberships start at only $1 and help support the costs for this site, as well as my other creative endeavors. You can also support me by purchasing my book, An Epilogue to Innocence, here. I also offer editing services on this page.

Blog Update: All The Writing Things Edition (WIP Update #6)

Oh hey. It’s a non-video game post. Some of my regular readers may be back for this one.

I know that I’ve done a lot of video game content recently. This is partly because it has been pretty mentally challenging to go through quarantine for me. I talked about it in a post recently, but to say things have only gotten worse from there for me mentally would be an understatement. I’m doing a bit better now than I was in mid-to-late April. That said, it’s still been a challenge to write non-video game posts. As while those posts can be long and involved to write, they’re not the same mental effort as writing my other posts.

I do, however, want to write a post to share a bit about what all I have going on from a writing standpoint. As you’ll see, it’s quite a lot, which may lead to some changes on the blog during the coming weeks and months.

First off, I’ll give an update on my work in progress. The book started going through beta reads in early March. Pre-COVID, my intent was to have all of the beta reading feedback done by May 1st. That said, I’ve shuffled that deadline around a bit thanks to everything going on with coronavirus. My new intent is to be able to work on edits coming out of beta reading in early June, though that too may shift slightly for reasons I’ll get into later in this post.

Additionally, I do have a title for the book as well as a cover artist on commission to create a cover for the book. My goal is to be able to share both the cover and the title at the same time, hence holding off on sharing the title at this point. I’m very excited to show off the cover art once it’s done, as I really like the idea that’s going to be turned into a cover with this book.

My original timeline for getting the book to market was late fall (October/November) of 2020. With the delays I’ve had leading up to this point, I may end up pushing it back. I’d rather take a bit of extra time going through my own post-beta reading edits with my editor and do it well rather than try to rush things out. That said, I’ve also considered querying and/or doing PitMad. Both of those ideas are kind of terrifying to me, especially since I know I could self-publish the book and get it to have some support there. I’ll decide more on that side of things once the beta reading edits are done.

Moving on to that whole point about why my timeline may shift — my editing business has picked up a bit over the past couple of months. This means that I’m actually having to limit new projects I take on for the first time in a long time. If you’re in need of resume editing services, I’m still open for those inquiries at this point in time. That said, all of my other audio and print editing services are currently on hold due to active projects I have, plus projects that are queued up over the next few months.

Between the increase in editing work I’m getting and the next couple of items I’m going to talk about, there may be a decrease in blog posts over the next few months. I’ve almost finished up the My Pokemon Gym series (two to go), but there will be a Pokemon or Fire Emblem post at the beginning of each month still — as I quite like writing them. That said, we’ll see how much I’m able to write up beyond that. My day job has gotten significantly more time-consuming and stressful since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak1In particular since self-isolation started., meaning I’m busier than ever on that front. With that said, it’s also very important for me to prioritize writing work that’s able to make me extra money for when me and my family need it at this point. If I need to cut stuff I’m working on in order to stay sane, this blog will be the first place cuts are made. This includes no post next week (May 18th). That, along with the fact that I already don’t post on the fourth Monday of the month, means that the next post will be on Monday, June 1st.

Shifting gears for a second, I know that many folks who follow this blog also follow the nightly choose your own adventure story I run on my Twitter. Since I wrote my post about the story in February, I’ve started putting the story’s finished chapters up on Wattpad.

The story has gotten a small following on that platform, but due to Wattpad’s banning of mature-tagged stories from public ranking pages, it’s not getting the footing it otherwise would. If you know folks who use Wattpad (or you do yourself), encourage them to follow the story on there, as well as to like the chapters as they read. Even if you don’t have a Wattpad account, I would encourage you to still give the story a read on there. It’s the only place where the story is currently housed, more or less, in its entirety. Wattpad does have the option to write paid stories for them…but the program is currently invitation only, meaning that the best way for me to get involved in the program (aside from application submission, which I’ve done) is to get readers for the story.

I’ll be continuing the nightly polls for the story on Twitter until the story comes to an end. Basing this off of how long each of the story chapters are taking, I’ll estimate this means we’ll get to the ending(s) of the story sometime in the August-October range. That said, since there are seven different possible endings to the story, I’ve already been asked if I can write all of the endings for those who want to read them. I will be doing that eventually. That said, what I’ll likely do is to write the main ending that gets selected as part of the CYOA narrative, then take a bit of time off before writing the alternate endings.

Speaking of Wattpad, I’ll be doing a new story on there that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Last year, I wrote a short story for this blog called Meeting Charlie Madagan. This is a short story that I’ve had bits and pieces of in my head since the summer of 2012. I finally wrote an outline for the story in March of this year and will be publishing monthly chapters for the story starting in June or July of 2020. The timeline is still a bit up in the air due to a couple of IRL things I need to finish up first. That said, I’ll be doing monthly polls on Patreon which will give patrons some light input as to what happens in the story. The first poll will be up for patrons in June 2020. In that poll, patrons will have the option to choose the Wattpad cover art for the story — as I don’t really feel there’ll be a ton of input that will be able to be given in the first chapter.

Finally, you may have noticed that giving my Patreon patrons the ability to help me with my story is a new development. I revamped my Patreon tiers at the end of April, adding in the aforementioned Wattpad story voting as the lowest tier reward for supporting me. For those not aware, you can get a few different rewards for supporting me on Patreon, including signed pictures of not me (signed by me), a monthly bonus blog post (which will likely be WIP related…oh…and patrons already know the title for the story), and a monthly bonus podcast from me. If you have the financial situation to do so, I’d encourage you to support me on Patreon. You’ll get cool shit.

1,300 words later and all of my writing updates are out of the way. So um…yeah?