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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Almost Ready, Still . . .

Okay, so Chicago Stories:West of Western is finally almost ready to post on Kindle. Except we're waiting for the new cover. I so loved the cover Dustin Ashe of IndyArmada did for Chicago Stories 2: Ravenswood that I asked him to design one for West of Western as well. So we're waiting for that. Dustin's a genius and it's worth the wait.

In the meantime I've been revising and reworking Seraphy's second adventure, Chicago Stories 2: Ravenswood, which takes place in the old Chicago neighborhood of Ravenswood on the North Side. This neighborhood, developed before the turn of the 20th century as suburb of Chicago, has blossomed again inthe last few years as young professionals discovered the great old houses, tree-lined streets and big gracious apartments turned condos. Hard to believe it was once a suburb, since not it's considered to be in the center of the city (north of Addison along the Ravenswood tracks). Professor Thomas MacKinnoin commissions Seraphy to convert a church by famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan into a library. Problem" she's hardly speaking to once-friend MacKinnoin since she found he's sleeping with her mother. Second problem: the corpse in the font.

My Aussie friend Sue Williams, who's writing about the out back town of Rusty Bore and it's feisty defender Stef, a woman of meaty arms and limitless adventure, has asked me to write about self publishing. Like I know anything.

I've covered my early days at this. Since May, I've found that just when I thinkI have a manuscript ready, a rereading exposes doxens of thing I want to change. After driving my formatter, Kimberley Hitchens of, to distraction with chang after change, I finally declared it done and willnot look at it again until it's up on Kindle! Otherwise I suspect it would never be good enough and I'd still be callign for one more change as they screwed the lid of my casket down.

About Hitch: it's just silly to think I could format the manuscript for Kindle myself. Ha. You've all read about the lousy editing and formatting of the ebooks, and I've seen a bunch of those myself. When Tim Hallinan wrote on dorothy L about his wonderful formatter, I listened. Hitch and her minions are wonderful, with the patience of Job and the smarts of Steve Jobs. And not that $$ when you consider she saves you from looking like a fool in print. contact Hitch at

Same thng for the cover. A professional cover artist, like, say, Dustin Ashe at, is a must. I tried someone newer and cheaper, but Dustin's work is soo much better. Not terribly cheap, but again, the cover is the first thing most folks see, so I wanted something complex that expressed the feeling of the book. 


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