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Expectations of the Homo Sapien has a new cover!

Recently, I was introduced to Canva.com by the Facebook page Books Go Social, and discovered that I could make my own ebook covers either for free, if I didn’t use any images, or at a small fee ($10) if I used an image and wanted it for multiple uses. So, after much deliberation (well, not too much, because I knew it needed to be done) I made a new cover for my novelette, Expectations of the Homo Sapien, a story about a young professor attempting to teach the working classes evolution in Victorian England – a task which doesn’t go too well.

I knew my old cover didn’t really give any hints about what genre the story was in, and though I liked it for its simplicity, it didn’t have any intrigue to it at all:512ckcMx6aL

So I decided to make one with an image and font that gave a sense of the time period. Here’s what I ended up with:

A Novelette

The setting of the image is similar to one detailed in the story, and I like how the model appears to be waiting, or indeed, expecting, something, which I thought worked well with my title. I also love how dark the room is, because even though the story isn’t really dark, it does have its moments.

Anyway, I’m quite pleased with the results and find the new cover much more appealing. The Kindle version is live on Amazon now (though for some reason, when posting links on Facebook, the old cover still shows up in the page preview), and the paperback version should be live in a few days.

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Expectations of the Homo Sapien

So, after going through the proof copy of my novelette and making all the necessary changes (there really are errors that only jump out at you when you’re reading a physical copy and are desperately hoping that there won’t be any errors) and then checking the revised proof, I am proud to say that Expectations of the Homo Sapien is now available on Amazon, both as an ebook and in print.

For those of you interested in what it’s about, here’s the blurb:

Oh, for the suddenness of it all!

When Professor Marcellus Kingston is given the opportunity to travel around England giving lectures on evolution, he finds that not only are members of his audience objectionable, but they lead him to have several altercations, and also a run in with the constabulary.

Will he stay true to his task, or will he be overcome by it all and take his leave?

And, for a more in depth explanation, it’s basically a story written as the diary of a Victorian professor (originally it was a final project for my OU course in creative writing, and as I’m a big fan of Murdoch Mysteries and had also just read Dracula, I was really itching to write a piece that took place in Victorian times) and though he teaches geology, he actually has a keen interest in evolution.

Because the professor, Marcellus, tends to drift into other topics while lecturing to his students and frequently discusses evolution, the Master of Clare College, where he teaches as Fellow, picks up on this and decides that it might not be a bad thing for someone to travel around England and teach the lesser educated about what evolution really means. And that person should be Marcellus.

Of course, because of the controversy around the issue, especially during that era, Marcellus has some trouble controlling his audience. Hence the run in with the constabulary.

It’s not meant as a serious in-depth story (after all, it’s only 69 pages long), but my hope is that it is at least entertaining. Also, considering the amount of research I had to do for it, I though it was a bit sad just to leave it tucked away in a folder on my desktop without ever seeing the light of day. So technically, I am now published. Yay!

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Proofs!

A few weeks ago I decided that instead of looking for a magazine or small press that would be interested in taking my 12000 (or so) word novelette (that has been residing on my hard drive for years), I would self-publish it instead.

I wasn’t sure about it at first, because I really had no idea if people would be interested in reading it. It started out as a short story for my Open University creative writing course, and then I added to it over the years so it became a longer read, not a novel or even a novella (which  I know are getting more popular, especially for people who commute to work), just a long short story or, as I soon learned, a novelette.

So I sent it to my aunt, who has worked as a professional proofreader for many years and reads all the time, not for her to proof it, but just to see if there was anything of interest in it. If I published it, would the story be interesting enough for someone to enjoy?

You see, I usually write middle grade and young adult fantasy, but where this story was originally an assignment for a course on creative writing for adult audiences, I thought I’d try something different. So instead of my usual whimsical, magical worlds, this story is set in Victorian England and is also in diary form – the diary of a young professor, in fact. I did a lot of research for it to try an nail the style of the time period, and hoped that it would turn out okay.

Anyway, my aunt wrote back that she enjoyed it and thought it had potential (if I fixed a few grammatical errors, which she highlighted but didn’t explain what the problem was, in an effort to better my self-admitted appalling grammar). With new confidence, I decided to go ahead and begin the process of revising it ready for publishing. I also learned that for my nan’s 80th birthday, the whole family would be having a get together, and so instead of just preparing a kindle version, I thought it would be cool to make a paperback for her as a present. Hence the proof copies I’ve just received.

Now, I know that being a novelette, readers will probably only be interested in the ebook version (it will definitely be the cheaper option), but receiving a hard copy of my work was exciting. It felt good to feel the matte finish and crisp pages, and even though there are a few minor errors in it (what are proof copies for, anyway?) and the cover was made with Createspace’s own layout and picture options, I feel an incredible sense of achievement. It’s a neat, slim volume that I feel happy to give as a gift, and if there are a few people interested in buying a paperback, it’ll be there as an option once I give the ok. (The blurb is much clearer than the pic shows).