Tag Archives: Mark Lander Chronicles

A Sad Day Indeed

A sad day… the first real publication offer received for “Out of the Darkness” and I refused it. Although the publisher said: the manuscript is a wonderful tale, well written, with a great plot and subplots‘, they wanted me to change the time frame. As this would mean losing the story’s originality, and affecting the two subsequent stories I have planned for this series, I decided to reject their offer.

It’s bad enough that we Australian writers always have to ‘bend’ to the demands of the American market, by writing our stories in American English, using Americanized expressions such as ‘parking lot’ instead of ‘car park’, ‘sheriff’s office’ instead of ‘police station’, etc… etc… but for the sake of a 23 year time frame when mobile phones were just starting to make an appearance and not everyone owned one, the publisher insists to bring the time line forward so that my characters have mobiles in their possession so as not to have to use a pay phone then it is time to hold one’s ground, and say ‘NO’.

Which is precisely what I have done. I told the publisher ‘Thank You’, but ‘No Thank You’.

Out of the Darkness” is my very first piece of serious writing which began its life in 1994 [the time frame of my story], but which I never considered it good enough at the time to submit it for publication. Instead I worked on it trying to improve its quality over several years and in the meanwhile wrote and self-published my non-fiction history book “Smithy’s War [that took 10 years to research and write], and my first historical romance novel “Beneath Southern Stars” using a pen name ‘Louise Roberts’.

Since then Louise has had published five historical romances by Luminosity Publishing UK. With their successes, I thought it was time for “Out of the Darkness” to have the same opportunity.

Despite submitting it unsuccessfully to several publishers over the last few years, this latest publisher’s initial email was the only one which expressed any encouragement, as did their email accepting my rejection, which stated:

‘Our readers did enjoy the story and had good things to say about it, including that they would love to see it contracted and revised so it could find an audience because they like your voice and your ability to keep the suspense going. So I hope you consider our point of view and perhaps update it over time – as I mentioned, that late 1900s time frame is a hard sell to readers, which could be why other publishers were hesitant to contract it. No matter how much we like a story, we still have to make a living’.

Personally as much as I appreciate their candor, I don’t see why a certain time frame should annoy readers. If the story has the right ingredients and is a good suspense thriller then why would the date in history be a disadvantage?

In the early 1990’s Australia saw at least 326 violent crimes including the murder of politician John Newman assassinated outside his home in 1994, and the back packer murders 1988-1992.

Despite this being a shameful statistic it is a speck in the ocean compared to the same period in America, where it is reported that in 1992 alone in excess of 2,000,000 murders, rapes, aggravated assaults, and robberies took place.

As for “Out of the Darkness” which is set in Australia and Malta in January 1994, I strongly believe this story deserves the best, and I had hoped that a third-party publisher could do it justice. However it now seems that the only way that I am going to get this story published without compromising the plot and time frame is to self-publish.

 

RLB – Tomewriter

 

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Time for an update

Apologies to my followers for the long silence, but things in my personal life have been a bit unsettled of late and there hasn’t been much time, let alone enthusiasm to do any writing.

The reason for this has mostly been to the fact that my day job as a contractor at Kimberly Clark was coming to an end, and I had been frantically devoting as much time as possible in trying to find another job. Fortunately I have now scored a permanent role at Konica-Minolta so hopefully I won’t need to worry of an end date any time soon.

With the day job secured [a necessity as book royalties cannot be relied upon to make a living – unless of course you’re a famous author such as George RR Martin, Ken Follett, or J K Rowling to name just a few], I can now revert back to picking up where I had left off with my writing projects.

I have three books currently on the go; two novellas for Louise Roberts and a novel for me:

  • Passionate Harvest – Book 3 in The Sword and the Rose Series
  • Dragoon Serenade – Book 2 in the Romance in War Series
  • When Doves Weep – Book 1 [but is in fact the second book] in the Mark Lander Chronicles.

When I say that When Doves Weep is the second book it’s because after I wrote Out of the Darkness which is listed as Book 2 in the Mark Lander Chronicles I thought it would an idea to write a prequel to allow my readers to find out where Mark Lander, and Mark’s best friend Jim Saunders come from. The prequel also introduces the second of Mark’s closest friends, Chris Hardaker who will become a prominent character in the two subsequent proposed books in the series [Nightsafe – scheduled for 2016 and Guardian Angel – scheduled for 2017].

Having said that though, at present my creative juices appear to have dried up and I can’t seem to get into any of my works, apart from dabbling in a couple of hundred words here and there. Luckily, though, on the 21st of this month I shall be heading to Melbourne for the two-day 2015 Romance Writers of Australia Conference. I have enrolled to attend several workshops that I hope will kick-start my creativity again:

Saturday 22nd August

09.30 – 10.30                      How to Plot A Page Turner

11.00 – 12.00                      How Stories Work

12.00 – 13.00                      Scene Diagnosis

14.00 – 15.00                      Not another Sex Scene

Sunday 23rd August

11.00 – 12.00                      Deep Editing

12.00 – 13.00                      Media Boot camp

14.00 – 15.00                      Fact into Fiction

Somewhere in between the workshops I will also be pitching my novel Out of the Darkness to three publishers [put it this way, I have submitted my pitch appointments, I just now need to receive the designated time slots]. Even though this latest novel is written in my own name rather than Louise Roberts, and even though I have placed it into the genre of Crime Fiction, this book does contain romantic elements and as such I believe it could be included in the Romance Genre as well. I hope it will be well received – I have only had one book published this year [Letter from a Stranger] so it would be a great morale booster to get the opportunity to get another published in 2015. In truth however, even if I was lucky enough to score a contract for it, because of the long drawn out editing processes the book might not be released before 2016. Anyway… fingers crossed I say, one never knows how things turn out.

Regardless of what happens to Out of the Darkness, I am hopeful that the two romance novellas I am currently writing will have been picked up by a publisher or two by the end of this year which is when I am aiming to finish them both. Although there are no guarantees in life except perhaps taxation and death I am confident that whether they are published or not I will be moving on to starting the next two novellas planned for each of the series.

I have decided that the series will have no less than 4 books each; what happens after that will depend on how successful or unsuccessful they are. For now therefore the series will consist of:

Under the name: Robert L J Borg

The Mark Lander Chronicles

When Doves Weep – Book 1 [WIP]

Out of the Darkness – Book 2 [Completed]

Nightsafe – Book 3 [In Planning Stage]

Guardian Angel – Book 4 [In Planning Stage]

 

Under the pen name: Louise Roberts

https://louiserobertsromance.wordpress.com/

The Sword and the Rose Series

The Sword and the Rose – Book 1 [Published by Secret Cravings publishing – 2014]

Embrace Amidst Orange Blossoms – Book 2 [Published by Secret Cravings publishing – 2014]

Passionate Harvest – Book 3 [WIP]

Lady from Seville – Book 4 [In Planning Stage]

Romance in War Series

Letter from a Stranger – Book 1 [Published by Luminosity Publishing – 2015]

Dragoon Serenade – Book 2 [WIP]

Neptune’s Landing – Book 3 [In Planning Stage]

Warm Nights in Alex – Book 4 [In Planning Stage]

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What happens after I complete these projects is anyone’s guess. My son Brad believes I should try something new, such as fantasy or science fiction – I’ve told him to write me a premise of a story and I’ll ghost write it for him, but to date he hasn’t come up with anything. I am tempted however to use him [or his name at least] and his faithful German shepherd as a crime fighting team of the 24th century in outer space – ha ha!!

As we authors always say – “don’t mess with a writer as you will never know what they might do to you in a story”.

Meanwhile however there are books to write so I had best get on with it… it’s no point keeping the ideas locked in my mind: I have to share them.

 

RLB – Tomewriter

 

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