Re-reading Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Noble Cause (2010) by Dan McGirt

Noble Cause (2010)

As part of preparing Royal Crush for release, I am re-rereading book 2 in the Jason Cosmo series, Noble Cause. My main goal is to make note of any little story details that will affect the revision of Royal Crush. Along the way I’ll fix the few typos I’ve come across (and otherwise resist tinkering with the story beyond a word here or there). But those purposes aside, I’m simply enjoying the book!

Now, you might say, Duh! You wrote it, McGirt. Of course you enjoy it.

But things aren’t that simple. Noble Cause was long slog to write as I changed the focus of the story multiple times before settling on the final plot. It took me several years to complete. I read the book multiple times while preparing it for publication in 2011 — but I was reading to edit, to proofread, to correct, to format…that is to say, those were all working readthroughs.

This one is too, in a way, but I can also, for the first time, just get into the story as a reader.1

This is a good thing. As I have alluded before, I spent so long wrestling Noble Cause into being that I was temporarily burned out on Jason Cosmo and had to turn to writing other things for a while.

Now it is fun again! These are not books I can write unless I’m having fun doing it and I definitely am. I’m a little more than halfway through Noble Cause and looking forward to my favorite sequences, which are still to come.

I’m simultaneously revising Royal Crush (and hope to have news about the cover art soon…), and I’ve even dusted off my synopsis and outline for the long, long, long-awaited Boltblaster, which will be my next Cosmo-related book after Royal Crush.

So, Loyal Reader, if you haven’t yet read Noble Cause, now is the time! If you have, I’d love to hear from you what you liked, or didn’t, about the book. If you would be so kind as to post your honest review of Noble Cause at Amazon or your favorite online retailer, I’d appreciate it. And I hope you’ll join me this summer for Jason Cosmo’s next adventure, Royal Crush!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

 

  1. Well, as much you can with a book you wrote. There aren’t any plot twists that are going to take me by surprise. At least, I hope not. []

Jason Cosmo: Royal Crush Update

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

As I mentioned last week, the next book I will release in the Jason Cosmo series is Royal Crush (a revised edition of Royal Chaos).

In the next few weeks, I expect to be done with the still-not-yet-named media tie-in Secret Project I’ve been writing the last few months. (Again, I’d love to tell you more, but the timing of a public announcement is not up to me on this one.)

So, right after the 4th of July weekend, if not sooner, I’ll be diving into Royal Crush full-time.

The rest of this post is process talk, for those who might be interested. Because Royal Crush is a revision of an existing book, I won’t have to spend much time on dreaming up plot or characters — the basic story will follow the outline of Royal Chaos.

So what will change? What makes this a revised version? Most of the changes in this digital remastering will come under one of four headings:

  1. Correct errors: horror of horrors,  a few slipped through into the published version of Royal Chaos. I’ll fix those. (While no doubt adding new errors. So it goes.)
  2. Better writing: I’m a better writer than I was in 1988-89 when I wrote Royal Chaos. I’ll go through line by line and revise any sentence, paragraph or scene that needs it to my 2013 eye. Tighten the prose, stamp out passive voice, banish excessive adverbs, improve awkward constructions, etc.
  3. Harmonize: I will add or alter details in Royal Crush as needed to be consistent with lore and events previously established in Hero Wanted and Noble Cause — and to fit with what is coming in future volumes!
  4. New Scenes: I will very likely add a few new scenes, possibly even a new chapter, to the story. That way, even if you’ve read Royal Chaos, you’ll get some all-new never-before-seen action with Royal Crush.

There you have it, my plan of action for Royal Crush. But there is one more preliminary step I have to take before I can really dig in — I’ve got a little version control problem to solve.

Until recently, my only electronic version of Royal Chaos was the “final” version of the file I printed out and mailed – in a box! – to my publisher back in 1989. In the intervening years, every so often, I’d open a copy of the file and make little spot edits and revisions, more for my own amusement than anything else, as this was way before the Ebook Era.

But note — what I was editing was the version I mailed off to the publisher, not the post-editing as-published text (which I only had in print).

More recently, I scanned a print copy of Royal Chaos, cleaned up the file, and published an ebook version. So now I had an electronic version of the published text of Royal Chaos — and from time to time over the last two or three years, I’ve made edits to a copy of that file — more or less forgetting about the first file.

Two different sets of changes to two slightly different base texts. Oops!

So step one, before I get to my 4-point plan, is to “compare documents” and merge these two versions of Royal Chaos into one starting text that I will, over the next few months, transform into Royal Crush.

More than you wanted to know? If so, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Stay tuned!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

 

 

 

What’s Next for Jason Cosmo

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

If you haven’t read my Really Big Announcement at DanMcGirt.com go check that out first, because I don’t want to repeat myself here.

Back?

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Jason Cosmo: From Royal Chaos to Royal Crush

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Happy 2013! I trust you enjoyed the holiday season. Before I go on, thank you for your support in 2012. It was the best year for sales of the Jason Cosmo books so far, and I also appreciate the positive reviews, comments, and other messages I received from many of you last year.

Later this year, I will — at last — publish the next book in the Jason Cosmo series, Royal Crush.

DM_RoyalChaos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dash: Into Space! at DanMcGirt.com

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

A quick program note. While I work on Royal Crush–to be book 3 of the Jason Cosmo series–I am also writing a new and different book: Dash: Into Space! An alien abduction comedy. I have posted previews of the first couple of chapters at DanMcGirt.com, and will have additional previews in the coming weeks. So please check it out.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Differences between Jason Cosmo and Hero Wanted

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I noticed someone came to my site via a search for “differences between Jason Cosmo and Hero Wanted” and thought it might be worthwhile to address that topic (again).  My first novel was Jason Cosmo, published in 1989. In 2009, I released a revised version of the book, called Hero Wanted(2009).

Jason Cosmo Omnibus book cover

Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy

The two books tell Continue reading

Jason Cosmo: What comes next?

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

With Noble Cause written, what comes next in the world of Jason Cosmo? I’ve been giving this some thought and I want to share with you my plans.

Jason Cosmo

  • Housekeeping Measures: I have a little Jason Cosmo spring cleaning to do. This includes getting Noble Cause and the Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy Omnibus into the Amazon Kindle Store, some tweaks to this website,  and a few other odds and ends.
  • Solving the Dirty Work Cover Mystery: See my last post. I really want to know who painted the cover for the U.S. edition of Dirty Work. I sent an email to my former publisher, Penguin, to see if they can tell me. If that doesn’t work… Continue reading

Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause and NaNoWriMo

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I have never participated in National Novel Writing Month. I’ve always been either too busy on some other project to take it on. But this year, I decided to finally do NaNoWriMo…in my own way.

I’m not writing a brand new novel this month, and not racing to turn blank pages into 50,000 words. Instead, I’m piggybacking on NaNoWriMo to make my final drive to complete Noble Cause.

My plan is to revise the manuscript during November and use the revised text for my NaNoWriMo word count as I go.  Loyal Readers can read along! I am releasing the revised chapters as a free preview as part of the Smashwords National Novel Writing Month promotion.

Chapter 1 and 2 of Noble Cause are posted now! These chapters are not entirely new material–I posted an earlier version as a preview last spring–but we’ll be getting into all-new, never-before-released text pretty soon. I invite you to download the free preview, check back for frequent updates, and let me know what you think either in the comments here at JasonCosmo.com or on Facebook.

I hope you enjoy Noble Cause!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause — The end is near!

Greetings,  Loyal Reader!

Loyal Reader Tina asks in the comments a question I am sure other Loyal Readers are asking too–Where the heck is Noble Cause?

A fair question. This book has been long in the writing. How long? It depends when you start the clock. By one measure, at least twenty years. I turned in the manuscript for Dirty Work in early 1991 (thought it did not see print until 1993) and, arguably, have not written an entirely new novel since1 For Loyal Readers who joined us with Hero Wanted, the wait for Noble Cause has been just over two years now. In my own estimation, I’ve been writing this book for about a decade, counting various false starts and abandoned incarnations. I recall deciding to write an “in-betweenquel” set between Jason Cosmo and Royal Chaos sometime around 1999 or 2000.

Noble Cause (2010) by Dan McGirt

Noble Cause (2010)

By any measure, this book is taking me a long time to write. Too long, really.

Part of the problem is I consistently underestimate how long various other projects will take. The basic plot of Noble Cause was set, and large chunks of the book written, by early 2009, when I suspended work on Noble Cause to prepare Hero Wanted for publication. That took longer than I thought it would, but I still expected to push on and finish Noble Cause by year end. I then wrote Rainy Daze, which I thought would be a two week project, but was more like a month.  Same for Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter and the character profiles and mini-scenes I wrote for Caladon Falls. All of those side projects sidetracked me from finishing Noble Cause, along with the usual suspects of work, travel, and the occasional illness. When I get away from the book for a while and then come back to it, it takes me a while to get back into the groove, to get my head back into the story. That slows things down too. So side projects ate 2010.

This year I made a conscious and knowing decision to again put Noble Cause on the back burner to help my mother Andrea Parnell, republish several of her previous novels: the Gothic romance tales Dark Splendor and Whispers at Midnight, and the Western romance Delilah’s Flame. Okay, yes, I put my Mom ahead of my Loyal Readers. For that, no apologies!

I also decided, belatedly, to release the original versions of Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, and Dirty Work as ebooks, both separately and in an omnibus edition of the entire original Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy in one ebook. That might seem like a no-brainer, but my original plan was to ignore the original versions and only publish the revised and rebooted books starting with Hero Wanted. But Loyal Readers asked for the originals as ebooks, so I took on that project too. I’m glad I did it but, again, it was time-consuming and took me away from Noble Cause.

So, now, we’re staring at the end of 2011 and my Loyal Readers are still waiting for Noble Cause. Well, assuming you haven’t forgotten about the whole thing and moved on. But, if you’re still with me, I have good news.

The first bit is this — even when I wasn’t working on Noble Cause, I was working on Noble Cause. That is to say, even when one of those other projects was at the forefront, I continued to open up the Noble Cause file and tinker with the story…add a bit of dialogue that occurred to me, make notes for a scene to write later, figure out some of the knotty plot points I got stuck on, etc. The book may have been on life support at times, but it never flatlined. And, I believe, it keeps getting better. Tighter, leaner, faster, funnier.

The advantage of  stepping away from the book for a while and then coming back is that it allows me to see with fresh eyes what’s working and what isn’t. I’ve come back from a hiatus and junked entire scenes and chapters because I could now see a better way to move the story at that point.

Which is to say, I believe your patience will be rewarded. Noble Cause is a much better book now than it would have been if I finished it six months or a year ago. Or two years ago. Or five years ago.

Super awesome, McGirt. When can we read it?

Well, my friends, the time is nigh. I’ve blazed through ten chapters so far this month, bridging most of the gap that loomed in the middle of the story. (For those who came in late: I had the first third and last third written some time ago, but the middle was a complete muddle.) That gap is almost closed–three or four chapters to go. When that is done, I will have, for the first time, a complete manuscript beginning to end. With that milestone reached, the next step will be revisions.

Which, fortunately, is my favorite part. So I’ll work my way through the book a few times to punch up dialogue, cut wordy bits, resolve inconsistencies, tie up or snip off loose ends, etc.  Then a thorough proofreading. Then formatting for Smashwords — where the first release will be, followed by Amazon (because formatting for Kindle takes a little longer), and then preparation of the print edition.

How long will this take? I’m always reluctant to throw out a definite schedule because in my mind that pretty much guarantees something will go wrong. But my projection is to finish those last few chapters by the end of October — i.e. “this weekend” — and then get all the revising and editing and formatting done in November. It will be my National Novel Writing Month project — except for me it will be Novel Finishing Month. More on that to come…very soon! Stay tuned.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

 

 

  1. since Hero Wanted (2009) is a revision of Jason Cosmo (1989), it doesn’t count as entirely new. []

Jason Cosmo: Hero Wanted Kindle Edition

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Hero Wanted is now available in the Amazon Kindle Store, both US and UK.

The book is the same — the Hero Wanted ebook has been available at Smashwords since July 2009 — but it does have a crisp new look thanks to some custom formatting by ebookarchitects.  (Look for the wanted poster!) I hope Loyal Readers who are also Kindle owners will enjoy the newly formatted version.

In 2009 I released the Hero Wanted ebook free at Smashwords and kept it at free for one full year. As of today, more than 8600 people have downloaded Hero Wanted.1

More than 12,900 Loyal Readers downloaded the (no longer) free ebook at Barnes & Noble. Others grabbed it at Kobo.  or got one of the the *ahem!* many bootleg copies that seem to be available on file-sharing sites.

Hero Wanted is also available at the Apple iBookstore and via the Stanza ereader app for your iPhone. And probably a few other sources I can’t recall.

Whatever your preferred ebook flavor I should have you covered!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

  1. Or perhaps one person has downloaded it 8600 times. That is always possible. []