I’ve set up a new mailing list, which you can sign up for here. I’ll only send the occasional email concerning upcoming novels and pre-release versions that will be available. No spam!
Choices, choices, choices…
Go to the link below to choose which of the two book covers you prefer for Can Stuart Henry Zhang Save the World? (if you’re a member at Kindle Boards).
I spent some time updating this website for the first time in a long time as I get ready to roll out a couple of new books in the coming months/year. First, the URL is now just http://www.rudolfkerkhoven.com. Also, I’ve updated all the sidebars and menus and will continue to tweak this in the coming days/weeks/months/eons.
Things are coming together for Can Stuart Henry Zhang Save the World? which will complete the not-so-great choose-your-own-adventure trilogy that Daniel and I started with The Adventures of Whatley Tupper. Soon I’ll have the artwork complete and in not much longer I’m hoping for a pre-release version that will be available for free or at most 99 cents at Amazon. I really can’t see how the final version won’t be ready too far into 2014.
And below is the first section and initial choices. If you see any typos, either ignore them or make a comment below. It’s amazing how errors can slip past me so easily…
Stuart Henry Zhang’s pharmacy was as tranquil as a man on Paxil until someone started rattling the locked front doors. Alarmed (and a little annoyed), he stepped out from his alcove and attempted to peer through the window at the opposite end of his long and narrow store. Someone was pounding on the glass, although at this time of night he couldn’t tell exactly whom. And frankly, Stuart wasn’t in a rush to figure it out. The townsfolk hadn’t always been particularly kind to him in the three years since he’d moved to New Blackpool—especially when drunk, especially at night. Just two blocks down Mainstreet was The Black Lung, the only bar in town, and surely this person was just another inebriated and disreputable citizen who thought that calling a man of Chinese decent “Chop Stuey” was equally witty and gratifying. Stuart shook his head and waved both hands to ward the person away. “The pharmacy is closed!”
The person did not listen, now striking the window with both fists while yelling something unintelligible like an ape. Stuart pulled off his glasses and winced, still unable to make out anything but a frantic silhouette of what he presumed to be a man. “Come back at ten in the morning. Otherwise…” he stopped. He was about to inform this stranger that the Walmart pharmacy was still open but quickly decided against this. The last thing Walmart needed was any more business.
After one last and feeble knock on the door, the ruckus abruptly ended and the Zen-like calm of Stuart’s pharmacy was restored. Surprisingly, his words had worked. He slid his glasses back on and returned to the bottle before him, secure in the knowledge that as a pharmacist, his work was pivotal to livelihood of the community.
A second later a scream shattered this fleeting calm. It was quick and jagged and most definitely a desperate cry. There was then the unmistakable sound of shattering glass and Stuart feared for the worst; someone might have damaged his truck. He questioned why he didn’t have a gun on the premises—sure, he had some powerful narcotics available, easily strong enough to pacify the wildest man, but unless he could jam them down the perpetrators throat (or insert them anally) they would be of little use. He grabbed a carbon-fiber cane from the shelf and marched down the center aisle, past glossy cold remedies and pastel colored allergy medications, and buttoned up his white lab coat before twisting the deadbolt.
He swung the door open. He stepped out into the darkness. Mainstreet was deserted, quiet, and barren. No one was around. Just a few feet away, his jacked-up Ford F-150 pickup truck, as red as a Tylenol eZ tab, was thankfully untouched. He breathed a sigh of relief… until noticing a handprint of blood that streaked across his storefront window.
What should Stuart do?
Should he call the police?
Should he investigate further on his own?
So, this past week I finished the draft of Love is not free. The price is 99 cents. I feel pretty good about it, but it’s always so hard to tell when I’m still so close to it. A couple of days ago I found some of my old (never published) novels written more than ten years ago. The pretension was as obvious as the many typos, but at the time I remember feeling quite confident about them. I guess this is a good thing–I wouldn’t want to look back and realize that my best work is destined to be long behind me. But right now, Love is not free… needs to sit in a dark room for a few months before I can come back to it. I’ll return to Can Stuart Henry Zhang Save the World? and focus on that until it’s ready to be published. It seems quite certain that Stuart will be ready some time next year, hopefully not too late in the year–Daniel and I started working on that more than two years ago and thought it would be ready in under 12 months. And I’d hope that Love is not free… should also be ready sometime in 2014.
Anyhow, it’s nice to have two drafts complete and ready to be revised over the next months/years. The revision process is far less demanding, and I’ve already got a good start on Stuart. So, all looks good for next year.
I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because English is my first language and so I can’t be expected to know all the rules. Just a little bit of shameless promotion there.
The summer is coming to an end, and I was hoping to have completed my draft for Love is not free. The price is 99 cents. Well, I’m close. I probably just about another 10 000 words left, so perhaps a couple of weeks now that I’m returning to work. I think I’m pretty happy with it, but it’s really hard to tell until I’ve had some time to let it sit. I wanted it to read like a dark comedy and I think it’s turned out like I hoped. It’s definitely much lighter than my last couple solo offerings. It’s about a pair of estranged brothers, one of whom is socially inept and yet programs an app that finds people their perfect mate with 99.97% accuracy. From there, the book pretty much writes itself.
But, once that draft is done, I’ll return to Can Stuart Henry Zhang Save the World? and hope to have that complete by early 2014. Like I’ve said before, that will be the last choose-your-own-adventure that Daniel and I will be able to work on for some time. They’ve been fun to write, but they sure take up a lot of time and with Daniel so busy now with two young daughters, they’ve haven’t been the collaborations they once were, which was what made them so fun.
Well, the clouds are returning and depositing rain to the dry and wanting ground here. Here comes the wet season…