• Mark Meier

As The Brotherhood nears a final polishing, I’ve been preparing a query letter. Sure, I’ve taken the long-shot attempts at submitting to select publishers w/o an agent, but I doubt publication will happen that way. Hence the query letter.

As I’ve worked through getting that letter finished I’ve identified a couple of issues I’ve had in my mind that didn’t - quite - make it into the story line. Things like, what’s the value of Grambic Tiles to The Brotherhood? Why are they working so hard to get that business? It’s never been overtly stated.

In creating the query letter for agents to read, I’ve had to think more clearly about motivations. In my opinion, those motivations need to be addressed in the story.

So, back to the editing process for The Brotherhood. I’ve had several people critique the story. They’ve done wonderful things for me and that project. They’ve been a great help, and I thank them again here. There’s too many to name individually, and I don’t want to risk missing anyone by trying.

My advice to those working toward publication is this: before counting your project as carved in drying concrete, write your query letter. You might find issues which need to be fixed.

In my particular case, I’ve had so many people look it over already that I’d hesitate to ask for them to look again. After investing a month (or more) of their “free” time, it’s not a request I can comfortably make.

I’ll have to take the risk of my edits not destroying the existing storyline, that they won’t include horrible spelling or grammar errors, or some other factor the agent will look at and think, “What is this idiot trying to write?”

As I’ve discussed before, I don’t believe those kinds of errors will stop someone from taking on a project. If the story idea is unique and developed enough, I think a publisher or agent will take the time to polish it into something really great.

The Final Spell, I know, was enhanced greatly by a professional editor before it hit print.

If The Brotherhood gets professional help, I’m sure it will be greatly improved as well.

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  • Mark Meier

From what a FB friend of mine has indicated, FB, the Big G, YT, and others are going to be suppressing certain concepts. Apparently that’s already started. And I don’t really care.

There are alternatives to the big tech giants’ platforms, and if those giants try to suppress the others it’ll only make the whole system better in the long run. I’ve been told that G has already removed P from their app store. “Go get ‘em, G!” That’ll eventually result in another platform that WILL have P in their app store.

“They’re shutting down our servers,” I heard someone from P say. I wanted to scream, “Find someone who can create a new OS and carry your P app!” It’ll happen, eventually.

For every need there will be someone to fill it. Did the Founding Fathers have G, or P, or FB? No, because the infrastructure wasn’t there. In the same way, as long as you could get whatever you wanted from G there was no need for an alternative. Now that G is playing politics with what’s available, there’s a need for someone to have what G refuses to have.

Enter the entrepreneur.

Back in the day when computers filled whole rooms, there was no need for something smaller. As soon as the space race happened, there was a need for micro computers. Suddenly they were there, and everyone needed them. When mainframe computers were The Thing, programmers were stingy in writing code because every calculation took valuable CPU time. Now a tablet has more capability than the entire Mission Control computers during Project Mercury.

I look forward to seeing who comes up with alternatives to G and what that will end up being. It can only be better, otherwise G will continue to dominate.

There are also alternatives to YT being created. Streaming services are blossoming. Television networks aren’t needed these days.

Linda and I used to watch NCIS. When we dropped our satellite system we watched on NF. Then we dropped that, too. The show is available on the CBS streaming service, and eventually the television network will be obsolete. It’ll simple be a streaming service.

YT, G, A, and others, are simply creating the need for alternatives. Sure, there’ll be some decrease in our ability to see or hear what they’re trying to suppress.

Eventually, like computers, there’ll be OSs to bring whatever we want into our homes.

So go ahead, G. Cut your own throat. You’re creating a need that will get filled eventually.

I can’t wait to see what will happen next.

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  • Mark Meier

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the status of my various projects, so I thought the time is right for doing such.

The Brotherhood is in the final stages. I’d hoped to start sending out submissions this fall, but that was not to be. A second round of Beta Reading just started today, so it’s going to be at least a month before comments will be returned and processed. With Christmas so close at that point, shopping for publishers and agents will be on hold until next year. That might be for the best, though.

The Archives is on hold. I was asked to read through a couple of books and comment, so my time is going to be used for that in the next couple of weeks (or more). When those two are finished, I’ll be splitting my time between The Archives and Ravid.

Ravid is going through another revision, in case you missed that notification. There are aspects of the story I thought were a good idea at the time, but upon reflection perhaps weren’t wise. Other narrative sections will get fleshed out a bit more so it’s “not so boring” (as Nick and John pointed out).

One of the things I’ve heard editors and agents do is ask new novelists, “What else do you have?” If you have something else to show them they can determine if an author is a One Hit Wonder. They try to select authors with their career in mind. If Ravid is nearly ready to shop around, I can give them an example of what else is coming up.

Since Ravid is the first of three, I’m kind of torn about what to do after that. I’d like to work on the sequel, Aviel. Then there’s a prequel for The Brotherhood I’ve been toying with for years called, The Wizards of Ephesus. Another project with promise is Siba, which would kick off an entire series (Tome` is the planned sequel to that).

The writing I really want to do, though, is The Archives. That series could reach thirty books all by itself. If, somehow, I’m able to write a complete Archives novel every year, I doubt I’d live long enough to finish the series.

One of the authors I used to read had a system where he’d finish four books every year. I kind of remember what he described in the Author’s Note of one of his novels, and it could work. But when I look back at what he wrote it seems simplistic compared to what I want to accomplish.

“What is it you want to accomplish, Mark?”

That’s a fair question. My main purpose in writing is to introduce people to concepts they might not otherwise be exposed to. To do that the books have to be entertaining enough to hold a reader’s interest, and simply cranking out four books in a single year won’t have the depth I want.

Ravid and the sequels used to be a single book. When I began that project I thought of it as my career’s crowning achievement. The decision to split it into three was a tough one, but I think doing that was the right thing to do. After that the concept of The Archives blew that out of the water.

Now I see Ravid as the starting point of my career as an author - the spark which ignites the tinder, so to speak. But where does that leave The Brotherhood?

Only time will tell. But that time is coming soon.

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