2 Reviews for “Please Don’t Eat the Penguins” and getting ready to write again.

When I checked to make sure “Please Don’t Eat the Penguins” was no longer enrolled in KDP Select so I could republish it on the other sites (it should be available on them this weekend or early next week), I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of reviews. They were both good reviews (one 5-Star and one 4-Star), and I took the time to reply to both of them instead of commenting on them in my blog.

Installments is also no longer enrolled in KDP Select, and I plan to publish it soon on the other sites. I might do it this weekend, but I’m not sure. I didn’t go visit my family over Thanksgiving, and I’m thinking now would be a good time for a little road trip. If I don’t publish it this weekend, it will be one of the first things I do after I finish grading.

I have my poetry book more-or-less ready to publish for next year, but it won’t be finalized until Dec. 31. (I have to get the cover, but it shouldn’t take too long.) I might write a few poems before the end of the year, since it’s a bit shorter than the last two collections. We’ll see. (Even without writing much poetry this year, I have over 100 poems. Many of them are short ones, though.)

One of these days, I’m going to update the front matter of my books (the list of books I’ve published, etc.), reformat the early print versions of my books to correct a few technical issues, and create a Facebook page for my writing. I still might revise my Angus series a little bit, but I haven’t decided on that yet, either. It might be a good way for me to get back into the feel of writing and the right mindset for writing the Aftermath books. We’ll see. Same with incorporating the poems I’ve written in the past few years into my earlier collections and republishing them as second editions: We’ll see.

As for writing, I’ve jotted down more notes for my Aftermath series, and I think I’ll be ready to write I Will Be King once I get through grading finals and posting my students’ final grades. (I’ll have most of it done by the end of next weekend.) I’m glad I’ve waited to start working on it, since some of the ideas I’ve had recently will make it a better book than it would have been if I had written it sooner.

I’ve thought more about that good vs. evil series I mentioned awhile ago, but I’m a long way from writing it. I have an unreliable narrator that I like (Twig), but I need other characters, a basic plot outline, world-building, etc. I plan to spend A LOT of time mapping out this series before I start working on it. Reading the Harry Potter series helped me to understand better how the plot for a series should be developed. I only had a generally idea of what I was doing when I wrote my Angus the Mage series (it sort of developed on its own), and I want to have a strong idea of what I’m going to do before I start the first book of my next fantasy series. (My Aftermath series doesn’t count, since it is more like four separate-but-connected novels than a series building to a single climactic event. With the exception of the first book, each one should stand fairly well on its own.

One last thing: I bought a second computer to make it easier to write while I am “watching” television programs on my computer (or letting Slotomania run on autopilot). I think it will help, once I figure out how to use Microsoft Edge and adjust to Windows 10. It will also make it easier to work with my students in online classes and manage my prep work from home. Unless, of course, my old computer craps out on me, which it could easily do. (It’s old enough that it has Windows XP….)

That’s enough of an update. The next one should be in a couple of weeks, when I intend to start on I Will Be King.

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Goodreads Ratings

If you follow Goodreads for reviews and ratings, here is the link to my work:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/5832311.Robert_P_Hansen The books published in the last century aren’t mine, though; they were written by a mystery writer with the same name.

Most of the ratings are for my Angus series, but there is one for Please Don’t Eat the Penguins — an encouraging 4-star one.

Belated Posting of a Review of Worms and Other Alien Encounters

In reorganizing my blog pages, I noticed that I haven’t posted the 5-Star review Ronda Swolley gave for Worms and Other Alien Encounters. It runs as follows:

Mr. Hansen has a way of creating humor while making a point. I have greatly enjoyed his short stories, and think he has a strong talent for seeing the unexpected answer to a situation, and for finding humor in odd places. While he does have a dark side, his greatest strength is in his ability to make a serious point while keeping it amusing enough that you forget you are learning something.

I  should note a few things about this review:

  1. It was posted to Amazon before I started my blog, and I initially didn’t post any reviews to my blog (hence the oversight).
  2. Ronda Swolley is my sister and copy editor, and I was reluctant to post the review because I wanted to avoid the appearance of nepotism. However, when I’ve talked to her about doing other reviews for my fiction, she has been reluctant to do so (for the same reason) and also mentioned that Amazon, after finding out that she was my sister, won’t let her post any more reviews for my work, anyway. So, if it’s worth anything, she isn’t the kind of person who would give a review like this unless she thought the book deserved it, regardless of who wrote it.
  3. The collection changed somewhat between the time she copy edited it and it was published. Some of the stories in the original draft I sent her (the ones that didn’t involve aliens) were not part of the final draft. Instead, those stories were published as part of Have You Seen My Cat? And Other Stories.

3-Star Rating for Have You Seen My Cat?

About a week ago, I posted that there was a 3-Star review for Have You Seen My Cat? without a comment. At the time, I had only looked at the Amazon.com posting, but there seems to be a glitch with it, since Amazon.uk (and other Amazon sites) has additional information about the review. On that site, it is titled “Okay Read” and has Dennis Anderson saying this:

I liked it. Unfortunately, it did not lend itself to becoming a series.

I don’t know why the text of the review isn’t showing up on the Amazon.com site, since Amazon.uk and the other Amazon sites have it posted as coming from Amazon.com. Anyway, I agree that Have You Seen My Cat? isn’t likely to become a series, but mostly because I don’t write a lot of mysteries and have put short stories on the back burner while I’ve been working on my fantasy novels.

Review of The Snodgrass Incident

Nancy Jane Hansen (no relation, as far as I know) gave a nice review of The Snodgrass Incident. Here is what she had to say about it:

This is the first “hard” SF novel I have read in a long time. It reminds me of the stories I cut my teeth on many many years ago before ugly came to dominate SF and Fantasy took over the rest of the genre.
The SNODGRASS INCIDENT is competently written. There is an adequate overall plot with many mini-stories providing lots of action throughout. I don’t know if the science/technology is sound, but I found everything believable.
This is a good buy for the price.

She seems to be an astute reader, since she noticed the novel is an integration and expansion of the “mini-stories”. Three of the stories came first, and the novel evolved around them, rather than the novel’s plot coming first, and the “mini-stories” deriving from them.

As for the science, I did quite a bit of research and am confident about the accuracy of the technical information about the places they visit and their environments. However, I couldn’t find anything about using superconductors in space, so I extrapolated on how they work / are used on earth. I think it is a plausible extrapolation, but I could also easily be wrong….