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Old 2014-03-07, 05:33   Link #281
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Finally! The contents of Volume Two have been submitted for publication review (which means they're just making sure it won't throw up during the paperback printing). I'm running the back cover by Mamiko for a final check. If she is fine with the imagery, then we're set to go.

Next, I can order a shipment of books and my FB store will be live for sales. It takes a few days more for the paperback to appear on the Amazon racks, then a week or two to appear on B&N. It's a bigger book, almost 50% more story (and that's after slicing out fun stuff that didn't advance the story, I may publish those on my website as free short stories). I thought seriously about splitting the epic but then that would just defer the size problem to the third volume. I just stare at the wildly varying sizes of the Harry Potter series to rationalize my decision

While all that is in process, I'll work on the e-book edition of Volume Two. The only difference between paper and electronic format is that the table of contents is handled differently and, of course, there's no back cover.


Once the e-book versions are out, I'll put out coupons for both volumes as a gift to Animesuki readers for FREE (as in the e-books will be free over at Smashwords for downloading).
It will be a limited time offer - and what I'm hoping is that people will write reviews over at Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, wherever and help me out. The more reviews I get, the more likely I climb up in presence and branding. Fun with marketing.
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Old 2014-03-07, 23:24   Link #282
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
A proof set of the paperback is being shipped to me now for review. In the meantime, I'm working on the Kindle, Smashwords, Nook, Kobo version (mostly a different kind of table of contents).

So I can finally get back to Volume 3, finish up the Japan Tour and get our 'heroes' back home.

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Old 2014-03-12, 17:03   Link #283
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Age: 57
Proof set arrived. Looks pretty good so far except that the back cover got attacked by a pixel derez moment somewhere in the design. bleh. Gotta fix that before I flip the ON switch.

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Old 2014-03-14, 01:13   Link #284
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
I figured out the back cover derez problem ... one of my pics was at 72dpi and it threw off the rest of the image. Okay, new cover submitted, now waiting for new proof from publisher.
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Old 2014-03-17, 10:19   Link #285
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Once I get the Kindle/Nook/Kobo versions of Volume Two online, I'll put out a coupon at Smashwords for people who might want an e-book version of "It Really IS Rocket Science".

As before, the coupon will be "100% off" as in "free". Smashwords offers e-books in many formats including PDF. The coupon will apply to both book one and book two.
Just a thank you promotion for those who are reading the thread and have provided feedback. My serious beta readers know who they are and I'll be shipping them signed paperbacks.

Believe me, it's a lot easier to read the story than on this cluttered mess of a thread AND I've fixed/improved many things as one might hope between a rough draft and a final release.

You can follow my ramblings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr (just search for "bhbranham"). Or visit my website at http://bhbranham.wordpress.com

I'll have paperback versions of "Surfing With The Alien" (volume two) in stock at the end of the week. They'll appear at Amazon and B&N in a couple of weeks thereafter.

For those interested in the morbid details, as of last week I have sold a little over 300 copies of the first volume, about 50% in paperback form. That's actually pretty good for a "first novel" in the first five months and I haven't really even started marketing seriously. I'm hitting the local independent bookstores this spring and am going to a booksellers fair this summer.
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Old 2014-03-23, 23:06   Link #286
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Age: 57
Believe it or not, I actually started sketching out the next chapter in the Volume Three rough draft today. Was beginning to wonder myself about whether I would finish the volume here.

Submitted the e-book editions for the approval/release process on Amazon and Smashwords. As soon as it is up on Smashwords, I'll put out a coupon so anyone interested can pick up e-book versions of Volume 1 and the new Volume 2 for free for a limited time.
A freebie promotion for the Animesuki gang. If you read the e-books, I'd appreciate a review anywhere the books are up for sale (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc).
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Old 2014-03-26, 16:29   Link #287
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
I'm having a book giveaway of Volume #1 (A Rock'n'Roll Fantasy) over at Goodreads. Just enter the giveaway, five randomly selected winners get a signed copy of the paperback with the request they do a review on Goodreads (or Amazon or B&N for all I care ).
If you're on Goodreads and in the USA or Canada - it's a no-brainer to enter.
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/86535
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Old 2014-03-26, 19:24   Link #288
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Bands do radio interviews, pod cast interviews, magical ether interviews. Sometimes they get out of hand.

===========
Disk Jockey: So what does the Rocket Science band like best about their chosen instruments? Kpau?

Kpau: Drumming burns energy almost as good as sex! I like sex! When you get right down to it, there's
no point to anything but sometimes you get to eat candy and have sex -- so that makes it all good!
What was the question again?

Sashiko: F***in' Texas Moo! He's askin' about music! Ah dinnae ken how yer brain gets from
point A ta point B without sex! I don't talk 'bout sex, ask another question. Wait ...

Glycerin: Is this m-m-mike on? ... ... ... bloody ... is he ask-asking us ab-about s-s-s-sex, love? We has to go the 'loo. Now.

Blar: I like drums and now I have to go retrieve our guitarist. Be right back.

Tsika: Am surrounded by circus clowns! Idiots! Bass guitar is my beloved instrument! Love the f***ing
feel of the sound vibrating my bones! Is nice public way of feeling like being f***ed! What the f***! Is
engineer f***ing bleeping me? G** D*** f***ing H***. You are **** *****. How dare you F***ing
censor straight talk! Is ****ing **** *** ***!! **** YOU!!!!

Disk Jockey: Anddddddd we'll go to commercial break now.
==========
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Old 2014-03-26, 19:25   Link #289
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
The Rocket Science band is composed of people with disparate but overlapping tastes in music. Rather like some other groups who refuse to be pigeonholed in one genre, the IRIRS band slips around depending on who is at vocals and their mood.
Here's an little cartoon video of the band covering a Manson tune which takes an interesting twist with a mostly female band. The redheaded vocalist, Sashiko, has a voice characterized in the story as a "demonic gravel mixer". It lets her cover certain punk and metal tunes but pretty much means sweet and cute isn't on her set list. You can discover her story in the recently released IRIRS Volume Two, "Surfing With The Alien".

YouTube
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZkL02ve8Us
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Old 2014-03-27, 00:54   Link #290
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Celebrities, new bands, actors all end up doing Japanese commercials to sell product. Here's Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger doing one for Kowa. Yes, they're usually all this silly. No subtitles needed.

I had the Rocket Science band do a commercial in Volume Three (though the rough draft was pretty sketchy). It was a silly one about Vodka and Halloween-themed. I'm working on volume 3 again and hope to have another chapter released here in a week or less.

YouTube
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Old 2014-04-14, 17:47   Link #291
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Some recent posts for the amusement:

Kpau's Morning Quip: "I'm trying to give up sexual innuendos ... but it's hard ... so hard."

Kpau's Epiphany After Her First Whiskey Drink of the Day:
"Maybe the Aliens don't talk to us because we're creepy. I mean we keep sending them weird mix tapes and then try to find out where they live."

Glycerin: "Some call me bloody crazy. I prefer the term "mentally hilarious". Was th-that funny? Did I do it funny? Is this mike on?"

What Blar would love to wake up to in the morning: a small portable Snow White named Tsika.

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Old 2014-04-15, 01:26   Link #292
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Age: 57
Glycerin is the band's cook in the series It Really IS Rocket Science. She will occasionally share a recipe.
(Visit bhbranham.wordpress.com for other articles)
======================================
Glycerin's Chinese Pepper Steak with Mixed Rice

Ingredients:
4 petite sirloin steaks (~1.5-2.0kg)
1-2 white/yellow onions
500ml (~2 cups) of chopped mushrooms (any type, shitake or portobello faved)
2 red bell peppers
Secret ingredient (see step 8)

sauce:
240ml of water (1 American cup)
add enough soy sauce until it looks like Earl Grey tea
add enough corn starch until looks like milk and coffee
add sake to taste
add a splash of sesame oil
10ml (2tsp) of minced ginger, bit more if powdered ginger
15ml (1tbsp) black ground pepper
5ml (1tsp) sea salt

rice:
350ml of white Asian (short-grain) rice (1.5 cups)
120ml of red Bhutan rice (0.5 cups)

Kpau says we must use aggravating American units,so we are! Also one must remembers that recipes is more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules! Pirate cooking!

0. Start rice. Soak the red rice in water for 20 minutes or so before combining it with the white rice in your rice cooker. Use the usual ratio of water (1.x:1). Presoaking makes the tougher red rice work well with the white rice. Take a nap until the bloody thing sings to you that it is done. Give it a nice fluff.

1. Chop mushrooms, onions, and peppers into small chunks in whatever artistic way suits you, love.

2. Slice steaks finely, light should be able to shine through them.

3. Mix sauce together in the order listed.

4. Heat wok, add a splash of avocado or available cooking oil. Stir-fry onions until slightly carmelized with burn marks. Add pepper chunks, stir for a minute, add mushrooms, stir again. Dump mix into holding bowl.

5. Add a splash of oil, dump meat slices in. Stir rapidly until most of pink has vanished, dump veggies back in. Keep stirring. It's a wok -- stir! Kpau likes to help with the stirring, we don't let her do much else. O.O

6. Stir sauce to remix the cornstarch in it, then pour into wok.

7. Stir Mix until sauce thickens.

8. Add secret ingredient (a couple of dollops of American ketchup, the real stuff - not corn syrup. We likes the Portlandia Portland ketchup!). Stir well.

Serve to 3 or 4 of your closest friends with Chinese beer we thinks.
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Old 2014-04-18, 02:22   Link #293
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
In between the amazing amount of non-writing that seems to go into writing (networking, promoting, advertising, schmoozing), I've managed to get about five pages of the next rough draft chapter in Volume Three done. Mash out ten more and we'll call it a chapter.

My book cover model for Glycerin and I have been trading photos on elements of her wardrobe. I'd love to show off some of the clothing elements we think will say "Glycerin" but I promised not to publish any 'works in progress' unless she approved.

So in the meantime, here's a cartoon video I made recently. The Lost Girls covering a Manson tune, "Disposable Teens". Seemed to have some resonance with the theme of orphaning and abandonment.

YouTube
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Old 2014-04-24, 03:00   Link #294
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Volume 03 Chapter 21 Part One ("It's Only Love - ZZ Top")

I'm having to split my time between about a dozen projects all at once, so I'm going to do something unusual. I'll post a partial chapter just so you know I haven't secretly given up. I was really stuck for "final concert antics" - writer's block. I've learned that the best way for me to break a block is to time skip and then come back later. Sometimes the time skip is actually the best for story pacing. Anyway, we're taking the story back up as the band is leaving Japan to head back to the US. There's an album to cut, gigs ahead, and a wedding to attend after all.

The chapter is spoiler tagged because the TLDR tags STILL throw up if there is a diacritical inside. 8P
Spoiler for vol 03 ch 21 part one:


Author's note: The next part of the chapter in a few days. But really, wanted to show I am not abandoning the thread. It just turns out authoring is about 25% writing and 75% marketing, promotion, social networking, branding, etc. I will say it's the first time I have ever enjoyed a "sales thing" in my life. I've always hated selling stuff.

edit: Oh, and the lovely model Elisanth is going to shoot custom versions of Glycerin for me to put on both Volume 1 and volume 3. She's going to try and match the lighting of the first volume but with *Glycerin* and we're working out the "evolved Glycerin" poses for the third volume.
She's sent me some test shots and clothing examples to look at - we're working from the Rockband imagery as her visual aids. The results are going to be cool I'm thinking. She's also going to do some "candid shots" as if Kpau took them.

My Tsika model, Mamiko, she broke her elbow in a stairway fall at a photo shoot a couple of months ago. She's gotten her cast off now and is in rehab sessions. Lots of crying. Makes my chest hurt thinking about her crying while asking them to push harder to straighten her arm. Ouch.
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Old 2014-05-07, 23:29   Link #295
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Volume 03 Chapter 21 Part 2 ("It's Only Love - ZZ Top")

The next part of chapter 21 -- trying to get the important gist down in this rough draft. When I go back and start revising the entire volume, I have a lot of work to do in foreshadowing and proper build up.

Spoiler for Volume Three Chapter 21 Part Two:

Part Three sometimes next week. My book cover model is working on both her "early Glycerin" and "later Glycerin" clothing elements. Here's a teaser of the shorts and corset and wig she might use. We're still hashing a lot out and she's on the hunt for arm tattoo patterns.

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Old 2014-05-15, 03:18   Link #296
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
First glimpse of early Glycerin for the reshoot of Volume 1, there's still some post-processing to do (tattoos, makeup, some stage elements).


Raw-raw (no post-proc) early test shot of "Evolved Glycerin" (volume 3 book cover version).
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Old 2014-05-15, 14:43   Link #297
Vexx
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Ah, I broke 40,000 views. Bonus prize - Tsika naked! (well, artistically naked in a blanket covering sort of way). Mamiko, courtesy her being real brave in a recent photoshoot. I'll kill anyone that makes her cry -- just informing you.

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Old 2014-06-03, 22:57   Link #298
Vexx
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Age: 57
The main images that will make up the Volume 3 book cover are ready. Here's some derezzed jpg versions of them.

First we have Glycerin wandering the streets of Tokyo at night.


Then Glycerin's rather terrified view of the audience in the mist, so many eyeballs.


And what will likely be the cover of volume - a Glycerin standing ready to shred spacetime on the count.


I've decided it would be fun to make some swag, so over the next month or so, I'm going to make some band posters - imaginary rock concert posters made real, both to sell and to use in giveaway contests.

There's another few weeks of post-proc for the photographer to do on a dozen pictures to use in promotion. After that, I'll be shooting the book 4 cover with the little Polish model Mamiko (and likely reshoot book 2 now that I have a better idea of what I want). Mamiko is graduating this month and wants to really dive into trying to make alternative modeling something that pays the bills.

Next post will highlight some of the "volume one" Glycerin shoot and associated images.
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Old 2014-06-09, 13:28   Link #299
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Age: 57
I've finally put Volume Two mostly to bed. Both the Paperback and Kindle versions are available on most Amazons across the world. There's still the smaller ebook editions to do. Deeply into revising/finishing Volume Three now. Here in the thread there are still a few chapters to release as rough draft.

Glycerin has obviously evolved over the three volumes, her subplot a kind of "coming of age" for her. Tsika has her own evolution, slower and more difficult.

For the external symbol of that, I've decided she's going to wear her twintails less often - just let her hair behave naturally. The forest nymph look that nails Blar in the head. Here's a preview:
YouTube
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For comparison, here's an early view of Tsika and Glycerin:
YouTube
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Old 2014-06-20, 16:51   Link #300
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Volume 03 Chapter 21 Part 3 ("It's Only Love - ZZ Top")

The third part of chapter 21 because reasons. This completes the chapter and volume 3.

Spoiler for vol 3 ch 21 part 3:


And that concludes the rough draft for Volume Three - I can safely say the published version will be substantially cleaned up and reworked but this is the "free for you peanuts in the gallery" version.

~ CONTINUED IN VOLUME FOUR ~
It Really IS Rocket Science
“Roll With The Changes”


A Preview Snippet of Volume Four, “Roll With The Changes”
“You’re pregnant.”
“Fucking bastard! Knew that, but I was hoping you would lie to me!”
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