Tag Archives: Lifeboat Augusta

Lifeboat series 1

Publishing the Lifeboat Augusta series in e-book and audiobook formats was intentional. There is no hardcopy of the collection. Congratulations to those who have read the full story. You’ve been entertained  and you saved a small forest in the process.

Recently, Elizabeth Phillips, the narrator of the series, undertook recording a handful of marketing pieces designed to pique the interest of sci fi readers the world over. One of those snippets looks and sounds like this.

Another version came out slightly different.

Stay tuned to YouTube, Facebook, and where ever you find unique sci fi titles designed to pull you in and take you along for the ride. You never know what might happen next.

Survival_FacebookWhew, that was a long intermission. I’m up early this morning thanks to a daughter with a penchant for hitting the snooze button, but with no particular interest in actually getting out of bed. That being the case, I thought this would be a good opportunity to catch up readers of this blog on what’s been happening and what’s coming up.

I know you can hardly wait to get the lowdown on my own personal hoedown of activity.

First and foremost I should come clean on the issue that seems to bug people most. I don’t write every day. There, I said it. To be more accurate I think it might be better to say, I don’t write for publication every day. Weekly, yes. Daily, not a chance. Just like you, I’ve got other fish to fry, other chores to attend to, and maybe even a nap to take in the afternoon.

That nap sounds particularly good right now. Yikes, it’s not even 7AM yet. What’s that say about my lifestyle? Nothing good, I think.

Since I last posted in this space, I’ve been hard at work converting The Lifeboat Augusta series to audiobooks. That work is almost complete. The fifth and final installment, Survival of the Fittest, will be on the market in just a matter of days. That will feel good. A completed project leaves me with a sense of accomplishment. Getting things done is my purpose in life. At least I think it is. So far, anyway.

Of course when I say, “I’ve been hard at work,” what I actually mean is, Elizabeth Phillips has been hard at work. It’s Elizabeth who reads, records, edits, fusses, and fixes every syllable of the five novellas that make up the full series. I simply click a button and listen to her elegant, alluring, oh so feminine voice put life to my words. Read More →

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Jane Waters Thomas? There are very few occurrences in my workday that are more enjoyable than spending time with Jane. She’s creative, adorable, curious, dedicated, and apparently indefatigable. Throw in a a few cameras, a production facility, and enough free to time really stretch out and talk about whatever crosses her mind, and you’re in for a good time. At least I was. I submit this video clip as evidence. Her interview in the Writers Den at PGTV is one of the more enjoyable interactions I’ve had while promoting my work. I only hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

On with the show!

Blurred Desktop editSometimes I write off the top of my head. It’s a stream of consciousness method of storytelling, and it works. Admittedly, it’s slow. There are lots of edits, re-writes, ill-conceived plot points, and quirky characters that don’t always measure up in the end. Those characters often die an ugly death at the hands of my keyboard long before you see or hear from them. Most of them still exist in some form. After all, there are multiple drafts of a book. The original often bears only a passing resemblance to the finished product.

That’s not a bad thing, incidentally. Like a songwriter polishing the arrangement of a song, or a painter tweaking the colors and shading of an image, the writer has the artistic license to rearrange words, add or remove passages, edit at will, or delete as necessary. To get the story you want to tell in the shape it deserves to be in, sometimes you have to smear a little ink, lose a couple pages, and maybe insert a few adverbs or adjectives that were inadvertently left out of the original version.

All that is well in front of me at the moment, however. I’m in the outline phase. The new novel is taking shape. The characters are finding names, motivations, quirks of their personality, and maybe even a bit of a personal history. They have to be full fledged characters if the story is going to really work. For the reader to believe in the characters, they have to be real. Some are intended to be likable. Others are meant to be odious. And at least a few of the minor characters are little more than window dressing. Just like that guy from work who looks so familiar, but you don’t see him often so you can never really recall any specifics about him. That’s why you say, “Hey, how are you?” when you see him on Mondays. No name. No specifics are exchanged. Just a generic, “What’s up, man.” That’s safe when you’re dealing with window dressing disguised as actual people.

See! Fiction is just like real life. Some of the information matters. Some of it doesn’t. A handful of characters are central to the story, but most of them aren’t. Real life, fiction, they’re disturbingly similar. Occasionally they’re so similar it’s hard to tell them apart.

Maybe that’s why readers keep asking me if Burritos and Gasoline is based on my real life? It’s a good question. It’s a fair question. But I’ve dealt with that one enough. The better question is, Are any of the characters in the Lifeboat Augusta series based on my real life? Ah ha! Nobody has asked me that yet. Not in public anyway.

The new novel is tentatively titled, “Island Life.” And I will divulge little about it here. But I will drop these few breadcrumbs for those who have followed me this far. The story begins in New York City. It deals with finance, greed, fear, and the basic building blocks of human motivation. Then it takes a turn.

I’m not going to tell you the rest. That wouldn’t be right. You’ll just have to wait and read it for yourself when it’s done. Right now the story has taken the shape of a highly detailed outline that gives me all the motivation I need to start filling out the portraits of these poor, pitiful, comically misguided people. Their story needs to be told. And I’m going to do just that, doggone it.

Oops, time to get to work. Bye, bye, for now.

Editors note: This post was written in haste and has not benefited from an editorial review. If you find an error, congratulations. Unfortunately there is no prize other than the rich knowledge that you found an error on the Internet. Alert the media. They’ll be fascinated, no doubt. 

 

Jamie_05_3DTransparentAfter two years of sporadic but sincere effort, the Lifeboat Augusta series is finally concluded. With the release of installment 5, Survival of the Fittest, the story comes to an end…of sorts. There are no spoilers here. Only heartfelt appreciation for the readers who have been following along with the series and the support they’ve given me. Thank you. Truly.

Rather than leave it at that, brief as it is, I will share a bit of inside baseball with you. The literary edition.

One of the lesser known tasks undertaken when publishing a book, or an ebook, is the gathering of blurbs. These usually short, often flattering quips are written by other authors who have a thing or two to say about the story being presented. Fortunately, I have been on the receiving end of some high praise as I’ve put this series together. Authors I read and enjoy like John Blumenthal, Kevin Garrison, and C.G. Blake have been good enough to share their enthusiasm for the story in print. I very much appreciate the kindness.

With this last installment I asked another author whose work I enjoy to read and consider writing a blurb for the inside cover of, Survival of the Fittest. Sam Torode is a good man. I read his novel, The Dirty Parts of the Bible on a whim. Man, am I glad I did. Funny, quirky, totally believable and absolutely entertaining, Sam’s style of writing and his ability to weave a yarn through the dusty depression era midwest caught my imagination and held it.

We’re very different writers, Sam and I. Yet like cabinet makers, luthiers, potters, or tailors, we have an appreciation for each other’s work. Our work may take different forms and focus on different aspects of the human experience, but we each see something of value when we crack the pages of something the other wrote. That’s comforting, frankly. It’s satisfying too.

When I saw the blurb Sam submitted for inclusion in this final installment of the series, I was very pleased with the sentiment he shared. He said this, “Fans of apocalyptic fiction should check out Jamie Beckett’s Lifeboat Augusta series. This could be the next indie publishing sensation.”

How can I not be tremendously flattered by the appearance of those two sentences. You can see them for yourself, in context, inside the pages of, Survival of the Fittest. They’re right there beneath the blurbs of the other authors I mentioned previously.

If I ever succumb to the idea of starting each morning with a daily affirmation, I think Sam’s might be the message I would choose. It’s positive without being gushy. It’s supportive without bombast or hyperbole. Yet it made my day when I first read it, and it continues to brighten my mood each time I come across it.

With great appreciation to Sam, John, Kevin, and C.G. I must say, this has been an interesting journey. Shepherding Randy and Keisha and their peer group into orbit where they suffer one catastrophe after another, it’s been fun. On one level I wish it would never end. Then again, I’m enjoying the freedom I now have to move on to the next thing. The next story. The next book. Adventure awaits.

Oooo, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Jamie_05_3DTransparentThe fifth and final installment of the Lifeboat Augusta series is nearing its release date. While it is in the final editing stage, this seems like the perfect time to let readers of the series know the end is near (or is it), and to say goodbye to a project that I’ve been working on for more than two years.

What a pleasure it has been.

This all started as a casual conversation about science fiction in its various forms. That led to a novella called, To the Lifeboats. Originally intended to be a stand-alone piece, it became apparent in the writing that a second and third installment would be necessary to flesh out the story and follow the main characters on a unique and occasionally terrifying  journey. That led to the creation of, Just About Armageddon and Isle of Safety. Yet before Armageddon was a complete first draft it was apparent even to me that Randy Tagget and Keisha Miller had more life in them than three novellas could contain.

In the end the Lifeboat Augusta series lived up to its promise of taking me on a fascinating adventure from earth to space and back again. Yet this adventure was somewhat more fraught with danger, intrigue, and yes even sexual tension than the Mercury 7 ever dreamed of.  Well, they might have dreamed it, but they were professional and tight lipped enough to keep it to themselves.

Watch Amazon for the release of the final installment of the series in October. It’s sure to grab you, throw you for a loop, and maybe even include a twist or two you weren’t expecting. But don’t dive in to installment five without getting a solid footing with installment one first. Start with To the Lifeboats, segue into Just About Armageddon, continue with Isle of Safety, go boldly into Binary Choices, then wrap the whole thing up with Survival of the Fittest.

Thanks for following along with the story as it unfolds. I’ve had fun. I sincerely hope you have too.

 

SmallCover_JPGAs the fifth and final installment of the Lifeboat Augusta series takes shape, I find myself in a particularly good mood. Reaction to the series has been terrific. I’ve received so many complimentary comments about the ebooks that I’ve decided to celebrate. Starting today and running straight through Sunday, June 29, To the Lifeboats, is being offered for FREE on Amazon. Just click the link, download your copy, and start enjoying the adventures of Randy Tagget, Keisha Miller, and the cast of characters who inhabit the Lifeboat Augusta.

It has been a real pleasure writing this series. I’m pleased to know so many readers have enjoyed the adventure so much and I have every confidence you will find the conclusion to be just as intriguing as the rest of this quirky out-of-this-world life or death drama. What a ride it’s been.

Hang tight, it’s not over yet. There’s more to come.

David and JamieIt’s a fair question. What kind of an author stalks his own readers? Well, in my case it’s an appreciative one. It’s been my good luck to have dedicated readers who praise my work in public and bang on me regularly to write faster, finish the next project, and get it into their hands as quickly as possible. I love these folks. They make my work a more satisfying experience. They bring a smile to my face and a song to my heart. I’d be sunk without them, and so when the opportunity presents itself I have made it a practice to seek out enthusiastic readers and find a way to say, “Thank you” in a personal and hopefully meaningful way.

Most recently, I’ve been stalking David Nicholson. He’s a good man, an enthusiastic booster of my Lifeboat Augusta series of sci fi novellas, and he even plays the guitar in his down time. I appreciate his support so much I promised to dedicate the fourth novella of the series to him, which I did. When you flip through to the dedication page you’ll see his name right there. I wasn’t kidding.

What David didn’t expect was that I would depart from the ebook format for him and him alone. Just this once. With the release of, Binary Choices earlier this week, I took a single set of pages and a cover to a secret location and had the whole shebang bound for him. With the assistance of his sneaky and wonderful wife, Amanda Jo, I was able to track David down at a local Thai restaurant and pounce. I presented him with the only bound copy of, Binary Choices, and I got a big ol’ smile in return. That’s a perfectly fair trade in my book. See for yourself. We’re both pretty darned happy with the way things turned out.

Thanks David (and Amanda Jo, too). You’re the best!