Just About There . . .

Posted Wed, 09/16/20

I'm now about two weeks away from finishing Bloodlust (barring no major complications), and then the editing process can begin. This includes adding/subtracting certain elements I caught along the way and took note of. Fun times!

Addition/subtraction notes for "Bloodlust" (by Deborah O'Toole writing as Deidre Dalton). Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

And, as twisted and sick as it sounds, assembling the fictional victims of the serial killer in Bloodlust proved to be quite entertaining for me the other day. Not because of the ill-intended fictional results, but because I invented backgrounds and evidence, and picked names out of the air. It was basically similar to imagination at work (overdrive, at that).

Fictional serial killer victim list from "Bloodlust" (by Deborah O'Toole writing as Deidre Dalton). Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

I also had to research strip clubs in the Boston area because the fictional serial killer visits one, so I'm sure my browsing history is a real eye-opener. ;)

Wish me luck as I near the finish line!

Irish Eyes: The Bloodline Trilogy

Tags: Bloodline Trilogy; Writing & Editing

Design Miscellany

Posted Sun, 08/30/20

I like collecting unusual fonts for buttons, logos, memes and book covers. I was looking for medieval and/or "gothic" fonts recently, and managed to gather quite a nice selection.

Medieval/gothic font array. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

One thing I learned early on with web design is that if people don't have a specific font already installed on their computer, they aren't going to see it unless it's embedded on an image (it typically defaults to Times New Roman if the used font isn't present on their system).

For instance, I used a combination of fonts for a promo button I created for In the Shadow of the King, neither of which is a common font installed on most computers. The title is done in Trajan Pro, while my name is scripted using the Stonehenge font.

Fonts used on promo button for "In the Shadow of the King." Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

Over the years, I've amassed quite a few fonts. Sometimes I use them for holiday-themed web projects or book covers, such as New Years Eve, St. Patrick's Day, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I take particular interest in the cover layouts for my books. While my publisher has final say in the matter, I'm allowed to offer suggestions and to contribute my own designs.

To date, I think my favorite is The Crypt Artist, although Glinhaven and Celtic Remnants run close seconds.

Web Design/Computer Misc

Tags: In the Shadow of the King; Web Design

Brief Detour

Posted Sat, 08/22/20

I needed a break from Bloodlust for a few days, so I've been playing computer games and toying with front and back covers for yet another upcoming book.

"In the Shadow of the King" by Deborah O'Toole

I hope to get back to In the Shadow of the King next year after the Bloodline Trilogy is complete, but it might be some time before I actually finish it (estimated completion around Christmas 2022), only because of the amount of historical research that will be required.

When last left off, I was sixty-seven pages into the story. In the Shadow of the King was created in Corel Word Perfect when I began writing it several years ago, which presents it's own set of unique problems today. I don't recommend opening a document in Microsoft Word that was originally created in Word Perfect. General formatting, ampersands, commas, apostrophes, inverted commas . . . anything other than the actual words come out a bit skewed. I'm mostly bothered by inverted commas. I prefer them to be straight up and down, not angled on a curve. I've since fixed all of the issues, so the book is ready to get back on track when the mood strikes me.

I'm also in the early stages of gathering new resource material. This involves obtaining historical documents and books (old and new), and poring over Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII from British History Online. I'm basically looking for reference to Sir Francis Bryan in any context from multiple sources. While In the Shadow of the King is semi-fictional with the inclusion of characters from my imagination, I'm keen to get the history right.

Story description for In the Shadow of the King:

In the Shadow of the King by Deborah O'Toole is a fictional account of the dramatic life of Sir Francis Bryan, confidant to King Henry VIII.

Sir Francis Bryan was a knight bannerette, chevalier, diplomat, poet and translator, Lord of the Tor Bryan, chief gentleman of the privy chamber, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and a gifted sportsman. He lost an eye during a jousting tournament and forever after wore a rakish eye patch, which merely added to his allure.

During his time in Henry VIII's court and one of the few who escaped the King's wrath, Sir Francis Bryan was dubbed the "Vicar of Hell" by the King's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, because of his apparent lack of scruples and legendary sexual exploits.

In the Shadow of the King brings to life the story of Sir Francis Bryan, as told by one of his descendants in the twenty-first century.

"In the Shadow of the King" by Deborah O'Toole. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

ESTIMATED RELEASE: Christmas 2022. Storyline and estimated release date may be subject to change. Check back for updates.

To read a sample from the book, click here.

*Gamey Stuff*

I've long been a fan of games from Mystery Case Files. All of them are mostly hidden object games with a dark theme. The new release is The Harbinger, and I must say I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Mystery Case Files: The Harbinger

The Harbinger description from Big Fish Games:

At first, it wasn't clear why the Master Detective was called in to investigate a simple, small-town murder case . . . until the investigation reveals a string of strange references and familiar names from the agency's past. What secrets lie behind the murder, and who, or what is so intent on bringing up the past? You'll need superior searching skills, and all your puzzle-solving know-how to peel back the layers of this mystery. All of the shocking answers await you in this intriguing new chapter in the classic Hidden-Object Puzzle Adventure series!

There are more than twenty additional gams in the series, and I highly recommend them all. Each one contains lush, intense graphics and you can adjust the game difficulty level as you play.

Give them a whirl!

Irish Eyes: In the Shadow of the King

Related Post: Shadow Work (07/01/12).

Tags: Games; In the Shadow of the King; Writing

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Posted Thu, 08/13/20

I've estimated that I'll cross the writing finish line for Bloodlust in about a month, or near the end of September. The largest binder clip no longer holds the document together, so now I'm using a rubber band to keep it intact. The book will be more than 400 pages long, so the editing process might take a few weeks as well.

By "editing," I mean reading through the entire book several times before I even send it to my publisher. This includes making a print copy so I can scrutinize it page by page and mark any changes. Then my editor at Club Lighthouse Publishing (Palvi Sharma) will go though the entire book and probably offer even more suggested edits.

To that end, I've pre-armed myself with the typical "tools"  that I use during the editing process: sticky notes, highlighters, pens and more pens (can never have enough of those!), and extra notebooks in case a major re-write is needed (hopefully not) or if new scenes need to be added.

My array of editing tools for "Bloodlust," book #2 in the Bloodline Trilogy by Deborah O'Toole writing as Deidre Dalton. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

God give me strength, and wish me luck!

Irish Eyes: The Bloodline Trilogy

Tags: Bloodline Trilogy; Writing & Editing

Summer Doings

Posted Wed, 08/12/20

As the seemingly endless lockdown continues through the unbearable heat of summer, I've devised other ways to keep myself occupied on the rare occasion when I'm not writing.

I've caught-up on several of my old favorite television programs for free on Tubi, including Dark Shadows, Robin of Sherwood and The Dead Zone.

Watching TV for free on Tubi.

In addition, a family of ducks began visiting us more than a month ago. The mother is an albino with six ducklings, all of them ravenous at any given time. They love bread, of course, but we're trying to feed them healthier fare, such as kibble and dried corn. But they do love their bread! They usually come by at least three times daily, once in the morning, the late afternoon and early evening, coming out of the canal for their tasty snacks.

 

Reading is an ongoing activity for me, and always has been. My current stack contains The Tudors by G.J. Meyer, The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (#5 in the Outlander series), and Say Nothing (A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland) by Patrick Radden Keefe. I never leave a bookstore empty-handed, and I'm especially partial to collecting different bookmarks.

My current reads. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

Jerry has a habit of rearranging my stuffed animals into a variety of positions, providing a display - usually the current even more bizarre than the last - every time I walk into the computer room. Once, I came upon the stuffed animals playing cards, another time they were surrounding an empty bottle of whisky. Other occurrences included the group watching the iPad, draped over the TV in the bedroom, perched on my computer before I start my day, wearing face masks, riding in the back seat of the truck, or staring at the camera wearing sunglasses. Click on images to view larger size in a new window.

Stuffed animals at play. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.    Stuffed animals at play. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

Stuffed animals at play. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.    Stuffed animals at play. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

Stuffed animals at play. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.    Stuffed animals at play. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

Stuffed animals at play. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.    Stuffed animals at play. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

Jerry makes me laugh, each and every day.

And, depending on her mood, Hissy might keep me company during the day, sleeping atop Kiki's favorite blanket. I once found her on the couch with a bottle of whisky and a pack of cigarettes.

Hissy on the couch with a bottle of whisky and a pack of cigarettes. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

Summer is my least favorite time of the year. I'm so longing for the coolness of autumn, and the changes of color during the season.

I should be finished with Bloodlust by then, too. ;)

Blog Tags: Photos & Other Images

Tags: Photos & Other Images

Camp Writing

Posted Sun, 07/26/20

Guess what I pack first for a camping trip? My "book bag." It includes pens, paper clips, sticky notes, spiral notebooks, printed material from the current book I'm writing (Bloodlust), research notes, my iPad and the current book I'm reading (not writing). We recently invested in a laptop, so it comes along for the ride as well.

My travelling "book bag." Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

A few weeks ago, we went on another camping trip, this time spending five days at Wolf Creek Pass in the Uinta Mountains. We found the perfect spot to camp, just off the road and down a slight incline. It had its own fire pit and plenty of trees to provide shade. However, because of the season, we were inundated with dust and flies. Jerry put up a flytrap, which filled up rather quickly. We also had a stampede of sheep run through our camp, which I managed to get on film.

 

We usually spent mornings riding the ATVs through different trails, but I tried to reserve every afternoon for writing.

I'm making steady progress on Bloodlust, thankfully. I'm onto my second notebook of handwritten notes, the first being filled during the camping trip. The storyline is moving along fairly smoothly, just a few bumps here and there, but I'm happy with it for the most part. One of my aims is to make sure it transitions easily into the third and final book of the trilogy, Blood & Soul. So far, I'm succeeding.

"Bloodlust" is getting bigger, which is a good thing. Bottom photo was taken a few weeks ago, and the top photo was from last night. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

I'm still shooting for an autumn completion date for Bloodlust, with editing to begin right after that.

Wish me luck. ;)

Irish Eyes: The Bloodline Trilogy

Tags: Bloodline Trilogy; Writing & Editing

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