There is a sentiment which I am sure all writers experience that I have named Author’s Remorse. It is the sensibility that leads to editing, and I had a dose of it last night over yesterday’s WordPress post.

I haven’t deleted it yet, but I might, because it was terrible.

I am still trying to decide what the lesson is. Shall I be spontaneous on these pages, because that’s what one does in this setting, but reel it in when I am talking about my own writing? Will you think I don’t know how to edit when I leave the bad stuff out here?

Maybe I’m making too much out of it. It was honest, a little negative in spots, certainly not a promotional piece. I told the audience what Anzu is not, when I should have been saying what it is. The replacement can be found on Amazon Author Central this morning:

Anzu is a book for readers who enjoy discovery, who like to think, who want to be surprised by ‘aha’ moments, when one is motivated to turn back a few chapters and see if there was a clue to the thing just discovered.

I will be gratified if young readers take to it, but it’s written for people with experience in their lives. I hope it takes you someplace that is impossible to get to from here.

And, since editing is so important, I may not be done with it. Shall I speak of my ambition as a writer, the desire to write books with depth and insight, words that people want to read? How I would like to stake out my own territory within a genre that is overworked as space opera, and under-served along other lines?

Eh. Maybe. Right now I need to make breakfast.


Amazon has a spot on Author Central where I can post a review of my own book. Here is what I wrote:

Anzu was not written by a fifteen year old. It is not YA, although I will be disappointed if young readers don’t take to it. All the same, Anzu is not “Johnny had a gleam in his eye as he strode confidently to his rocket ship”.

This is a book for a reader who enjoys discovery, who likes to think, who wants to be surprised, who relishes ‘aha’ moments and turns back a few chapters to see when he or she should already have figured out the thing just discovered.

An agent asked me what the book is about, and then groused because I couldn’t answer in one sentence. Again, Anzu isn’t that kind of book. For some readers, it will be about a race that believes it is dying. Others might ruminate about the intractable differences that keep cultures apart, or the futility of war, or the efficacy of war. I hesitate to say the book has something for everyone, but there is a lot of material to think about.

More than one person has complained that they couldn’t relate to people with funny sounding names. May I observe that Anzu takes place on another planet? Nobody named Tim or Bob here, ma’am. The names are Sanskrit, so perhaps South Asians will like the book better than Westerners. I can live with that, but I hope it doesn’t turn out that way.


In the 8 days since I launched Anzu on Kindle, I have approached the author business like a business.

That is what one must do during launch month, lest the project languish. So, I have faithfully divined the portents, every day, to wit:


That is 7, count them, 7 books sold, including 1 each to myself and my brother.

This is after shamelessly pestering everybody I know, emailing my entire contact list, and running two paid Facebook campaigns that, I am told, reached almost 1,000 people.


I must say, that’s enough success for one week. Today I will try to take a break.

In the meantime, Thank You to everyone who clicked through. You are, apparently, a very slippery fish.

Nothing to blog about

But I did buy a working handheld VHF marine radio at a yard sale yesterday, for a dollar.

Sadly, it is missing the antenna. Happily, a replacement was available on Amazon. Sadly, I now have $10.50 invested. Happily, I got up this morning and my name wasn’t in the obits.

I can’t wait until the antenna gets here.



Anzu is now available in print and Kindle editions on Amazon.

Will you pass the word on Facebook, Twitter, jungle drum? I need reviews to appear during the first 30 days, while the book is on the “New Releases” list.

Kindle Unlimited subscribers can get it for free.

Amazon Prime subscribers can borrow it for free.

Else, what the heck, it’s only $2.99.

The game is to acquire enough momentum so that after the “New Releases” promotion goes away, it is still possible for Anzu to pop up through 300,000 books in the same category.

I know. It’s like seeing how sausage is made.

In marketing parlance, this is a “call to action”. Your tolerance is appreciated.

The share button is down there. Go, run like the wind!


I’ve been struggling the past few days with the promo capsule for Anzu.

I’m not the first person to say this: The blurb is harder to write than the book.

I’ve tried flowery, street-level, sophisticated, wordy, brief, academic … The next day, author’s remorse sets in and I start over.

Ya, ya … start a thread on an author’s site … did that … wrote more junk.

Until today … Two gentlemen on a Facebook public group – Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors – pitched in for an impromptu workshop, and I think we hammered it out.

Ken Britz played the decisive card when he told me to write ad copy. Here’s what I did.

The Anye race is dying: A fading sun, a declining population and an estranged confederacy are collectively signaling the end of an advanced civilization.

 Rivan Saraf is tapped-out as a military first responder, too much the enlisted man to be an officer, and already trained as a physicist. When a discovery at a high-energy research lab puts him on the run from agents of a foreign power, Rivan must lead a technological revolution that could save his race from extinction.

The Anye Legacy series honors the visionary traditions of hard science fiction. Inspired by screenwriter Joss Whedons’ skill at wrapping the fantastic in the mundane (Firefly, The Avengers) and cyberpunk pioneer William Gibson’s holographic realism (Spook Country, Snow Crash), Anzu is a provocative story about a society confronting the apparent winter of its existence.

The last paragraph came out of advice I read elsewhere, directly turned out of long storage by Ken’s words: Give the prospective reader something to compare your book to. I can see how that might help.

Thanks, Jim Aikin and Ken Britz.


While preparing the Anzu print edition yesterday, I realized I omitted the Dedication page from the eBook version. Not that much trouble to correct. This is what I wrote …

In memory of Alan Maury Razovsky, who became my Dad in December, 1955.

He was the sweetest, kindest man ever. I still miss him.


That’s us, in 1957. We were at Lake Taal, Tagaytay, in the Philippines. It was probably our first visit there.  Continue reading “Dedicated”

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