“Kill Shot” is up on Netgalley!

Kill Shot‘s season for advance reviews is here. The story is mounted on Netgalley and open for comment. Bitingduck Press included this story to go with the release. I’m looking forward to the suggestions on how to improve the story! Go, reviewers, go!Google+

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“Kill Shot” is typeset!

We’re getting closer. The publisher sent along a typeset version of Kill Shot over the weekend. It’s lovely to see the finished look of the page, the dingbats and font, that sort of thing. Bitingduck Press did a lovely job. Now the text goes up for a preview on Netgalley!

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Bookies unite (for an evening in Edmonton)

Here’s the group that turned out for the Smorgasbook event hosted by the Young Alberta Book Society (YABS).

‘Twas an excellent night talking with librarians, teachers, and civilians! Than you, YABS! Thank you to author Natasha Deen for the photo!


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Smorgasbook! A Buffet of Youth Literature

I’m excited to attend this event along with the great Albertan YA writers!

Join the young Alberta Book Society for a showcase of ten new children’s and YA books by Albertan authors.

November 12, 2014

Book sales start at 6:30, the showcase presentation starts at 7pm.

Whitemud Crossing Library Theatre, 4211-106 St. NW Edmonton

Attendance is free. Donations gratefully accepted at the door.

Marty Chan, Natasha Deen, Carolyn Fisher, Joan Galat, Georgia Graham, Larry Loyie, Lorna Schultz Nicholson, Diane Mae Robinson, Jim Sellers, and Karen Spafford-Fitz will be presenting their new works. Copies will be available for sale.

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New Duck Boy cover!

Sadly, I’ve been so busy this last while that I haven’t had the chance to announce another project underway: a new Duck Boy cover! The publisher engaged Jeff Delierre again. He was the artist who created the “Kill Shot” cover. With a little bit of back and forth, he came up with this:


Pretty hot, eh! I love it. Thank you, Jeff.

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Duck Boy’s on sale!

Yes, the e-version of the story is on sale for 99 cents from August 4 to 14! (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08/prweb12067863.htm). The Kindle edition has a special bonus, too. For those who buy the Kindle edition, you also get the chance to vote on the new cover art for the story.

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Cover art: judging a book by its cover.

A few weeks back Bitingduck Press engaged an artist, Jeff Delierre (http://jeffdelierre.carbonmade.com/) , to prepare the cover artwork for Kill Shot, my upcoming YA novel (Spring 2015). I happened to be working on another round of edits as this is occurring.

He sent these sketches:


Of the five, number 4 best suited the story.

Jeff followed up his black and white sketches with a color mock up. It’s awesome. The publisher, Jay Nadeau owner of Bitingduck Press, and suggested a few changes. I’m not going to tell you what they are, but if you compare images, you will see them.


This was last week’s drawing:


Does it make you want to read the book?


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The “My Writing Process” blog tour.

I’m hunkered on my spot on the couch, my creative place. It’s a brown leather loveseat, I’m on the left cushion, on the right is a stack of books I’m reading, including a book my main character finds in my latest story. A pile of paper. DVDs. Scraps. On my left, is a coffee table. It too is covered in work stuff.

I was sitting in this spot, working, when illustrator Val Lawton (http://vallawton.blogspot.ca) sent me a note to ask if I’d participate in the “My Writing Process” blog tour. Sure, I wrote back. Who wouldn’t?

Val Lawton is an illustrator extraordinaire, with several picture book projects on the go. We met again this year at the Calgary Young Writers Conference, where we both offered workshops on our respective fields.

On my hard drive, at the moment, are two things that require my effort. First, is a draft of a young adult novel, due for release in Spring 2015: Kill Shot. It’s in decent shape. It’s had a first go through by Bitingduck Press’s editor. In a purple folder, under my coffee table, lurks another full manuscript of revisions, which I need to address. I might be able to start that today.

The cover art is being done, as we speak. I’ve discussed it in another blog post: https://billbunn.net/2014/05/02/the-art-of-cover-art/

I’ve been writing a new YA story, which is yet unnamed. I’ve finished a rough draft, last week, and this week have begun to go through and sort out the story and deal with its many warts and blemishes. I had a breakthrough last week. I got the story’s opening line, and some of the premise that will help me sort out this dog’s breakfast.

To be honest, I don’t know exactly why I write. Michael Paul Michaud (https://www.facebook.com/MichaelPaulMichaud) posted a George Orwell quote last week that fits: “All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery.” There’s more than a little truth in this.

I’m attracted to stories loaded with mystery. I’m attracted to main characters who are down on their luck, and need to find a gritty way to succeed on their own terms. Why? I’ve always blamed my horrible junior high experience for these tendencies. I’ve also had a few too many head injuries.

My post is in response to Val’s request. Next week, on the 19th, Mike’s post will go up on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MichaelPaulMichaud). He’ll tag one or two authors in his post, too.

Let me introduce Mike properly. Here’s what he looks like.


Happy-looking, don’t you think? He’s a crown prosecutor who has written and is about to publish his first young adult novel: Billy Tabbs (& the Glorious Darrow), which will be out November 1, 2014. Here’s what the cover looks like:

Billy TabbsHere’s a blurb on his story: Billy Tabbs has been living in the streets for as long as he can remember. He’s recruited into a bizarre homeless sect living in the underbelly of high society. Here he meets Darrow — the mysterious and volatile leader of an organization committed to escalating acts of civil disobedience.

Equal parts harrowing, controversial, and humorous, Billy Tabbs explores decadence, homelessness, and the lack of compassion exhibited toward society’s most vulnerable.

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On the writing of a fantasy versus realistic historical fiction

Duck Boy is an urban fantasy. The writing of that book was difficult because one had to figure out a logic to the world that the main character inhabits and make sure it all worked, and all made sense. In this sort of novel one has to think through plot decisions to a large degree. A large part of the mental effort of a book like this comes from this sort of thinking.

But this book also required a great deal of research. I don’t know if the reader can tell that the text uses a lot of information from the alchemical tradition and its history. That was a lot of reading, too, I can tell you.

The book on the way, Kill Shot, is a work of historical fiction. Of course, it uses a ton of research, too. But, it was easier to work with the information. The story simply had to follow the historical outline I imported into the story. It was a much faster write. The plot was simply less complex, probably because it didn’t involve the fantasy element.

This is my emotional recollection of both experiences. What is your sense of the difference?

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The Art of Cover Art

When a book moves through the process, the publisher usually begins to work up some cover art with the help of an artist. The cover is a big deal, a bigger deal than ever before, I think. There’s so much to read and choose from, a reader is forced to judge a book by its cover.

So the whole story has to be on the cover. Not the whole story, but the heart of the story, in picture form. It can’t tell the ending, but is sort of a concentrate of the feeling and plot.

So a little while ago the publisher commissioned artist Jeff Delierre to do the cover art of Kill Shot, due out in the Spring of 2015. We corresponded a little and I sent him a short blurb on the book and the three of us have begun to work together.

Last week, artist Jeff sent five brief sketches based on the plot outline. Here they are:


I’m not going to tell you what the story’s about, just yet. I’m looking at gut grabbing mystery, and the overall feeling each image creates. I’d love to know which of these grabs you.

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