Wow, I got an email yesterday saying Shana Festa was now following me on Twitter, which I thought was very nice. Then I got another saying that my series had been reviewed by TheBookieMonster, which is a site dedicated to reviewing books, well worth checking out –
So I read the review and what a stonker! That is amazing and had me grinning ear to ear. Amazing that someone read a million word series in four days too. Forgive me for posting it here on the blog but I’m pleased as punch about it and proud too and wanted to share it.
But it does raise an issue, which has been an elephant in the room for a little while now. Which is my proof-reading / editing standards.
I am self-published, everything is done from my house. Well apart from the book covers, which are done by Eddy in his house, in Spain, not here at my house…
Anyway, my English is okay(ish) for everyday writing and has got me through life reasonably well but of course, the series is taking off and readers are expecting a high-end polished product, which is something I cannot do. I try and proof-read but proof-reading your own work is nigh on impossible unless you are a robot, or have the kind of mind that can separate every compartment within your head, which mine cannot do. When I read it back, yes I spot mistakes but I get absorbed in the story, the flow, the characters, the plots and everything instead of the grammar and things I should be looking for.
I have used professional editors previously. However, there have been issues. This is not the place to say what they were for fear that I will start swearing at how fucking much it cost and the work I got back…..calm breaths and count to ten…
So I then tried to source locally. Which didn’t work either. Enough said…..awkwaaaaaarrrrdddd!!!!!
Then along came Brimmers. She has copped some flak as there are a lot of issues with Day Fourteen, in terms of proof-reading, mistakes, missing words etc. I blogged that I had a proof-reader and the mistakes were soon spotted and mentioned in reviews. Which is fair enough and I have to take it on the chin.
It was my fault you see, I gave a 200,000 word book to Brimmers and said I wanted it to be released within the next week or so. She said “sod off”, it’s 200,000 words long and not possible to proof-read within that time frame. I felt under pressure as Day Fourteen was already late, by my standards. So the end result was I – me – that being this dickhead sat here writing this blog, put Day Fourteen out without being fully proof-read while putting Brimmers name as the editor, which wasn’t fair.
So I have to take responsibility for it. I have spent enough time immersed in books, writing etc to know that Brimmers has an exceptional eye for story-telling. She is good, very good and was brave enough to tell me what parts of Day Fourteen sucked arse and were shit, and there were quite a few re-writes done during the re-drafting process.
Why am I saying this? Well, the proof-reading is down to me. I am the writer and I should be ensuring the final product is as good as possible. I will stick with Brimmers because she is good…and like I said, she did tell me it wasn’t possible to proof-read a book that size in the time frame I gave her.
So my apologies to everyone, the readers and to Brimmers for putting her in that position. I have given myself a punishment of no Xbox for the next day, and to write a thousand lines of “I WILL NOT BE AN IMPATIENT BASTARD” which will be typed once and cut n paste 999 times!
Well, the review from Shana Festa (that has to be the coolest name ever) is below, and I want to say thank you again to the team at The Bookie Monster for taking the time to undertake such an in depth review. There is going to be a competition too which I think is hosted by The Bookie Monster site, not sure quite how that works yet.
The next work is well underway and I will keep you posted on it.
Let’s start this review off with a big WOW! The Undead series is nothing short of amazing. I read the entire thing in a mere four days and was sad to see it end. It shocked me to find the series has yet to be picked up. I found only two things in all fourteen books that I didn’t swoon over. The first being several noticeable editing issues. While all small, the amount of them (especially towards the end for some reason) was enough to make me raise an eyebrow. Still, though, without professional editing, I give kudos to the author for not having more. The second challenge I faced was in book ten. The introduction of Maddox’s group didn’t seem as fluid as others and I spent a few minutes in confusion. Book ten earned a 4 star rating for this reason, while the other thirteen received 5 stars from this reader. The story and characters were so compelling, no amount of spelling errors could have affected the rating.
RR Haywood spins a tale of Mr. Howie, a night shift grocery worker as he fights off the wretched undead and meets some pretty awesome people along the way. Howie first teams up with Dave, a fellow co-worker at the store. Dave is a killing machine, methodical and devoid of social grace, it came as no shock when he revealed having Asbergers. His dry demeanor mixed with Howie’s witty humor makes for some pretty deadpan comedy.
Joined by rookie soldiers Cookey, Blowers and Nick the comedy continues as they each dish out witty barbs. Each character is fully developed and believable. It’s evident in the writing that a lot of thought went into creating them and the dynamic they bring to the group. Along the way, many more people are introduced. I won’t go into their details, since that’s the fun part about reading, but I will say they were each written just as well as the others.
Despite the never ending battle to survive, Howie and company continue in their mission to secure a safe haven for refugees. Destruction never ceasing to knock down their doors, the action is non-stop.
These aren’t your garden variety zombies. They are a collective, pushed onward by an infection portrayed as an entity all it’s own. The infection morphs and evolves in it’s single minded goal to wipe out humanity. The undead aren’t interested in eating its prey, it’s only desire to spread the infection.
There are zombies of all shapes and sizes. Slow and lumbering, fast and vicious, thinking and plotting, seducing, vengeful…you name it, they’ve got it. The one thing they have in common is the red eyes. Lucky for the eyes or survivors would be completely fubar. The infection itself is original. It allows what could have ended up long and drawn out to keep me on the edge of my seat and never bored.
The Undead series is an ever changing, exciting work of fiction that will keep readers glued to the pages from start to finish. With it’s terror, humor, unique story and likable characters, it is sure to be a huge hit with the masses.
Important note: This series is not for the feint of heart. In addition to the blood and guts, there is a lot of bad language (most of it pretty hilarious) and a few sexually explicit scenes that may be shocking to some. I appreciate the authors show of restraint as he did not harp on the uncomfortable moments. Oh, and spiders…lest we not forget the spiders. Haywoods description of poor Paula as she is stalked by an eight legged terror had me squirming in my seat and making noises of fear and disgust, followed promptly by a full body check and scan of my surroundings to ensure I, too, was not about to be attacked.
The Undead Series is available for purchase in standalone stories or as 2 compilations, each a week long account of the events of the zombie outbreak in England. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until I went to purchase the final book. My suggestion is to purchase them as shown above.
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