Have you been looking for a way to leave reviews of our books and stories? Here’s how.
Just a note: Some of our books and stories are available only to our newsletter subscribers. This means you won’t find them on Goodreads or Amazon. But we’ve been listening to your feedback and have set up reviews on our website that you can use to leave reviews for these.
The rest are on Amazon and Goodreads and we have collected all the links in one place to make leaving us an honest review even easier.
Of course there’s no pressure to leave a review, but if you do, we love you for it. Reviews really help us out and we appreciate everyone who takes the time to leave one, even if it is a short one. Thanks very much!
So what have we been up to? If you guessed writing, you’d be right!
We’re hard at work on Wunderkind, a new prequel to the Zero-point Awakening series.
We are simultaneously editing book 3 (Ascension) and writing book 7 (Incursion). We will be releasing all of this and more this year, so hang on to your metaphorical hats!
Wunderkind features Elliot Goshawk and Gunther (who some of you will recognize from Splice, and Gunther from Siege and Fire and Sand as well). The book also gives Millicent (from Siege) some air time.
We think you are going to love this one. It has been a lot of fun to write so far and, as long as we survive the editing process, we don’t see any reason why this will not be ready for download very soon. So stay tuned for updates.
But wait, there’s more! With Shadow War closer than ever to release, we will soon be putting book 3 (Ascension) up for pre-order as well. Here’s a sneak peek.
We are working hard to get these ready for you and we cannot wait to see what you think.
If you’ve read any of the books from our free library (available to our weekly newsletter subscribers for FREE) you can now leave a review on www.zzadams.com.
If you’ve read Splice or Mindstorm, please consider leaving us a short review on Amazon as well.
It has been a pretty terrible year for a lot of people this year. For us, it’s been a busy one. We started this journey in May. It was just an idea–two friends with a love for writing and for science fiction and fantasy in particular, collaborating on novels and short stories. What could possibly go wrong?
Project Status Update
Here’s a list of a few of the key things we have managed to do since May, 2020 (apologies in advance… this is going to be long):
Writing is a funny business. We just released Siege (The prequel to the Zero-point Awakening series) and then Splice, Episode 1 and now it feels amazing that we are in the lead up to releasing Shadow War, Episode 2. Shadow War is available for pre-order at Amazon now.
On the run from a remorseless corporation, now they’re working together to strike back!
Months have passed and Lizard Man and Assassin Boy are hot on the trail of their kidnapped loved ones. Everywhere they look they find the greasy fingerprints of Hellinix, a shadowy multinational corporation with grand and nefarious plans. A company that does not want to leave them alone.
They nearly saved the world the first time. This time will be different. Probably.
You can find out more about Splice here. And if you would like to know more about the story or the characters, there is no better way to get to know them than to read Siege, Fire and Sand and the upcoming Wunderkind (more on that later).
The Zero-Point Awakening series is a sci-fi action/superhero story at its heart. In the last post on this topic, Damian described the process of working through the first draft. Once that was done, that’s where I took over.
Writing Sci-Fi Action Stories – The editing Process
I’m not going to lie. It’s daunting to receive a draft of a story and be asked to edit it. Exactly what that means in the ZZ Adams process may be a little different than some other writers, so let me explain.
Since we are a writing team, one of us has to take the first cut of everything we write. We switch that around all the time, but this one was Damian’s baby (yes, I’m blaming him for that ending, but at least he didn’t just blow everyone up (spoiler alert–there are no story-ending explosions in Siege). The other person then takes that draft and works through it, adding another layer of characterization, polishing dialogue, finding typos (most of the time), and generally making it shine as much as they can. So that’s what I did.
I got to read the first draft the way most of you would have read Siege (assuming you have read it at this point and if you haven’t I highly recommend it. Siege has the origin story for Millicent Cuff, one of my favorite characters in the entire series). I started at the beginning and followed Millicent through her journey, right to the (ahem) bitter end. I did have the benefit of having read more of Millicent’s chapters from when she was older, so I was willing to forgive a lot (unlike one of our beta readers who still doesn’t like poor Millicent to this day!)
Sci-fi or Not?
Editing is a methodical process. I like to read things aloud and see how they sound. That’s my way of doing it. I mostly work on the weekends since I have a day job, so my time is limited. It means I feel a lot of pressure to get things right the first time. Luckily, Siege was very clean first draft. The only issue we had was: was it sci fi enough to represent the Zero-Point Awakening series?
I still wonder whether it has enough elements to keep sci-fi fans happy (please feel free to let us know via our contact page). But ultimately, the story has to start somewhere, and this is where Millicent’s journey began, so we had to tell it this way.
That Ending Though…
Damian handed me the draft with a warning that I wasn’t going to like the ending. He’s said above that it is an impactful ending and I think that’s right, but I do not feel (even now) that it is a frivolous one. It is the ending that Millicent needed to start her on her troubled road. A character like her needs a start just like this.
So there it is. That’s a little bit of insight into what we were thinking when we drafted and edited Siege. Let us know what you thought. Feedback like that is invaluable to writers, especially self-published ones. Without your feedback, we cannot write the stories you want to read.
I’m looking forward to being with you on this journey. We are already up to Episode Five of the series with spinoffs planned, so strap yourselves in. This is going to be a wild ride!
Siege is a sci-fi thriller. Here are some cool things we learned writing Siege, Prologue to the Zero-Point Awakening series. This is what Damian has to say about the drafting process:
Awesome learnings began with Millicent
From the start of the Zero-Point Awakening project, I knew we had to write a novelette to give to all of you wonderful subscribers. We’d just finished writing the first draft of book three when I put my hand up and said I’d write the first draft of an origin story of a character who appears for the first time in book three: Millicent Cuff.
I’m not ashamed to admit I was a little drained from writing three novels back-to-back. I got the first two chapters written over two days and then hit a wall.
Pants are optional?
The thing is, Andrew and I are both pantsers – we barely plot at all when writing a novel. It’s quite good really when combined with writing a book in partnership because it’s more like play, and neither of us knows where the story will end up. (Kudos to you if you can work it out!)
So I let it drop for a bit and got on with editing the stuff we’d already written, practically terrified of continuing with Siege, because, at that point, I couldn’t see where the story in Siege was.
Busting through walls is cool
The mistake I was making though was mostly that I wanted it to be a great read and I was trying to write perfect prose right out of the box, a really tough thing to do. Andrew spoke to me and reminded me I just needed to let the words come because, obviously, we were going to redraft and edit it.
That really helped, and by the time Gunther made a visit to Millicent’s house, I got a good idea of where things might end up.
I was still unsure at the end. All the clues I had led me to believe that it would be a very dark ending. A Titus Andronicus style ending. I’ll say no more about that, but I’m super happy with the finished first draft.
The concern I thought we might have was that it was less representative of the other books in the series than it might be – there was much less humor for sure. But as we’ve carried on writing the novels, what I’ve come to understand is we do have very dark moments where the comedy is necessarily sparse, as well as the lighter moments where we’re aiming for laughs.
All’s well that ends well?
For me, that sums up the Zero-Point Awakening series.
By the time I’d given it a redraft, I was very happy with it. There were some cool things about writing Siege that I’d learned. At that point, I handed it over to Andrew:
Watch this space for insights into our collaborative editing process. Coming up in Part 2 where we delve into the editing of a sci-fi thriller.
Haven’t read SIEGE yet? You can download it free for Kindle and other ereaders by signing up to our newsletter.
Ascension, Episode Three of Zero-Point Awakening is coming along. Currently in the second round of revisions. Here’s a sneak peek at Stanley, one of the two new POV characters from the book. #orangutans #greatapes #sciencefiction #zero-pointawakening
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