As much fun as the first, and with a better Word program to make it easier…except it turned out my publisher couldn’t open it without converting to a file that lost all the formating.  Vista might just stand for ‘Very Incovenient, Some Tasks (downright) Aggravating.’  I will admit, I managed to get a ‘page border’ in the first submission, and couldn’t get it out.  Since the first submission will no doubt need a rewrite–sometimes the editorial evaluation has some great ideas–I sent it anyway.  While working on the compatible format, I found a way to eliminate the border with a clipboard function: select the ‘copy text only’ option.  You still lose some of the formatting, but I had time to redo it.   

I’ll admit, it was tougher to write the second novel, Martian Blues, partly due to the expectation of readers who wanted it immediately, and partly due to my loss of momentum.  I wondered if I could recapture the fun and excitement of Been Blued, but with the impending alien attack, the second novel had to be a bit more serious.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to be taken seriously–just not ultra seriously.  There was that whole discussion with the publisher, which resulted in me creating the ‘putting fun into scifi’ slogan for my website.  I think I was born laughing and I keep seeing the funny side of things as life goes on.  Since so many funny, preposterous things happen at the most ironic moments, I feel compelled to write that way.  (It does make my novels easier to sell–in spite of one lady blaming me for nearly being run over three times because she reads while she walks.  Is that part of the ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ promotion?)

Here’s what’s happened so far: in Been Blued, an advanced group of people return because a space virus has wiped out their women.  They each carry a symbiont that allows them telepathy but won’t let them start a family until it senses a willing female.  In Martian Blues, the Martians have been successful in starting families, and the symbiont has spread to 92% of mankind.  Some of the non-symbiotic humans have formed an underground that seeks to defy all Martian conduct, in spite of Earth largely being at peace.  They don’t believe the Martians’ warnings about an invasion of hostile aliens, and they’re really ticked off about the alien the Martians have been passing off as human while he grows up…in spite of the fact that he’s on Earth’s side.  In the third novel (Sorry, can’t tell you the title yet, in case it gets changed,) the underground kicks things off with an almost deadly attack on the Martian matriarch’s niece.  Someone must infiltrate the underground to gather evidence, even as the matriarch plans the Martian fleet’s return to space…

There’s so much that happens in the third novel that it’s hard to write the promotional material.  I want to include everything, and it’s difficult to pick out the best stuff to whet a reader’s appetite.  There’s a lot of humor, as there should be. 

I think the publisher will notice an improvement in my writing.  An author should always try to make the next book even better than the last.  Striving for correct grammar is a good thing.

Fortunately, I came up with a lot of ideas for the fourth novel in the Martian Symbiont series while still writing the third.  It should help me complete the fourth one quicker.  It’s a bit of an adjustment, because sending any manuscript off to the publisher creates a slight sense of loss (my baby is about to grow up,) even though I know it’s not yet ‘finished.’  As much as I dream of the day when I send a manuscript and they say, ‘it’s perfect, don’t change a thing,’ I know that’s not likely to happen.  I need their objectivity.

I wanted to have the third novel done much earlier this year, but too many other things got in the way:  my job was eliminated at the end of Feb, because the owner of the store I managed closed it to retire, I spent six weeks looking for employment, worked at a job I didn’t like for three months–not a good fit, too much working alone for my personality–and quit to open my own store, the Oasis Mile Gift Center, in Dawson Creek, BC.  It all took time, but I have some ‘free’ time now while I wait for customers to come in.  I know, with Christmas coming, that won’t last.  Very little does.

Thanks for reading.  🙂

Phyllis K Twombly

About Scifialiens

Author of the Martian Symbiont series: three titles, so far; Been Blued, Martian Blues, Martian Divides. Currently writing screenplays. 'Mating With Humans' can be found on her account. Enjoyed writing from the start. Also a Star Trek and Doctor Who fan. Canadian so far. Paternal grandparents were American. Feels more at home in the States. Loves dogs and most other animals. Loves cats from afar--allergies. Plays flute and saxophone; 'messes with' keyboard and electric guitar. Single so far. Not really looking at the moment. Age: irrelevant. Not to be confused with the fictional comic book character, Phyllis Twombly, who lived for 600 years in the American Midwest.

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