New paperback releases!

I’m thrilled to announce that my novels ‘The Gun of Our Maker’ and ‘Cycles of Udaipur’ are now available as actual, physical, smell-the-pages paperback editions!

David Brookes author

Don’t have an e-reader? Now you don’t need one to experience the literary wonders you see before you. Already have the e-book versions? Get a hard copy too and then your friends will be impressed by the taste of your bookcase!

Order your paperback of ‘The Gun of Our Maker’ by clicking here.

Order your paperback of ‘Cycles of Udaipur’ by clicking here.

You can see my original e-book release posts here (‘GOOM‘) and here (‘COU‘).

As always, if you read either version of the novels then please leave a review so that other readers can see what you thought of them. Sales are massively affected by positive reviews and, since I have no marketing clout, I rely on reviews almost exclusively to keep these novels from slipping into oblivion.

Thanks to everyone who’s given me their support over the years!

—db

Free short stories from David Brookes!

About a year ago I chose to give up writing genre fiction, which I’d been writing since I was 13, and focus on what I considered more ‘literary’ fiction. With the exception of the re-release of ‘Half Discovered Wings’, my first novel (2009) and a fantasy, which was more for nostalgia than anything else, my efforts have been towards more meaningful (and marketable) fiction:

I also discontinued sale of some of my other material that was available on Amazon and Smashworlds, namely the science fiction short story collection ‘The Gas Giant Sequence’ and the steampunk fantasy adventure stories in my ‘Professor Arnustace’ series. Although I’m super proud of these works, which were a lot of fun to write, and despite the fact that they sold far more than my other releases, they weren’t fitting with the direction I wanted to go in. I know, how arty of me.

It’s both pleasing and distressing that I’ve had such a response from readers about this. The second ‘Professor Arnustace’ story in particular had some of my best reviews, and I still get messages asking whether there will be a third. Although I don’t have plans for the gentleman detective, as a thank-you I’ve decided to make all my discontinued stories available here for free. Yay!

You will need to connect your e-reader to your computer to copy across the files to your device.

Happy reading!

–db


The Gas Giant Sequence

Krill Split Omnibus cover

Part 1: Krill
Part 2: Split
Part 3: Tranquil Sea
Part 4: Tulpa


The Professor Arnustace Stories

Professor Arnustace

Story 1: An Account of a Curious Encounter
Story 2: Iced Tea for Professor Arnustace


 

Available for pre-order: ‘Cycles of Udaipur’ by David Brookes

I’m thrilled to announce that my new novel, ‘Cycles of Udaipur’, is currently available for pre-order! It will be published in ebook format to coincide with Maha Shivaratri, the Hindu festival in honour of the deity Shiva, occurring on Monday 7th March 2016.

You can read more about the book and pre-order your copy here on Amazon (for Kindle) or here on Smashwords (for non-Kindle e-readers).


 

Final Cover 01


 

CYCLES OF UDAIPUR
David Brookes

Rajasthan is a vivid land of colour and spice, Maharajahs
and gods. But the vibrant city of Udaipur is not the peaceful
Hindu refuge it once was, and as India races towards
modernity its youth faces a cultural identity crisis.

When young Raj hits a cow with his motorcycle, little does
he know that he has started a chain reaction that will
obliterate his close-knit group of friends. Mariam is a Muslim
artist forbidden to paint Hindu deities. Her paramour Shiv
aches to be a politician in a city ruled by gangland overlords.
And lovelorn Vansh finds himself sucked into a mystical
vortex from which his mind may not recover.

Set against the sweeping grandeur of Rajasthani history,
Cycles of Udaipur spins on the axle of tradition and
progress: a tangled web of hope, faith and enduring passion
that epitomises a new India heretofore unknown to the West.


 

Thanks again to everyone for their encouragement and support. Happy reading!

—db


 

New Release: ‘Cycles of Udaipur’ – coming soon!

I’m extremely happy to announce that my latest novel, ‘Cycles of Udaipur’, is almost ready for publication via Amazon and Smashwords!

Set in colourful Rajasthan, India, ‘Cycles of Udaipur’ has been described as a coming-of-age story for a whole country, as India rapidly modernises in the wake of Partition and globalisation.

More details to follow! Thanks to everyone whose love and support helped bring about this novel after four years of hard work.

199 Pichola Lake

Pichola Lake, Udaipur – 2012. (C) David Brookes

—db

Hiring a Freelance Editor: Dos and Don’ts

David Brookes editor

If you’re thinking of hiring a professional proofreader or editor to look at your essay, thesis, fiction, CV or business report, then you aren’t the only one. This is extremely common practice across the world, and there are a lot of resources available to make this simple and easy for you.

There are several websites for hiring freelancers. Elance.com and Freelancer.com are two popular examples. As a freelance editor and ghostwriter, I prefer Freelancer.com for its ease of use and the quality of the projects that are available. Think of these sites as a kind of eBay for services. You, the employer, will post a project listing your requirements, budget and deadline, and freelancers will tender for the job. One of them might be me, so keep an eye out for the best!

David Brookes, freelance writer and editorLook at this guy! He looks so hardworking and honest. You’d trust him to babysit your kids!

When looking to hire a freelance proofreader or editor, there are some simple dos and don’ts that you should bear in mind:

DON’T:

  • Hire the cheapest freelancer. I hate to use adages, but “you get what you pay for” is true for editing and ghostwriting services too. The cheapest are often non-native speakers with poor skills, or actually agencies disguised as individuals. If someone seems like the best person for the job, this should be your priority, not the fee. Maybe it will be worth spending those few extra quid.
  • Expect a freelancer to sign a contract just because you asked. You might think an off-the-net non-disclosure agreement or ghostwriting contract is sound, but most freelancers aren’t lawyers and you probably aren’t either. If you feel a contract is necessary, work with your freelancer to write one that is as simple as possible that you can both accept – it’s still binding, with the added advantage that you both actually know what the hell you’re signing!
  • Disrespect the professional. Just because you’re hiring someone it doesn’t mean you can treat them like dirt. A lot of people subconsciously watch others for the ‘waiter rule‘, so behave like someone is watching (often there is: most freelance sites have a dispute and arbitration team). You will get better results by building rapport and acting sympathetically towards your freelancer’s other commitments and responsibilities. So be cool, guy.

DO:

  • Be clear with your requirements. My favourite employers are ones who tell me exactly what they expect from me. That way I can do a great  job for them first time without any complications or second attempts. It works out best for everybody that way, so don’t feel that you’re asking too much by spelling out your project requirements.
  • Choose your freelancer carefully – very carefully. There are a lot of freelancers out there. Some of them are underqualified, and some are downright shifty. If you’re writing in English, you will get better results hiring someone who’s native language is English. This may sound obvious, but there are a lot of people on freelancing sites, particular from India and Africa, who have convincing proposals and highly-rated reviews. However, I’ve spoken first hand with people who have paid for well-written proposals, and many reviews are from employers in their own countries who don’t necessarily realise they have received a substandard product. Be wary of profiles that don’t have an individual touch, such as a photo – a lot of ‘freelancers’ are actually agencies, where one person with decent English skills subcontracts to lesser-skilled workers in exchange for a commission. Chat to your freelancer before hiring them and be prepared to ask blunt questions.
  • Ask for testimonials and/or samples. One way of weeding out the dodgy freelancers is to ask for testimonials and samples of their editing work. These can be faked too, but if you’re really astute you will probably spot those that might be copied off the internet, or with annotations written in a style different to your freelancer’s manner of speaking. If you’re hiring via a site like Freelancer.com, check out the freelancer’s reviews in detail instead of just relying on the overall rating.
  • Have fun! Your editor is a person too, and however professional they behave they are just as likely as you to want a friendly chat and how-d’you-do if you both have the time. Especially when working on longer texts like theses or novels, you’ll be spending a lot of time talking to one another, so don’t be afraid to get to know your editor, build a rapport, and enjoy the process!

—db


 

David Brookes is a freelance editor in the UK. You can hire him via the Contact page or his profile on Freelancer.com.

‘Half Discovered Wings’ – now available

Further to my last post, the new and improved ‘Half Discovered Wings’, is now available to buy from the Amazon store (here) and Smashwords (here)!

For those of you who missed my first traditionally-published novel in 2009, now’s your chance to read the definitive edition for only 99p – or FREE for a short time only if you get it from Smashwords!

It’s really important that I hear from everyone who opens the book, so please leave a review and get in touch via the Contact page with your thoughts!

Thanks again to everyone for their support, and happy reading!

—db


David Brookes - Half Discovered Wings

It’s neither money nor morality that sends Joseph Gabel on his continent-wide pursuit,
but the death of his love, destroyed by a creature who evades his capture.

Hired by a mysterious magus, one of many supernaturally-powered
individuals known as errants, the hunter travels towards the city of Shianti, built inside a huge crater – a remnant of the war which destroyed the world as we know it,
and unleashed a darkness too terrifying to imagine.

With the magus, a sick amnesiac, a mutant and an armour-imprisoned knight,
Gabel travels to rid the world of an all-powerful evil,
before it takes what’s left of the dead planet and tears it to pieces…

This definitive version of ‘Half Discovered Wings’, with a new introduction by the author, is available in e-format for the first time.


New Release: ‘Half Discovered Wings’

Hello friends and fans,

In 2009 an early fantasy novel of mine, ‘Half Discovered Wings’, was accepted for publication. Eventually the rights reverted to me and I decided to re-release the book in 2015 as an ebook for Kindle and other e-readers. I’m now extremely happy to present a new and improved ‘Half Discovered Wings’, available to pre-order from the Amazon store (here) and Smashwords (here). The release date is 1st August as an early birthday present to myself!

Rather than blather on about it, I’ll include the new Introduction below, along with the blurb and final cover.

For those of you who missed my first traditionally-published novel in 2009, now’s your chance to pre-order the definitive edition for only 99p – or FREE for a short time only if you get it from Smashwords!

It’s really important that I hear from everyone who opens the book, so please leave a review and get in touch via the Contact page with your thoughts!


David Brookes - Half Discovered Wings

It’s neither money nor morality that sends Joseph Gabel on his continent-wide pursuit,
but the death of his love, destroyed by a creature who evades his capture.

Hired by a mysterious magus, one of many supernaturally-powered
individuals known as errants, the hunter travels towards the city of Shianti, built inside a huge crater – a remnant of the war which destroyed the world as we know it,
and unleashed a darkness too terrifying to imagine.

With the magus, a sick amnesiac, a mutant and an armour-imprisoned knight,
Gabel travels to rid the world of an all-powerful evil,
before it takes what’s left of the dead planet and tears it to pieces…

This definitive version of ‘Half Discovered Wings’, with a new introduction by the author, is available in e-format for the first time.


Introduction from the 2015 edition

‘Half Discovered Wings’ was many years in the making. I completed an early draft when I was 19 prior to undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing at Bretton Hall University. It underwent numerous changes in the years since, including the title, characters and several major aspects of the plot. Although there are many traditional fantasy elements in HDW, later drafts attempted to make these as original as possible, within the confines of the novel’s world and the wider literary universe that I had just begun to create. HDW is a stand-alone novel, but fits into a vast timeline of interconnected stories that currently accounts for no less than 9 unpublished novels and at least 3 unwritten ones.

For this reason, it was a big deal for me to land a publishing deal in 2009 (9 years after completion) with a traditional publisher who put a previous version of HDW on the shelves. Sadly it was not a company strong in marketing prowess or publishing clout, and so the book had a few months of modest success before being largely ignored. A few copies of the paperback edition still exist in warehouses and libraries across the UK and US, and I’m occasionally thrilled to see another purchase order drop into my inbox even after all this time.

Many years later, long after the global economic downturn made publishing a distant dream for most unestablised writers, I decided to revisit my old world and characters. It happened not without a great deal of nostalgic love. I’m thrilled to now present what I consider to be the definitive edition of ‘Half Discovered Wings’, newly revised and enhanced, in e-book format for the first time.

There are several people to whom I owe great thanks. The first must always be my mother Diana Smallwood, for her constant love and support even after I’m way too old to be dependant on it. I should also thank my small circle of creative friends who, without knowing it, encouraged me to continue with writing even in midst of abject hoplessness: poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard, writer/lecturer Andrew Palmer, actor/comedians Canan Cahit and Philip Mason, writer Angelin Sydney and writer/teacher Sarah Cason, amongst others. A special thanks must go to Gabriella Kakonyi, who devoted more support for my “talent” in one year than I ever deserved. Thank you all.

For any editing, proofreading or ghostwriting work, please check out The St. Paul’s Literary Service at STPediting.wordpress.com.


A note on the cover

You might notice that the cover shown is not the one I’ve been blathering on about the last few weeks (here and here). Although I was thrilled by the commissioned design by talented artist Vasco Duarte, I wasn’t able to put together a convincing cover design that best represented the novel. In the end I designed my own simple cover in a style that I knew I could replicate should I decide to release the related novels I wrote between 2002 and 2011.

For fun, below are the alternate cover designs for ‘Half Discovered Wings’:

Half Discovered Wings - David Brookes - Mischa FulljamesAbove: Original cover by Mischa Fulljames
for the 2009 Libros International edition.

Half Discovered Wings - David Brookes - Vasco Duarte Above: Unused design by Vasco Duartes
for the 2015 re-release.

Half Discovered Wings - David Brookes - Vasco DuarteAbove: My weak attempt at turning Vasco’s great design
into a respectable book cover – unused.

David Brookes - Half Discovered Wings

Above: Final cover design by me, David Brookes,
for the definitive 2015 edition of ‘Half Discovered Wings’.


Half Dis-coloured Wings – ‘HDW’ cover preview #2

Things are moving ahead at a rapid pace for the e-book re-release of my first novel, “Half Discovered Wings”.

My incredible cover artist Vasco Duarte recently sent me the fully-inked, black and white cover, which I’m very pleased to present below. How about that for some desolate wilderness!?

The final cover promises to be very stylish and I’m extremely pleased with this fresh, modern-looking vision of Joseph Gabel en route to his destiny.

David Brookes - Half Discovered WingsI recommend you check out Vasco Duarte’s awesome art via his Facebook page or his Behance profile. The new cover promises to be very cool, and I can’t wait to share it!

I’m planning a 1st August release for ‘Half Discovered Wings’, so please check in for more details in the next week or so!

—db

New Release: “The Gun of Our Maker”

I’m very pleased to announce that my first full length e-book is now available to buy from online retailers.

“The Gun of Our Maker” is a classic tale of vengeance set in the Old West. You can purchase it from Amazon (here) or Smashwords (here).


The Gun of Our Maker - David BrookesMinnesota, 1859: a man is executed for skimming
from a silver mine to provide for his family.

Arizona, 1877: the sins of the father catch up with the son

Six weeks later: a man on horseback scales
the forests of the Mogollon Rim. He is
searching for Bill Hawken, a renowned gunsmith.

Vivian Culhane is far from a typical hero. Crippled by a
childhood illness, he is weak, blind – yet unstoppable.

Together they will build an instrument of vengeance
that will be known across Arizona, New Mexico and
Texas – a revolver that produces red smoke,
with a limited supply bullets and a thirst for justice.


The Gun of Our Maker is a full-length Western at around 63,000 words, and is available at the bargain price of only 99p!  If you like your West old and your vengeance bloody, pick up a copy, leave a review, and meet me back here for news of more upcoming releases!

Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement.

—db

Welcome

Featured

Welcome to The STP Literary Service website,
the official site of freelance writer and editor David Brookes.

On this site you can check out his ghostwriting and editorial services, view his portfolio and feedback, and follow his regular blog (below) for news about his latest literary publications and new services for writers of all kinds.

David Brookes
The STP Literary Service