martin white | author

Opening Club Medusa

Opening Club Medusa

As it’s not long now til the new book, Club Medusa, finally takes over the world (in my dreams at least) I thought I’d start sharing a few more bits and pieces about the background and the practicalities of it all. I decided to do a couple of pages at the end of the book, a sort of ‘making of’ about how long it took, where the inspiration came from etc so I don’t want to steal my own thunder by spilling all the beans here – but I thought it would be nice just give a few tasters. Plus, if I went into detail there would be spoilers…

Firstly – here’s the blurb. The almost ultimate, maybe, I think, possibly, definitely the final spiel on the back of the book. Yes folks, however it ends up in final form, this is what you’ll get between the covers…

“After a violent end to their military careers, Gerry and Paul have rebuilt their lives as civilians. Two years later, the tragic spectres in their past are finally beginning to fade. 

But when Gerry has a crisis, a simple plan is agreed: meet up in Edinburgh’s Old Town, visit some old haunts, drink beer, talk things through – then go home. What could possibly go wrong?

More than anyone could imagine…

After being drawn into a senseless brawl outside a night club, both men soon find themselves running for their lives through twisting closes in the oldest and most unpredictable part of town. 

A chance meeting in a side street leads to an offer of refuge, to be guests in a private club under an old tenement building – but this party isn’t what it seems. They don’t let just anyone in, nothing is really ‘on the house’ and before long these two ex-soldiers realise all the horrors of war are nothing compared to what lies ahead for them in Club Medusa…”   

It’s not a spoiler to say that this book is all set in and around the Cowgate in Edinburgh. When I was about eight or nine years old, my parents (I think) gave me a short book called ‘The Ghosts, Witches and Worthies of the Royal Mile’. I loved that book and all the stories in it: Mary Kings Close, Deacon Brodie, Major Weir and his evil walking stick, Half-hanged Maggie Dickson – all the scariest greatest hits were there, and most were in places I could go and look at if I pestered my parents hard enough. Must admit, I’ve never really grown out of that – I still love strange local stories and visiting the places to soak up the vibes. Maybe that’s a pastime that should have a proper name? 

Anyway, that was one of the main reasons I wanted all the action to happen in and around those streets. I wanted the Old Town to play a part in shaping events and at the same time maybe help readers realise how much of a past there is down there other than just a few nightspots and bars. And if I could scare the crap out of some people along the way, that would be good too. I hope I succeeded in at least some of it.

Amidst the worldwide isolation and real life world horror of the last few weeks I’ve been concentrating on formatting the book for Kindle, trying to get the above blurb right for the back of the book and working on a book trailer. I had no idea there were such things as book trailers until Clive Barkers last Abarat book came out and a superb little piece of terrifying animation/live action was put out to publicise it. Well, my trailer ain’t a patch on that, but for a budget that was so small that it didn’t actually exist, I think it’s shaping up okay. Never thought Id have to learn how to be a film director to become a more successful writer but there you go. More about that later.

So here are a few bits of advice I’d offer after my recent book formatting adventures:

  1. First paragraph indents on Kindle are set at 5mm. Anything else and it’ll look silly on a Kindle reader. If you go into Word and set your paragraph indents for 5mm then you won’t have to go through your entire manuscript and redo all the spacing. Like, umm, someone I know had to.
  2. Line spacing on a Kindle is single spacing – most people tend to write in double spacing – which is fine – but remember to keep everything consistent so you can just single space the entire manuscript before you upload it to Amazon.
  3. Keep your spaces, pauses, titles and chapter headings as code free as possible – as in don’t use the space bar to put things where they ‘should’ be and don’t worry about how everything looks on your draft work – the more spaces, pauses and excess computer blips there are on your document, the more cranky the Kindle formatting software is likely to be. If in doubt, press the ‘show/hide’ button on the home page in Word – the wee symbol that looks like a backwards P – it’ll show you all the keystrokes you’ve made – the object should be to have no unnecessary witchcraft sigil things hidden on the page. It’ll throw off the formatting and will most likely encourage demons too. Or, as one person said on Facebook after I passed this advice on, you can just ignore all that sort of stuff and pay an editor to do it for you. For about £600.
  4. Errr… pay attention to the size of your books when you’re ordering advance copies – the size of the trimmed book isn’t the size of the full trimmed cover. As I found out when my first batch of books came back in A4 size. Oh well, large print copies I suppose…

And so the next couple of weeks should see a final cover draft, advance reader copies going out, a trailer release, me boring the crap out of everyone on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram about this awesome new book – and me finally getting to think about the next project a bit more.

Thats the plan anyway…

#clubmedusa #clubmedusabook #edinburghhorror #martinwhiteauthor


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