Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Author: Isaac Sweeney
Genre: Short Stories
How long it's been on sale: June 19, 2011
Current price: $.99
Marketing: Twitter, Facebook, press release, blog. Not much else.
Total sold so far: 1
Link to book on Amazon: Evolvement
These nine stories are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, unusual when necessary, and always insightful. The collection displays a variety of topics and genres, from young adult paranormal, to women’s fiction, to more cerebral musings on death and loneliness. The individual stories all present intriguing characters who find sometimes-unexpected ways to grow. The collection as a whole has an inspirational theme of maturation and personal development.
Evolvement consists of stories from the previously released ebooks Hard Creek Bridge: a short story, Wouldn’t Last Forever, and Against Her Fading Hour, along with three new stories.
About 15,000 words total.
First 300 Words:
Hard Creek Bridge
Slim Jackson glided through Abe Lincoln University’s fall orientations and ‘Freshmen Only’ parties with ease and still managed to enter his second semester friendless and shy. During his first college winter break, he did all of the things that made him miss his country home when he left for school. He woke up every morning to Mom’s fresh bacon and eggs. He helped Dad chop wood in the evenings. Some afternoons, he would sit on the back porch and stare into the people-less forest. Now, back at school, there was no wood or fresh food. But there was especially no Mom and Dad.
Slim, a short, thin, young man, stepped off the bus to a crowded, unforgiving atmosphere, where socks matched every day, and peers cared about name brands. His thin, orange backpack was nearly empty and he carried his clothes in a shiny, brown duffel bag. He wore his late grandfather’s adjustable, blue, wordless cap over his shoulder-length brown hair. He wore that cap every day since his grandfather died twelve years ago. Slim always saw it as a bright blue symbol on his head, one that signified allegiance to another place and time. The only time he took it off was when he showered.
The bus dropped Slim off in a different section of campus than it did the first semester. He was never forced to walk this way to the dorm before. It was early evening and getting dark. Students would soon be tucked in their rooms to avoid the air’s chill. The streets were already quieter than usual. Slim walked beside a pothole-filled road. There was no sidewalk, so he balanced on the thin section of asphalt past where the road lines ended. He didn’t mind the stroll. He liked to walk alone. At least, that’s what he told himself. The road twisted through campus like string through a knot. Still new to campus, Slim just followed the arrowed signs to his dorm, but the road only seemed to lead him farther and farther away.
Vicki's Comments: The cover isn't bad, but I think it can be improved. My main issue with it is I can't get a feeling of genre from it. In fact, I'm not sure if the stories in this collection have a central genre, which is a problem.
I would prefer if the description took a story or two from the collection and tried to hook me into wanting to read them. Try to avoid subjective statements in the description. Some stories might be sad or funny to you, but maybe won't be sad or funny to someone else.
The writing could use some work also. The story starts with back story. Back story is boring to the reader. Most people prefer starting with a scene and then learning little details about the character as the scene progresses.
I would suggest joining a critique group, critiquecircle.com is my favorite. I see talent in the writing, but it needs some polish. If you can get the writing polished up, people will come back for more of your stories.
What do you guys think?