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Monthly Archives: October 2014

As promised, I got started on book two in the Jack and Elle Mysteries series this weekend. I have finished the prologue and first chapter.
This one takes place mostly in Hawaii on the island of Oahu.
It opens up with the view from Nuuanu Pali Park on the windward side of the island. The wind even has a role in the book, but no more spoilers.
I have a working title now, it is “Malama Pono”, which means “take care” in Hawaiian.
I’m really enjoying writing this book even more than the first in the series. I think it has to do with me already knowing the characters and remembering the lessons I earned from writing the first book. I expect this one to go much quicker.
Thanks for reading. Keep it up.
JB Collum

My final edits are done on the first book in the “Jack and Elle Mysteries” series! Well, final until I hear back from the editors. 😉 I had been trying to wrap this up for over a week and kept adding to the ending and changing it around some, but I am finally happy with it.
Until I hear back from the editors, I have nothing to do on the book except to continue to tweak the back cover/dust jacket description, so I plan on starting book two from the series tomorrow. This one takes place in Hawaii as you will see is foreshadowed at the end of book one.
I finally watched this week’s Castle and they completely redeemed themselves by hanging a lantern on the whole amnesia plot line and for the most part easing up on the strain in the Beckett/Castle relationship, but I will say no more about this in case it could be a spoiler.
I am very excited about next Tuesday. A successful writer who is an acquaintance of mine has agreed to go to lunch with me and provide me some sage advice on the whole writing thing. He helped me get my first story published a long, long time ago and I still owe him for that. So, I am grateful he is still willing to help me out.
That isn’t the only thing happening on Tuesday. My wife and I are attending the Best of Augusta Bash at Sacred Heart Cultural Center Tuesday night and I hope to make some connections there to help promote the book. I just bought the tickets online and you can do that as well by following this link: It looks like it will be a lot if fun.  I hope to see you there.
JB Collum

I finished the first draft of the summary for the back cover/dust jacket. I’m not happy with it yet though, of course. I think it needs some humor so people will know that the book is more of a mystery/comedy or that it at least has a lot of humor in it. That way, if they like that(and I think most people do) then it will be more encouragement for them to buy it, and if they don’t, they won’t buy it only to promptly return it.
After a few more passes on it, I’ll post it here to get your input.
I haven’t watched last night’s Castle yet, but I plan on it this evening and will share my thoughts after that.
I am down to the last chapter corrections on the book now and that is the hardest part because I had to fix so much based on refreshing my memory from the recent proof-reading I just completed. Along the way I decided to change an aspect of the ending, so that is making things take a little longer, but it is worth it.
I haven’t heard back from the editor at all yet, but I know she is busy and I’ve made zero progress in finding additional editors.
I also haven’t gotten my authors photo back from the photographer so I will call them sometime today to find out.
Thanks for reading and keeping up.
JB Collum

I sent the book to the editor this morning! I still have a little cleanup to do on the last two chapters and the epilogue,  but I will have that all done well before she gets that far.
I am on the lookout for an extra editor however. I want to get it done in time to release the book before November and that is a big job for one part-time editor. I have some ideas on that, and I hope to have another editor working on it soon. If anyone wants to volunteer or if you have someone to suggest, I am all-ears.
I’ll check back in tomorrow at the latest.
Thanks for reading. Please keep it up.
JB Collum

I had a pretty decent day. I now only have five chapters left to proof read. I would have done better, but now that I am up to the chapters that I wrote after the long break, I have a lot more corrections to make.  Remind me never to do that again.
Another thing that slowed me down was college football. So many upsets today! Four of the top six have lost this week! Big changes coming in the AP top 25. I’m hoping my Dawgs (Georgia) get a good bump up in the rankings. Congratulations are in order for the entire state of Mississippi after Ole Miss beat number 3, Alabama and Mississippi State embarrassed number 6,Texas A&M.
I also talked to one of my editors about finishing up the first four or five chapters soon so I can post them as samples here. She promised to work on it soon.
I forgot to mention earlier that I had a photo session this week too for the author’s photo for the dust jacket. She’s not done with it yet though. Once she is, I will add it to the website and the Facebook page too. We still have to schedule the photo shoots for the front and back covers and I hope that will happen late this month or early November at the latest and that would be pushing things.
Back to college football for now. Have a great weekend.
JB Collum

I am up to chapter 34 of 47 in my proof reading/editing, so we are getting very close.
I plan on spending most of Saturday finishing this up and I hope to report by late Saturday that it is off to the editors. Time will tell.
Once that is done, and I get the word back on the first few chapters, and if the changes are minor, I plan to release the first few chapters for free as a sample here on the blog shortly after that.
The great part about this self-editing is that it is reacquainting me with parts of the book I haven’t read in more than a year and thus in turn is allowing me to fix some consistency/continuity issues caused by my long interval between writing. Writing my next book all at once should help me to avoid this in the future.
Thanks for reading,
JB Collum

As I inch closer to finishing my first mystery novel, I am beginning to think of which book I want to do next. I have just about settled on writing the next book in my mystery series versus working on one of my science fiction books or short stories. I outlined nine books in total for this series already, though I haven’t completely settled on the order of them. One thing I am leaning towards though is setting the next story in Hawaii. I had planned for the one set in Hawaii to be the third or fourth book, but now I am pretty sure it will be next because ideas for it are popping up in my head with increasing frequency.

I’ll decide by the time I finish my proof-reading and I will let everyone know here on the blog.

Castle Spoiler Alert: Read no further if you haven’t seen the season debut!!!!!!

On another note, one of my favorite TV shows, Castle, had its season debut this week and I watched it last night. It was great to get back in touch with this familiar friend, but I must admit to being a little disappointed. Not because it wasn’t entertaining, but because part of the plot was making Castle look like a bad guy to a certain extent and we will have to wait until later in the season to know if there is any truth to it because he lost his memory. Those are two plot points that I do not care for in one episode. Makes me sad. Why and what are they you ask? Thanks for asking. I will enumerate them:
1. We know that it will turn out that whatever he did was either for a good reason or that he didn’t actually do it. I hate it when main characters are put into this fake jeopardy. Castle is the main character, the show bears his name. He can’t die or really be bad unless the producers and writers want an angry mob of fans. This is a comedy/drama not Game of Thrones after all.
2. Amnesia? Really? Hasn’t that been done? At least hang a Lantern on that cliché. I’m okay with this as a plot point, if you really need it, but maybe once and not on a season debut please.
With all that said, however, I still love the show and I look forward to them proving me wrong as they carry this subplot through at least part of the season. Maybe it will be great. I’ve been wrong before. All I ask is, settle it by mid-season, please.


Sorry for the long gap between posts, but the book is nearly ready. I am reviewing it once more and writing the final wrap up and plan on finishing it within the next week. Simultaneously, I am about to turn it over to the editors a few chapters at a time, as I finish reviewing and correcting them. Once they have finished the first few chapters, I am planning on posting them here as a preview to hopefully get some people interested in reading it. I expect that to happen very shortly, as within a week or two. We’ll just have to see.
Now that things are moving much faster, I plan on posting at least daily about something relating to this book or future books. Please stay tuned. I hope to make it worth your while.
I will say this for now, I have learned many lessons about writing while doing this, not the least of which is to not stop writing a book once you’ve started. I had a long gap in writing in between the first 50,000 words of this book and the rest of it. That increased the difficulty one thousand fold. Never again.
J. C.