Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Out of Bounds - Plot Synopsis

Framed for murder and trapped in a conspiracy set in motion by a narcotics trafficking network, a cash-strapped man soon regrets accepting an easy and well-paid job. It was simply too good to be true.

KYLE HUNT, an over-anxious thirty-three-year-old security equipment installer, living in Charleston, South Carolina, with his girlfriend PILAR TELLEZ and their two daughters, is having difficulty making ends meet. When local businessman HECTOR RAMIREZ and his tough associate RAY DUPREE call on him for an off-the-record installation of a surveillance system and offer twenty thousand dollars in compensation, Hunt recklessly carries out the task. In the process he inadvertently sees private information about stored merchandise, which ultimately backfires on him as a cargo facility is soon after robbed and a homicide is committed.

Relentlessly looking for the killer of the cargo facility employee, veteran homicide detective JACOB BORNHOLM has earmarked Hunt as his prime suspect. And, to make matters worse, Dupree also reckons Hunt is responsible for the heist. The threats begin. With a view to protect his family, Hunt keeps Pilar in the dark regarding the events.

Alone in the struggle, and in an attempt to unravel the set-up, Hunt begins his own investigation and must fend off his doubts and uncertainties, as well as the emotional demons of his past and present to prove he is merely a fall guy.

Bornholm, meanwhile, pursues his search for the bigger picture, counting on his experience and determination to tackle the obstacles in his way. Be it the false trails, supervisor pressure, inter-agency confidentiality, or the comeback of DEA legend HARVEY WHITE, Bornholm must venture beyond the boundaries of his limited local authority in order to seek justice.

Hunt and Bornholm’s interwoven investigations go crescendo and pit them against a complex interstate narcotic trafficking network as well as a sadistic Ray Dupree on a weak link elimination rampage.

As the trap closes on Hunt, and his world goes increasingly haywire, he is forced to take matters into his own hands and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Hunt, Dupree, and Bornholm: Three different men with different game plans, but all ultimately following the same trail of death and deceit in a journey that will take them, in turn, from Charleston to the exotic, yet dangerous streets of Miami’s Little Havana, and the Florida Keys.

With the escalation of violence around him, Hunt must push himself to the limit to save his loved ones. Defeat is not an option.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

No Turning Back

The novel's title is "Out of Bounds".

No it wasn't chosen at random.
"Out of Bounds" reflects the crazy situation Kyle (my main protagonist) is facing. It also implies that, in addition to the circumstances, the characters are all acting beyond the ordinary limits. The killer, Ray, brings in scenes of mayhem. The police detective has several dilemmas and must act out of his capacity and jurisdiction. Finally, I suppose "Out of Bounds" leave some room for guessing.

I've also reached a critical publishing milestone.

I've submitted my work to the publisher, made a few decisions on publishing outlets and prices (that ultimately impacts the royalties I will hopefully perceive). It took some thinking, I assure you.

Last week, I finalised my manuscript and managed to survive a very tedious page layout process, making sure the work fits Amazon's requirements. It was long and, as a novice, quite challenging. Still, I got to grips with issues such as page size, margins, paragraph indents. Margins were the main pain in the neck.

This week, I placed my work on the Amazon's online DIY book submission service, Createspace. I also submitted a pdf of the book cover, which was designed by a friend, Bertrand. I got the front cover photo from Oscar, a photographer based near Barcelona, Spain. And the back cover palm tree photo was sent to me by a talented amateur called Kaytee. She's based in Michighan, USA.

Here's a screen shot of the cover I'm using. The front cover photo makes me think of Kyle.

So what next?

The book is currently undergoing review and I will soon be able to order a sample copy of the paperback. Once that arrives in the post and I'm happy with it, I'll push the required buttons on Createspace and the book will be available on Amazon.com. That's what will happen in an ideal world, but I'm optimistic and not considering delays just yet.

Of course, my chances of success are undermined if I go the print route only. So I'm also actively looking at ebook publishing and this will allow readers to obtain copies of the book at a lower price.

I'm aiming for compatability with Kindle and Kobo and various other ebook readers. I am primarily submitting my work to a website called Smashwords, which offers exposure with online retail platforms such as Barnes & Noble.

That's it for now. Light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Getting There

I have nearly finished with the edits, and the final copy of the novel should be ready in the upcoming days.

I hope the reading of the end result will flow better after having trimmed the word count. I am also in the process of formatting the manuscript for submission to the online publishers and annexing new pages such as the acknowledgements, copyright, and "about the author" sections (what the hell am I going to put in the latter?!).

On another note, I have finally chosen the title. I'm 99% sure I will use it, but I'll only announce what it is when I reach the 100% threshold. Sorry to keep you waiting, but it's a big commitment. Once you've made the title public, there's no turning back.

I have found help for the book cover. Mastering image formatting software is simply beyond me. So a kind friend has come in to design something decent for me. I have also secured permission to use two photos and I'm sure they will look good on the cover. They should reflect the darkness of the gritty world I have written about. My friend is currently working on the project and I'll soon be able to see the first samples of what he is doing. This is exciting!

Online publishers have templates for book covers and I could have easily opted for one of those. However, I think it is important though to produce something which leaves a visual impression and not a generic, bland, and easily-forgotten cover. My cover needs to convey some kind of crime fiction imagery, without exaggerating too much and being 'giallo'. That way the reader can easily categorize the book and not be tricked into reading a sci-fi or erotic fiction novel, for instance.

Sure, my book will only be available online and these comments apply mainly to books in retail stores, but it's crucial to try and stand out.