The Freeing of Jonathon Mark – Update

The Freeing of Jonathon Mark is getting closer to publication. The process of crossing the ‘t’s and dotting the ‘i’s is complete thanks to the great work of Tom Flood. He’s also taught me heaps about typesetting and the ins and outs of self-publishing which has been enormously important as I will be self-publishing this project. Still, even with all his help, and endless searching and reading on the net, meeting people with contacts and experience in the publishing industry I still feel like I’m about to take a long walk off a short, windblown cliff into a rocky ocean below—blindfolded. Maybe this is normal…except for the blindfolded bit. Personally, my eyes are wide open for this jump, ready to learn and enjoy the ride!

Here is how my checklist is filling out:

1. Writing. Looking good thanks to Tom’s work on it! On its last read through right now.

2. Synopsis. I found the synopsis harder to write than the book! Seriously, how is it that summarizing my own book can be so damn hard? I guess being in the story for so long I know certain passages off by heart doesn’t help. I’ve also re-read the book at least 50 times (so far)  I’d say, so that now when I read it, it is hard to be objective.

Plus I’ve learnt that there’s an art to writing a synopsis which I’m far from mastering. So far I can say—for this synopsis anyway—that I needed to isolate the points that were most important in the book and then ‘sell’ them to potential readers, all the while making sure the synopsis stays true to the story—sounds easy saying it like that. It’s not. I like to think I’ve succeeded with the final version of The Freeing of Jonathon Mark though (you can read it below). Thanks again to Tom for his help. He told me he once won a synopsis writing competition. I now see why!

3. Book Cover.  Now that the book is written I’m suddenly in need of a book cover! The ideas for this important piece of art are flowing through my head. The concepts are clear, if only I could draw?? But, alas, if I do ‘paint’, it is with the written word tis all, so I am on the lookout for an illustrator. Do I also need a book cover designer or do I tackle that part by myself?

4. Internet site. The Freeing of Jonathon Mark is going to need it’s own web home. That means working on another site. Do I stay with wordpress or head elsewhere?

5. Printing the paperback. I’ve got quotes from a couple of printers here in France. They seem pretty reasonable. But would going with someone like Createspace be a better option? What about the transport costs of getting the books from the US to France? And to Australia?

6. Getting the eBook out and about. So many platforms. So many choices! Which are the best platforms? Is there an order to adhere to in the releasing of ebooks on ebook platforms? What is it? And why?

7. Marketing. Door knocking, book(s) in hand will be my initial approach for the paperback version. Otherwise, what should be my approach? And for the ebook? A blog tour? A good connection or two? How do I get people to read my book? To review it?

Phew! In fact, this reads more like a questionnaire than a checklist! Suddenly I feel like I’m only about halfway through the job. I’ll keep at it! I have to! The Freeing of Jonathon Mark needs to live for my own sanity and I want to give the book its best chance for a decent readership by promoting the crap out of it! So I’ll keep reading and researching. In the meantime, you can have a read of the all new wizz-bang synopsis for The Freeing of Jonathon Mark, and the first chapter—corrected, typeset and ready—as an appetizer; a little squiz into the world of Jonathon Mark. Happy reading.

Synopsis: The Freeing of Jonathon Mark:

Albert F is as blind to his space as to his own toes ‘cause his stomach is all too fat-like.
Dana K vents sexual frustration like it’s my fault she can’t get herself a fix.
Ivana F is indeed persistent. Calls me a thief but still wants to ‘date’ so she’s way too much hard work.
Jonathon M, he’s numb. That’s me, Jonathon M. Numb with grief from what I’ve put up with between morning tea and lunch, and the rest of it.

Jonathon is a sex-addict but it’s not his fault.
He is a Taker, some type of modern day psych in the growing industry of modern grief. Takers treat people for all that ails them just by listening. In session, a Taker doesn’t speak. A Taker doesn’t move. A Taker doesn’t even blink. They take till you’ve got no more negativity to give, and you feel cured, for another week at least.
It should be the last stop in the continuous cycle of grief that circulates through society, but everyone has a limit. Everyone must empty. When the grief box doesn’t suffice, Jonathon is left at the mercy of his vice, releasing back into society through sex—violently.
Then a chance meeting throws a new patient into his life. A girl whose carefree lightness of being is in complete contrast to the average patient. She makes Jonathon realise he can no longer refuse to deal with the man chasing him in his dreams, how his job makes him sick, and his own destructive vice.
Murder is his only way out, an action that leads him towards his own death and beyond, setting him on a collision course with his nemesis, the Inspector Cutafidis. It is a path he hopes will lead him to his freedom.

Chapter 1: Anatola G

Anatola G pushes through the door into my office, waiting politely to make sure it shuts. Then slowly, Anatola G, she treads her way over towards my desk on old arthritic legs. Anatola G, she has her frail, wilting body all dressed up in black.
If I could say something, I’d want to ask: Anatola, aren’t you a little warm wearing all that black on a day hot enough to turn the bitumen to treacle? But I say nothing. It’s not my job to talk.
Anatola G, as she takes the seat opposite me, I see she’s flicking prayer beads through her fingers, worrying the same index finger over them one by one. She looks at me carefully, sadly, through seriously myopic lenses. “I found him on the couch,” she says in a heavy Greek accent.
Who, I want to ask. But I don’t. My job is to listen.
“I thought he was sleeping. He looked so peaceful there, so I left him. I went to do the shopping. But when I came back, he was still sleeping.”
Again, what I want to ask is who, Mrs G? Was it the cat? But I don’t. Speaking to a client, it’s against company policy. So I keep staring at her with my consultation look. Read that – deadpan eyes. Unflinching. Unblinking.
“I try to remember the last thing I say to him before he went to sleep, but I, I can’t remember!” Her eyes, puffy and red, they betray the fact she’s been doing some major crying. “Oh, my dear Stavros,” she wails, “why did you have to leave me? Why, God? Why did you have to make my husband die?”
Suddenly the pieces of this little puzzle fall into place. What I do next, I don’t want to do. Letting Anatola G wail a little, it might do her some good. Heal a bit of the hurt. But, by company policy, I don’t have a choice.
“Anatola,” I say.
Anatola G, she stops wailing. “They told me you wouldn’t speak?”
“Yes, I’m sorry,” I say. “Normally that’s how it works, but I’m sorry. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” Right there, I’d be the biggest arsehole in the world.
“But my husband, he’s, he’s died. They told me by talking to you I could feel better!”
“There’s been a mistake,” I continue. “I can’t help you. I can’t take your pain.”
“I, I don’t understand?”
“I know you’re grieving. But here, we don’t deal with that type of grief. The type of grief we deal with is modern grief. It’s different.”
Anatola G, she just looks confused.
Fair enough too. It sounds so ridiculous, so silly to me to be saying this to an old woman with real pain, real need, that I can’t begin to imagine how it must sound to her. I try again. “Unfortunately, I can’t help you,” I go. “You, talking to me, I’m not going to be able to take the grief of the loss of your husband away from you.”
“But, but, I don’t understand? It doesn’t make sense.”
Me, I want to say you’re right, it doesn’t make sense, but you’re suffering from old-style grief. I want to say just by talking about your loss, maybe you will feel better, but I won’t be taking your grief from you. I want to say it’s a fucked up world, but according to company policy, there just isn’t enough money in old-style grief for you to be taking up my time, sitting here in front of me telling me about it. But all I say is, “I’m sorry, Anatola, really. I’m going to have to insist that you leave now.”
And the poor old woman, poor old confused Anatola G, she slowly, painfully pulls herself to her feet, retreads the path back to the door and leaves, waiting politely for the door to shut before silently moving away.

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