Posts Tagged ‘gabriel’s journey’

Gabriel’s Journey, the complete trilogy with bonus Zero Point prequel, on sale 33% off while I’m away! Spread the word?

May 27, 2012 1 comment

While I’m away, the price gremlins will play! Last week I ran some two-day sales on the individual books in the Gabriel series; starting today, the complete collection of Gabriel’s Journey (including the Gabriel: Zero Point prequel) will be on sale for 33% off. Hey, that’s almost one third!

The regular price is $8.99 (which is a steal, IMO, if you consider the combined costs of the three: $3.99 + $4.99 + $4.99 = $13.97). Through June 10th (when I get back from my woeful, terrible, difficult business trip to the Mediterranean), this sucker’s on sale for $5.99, or slightly more than a Taco Bell Five Buck Box (which might be gastronomy’s worst nightmare).

Gabriel’s Journey is now available for $5.99 for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. Sorry, I won’t be running this one through Smashwords for Sony/Kobo users (long story short – they take forever to push a price through to Sony/Kobo, meaning they’ll take forever to change it back).

If you could be so kind as to pass along the word, I’d greatly appreciate it (and I’ll reward!). Nothing would be more exciting than to return from the slog of two weeks of work on a cruise ship to a huge sales report. Well, perhaps there are a few more exciting things, but at the moment they escape me.

I’ve got some ready-made tweets if you want to use them. When I get back, I’ll randomly select TWO peeps that tweeted and give out a $10 Amazon gift card to each. If I do well in the on-board casino, I’ll make it THREE.

GABRIEL’S JOURNEY, complete scifi-adventure trilogy for #Kindle from @SteveUmstead, on sale for $5.99! #RT

GABRIEL’S JOURNEY, complete scifi-adventure trilogy for #Nook from @SteveUmstead, on sale for $5.99! #RT

GABRIEL’S JOURNEY, complete scifi-adventure trilogy for #iBooks from @SteveUmstead, on sale for $5.99! #RT

You can tweet ’em or Google+ ’em; as long as they’re tagged with my info I’ll see ’em. And feel free to Facebook ’em, but I won’t see ’em. I threw in the towel on FB long ago…



Using profanity in writing – is it necessary, or even missed?

February 22, 2012 32 comments

I woke up this morning (but unlike Jim Morrison, did not get myself a beer) to a very complimentary 5 star review on Amazon for Gabriel’s Journey, the trilogy collection:

“The reviews for it were fantastic, but you know how that could go. I’m in between reads so I bought it. What a pleasant surprise! Well written, with the right amount of humor as well as a distinct lack of profanity. Enjoyable in all aspects. Just what I needed, another good author on my watch list. Highly recommend this one!!”

Something in there really stood out to me, something I struggled with early on, but something I’ve stuck with, and I’m glad I did. It’s the phrase “distinct lack of profanity.”

The Gabriel stories are military stories at their heart. The lead character is a Navy Commander who has been through a lot, continues to go through a lot, and is surrounded by military throughout the trilogy. The general consensus is that many members of the military can rival truck drivers (or vice versa) for their florid language skills. However, I took a slightly different tack with my stories, and I’ve heard feedback in both directions.

A brief background: I wrote my first book, Gabriel’s Redemption, not with the intent to publish, but more as a challenge to myself (National Novel Writing Month) to finally finish a story, and perhaps even more so as something I wanted my kids to read (two boys, 10 & 13 at the time). Therefore, I went light on the violence, extremely slim on the profanity, and absolutely zero on the sex.

After it ended up being published, I did get some feedback about the language (or lack thereof) used by hardcore military guys and gals, and after (only after) my kids both read the story, I did go back and add in a little color. But I still kept it light, on purpose. I’ve read a lot of books where the F-bomb is used liberally, far more than is necessary, and it pulls me out of the story a bit. I’ve always told my kids that using profanity is a sign of an uneducated vocabulary, that the speaker is using swear words to get a rise out of another when a different word would be just as effective, and perhaps even more effective. Stand-up comedians would be a good example. Eddie Murphy and George Carlin can use profanity well, but many others just use it for the sake of getting a laugh, unnecessarily.

I rarely use profanity myself; never in casual conversation (even with ‘the guys’), and usually only when the hammer misses the nail, or the pot boils over, or the computer crashes. And that leaks into my writing. I want my stories to be accessible to a wide range of readers, and wouldn’t want anyone pulled out of the story because of unnecessary profane language. Is that a 100% accurate portrayal of military life? Probably not, but hopefully (a) the rest of my military portrayal is spot-on, and (b) it doesn’t take away from the realism of the dialogue in the overall story.

What are your thoughts on seeing profanity in what you read?