I got the proof copy of Distant Horizon ordered! Woot!
I should get the printed proof sometime next week, which should give me enough time to do a final proofread before uploading the final files, sitting back… and working on promo materials. Well… it’s a start. 🙂
I would have had the proof copy ordered a couple days ago except that Createspace apparently doesn’t do well with transparent PNG images in PDFs (I’m testing out transparent images in the ebook files, and had simply let them transfer over. That didn’t work out well, as they turned into gray blocks). So I went back and redid the divider images, which ended up being easier than I thought because I found an article explaining how to find and replace images in Word. But be warned: those conversion problems don’t show up on the digital proofer until after you submit your files for review. So it’s a good idea to check the digital version again before ordering a print copy.
In other news, Isaac and I now have an author photo!
I already had one for myself, which I used in Magic’s Stealing, and that’s the same one that I use for social media. But I wanted one that showed both Isaac and myself for our joint projects.
So we went to the same area where we shot my first author photo, waited for the golden light of the day (and mostly missed it, due to my temporarily breaking the tripod while trying to extend one of the legs), and set up the camera on a (fixed) tripod with the timer. I wore the same outfit I wore for the previous photo, which I’ve also started to wear when I go to various events.
So… look for our new author photo on our website, Infinitas Publishing, as well as in the author section of Distant Horizon. 🙂
Since we’re rapidly approaching the release date of our upcoming book, I thought I’d share another sneak peek from Distant Horizon. I’m planning on releasing the first six chapters over the course of the pre-release period. 😉
(You can read the first chapter by clicking here.)
Brisk October air snapped against my cheeks. Gray clouds obscured an even grayer sky, casting a dull shadow across the courtyard and the stone buildings, which loomed overhead with their tall domes and steep, towering columns.
I always admired the imposing structures because they had survived the plague. So many things hadn’t. But these bits of history I could touch with my fingertips: statues worn smooth with time, their copper turned green from rain, and best of all, the ivy that snuck through the cracks of a time-ravaged campus.
Lance and I were headed for our first morning class when a low, steady drone rumbled overhead. Lance yanked my sleeve. “Look!”
A well-decorated airship peeked through the heavy clouds. Brass, gold, and bronze ornamental railing adorned its gondola and complimented the high, arched windows. Elegant frames decorated the rotors with artistic flourishes. The symbol on its side was the Lady of the Cog: a crimson half-cog rising like a sun, embellished with the silhouette of a lady perched across the spoke-like rays.
My breath caught in my throat. The only people who used the Lady of the Cog belonged to International E-Leadership—the highest-ranking officials of the Community. Maybe Lady Winters was paying us a visit. She was one of the few leaders actually worth the speeches she gave. As Head of Efficiency, she made sure the Health Scans were thorough and that our international laboratories advanced. Maybe she was coming to tell us that she had made an advance against the plague, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the Health Scan anymore.
“That’s Commander Rick’s airship!” Lance grinned, his cheeks rosy from the wind.
I raised an eyebrow. “The commander?”
“Maybe he’s coming to visit. Let’s get to class—we might find out more there!” He dragged me down the sidewalk through the early crowd. Once inside, we took our seats in the second row. The first row was already filled—apparently in similar anticipation.
Professor Dragomirov smiled at everyone’s enthusiasm and put an image of the seventy-year-old commander on the giant touch screen at the front of the classroom. The chatter quieted as she spread her hands along the wrinkles in her uniform and puffed out her chest with pride.
“Tomorrow, Commander Rick is delivering a speech to our university regarding the upcoming Health Scan. Be advised, I will assign extra efficiency points to those who can secure an interview with the commander and produce a two-page report regarding his efforts in the security and efficiency of our modern society.”
More chatter erupted at the news. Lance grinned and nudged my shoulder. “It’s your lucky day.”
Lucky? If I accidentally let slip that I didn’t take the pills around the commander, I would not only be booted out of college, but out of the Community.
I jerked to attention at my name. Professor Dragomirov tapped the screen beside her. On it was an image of a tower with a gleaming set of windows. The whole thing was shaped like an absurdly unsafe letter “F.”
I blinked. “Yes?”
“Where was the final rebel base in Australia located when Commander Rick ended the resistance against the Community?”
Two locations popped into my head at the mention of Australia, and I knew Sydney wasn’t it.
“The Northern Territory?” I suggested. Hopefully she didn’t want the name of the actual town.
The professor smiled, switching the image on the touch screen to reveal a map. “Correct. Located near what used to be Birdum, Australia, the tower and its surrounding city thrived from those who threatened the Community’s security.”
She went on to repeat the same history lesson we’d heard since primary school: how our founding father, Lord Black, died infiltrating that tower, and how Commander Rick took his place, stomped out the Oriental Alliance and the remaining rebellions, declared world peace, and became the living embodiment of the Community and its virtues.
Nice resume, if I hadn’t heard it a dozen times before. I would’ve preferred that we spent our class learning something new, like who developed the treatment for theophrenia. I glanced at my book, then at the professor. She was paying more attention to her lecture than to the rest of the class, so I flipped to the back of the book, searching the index for “t” until I found theophrenia listed with a dozen page numbers.
I already knew that the first known treatment for theophrenia came shortly after EYEnet’s formation and that once the Community was established in 2027, the treatment was made routine. Occasional outbreaks of the disease—like the one that killed my grandparents—were common. While most of the book had information I’d read before, it added that Lady Bridget Winters had a hand in creating the most recent treatment—the one which effectively contained the threat in 2065.
A few pages later, I found the answer to my question. Apparently, Lady Winters’ predecessor, Doctor Sanders, had developed adominogen with funding from international E-Leadership—the original founders of EYEnet. The book went on to discuss the Community’s rise across the globe, but offered little else regarding the treatment.
I frowned and rested my cheek against my knuckles. Theophrenia was supposed to be dormant, but the book said the plague was only contained. That explained how Galina failed the scan. But most diseases only needed a single vaccination to offer a lifetime of immunity, so why did we take the pills on a daily basis? Did the pills have to be adjusted for various strains of the disease?
I flipped to the next passage, only half-listening as Professor Dragomirov went on about Commander Rick’s military prowess. It was thanks to his leadership that theophrenia was contained five years after he took power. He understood how people with theophrenia thought, and he personally assembled the best teams to seek out the last rebel hideouts. Despite my grandparents’ preference not to talk about their past, I’d managed to weasel a few pre-Community stories from them. Their tales about those who were infected mostly ended in chaos and destruction. The infected were paranoid and hard to catch. Crazy. They thought they could command the elements, and often took extreme measures to try manifesting their beliefs. They’d light themselves on fire, leap from tall buildings to prove they could fly…
I closed the book as the professor wrapped up her lecture. There was nothing about why we took the pill daily. The book was only a history book, and all it told me was the same lesson I’d heard since my year four teacher explained that E-Leadership created peace in the world, and that we should all be thankful the days of the plague were over.
Like what you read? Want to find out what happens next?
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I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂