Yesterday, I completed the first draft of book 3 in the "Kelvoo's Chronicles" series, with the working title, "Kelvoo's Teachings"!
Kelvoo's Teachings is set 50 years after the conclusion of book 2, Kelvoo's Terra. In that interval, Terra has cut itself off from contact with other planets as the Terran humans deal with the aftermath of their bloody civil war and strive to build a better society. Unfortunately, humans have paid a price for their isolation, developing a mythology around Kelvoo - The extraterrestrial that suffered from human cruelty.
When the story starts in Kelvoo's Teachings, Kelvoo is revered on Terra to the point where Kelvoo is worshipped at the level of a god. The Terrans are convinced that Kelvoo will return to lead Terra into a new age of harmony and enlightenment. Believing that they are helping Kelvoo to fulfill the prophecy, the "Kelvonist Society" of Terra abducts Kelvoo and takes Kelvoo to Terra.
Unfortunately for the Kelvonists, Kelvoo wants nothing to do with the absurdity of being worshipped and wants no role in leading humanity. Kelvoo's refusal to assume the role of spiritual leader and fulfill the prophecy doesn't sit well with the Kelvonist leaders, who face increasing pressure from the citizens of Terra who are demanding to see Kelvoo ascend to power.
As Terra becomes more chaotic and Kelvoo's existence is put in ever-increasing danger, the Planetary Alliance and Kelvoo's foster daughters, Brenna and May, concoct rescue plans to return Kelvoo to the sanity of Kelvoo's home planet. Unfortunately, the Alliance's slow pace and bureaucracy prove to be too frustrating to Brenna and May who dream up their own audacious plan to take matters into their own hands, at great risk to themselves and Kelvoo.
There is much work remaining before I can release Kelvoo's Teachings. The first step will be a few rounds of editing on my part. Next, I'll send a copy out to "beta readers" for their feedback. After that, my manuscript will go to my editor for a professional review. In the meantime there's cover design and layout work, and then the uploading and preparation of the book for online sales.
It's too early to say how long the process will take, but I'm certainly aiming to have Kelvoo's Teachings available sometime this year.
I'm happy to report that the first ratings and reviews of Kelvoo's Terra are in from Amazon. Six ratings have been received (as of November 12, 2023) - Two of them include a written review.
The great news is that all six ratings are for the maximum of five stars!!!
Here's a link to the reviews page for Kelvoo's Terra:
I am delighted to announce that Kelvoo's Terra is now available from bookstores!
Your local bookstore can order both Kelvoo's Testimonal and Kelvoo's Terra in paperback or hardcover versions. Stores can order the books through Ingram Content Group.
To assist in ordering, please provide the book seller with the appropriate ISBN number:
I am beyond thrilled to announce that Kelvoo’s Terra had its official launch yesterday (October 8, 2023). The sequel to Kelvoo's Testimonial is now available in ebook and paperback format on Amazon in multiple countries!
Now you can find out how Kelvoo and the Kloormari species dealt with the aftermath of human first contact, along with Kelvoo’s new adventures on Terra. Here is the link to "Kelvoo's Chronicles" (both books) on Amazon:
Kelvoo's Chronicles (both books): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0CFK14D13
My next step will be to make Kelvoo’s Terra available for bookstores to order. Stay tuned for a future post.
In anticipation of Kelvoo's Terra, the sequel to Kelvoo's Testimonial, I'm making the ebook version Kelvoo's Testimonial available to all Kindle Unlimited subscribers!
Kelvoo's Testimonial will be available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers until December 10, 2023. If the result is a great success, I'll think about leaving the book on KU. If not, it's back to the regular list price of $4.99 (US price).
By the way, upon its release, Kelvoo's Terra will also be available on Kindle Unlimited! Stay tuned for my announcement of the official release date!
I'm delighted to reveal the cover of Kelvoo's Terra! My thanks to Alain Berset for his brilliant 3D rendering of the characters, and to Jan Westendorp for expertly using those characters in the overall cover design.
I am in the home stretch of the publishing process, aiming for the launch in mid-October (possibly sooner). I'll keep you posted.
If you would like me to notify you when Kelvoo's Terra is available, please drop me a note via the Contact form.
Below, you'll see a mockup of the new cover, followed by the book's synopsis (the text for the back cover).
KELVOO's TERRA - Synopsis:
Kelvoo is a survivor. Human first contact had a devastating effect on the kloormari species of Kelvoo’s home planet. No kloormar was impacted more profoundly than Kelvoo.
Now, Kelvoo is on a mission to protect two young humans, Brenna and May—orphaned, abandoned, and left in Kelvoo’s care. After a generous job offer, pressure from the girls, and the chance to immigrate to Terra, Kelvoo must choose between a life of security and the risks of the human homeworld.
Once on Terra, Kelvoo, Brenna, and May are welcomed with open arms. Terran life is full of wonders until a radical anti-immigrant movement unleashes a violent coup, plunging Terra into chaos and civil war. Will Kelvoo be able to protect Brenna and May, or will they all succumb to the hate and violence surrounding them?
As the highly anticipated sequel to Kelvoo’s Testimonial, Kelvoo’s Terra combines suspense, political intrigue, and personal redemption as it dramatically explores the impact of ignorance and hate, versus the power of family and love, in a futuristic science fiction setting.
Three months since my last post? Inexcusable!
Well, I do have one excuse . . . I've been putting everything else aside to work on the sequel to Kelvoo's Testimonial, and I'm delighted to say that I've just finished the first draft! Whew!
Here's a synopsis of Kelvoo's Terra - An immigrant's tale
Kelvoo's Terra is set seven years after the era of Kelvoo's Testimonial. Kelvoo has made significant progress recovering from the trauma of captivity on Jezebel's Fury and the colonization of Kuw'baal by human settlers and business interests.
Kelvoo's Testimonial has been published across the Planetary Alliance and has inspired massive reforms, known as "The Correction" on Terra, resulting in almost all humans leaving Kuw'baal.
Reunited with the human orphans, Brenna and May, Kelvoo is the girls' legal guardian. The girls would like nothing more than to leave the dull, cloudy world of Kuw'baal and move to the legendary human home planet of Terra. Kelvoo is reluctant until a human professor offers Kelvoo an opportunity to teach at the Interplanetary University on Terra.
Kelvoo, Brenna, and May move to Terra where they are warmly welcomed. Kelvoo loves teaching the students about extraterrestrial perspectives on human nature and Brenna and May fit right in, making friends and enjoying life.
Unknown to Kelvoo, forces are at work on Terra to build a populist, anti-immigration movement. Funded by massively wealthy humans, The Human Independence Movements calls for the immediate deportation of all extraterrestrials, through violence "if necessary". Deeply troubled by the movement, Kelvoo is repeatedly assured that its leaders are just fringe lunatics whose movement will never amount to anything. Kelvoo's world is shattered when a wealthy member of the Human Independence Movement befriends Brenna and convinces her to betray Kelvoo and join the movement.
When election time comes for selection of the next Terran government, the movement puts forward candidates for the newly formed Humanity Party. Much to the shock and disgust of the majority of humans, the Humanity Party wins with a minority of the popular vote. The other parties form an alliance to thwart every attempt to persecute Terra's extraterrestrial citizens. Driven by their hatred and frustration, and aided by the reappearance of the Brotherhood gangs, the Humanity Party unleashes a brutally violent uprising, plunging Terra into chaos, civil war, and interplanetary isolation.
The mass deportation of non-humans begins, but a far worse fate is planned for Kelvoo, who is seen as an existential threat to humanity itself.
Kelvoo's Terra is the story of Kelvoo and May as they struggle to survive and escape a world that had once welcomed them with open arms.
So, that's the first draft of my story's synopsis. I'm going to have to edit it and shorten it considerably before it is ever printed on the back cover.
So, completion of the first draft marks the biggest step on the journey to publishing Kelvoo's Terra, but there is still a long way to go. Here's my partial to-do list:
Stay tuned for updates!
Not only was Kelvoo’s Testimonial my debut novel, it was my first attempt at any sort of commercial fiction. As such, I wasn’t confident that I had written something that would interest people. I thought it was good and my family and friends liked it, but I would have expected them to humor me no matter what they really thought.
A few weeks before releasing my novel, the manuscript of Kelvoo’s Testimonial was sent to Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus is an independent reviewer of books and well known throughout the publishing industry. Publishing companies send new books to Kirkus for review, helping them to determine the quality of their new offerings from an independent, unbiased perspective. Kirkus Reviews also offers their services to independent authors like me. That’s how Kelvoo’s Testimonial found its way to Kirkus.
When Kirkus reviews a book, they don’t use a rating system (e.g. 1 – 5 stars). They typically provide a paragraph of information and a one-line summary. Once in a while, Kirkus will provide a “starred review” for what they term, “books of remarkable merit”. About 10 percent of books from major publishers earn a Kirkus star. That number drops to between 1 and 2 percent of “indie” books.
Shortly after I released Kelvoo’s Testimonial, Kirkus Reviews informed me that Kelvoo’s Testimonial had been awarded a starred review! I could hardly believe it! That day, I was bouncing off the walls with unmitigated glee!
Today, the news is ten times better! Each year, Kirkus Reviews selects the best books of the year from its list of books with starred reviews. Every December, Kirkus releases its list of their 100 best indie books. I was overjoyed beyond words when I learned the Kelvoo’s Testimonial had been honored with inclusion in that list!
I just might have to start taking myself seriously as an author!
About a year ago, I joined Twitter, not knowing a whole lot about the platform. The whole thing seemed odd to me. I didn't really get the point of tiny messages about random stuff. My intent was to use the platform to promote Kelvoo's Testimonial, but I couldn't comprehend how to make Twitter work for me.
Earlier this summer, I decided to reply to tweets that used the #WritersLift hashtag, which invite authors to post a blurb about their current work.
I started to get some positive feedback and a better understanding of Twitter, and I began to see some positive results. I also used Twitter to browse, and sometimes respond to, social and political tweets. In doing so, I was disturbed by the amount of misinformation and negativity on the platform.
Things started changing as soon as a certain billionaire took control of Twitter. With the future of Twitter in doubt, I set-up an account on a similar platform called Mastodon. There are a few key differences with Mastodon vs. Twitter:
As an author, the disadvantage of Mastodon is that it isn't as open to self-promotion, so I won't use it to tell people to buy my book. Nevertheless, I can answer questions or share positive news about Kelvoo's Testimonial when it is appropriate to do so.
Essentially, spending time on Twitter and then on Mastodon feels like leaving a crowded room full of screaming, angry people and hucksters, and entering a calm glade in the forest on a lovely summer day, surrounded by happy, helpful, interesting beings!
For now, I'm keeping a presence in both worlds, waiting to see what happens next.
My presence on Mastodon isn't huge just yet, but if you'd like to check out my profile and a few of my posts, just visit universeodon.com/@KelvooBook
Is a Sequel to Kelvoo's Testimonial in the Works? The answer is a definite "Maybe"!
I was encouraged by recent positive reviews for Kelvoo's Testimonial, so in June 2022, I started on a second book that picks up the plot about seven years after the first book ends. I didn't get far. I found myself bogged down in the details, explaining the events during the seven year gap while I also tried to summarize the main events in Kelvoo's Testimonial for those who hadn't read it. The results were boring and, to be honest, I felt bored while writing. I put my efforts on hold in late July when I left on a road trip vacation through northern British Columbia and the Yukon.
The road trip was epic and inspirational!
When I returned in late August, I threw out my previous efforts and started again. This time, things have been different. The new story is smoothly flowing through my keyboard and onto my screen. I am finding ways to naturally blend information from Kelvoo's Testimonial and the gap between books into the new story. Best of all, I'm enjoying the writing process as much as I did when I wrote Kelvoo's Testimonial.
The working title for my next book is Kelvoo's Terra. Of course, that could change.
If you've read the first book, you may have a few questions about my next book, such as:
These questions will be answered in my next book, provided that I finish writing and publishing it. Here's what needs to happen for the next book to see the light of day (in chronological order):
This brings us to the question of "when?" I can only answer in vague terms. If all of the items in the preceding list come to pass, I will be aiming for sometime in 2023. Of course, in saying that, I've just put myself under pressure!
What do you think about a sequel to Kelvoo's Testimonial? If you'd like to offer your encouragement, or if you want to say, "For God's sake, don't do it!" please let me know. You can leave a comment on this blog post or reach me via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or the "Contact" page on this website.
Blog posts in chronological order
What is Kelvoo's Testimonial?
A bit about me
The publishing process - Editorial Evaluation
Who or what are the Kloormari?
What's the twist that differentiates Kelvoo's Testimonial?
Which issues does Kelvoo's Testimonial address?
Where did the idea of Kelvoo's Testimonial originate?
Is Kelvoo's Testimonial intended to reflect the experiences of native people in the Americas?
Book cover - Initial concepts
Depicting Kelvoo - My work with an amazing artist
Book cover - Final selection
Kelvoo.com website launch!
Original Song #1 - The Boys of Jezebel's Fury
Original Song #2 - Home on the Yangtze
Original Song #3 - Flying Away
My First Printed Copy
My First Review and Bookstore Order!
Now Available at Bolen Books!
Kelvoo's Testimonial gets a Kirkus Starred Review!
Official Launch Day!
A Sequel to Kelvoo's Testimonial?
Come Visit Me on Mastodon
Phenomenal News from Kirkus Reviews!
First Draft of Kelvoo's Terra Completed!
Kelvoo's Terra - Cover Reveal!
Kelvoo and Kindle Unlimited
Kelvoo's Terra - Official Launch!
Kelvoo's Books in your Local Bookstore
Kelvoo's Terra - First Amazon Reviews
Book 3 - Kelvoo's Teachings - First Draft