I’m proud to announce the release of my latest short story, The Devohrah Initiative. It’s a tale that combines elements of high-tech horror with humor, and while the setting and topic are different, the tale is in the same vein as my popular freebie short story, Under Contract.
I wrote this book on a dare. The dare wasn’t personally directed at me, but was a general dare by Joe Konrath (which you can find here) to all independently-published writers to start having more fun with their careers.
The general concept was this: to write a story, edit and proof it by yourself, create your own cover, format the book, and upload it to Amazon.com, all in the space of a single work day. It’s a challenge that’s come to be known as the “eight-hour book challenge.”
Now, due to my odd schedule, I had to split the eight hour time limit over two evenings.
The first evening, I wrote my 3,500-word story, including using Google Earth and other resources to get details somewhat accurate. I also searched out an image I wanted to license for the cover on Shutterstock that night. I hit my four-hour window Saturday night, then waited until Sunday night to finish up.
On Sunday, I almost bit off more than I could chew.
Using the licensed image from Shutterstock, I built the cover in four sizes and my interior title page in just under an hour. Then I went over to Scrivener, compiled the story into an .rtf file, and then copy-pasted it into InDesign, where I could work on the formatting.
I brought in the necessary back matter and front matter elements, got it all squared away, began to export to Kindle … and my PC froze up. Fortunately, I had just saved my work in InDesign, but still, the clock was ticking…
After a hard reboot, I finished the job and uploaded the book to Amazon with only minutes remaining. I wrote the blurb on the fly.
It was a very near thing, and I almost gave up when my PC froze, but it was indeed fun. If you try out the story, which is an Amazon exclusive at this point, I hope you’ll agree. (And it’ll be free on Amazon between August 30 through September 3.)
The Devohrah Initiative is an idea that occurred to me as recent debates about government-controlled drones have been discussed. De-voh-rah, by the way, is a Hebrew word that means “bee.” It can also translate into the feminine name Deborah, since both words are derived from the same Hebrew root, dalet-bet-resh, although that’s largely peripheral to the story I’ve written.
Anyway, using the transliteration for the Hebrew word for “bee” fit into the story and allowed me to give the tale a title a bit less on-the-nose than “Plan Bee” or something like that.
So, there you have it. I’m not sure how often I’ll repeat this sort of eight-hour challenge, but it was nice to inject a sense of fun back into writing. I’ve spent almost a year and a half working on a long horror novel, so coming up with something I could get out on the market in under eight hours was definitely enjoyable.
Hope you find pleasure in the results.