Update: busy busy busy, plus kittens

Okay, so last week, I did primary fast revision of INVICTUS, both parts, and then slower revision of INVICTUS: CAPTIVE. Not sure what other early readers will catch there, but undoubtedly stuff will be caught. That was the primary thing I was working on this past week. Now I’m moving ahead with the slower, more tedious revision of CRISIS. Hopefully I’ll get through it by this time next week!

However, also a certain amount of time spent proofreading and final-final-final revision to the World Companion. My goodness, look at that, I see from the preview at KDP that I forgot to take the words “BOOK TITLE” out of the header when I dropped the manuscript into the paperback template. I note some other formatting weirdness. Well, I will finish THIS proofing run and then fix up that file and order another paper copy for proofing and THAT one should let me check and correct formatting. Still working on things like maps! Otherwise, closing in on the actual final version.

Commenter Mona Z turned out to be far better with Canva than I am and kindly volunteered to redo the frames for the World Companion, plus get the paperback cover in shape. I do know how to do a pdf cover in theory, so I could have done the paperback cover, but I definitely could not have done as good a job. I would most likely just have made the back cover black and the text white, because I was again struggling with getting any kind of frame to look okay.

Here’s the paperback cover, and I trust you will all admire the attractive frames. If you ever do covers using Canva, you will discover why these are something to admire.

As you see, I gave up on trying to write real back cover copy and just threw on a bulleted list that lets readers know what’s in the book. I trust the maps will actually appear, argh.

Let me see, what else was going on this past week? Oh, I finished beta-reading the Regency mystery, which was entertaining, but I did think the tone of the story absolutely revealed the identity of the killer. He was the only guy mean enough to make sense as the killer, given the story was pretty lighthearted.



Aren’t they adorable? I’m trying harder now to find these two kittens a new home. Everybody likes the tortie, no one wants the gray tabby, and I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s hard to get people to look at a kitten whose color is so perfectly ordinary. I understand that (I really do! aesthetics is a thing!), but I would really like to place them together, partly because the tortie will be happier that way and partly because I definitely do not want a gray tabby kitten languishing in a cage at a shelter for heaven knows how long because he’s the wrong color. I really do not want to keep three kittens myself. (I would be okay not keeping any.) (I don’t object strenuously to keeping two, though.)

I will add that the tortie would have been a problem to place last week, but she is at last! eating ordinary food! out of a dish! I was getting a bit concerned, but I treated her like a hard-to-wean puppy, softened kitten kibble in water, and added stuff. Canned kitten food, chicken baby food, whatever. I got her eating that and finally to my great relief she started crunching ordinary dry food with her brothers. Boom, she is immediately gaining weight much better. She hardly gained at all for the first several days. I’m not bothering to weigh the male kittens; anybody can see they’re fine. But this little female, I’ve been weighing every couple of days. She crept very slowly up from 1 lb to 1 lb 2 oz to 1 lb 4 oz. Then she started eating more, but not enough to make me happy. Now she’s eating much better, her special food plus dry food, and she shot up to 1 lb 11 oz and is looking less starved.


I’m happy to say that TASMAKAT topped all previous records for preorders, has continued to creep upward with direct sales, and absolutely, totally blew away all previous records for KU pages read. TASMAKAT is a third again as long as TARASHANA, but the earlier book never came anywhere near this many pages read per day. It’s not remotely close.

This is interesting and also it’s fantastic and deeply satisfying. The only interpretation is that the series gained significant traction between 2021 and now. Everyone who suggested TUYO to a friend in the past few years, thank you! I hope you’ll keep that up!

Here’s a Twitter thread with ALL THE SPOILERS, do not read this thread if you have not read the book! But the pictures, gifs, and comments are delightful if you’ve already read TASMAKAT.

Happy Monday! Going back to INVICTUS now …

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6 thoughts on “Update: busy busy busy, plus kittens”

  1. I just finished Tasmakat. That was a great book, a really wonderful read. I like it even better than the previous Ryo books, and I loved those. It was long, but it didn’t feel long. There were so many wonderful places that were visited.

  2. Thanks, Robert! Glad to hear you enjoyed it, and that it didn’t feel as long as it really is!

  3. I’m glad TASMAKAT is doing well at that the audience for the TUYO series is growing, deservedly. Also glad the kittens are doing well. The paperback cover for the WORLD COMPANION looks great. I think bullet points are the right approach for the back cover. It’s by definition not a smooth narrative.

  4. I have added both Invictus books to my calendar on 10/15, and just finished reading Tasmakat and No Foreign Sky. I very much appreciated the longer, actual-book-length length – when I was reading “real” books, I didn’t even glance at the novella length books so many e-books seem to be. That longer length allowed you to make Tasmakat the terrific finale that Tuyo deserved.

    Thank you ;)

  5. Glad you enjoyed TASMAKAT, Kim V! I love long books too, but I have to say, TASMAKAT is way, way over normal book length. But no one, or almost no one, seems to think it’s overly long for what it’s doing, which is great.

  6. I agree. TASMAKAT was great – one of your best (IMO). I wasn’t that crazy about the prior book in the starlit lands but now wish I hadn’t read it until I could read it back to back with TASMAKAT. Events in TASMAKAT caused me to reevaluate my views. Wrapping up a series is hard, and I thought you really nailed it. The final visit to the land of shades just sent chills down my spin. And I went around the house reading the first sentence of the book to everyone, I thought it was so good.

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