Where Does Cobra Flight Take Place?

I hadn’t realized when I wrote Cobra Flight how alien and unknown the Eastern Arctic, (better known as Nunavut these days,) is to many people. Judging by some of the questions I have received, the scene of action could as well be somewhere in the arctic regions of Mars as Canada.

In retrospect I should have included a map, and future additions to the series will contain maps. And I promise that if I update the first edition of Cobra Flight I’ll get a map into it as well.

In the meantime, here is where most of the action takes place, well up far in the most north easterly corner of Canada’s Arctic. The line roughly shows the various flight routes and communities.

Map of the Eastern Arctic
The far north easterly corner of Canada’s Arctic now known more properly as Nunavut but commonly still called the Eastern Arctic. The red line follows some of the main action of the book

Attention Walmart Shoppers

Unexpectedly, and to my immense delight, I have just discovered that Cobra Flight (ebook & audio) is now listed in Walmart’s new ebook store catalogue.

It’s a distribution deal with Kobo Rakuten which is a growing Canadian based ebook publisher and very popular, probably more so than Amazon, with Canadians.

The Walmart deal gives me access to a vast, if unknown, market I wouldn’t have been able to conceive of cracking on my own.

I will henceforth stop making bad jokes about Walmart and it shoppers. In fact, there is a store half a kilometre from me and I think I will wander over and give them some business as a way of thanking the Lady Luck and the Fates.

The paperback edition of Cobra Flight as a 3d image


75% Off Sale — July 2018 Only

75% Off Sale!

For the month of July 2018, Cobra Flight is 75% off its regular price at Smashwords. The sale price is $1.25 US, which today is about $1.65 Canadian.

Cobra Flight is set in the High Arctic which makes it the perfect read during these blazing hot days of summer.

It is only available at this price in ePub format which means that it normally will not work on a Kindle. But, I outline a simple way of getting Kindles to read non-Amazon books in this previous post.

ePub book files are a world standard and among others Kobo readers have no problem with it. It can also be read on any mobile phone or tablet, iOS or Android, with one of the many many ebook reading programs in the various Play Stores. And — most mobile and tablet readers are either free or dirt cheap.

To get your copy of Cobra Flight just go to Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/760669

How To Read non-Amazon eBooks On A Kindle — A Guide


Normally, Amazon Kindles will only read books published through Amazon.

In order to read an eBook published in the many other eBook Retailer Stores one had to use something like the truly fantastic program Calibre. Calibre will do far more than just convert books to Amazon format and it is worth checking out, but it is so powerful as a book catalogue and book editor that it can seem overpowering.

So, along comes this new feature from Amazon that allows you to email an ePub file to your Kindle account and have it appear perfectly in all your Kindle apps and machines.

Do, this . . .

Go to Amazon and look up your Kindle send-to-kindle email address. It is listed under Personal Document Settings in your Manage Content and Devices section of Amazon (just do a search and it should just pop up if you have never looked at your Kindle settings.)

Mine looks a bit like this “rg_(some random number)@kindle.com”

Go to where your book file is, probably in your downloads folder, and rename the bit after the Dot, or Period, from epub to png. If you are not sure about how to rename files it’s pretty easy to look up how to do it online — but the easiest way is to grab whichever random teenager, or elementary school student that happens to be around and have them do it. It really is easy.

So, Cobra Flight goes from “cobra_flight.epub: to “cobra_flight.png” The paperback edition of Cobra Flight as a 3d image(That’s not the real file name since I couldn’t be bothered digging around for it.)

Anyway, using your mail program, just send the file to your Kindle account by attaching it to the email. Kindle will do everything it needs and put it into your book library very quickly.

Another way is to use the “sendtokindle” app available in various forms at Amazon.

But don’t forget to rename that file before using the app or the mail program.

There is quite a fine article about all this at this website



The AudioBook of Cobra Flight is Now Available

It has taken longer than I expected but finally the audiobook of Cobra Flight is now for sale at audible, and in the various amazons worldwide.

So now there is a choice of ebook, paperback, and audiobook for you to choose from.

If  you don’t have a monthly subscription to audible.com for a free book each month you can get a Trial Membership for one month which will allow you to get Cobra Flight for nothing.

Here is the link to the amazon.com listing.

Paperback Edition of Cobra Flight is Out!

It has taken a while and the delay was entirely my own fault.

But, Cobra Flight is now out in a handsome paperback volume through Amazon. I wasn’t going to bother with doing a physical edition, but so many people said they wanted a “real book” and were willing to pay the much higher price that I went ahead with the project.

It does look good, in my opinion.

This is the Canadian Amazon version;

and this is Amazon.com.

If it hasn’t already, it will soon be appearing of all of the Amazons around the world


Commas and Typos – Redux

I hope that this is the last time I have to write about typographic errors, but quite frankly I doubt that I will ever be free of the chore. They breed like wild boars in a forest and forever root around in all of the text like it is swill in a trench.

But, it may be the last time I have to write about them in context to Cobra Flight.

If you click on the Categories list in the sidebar and then on Writing-Skills you will find several entries about my unfortunate experiences with typos in publishing the book. One entry in particular has an unfortunate and premature title .

As I neared the end of doing the voicing of Cobra Flight for the audiobook I resolved to send the manuscript yet again to a proof-reader before I shipped it off to be turned into a paperback.

I was, however, quite confident that I had nailed every one of the little bastards and doing another proofread would be for reassurance only.

Now, keep in mind that the manuscript had been through my own, not inconsiderable editing skills, a professional copy-editor, and two experienced proofreaders. In addition, just about every piece of grammar checking software I could find had been let loose. And then in the recording phase I had found what I believed were the remaining bastards.

So, imagine by chagrin, shock, and anger, when it came back to me with 1,062 errors flagged in MSWord Tracking.

That was a staggering number of errors and I was ready to just drive an oaken stake through the black heart of the book and walk away.

But, on closer inspection I saw what had gone on.

You have to understand that there are two approaches to writing and those approaches affect how words are edited, and how they are handled.

Formal prose is the sort of thing one would find in a weighty non-fiction treatise. The other approach is focused on clarity of communication and is suited more for things like novels than 15 thousand word New Yorker Magazine essays.

My third proofreader was very much from the world of Correct Grammar and the precise use of punctuation. My two other proofreaders were the other way, as well as being blind of course.

I write, or I try to write, very much as how an itinerant story teller would spin yarns and myths around the fires of the Golden Horde as they swept out of Asia to massacre Europe; the way people tell each other ghost stories late at night around the fire at the weekend cottage. It is the way that good radio and television personalities reach out and grab listeners by the ears so they cannot pull away from the story.

Unfortunately, the people who write grammar books, who make up rules about punctuation, who use strict language usage rules to establish power over others, never seem to read novels, so they miss the point.

My writing bible is the Chicago Manual of Style. While there are other style guides out there, none are as comprehensive and so widely accepted.

No one ever got tossed into the grammar dungeons for following the guides in the CMOS.

But, one needs to keep one’s head when reading it.

The section on comma usage is 16 pages long and contains something like 35 sections about this or that and whatever involving commas. All worthy stuff if you are editing for the New Yorker, but a sticky tar pool of disaster for the novel writer.

The authors of the CMOS recognize this and make a crucial point, which seems to escape the understanding of pendants.

This is how the editors introduce the comma section.

Section 6.16

“ … it usually denotes a slight pause. … Effective use of the comma involves good judgment , with ease of reading the end in view.” (My emphasis)

Let’s just scoot over to end of the chase where we cut them off at the pass.

I did a bunch of spot checks in the list of suggested changes and then decided I didn’t have enough time to see where I might have misused a comma. Instead, I hit Accept All Changes and accepted the fact that while I would never have sprinkled commas around the way this proofreader thought proper, no one was ever going to come after me for being pedantic, whereas they would if their beady little nazi eyes spotted a Rick Grant induced comma error.

I’ve mentioned this before in context to typos, but Sod’s Law, requires there to be typos in this post as well as the microscopically checked Cobra Flight, so don’t complain.

Cobra Flight – Audio and Paperback Update

It has taken me a lot longer than I would have liked but I should be sending Cobra Flight off to be turned into a paperback and an audiobook with 10 days.

Then it will be a matter of waiting for the publishers to provide the final versions.

In the meantime, here are the covers of the audiobook and paperback

The audiobook cover for Cobra Flight
Audiobook Cover
Cobra paperback Book Cover
Cobra paperback Book Cover

Finally, 75% Off Cobra Flight for Kindle Owners

Cobra Flight will be 75% Off at Amazon for all of you who use Kindle eBook readers. It will remain at $1.25 US until late Sunday March 11 when it will revert.

This, and the earlier announced sale of 75% Off at Smashwords for those who use Kobo, Nook, and just about all non-Amazon Kindle readers, is partial penance for having inflicted a first edition on the world with typographical errors.

If you want the details of that horrid little episode just read back a few entries.

The link to the ePub (Kobo, Nook, etc) version —  Smashwords

I Am Not Alone — Damned Typos

Ever since I talked here about my ongoing fight against typographic errors in Cobra Flight I’ve been pointed to numerous examples of similar things happening to major writers at major publishers.
Case in point is Francis Pryor, a preeminent archaeologist and prolific writer talking about his latest book “Paths to the Past: Encounters with Britain’s Hidden Landscapes” published by Penguin.
Here is what he had to say on his blog today . . .
“There’s always a great feeling when you open the padded envelope from your publisher and you hold your new book in your hands for the first time. Then you part the covers and invariably it falls open at a random page, and there, mid-way through paragraph two, you’ve written ‘it’s’ for ‘its’, or spelled arpeggio with one ‘g’. It’s at that stage that you spot the colour plate where captions have been reversed, or worse, duplicated: so that a fine Georgian terrace in Bath is described as ‘A limestone cliff in the Vale of Pewsey’. The inevitable result is depression ( . . .)”
So, I am not alone.