Saturday, 3 December 2011

OMG - That took a long time but it's up now - enjoy

Kujira Cover No. 2

Well that was not a lot of fun. I have been obsessed for the past couple of days with the final edit. Of all places, I found myself in an isolated country location in Western Australia called Dwellingup. Despite it being the start of summer, the temperature dropped and I kept myself warm with a wood-fire while I corrected out of place commas, semi colons and quotation marks while intermittently staring in the hot coals of my Jarrah and Karri fuelled inferno. That all ended on Wednesday and I have only just finished. Ironically the temperatures have soared so I am sitting in my living room with the airconditioner on. So as the frantic pace subsides and the dry but cool air of my living room makes me sneeze the moral of the story for me as the tortured writer becomes clear–get it right in the first place.

Mind you, it was a fantastic experience to be under pressure to finish in order to get the final version to a patient reader. In those moments, when I questioned the reason I was actually submitting to the mental anguish and physical pain involved I remembered that someone out there was waiting to read about Mike, Mark and Jon and their adventure in Osaka. It made the characters dance around the corrections. It was as if there were there, making sure that I represented them fairly and accurately by adhering to the conventions that link them to the reader. I felt a responsibility separate the the creative process that created them in the first place. 

Anyway, thanks to Andy for being so patient and if there are others that have been waiting you can now download the most recent version of Kujira on Smashwords for $0.99. I will be loading it up on Kindle in the near future and pending approval, it will be available on Apple, Kobo, etc in the next couple of weeks. I would really appreciate some feedback on this one. If you have the time to rate it or to post a review, I would appreciate it. This is the longest of my creations and the only one with a price. As much as I do enjoy writing my copy edit fees are starting to add up and so I am aiming to recoup at least a percentage of my costs hence the $0.99 price. 

Plans for the follow up to Kujira are now growing in my mind and I will begin putting it together over the Christmas period. I'll keep you posted on this and other projects.

That's all for now



  1. Well, what can I say?...THANK YOU!!!
    Kujira has really something special!
    In every book of your "trilogy" (let's call it for what it is) there's a spark that keeps you continue reading, in a beautifully vivid world.
    The Japan maybe it's one of the most difficult country to describe, mostly because of its people, lights, language and cultural manner. They have to be experienced in first person to be fully understood. But I can assure that neither reading Lafcadio Hearn's books I felt to be so in Japan than while reading "Keitai Friends" or "Memoirs of a vending machine".
    I know that maybe the comparison is not contemporary, but I'm talking about the level of descriptions...the quality itself of the writings.
    Kujira just needed some polishing treatment... and obviously a polishing treatment can't do anything but make Kujira spark brighter!

    So, now my Kindle is going to receive a new gift for the "James Pollard" category...and I hope that soon many other ebook devices will receive the same honor ;)

    As I said on your personal email, James, this is really a great accomplishment...and you can be sure that soon you'll get a review.
    A brilliant one! :D

    Good Kujira v2.0 reading to all!

  2. Hi Andy. Thanks for your kind words - it makes it all worthwhile. By the way, since you mentioned "Keitai Friends", I thought I should warn you that it appears in "Kujira" as a small chapter. It acts as a sort of background story to the main plot. I do expand on it as the plot unfolds so you will not have read everything already. I also make reference to "Memoirs of a Vending Machine" but I'll say no more. I hope you enjoy it. By the way, I unpublished "Keitai Friends" as soon as I re-published "Kujira". Happy reading!

  3. Ok, review posted on Kujira's Smashwords page:

    I'll repost it here:

    The typos polishing work and the structure rearrangement gives to Kujira what it deserves: a five stars review.
    Its prequel, "Memoirs of a vending machine", is a gentle characters presentation with an entertaining and light story that flows through it. This book, instead, has exactly the same "Memoirs" enjoyable form (slightly longer than it), but is much more fast paced and full of event cascades that literally glues the reader to the page.
    Japan is undoubtedly one of the most difficult country to describe. The Japanese manners, places and people are like fractals: much closer you look them, much more details you get. In Pollard's books, and Kujira makes no exception, you've the sensation of gradually approaching to the places until you rise up your head and found yourself there, right next to Mark, Mike or Jon, living the moment with them.
    This effect is really a difficult one to achieve, because you (the writer) have to build a believable "mood" where to put your story.
    Reading an "Indiana Jones" or a "Star Wars" alike book can be entertaining, but you don't "live" the story, you're merely a watcher. Instead, when you end to read Kujira, you've the feeling of an experience, just like when you return home from a travel.
    Personally in Kujira I've found some of the richest places and characters description I've ever read, they were so crisp and clean that I can safely compare them to what you can read in Natsume Soseki's "Botchan".
    Kujira's plot embraces actual problems with believable developments, maybe is more correct to say that we have three plots twisted together forming the main story that, differently to "Memoirs", has an epilogue.
    Ok, let's say that the epilogue gives an hint for a sequel...but I don't want to spoil anything else: read Kujira and you'll know it all!
    Closing this review I want to note that, just like its prequel "Memoirs", Kujira contains many Japanese terms an situations always explained and translated in, if you're learning Japanese (or just interested in it), this feature is really a great thing.
    In the end: one of the best (if not the best) fiction writings on Japan to read.

  4. Thanks Andy. You make it all worthwhile. I am glad you enjoyed Kujira and I'll get stuck into my next creation and keep you posted. By the way, I really enjoy the comparisons you make to other writers. You can really see what I am doing here and seem to understand my style. I am enjoying the writing you mention and have downloaded and am now absorbed with Kwaidan:Stories and Studies of Strange by Lafcadio Hearn. I actually lived in Mino, mentioned in Jikininki and frequented a mountain path where Muso Kikushi found the anjitsu built at the top of a hill. Wow, I feel like I am there. I like the sinister plots a little more than Genji Monogatari for example.