(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Friday, December 19, 2014

As Promised, The Additions

Book two's editing is finished.  It's releasing on January 25th, and is available for pre-ordering already!  The link is, uh... okay, here.

But you're not here for advertizing, because let's face it, if you're reading this you've already read my books.

Book one's editing is so close to finished that I can finally share with you the two significant additions.  I put two points in the first book about why Penny and her friends weren't caught that were too subtle, and not many people picked up on.  Given their crucial importance, I thought I'd better go back and make them a little more eye-catching!  Here they are:


I stared. I was being treated to what should have been a close-up of Claire as she and Gabriel chatted, but it wasn’t. Who was this girl? Claire didn’t have a dimple. I’d been seeing Claire’s smile most of our lives, and she didn’t.
Or did she, with her power turned up high? What exactly did she look like then? All I could remember were eyes and a mouth, those oh-so-serious expressions she was giving Gabriel.
My stupid mouth acted on automatic. “She almost looks like Claire.”
Dad just chuckled. “She does, doesn't she? I think it was a half-hearted attempt to frame Claire. The name is deliberate, and the costume is a reference to her power. I say 'half-hearted', because if E-Claire were really trying she would hide her face. The first words out of your mother's mouth were 'Her cheekbones are wrong', and her body language was wrong in the first video. She can't even claim to be Claire in makeup.”
Claire Lutra, you little vixen. You knew all along your secret identity was completely safe. Your Mom must have known as well. And if E-Claire couldn't possibly be Claire, then her teammates couldn't be me and Ray. You devious shape-changing vixen, Claire. You'd covered us all.


“The Brain Auk does sound like a mixup waiting to happen,” I conceded, letting my grin at least peek out.
Dad's mouth twisted in momentary disgust. “So did the Dark Brain, Bad Brian, Sir Brian the Brave, and that guy with the mind control powers who just called himself 'Brian'. He was never caught. By the time we figured out what he was doing, he'd disappeared.” Woo, so much weight on those words. Dad really hadn't liked that guy. No wonder I'd never heard about him.
Dad was so eager to move on, he kept talking. “E-Claire is just the beginning of Claire's problems. When she gets older she'll have to deal with Clairevoyant, Clairion, and half a dozen others. Get used to people suspecting you're Penny Pincher, Penelope Peril, Penny For Your Thoughts, and probably Paranoiakk. I've always suspected we're related, and she's young and female.”
I giggled. It wasn't just funny. Safety from discovery felt pretty good. “Does this happen a lot?”
“Constantly. If you have a common name, there are hundreds of heroes and villains who share it. And they all love puns.”
Giving him my biggest, most impudent grin, I asked, “And the Brain Auk?”
My stratagem worked. He changed the subject.


  1. Those do clarify it a lot, although I did pick up on Claire being difficult to recognize when she was using her powers on my read. I also figure one should never underestimate people's ability to see what they expect to see, instead of what's actually there; once Penny's parents had decided it wasn't her, they'd naturally tend to only notice things that confirmed their assumptions, not things that refuted them. (Even The Audit seems to have her blind spots.)

  2. Those actually to explain a lot. Good work adding them.

    1. These points were already in the first book, but they were covered so briefly people couldn't pick up on them. They're so important, they need to grab the reader and shake them into paying attention.

    2. True. :) Rereading the first book I now remember the German parts again. Uhm were the grammar mistakes by design?

    3. Short answer: Yes. Not only has she invented a purely mechanical device that translates English into German, she's somehow invented one that translates English into German badly.

  3. Personally, I got the Claire one and thought the names bit was just for added color - didn't think people would suspect based on a super-villain's choice of name, especially after the first time Bad Penny started actually using cursed pennies.

    I can see where people might have thought that, though.

  4. The UK preorder link is http://www.amazon.co.uk/Please-Dont-Tell-Parents-Blew-ebook/dp/B00R6N444W/ref=la_B005XOLGVU_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419258386&sr=1-5 in case anyone needed it.

    I learned about it from my friend in the UK after all ^_^ She's really happy it's only a 4 day release difference instead of the usual massive delays.

  5. Mm. So, wait -- does the Audit think E-Claire is a shapeshifter trying (halfheartedly) to impersonate Claire's appearance, and getting it wrong?

    Also I don't get "the costume is a reference to her power." To Claire's power, you mean?

    I like the expansion of the names mixup, though. "If you have a common name, there are hundreds of heroes and villains who share it. And they all love puns." -- Funny, good point, and nice touch.

    1. The second book has a conversation that adds a bit more to this. E-Claire (I wanted eClaire, but my editor had firm views, so whatever) has subtle mind control powers. Nobody knows what they are. Claire has her cuteness power, and part of that power is psychic, but part of it is also small-scale shape changing. She projects a cuteness field AND becomes physically more adorable.

      Because of this, anybody who gets a look at E-Claire believes it can't be Claire, because it doesn't look like Claire. People who have Claire's power used on them don't know about the shapeshifting, because their mind is clouded.

      So it just looks like E-Claire is trying to copy Claire, but isn't trying very hard because nobody who got a look at them could possibly confuse the two.

    2. Ah right. And the cuteness field doesn't work over video/photo, so they're never going to put them together?

  6. The section of the first book that I've wondered about was where Penny shocks herself while trying to build her dad's power jump-starting device. Did she actually trigger her powers?

  7. Just so ya know Mr Authorman, I am a completely new reader who bought your first book on a whim. I am now (started reading it this morning) at the point of the birth of Vera the Machine Fairy.

    I am loving the story and the writing and the concept.


  8. Have to say, I don't really like the first edit as written.

    I have three issues with it.
    1) We (the audience) know that Claire has her powers, but the Akk's are being told that she's in the same boat as Penny. Spikes once or twice a month and years away from actually having reliable access to her powers. More-over, the "rumors" that Ray talks about seeing online (implication being that Claire's mother is the source) is that she's inherited the Mynx's powers (overwhelm men's minds with sexy), but can't dial it all the way up to sexy yet. It seems out of the blue to me that Brian is talking about how somebody is attempting to reference her powers... when the "cloud everyone's mind with cuteness" aspect really isn't public knowledge, even to them.

    2) I thought one of the basic reasons that The Inscrutable Machine weren't being caught out by Penny's parents was that they (the Akks) were always at a 2+ remove from the data. Everything they have comes from second or third hand reports (biased and with assumptions baked in), and bad video footage. Basically, they're geniuses, but they've been given bad data and assumptions to work from and are getting it wrong as a result. Classic case of "Garbage In, Garbage Out". As written, it looks like Claire was seriously considered then rejected - when the success of the secret lay in not being considered at all.

    The Akks *know* that Penny doesn't really have her powers yet. They know that Claire doesn't really have her powers yet. As far as we know, they have no reason to suspect that Ray will ever get powers. That the three of them were ever under suspicion or even consideration as being TIM, actually weakens their "protection" and should have triggered different responses from her parents to some of her later questions.

    3) The last sentence is *really* horrible and incorrect logic. From a 13 year old I'd normally let it slide, but this is the daughter of the Audit. I really kind of expect better from Penny. :)

    Just my 3 cents of course, but you posted the additions so I figured I'd give a bit of feedback.

  9. Coming out the 29th? not the 25th?

    1. 29th, yep. You've probably noticed that already! I believe they first told me 25th, but by the time the preorder went up they changed that to 29th. This is all publisher stuff I have no control over.

    2. That's ok. Just disappointed I couldn't read it on Sunday.

  10. How do I update my kindle edition for this, and for any other of your books that had after-publishing updates? I have automatic updates on, but my copy still has the old versions, and I can't find a manual "check for book updates" option anywhere...