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Old 08-27-2010, 07:47 AM   #1
Luke King
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The Stinging Tree

He steps forward with trepidation, one toe in the treacherous waters that is the author self-promotions thread...

Here's the spiel:

Is Brad seeing things? A boy, his double, on the other side of the stream. It’s like looking into a mirror. But where has he come from? Who is he? When Brad decides to follow him into the forest, it is the start of an action-packed thrill ride. Set in the mountains of far north Australia, this is the debut novel of author Luke King.

It's free at Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/18751

I submitted it to Penguin Australia back in 2000. They rejected it, but were kind enough to say, "This shows real promise."

I think that's about it. It's not going to win any awards.

Ideally, it's geared towards a young male readership, though I think anyone might enjoy it, as far as it goes.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:56 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your work Luke, good luck with your book it's on my TBR

& welcome to MR.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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Thanks columbus.

I also have a short story available if anyone's interested in checking out my writing style.

Lucky to be Alive is free at Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/19026

A beautiful day. Blue sky. Calm water. Does Tom want to take a boat out? Of course he does. But why is the boy asking Tom? Who is he? And why does he want to row them out to sea?

It's children's horror, if there is such a thing.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:39 PM   #4
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I downloaded and read both of your stories and thought they were very well written -- better by far than much of the indie stuff floating around out there.

I'm not a horror fan by any means but I'd encourage you to keep writing and let us know when you post more works.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:52 AM   #5
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Thanks. I have a young adult science fiction novel that I'm redrafting at the moment. I should have it out in a month or so.

It's about a boy, alone on an alien world, but for a synthetic man. The boy's father and sister were killed when their ship crash landed, and the story is about how the boy survives with the artificial human.

There is no hope of rescue -- and there's something dangerous in the forest...

I'll have to write a proper blurb for it when I'm finished.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:52 PM   #6
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What readers are saying about The Stinging Tree.

Bad bad bad
"The story was way to short and it just dropped you in. Poorly written. Bad job." - Gcawad

The Stinging Tree
"It's a great and interesting book. Plus, it has a good use of words." - Nicknino

Don't bother!
"Not worth reading. Makes no sense at all. Reads like a 6th grade English assignment." - Dengman

The Stinging Tree! Free at Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/18751
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:02 AM   #7
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Bad bad bad
"The story was way to short and it just dropped you in. Poorly written. Bad job." - Gcawad
I think that there is a law that it is okay to dismiss out of hand the opinions of anyone who doesn't know the difference between "to" and "too"-- especially when they are critiquing literature.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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I think that there is a law that it is okay to dismiss out of hand the opinions of anyone who doesn't know the difference between "to" and "too"-- especially when they are critiquing literature.
Especially if they add 'Poorly written' to it.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
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Well, they're kind of right, and I'm not too worried about it.

It is too short, makes no sense (in terms of its conclusion), and is aimed at the sixth grade.

I would assume the middle comment is from someone aged around twelve, while the others are from older readers - the problem with putting a book into the children's and young adult categories. The older readers aren't impressed.

I really only posted this (the comments) because I thought it was funny.

Overall it's got a rating of three and half stars at Apple, the only place where it has any ratings, and I think that's about right, or maybe generous, if anything.

It's not badly written. It "has a good use of words". And it is interesting, as far as it goes, but I wrote it ten years ago, and I'm not overly worried about its reception. I know its flawed. I really only want to use it as a springboard for the other children's/young adult novel I have (written a little later, and actually novel length). It's probably not a good idea to use something not very good to promote something better...

Anyway, when I've finished redrafting the next, I'll probably give over writing for children. It's a long time since I've tried it, and it doesn't really interest me anymore.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:11 PM   #10
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I haven't read the story (and I'm sure it is unrelated) but the title makes me think of this:

http://www.archive.org/details/carnivorousplant23prio
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:35 PM   #11
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No, the stinging tree is a real tree, found in the rainforests of tropical north Queensland. It can kill you (it has been known to kill at least one human) but it does not eat you. It also kills dogs and horses, though native animals eat its leaves.

It has needles on its leaves and branches. When touched, the hairs penetrate the skin easily, releasing poison, and the pain can last for weeks or even months afterwards.

I know very well how much it hurts.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:43 PM   #12
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:08 PM   #13
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Another strong review.

The Stinging Tree
"Spelling and punctuation are terrible." - Keith Hague

What he means is - the spelling and punctuation are terrible - not that spelling and punctuation are terrible things, generally speaking.

I my own defence, I might say that I haven't simply ploughed on through the story, writing late at night in my pyjamas, in some cosy, colourful, or even mediaeval, gaol-like chamber, with mould in the centre of the floor, while I, bedecked in jewellery, believed I had some sort of encyclopaedic knowledge, instilled in me since I was a foetus, that did not require a spell-checker.

I have spelt the words correctly!
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:13 AM   #14
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Luke, that last review, the one about spelling and punctuation made me laugh so much I've got hiccups, which wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have broken ribs. It hurts! Now I know what you mean about "Stinging"! Hic: OUCH!
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:48 PM   #15
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Another strong review.

The Stinging Tree
"Spelling and punctuation are terrible." - Keith Hague
I'll admit, I'm intrigued by your willingness to embrace reviews that hate your work I'm out nothing if I download it, so I did... I'll let you know when I take a peak at it.

I am curious though, if a traditional publisher said it "showed promise", have you thought about having it professionally edited and then releasing it yourself? Offer it on Smashwords, but charge for it?
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