J. Magus Zennith
Much like my male protagonist, I was born and raised in the middle of nowhere, Michigan. Most of my life has been spent in Ionia County, but I will refrain from saying exactly where for now. I went to public schools, then a state University (again, will not say where just now), then... well, quite frankly much of my own biographical background mirrors that of JJ DeHart, the male protagonist in The Trumpeting of Sandhill Cranes. I spent a good 15 years or more as a recluse out here in the fair countryside. I've spent most of it observing and noting things about the world, certain double standards and unfair obligations, etc. Other times it was spent in one video game or another, the mainstay being World of Warcraft. I'm going to refrain from giving out which server for now. I do advertise myself in game (via a UI Add-on called MyRolePlay), but unless you are on the 2 or 3 servers I play on, you won't be familiar. If then, even.
I've spent more time out of the game than in it, but it has been an integral part of my life for the last 13+ years. I've met some good people there, and made a few lasting friends. I don't view this game, or other games like it, or gaming in general as the leprous appendage of society that the mainstream entertainment industry makes it out to be. I dislike even some of the cliche stereotypical geek jokes you see even on popular shows like The Big Bang Theory. The people I've met in that game run the gamut from average American, to a pair of Iraq veterans, the average Canadian, and several PhD's (two of whom remain good friends of mine), to even the cliche basement dwelling trolls (yes, of course they exist). But every video game player should not be painted with such broad strokes, as seems to happen far too often in pop culture.
There was a point early on in the novel's alpha stages that I had chewed on the idea of making it a more interactive experience, particularly with the photographs. At one point, I had the idea of making the walk back to the woods in Chapter 6 similar to a First Person point of view game, where you can move the camera around and look at the main characters' surroundings. I had actually taken a number of panoramic shots of every stop, but couldn't get the stitching program to work right. I could not afford expensive cameras and software, and even with a borrowed professional camera with a fishe-eye lense, I still could not get the stitched panoramic shots to work right. I pondered it for awhile, and realized that the work involved with the idea was not worth the effort - my meager Bachelor's in Computer Information Systems does not cover the amount or type of programming knowledge needed to realize that particularly small dream of interactive photos in an eBook.
After filing away that idea, I focused solely on writing a regular novel that happened to have photos and illustrations - something else that hadn't been done in a long time. At least not by the novelist, themself. Not that I know, at any rate. It took roughly a year to do the writing, another 9 months or more to draw and insert the illustrations (and photos), then several more months of just editing and formatting for various document sizes. I had to settle on a fixed format document, because the Kindle Create app could not work with images at the time. Also, I did not like the fonts, and the adaptive nature of the Kindle app made the images move into incorrect places (to say nothing of the screwed up sizes), a specific font was not available, etc. I mostly just wanted control over the look of it.
I let it sit and tried to promote it as best as I could having little monetary resources to do so, but hit a bit of a wall. I finally decided in August or September of 2018 to end my enrollment in Kindle Select, in order to publish the novel elsewhere (Smashwords in particular). I wasn't really benefiting from KS, so there was no reason to keep up the enrollment. Unfortunately, the term didn't expire until October 22nd, so I couldn't actually publish anything until after then. I finally worked up the nerve and willpower to do the reformatting needed for Smashwords in late November of 2018, and had several difficulties in doing so. It took a week or more to make the changes necessary to even upload the Word file... but the details of this are in the Foreword of the novel.
Regardless, as of Jan and Dec. of 2018, it is as finished as I can get it - for now. I hope those that do read it (and finish it! Hah!) enjoy it. Thanks for reading!
Where to find J. Magus Zennith online
The Trumpeting of Sandhill Cranes
by J. Magus Zennith
A contemporary romance, with some sexually explicit scenes, and adult language and themes. The main characters, a recluse from "the middle of nowhere, Michigan", and a struggling English actress, meet during a chance encounter at the local film festival. Join them on their lovers' journey as they explore their emotions, thoughts, experiences, sexuality, and the limit of their patience & restraint.
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