“Is Your Name Actually Page Turner?” & Other Questions You Asked

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Is your name actually Page Turner, or is that just a clever pen name?

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I get asked this question a lot, but I don’t think I’ve ever answered it on the blog itself. So here goes: It’s kinda my name. I’ll explain. Page is my first name (not Paige), yes, but I have a different last name than Turner. It’s actually very similar to Turner though. And just as common/nondescript.

One night back before my first book came out, I was having drinks with a friend at a party, and he made the joke that I should go by Page Turner. I laughed. But then I thought about it and thought “eh, why not,” and I did it.

Hilariously, I went back to him later and thanked him for the idea, and he had no idea what I was talking about.

Ah, parties.

Anyway, it’s so close to my real name that it doesn’t even really feel like a pen name.

Do You Format Your Books to Maximize Readability?

I read Psychic City, and loved it. The characters are great, excellent polyamorous representation, the city of Skinner is neat and mysterious, and it’s really funny. I’m so excited for the sequel! I wanted to ask you something though. I noticed you double space between paragraphs instead of doing an indent. I’m dyslexic, and doing it that way makes it so much easier to read. The other way, it is so much harder to keep track of what line I’m on. Is that why you formatted it that way? 

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Oh wow. Thank you! I really appreciate the kind words. And that is so cool — that my choice to double space between paragraphs made it more readable. That really makes me happy. I have a number of friends who are dyslexic.

I actually heard from multiple dyslexic readers about this particular feature of the book and how helpful it was. I wish I could take credit for that bit of thoughtfulness, but it was a happy accident.

Using idents is more of a classic/traditional literary approach. Opting to double space between paragraphs was more of an unorthodox artistic choice. I like the way it looks — and I do find it easier to read work that’s formatted that way myself. If I had to guess where that comes from, I would say it’s because I used to be a playwright, and scripts are more like that. I’m also very much a creature of online reading, and it’s standard in online writing to double space between paragraphs instead of using indents. (You’ll note that I do that on this blog.)

However it happened, I’m so happy to hear that the decision actually made the work more accessible.

Did You Decide on Boomsdale or Psychic Salvation?

Don’t leave us hanging! Did you decide on Boomsdale or Psychic Salvation next? 

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Oh, thanks for asking! I wrote about it more on Patreon (and also included work-in-progress excerpts from the book I chose). But I forgot to announce it here on the actual blog.

In another post, I mentioned I was having trouble deciding which book to tackle next: Boomsdale or Psychic Salvation. To recap, here’s more about both projects:

  • Option 1 is to start writing Psychic State Book #5 immediately. It is called Psychic Salvation. As the series progresses, it’s getting harder to talk about the books without giving away major spoilers — but in general terms, Psychic Salvation has the team investigating terrorist incidents that threaten to start a holy war at the same time they’re looking into a suspicious murder on the set of a reality TV dating show. New to the PsyOps team are Volcan Wolf — an enthusiast of all things psychic with no discernible psychic powers who seems to have cheated his way into the Department of Psychic Operations — and Farrah Ward, a precognitionist forced to work as a Connections agent due to staff shortages. In this book, we also learn significantly more about shapeshifter Change (the only character who is in every Psychic State book) — his metabolism, physical composition, likes and dislikes (do shapeshifters like sunsets and long walks on the beach?), as well as empath Karen’s emotional avatar friends — what they are really, where they come from, etc.
  • Option 2 is to start writing Boomsdale. What’s Boomsdale? It’s a book in a completely different setting, an isolated community of teenaged wizards and their mothers. Yes, only mothers. No one in Boomsdale has a living father. (Why this is the case is a very long story indeed and an integral part of the community’s history.) After I had a strangely vivid dream about the first scene, I wrote the beginning of the book. I keep writing the book by accident, frankly. It’s like this bratty little kid that won’t leave me alone. I just keep thinking about it. Going in, I’m not sure whether it’s going to be a standalone or another series. My current plan for the ending leaves me the option of either. It clearly resolves, but there’s plenty of room for future character development arcs, which would imply sequels. At this point, I just know this darn book won’t leave me alone.

I asked you folks for your input, and I have to say you were really helpful. A very clever reader suggested the following: That I write detailed outlines for both books and then decide.

So I did. Boomsdale‘s outline ended up being 25 pages and Psychic Salvation‘s was 31 pages.

Looking over the outlines, I decided to go with Boomsdale. The reason for this is that I just finished The Ecumenopolis (Psychic State 4), which was a trickier book to write (very ambitious and weird).  I’ve been alternating writing a straightforward book with an ambitious one, and it seems to work out well, keeps me from burning out.

And looking at the two projects, Boomsdale seems like it’s going to be more straightforward. Now that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy going the entire way or anything. But it just feels a bit more in my wheelhouse and like Psychic Salvation will be more of a stretch — doable but more of a stretch.

Anyway, the good news here is that because I have the outlines done, I should write them both very quickly. As I’m writing this update, I’ve only been working on Boomsdale for a few weeks, and it’s already halfway written. Nice.

What’s Next

There has been so much behind the scenes work going on. I edited The Ecumenopolis (Psychic State 4) last week to get it ready for my editor, so it’ll be in the queue along with Psychic Inferno (PS2) and Minerva the Liar (PS3).

I hope to have more updates soon on the release date for Psychic Inferno, the sequel to Psychic City. I’M SO EXCITED, Y’ALL.

Time and money-wise, we’ve also been pretty strapped trying to work on the BIG SECRET PROJECT. This has been a long time coming, but I haven’t wanted to talk about it in public — not wanting to jinx it because it’s been a suuuuper complicated undertaking, I only mentioned it a few weeks back on Patreon— but this website is getting a major overhaul.

It’s going to be a fresh new look, easier to navigate, and better feature guest writers. More like a magazine than a blog. Frankly, we’ve outgrown our old format and look.

It hasn’t been easy. We’re getting SO close though.

Actually, as I’m writing this post, I’m not sure whether it’ll come out on the new site design or the old one. Guess we’ll see.

But anyway — thank you all for your continued support. You are the best readers a writer could ask for.

Love,

Page Turner

Featured Image: CC 0 – Pixabay