Read Fade to Grey (Book 1): Fade to Grey Online

Authors: Brian Stewart

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Fade to Grey (Book 1): Fade to Grey

BOOK: Fade to Grey (Book 1): Fade to Grey
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Fade to Grey

Book 1 of the Fade to Grey trilogy

By Brian R. Stewart

 

Fade to Grey

Copyright © 2013 Brian R. Stewart

All rights reserved

 

For Nina,

Because she believed.

Author’s notes.

I
hate typing. My giant sized fingers positively crowd the keyboard and
continually dual with each other while searching for the—usually incorrect—key
to press. Just to complicate matters, I can’t type without looking at the keys.

In
the fall of 2012, I found myself trying to complete a project for work that
seemed to require enormous amounts of typing. After a few days I had had
enough. That little light that so seldom goes off in my head began to flicker.
“Hey,” it said, “aren’t these computer thingies supposed to have some kind of,
well you know, if you talk, it will type out what you say on the screen?”

And
so began my love/hate relationship with speech recognition software. I quickly
found out that after a brief tutorial, you were basically on your own with the
little caveat of, “Remember, the more you teach your computer to recognize your
individual voice, the better it will do and the fewer mistakes it will make.”

Fade
to Grey was born out of the language barrier between my own enunciation style
and my moronic computer’s obviously faulty software and outright stubbornness.
Eventually we worked out a deal. It would accurately transcribe most of the
things I said, most of the time, and I wouldn’t reduce it to its component
parts with whatever blunt instrument of devastation was closest at hand.

There
were, and I suspect always will be, inherent flaws in speech recognition
systems, the most prevalent being “sound alike words” like night, or knight. Other
common ones are going to be there/their/they’re, and will/we’ll for instance. I
also found out that speech recognition software, by default, will “add in”
common words if it picks up a sound that it doesn’t quite recognize. If I
sneeze accidentally as I’m dictating, the words, “sneeze, sneeze” don’t show up
on the screen, but rather how the software interprets the sound of the
sneezing, which from experience it prints out as, “if if.” All of this can make
for a rather interesting editing process.

However,
each night I would faithfully take my little laptop home with me and work on a sentence
or two of FTG. One weekend I had forgotten my laptop at work, but I had the
rough draft of the first few chapters saved on a jump drive. No problem, I
thought, I’ll just pick up where I left off using my home desktop system.
That’s when I came to realize that you must teach EVERY computer individually
how to recognize your voice. And so began the tutoring of my home computer.
Eventually I was able to domesticate three of my most frequently used
computers. I think I had about seventy pages completed at that point. My
wonderful wife, curious at what project would have me out in my home office
until the wee hours of the night finally confronted me. I spilled the beans,
what little they were, and confessed my desire to forever forgo manually
typing. (remember, FTG was really nothing more than a loose conglomeration of
ideas and story quips at that point) Her amused chuckle soon gave way to
silence as she skimmed some of the pages I had printed off.

“You
should finish this, for real,” she said.

And
so what started as a way for me to teach my computer to understand me so I
wouldn’t have to type anymore, slowly, and sometimes painfully, evolved into
what you have in your hands.

I’m
not going to detail all of the roadblocks, speed bumps, and outright detours
that this project has undergone. I will however mention a few of the important
ones. When I finished the main project, I had no intention of publishing. On a
whim I decided to post a few chapters every week on the fiction forum at a
website (AR15.com) where I had seen other stories, some of them quite good,
posted. (some of the comments on the following pages were taken from there) One
thing led to another, and pretty soon I had a regular following online, as well
as multiple requests from personal friends to think about publication. I began
to consider the possibilities of having someone publish my book.

Boy,
was I in for an eye opener. Several fiascoes and near disasters later, I
decided to go the self publishing route. It is with complete honesty that I
confess what I thought was an accurate command of the English language and
grammar skills was, in fact, the pathetic culmination of years spent dozing in
AP English. I needed some serious help in the proofreading department, and got
it in the form of Miss Virginia Barrette, without whom this project would still
look like the archaic Sanskrit of a convulsing, crayon gripping kindergartner.
Not only was my writing style inherently conductive toward punctuation errors,
but in the vast timeframe since I had last set foot in the aforementioned AP
English class, many of the rules of punctuation had actually changed.

And
then there is the cover. Yep, even an Ebook needs a cover. Enter stage right
another personal friend; graphic artist extraordinaire, Mary Beth French. Web
site design, freehand artwork in multiple mediums, you name it, she can do it.
And she did. I would’ve been happy with a plain, two-tone cover and a basic
“Times New Roman” font title. Her imaginative and creative thought process brought
the cover from the realm of what my mind’s eye was envisioning but my clumsy
hands were incapable of producing, to the finished product in what has to be
record turnaround time.

So
now you have it, a brief overview of that long, strange trip that FTG took on
its journey from my mind to your hand. Enjoy, Brian.

A
note about dialog. Some of the characters you’ll meet in Fade to Grey use slang
or grammatically incorrect speech patterns. This is intentional, but without a doubt,
still drove my proofreader crazy. I’m sure she wore out multiple red pens
circling and noting the inconsistencies, only to have my response of, “Hey, I
know a lot of people who talk like that,” invalidate her efforts. Anyway, it’s
how it’s supposed to be.

A
note about acronyms. I have included a brief dictionary covering most of the
acronyms you’ll find in Fade to Grey. It is located at the back of the book.

Finally,
the material contained herein includes potentially graphic descriptions of
bloodshed and adult situations. As such, reader discretion is advised.

 

…What people are saying about
Fade to Grey…

 

“I have a Zombie Fiction
addiction and have read everything from JL Bourne to Adrian's Undead Diary and
many in between. Your story is up there with the best of them and I can say
that I am enjoying it even more than the Day to Day Armageddon books. Good job,
can't wait until the next entry. -Officially Tagged!”

 

“You are going to do well with
this book, very well.“

 

“I love the fact you are making
it more complex than a standard zombie story. There are always good twists in
the chapters, and leaves people wanting more - wanting to know what is
happening. Like other posters said above, you really are a good, solid author.”

 

“I think you don't understand how
talented you are sir.”

 

“Nothing kickstarts a story like
a dead, zombie stripper!”

 

“In a
word..............................................AWESOME.”

 

“Excellent entries. This is
definitely the zombie story for the outdoorsman.”

 

“Fantastic chapters! I am really
enjoying this story, thank you!”

 

“VERY good character buildup! The
way you are introducing folks and providing info about them through their
actions and what they talk about has been great. You really are presenting the
perfect amount of info for all of us to get mental pictures of what they people
look like and what kind of people they are.”

 

“Again, a few great chapters and
good character development. 
You are a gifted writer. Thanks for sharing with us.”

 

“I have been waiting all week to
read the updates! This is easily one of the best stories I have read on here…”

 

“I swore I would wait until 4
chapters were posted to continue reading. I didn't make it.”

 

“Just started reading
these...gotta say for a non-writer, you write pretty damn good. Well just had
to say that, back to chapter 3. ETA Ok just finished chapter 10...wow, I
cannot put these down! Well back to reading.”

 

“Whoa, very, very good.”

 

“I liked the chapters from that
perspective, a change of pace and some insight into the characters - well
done!“

 

“Just finished reading it after
starting last night. Excellent, really top notch. Kudos for not having any of
the various characters call the zombies 'Zeds' and thank god none of the
characters are zombie or horror-movie fanatics. Very refreshing and your
writing style is quick and enjoyable. Now write faster !!!”

 

“Most excellent, I look forward
to more of your writing.”

 

“Well...........I went shooting
today with a friend from out of state and had a ball…enough of the pleasantries…where
is the next chapter!”

 

“Great story! When I finish a
chapter I can't help but think about how you have written everything with voice
recognition software. Pretty amazing! I signed up for the forums just to
subscribe to your story. Looking forward to more.” 

 

“Another great chapter. I would
continue writing the way you have been. This is your story and your writing
style, don’t change it to keep a few happy. Your descriptive and captivating
style is what had attracted so many readers and followers in the first place.
Keep it up, and I to would like to order a few copies of the book when it comes
out. Thanks again.”

 

“YOU SUCK.... Me in with
your wonderful wordcraft.  
This story is seriously kicking ass. I can't wait (but I guess I have to) for
more.”

 

“Must....sleep, b-b-but can't
until....n-n-new chapter.”

 

“So much win.”

 

“Sir, you are now costing me
sleep.”

 

“I've been losing sleep all week.
I'm not one for reading books either but this has kept me on the edge of my
seat every night so far. Excellent job. Keep up the great work! You have quite
a talent. Now I play the waiting game with the rest of the group.”

 

“The thing I like about this
story that a lot of other stories don't have is that the characters are
believable. I know exactly what you are describing in the story and the
characters act/react exactly like I would. I can really relate to them so it
makes it all that more immersive. Keep up the good work.”

 

“This story is fantastic, right
up there with the best writers out there, past & present…”

 

“Hook, line & sinker,
completely caught up now waiting like the rest. You are a very talented
writer,(or orator in this case-lol) keep it up this is a great read & I can't
wait to see what happens next. Then we get books 2&3 next.” 

“My God. I've read this thru in a
day, can only imagine what the rest of you have been thru waiting for the next
chapter to be posted. Characters are great. I commend you sir, for your abilities
as a writer. The reader is absorbed with tightened gut at each change of
discourse within the characters. Good luck with your endeavor to publish. Wish
I could read the entire "trilogy".“

 

“I found this story last night.
Besides the occasional bathroom break or the run to the kitchen for a cup of
coffee I have not stopped reading it.”

 

“Read all of it in a day and now
I'm hooked will definitely be buying the book you deserve that you sir are a
great writer.”

BOOK: Fade to Grey (Book 1): Fade to Grey
3.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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