On his website, author, Creativity Hacker, and fellow Canadian Jefferson Smith offers a challenge for indie authors: you send him your book and he'll get on his treadmill, open it up and get started. If it can hold his interest for the full 40 minutes of his daily run, it wins. If he hits too many stumbling blocks, he'll close it. He pulls no punches and most books don't make it out alive.
I'm happy to report that the first part of Lost Time passed the Immerse or Die challenge (if not with flying colours then at least without crashing and burning before the finish line).
In Jeff's words: "...even though I’ve seen the backup-cyborg idea numerous times, I am 100% invested in this one, because it’s showing me new wrinkles on that basic concept. And better yet, the little revelations I am shown are doled out slowly enough that I have time to mull them over, but fast enough that I don’t get bored chewing on one before the next tasty bite comes along. I think it’s this trick that is the hardest to get right in a “what the hell is going on” kind of story arc. You need to keep the reader’s mind fed with new clues on a regular basis, but never so many or so quickly that you overwhelm them. And so far I am 100% hooked and chasing the rabbit as deep and as fast as the story hole will let me."
Passing his challenge has presented some great new opportunities that I'll be letting everyone know about as they approach.
In the meantime, check out his blog to see how other authors fare, or download one of his free short stories to see how his work measures up.