How Was Your Weekend?

Author Stuff

Saturday we shipped the first stage of CLANG to our Kickstarter friends. And there was much rejoicing, as well as a party that involved swords and piñatas.

Sunday was a day spent folding t-shirts and prepping to mail out all the Kickstarter rewards. Not as much rejoicing–well, not for those who folded more t-shirts than they’d like to remember–but there was cake.

Today was spent working through the minutia of foreign royalties for eight titles across one quarter and two separate monthly cycles, which meant lots of time in Excel. Not very much rejoicing there either.

And so tonight will be spent working on the last of the mini keg of Georgetown Porter while watching utterly brainless TV. Tomorrow I will get back to the chapter with the flaming sword because, alas, Katabasis is not writing itself.

Something, Somewhere, Is Not As It Was Before

Author Stuff

Book Three of the Mongoliad has come out since the last time I posted an update. Since then I’ve been deep in the word mines on the next volume of the medieval era in Foreworld. The working title of the book is Katabasis. I hope it sticks. We spent quite a few sessions batting ideas back and forth about the titles of the next two books, and while we knew we weren’t going to have something as idiosyncratic as The Mongoliad, we were hoping for something that was a cut above the standard adventure fantasy titles that are on the shelves now.

Negotiations on other projects continue, though with the usual ebb, flow, and utter soul-crushing dead stops that such negotiations always seem to go through. The CLANG team is wrapping up the deliverables for our Kickstarter campaign (we shot the video just over a year ago!), and the Foreworld writers continue to bang out stories. Recently, we’ve entered the Renaissance with great stories by Barth Anderson (The Book of Seven Hands) and Joe Brassey (The Assassination of Orange). Next month, Scott James Magner has Hearts of Iron, which is a jump back to the 11th century, but sets up some of the predecessors of medieval-era players. There are a few others in progress, and I’ll mention them as we get closer to publication.

It’s been announced (and subsequently deconstructed and commented on) that Night Shade Books is seeking to sell its assets to Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing, LLC. This matters to me because the CODEX books and Earth Thirst are Night Shade books. It’s still a little early to comment on the sale, but I’m hoping that it goes through and all parties get a modicum of what they hope to get out of it. I considered my options and decided it was best to make the choice that kept the books on the market. It’s a little too early in my career to be stamping my foot and taking my toys and going home.

Dean Wesley Smith has been blogging his process during the ten day sprint to ghost write a NYT Bestseller (the first entry is here). It’s been interesting to see how his day breaks down as far as how much time is spent actually writing and how much is spent doing administrative work. Once Katabasis and the fifth Foreworld book are turned in, I’ll have some time to think about my own projects again. I’m charting my days as well, trying to figure out the optimal word count I can get each day and how much other time is available for related matters. No point in diving off in the deep end of the pool if you’re not sure you’ve got the skills to stay afloat, is there?

The Crest of the Content Tsunami

Book Talk

I’ve been a delinquent blogger but a dutiful writer and at the end of the day the latter is more important. That isn’t to say that posting the occasional note to the world isn’t useful; otherwise how else does everyone know what I’ve been up to? Time management is a bitch, and I lose track of time more often than I would like. But it’s all relative, isn’t it? You get done what you can, and keep working.

Next week is the big finale of a year’s worth of work. I have three books being released on Tuesday. One’s a story reprint, but I’m happy to see the story get wider recognition, the second is one of the Foreworld SideQuests, and the third is the last volume of The Mongoliad—a book that is nearly as big as the first two volumes put together. Lots of reading material for folks to enjoy. Between the three volumes of The Mongoliad, the half dozen SideQuests that I either wrote or assisted with, Earth Thirst, and the cyberpunk story reprint, there’s more than 2000 pages worth of content that have come out in the last twelve months.

Oh, and we’ve launched foreworld.com, the official Foreworld churn. Expect a regular stream of talking points to come from there as we expand Foreworld into new eras.

It’s no wonder updates to the blog have been few and far between, and because I am behind on my latest deadline, I’m going to leave you with links to the last few releases.

Cyberpunk: Stories of Hardware, Software, Wetware, Evolution and Revolution. Edited by Victoria Blake, it’s a collection of classic cyberpunk stories. I’m thrilled that my story, “The Lost Technique of Blackmail,” is included alongside some of the luminaries in the SF field.

Seer. The last of the “prequel” SideQuests. 47North is getting away from the term “prequel” as it suggests you need to read these before you read The Mongoliad, but unlike some of the other SideQuests, Seer leads directly into The Mongoliad: Book One as it tells the story of what Andreas was doing shortly before the events of 1241.

The Mongoliad: Book Three. Yeah, that thing.

The Beast of Calatrava. One of my favorite SideQuests to date, and yes, it could have been a full novel. It really wanted to be.

Earth Thirst. My vampire eco-thriller. Reviews are saying that it is more of a thriller than a vampire novel; frankly, how could a vampire novel not be a thriller? Oh, well, yes, if it’s all about mopey vampires, but I don’t have the time for mopey vampires. Do you?

SideQuests

Author Stuff

I’ve been in deadline hell for the last few months. For a brief moment, I am surfacing to clear my desk and try to reply to a bunch of emails and figure out where I live still before I get sucked back in to various projects. Let’s see what has happened since the last time I wandered through.

The Mongoliad Book Two came out. As did Dreamer, the second Foreworld SideQuest. As did The Lion in Chains, the third SideQuest. I didn’t write the fourth, The Shield-Maiden, but it is out too. The fifth, The Beast of Calatrava, is scheduled for early January of 2013 (me, again), and the sixth, Seer, is dropping in February when The Mongoliad Book Three comes out. The cover art for Seer has just gone up.

Oh, and Earth Thirst comes out in January too.

This is what deadline hell for nearly a year translates to: lots of content. I can’t complain, but it’s nice not to have that clock ticking. I say that now, but it is going to start up again in a few weeks. Other than that, I’ve been catching up on my reading. A couple Lisa Lutz Spellman books; a huge chunk of the Walt Longmire series (by Craig Johnson), a couple of Robert B. Parker books, and some of the Parker novels (in order, mind you).

And yes, I’m looking forward to the new film version in January. Jason Statham could use a good franchise, and he’ll do just fine as Parker.

Tending the Garden

Ruminations

Process-wise, every few hours my buffer runs out and I need to take a break and let it refill. Earlier this year, I had an opportunity to have nearly a week of uninterrupted writing time, and I discovered that I can write for more than twelve hours at a stretch, but that time has to be broken up with hour long breaks. My fingers do eventually catch up with my brain.

So, taking a buffer break this afternoon. It’s as good a time as any to roll up the past week or so into a blog post.

The Mongoliad Book Three has been turned in. Two and a half years of working on that book with six other writers, and it’s all done but for the copy edits. Good thing, too, as it comes out next February. SINNER comes out in a week and a half, and it is the first of the Foreworld Side Quests, novellas set during our extensive chronology. This one takes place a few years before the main action of the The Mongoliad. SEER, the one I’m working on now, follows a few years later. Along with DREAMER, they make for a loose triptych of stories about two of my favorite characters from the medieval era of Foreworld.

Editorial notes for Earth Thirst have come in. I’m supposed to get those dealt with by the middle of September, which should, technically, be the end of the looping hell schedule I’ve been on. But there are two more novellas to write, one to edit and co-write, and the other two medieval era Foreworld books to shepherd along. Somewhere in there, I suspect another book will start germinating.

Chris Randall, one-time leader of Sister Machine Gun and a bit of a 21st Century Renaissance man, has posted a lengthy argument about the relationship between art and commerce in this modern era. He points out that it is NOT a manifesto (more of a mission statement, if you will), but it is certainly a call for awareness. Give it a read: ‘It’s Not A Memo…’. It’s definitely something that I think all creatives–regardless of their industry–should give some thought to.

My schedule over the past year (and in the near future as well) certainly is part of the overall argument that one should ‘shut up and make art.’ There is a lot more that can be discussed about the relationship between a creative and their audience, but fundamentally, it does come down the fact that you must create–often and consistently–before you can really start to consider reaping the commercial benefits of building a reputation garden.

New Mongoliad Chapters

Author Stuff

I’m deep in the Mongoliad deathmarch. Book 1 has been through editorial and is winging its way through production. Book 2 has been turned in, and we’re lashed to our keyboards through the end of the year, trying to finish this beast. I think we’re finally past that point of not being able to see the end. For several months, it seemed–no matter how much content we wrote–there was still 60,000 more words to write. Now, I think we’re past that point, and the remaining word count is diminishing. I hope.

In January, I have another project to sink myself into.

In February, there will be much noise about Sektrit Plan Alpha.

All in all, the writing continues at a breakneck pace. Blogging suffers.

Two-thirds of the way through The Mongoliad

Writing

Chapter 34: “Munokhoi’s Folly” of The Monogliad came out this week. I think we’re a bit beyond thirty-four weeks into this project, and we’ve got just under twenty more chapters to go, according to projections that are probably very out of date. I ran the statistics today and we’ve clocked in just over 300K on this serial project so far.

In about nine months.

No wonder my brain hurts.