New Mongoliad Chapters

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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.

Post WFC

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I never know when to leave conventions, and World Fantasy Convention always flummoxes me. Do I stay through the banquet, congratulate the winners, and then leave? Do I leave Sunday morning and simply miss the last day of watching the dead lumber around? Or do I wait until the site goes quiet for the banquet and then take my leave?

It always feels like I’m slipping out of a friend’s house while they’ve left the room for a moment to use the bathroom.

But WFC 2011 is behind us now. Tonight is Halloween, and due to the timing of the con, it will be the first Halloween I’ve done with BOTH kids. And that realization takes a lot of the sting out of leaving. That last hour, however, was still filled with the frantic calculations of when you will see everyone again.

Did I accomplish the business I hoped to do? Not entirely. Did other awesome and interesting opportunities present themselves? Yes, they did. Going to WFC reminds me why one should never set one’s five- and ten- year plans in stone. One should always be flexible. One should always be ready to say “yes” to something new and unexpected without thinking too much about how that project will actually come together. WFC reminds me that, while writing can be a solitary experience, creating is not. As much as I love writing, I do love creating more.

My convention began with a panel on Magic and Metaphysics. Ted Chiang, Kristin Janz, Peter Orullian and I kept an audience entertained for more than an hour at a time past when panels are supposed to be interesting. A number of people stopped me throughout the rest of the con, expressing their appreciation for our discussion and clearly wishing we could continue it. One gentleman actually posed a very interesting non-fiction book idea that, at the very least, might be an interesting follow-up panel. Perhaps at Norwescon in the spring.

I signed copies of Lightbreaker and Heartland at the Night Shade Books table for a few hours on Saturday. I felt very much like the shabby cousin, surrounded by the depth and breadth of the New Voices program that the Shade has launched this fall. So very many gorgeously designed and enticing books. I made up for my feelings of inadequancy among these wunderkind by personalizing the remaining copies of my books before I left. I didn’t just sign them; I left little messages in each. I hope they all find happy homes.

One of my favorite conversations was not about fantasy or science fiction or the business of publishing but about Sir Richard Burton and the terror of William Blake, about the Coen Brothers and David Fincher and their fierce vision of making film, about Thucydidies and Xenophon and how The Aeneid was nothing more than fan fiction (but yes, we’d all read parts of it in the original Latin).

I miss you all, crazy dreamers. But now we must go work through the cold winter.

The Mongoliad As Print Book

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Amazon Publishing launched 47North this morning. It’s their new SF/F imprint, and one of the headlining title is The Mongoliad.*

Just look at that cover art. I am more than a little pleased. Thrilled, even. Jumping up and down, in fact.

Book One will be released in April 2012. You can click through on that link to be taken to the Amazon page for the book. Book Two and Book Three will be released in fairly quick succession, which means that, by Christmas, you will be able to stack the entirety of The Mongoliad by your fireplace to give the reindeer something to read while Santa raids your refrigerator.

*Yes, I realize The Mongoliad appears to be slightly altered historical fiction, certainly not enough–at first glance–to warrant being classified as “fantasy.” But that first glance barely scratches the surface of what’s going on in Foreworld.

The First Day

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Today was my first day of being a full-time writer, and frankly, it was rather mundane. Started clearing my desk and making it a useful workspace. At which point, I realized that all the books on the south side of the room were books I didn’t need that close at hand, and all the books on the north side and west side were the active projects, and so a massive re-organization began. Right now, it’s chaos in here, and I have orange sticky notes on the shelves noting where certain categories are going be filed.

Did the dishes, watched the maintenance guys from Sears come by and service all of our appliances, caught a few episodes of The Venture Bros, and listened to some music. And a podcast (Thelema Now! with William Kiesel, talking about esoteric books, Ouroboros Press, and the Esoteric Book Conference).

Speaking of music, today’s playlist was J. G. Thirlwell’s incidental music for the Venture Bros, Delerium’s Syrophenikan, Caul’s Kairos, and Gitane Demone’s Lullabies for a Troubled World. One of the nice things about working here is that the mood isn’t always Thrash and Noise (aka The White Noise That Drowns Out The Ambient Noise Of The Train).

Caul’s Kairos is a really nice surprise. In the past, Caul has been very ambient–very, very ambient–and this record introduces rhythms and beats. Almost downtempo in their slinkiness. The Caul website has an imbedded player where you can hear the whole record.

New Projects

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I gave notice at my day job today. Fourteen years I’ve been there. Wrapping it up in the next two weeks to go be a writer full-time. I know. All of a sudden, isn’t it? Well, it’s been a long process of working in the wee hours of the day and night, but I’ve finally reached a point where I can’t do everything all the time. I have reached the point of needing to simply.

Less tech work. More writing.

That seems pretty simple.

Of course, it get complicated when Neal Stephenson twitters today that “Our first demo of the new novel I am writing with Greg Bear, Nicole Galland, Mark Teppo, and others” will be happening next week in San Francisco (handy link to announcement).

This is the Sekrit Project. Called The Mongoliad, it’s well, go look. I probably won’t be here for a bit when you get back. Things to do and all.