Sinner, a Foreworld novella, is out

Book Talk

The first Foreworld novella, Sinner, is out today via 47North.

This is a story that takes place a half dozen or so years before The Mongoliad, and explores a meeting between Andreas and Raphael, two members of the Ordo Militum Vindicis Intactae who didn’t meet during The Mongoliad. There’s a reference to Andreas early in the first book, when the hunting party that is going east is being selected. It was the sort of passing reference that is there as part of world-building; at the time, none of us expected we were going to need this character.

“But do you suppose we ought to wait a few days until some of our other Brothers can arrive?” one of the characters says. “Brother Andreas, for example. His spear would be a fine companion on a Khan-hunting journey. Plus he knows how to cook and he doesn’t snore like Brother Eleázar.”

But once we started developing the storyline of those who stayed behind at Legnica, we needed a good strong character. We went back to this scene, scooped up the name and the tiny bit we knew about him, and dropped Andreas on the page, and he turned into quite a handful. He was one of those characters who had their own idea about their presence in a book, and the Legnica storyline was the better for it.

When it came time to do the first batch of Side Quest novellas, we wanted to explore the back story of some of the characters, and I leaped at the chance of telling a story about Andreas and Raphael, two of my favorites.

Click here to buy a copy of this story.

Tending the Garden


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.

Stories, Books, and the Cat

Author Stuff

I’m returning from the writing mines to offer a few updates. The exciting one for those who wonder if I’m ever going to publish more short fiction is that Beneath Ceaseless Skies has just posted “The Heart of The Rail” in Issue #101 where I join Jack Nicholls (whose “Tale of the Aggrieved Astrologer” is quite entertaining, and is his first progressional sale as well; congratulations, sir!) and Christie Yant (whose “The Three Feats of Agani” from Issue #100 is the audio fiction selection this month). Cool steampunk wild west cover art by Ignacio Bazán Lazcano as well.

I join an august group of writers, and I’m quite pleased that “Heart of the Rail” has found a home. It’s a taste of some world-building that has been gaining some traction in my brain as of late. Various iterations of this world can be found in other stories, but I’m finally getting a sense of what this world is going to be.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Cascade Writers Conferences as one of their instructors (I ran through an abbreviated version of the “Jumpstart Your Novel” seminar). I saw some people who I don’t get to see often enough, met some delightful new writers, showed the fine folks at Applebees how writers tend to be oblivious to minor details like closing time, and had a chance to spook myself with a bit of Tarot throwing.

(Short version: my brain is starting to think about Angel Tongue; coincidences and syncronicities are starting to pile up.)

The Foreworld novella, “Sinner,” comes out in a few weeks. The second novella, “Dreamer,” comes out four weeks later, along with The Mongoliad: Book Two. There will also be deluxe editions of Book One and Book Two released at the same time, which is to say, hardback versions with maps and illustrations. The third novella in that cycle (“Seer”) will drop with Book Three in February of next year. These aren’t the only Foreworld stories coming out, by the way; these three were envisioned as a loose triptych.

By the way, yes, I have content coming out with my name on it in August and September and January and February. This is the culmination of the last two years of work, really. And that’s not all of it. There will be more. I was updating my bibliography earlier this morning and noticed that my last short story publication was in 2009. In 2010, I had one publication (Heartland), and 2011 only had the serialized version of the The Mongoliad. While the pace in the last few months has been more chaotic than I would like, I can’t say that it isn’t bearing fruit.

The hoary maxim is true, gang: Write–often, and without reservation.

And as the final edit pass for The Mongoliad Book Three is in my inbox, I should get back to doing just that.

Enkidu is happy that I’m home again. I don’t think he was terribly upset about missing the family trip to Yellowstone Park; it’s just that it annoys him if I’m not around to watch him nap. Cats get stressed out if no one witnesses their indolence.