The Unlucky Few

I’ve been backing away from social media this past week in order to focus on the Epic Fantasy novel and I actually became far more productive. Weird, that. It’s almost as if social media is nothing but a time sink. Weird, right?

I hit the usual halfway point in regards to word count but I can’t shake the feeling this means I’m about 1/3 of the way through this novel. I’m being hopeful at having it done by Halloween, but at the current writing pace that would put the book at almost 700 pages long. That’s… big. I try to keep my books around 400 pages typically.

I’ve been watching what’s going on in the publishing industry with vested interest the past few months. Covid has really done a number on publishing houses, and a lot of them are struggling to react to a suddenly saturated market. How are they doing, you ask? “Not well” would be a polite way of describing it. This culminated this month with something like 500 books from major publishers all dropping on the same day. Talk about drowning a market. I pity authors who had a book come out this month. Unless they already had an established fan base, more than likely their novel was lost in the deluge, and if they were a first time author, this release date probably killed their chances of getting a second book deal.

Because –surprise surprise– bad sales on a debut novel can hurt the chances of a new author being picked up for a second book, even if it’s an amazingly well-written novel. A lot of this industry is based on hard work and dedication, but there is also an element of luck involved. I mean, who’s to say which book will take off and be the Next Big Thing or not? Nobody can, which is why publishing is a gamble a lot of the time. That being said, though, because this is 2020, the usual guessing game has become something more akin to Russian roulette with an unloaded gun that nobody knows is unloaded.

In related news, turned in the edited short story for the next Black Tide Rising anthology, WE SHALL RISE. My story, “APPALACHIA REX” is a humorous story about how an all-girls Catholic school would survive the zombie apocalypse in the middle of Appalachia. It has one of the best opening lines I’ve ever written, I think. It’s also one of the longer short stories I’ve written. That’s been a recurring theme lately. Maybe my subconscious has been prepping me all along for this Epic Fantasy novel?

The anthology will feature a few New York Times bestselling authors like Kevin J. Anderson and Brendan DuBois, and other standout luminaries such as Jody Lynn Nye and Kacey Ezell. As always, I’m thrilled to be published in this universe, as I’m a huge fan of John Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series. Between Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold universe and this, I’m writing in two of my three most favorite universes out there.

On the personal front, not a lot going on here. Casa Cordova is pretty much in the “hurry up and wait” mode until I can get the roofers to replace the roof. I can’t take out the second chimney, it turns out, because the vent from the furnace uses it as an exhaust port. No bueno if I cap that. Basically, can you say “carbon monoxide poisoning”, boys and girls?

I knew you could.

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