This one time at Writer's Camp…
Category Archives: Wraithkin
Today is the release of the long-awaited first book of a brand new series I’m writing. Wraithkin is out and available in both print and e-format, and the early reviews is that all my hard work has come to fruition with this book. Run and buy, share, talk about it. Publicity never hurt a writer.
That turnaround time has to be some sort of record.
Murder World has a new title and a home. Severed Press (those who brought you Kaiju Apocalypse by myself and Eric S. Brown) bought it Wednesday morning (less than 12 hours after we finished it), and we decided to go with a different title. It’s now Murder World: Kaiju Dawn.
Why did we do this, you ask? Well, two reasons. The first is marketing. With Murder World, quite a few people asked me if I had written a Marvel novel. I had no idea that the name was shared by anything until someone pointed me in the right direction. So… slide in the secondary title of Kaiju Dawn and suddenly it’s an easy genre to guess (is giant stomping creatures of death a genre yet? It should be). Secondly, this leaves us open to write the sequel, Murder World: Kaiju Darkness.
I’m an evil man, what can I say?
Then today I got the contract in the mail for Wraithkin. This has been a long time coming (six years, two months since I began this novel) and it’s a very nice feeling to have this book out there. The publisher, Naked Reader Press, is one I specifically chose for this book. I like their writers and their editors, and that means quite a bit to me in the grand scheme of things. I mean, if you can’t stand what a publisher puts out there for the world to read, then why in the heck would you want them to publish your book?
So two books sold in the week, Kaiju Apocalypse is still hanging around in the Top 100 on Amazon (go awesome people!) and there is, more than likely, another Murder World book on the way. This has been a rather good week.
Final proof copy of Kaiju Apocalypse was turned in late last night (I think I finished going over it at around 0045). There were some formatting issues (what is it with me and screwed-up formatting?) but nothing I couldn’t handle. It should be out any day now in ebook format (and maybe print). It’ll be my first novella as well, which is something I suppose.
Still waiting to hear back on Wraithkin. I’m actually working on the sequel (Darkling) and Murder World simultaneously right now. Murder World is pretty close to being complete, just have to wrap up the ending and one massive fight scene.
I’m not sure when the re-release for Sha’Daa: Pawns is coming out, though I’m guessing “soon”. My new story for this one, Paragon Idol, is about a fallen child actor and an offer made on behalf of the Darkness. Fun story, and should be out sometime in May (I think), because Sha’Daa: Facets will be out in June or July (and that one has A Promise Made).
Okay, back to writing. I have a deadline to meet.
Tonight I’m going to celebrate the end of 2013 with panache and class.
Yep, I’m going to crack open a bottle of champagne, cook up some finger foods and pass out around 11:30PM. That’s just how I roll.
I’m so hardcore.
I’m looking back over 2013 and I must say I’m rather pleased with what I’ve accomplished. I passed my 2013 word count goal of 370,000 by a lot (501,200 is the rounded down number) and finished Wraithkin (100,000 words). I also wrote the sequel to Homeworld with Eric Brown in September (another… 75,000 words?), and saw four anthologies I’m in be published (What Scares the Boogeyman?, Dreams of Steam IV: Gizmos, Dreamers in Hell, and Mental Ward: Echoes of the Past). I’m writing a sooper seekrit project with Mark Wandrey right now, which should be done by March or April. I moved, which was a big deal (I liked Kentucky, but I love living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia). I got a dog. I joined my first fan club/organization. I kept my (relative) sanity.
Good things, all said in done.
For 2014, I have some very specific goals. First, I’d like to hit a word count goal of 500,000 words this coming year. Granted, this is going to be a bigger challenge than 2013’s goal, simply because I’ll have to average almost 1,700 words a day. That’s not a lot, per se, but it’s still enough to make me work. I’d like to finish Darkling, the sequel to Wraithkin, by September. I’d like to have my project with Mark done by April. I also owe my editor a bunch of Tobias Fox stories, as well as his first novel. I’d like to write a Star Trek novel, but I’d have to bug the agent about that one.
Things I’d like to get done: write the first Failsafe novel, titled A Banner Burned. That’s… probably not going to happen, simply because the amount of other projects I have to finish before then. I’d also like to write another novel in Eric Brown’s Homeworld universe, starring Saul, but that’s a “maybe sorta kinda” thing. I also would like to write Obliterator, the sequel to Corruptor, by the end of 2014, as well as begin Devastator. The Warp universe isn’t going anywhere, and with the advances in tech that have been sprouting up in recent years since I first wrote Corruptor (way back in… 2005? 2006?), I’ve gotten some awesome new ideas for the world (nice to see that my prediction of cloud-based free gaming came true) and really don’t want to waste the characters I have running around there (primarily Tori and Dylan).
I’m hoping to get more reviews done for Shiny Book Review, but that might not happen. If I can manage three a month I’d be happy, but I may have to settle for merely two.
I’m also looking forward to seeing more stories I’ve written be published. Anthologies such as Terror by Gaslight, Hero’s Best Friend, Sha’Daa Facets, and Heroes All should be coming out in 2014, and all of them have stories I’ve written featured within. I’m also looking forward to the latest Dresden novel, Skin Game. I’m hoping that George R. R. Martin lives long enough to finish A Song of Fire and Ice.
I hope that my brother stays safe while finishing up his final rotation to A-stan. I hope my dad stays (relatively) healthy.
But most of all, I hope that everyone has a reasonably satisfactory 2014. I mean, there’s always some bad with the good. I’m hoping that the bad is outweighed by the tremendous good.
So apparently trolls are all the rage these days. I had no idea.
I love reading the blogs of authors I like to… uh, read? That sounded a lot better in my head. Anyway, so I was reading Larry Correia’s blog around 5 this morning and saw that there was a troll in the dungeon. I read quite a few of the comments and thought “Yay! Troll baiting!”
Troll baiting, you see, is a time-honored practice among the men and women of the woolly north who use tactics such as snarkiness, double entendres and wit to manipulate, control and, when they grow bored of the game, destroy trolls. Trolls are sometimes fun, but usually just filled with daddy-hating rage, angst, and emoish outlook at the world. Because as everyone knows, everyone is a special little snowflake.
But… Larry denied me the opportunity to troll bait, because he banned McStalker (the other nickname I had was inappropriate and while I know people would get a good chuckle out of this, people from the church I sometimes go to read this blog and then they start asking me pointed questions when I see then again… *sigh*) and I came in too late. I moped a bit, then decided to go be whiny on my blog and troll myself.
Ah, the things I do for entertainment.
Jay (from the Beta Alpha Squad-Team Awesome Reader Division) just sent me back the heavily edited Wraithkin. So I know what I’ll be doing while stuck at home during this supposed ice storm that’s going to hit tonight. Still, he said it “didn’t suck” which, from him, is high praise indeed. I need to re-organize the beginning, add the scene I thought about writing then discarded because I didn’t know where it would fit in at, and clean it up before submitting. No big deal, except that the word count is probably going to climb.
That’s… actually not a bad thing, since it was on the short side at 92,000 words. Remember, Corruptor was at 117,000 words, so Wraithkin is shorter than what I’m used to.
*sigh* I’m still annoyed, by the way, that I wasn’t even invited to go troll baiting…
I sent off Homeworld: Rockfall to my coauthor Eric Brown yesterday afternoon. The first draft is done (yeah, I was slacking) and though it “only” took about 5 weeks to write, that was a rough five weeks.
While the book itself isn’t the longest thing I’ve ever written (I’m looking at you, Corruptor) it is, by far, the grimmest. I don’t think I’ve ever dug that deep into the MilSF genre before when writing. Not even Wraithkin went that dark, and considering what Wraithkin is all about, that’s saying something. To match Eric’s style, you need to channel your inner David Drake (if you have one of those) and try to keep up. Eric’s a very talented guy who is more known for horror than MilSF (at least, for me in any case) but when he wants to, he sure can imitate Drake nicely.
That’s not a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong. There are thousands of writers out there who wish they could sounds like David Drake. Eric’s one of the few who can pull it off.
My poison ivy is finally clearing up. My right side of the face is cleared at last, though the skin is extra dry (and flaky… ewwww), I can see my eye now without having to search for it. It still “feels” a little weird, like I still have some swelling around the zygomatic area, but all in all I call myself “healed”.
Still haven’t gotten my deer yet. I’m… perturbed by this. Of course, last time I didn’t get my deer until the last day of hunting season, so if the pattern continues… man. I’m going to be out there freezing my butt off again. The good side to that, though, is that if I get my deer at dusk, then I’ll be able to just hang it up in the shed and finish skinning it the next day. The downside? Skinning it the next day, when the deer is nice and cold and stiff.
The things I do so I can make my chili…
Okay, so I need to rehash my brain and get out of the MilSF set that it’s is. While I should buckle down and finish Wraithkin, Rockfall is still stuck in my mind and I really am worried that the two will seem too similar if I try finishing Wraithkin now. So I’ll need to get something “fun” written, like a Tobias Fox story (which I owe 6 of right now) or my little short, I, Godslayer. This should allow me enough time to “reset” and get the right frame of mine back for wrapping up Wraithkin and shooting it over to the agent to see if he likes it. I originally thought that I would have Unholy Vengeance done before October 31 but since I’ve barely cracked 10,000 words… I think it’s going to be closer to February by the time that one gets done. But still, at least I have some sort of time frame now as to when I hope to get things done.
“Hope” being the key word here.
Next week over at Shiny Book Review, my interview with author Kal Spriggs will be going live. Kal was a good sport about being interviewed, and barring some technical difficulties, his interview should be up on Monday. Barb is interviewing the polymath/rocket scientist/author Stephanie Osborne soon as well, and then there’s going to be one other interview going up a few weeks after that. Yes, we’re still doing book reviews, but right now interviews are easier on us (mostly). I still have three books I need to review (Mike Resnick’s The Doctor and the Dinosaur; Seanan McGuire’s Discount Armaggedon, and Misty Massey’s Mad Kestrel (which I’d been meaning to review for monthsnow). Barb’s got a full plate on her hands as well, so bear with us.
Other than that, my con schedule for 2014 is starting to fill up. I have a secret desire to attend Worldcon next year but unless I come into a lot of money, I doubt I’ll be making the flight to London, no matter how much I’d love to go. I’ve never been to London (or England) and it’s on my bucket list. Yeah, it’s weird that I’ve been throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe, but haven’t gone to London. NASFic is a possibility, since it’s in Detroit and is close enough-ish to drive. But for right now, I’m only attending Mysticon, Ravencon and Libertycon. I had to turn down an invite from MidSouthCon since they are too close to Ravencon, and I usually give con preference to whoever asks me first. I’m still toying with the possibility of Congragate but since they’re very close to Libertycon, that might present some problems.
I’ve already seen people gearing up for NaNoWriMo, which is always confusing for me. I mean, while you’re “prepping” for NaNo, you could be, oh I don’t know, writing? I understand that a lot of people enjoy the support of other writers during NaNo, and I guess that makes a lot of sense, since everyone wants to be told that their writing is awesome and that they can do it. But I think that’s also a potential downside to NaNo as well. Everybody is so busy cheering one another on that, somewhere in the mist, the entire goal of “writing” gets lost. Skewer me all you want (I know you will, Mandi) but if you’re too busy applauding and cheering everyone else, then when do you have time to write for yourself?
Writing is a job. That’s the mindset that anyone wishing to be a writer full-time has to accept. There’s a set time you write, and you stick to that. For me, it’s from 9am-1 or 2 pm, depending on what my deadline is. I do this every day, Monday through Saturday, unless I’m out of town on Saturday. It sucks writing in the mornings, because my brain is fragged and I haven’t really woken up yet. But it’s beneficial as well, because I’ve now established a pattern of consistency and, as you may have read up top, my coauthor and I wrote a novel in 5 weeks. That’s… insane. Really.
Set your writing goals, then stick to them. It gets easier.
Wow. This got long in a hurry. And I got to lecturing. My apologies. Here is a picture of my cat.
Another long work week ahead of me and I’m still trying to wrap up Wraithkin. It’s as though my boss knows I’m almost finished with a book and has decided to make me work more than normal. Plus side, though, is that after my six days in a row I’m taking three off.
Yesterday we put up a new review over at SBR. It was John Ringo’s Under A Graveyard Sky, reviewed by Chris Smith (who reviewed Homo Saywhaticus? for us awhile back). It’s very funny. You should go read it. It’s funny. Which is normal when dealing with Chris.
Okay, need to get off here before I lose myself in this.