Not tired of winning yet…
2017 was a strange year. It had some tremendous highs and a few lows.
The hardest part of the year was putting down Wally-cat. He was still a young cat (6 years old) when the decision was made. He was suffering from kidney failure and it was a genetic thing that nobody caught until he became a little old. I buried him next to Sophie out on the farm, so he can hang with the only dog he ever liked. I still miss him and occasionally catch myself asking Casper where his brother is.
I had to rehome Odin due to him just not getting enough attention. I hated leaving him in his crate all the time but with my work schedule it wasn’t feasible to do much with him. Fortunately I found a nice family that I knew who were willing to take him on. I still get to go visit him regularly and he’s always happy to see me. He traded 8 teenage boys for 2 teenagers, so he’s pretty happy that he has someone to run with still.
My work was exhausting this year but I survived it. We had a staffing shortage at one point and I was working 6 days straight, 24 hours a day for just over three months. That killed any extra energy I might have needed, but it all worked out in the end.
I also survived another Libertycon. This one was a lot of fun because I got to hang out with people I hadn’t seen in years and finally met the guy who pretty much is my twin, Jon Del Arroz. Now that people have seen us in the same place together they will quit confusing us.
In 2017, I released or turned in a lot of stuff for the publishers. The list follows:
- Paint the Sky, my Four Horsemen Universe short story which featured the first Liberian mercenary unit in the 4H universe. It was in A Fistful of Credits, and edited by Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy. It was pretty popular from what I heard.
- Magnum Opus was released in the Michael Z Williamson Freehold universe anthology, Forged in Blood. Again, pretty good reviews (61 five-stars as of this moment) and lots of people really liked Rowan Moran, the Operative in my story. I love working with Baen Books and really, really need to get them a standalone or series.
- Corruptor was re-released as a science fiction YA book in September, mere days after Forged in Blood came out, which is what it is at it’s core, by Anticipation Press. I’d resecured the rights to the novel earlier this year and it was almost immediately snapped up by another publisher. The sales have been slow, but I figured that would happen due to it being 7 years old. However, the publisher didn’t get the rights to a single novel, oh no. As you’ll see later on this list, they got much much more.
- Then I got word that the Japanese translation of Kaiju Apocalypse came out in Japan from Takeshobo. The cover was awesome and I really enjoyed seeing my name in Japanese. I’m still waiting to see about getting a copy of that novel.
- Right after that I turned in the long-awaited sequel to Corruptor, titled Devastator. This is coming out in 11 days (Jan 12) so be ready. I was insanely thrilled about getting this one in, since I got to go back to The Warp and do crazy things that break the laws of physics and tease with something else going on in my electronic worlds.
- Best of all, I closed the year off with a bang as my second Kakata Korps short story was picked up and published in The Good, The Bad, and The Merc, the third anthology in the 4HU. Keep the Home Fires Burning is about honor and duty, while keeping the family and tribe together as a whole. It’s also about a bit of becoming more than just a mercenary unit, and potentially becoming a savior to a people who have been forgotten as the world moved on.
This was a fairly productive year overall. Basketball continues to do well as last year’s returning players have helped the newcomers adjust to the frantic pace I demand, as well as how to properly run Havok and the offense. Win percentage is up over last year at this point, and I can see this team doing very well at the year end tournament.
So a pretty eventful year overall. No complaints from me here. I hope that 2018 can be even better.
…until Devastator is live. Not that I’m counting.
Yesterday I was going through Darkling before I started really cranking it out and finishing it up by New Year’s (that’s my goal) when I realized that I had an empty chapter placeholder just… sitting there. Like that puppy in the window that nobody wants, Chapter 11 was just staring at me. No notes, not /// marks to let me know I was working on something in there. I was a bit curious because I knew whose chapters were in 10 and 12 (Christine chapters, the lot of them) but I had no idea who was supposed to be 11. I even read the book and saw that there wasn’t a gap between character scenes that needed to be filled.
So who is it? Where did he come from?
So from the looks of things I’m going to have a 100K word novel with only 16 chapters in it. At least I didn’t pull a We Few. You know, the novel that John sent to David without a single chapter in it? That was an amusing story to hear from both sides of things.
January 1 I’ll be getting ready to finish my bender and knock out Obliterator, then finish off The Warp with Vindicator. Then back on over to the Kin Wars Saga to finish of the third book of the first trilogy, Deathlords. Two more unannounced books later and that should wrap up my 2018.
Oh, throw in a few short stories for friends and whatnot that I owe (sorry!). Forgot about those.
22 days and counting until Book 2 of The Warp is released. Devastator is, in my opinion, a terrific story. The pacing is fast, which is typical for me, but the story unfolds at just the right amount of time. Drama? Got it. Love story? Check.
22 days. Start the countdown.
In the meanwhile, I’ll be finishing up Darkling, the second book in the Kin Wars Saga.
Also, keep an eye out for a new page coming soon.
Also in the news today, Book 2 of The Warp has been turned in. As a prize, my publisher let me show off the latest cover for Devastator. The long-awaited sequel to Corruptor is much better (in my opinion) though a bit shorter. I can’t wait to see this book in print next year.
I do seem to be having a lot of these lately, don’t I?
The Good, The Bad, and The Merc is currently live on Amazon. My short story, Keep the Home Fires Burning, continues the tale of the Kakata Korps as they take a new contract and discover a new purpose in life.
I really enjoy writing about the Liberian mercs and I’m hoping to eventually put a novel down about them. Chris and Mark seemed enthused by the idea but with the schedule I have right now it would be a little difficult to fit it in. Nonetheless, it’s there in the head, which means eventually it’ll get written.
It’s basketball season at last and I of course forgot my day over at the Mad Genius Club. Undoubtedly this will lead to me being replaced by someone crazier than I.
Just a quick update letting everyone know that I’m still around. Turned in Devastator last week and am almost finished with Deathlord. Meanwhile, Keep the Home Fires Burning is coming out in two weeks in the latest Four Horsemen anthology, The Good, The Bad, and The Merc. After that will be a new Sha’Daa anthology, called Sha’Daa: Toys. Then… I don’t know, really.
The turnaround time is really short these days.
There are days where everything you touch turns to gold, where the people who follow you walk along the streets and sing your praises and the marching band behind them is in perfect formation as they play “Louie, Louie”. The days where the heaven and earth both rejoice in the absolute amazing day that you are having.
…and then there are days like today.
I like to consider myself a pretty smart guy. I mean, outside of the usual “yeah, I went to college, I’m smart” statement, I consider myself intelligent. I mean, I’m no Einstein, but I can hum a few bars once in awhile. For some reason though, today while I was trying to explain things I sounded like the biggest idiot in the world. I’m talking mistake after mistake, which would then compound on top of things, and then throw in the fact that I was a nervous wreck and you have the perfect storm of Jasonidiocy (totally a thing now).
So then tonight I was feeling down. Other stuff going on got to me and I started thinking. When I’m depressed a bit and get to thinking, this is usually a bad sign… except for when I’m writing, then it’s a great sign, because it means that a planet is about to die in a book. But then I spoke with one of my residents and he told me that he’d never been given a pair of new basketball shoes before. He usually got stuff from Goodwill (which is no knock on Goodwill; I’ve gotten plenty of khakis and sweaters there myself) but he’d never had a pair of new, only been worn by him shoes.
So tonight I decided that I was going to buy this kid some new shoes.
I’d set aside some money the past two months so I can get myself new shoes. My current ones are ratty and have a suspicious hole near the big toe, but they’re not my only pair, merely my fave (Merrell makes good shoes). So instead of wasting money on me and feeling like a bigger turd (I hate spending money on myself) I went ahead and got him a brand new pair of Under Armor Clutchfit Drive 3 (they were on sale) so he can play basketball in something other than old deck shoes (yes, he plays basketball in sailing shoes because that’s all he has).
It helped me feel better. I don’t have a particularly strong relationship with the kid (I see him at meals, and at the gym on campus), and I have no idea how long he’s going to be here, but at least I know for now that he can play basketball in something he can call his own.
Gift giving is about fulfilling a need sometimes. That’s what it was for me today. It fulfilled my need to help someone who has worse luck than I because even though my day was crap, not everyone’s needs to be.
This is actually pretty cool.
In 2014 my coauthor (Eric S. Brown) and I wrote a “trilogy” (more like one book split into 3 novellas) called the Kaiju Apocalypse series.. It made us a bit of money and we actually hit the bestseller list with it for about two weeks.
In 2016 the largest publisher in Japan, Takeshobo, purchased the Japanese rights to the trilogy. The trilogy was converted into one novel, Kaiju Apocalypse, and published as a mass market paperback in Japan this past September. Eric and I only heard about it two weeks ago. I’ve been so busy at work and finishing Devastator (as well as the short stories “Keep the Home Fires Burning” and “Terrance the Terrible Toy Train of Terrano”
) that it completely slipped my mind.
Pardon the graininess of the image. It was downloaded from their site and then blown up a bit so people can see it.
My name looks cool in Japanese. Still waiting for my print copies of it, btw.