This one time at Writer's Camp…
Tag Archives: fiction
(I was tagged in this by Amanda S. Green. She introduced her favorite character, Ashlyn Shaw, star of Vengeance From Ashes, here.)
As I walked into the bar, I began to wonder just what the hell I was getting myself into this time. Sure, I’m the author, and I create these people, but some of them seem to be able to slip the reins and run around without proper supervision. Vincente Huerta, the main character from Murder World: Kaiju Dawn, ship captain, smuggler, and all around pain in the ass, was one of those characters. He was brash, arrogant, and really needed to be smacked in the mouth. Unfortunately, this interview called for just one character, so there was no Jasmine to help me keep him in check. Which was a shame, really. I could use some backup when dealing with guys like him. It keeps me from killing them.
I spotted him fairly easily. He looks just as I figured he would: slightly overweight, thinning hair, in dire need of a shave. Taller than I expected, though, and much bluer eyes than any man with that Hispanic-sounding of a name should have. Contacts, perhaps? I wouldn’t put it past him.
He looked up as I approached. I almost grabbed a nearby bar stool and hit him right there. I have no idea why, I just did. He had this… smugness about him that I desperately wanted to beat out of him. I mean, seriously. He gives off that “I’m an ass, beat me with a baseball bat” vibe. For once I understand what a Charisma roll of 8 is really like.
“You’re late,” he told me. I looked at my phone, confused.
“No, I’m right on time,” I countered.
“In my line of work, if you’re on time, then Customs gets you. Always be early.”
What a load of crap. I’m being lectured to by my own creation. I seriously need to kill this asshole off.
I joined him in the booth and watched him pound back a shot of bourbon. Cheap bourbon, I’ll add. The man hasn’t found much work lately, and times were lean, even for the most effusive of alcoholics. I ordered water from the passing waitress, who nodded in my direction before sending a scalding look at Vincente. I smiled. Nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who wanted to smash his face in.
“So what did you want to talk to me about?” he asked.
“Well, for starters, tell me about your past.”
“Nothing interesting there.”
I pull out my notepad and look it over. “Considering I have your life story right here, I’d say that you were lying.”
“If you have everything, then why are you bugging me about this stupid interview?”
I swear to God I’m going to break his nose.
“Look, Vincente… I just want to hear it from you. For instance, I have you being married twice. That caused some consternation with me, since I don’t think that was meant to be.”
“Tell me about it. We managed to null that marriage less than ten hours after it happened. Glad that woman agreed.”
“Which woman?” I asked. “Mooney?”
“No, not her,” he growled. “The other.”
“Come on Vincente,” I prodded. “What’s her name?”
“You’re the damned writer, you spoil the sequel.”
He had me there. I hated spoilers. Especially when they were my fault.
“Okay fine. We’ll try talking about something else then. Tell me about your ship.”
For the first time, he takes an extreme interest in the interview. “My ship? She’s beautiful. I converted the interior holds into airtight, individual storage bays and added an armored personnel carrier for those smuggling rendezvous where I might get shot at. She’s got the best communications ‘net on the market, and that includes the black market, and my engineer can get her into skip space with hardly a bump. She’s the real deal. You looking to rent her out?”
“No, not really.” I was sort of confused by his response though. I was pretty sure that he no longer had the Fancy and was, in fact, in the market. But then again, the guy is a born liar.
“A shame. I need the money,” he said as he began to slide out of the booth. I looked at him, surprised.
“Where are you going? I have a few more questions to ask you.”
“Sorry chief, gotta run. My permit’s about to expire and this here rock doesn’t do credit the way they used to. Plus, I think I owe the dockmaster money.”
I watched him walk away and I couldn’t help feeling that I’d gotten the shaft. Sure, he answered a few questions, but this wasn’t what I had been hoping for. I wanted to have my readers get to know him, and instead–
“Here’s his tab, sir,” the waitress slipped me Vincente’s bill as she passed by. “He said you’d take care of it.”
Son of a bitch. I hate that guy.
My brain couldn’t get into the mood for writing Kaiju Apocalypse III today, since this flu thingy has been kicking my butt this week. Instead of calling it a lost day, though, I decided to work on this fantasy idea my Muse has been beating me over the head with the past two weeks. I mean, I’d kinda outlined it before (okay, I drew up some geographical maps and created an 8 pointed magic system) and talked a bit about it, but I’d never actually tried writing it. I think because I was fighting my Muse again and trying to make it an urban fantasy thing when it needed to be a classic fantasy piece.
So I started I, Godslayer today and immediately put down 2,000 words. It sort of surprised me at just how much my Muse apparently wanted to write this story. So hooray for my foray into humorous high fantasy?
I see that quite a few people have purchased Murder World: Kaiju Dawn but very few of you have actually written a review up on Amazon for it. Is it really too difficult to say “This book sucked” or something else (preferably, “This book rocked!”). Everyone has been in shock over the fact that some Kardashian wrote a book and lamenting the fact that they had it ghost-written as well, and that this hurts “real” authors. No, that doesn’t hurt real authors, actually. The fact that people call it a piece of crap and managed to write 61 one-star reviews is what hurt “real” authors. I mean, people say the book sucks and jeer the fact that they can’t write, and yet they still push the sales up and give it reviews. You want to keep sh*t like this from happening, every day reader? Give a book your enjoyed a rating on amazon. It helps and also validates to the author that people have, you know, read the book.
I would love for there to be 30 reviews on Murder World: Kaiju Dawn by the end of the day. That would be awesome. It’s not going to happen, though, and I believe this is because the average reader would much rather tear down a novel they hate instead of talking up a novel they enjoyed.
And before you cough and say “Jason, what about your review of Catching Fire?” you should recall that I was practically gushing over The Hunger Games. So hold on a second before calling me a hypocrite, mmkay?
And write a damn review.
First off, I wanted to thank everyone who bought a copy of Kaiju Apocalypse this weekend. Cracking the Top 100 in multiple genres was… well, it blew my mind. The sales are still going (#18,000 or so last I checked… if you bought it, by the way, have you reviewed it yet? That helps even more!), and you can still buy it and cause it to jump in the rankings, but I wanted to thank you for helping make me squee like a Chibi girl seeing Japanese tentacle porn for the first time.
Too much? Too soon?
I’m working on Murder World this afternoon. It’s about… 1/2 to 3/5 finished by my rough estimate (roooooough estimate). I’m still debating throwing something massive in there which would cause it to be a much longer book or not. Eric’s not a fan of the idea, but I can’t seem to shake this image of an Indiana Jones-type of temple, complete with my very own Mola Ram and some very pissed off gods. Just a thought I was toying around with. I may write it up separate and let him decide if he wants it in or not after the fact.
Jason: Surprise! I added a Temple of Doom!
Jason: Yeah, totally! I got multiple gods, a Mola Ram-like dude, and Jasmine’s going to–
Eric: …whatever. We’ll talk later.
Hmm… you know, now that I’ve talked it out with myself, it may not be such a good idea after all. I need to think this one through a tad bit more before I jump the shark here.
Anyways, go buy the book if you haven’t already. Review it if you haven’t already. Do the hokey pokey if you haven’t already.
Hah! That’s what I’m all about.
I’m doing some random posting today, so if you don’t want to read a very meandering post, kindly step away from the computer. It’ll be for the best.
I’m stuck. I’m really effing stuck. Not a writer’s block, no. It’s more of a “this character did this and now she’s got me stuck” kind of thing. It’s a horrible, horrible thing to behold: a writer, in his prime, being struck across the head by a (admittedly cool) character of his creating, forced to try to rationalize her actions.
So, in order to break through this slough, I’m writing a meandering post that’ll cover Iain M. Banks, PRISM, my birthday (which was yesterday) and my thoughts on my latest endeavor, Unholy Vengeance.
First off, I’ll tell you right now that I’ve only read one Iain Banks’ novel (The Player of Games), but I do know the profound effect he had upon many fellow writers. I was saddened to hear that he died this morning after a short bout with cancer. He’s considered one of the new grandmasters of science fiction and was a writer whose life was just too short. Some people say that 59 is a decent enough age, but in our industry, 59 is very young. Most of us authors don’t really get started until we’re in our late 30’s to early 40’s, so 59 is almost like a teenager in that comparison (that… was the best analogy I could think of. Sorry).
Iain will be missed by many. I wish I could have met him, especially after I read The Player of Games.
— — —
My email inbox was absolutely flooded on Friday when it came out that the US had something in the works called PRISM. I couldn’t help but think “You weren’t aware of this possibility?” I mean, really?
People, ever since the Patriot Act was passed (and then repeatedly extended) we have seen our privacy go the way of the dodo. We have social media now, that we freely join and plaster all our information on, which sells our personal information to advertisers, and you’re going to complain that the government wants to get in on the act? Seriously? That… takes a special kind of ignorance.
All kidding aside, this is dangerous. The people should not be afraid of their government, but their government should be afraid of the people. Yet day after day we see more and more government, and nobody says a thing. It boils down to what I’ve said before: the government can do what they like without pissing of the citizens of the US — until they try to take away the free porn.
Think I’m kidding? Look at the Boston shooting. They cheered the government enforcing a city-wide curfew, warrantless house-to-house searches and general revocation of the Bill of Rights until they caught their man. And they cheered.
They freaking cheered. What. The. Hell.
Remember when SOPA tried to pass? Oh how the people bitched and moaned about their loss of civil liberties. Congress tried to take away their free porn, they’re all up in arms about it. Take away their Bill of Rights? Meh.
*sigh* People…. just… I don’t know. Really? I mean, really?
— — —
I turned 35 yesterday. I guess that makes me officially middle-aged. Yay?
I don’t feel that old. I still feel like I’m in my 20’s (I sure don’t act 35) and I still look like I’m in my 20’s (albeit late 20’s). I’m in better shape than I was then, and I’m far healthier than ever. Maybe I have one of the reverse aging things (he says as he pops his shoulder and groans in pain)? Or perhaps I just got lucky, since I rarely drink, never smoked, never did any drugs, and cut out a lot of fast food four years ago.
I also think I have outlived my brother Shawn (who died in 2001). I think he was 34 when he committed suicide. I don’t know for certain. He might have been 36. I’ll have to ask and see if my dad remembers. My dad, by the way, turned 76 two days ago. He’s still going strong, although some memory issues are there (quit calling me Josh, damn it! He’s 5 years younger and a lot shorter than I am) and he’s not nearly as mobile as he was when I was a kid. But then, he’s raised 8 boys. I’ll cut him some slack.
It’s weird, getting older and not feeling it. They say that age is just a number; I tend to agree with that sentiment, though I didn’t 10 years ago. Then, 35 was freaking ancient, man. Now? 76 is freaking ancient.
— — —
I’m writing a Tobias Fox trilogy right now, and the first novel is Unholy Vengeance. Tobias Fox, for those of you who don’t know, is the main character of two short stories I have coming out this year and next. Those stories, Nightwalker and The Tree of Death and Life are stories I’ve talked about in the past (much to my chagrin, because who wants to read about stories that people can buy yet? That’s… that’s just mean.) and am really excited about them. However, after talking with my editor about the next 6 Tobias Fox stories I’m planning on writing, I suggested (half-jokingly) that I should write a Fox novel (Fox stories, by the way, are set in a setting called “the weird west”. More details can be found at the always honest *coughcough* Wikipedia). So I decided to give it a try. I mean, how did a long-lost Akkadian/Babylonian god of Pestilence and Plague end up in a doctor during the American Civil War?
This book hasn’t been giving me problems, oh no. Quite the contrary. It’s the stupid Failsafe story that I wanted to write beforehand that is giving me problems. Captain Annie and her ragtag outfit of castoffs, mercenaries, pirates and psychics are not letting go of my muse. Holding the elephant boy hostage until I write your tale is not a good way to make friends, Annie. Just a friendly reminder, I do know how to use “Delete File”.
Wait… an automaton treasure ship and a pirate raid gone wrong? Argh, you harridan!
That is totally not fair.
Work (the non-writing variety) has been utterly brutal these past three weeks. I’m looking forward to a few days off, and then in a few more weeks off to Mysticon! Woohoo!
Note to self: no absinthe. Not ever again. EVER. You know it’s bad when I’m begging for some vodka to chase the original drink down with.
However, I have received a copy of the preliminary book cover for the next Heroes in Hell book, which (I may have mentioned this before) has had the title renamed from Adventurers in Hell to Rogues in Hell. I prefer Rogues, so this is actually a good change for the book overall. Here’s a copy of the book cover (preliminary; contrast will probably be brought into play, as will some more lightening I bet):
Pretty nice, eh? I like it. It’s coming out this summer, sometime. Also, Sha’Daa: Pawns will be released soon as well. I’ll have that book cover in a month or so.
2012 is shaping up to be a busy year in the publishing sense.