This one time at Writer's Camp…
Tag Archives: milsf
So apparently it’s Hugo season again (didn’t we just do this?), though this year I’m thinking “Yeah, I lost a lot of time and energy last year dealing with that public smear campaign. I’m not even going to pay attention this year.”
Seriously. In 2014 I managed to get a ton of writing done. 2015? Jack squat. Oh, I wrapped up a few short stories, and got most of Kraken Mare done, but when it’s compared to 2014? Nada. Zilch. Zero. Zip.
I liked it better when I was beneath the radar of the most virulent Defenders of Justice and collecting many royalty checks. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciated being included on so many ballots for the Campbell Award. Yes, this is my second and final year of eligibility, but I really don’t care at this point. As I said earlier, too much energy was expended trying to defend myself and my friends from random attacks and accusations of racism (which still makes me laugh).
I hope my friends do well again this year. I truly do. When I get my voter packet, I’ll read all the works and vote, as I usually do. But getting involved? No thanks. Being nominated? No thanks.
I’d rather just continue to get paid.
You know the difference between living and surviving is?
I didn’t until this month began. Wow. Just… wow.
I’ve been working so much lately that I haven’t had a chance to really focus all of my energy and attention on Kraken Mare. Okay, let’s be honest here: I haven’t had a chance to focus any energy on it. Waking up at 0230 AM to be at work by 0330 and then working until 200 PM really, really blows. It saps energy, especially if you’re a morning person who considers “early” to be 0700 AM, and finding the energy after work to write is damn near impossible. You just want to sit down and veg.
I got the sequel to Superposition in the mail yesterday. Supersymmetry, by David Walton, looks to be a very interesting read. I love getting Advance Reader Copies from publishers. Makes me feel like I’m a boss or something. Unfortunately, they look weird on my bookshelves, so most of them are stacked atop one another. But anyways… considering how much I enjoyed the first book in the series, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed with this one. I should be able to crack it open next week.
I also picked up books 4,5 and 6 of David Weber’s Safehold series. So far it’s been interesting, but right off the bat in book 4 — A Mighty Fortress — I was inundated with a David Weberesque “staff meeting” scene. It’s his one flaw. He has to recap and reintroduce characters in a staff meeting type of environment, where political realties and events from previous books are rehashed in a debrief or meeting type of scene. I kid you not. Look at his various series. Prince Roger, Honor Harrington, Safehold… all “bring the reader up to speed” via what I call a “staff meeting.” It’s amusing if you’re looking for it, and it’s part of my David Weber Drinking Game I play when reading his work.
*Let’s just say that A Rising Thunder damn near gave me alcohol poisoning*
*No, I’m not showing the rules yet. I’m still determining points value with various friends*
The Hugo packets are out. In it, you’ll find both Murder World: Kaiju Dawn and Hill 142. I decided that I wanted people to enjoy both works and to be able to use those in their voting (to be honest, I think a lot of people have already decided, one way or the other, but whatever… I like to see people reading). I haven’t looked in my packet yet (see above) but I’m looking forward to it. I already own all of the books from the Best Novel category, so most of my attention will be focused on the shorter works I hadn’t read yet.
Oh, and for those of you who want to good military SF, The Hand of God by Eric Brown and myself is currently on sale for only $0.99. That’s less than a cup of crappy coffee costs these days, and it can be downloaded straight to your mobile, Kindle or computer. Give it a try.
(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.
Before you freak out and grab your pitchforks, I’m hard at work on Murder World: Kaiju Dusk. Really, I am. It’s coming along nicely, and I think everyone will be pleased to know that Captain Vincente and his crew is back for a second round. Eric and I should have this novel done by the end of July. In the meantime, you can still pick up a copy of Murder World: Kaiju Dawn on Kindle for a mere $0.99. That’s way less than a cup of coffee, and less than a reprocessed cheese and “pink stuff” burger from a fast food restaurant. So pick up a copy of the book instead of another greasy cheeseburger. Your intestines will thank you.
That was a short pitch. Huh. Maybe I should try to offer something more? Ehh…. no, I think that’s good. A $0.99 book. Yeah. Good enough.
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.
So I decided to try something different this time around with the release of Murder World: Kaiju Dawn. I’m going to run a contest.
That’s right, a contest.
Running until Friday, June 6th at 10:00 PM EST, everybody who buys (or has already bought) a copy of Murder World: Kaiju Dawn and sends me a screen-shot of the receipt is entered to win a free book of mine of their choice, print or ebook (unless, you know, it’s out of print… then it’ll have to be an ebook).
The drawing will take place Friday once the submissions are closed. Once the winner is announced, I’ll either ship it you them or give it to them in person (if they’re at a convention I’ll be attending in the near-future).
Now, a few notes.
When you send in your screenshot, please put it in the body of the email and do not send it as an attachment. It’s easier for me to keep track of everything if it’s in the body of the email itself.
Once you’ve purchased Murder World: Kaiju Dawn, if you share it on Facebook and send me another screenshot of it (again, in the body of the email) you get a second entry into the contest. Write a review on Amazon.com about Murder World: Kaiju Dawn and get a third entry, which greatly increases your odds of winning.
Send your screenshots to cordova829@[removeme]gmail.com
Good luck to all!
Yesterday I had this wonderful 1800 word update ready to go up and I promptly deleted it all by pushing the wrong button. Since I don’t type up blog posts first on a word document, then paste it here, everything was completely loss. Angered (at myself, because when I go dumbass, I don’t do it by halves) I went ahead and just said “Screw it” and went to play World of Tanks instead. I felt a little better afterwards, but not that much.
Kaiju Apocalypse is doing well on Amazon, though it has slipped a little bit this week. It got into the 4,000’s (overall Kindle books) over the weekend but, since May is jam-packed with new releases from the “Big 5” bigger authors, sales predictably slipped. I hope it gets back on track this weekend, which is the usual time that ebooks see an uptick in sales. Don’t forget, the print version of Kaiju Apocalypse is available now as well. Sure, it’s short, but at least I can sign it.
Speaking of Kaiju Apocalypse, the sequel is currently being written with co-author Eric S. Brown. Right now the title is simply Kaiju Apocalypse 2 (because it’s original, right?) but it should change before we send it in to the publisher. I’m hoping for Kaiju Armageddon , but I doubt I’ll get it. Eric’ll probably name this one, since I named the first Murder World novel.
Oh yes, there will be more books in that series. I’m currently plotting it out while Eric works on KA2. Murder World: Kaiju Dawn was a fun book to write, and I hope that the sequel, Murder World: Kaiju Darkness can top it. After that, who knows? Kaiju books are a lot of fun to write. Who knew that I’d find a nice little niche for me here?
Wraithkin is with the editor. Not sure when that is coming out, but my guess would be end of this year or early next. October 2014 would be amazing, January 2015 would be challenging (sales are usually better before December, and then get better after February). I should probably continue working on Darkling as well (second book of the series). It’s sitting at around 12,000 words (I’ve started with writing Andrew’s scenes first, unlike Wraithkin, which started with Gabriel) and I’m weaving my way through it. Have to be careful how I navigate here, since Darkling is going to be much, much darker and bleaker than Wraithkin could ever hope to be (and considering the crap I pulled on my heroes in the first book, that’s saying something). Eventually (assuming they like Darkling as much as they liked Wraithkin) I’m going to wrap up the initial trilogy with Deathlord.
Yep, I said initial trilogy. You see, while it would be tempting to write a prequel series about how the Dominion of Man came into being, it’s going to be much more fun to cause the entire known galaxy to burst into the flames of war. As I said a long time ago, though the heart of this series is a love story, there is something darker afoot in the undertone of the books. Not entirely sure what (I have three scenarios, and all lead to a “happy ending — of sorts) this is, but it’s there. I can feel it.
Go buy my book! Yes, I have no shame. What, you expected a demure approach to this “selling” thing?
Similar in appearance to Kaiju Apocalypse (but a different universe and story altogether, I promise) here is the rough draft cover for Murder World: Kaiju Dawn. Co-authored with Eric S. Brown again (we make quite the team — this is the third book we’ve collaborated on in the past 8 months), it should see a release over the next few weeks.
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.