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Blog Update

Award Season Is At Hand


Man, has my email really blown up the past 48 hours with people asking me to conisder them in my nominations process. I read them all, mind you. It’s interesting to see some of the people asking me to nominate their book. Some I haven’t read, some aren’t even out yet (how???), and some I have read and realized halfway through that I would rather be beaten over the head with a clawed hammer while hungover than finish the book.

But… that’s the beauty of award season. It’s simply fascinating to watch the process.

I’ll put my usual disclaimer up: please do not nominate me for anything SFWA-related, so no Hugo nomination please. Pretty please? Not that the current crowd would let me be nominated, mind you. I’m making sure it is abundantly clear that I adamantly refuse to associate with a group who idealizes convicted child molesters and their vocal supporters (if you’re confused, please go research Walter Breen and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Make sure you have a strong stomach before venturing down that rabbit hole).

The Dragon Award

As for what books I’m nominating for the true “people’s choice” awards (i.e., The 2020 Dragon Awards), I’m not certain yet. The nice thing about this is I have a few months before nominations close, so I can take my time and see what books I feel are worthy of a nomination. I haven’t read nearly as many books the past year as I used to, primarily because when I write full-time I don’t have the opportunity to read for pleasure as much as I used to. I did enjoy Kevin Ikenberry and Quincy J. Allen’s Enforcer, which is the sequel to my novel with Jamie Ibson (Gunboat Diplomacy), so that might get the SF nomination, I don’t know yet. I haven’t gotten to Kevin Steverson’s Hide the Lightning yet, and I hear it is as terrific as one would expect from a Steverson work. I don’t really know yet about Military SF/F, or even Fantasy as a whole (which doesn’t appear to have a clearcut favorite this year as the usual suspects haven’t published anything, though Butcher’s Peace Talks could slide in as a last-second nomination… if this happens, congrats in advance on your first win, Jim).. But as I said, plenty of time. I hope the 4HU game is released in time this year so I can nominate it.

The Webster Award for Best Author in Virginia voting ends this week. I’d like to thank everyone who made me a finalist in the first place, and later voted for me to win. I have no idea how the voting is going, I just hope I put up a good showing. If voting went the same as the nominations, I should do decently well.

I’m also looking at 2021 conventions already. Anyone want to see me at their local con? Let me know or, better yet, bug them about inviting me down. I’m trying to head west a little more and hit cons in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and even Utah. Not really interested in Colorado at the moment. I still am not a fan of the state. HOW DO YOU PEOPLE BREATHE?!

Categories
Blog Update

The Match of the Century


I’ve had to step back from social media this past week. It’s not for anything bad. It’s just quickly becoming a time sink where I spend more time responding to… whatever somebody is butthurt about this week instead of writing. It’s why I like this website. My home, my rules, and people don’t have to see it flash across their screen unless they willingly come here in the first place.

I’m currently working on Book 1 of the Epic Fantasy series I’ve been babbling about for the past few months. It’s coming along, albeit slower than what I’m used to. However, while my co-author has it and is looking things over, it gives me the free time to finish up my SHA’DAA: ZOMBIE PARK novella, which also features two other authors. I’m the “anchor” of the book, meaning my story is the last one. I’m hoping it sees print before June 2020.

Speaking of book releases, FREEHOLD: RESISTANCE seems to be doing very, very well in sales. Not as many reviews as I’d like to see but overall, I’m happy with how well this anthology is doing. I’m pretty sure Baen Books is ready to put out another one, possibly in 2021. I know this because I signed a contract last week for my short story set in it. 🙂 That actually brings the total of traditionally-published short stories to 4, making me SFWA eligible. Well, technically I’ve been eligible for a few years now, but… meh. My feelings regarding them have been addressed in the past. No need to rehash the hate.

HOWEVER, I did want to congratulate Lois McMaster Bujold on being name a Grandmaster of Science Fiction and Fantasy today. I mean, she’s been one for years in my book, but only now for some reason did the SFWA see fit to award her for her amazing books. This LINK HERE will show you just how many books and stories she had written over the years, as well as the amount of awards she has been nominated for, and won.

Meanwhile, A CHRISTMAS SURPRISE will be coming out in the next week or so. I’m super excited about it, though I’ve curtailed my usual social media blitz that I usually do because soon after, GUNBOAT DIMPLOMACY will also be out. Then, three weeks after GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY is out, the audiobook of SONS OF THE LION will be released. Phew! My publishers like to keep me busy.

Not sure who’s going to win that battle. On one hand, Peacemaker Hr’ent is a master at armed and unarmed combat and is one of the most dangerous aliens in the universe. On the other, the pure adorableness of Georgie the baby kaiju is going to be tough to beat. This one is going to be the match of the century.

Hmmm…. I feel like I’m missing something. Oh yeah! I’m still working on WINTERBORN, Book 5 of the Kin Wars Saga. Other than that crazy 2018, I’ve been average about one book per year for this series and this one seems to be right one track. I know a lot of readers hate that but I have a lot of different things going at once, and sometimes I have to turn on the slow burners to keep everything going. However, given the… nature of Book 4’s ending, I can understand people’s impatience. I would say “I’m sorry” but that would make me a liar. So while I didn’t hit my goal of having it done by December, I do know that it’s right there and needs a few weeks of intense focus on my part to finish it up.

I had a 500,000 words written goal for the year and, barring some insanity this month, I’m going to miss it. I should be coming in at around 425,000 words, which isn’t too shabby. But it’s not my goal. Perhaps 2020 I can break 500,000 finally?

Categories
Blog Update Fantasy Horror Hugo Award Publishing Science Fiction Writing

Edited For Content


I didn’t meet my writing goal the other day, so I didn’t get to paint. Came close, though. But close doesn’t cut it when you have deadlines.

Trust me. Editors hate when you start an email off with “So I was trying to work out some of the plot details and…”. You may as well be admitting “I was on Reddit and next thing I know I’m watching cat videos at 4 in the morning.” Editors — so damn particular, right?

I was looking over the Horror Writers Association guidelines the other day and realized that half of their referring links were either dead or completely worthless. Now, I’m not a member of the HWA (yet), but one would think that their website would have relevant information, like, for example, which publishers qualify. I mean, people dog on the SFWA at times, but at least they have a comprehensive list about what publishers make a writer eligible for membership, what publishers are on probation, which ones are blacklisted due to a variety of reasons (which they list).

It makes me wonder if the HWA is in a position much like the one the SFWA was during S/He Who Shalt Not Be Named* was the president.

Of course, making things easier would be difficult, due to the absolute flood of information that is on the internet right now. There are so many websites and various random bits of info that piecing together a comprehensive list of magazines and publishers who might be eligible is a nightmarish task I would only wish upon my high school geometry teacher. Yes, yes, I’m complaining. But since I feel that my opinion is relevant (hey, I’m delusional that way… I know I don’t hit the pop culture relevancy status until I start a flame war on a YouTube video comment section), I get to whine and complain to my heart’s content.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like the concepts behind the organizations like the SFWA and HWA. Writers have a hard enough time researching material for their own books (what, you think all of us can pull random quantum physics out of our asses? Even Travis S. Taylor has to research once in a while, and he’s a freaking rocket scientist!), much less time to make certain that a book they’re writing is eligible for such-and-such market or award. There’s a lot of information that should be available to writers, like resources for what to do if your work has been plagiarized, or how to protect yourself against unreasonable or predatory publishers and agents (yes, they do exist).

I’m not going into the things that the organizations do that piss me off, however. That’s not my mission, and quite a number of them are deeply personal more so than professional (though there are a few things that affect me on a professional level as well).

By the way, I’m still claiming to be a SF writer, despite selling more horror stories than anything else. It’s my delusion, damn it.

*Openly vague so that your personal least favorite SFWA president can be added.

Categories
Authors Blog Update News Publishing Writing

Saturday Posting Storm


It’s Saturday and I am very pleased to announce that I survived the super storm that hit Kentucky yesterday.

I got a little bit of hail, lots of rain and some freaked out kitties. To the north and south of us, not so lucky. Remember, donate blood people. It’ll help.

Other than that, just the usual combination of work, writing and sleeping. Book reviews are going-ish, with a few more scheduled this coming week. No news on the publishing front (waiting to hear back about the release dates for Rogues in Hell and Sha’Daa: Pawns). I’m currently reading Kate Paulk’s ConVent, a funny story about a vampire (a real one) at a SF/F Con. Then I get to dig into Robert A. Hoyt’s Cat’s Paw. I love Hoyt’s Ninja Nun webcomic, which is a very unapologetic and witty cartoon, so I have very high hopes for Cat’s Paw.

And for those of you who don’t know, Robert Hoyt is the eldest child of accomplished (and award winning) SF/F author Sarah Hoyt. Yeah, apple/tree analogy that I’m too lazy to explain right now. Suffice to say, it’s hard on me when I have to admit that one of my favorite authors (Sarah) might not be the best writer in her family (seriously).

Speaking of Sarah, go read this blog post of hers now. It breaks down the Amazon/IPG/SFWA argument in neat, concise lines.

That was your Saturday appetizer…

Edit (Sun 12:58 PM EST): Kate Paulk wrote ConVent, not Amanda Green. I can’t seem to figure out who wrote what anymore these days. And to think, I run a book review site…