Lots of good news to pass on here, so bear with me.
The end of 2013 saw me racing to the finish line with MASTER'S ENDGAME. That is the final book in the trilogy about the intrepid and bodacious redheaded barmaid that started with FORTUNE'S PAWN and continued in PROPHECY'S GAMBIT. I finished my rough draft on December 30th, and considering what a tough year it had been for me, and that the holidays were barely over, that was quite a feat. One final goal met for the year.
You're going to love this story, it sews up all the loose ends, and yeah, that baby gets born at last.
Now I'll be making my next pass on MASTER'S ENDGAME soon. There will be an entire editing process once I am done with it, and then it goes into the publishing queue at Pro Se Press. My aim is to have it out sometime before deep fall; hope they feel the same way. For now I've set it aside to 'marinate' while I work on something unrelated.
I'm currently revamping and adding onto a short story written for the Companion Dragons Tales. COPPER'S CHOICE will be a novella just like A FAMILIAR NAME, which came out back in July 2013, and FINDING WAXY, which I hope we will see soon. Each one introduces a new dragon familiar, and his or her magical human writer companion. This tale started out with a magazine in mind, but it is now happily being extended. Lots of fun adventuring for the younger set here, and great for adults too. These are books in Pro Se's YOUNG PULP line, and while they are aimed at a kids, the entire family can hand them around. A good part of the feedback I've been getting has been from adults who read A FAMILIAR NAME and fell in love with it.
I had turned in a manuscript for another Hansen's Way Imprint anthology last spring, and was asked by the folks at Pro Se to choose a single story from it to help inaugurate their Single Shot line of 99¢ E-stories. I decided TO RULE THE SKY best represented THE WINDRIDERS OF EVERICE anthology. It's also the cover story, with gorgeous artwork. I think this is a great way to inexpensively sample a book or a style of writing that you may be wondering about.
All of the above works are available through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble online, and Smashwords.
Now so far, Pro Se has been dominating my book news, but I do write for other companies. For instance, I had a story in the first MONSTER EARTH book by Mechanoid Press. That book has gotten quite a bit of attention, it was just such a incredible concept that was so much fun to work with. Reviewer Dave Brzeski was the latest person to post a glowing review, and he had some very kind things to say about the stories within, including one by Your's Truly. Seeing that made my little heart go pit-a-pat. I do love my monsters, as you can see by my own original material. I'd gladly do another one of these.
I still write for my town newsletter the Highland Herald, and I've gotten feedback that my column has been well-received. That's always good to hear! The last five issues are online for reading at the time of my writing this. They are in PDF format. I made the front cover a couple of times, otherwise just page through and you should find me. I do enjoy writing this one, even if it's the proverbial bus driver's holiday.
Brand new project alert! I just got the go-ahead to talk about this one...
Earlier in 2013, I was tapped by writing pal Jaime Ramos to join a specially selected group of folks interested in writing a steampunk superhero story set in a re-imagined futuristic society that had devolved back to Victorian Era England. Wow yeah, that's an entire universe away from what I normally write, so I was eager to try it. Stretching my wings a bit.
Little did I know what a talented group of folks I was getting involved with. I found out a few days ago that my story, Simon Simple, has been accepted for the anthology SINGULARITY: RISE OF THE POSTHUMANS. Among other author names near and dear, are two that make me very excited: my dear friend Mr. Lee Houston Jr., and Mr. David Michelinie, a veritable legend in comic book writing. So glad to be part of this fine group. New Babel Books will be publishing this one, and while we've got a ways to go before we get that far, I've heard possibly late this year, but most likely in 2015. As I get more info, I'll update it here.
This will be the fourth company I've written something for; three brought me in by invitation, and the other one gave me my own imprint. That really brings home to me that people do read and enjoy what I write, because nobody makes such generous overtures if they don't think your name on a cover will sell copies. I put a lot of hard work and long hours into what I do at the keyboard, and I try my best to conduct myself in as professional a manner as possible. I meet most of my deadlines in time if not ahead of schedule. When I plunk my ample posterior in this chair, I am mindful that people expect something interesting to come out of it, so I get right down to business. Writing is an art, but if you want opportunity to knock, you need to be realistic with your time and talent. I can't wait for the magic to just happen, I have to use my skills to conjure the stories onto the blank pages. That means sitting here picking away at it even when my brain is cold and tired, and the cranky muse is off on vacation.
Writers actually have to write, stories don't just fall out of our heads. There is a certain amount of grunting and pain involved, it's like giving birth each time. It hurts and makes you scream, fuss, and grit your teeth; but when it's over, it feels so much better. No stitches either, unless you banged your head on the wall or your nose hit the keyboard at the end of a long, sleepless night. Been there/done that. In fact, this is a new keyboard and mouse, both of which my family gave me as holiday gifts, since the older ones were getting tired and worn out. My muse tends to be a bit rough on the equipment.
So that's all the news up to this point. Only 9 days into January, and already so much to talk about. It looks like 2014 promises to be a busy year.