Archive for December, 2012

So it finally happened. An ereader entered my hands for Christmas. My wife has been enjoying the one I bought for her birthday so much, and there is a growing library out there not available in paper. I’m not going to get rid of my dead trees, but my circuits will live in harmony with them. The first thing I jumped at was The Apocalypse Ocean by Tobias Buckell. That’s the novel he funded with Kickstarter back at the front end of this year. This post about his experience should be required reading for anyone thinking about Kickstarter. All for new ways for writers to get their words out there but I was a bit bummed out that it was $50 to get a hard cover copy. Once the books went out into the world, everything I’ve heard is that they’re very high quality copies. But fifty bucks is a lot of walking around money for one book, especially since mass market paperback is my preferred format. I have a little kiddo, got to maximize my book money.

So I pounced now that I’ve got the technology.

Back of the book… er… back of the nook? Um… Summary time?

Humanity continues to gain control of the Forty Eight Worlds as they deorbit wormholes and join the many worlds and civilizations together. But as they do so, they must deal with the horrors of past injustices as humanity forms new societies out of the wreckage of the old.

And some of those horrors aren’t content to rest. Kay, who has rescued herself from a hellish life dominated by uncaring alien creatures, seeks bloody twisted revenge for what was done to her.

And a new force is not happy about the manner in which the Forty Eight worlds are reshaping themselves. In fact, it’s about to put a stop to it all.

This is book four of the series that began with Crystal Rain. Sly Mongoose, which I read earlier this year, is book three. Part of the beauty of these books is that you can jump right in without getting lost. You get enough of the overarching story that you’re not clueless if it has been a while. All the pieces of the saga are told from different points of view. Pepper is still our overarching hero and the catalyst for Ocean but he’s not the proper point-of-view protag here. The aforementioned Kay, teenaged ganglord, and Tiago, pickpocket who bumps into the wrong person, are our proper main characters.

The Survivor is a character type I find inherently interesting because they’re always the ones who live in a moral grey area. Black and white are much harder to make interesting than grey. Tiago is the more likable of the two main characters living on the fringes of society. He gets swept up in way over his head but he’s a real smart guy. Of course, being a smart thief is why he drew all the attention that pulled in into the action. Tiago doesn’t start out as the most active character, hard to do when surrounded by so many strong personalities like Kay, Nashara and later on, Pepper. But Tiago evolves and changes for the better with a very solid character arc.

Kay is a Survivor too, but much farther along on her path even though she is younger. She’s a bona fide ganglord in a rough and tumble town. That makes her a lot less likable, but as Ocean progresses, Kay becomes much more understandable. I don’t want to ruin anything so I’ll awkwardly tiptoe around it. She’s got very distinct way of thinking about the people around her. It seems almost alien, but it makes sense. When we finally get to find out the reasons, Kay becomes one of the most interesting characters I’ve read in a while. There were times I felt Kay overshadowed Tiago and I was wanting more of her.

The prose flows between kinetic and thoughtful. Blasting through firefights and “downtime” both feel natural. Things are always moving even when they’re standing still. It’s a writing style that pulls you along making the book hard to put down. The grander parts of the Xenowealth saga come into play farther along in Ocean. If I didn’t know better, it would be easy to figure on this book being a standalone with references that tie it in with the others rather than a proper installment. Wouldn’t bother me even if I did get it wrong because I like discovering how one narrative relates to another, but I don’t think that’s a universal feeling. I enjoyed finding out how all the “local” events fit into the larger scheme of things. None of it is ever forced and I found the plotting pretty streamlined.

The plotting leads right into the world building. I think Buckell is one of the best, both here in the Xenowealth books and the near-future Arctic Rising. One of the Kickstarter goals for Ocean commissioned some original artwork for a map. I love maps! They don’t show up in SF as much as they used to and it’s something that needs to come back. The wormhole map of the Forty Eight Worlds is wonderfully done and shows all the worlds that haven’t even been mentioned yet. There’s even one called Pawtucket, although uh! The Bucket… It’s a pretty nasty place. There are better towns in Rhode Island to name a planet after. Tangent over with, there is so much potential for expansion with the Forty Eight Worlds, they all had aliens before humanity showed up. The diversity of realms already seen in the series makes all those blips on the map tantalizing.

I will always love my dead tree books. But Apocalypse Ocean is my favorite book of Buckell’s to date and the exact reason why I have an ereader now. Publishing is diversifying so reading habits need to diversify along with it. For my first ebook, I was not disappointed.

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Year End Stuff/Junk

Posted: December 23, 2012 in Junk, Reading, Stuff, Writing
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It’s that time of year. The end of it. But it is also conveniently, not that far out from a year since I laid claim to this here corner of the internet so there’s some logic to doing Year End thing.

Hey I said there was some. Not a lot. I’m gonna doing it anyways.

Incoming a whole bunch of headers about writing, books, authors and awesomeness. (Scroll down if you want to skip right to the book stuff.)

Cool Stuff that Happened

Oh you better believe there was cool stuff. Chunks of it happened because of twitter. I always thought it was dumb for the longest time. And back when it first started, I’m sure it was, but now there are so many people using it, twitter is starting to become self aware. More than anything else short of becoming a con rat, it gives a personality to authors. Growing up, authors were just these mythic figures that had a paragraph about them near the end of the book. Sometimes. I didn’t know anything about cons, that kind of stuff didn’t happen in Connecticut. (And still doesn’t as far as I know, unless you want sweaty anime high schoolers) There are five authors I’ve discovered this year via the twitter-blog circuit. It was a “High five as a person! I doubly want to know what you write now.” Wasn’t disappointed in any of them.

More cool things. Signed books. My copy of Crystal Rain by Tobias Buckell traveled across the country and back to pick up a signature and came back with a personalized copy of Arctic Rising. Words of encouragement scrawled on a title page actually do go a long way. Also, ever get an ARC? Holy crap they are seriously the most awesome thing ever. I won a contest by Myke Cole to get an advanced copy of a book everyone should be seriously excited for, the sequel to Shadow Ops: Control Point. That first contest winner is me. Literal cut and paste job since I’m too cheap to pony up for Photoshop and too lazy to dig up some alternative. By the way, Tredici is Italian for thirteen. The phobia of the number thirteen was too long to try to use.

My writing has progressed up to personalized rejection. Seriously, that’s a big deal. That wasn’t the coolest writerly thing that happened though. Oh yeah. Finished my book! In July I made the goal of getting it done by my birthday, early December. It was a very reasonable goal then. Once Halloween started, it was less so. I kicked ass and made it happen. Dropped 30k in November to actually rock the self imposed deadline. 30k may not sound like uber amounts, but I have a day job that doesn’t afford a lot of screwing around to write time. And a wife and baby. And I lost a whole weekend to the flu. (Flu shots are helpful my ass). Currently neglecting the blog for Amity v1.5 as I type the handwritten first draft into the computer.

Blog Stuff

  • Most Read Post – Saturday at Boskone 49. Ironically, one of the first posts. Peaked early.
  • Favorite Post – Authors Behaving Well. Also, the longest post.
  • Most International Blog Traffic – Canada. Non-English speaking, Germany.
  • Most Linked to Post – vN. Publisher Angry Robot Books quotes my review on their website.

Book Stuff (What You’re Really Here For)

Best CoverBlackbirds / Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig, art by Joey HiFi

I did a whole post a while back about the awesomeness contained in a Joey HiFi cover. It’s a crazy Where’s Waldo mosaic of the main character in the books. It’s beautiful and creepy and hard to piece together all at the same time. It’s Miriam Black in art form. There are very few instances in all the years that I’ve been reading where the cover has so perfectly represented the book I was reading. In SF, I think it’s easy for covers to just fall into background noise, more so than the actual writing that goes on in our genre. I think it’s easier to push boundaries in text, (blending genres, off the wall protags, controversial subjects, etc) than it is with a book’s cover. The cover is the marketing that a store is buying off on. Looking at the best and boundary pushing books on my Shelf of Honor, a lot of them have ho-hum covers, good at best, but most of them are in no way exceptional as far as art goes. Boneshaker is the only one off the Shelf of Honor that shows up on my Top Cover List. Angry Robot Books has no problem pushing the boundaries of cover art. They’ve had Joey HiFi design multiple covers for their authors.

Most Recommended Book Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole

When I first started using twitter and following around the SF scene around the internets, Control Point was getting a lot of positive buzz as the new cool thing to seek out and read. I knew a little bit about the actual content, wizards in the military. He was at Boskone and I saw him at a panel talking about the views of Golden Age SF. He was interesting and amusing enough that I was looking to buy him a beer in the hotel bar but couldn’t find him before I had to leave. I bought the book, read it and was blown away by how fresh it was. It’s magic in a modern setting, but I don’t think I could call it urban fantasy. UF has developed its own set of tropes and that’s not what Cole gives us in his writing. You’re not getting the creepy crawlies and fantastic creatures that most UF use as a mainstay. The red tape involved with being magic user in Cole’s world had a very authentic feel. Maybe I get that because I work for a defense contractor, but yeah, red tape out the ass if the government had magic to run with. Don’t think that meant it was a slow book, all that figurative red tape is part of the setting, not a hindrance. The kinetic pace of the writing and the completely new feel to this world and magic system had me talking it up to anyone who needed something to read. In fact, I suspect my original copy of the book is still making the rounds of an Air National Guard unit. (Keep guarding that kitchen Fred!)

Most Likely to Win AwardsvN by Madeline Ashby

I said it right in my review. It’s the line the publisher quotes on their website. “I would be extremely surprised if this book did not garner some nominations and awards. vN has changed the way I will look at AI stories.” Robot fiction is not something new. Hell, it’s probably some of the oldest examples of SF. Frankenstein’s monster is a robot made of flesh instead of metal. Asimov was one of our earliest SF masters. So writing about this concept that has been in the public consciousness for generations must have been a daunting task. But having read vN, I can never look at AI fiction the same ever again. For me, there will be pre-Ashby and post-Ashby. This book has the smarts of Neal Stephenson and China Mieville mixed in with the impact that I imagine Asimov did when his stuff was new and fresh. When my grandparents were kids. And vN one-upped it. Some of the major awards are restricted based off nationality of the author and/or publisher. Ashby needs to be an honorary citizen of everywhere so we can give her all the awards. And then make another one.

Best PublisherAngry Robot Books

The year Angry Robot became a thing, I bought a third of their opening catalog in one trip to Borders. I’ve read four of their 2012 books and have a half dozen more in my to read pile and another four for next year are on the wish-I-didn’t-have-to-wait list. They’re pushing the boundaries with their writers (See vN above) and their artists (See Joey HiFi above). It’s gotten to the point where anything they have got in the pipeline has points in its favor just by being theirs. They are putting out of a lot of books that I imagine would have a hard time finding homes elsewhere. Unique books that are tough to pigeonhole and therefore tough to market and sell. But that’s what I want to read, the new and fresh and interesting. With Angry Robot, it’s been the first time I’ve ever gotten excited over a publisher. By pushing their own people to do excellent things and fostering some of the best talent, they’re raising the bar for everyone across all of SF and that’s only a good thing.

Best Short Story “Fade to White” by Catherynne Valente

I admit, I am a dabbler with short fiction, both reading and writing it. I continue to try to do both because it is something I feel can only be good for me as a writer. Challenges and all that. I read a lot of the Daily SF stories and some of the stuff coming out of the magazines but I will admit, it’s hard for me sometimes. Longform is more my style what with my randomly pontificating thoughts and tangents. (Bet you haven’t seen any of those at all.) So when I read “Fade to White”… well I’m really not sure what I was expecting. I can tell you what I was hoping. I was hoping it wasn’t another 900 word lead up to a bad pun. I had gotten one of those already that week. I think the phrase ‘atompunk’ is what hooked me. Any subgenre is something-punk now but the phrase still got me. And I was rewarded beyond belief with this amazingly beautiful story. Just read it again and woah, there are so many feels in it. The impact of this story has been rolling around in my head since August and it won’t get out. It’s a very creepy Cold War-ish story with a lot of power behind it. This should be making the award rounds with vN.

Best NovelWell of Sorrows / Leaves of Flame by Benjamin Tate

Best Novel is a difficult thing to pin down to just one book (er… two, but they’re the same series so I count it as one). Favorites have a lot to do with subgenre or length or even just mood. I can give you favorites for all sorts of flavors of SF, favorite series, favorite stand alones, favorite when I need a quick read, favorite when I want to think. It’s endless. But I have to give the title of favorite that I’ve read this year to Ben Tate. I picked up Well of Sorrows at Boskone because I was all about authors I saw that day when I was shopping. It kind of sat around in my to read pile for a while. I was burned out on fantasy for years because it was the same old tropes. In the year and a half before reading this, there were only three fantasy authors I had read. Well and its sequel Leaves have really changed how I see where the fantasy genre is today. It’s not the Tolkien point A to point B novel anymore. I maintain that these are fantasy-thrillers. The characters are varied and the plot is deep. The storytelling has a very universal feeling to me, able to stand on its own even if it was stripped of the fantasy tropes. Tate wrote some moments that completely took me off guard and left me with jaw dropped exclamations of “Holy crap did he just do that?!”  The old point A to point B novels could never do that. Reading Well and Leaves really made me feel that fantasy had grown up and could engage readers in a way that was evolving for the better but yet retaining the best of what came before. Sword and magic have been interesting me more than they have since I was in high school. Well was the first book I added to the Shelf of Honor since 2010 and impacted me to the point of a shift in my reading habits. That’s why it edges out all the other extremely excellent books I’ve read this year for the Best Novel nod.

Magebane

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Reading
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Most of my oomph has been directed into Amity v1.5 of late so I let this post for Magebane by Lee Arthur Chase slip by a little bit. But that let the story marinate in my head for a while and I’ve come to a significant conclusion about it since I finished reading the book. So let’s start with the back of the book proper fast because that’s part of my point.

The Kingdom of Evrenfels is the last bastion of magic in the world, cut off from the outside by the Great Barrier thought which magic cannot penetrate.

For centuries, the MageLords have ruled their kingdom with an iron hand, while beyond the Barrier both magic and the MageLords have faded into an almost forgotten myth, replaced by low-level technology. Now all that is about to change, for one mad, Lord Falk, the Minister of Public Safety – the most powerful of the MageLords – has plans to assassinate the king and his heir, to break down the Barrier and conquer the lands beyond.

All it will take is the lives of two innocents, Prince Karl and Falk’s own ward, a girl named Brenna – a small sacrifice, to Lord Falk’s way of thinking. One is the heir and the other is the legendary Magebane, anathema to all magic.

But there is one thing Lord Falk hasn’t foreseen, one thing  that could unbalance all of his plans – the unexpected arrival of a young man whose airship suddenly comes sailing over the top of the Great Barrier.

So take all that and combine it with the cover art. It’s purples and greys showing said airship flying over a city. What does this sound like? I grabbed this because I read that as steampunk with a little bit of magic mixed in. Yay genre blending, I enjoy that stuff. And it sounds like we’ve got a couple of kids, with a third one showing up, fighting against a straight up Bad Guy and the world will end up a better place and whatnot.

Cool, I’m in. Let’s go.

Except that’s not what I got.

Now, the airship on the cover got me. See an airship and now everyone automatically thinks STEAMPUNK in giant letters. Rather than steampunk with magic flavoring, it was proper fantasy with a sprinkling of technology. It’s got all the trappings and tropes of a more traditional high fantasy. Anton (the kid from outside the wall with the airship) can just be labeled “Outsider” and we can stop there. In terms of the  narrative, it really doesn’t matter what kind of outside world he comes from, just that it’s different. Frankly, I don’t think the story would have been much different if  Outside was a world ruled by sentient lizards or the slightly steampunk one that we got. In terms of writing style, this also fit in with a trope I consider classic high fantasy, multiple POVs. I know it’s not exclusive to high fantasy, but I’ve always found it much more common to the fantasy books from the 80s and 90s I read as a kid. This book has seven POVs it bounces around. It’s not quite GRRM, but it’s still much more than usual. It never becomes a distraction, though, because I think the author handles it well.

So we’ve got Karl, Brenna and Anton, they’re our crew from the back of the book. We’ve also got Falk. Good. I like getting into the antagonist’s head. That usually makes him a much more interesting character. And we’ve also got Mother Northwind a healer and master of ‘soft magic’, Davydd Verdsmitt, a commoner playwright, and First Mage Tagaza, Karl’s teacher and head of the scholarly mages. Wait what? Where’d these other people come from? That’s what I thought too.

Karl, Brenna and Anton do their thing of “Let’s fight against the Bad Guy!” Frankly, I’m surprised the book wasn’t marketed as YA since anything featuring protags under 20 gets that rubber stamp regardless of how it reads. (Railsea anyone? Zoe’s Tale? About teenagers but they’re not written any different than any ‘regular’ SF I’ve read)

But you couldn’t market it as YA really, because Magebane isn’t actually about Karl, Brenna and Anton. Oh they’re in it and they do things, plenty of things, but all of it is reactionary until the last quarter of the book. Even then, I don’t think Brenna takes any initiative more than twice in the book. Karl and Anton do a bit more than that and there is a very forced love triangle near the end. Seriously, love triangles need to be set up well before the last twenty pages of the book. I get in a book with seven tangents, it takes a while for them to all cross in the right places, but it was so late in the book it felt stilted. Regardless of awkward teenager emotions, the three of them are all pawns in an extremely Machiavellian game being played by the other four characters trying to bring down the Barrier for various reasons.

I got through Magebane because the non Karl-Brenna-Anton tangents were fascinating from both a narrative and technical standpoint. Falk, Northwind, Verdsmitt and Tagaza are all playing this crazy chess game screwing around with the very magical foundation of their society. There’s rebellion and spies and backstabbing and double backstabbing. It pulled me along because I constantly wanted to know how they were going to twist the noose next, who was in the noose and how they were going to get out of the other guys noose all at the same time. From a technical standpoint, multiple times I stepped back and thought “Holy crap this must have been hard for the author to pull off.”

The Machiavellian Quartet kept me guessing constantly. The miscellaneous teenagers were completely predictable and one dimensional.

I think this bothered me because of where I set my expectations when I started in on the book. Sitting on the bookshelf, I was presented with a lens to read this book through. The cover and back of the book blurb had me geared up for something that wasn’t what I felt like I got. It never even hinted at the parts of the book that I liked. And even the positive parts were shrouded by my soured expectations while I was reading it. Because I was looking for the novel to reach a certain point, I think I missed out on some of the enjoyment I could have otherwise gotten out of the Machiavellian Quartet.

Ultimately, I would have loved a shorter book that was just the Machiavellian maneuverings of Falk, Northwind, Verdsmitt and Tagaza. But that’s my taste tempered with a boredom over the tropes of traditional fantasy which was the Karl-Brenna-Anton arc. Not everyone has that “Seen this soooo many times” as I do, it’s completely based off my past reading experiences. I think that I would have liked the teenager tangents a lot more if the book was properly … marketed, for lack of a better term. I get that thirty odd layers of backstabbing is a hard sell in just a couple paragraphs, but try. I think that if I had been given the proper set of expectations with Magebane, it would have gone from an alright book to a good book.

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Reading
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Hey look what I’m finally getting done! Now that I’ve gotten through that final push for the novel, I’ve got plenty of time to catch up with this.

So I bring to you, Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland. This is a sequel to the kinetic My Life as a White Trash Zombie. The first was another Scalzi Big Idea find that I devoured when I got my hands on it. It follows Angel as she goes from a rock bottom not long for this world kind of existence and becomes a zombie, which greatly improves her life. Blues picks up right where the first left off. Now before I get ahead of myself….

Back of the book time!

Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right – the zombie mafia.

Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower, and maybe a brain smoothie as well – in order to get through it without falling apart.

Ok back to “right where the first left off.” Blues does this quite literally. The time lapse from the first book to the second is only a few days. Angel and crew are actually still dealing with some of the aftermath of My Life, specifically some of the stuff revolving around one of the zombie hunters. Now, it was a good year and a half between reading My Life and Blues. That makes me hesitant to jump into sequels sometimes. This book pulled off the “remind you of all the stuff from the last book” bit the best I’ve ever read. I screamed through to chapter two before I realized I had been filled in again. Usually books will drop us out of the narrative in order to get all “Hey remember this?” It’s like a big coffee stain on the carpet. Yeah coffee is good but I was enjoying that carpet. Absolutely none of that here, it came out completely seamless.

So let’s talk about the plot where I can without spoiling it. Zombie mafia? Sort of saying Zombie Ninjas, you’re not going to be much cooler. Zombie mafias get the headlines on the back of the book, but in all honesty, I kind of thought they were slightly secondary to the the bigger conspiracy theory mystery aspects of the plot. At one point someone says (Please don’t get mad if I mess up the quote, just paraphrasing. One of these days I’ll remember to take notes) “No way, this isn’t some kind of X-Files thing.” But it is. The plot of Blues made me thing of the best parts of X-Files. A little bit creepy. A little bit conspiracy. And a whole lot of problem solving. That’s the real meat and potatoes of the plot. The zombie mafia plays its role but I got a sense that a lot of it would be dealt with in a future book. I hope so.

Speaking of things to deal with in the second book, I think bits of Angel’s relationship with Marcus got a bit shortchanged in Blues. This falls in line with the zombie mafia. There’s so much potential waiting to get written about that we’re not getting. I think it was probably inevitable that the zombie mafia would get their full due delayed. Not enough book to cover it all properly. Angel and Marcus, well I hope they can move forward in the next book. They didn’t ignore each other at all but I feel like they’re at a standstill.

Angel herself was by no means at a standstill. She’s the driving force behind this book. She’s got her life (or un-life) heading in the right direction and is determined to keep it that way no matter what crap gets thrown at her. I find her a breath of fresh air as a protagonist, like Chuck Wendig‘s Miriam Black. Angel is a ridiculously flawed character. Don’t mistake that for flawed writing, take that as a flawed person. A real person. One who screws up and makes bad decisions and has to fight her way out of them. That makes for much more interesting reading than someone who does everything right. And I think Angel has improved as a character this time around. I find she’s a much more active character now, she starts taking action in Blues rather than having things happen she has to react to. That’s part of the overall character arc we’ve got going on here and Angel’s evolution but by the end I couldn’t help thinking that Angel is a more powerful read.

So what we’ve got here is just a bunch of awesome. I love the continuation of this fresh take on something we all know in the zombies. The mythos was established in the first book and the conspiracy stuff going on here is attacking the established order in a most excellent way. I think you could probably get away with diving into Angel Crawford’s life with this book without having a greatly depreciated read, but you’d be missing out some since the first is so great too.

And of course, I’d be remiss if finished this up and I didn’t call out the awesome cover work. Daniel Dos Santos nails it right out of the park again with this one.

What’s Next

Posted: December 6, 2012 in Writing

Whew. So I’m still exhausted from that final push to finish Amity. Writing the climax of the book seriously wiped me out. I actually had to stop for a break before I could write the epilogue. Whatever things I may ever doubt about my writing, the intensity of that chapter will never be one of them.

Word counts. It’s an inexact science for my first drafts, since it’s all ink and dead trees. What I’ve done is count out how many words I write onto one page of my notebook. The low average is 225/page, so that’s what I base all my word counts on. So, in the five weeks from Halloween to my birthday, I got just shy of 30k. The estimate of Amity start to finish is 80k.

I am proud of that 30k. It’s no NaNoWriMo pace but guess what? I have a day job and a wife and an infant. I had my most productive month of writing ever and I didn’t neglect a single thing that’s truly important. Well… I don’t really consider my day job important. The paycheck is. I didn’t neglect anything essential. I even managed to get can’t-move-off-the-couch sick for three days. Still finished the book. And I got it pegged on a deadline of my own making. That’s huge for me.

I’m proud of a lot of the words I’ve written. But there are as many parts that I know will need work, that’s how the craft goes. I know when I went back to type the first two chapters a few months ago because I had some impatient beta volunteers, I looked at the opening and went “Holy hell I can do better than that.” I lopped off two or three K and rewrote the intro. So there’s that. I fully intend to get this into a state where it will see the light of day. I certainly didn’t spend all that time on Amity so it could sit in the bottom of a drawer.

But there’s more to do than pushing forward with Amity. Frankly, I need a bit of a break to let it marinate. I’ve got a dozen beta readers on board for when I type it all into the computer and end up with Version 1.5.

I’ve still got some places to shop around the elf drug dealer story. Ever since I did the rewrite on it, that one is long enough to qualify for other markets. I’ve also become fascinated with those characters and have another story about them in the works. I’ve got a smattering of blog posts to do too. Only a couple of them are Things I’ve Read Posts because, well, my reading and writing time are often one in the same so not much read last month. But I promise I’ll finally write up thoughts on Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues. I’ve also got notes all over the place for the more Thoughts on Things Posts, which people seem to like. Since this website will be almost a year old at New Year’s, it’s also going to be my “Hey it’s not that cheezy” excuse to do a year endy type post. I’ve also got plans to reach out to some people for a cool blog type project.

Oh and did I mention I started my next novel already?

Yeah that happened. I’ve started in on the notes and outline stage of the Connecticut godpunk book about punk rocker Cole Rake.

I read a post (I’m pretty sure it was on Ink Punks) about how Zelazny liked to write short stories about his characters before writing his novels. Take them for a test drive. That’s absolutely something I’m going to do for the next one. It will be a short story that doubles as a chunk of Cole’s backstory.

I do have ideas for a sequel to Amity but I think a change of gears is in order. The characters from the godpunk have infested my head for a while and need to be written.

Those are my plans to grab hold of the momentum and not let go. It’s a thing.

The End

Posted: December 4, 2012 in Writing
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image

Amity is complete.