I've been on vacation the last two weeks, so between writing and building a rocket launcher, I've done some painting.
Monday, May 20, 2013
I've been on vacation the last two weeks, so between writing and building a rocket launcher, I've done some painting.
Monday, May 13, 2013
That does mean that yes, things have been happening, but no, I still can't talk about it. Not much. Well, I'll try.
Moving to Amazon has been interesting. They actually pay on a regular basis, which is quite amazing. They also give me breakdowns on where my books are being bought. I'm apparently doing okay in Germany. Yay, Germany!
Amazon is also a lot more proactive at poking authors (at least they've been poking me) and going "Hey, we want to do 'this'. Are you interested?" So far, the answer to this question that I've been asked twice is to say "Sure!" Whereupon they reply with "Great, give us a synopsis and a first chapter and we'll decide whether we want to buy it."
One of these days, my dream is to have someone suggest I write something and actually pay me BEFORE I do it. Dreams....such nebulous dreams...
Project #1 I flat out can't talk about. It doesn't involve just me, so the announcement about it has to wait until Amazon releases it. Yeah, I have no idea when that's going to happen. "Soon," I think.
Project #2 I can give a few details on. It's not solid yet. I'm still getting that synopsis and first chapter to them, so a contract isn't 100% guaranteed and I don't want to jinx it. Call me paranoid. However, it's very likely it will be.
Amazon has asked me to write a new sylph book, separate from book 4 (which they say they're buying anyway. No, I haven't got the contract yet). The format of it is a little different. They want an 8 part serial, each serial being ten thousand words long and ending at a cliffhanger. It's to be released electronically, each serial coming out two weeks apart and then the whole thing being released as a novel afterwards. The reader only pays once for the whole thing. They're called Kindle Serials and it's the same idea as the ongoing stories in pulp magazines back in the day. Amazon has some of them out already and they're quite popular, but I'm their first stab at a fantasy serial. So I'm busily at work on this one, which from what I understand, they want to release this fall. For publishing, that's an insane turn around.
Given that they also want the book to be able to stand on its own with new readers, I've had to put book six aside while I write it. Six has way too many spoilers for other books, like five. Five of course can't come out until after four, and four they're paying me for anyway, so I'm not interested in turning that one into a set of serials.
The book is called FOR THE LOVE OF A SYLPH and is set after book three and four. I'm not saying what the plot is, but I will say that anyone who remembers the water sylph and battler who were friends in ALPHABET SOUP FOR SYLPHS is going to recognize the leads. This is very much going to be a first as the entire book is written from the point of view of a water sylph. I've always wanted to try something like that. Usually just the battlers get focused on.
So that's what I've been up to, along with working full time, having fun with digital art, and spending way too much time in Minecraft PE or Real Racing 3.
To close, something that's never happened to me before happened yesterday. I was at the Ottawa Comicon and chatting with one of the artists doing commissions there. We got to talking about art and writing and he asked if I was someone he'd have heard of. I said probably not and told him my name.
He'd heard of me.
Forgive the squealing, but NOBODY's heard of me. Not standing face to face. You guys read my blog because you came to find me. This was like meeting one of you randomly on the street.
Yeah, I ended up flailing uselessly. It was great. :)
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I wanted you to be among the first to know that Amazon has reached an agreement to acquire Goodreads, a leading site for readers and book recommendations that helps people find and share books they love.
Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading, a love of books, and an appreciation for the authors who write them. We both work every day to help authors like you reach a wider audience and make a better living at your craft, and together with Goodreads we intend to build many new ways to delight authors and readers alike.
We’re excited to help create an even more powerful offering for all of our authors, and we hope you are too. You can read more in the press release here and the blog post from Goodreads here.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Amazon press release: here
Goodreads press release: here
I really didn't see this one coming and as of right now, I have no official opinion about it, just some personal musings of my own. I figured I would let everyone know, though, in case they hadn't heard.
In other news, I'm up to something for Amazon. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? :) I can't say what it is, but when it's finally announced, I think it's either going to be seen as an awesome thing and a tremendous opportunity, or as a horrible disaster. Or both. Maybe. I can see it going either way and it's driving me vaguely nuts that I can't say what it is. It's Amazon's news to release, however. I'm just involved in my own little way.
I don't know when Amazon will announce it, but my deadline is April 6, so I think it'll be sometime around then, or later. Once I can talk about it, I'll let everyone know what I've been up to.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
I don't know how Amazon does it just yet, but when I was with Dorchester, it was a good year from a contract being signed to the book hitting the shelves, so THE SYLPH HUNTER won't see bookstores until 2014. Sorry about that. Theoretically the first three will be coming out again in 2013, and Amazon will be doing some promotion of them. So that will hopefully mean more sales, and more interest when THE SYLPH HUNTER comes out. The more I sell, the happier everyone will be.
For the first time in my life, I'm getting regular royalty statements and I'm selling at a steady rate, but I have no frame of reference to know if it's considered a good amount or piddly, and I'm somewhat afraid to ask. :) But the more of book four I sell, the sooner Amazon will be willing to take a chance on five and six, as well as anything else I write, so tell your friends, I guess.
Book Six, btw, which I'm still calling THE LONELY SYLPH is already over 17,000 words, and would progress even faster if I could get off Tumblr or stop painting. Also if I didn't spend a sickening amount of time at my day job every day. Heh.
Speaking of painting, here, have a picture.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I'm getting ready to start writing THE LONELY SYLPH. Tossing ideas around, playing with characters, and spending way too much time deciding on a font to use.
I'm a bit of a font lover. I edit in Times New Roman to make it easier when I'm flipping manuscripts back and force with the editors, but when I'm typing the first draft, I like to do it in a new, funky font. Something that looks handwritten but still readable. I wrote THE BATTLE SYLPH in Comic Sans, I believe. I wrote a bunch of the others in Morning Limerick. But I'm getting tired of them. I want to use a new font.
There are a lot of free fonts out there, but the problem is finding ones that include an italic (or oblique) version. I'd love to write my next book in Jellyka or Noteworthy, but they don't have italic versions, which is really awkward when I write sylph speak in italics.
By any chance, are any of you out there font lovers who know a site that has free brushstroke or handwriting style fonts that come in regular and italic? I'm not having any luck searching.
I guess I'll go back to researching medieval sailing vessels. That's being a pain too. :)
Sunday, January 27, 2013
I have some news. Nothing confirmed of course, as I haven't signed anything yet, but Amazon wants to buy THE SYLPH HUNTER. This is good news in my mind, of course, and my agent is trying to make it even better news as she's hoping to turn it into a three book deal. Which would mean WAR OF THE SYLPHS being released too, as well as a third book.
I've spent the last few days tossing around ideas for that third book (sixth in the series). I'm starting to get an idea of who's in it and what they're up to. It's set somewhere we've been before, if not spent a massive amount of time in, and it will have romance. I think someone might hurt me if it didn't. :p It also features one particular character readers met in ALPHABET SOUP FOR SYLPHS.
I don't promise that I'll get the three book deal as that would just be jinxing myself, but it is looking good at least for THE SYLPH HUNTER and I'm starting to get enough plot worms wiggling for the next book that I may just end up writing it regardless.
Its working title, by the way, is THE LONELY SYLPH.
Here, have a painting. I don't know who this is, but hopefully he'll introduce himself to me and tell me his story. :)
Thursday, December 20, 2012
I have some news to give. Apparently people have been asking me questions on my Facebook page without Facebook managing to tell me (and I'm famous for forgetting the site exists, which means I don't check it), so I'm answering some of those now. For those who have asked me questions in the past without my answering, I'm sorry about that. It wasn't intentional. I never mean to not answer someone. I just get easily distracted....
Amazon is going to rerelease the first three books in the Sylph series in the new year. I don't have an exact date, but I know the covers will be the same. They'll just be under the Amazon imprint. They'll also be released as paperbacks that you can buy in actual bookstores or order online, so that's a huge step up from what Dorchester did at the end with the uber expensive trades. This includes book three, QUEEN OF THE SYLPHS, which I know a lot of you weren't able to get hold of.
On the subject of e-books, I don't know that they'll be released as anything other than kindle versions. I haven't been able to get an answer on that, so it's not looking so good. Alas.
A couple of people asked about books four and five on Facebook. They're listed on Goodreads.com and actually have ratings (don't ask me how), but there's no picture or description or whatnot. For those of you who don't know, those books exist. I wrote them quite a while ago but didn't sell them to Dorchester because I wasn't happy with how Dorchester treated QUEEN. I mentioned them in a blog entry once and someone put them on Goodreads. They're not an illusion or a tease, promise.
In the good news, Amazon is actively reading book 4, THE SYLPH HUNTER. I have hopeful expectations that they'll buy it and later on, buy book 5, WAR OF THE SYLPHS as well. It just takes insane amounts of time for this sort of thing to happen.
Amazon is also looking at one of my other fantasy series, HUNTING THE RAPTURE, for their fantasy imprint. I've also got Del Rey looking at that one, so I'm hoping someone picks it up (for the sake of politeness, I won't say which company I'd prefer....)
That's all I've got happening publication-wise for the moment. I've been considering releasing a book of short stories onto Smashwords, but someone who shall remain nameless has been talking me out of it, so that's still in the pondering stages. I'm also past the 85,000 word count mark in writing my book CALLED.
Here, have a painting.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I have passed the 75,000 word mark in CALLED, however. Slow going but still, going is good. I think this is going to be a long one. I don't even feel half finished yet. The Sylph books, by the way, average between 90,000 and 100,000 words each. I've also written a few short stories, including one I'm working on where this idiot mercenary trio (you haven't met them yet. I like them. They're full of snark) runs into Medusa. If you've ever read the mythology, that women really gets screwed over by the gods.
I haven't heard anything new from Amazon. They have the physical copies of my books to make their versions from, the covers won't change, they will be available as paperback, and they're coming out sometime in 2013. I don't know if they'll buy four and five yet. It really does take this long to find out. It took nine months before I heard if the first one was going to be published when I first got into this business. It's been less than three months so far this time. Frustrating but true. I think it'll happen though. I hope. I've got a contact there, but I haven't been assigned an editor yet. Hopefully I'll get someone as great to work with as Kris Keesler was back at Dorchester. That makes a lot of difference.
I have today off, so I'm enjoying the sunlight coming in the window and trying to get some writing done before the treadmill I ordered shows up. Then I'll be in the hell that is trying to figure out how to put it together. I've set up a little home gym in my basement since I don't want to exercise at work (I'm military. We get an hour for PT a day, but I don't like the gym much and it's all self-directed. Plus the change room is fifty years old and smells). At home I can run exercise programs on my IPad and not feel like everyone's staring at me. Just the parrot, who insists on coming downstairs with me.
You know you need to exercise more when a four ounce bird decides to fly over and land on your head while you're in a middle of a dumbbell squat and you can't get back up....
Sunday, November 11, 2012
I don't quite remember where the genesis of this poem came from - I think I might have dreamed snippets of it - but I've rarely had anything come out that fast and that well. Almost nothing's changed from how I originally wrote it out.
I think of this poem every year on Remembrance Day. I've showed it to a few people before and read it to my platoon back in 2002, but this is its first public appearance. Feel free to repost it, print it, do anything that doesn't make a profit, but leave my name on it, please.
Friday, November 2, 2012
I've been writing a lot lately. The pressure has slowed up at work, so I'm not coming home anymore feeling too tired to think, let alone be creative. I've also been on leave all this week, which has been utterly wonderful. I've got several chapters of CALLED written, including figuring out a plot point that was fighting me. I've also written a few short stories. Hopefully I'll find a venue for them to be published, or perhaps put a bunch of them together and try them out on Smashwords. Would anyone be interested in buying an ebook of my short stories that way? Let me know.
In Sylph book news, the only new thing I've heard is that Amazon is planning to rerelease the first three Sylph books in the new year. I don't know when. I also don't know if they're going to buy book four. This process always takes a painfully long amount of time.
Yesterday (okay, today at about two am), I was inspired to write a poem. Figured I'd toss it up here for you to enjoy. Hope you like it.
If I do publish a book of short stories, would people be interested in my including some of my poetry in it? I have a few that are epics and storyline based.