Once again I’ve been caught up in the writing and forgetting to post. I think that’s a good thing.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m taking Dean Wesley Smith’s three novels in three months challenge. Heading into the last three weeks now, with the third novel well underway.
I completed the second novel – Glass Bay – and got it turned in on time. It turned out to be the second of my Emily Jade thriller series. It’s been a couple of years since Big Sur came out and I was starting to wonder if I would find the next book in it (my thriller Taken by Surprise, from last year) has an appearance from Emily, but it’s more like a side book, with a different lead character (I just noticed that on the cover of the two Emily Jade books I’ve got “Author of Taken by Surprise).
Once I have Mr Smith’s first reader notes back I’ll get it underway with fixes and tinkering and underway to a copyeditor. Hope to have it out before the end of the year.
And a funny thing has happened. Not only have a learned a whole lot about writing, but I’m having fun writing a novel a month. Wondering if I might try to keep it up as a challenge for the rest of the year. That would be fun too.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve taken on Dean Wesley Smith’s challenge to write three novels through June, July and August. I completed the first novel late in June and, somehow, I’m already nearing the halfway point in the second novel.
It turns out that this new book is a sequel to my 2015 novel Big Sur – and Emily Jade thriller. I’d wanted to write the next novel in the series, but have been distracted by, you know, writing science fiction (insert self-deprecating grin here.
Important thing to point out: this challenge is fun. Really. It pushes me along. It gets me focused. It gets me in the chair. And whenever I’m focused and in the chair I’m definitely having fun. I hope the fun comes through in the book.
2016 feels like my best year ever. Publishing went well. Work went well. I wrote more words than in any previous year. I also published more than any previous year.
My goal this year was to publish nine novels. I got eight. Failed at my goal, but, well you know… eight novels out there, so more successful than any other year so far.
Seven science fiction, one thriller (Taken by Surprise – but I hope that’s obvious from the cover). Three novels from my Karnish River Navigations Series. I feel like I learned a whole lot about the writing process and how to become prolific (I’m still not there). I feel like I’m making all my blunders in public. Busking away as I try to learn to be a better writer.
All of the books are available in print and ebook from most regular retailers. One thing for me to work on next year is maximizing the availability. My personal favourites are Athena Setting and Night Operations.
I’ve been working to keep my stories circulating (unsurprisingly, my stories don’t always sell to the first editor. Sometimes they don’t even sell to the tenth). I’ve made almost 150 submissions through the year (145 as I type this – I hope to get an extra few by year’s end).
I had around six acceptances, and seven publications, plus one reprint:
Scour in New Myths (a Karnish River Navigations story, so ties in with some of the novels above).
Penny of Tharsis Montes in Amazing Stories (this was my Gernsback Amazing Stories contest co-winner).
Ink for a Verbal Contract in Ad Astra (this was my Writers of the Future contest finalist from a few years back – nice to see it find a home).
Also, my story “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” made the cover of the January/February 2017 issue of Asimov’s. It came out on December 20th, so I’m unsure whether to count it here or next year. Maybe both. 🙂
With that last story, I’ve had to make my final entry into the Writer’s of the Future contest. I’m now, for the purposes of the contest, considered a professional writer. Next year a change up too: except for a couple close to my heart, I’ll be targetting only pro-paying outlets. Seems obvious really.
Currently I have about thirty stories out on submission.
I had the good fortune to be a finalist for four awards. My novella “The Molenstraat Music Fesival” (Asmov’s September 2015) for the Aurealis Awards (won by Garth Nix), the Sir Julius Vogel Awards (Octavia Cade) and the Asimov’s Reader’s Awards (Michael Swanwick and Gregory Frost), and my short story “The Harpsichord Elf” (Capricious, Issue #1) for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards (Lee Murray).
Also music – I worked with Kendall on some new Shadows on the Snow material. I think I should do a separate post about that elsewhere.
Failing to success is a term I got from Dean Wesley Smith – my take on it is that while you might miss reaching your goals, you still achieve something in that striving. While I didn’t quite make all my goals, I feel like I shot high.
Still thinking about how to approach next year. I do think I’ll shoot for ten novels. I have a few at various stages of the editing process (as in four complete manuscripts, copyediting, formatting, etc. to do). I’ll be doing some traveling too, so that might impact my writing time. I have some strategies around that. Pretty sure I won’t make the 150 submissions. Travel, and focus on novels means I’ll have fewer stories to circulate. Some of these old ones have burned through their potential markets. Likely I’ll bundle them up into a collection or two and publish that myself.
All the best for your new year. Reach for your goals: it’s a whole lot of fun.
My young adult/middle grade (as you will) novel Habitat is now available through Triple V Publishing – on Kindle and other ebook sites. $2.99 download, and I’m working on a POD version which should be out soon.
“Seve Brigham’s dream opportunity – a cadetship to work on the huge orbiting Habitat – is about to turn bad. Very bad. The station is an unfinished mess: behind schedule and under-staffed. Then there’s the alien voice in Seve’s head. And thieves are trying to steal the whole station. Seve needs to look sharp and think fast.”
Habitat is a backlist title. Originally published on BookHabit – one of the first ebook sites. BookHabit sold it’s inventory to SmashWords, but at the time I was busy with other things (and disappointed with the lack of sales – zero – and the complicated set of hoops to jump through to format it for SmashWords), so it fell into limbo.
Of late I’ve been learning about formatting – seriously not that big of a deal – and about indie publishing. With my newly edited novel Rotations (more on that soon) just released from Lucky Bat Books, now seemed like a good time to bring Habitat back to light.
Once Rotations is published, I’ll be focusing attention on my next novel. The Room is a full-length novel that grew from a flash fiction story – Don’t Sleep Downstairs, originally published at Flashes in the Dark.
This is the rough cover. I’ll do a little tinkering, but this is pretty close to what I’ll be running with. It should be out early 2012 – depending on when Rotations makes it to the shelves.
My novel should be published by the end of the year. At the moment the manuscript is with the editors – Lucky Bat books. Whew, getting to this point has been huge.
In the meantime I’ve got other stuff to do. Like picking a cover. This is my current rough, after ditching a few other ideas…
What do you think? What needs to change? Font size? The font itself? The angle of the words? Does it need to be busier? Quieter? Does it make you want to buy the book? Click on the picture for a bigger version.
Things will probably change when the artist (Peter Parkinson) gets hold of it. I’m hoping he has time before publication, otherwise I’ll run with something like this one.
Rotations is a near-future thriller. Or is that techno-thriller? I’m still figuring it out. Perhaps it’s sci-fi. Doubtless we’ll work out how to market it best.
As we get closer to publication date, I’ll post some snippets. Parts of it, some might recall, have been previously published online at the now defunct Infinite Windows site. It’s great to take it on again, get it professionally edited and ready to go.
I’m publishing under my Triple V Publishing imprint, where I also had my short story collection Eddie’s on Fire a couple of years back (you can still buy it at CafePress – P.O.D. for $13.95, plus shipping). Triple V is a quiet little thing, but we’ll see how it develops as things go.
My 1200 worder “Breathe In” will be published in Flashes in the Dark on October 1st. This is a creepy thriller story. And while it’s set in the US (Williams, Arizona – a very cool little town I visited for the second time earlier this year), it does reference back to New Zealand (as part of a crucial plot element which was fun to include).