Still stuck in production hell. This is why I got out of publishing years ago, but it’s still fun in its own way. Been working with a rather patient graphic designer and I think we’re getting *holds up finger and thumb near each other* this close to going final on some things.
Then, I received an email from my artist, Shane Braithwaite, who gave me the last piece of art I had coming before we get ready to go with the Kickstarter.
*Yes, I know that’s my default response to his art. I can’t help it. I’m always amazed at seeing my words come to life.*
So, here’s a sneak preview of the interior art for “The Demon’s Head.”
Maybe this publishing thing isn’t so bad after all.
Had a very productive writer’s walk-about today. Stopped at a used CD store and picked up some new music for my gig as an on-line DJ for gw-en.com. Then I stopped at Bean Hollow in Ellicott City with the iPad and the keyboard, ordered myself a big mocha, and sat down to work.
In an hour and a half, I finished the first draft of “Operation Komodo” (and the choir sang “Hallelujah!), as well as the opening chapter for the fourth Theron Chase story (which looks like it might be the 2nd full novel for the series), and wrote down the outline for yet another story I want to work on down the road.
Honestly, I don’t know what has been my hang-up about “Operation Komodo”. It should have been a rather straightforward story, but I fought and refought this battle with myself forever. But, the first draft is done. It’s just a matter of taking the red pen to it, cleaning up the grammar and tightening it up and then it’ll be off to the publisher.
I had some serious mojo going today and I might still be at Bean Hollow, but family duties come first, so I packed it up and came home at the appointed time.
So, now, I’m settling in to watch the Royals game and will finish the edits to the secret project this evening.
Been a good writing day so far.
(Amended: secret project revised and shipped off to the editor. All good thoughts gratefully accepted.)
After dealing with both my graphic designer and my cover artist, I’m noting something. I’m really trying to avoid becoming that problem writer as far as my artists go. Unfortunately, I have Zero, zip, nada skill when it comes to drawing. Hell, I’m not even sure of my stick figures from time to time.
So, I’m reduced to trying to explain concepts and ideas as best I can, but sometimes it comes down to me seeing the concept art and then going, “OK, that works, but that doesn’t, could we maybe try this . . .”. I really don’t mean to be the “I’ll know it when I see it” customer, but it happens. What I see so clearly in my head is not always the easiest thing to describe in a manner that it can be reproduced by another person.
Two bits of good news tonight:
1) Heard back from the editor for the secret project. He needs me to make some changes to the story so that it fits their style guide, but if I can clean up a couple of things, looks like he might pick it up.
Like I said, this is a property I’ve been enjoying since 1986, so I’m really, REALLY hoping I can pull this off.
2) Heard from Shane Braithwaite. We’re reviewing the first interior art piece for For a Few Gold Pieces More and it’s looking good. We’re discussing a few points, but I think the artist and the writer can come to a happy medium and we’ll both get what we want out of the artwork.
Once I have this, it’s time to start driving toward the Kickstarter launch this fall. Next up – video.
Starting to get a bit nervous.
Finished the final edits to Terra Incognito and now I need to coordinate with my designer to get the book, the art, and all the other information to him.
It’s hard to believe we’ve finally gotten to this point, but it’s time to move beyond an idea to a finished product. I was discussing with Steve Roman of StarWarp Concepts, how we’re going to promote this book – looking at coordinating with gaming distributors, game stores, and gaming magazines as well as regular SF/F outlets. Given that Terra Incognito is a non-fiction book on world building, there’s a natural link to gaming, since many gamers create their own worlds as well as using the pre-generated gaming worlds.
Also, looking into how I could get this out to writing resource groups. Again, I’ve never done non-fiction outside of an academic settings, so I’m trying to determine how to get my work into settings I’m less familiar. Heck, I might even have to see if there’s any academic interest . . .
I never thought I’d get back into publishing after my earlier attempts to do comics back in the 1990s, but sometimes, the path once traveled needs to be traveled again.
OK, didn’t get as much writing done this evening as I had hoped, but that was because I was doing other writerly things – like talking to editors, talking to publishers, talking to artists, talking to convention organizers . . .
Sometimes the electrononic age is a great thing, but sometimes I can also be a time suck. Still, progress was made on multiple fronts and I did get some work done on The Dark Leopard – Freeze Frame
earlier in the day so it’s not a complete wash on the writing front.
However, what stirred all this conversation?
Getting the art for my Kickstarter project – the cover of For a Few Gold Pieces More from Shane Braithwaite.
OK, see, I’m a writer because I can’t draw. So, I tend to gush when I work with a fantastic, (and highly reliable) artist.
So, without further ado, a snippet of the cover. The entire cover will be revealed with the start of the Kickstarter, but the few people I’ve shared this with agree with me that Shane’s art ought to move some books.
Hopefully my writing is up to snuff to match this gorgeous art. *grin*
Spent some time working on my new Dark Leopard story today. Calling this one Freeze Frame and it’s set a few months from the end of Mouse Trap. Really enjoy developing this character and her supporting cast. While it did start out as an homage to another character, it’s definitely taking on a life of its own. Can’t wait to see the revamped costume for her by Rock Baker either.
Also, spent some time today working on refining the outline for the next Theron Chase story. Yes, I know Pearls of Darkness hasn’t been released yet, but that doesn’t mean I should just sit around and wait for it before starting the next one. I’ve gotten some really good feedback, both from readers and authors I look up to, on this one and I can’t wait to open up the shades and see what the streets of Calisia have in store for my intrepid private investigator.
Finally, I worked on “Operation Komodo” this evening. Finally got the final scene ready to write – had to go back and do some work to get the beats right to get all the players where I needed them to be for Strikeforce Falcon’s latest mission. Now, hopefully, I can finish this over the next few days and get it en route to the editor.
Plus, over the weekend, I was talking with April MacDee. We’ve been working on a YA Urban Fantasy for some time, but grad school got in the way (first for her, than me). Now, it’s time we dusted it off, updated a few things and got this darn thing written.
And I’m sure there’s more lurking in the shadows. There always is . . .
Been an interesting Saturday.
Had a nice lunch with friends today, spent a lot of time catching up and just having a great time hanging out.
Then went over to the local B&N and picked up a few books for the family. I know many people buy their books on-line these days, but I still like holding them and flipping through some pages before I make a decision.
The big news was getting the edits back from Joni on the secret project. She caught a few areas I thought were a bit rough, and after I polished them up, I dropped it into an email and zapped it off to the editor. Keep your fingers crossed for No Rest for the Wicked.
Then I spend a big chunk of this evening downloading cd’s into the proper format and building a brand new playlist for gw-en.com. Looks like I’ll be broadcasting this Tuesday from 7-10, EST. Each time I’ve been on-air, it feels like it’s getting easier, but then again, I always seem to find something new to mess up on. But, maybe in ten or so years, I’ll get this thing down.
And tomorrow, time to start a new story. (It’s always time to start a new story . . . )
The second draft of the secret project is completed. Trimmed up several sections and expanded one, so the total so far is 6927 words. While a difference of forty words probably doesn’t seem like that much, remember, that’s the aggregate number at the end. To be honest, we probably swapped out at least 1000 words by the time it was all over.
While I was pretty proud about the first draft, the second one is much tighter and I think I caught a few plot holes I hadn’t addressed the first time (or didn’t have room to do so in the first pass). And even though there’s only forty words of difference, the second draft is two pages shorter when printed out.
Now, it’s time to pass this to Joni and let her take her hack at it. Once I get her edits back, I’ll make the corrections and get this en route as quickly as possible.
Keep your fingers crossed. This is a property I’ve dreamed about writing for for nearly 30 years. I’m hoping this may lead to more (and longer) projects down the road for them, maybe even focusing on this character again.
See, I KNEW I was tempting the gods Friday. Although I did get in another 1000+ words on the story, I did not finish it by COB Saturday. But, I did finish it today!
The secret project, now known as No Rest for the Wicked, clocks in at 6,967 words (with a maximum of 7,000 allowed). I’m anticipating as I go back through this and then Joni goes over it, words will be trimmed away, verbs tightened, scenes sharpened, and characters brought to life. Still, I’m pretty proud of this first draft, and I hope by the time I finish polishing it, the editor will like it too.
(And if he does, I’ll let you know who No Rest for the Wicked is for. *grin*)
Also spent some time today conversing with a publisher and my artist, finalizing what we want to do with the cover for For a Few Gold Pieces More and ensuring it’s going to really work for this book. I’ve seen the preliminary sketches and cannot wait to see what this is going to look like as a digital painting.
Now to print off a copy of No Rest so I can start editing. Yes, I still edit by hand with a red pen. It’s who I am. *sigh*
Hope everyone had a safe Fourth of July weekend and here’s to more stories down the road.
Now, this was a good day. The wife and I went out for lunch with a friend, then caught Inside Out at the theater, (I’d seen it with my daughter, but Joni was in San Angelo, TX that weekend, so this was a make-up date), and then we drove down to Ellicott City and walked around visiting the various antique shops and such. A very relaxing day off from work and a well-needed break.
After dropping my daughter off at work, I decided to see how much I could get written before I had to go get her. Knocked out 1766 words in an hour and a quarter on the secret project, which considering I type about fifty words a minute, isn’t too shabby.
Took me a bit longer to get going after I came back (wound up watching the last three innings of the Royals/Twins ball game), but wound up finishing tonight at 2,449 total for today. That brings the project up to 4,480. With a little bit of luck, I should finish this by EOB tomorrow (I see three more scenes to go). Then, the fun starts (editing/rewriting). Still, I don’t see any issues getting this to the editor by the deadline of 17 July.
Famous last words, right?
Work is moving ahead on the secret project. Hope to have the first draft done by the end of this week so I have time for editing/rewriting before it has to go to the real editor. *nervous twitch*
Also, started on the second Dark Leopard story today. 1900+ words there and I think it’s going to be a pretty good story. We’re going to spend some time talking about how she got into crime-fighting to begin with and how her origin relates to a case she’s getting involved with, whether she wants to or not.
Received an invite to a new (to me) convention for Dec 11-13, 2015. Geekonomicon in Biloxi, Mississippi. Did a quick check – airfare is not bad (if you don’t mind the two-hour layover in Atlanta), the hotel is very reasonably priced, and I’ve already got an offer to pick me up at the airport. Plus a table to sell stuff at. Can’t hardly shake a stick at all that, now can I?
Also, I’m going to be attending the Brooklyn Book Festival in August with my friend, Steve Roman. I’ll be helping him with his StarWarp Concepts booth at the show as well as touring around the Big Apple. It’s always fun to visit with Steve and he’s a damn good writer, so I’m happy to help hawk his books.
And speaking of books, I have the first rough sketch for the “For a Few Gold Pieces More” cover from Shane Braithwaite. I sent back my first impressions and I think we’re going to have another winner from him, folks. I consider myself very lucky to have hooked up with a talented artist like Shane.
Big thing is now to start updating the web site for when Terra Incognito and For a Few Gold Pieces More go live. I want to separate my “publishing” side from the author page based on some suggestions/feedback I’ve gotten from other people, especially if I’m going to be running a Kickstarter. Definitely want to show a good professional side to my publishing endeavors.
So, all in all, an outstanding day today.
Well, someone must be liking The Dark Leopard. Just glanced over at Amazon and saw it was #663 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superheroes.
Hey, I know as well as anyone, you can slice the Amazon rankings enough to make anything look good. Still, it’s nice to get into triple digits with the book.
And speaking of liking things, I’m making progress on the secret project. I’m pleased with the tone I’m capturing with this story and hope to get at least the first draft finished by the end of the week. Definitely need to take advantage of the Friday holiday (one of the advantages of being a defense contractor is getting the Federal holidays off). Added another 1300+ words to the story and really getting into the swing of where I want this to go.
But, given the lack of sleep the past couple of days, I really should call it an early night. Nodding off at home is one thing, nodding off in the client space is quite another. *eeps!*
Besides, my cat just fell asleep on top of my mouse. I’m going to take that as a sign.
Sunday started out way too early after surviving being on the party floor on a Saturday night. *grin* Between the blues band playing outside my window in the patio below and then the party drifting in to finish off the last “night” of SoonerCon, it’s was a tad noisy. Thankfully, my military training taught me how to sleep through damn near everything, so I eventually drifted off to sleep.
The Kaffeeklatch went well. I had an opportunity to visit with several other authors and their families as well as some fans. The fact that there were that many people awake and ambulatory at 10am on Sunday was impressive.
The last panel I had was “Overcoming Writer’s Block”. We spent part of the panel defining what writer’s block was, and how to differentiate (or was there a way to differentiate) it from procrastination. We also found while each of us have different ways to deal with it, the carrot and stick method seemed to be rather consistent (albeit we all seem to use different carrots). There were good questions from the audience too, and I think it went very well.
Afterward, I had the last autograph session of SoonerCon. As anticipated, since it was my first time at the show, not many people (read “one”) came over specifically to see me there. However, I did get a few nibbles from people who’d been at one of my panels and I sold a few Full Moon Affairs. Apparently, there is a market for fantasy noir and that tells me I need to get some more Theron Chase stories knocked out in the near future.
I dashed into the dealer’s room for one last pass and snagged an anime figurine for my daughter and then off to the airport. Had a great visit with Leonard Bishop, one of the con chairs, on the way there and definitely complimented him (and hopefully it got echoed back to the entire SoonerCon staff) on a very well run convention and one I can easily recommend to anyone who has wondered about going there.
While at the OKC airport, I had to treat myself to a Schlotzsky’s sandwich – I hadn’t had one since the last time I was in San Angelo, TX, which was 2004. It was as good as I remembered, even if I did forget to tell them to hold the black olives.
Unfortunately, that’s where the fun stopped.
Arrived at Dallas Love Field, and knew we were in trouble when the plane we were supposed to be boarding at 1935 was just discharging it’s passengers at 1945. 2015 rolled by and they announced there were a few issues and we’d be departing shortly. Then 2100, and they were still working on the issues and we’d be departing shortly.
We finally boarded the plane at 2300. Now, I can appreciate the pilot told us he was going to push for “ludicrous speed” on the way back to Regan National, but folks, it was still 0245 when we landed in DC. So, Joni had to drive down from Central MD to get me (the DC Metro was NOT running that late). It was almost 0400 when I finally arrived home. I had to call in at 0700 to tell work I wasn’t going to be in and I think I slept until 1200 today.
I really hadn’t planned on blowing another day of leave for this trip, but whatcha gonna do?
However, all in all, it was an outstanding con, the Writer Beware panel went extremely well and I met several authors I’ve seen on-line before but never met – especially want to sent a shout-out to Tommy B. Smith, Rachel Acks, and Lou Antonelli – as well as the others I enjoyed getting to meet for the first time.
And a few words from my publisher:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HEROINE PAYING HOMAGE TO GOLDEN AGE OF COMICS DEBUTS! RICHARD C. WHITE’S ‘DARK LEOPARD’ FROM PRO SE PRODUCTIONS!
A Publisher of Genre Fiction and New Pulp, Pro Se Productions proudly announces the debut of a new character, one whose roots are firmly planted in the early years of Comic books for inspiration. Author Richard C. White recalls the daring heroines of the Golden Age of adventure with his own character, springing to life in New Pulp prose.
The Dark Leopard: Mouse Trap is now available in print and digital formats!
“There is so much,” says Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “to be said for reaching into the past, back to stories that have come before and seeing what modern writers today could do with such concepts. It’s not simply nostalgia. It’s about not only showing a respect for our literary past, but introducing the concepts that drove those stories, that inspired those characters, to modern readers and to find their significance today. With The Dark Leopard: Mouse Trap, Richard harkens back to more than one four color masked maven and definitely adds in his own flair to what is, all in all, a double fisted tale of action and intrigue.”
Rachel Black is known to millions for many reasons—her hit movies, her glamorous lifestyle, and her reputed romances with Hollywood’s leading men. But Rachel also leads a secret life far away from the hot spotlights as the terror of criminals, saboteurs, and spies…because with the donning of a mask and risking of her life, Rachel is The Dark Leopard, Hollywood’s glamorous detective star.
Rachel, her father, Langston Black, and Mark Stone, a journalist and some-time partner with the lovely masked heroine, are in Monaco to make a movie about Nancy Wake, the World War II’s most celebrated British Special Operations agent. It’s the chance of a lifetime for Rachel and she’ll do anything to make the picture successful. However, when things start going wrong on the set, she begins to wonder whether it’s a rival movie company or perhaps something more sinister—something that may call for a certain feline super-hero. Then, a shadow from the past makes Rachel remember the reason she became the Dark Leopard in the first place.
Paying homage to classic Heroines of the Golden Age, Pro Se Productions proudly presents the debut adventures of The Dark Leopard, created by author Richard C. White.
For more information on this title, contact Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at directorofcorporateoperations @prose-press.com.
First panel of the day was the Writer Beware presentation. We had twelve people show up at 10am on a Saturday and more drifted in as the presentation went along. I think we had a max of twenty people at one time. It felt like the presentation went well and there were a number of good questions from the audience, lots of note taking, and several people hunted me down afterward to ask questions they didn’t necessarily want to ask in a group setting. All in all, probably the best single session I’ve had this year so far. So, go team!
The second panel of the day was “Military Service and it’s Role in SF”. We had two Vietnam Veterans (to include Elizabeth Moon), two Desert Shield/Storm vets, and one Gulf War vet. We talked about different things like “do you really have to have been in combat to write a good fight scene?” “Can having been in combat inhibit your writing?” One of our vets replied he couldn’t write combat for the longest time, even for a magazine article, because of the flashbacks at night. However, when you get five veterans together, there was a lot of “No, kidding, there I was . . . ” stories, which the audience really seemed to enjoy. We had a huge crowd – room filled to capacity which was a fantastic sight, because I’ve done a panel like this before at other cons where we only had two to three people in attendance.
My last panel was “Kaiju, Unicorns, Bigfoot, and Dragons”. While the proposed topic was plausibility (either in actual existence or in design), we deviated a bit to discuss pet peeves about monsters, the two artists on the panel brought up while a monster might make sense in writing, it was tough to make them look real visually, esp. for movies/TV, and yes, we even talked about the actual topic about which cryptids could actually exist, whether or not they really do. Fun panel and some good questions/comments from the audience.
Had a good time talking with Rachel Acks, (she had the reading right before mine). I found out she was a fellow former Musa author, so we spent some time talking about steampunk, how tanks work (she’s doing a screenplay for a class about a tank crew), and general writing stuff. I had a ball visiting with her and if you like steampunk fiction, I recommend tracking down her stories.
Also, after the show, SoonerCon arranged for some food trucks to come out to the show. I hit one called St. Paddy’s Cakes (they specialize in Irish-style meals served atop a huge potato cake). I had their con special which was chocolate rubbed pork with shitake mushrooms and cauliflower atop a white Cheddar potato cake and served with German Mustard. Holy kraut was that good!
And, after my last panel, I went outside to find a gentleman who was restoring an old Model T. He was also giving rides in it, which I certainly took advantage of. I went back out to get some pictures, but he’d left, which was rather disappointing, but I walked by there just as things were wrapping up for the day and he’d returned, so I was able to snag some shots of his vehicle.
So, all in all, it was a fantastic day yesterday, and I look forward to wrapping everything up today and getting home.
My latest story from Pro Se Press is an homage to the heroes of the 1940s, where my hero meets a real life hero that many people haven’t heard of before.
From the Pro Se Productions Teaser posted today: “Another Super Heroine Kicking Her Way into the Present from the Past. Coming VERY Soon from Pro Se Productions! Cover by Rock Baker, Colors by Marc Haines!”
And in something else writing related, I booked my room for Rocket City Lit Fest tonight and am working with the panel coordinator for what panels I’ll be at on Shore Leave. Now to start packing for Sooner Con this weekend.
Ah, the whirlwind life of a writer.
Been busy the last couple of days.
1) Finished the first round of edits to the book, the acknowledgements, the dedication, the back cover material and fired all of that back to my editor. I’m hoping round two of the edits will be a little better, but we’ll know when I open his email and see whether my computer catches fire or not.
2) Talked to a couple of reviewers and fired off copies of some of my work.
3) Talked to one of my publishers about a couple of projects near and dear to my heart. Movement is happening and I’m a very happy writer about that.
4) Found out a Kickstarter I was supporting not only hit their goal, but nailed most of their stretch goals! Fantastic job Champions of Aetaltis! Maybe some of that mojo will rub off on my own Kickstarter this fall.
5) and best of all, I received the first bit of art for the Kickstarter. This is going to be one of the posters we’ll be giving out as a reward. But, we’ll give you guys a sneak peak now. This is a cropped version of Shane Braithwaite’s stunning art. And this is just the poster. I can’t WAIT to see what he does with the cover.
6) And now, time to go off and work on my secret project and listen to the Royals/Mariners game.
And for something completely different, I had my first turn as an on-line disc jockey tonight for the Gaming World Entertainment Network. It was fun, frustrating, and a bit nerve-wracking.
Now, mind you, I haven’t DJ’d since college which was more than a few years ago (aka, who here still remembers how to queue up a 45 so it ‘s up to speed as you go on air with it?). I’m more used to dealing with mixer boards and slider bars in real life, not in a virtual studio, but luckily, the gw-en DJ’s were more than patient with me and helped me get set up for my show tonight.
The biggest problem I had tonight was I purchased a really good microphone and pre-amp set up years ago. At the time, they were not necessarily top of the line, but about as close as I could afford. Unfortunately, as we learned this evening, WIN7 doesn’t play well with them. And, it reads the microphone as a mono system when it’s definitely not.
So, needless to say, this drove the DJ on duty with me crazy as he was trying to fix things mid-stream. Finally, we just decided to punt back to my good ol’ Logitech headphones/microphone and voila, the issues cleared up. Why? Don’t ask.
Luckily, the in-game audience seemed to appreciate the playlist I had put together and I got some encouraging words from other former DJs who happened to be there. So, while tonight’s performance wasn’t going to win any awards, at least I didn’t completely fall on my face.
It looks like I may be doing this one evening a week for three hours. I think once I get my feet back underneath me (and get some patter down for the audience), it’ll be a lot of fun. And heck, since it’s a volunteer position, if it’s not fun, why am I doing it? *grin*
Once I know what my actual schedule is, I’ll let you know when to find me if you like “classic rock with a twist.”
Spent some time writing a couple of new sections the editor wanted to see for Terra Incognito. Added 582 words to Chapter 14 and 2800 to Chapter 15. So, barring more additions/deletions from the next round of edits, the book should just about be at its final length.
This was a good writing day. Over 3300 new words and they might even be good ones, which is always a good feeling. *grin* I’ll give this a once over this weekend and get it back to the editor for the next round on the chopping block.
Then it’s on to the “secret project” and also finishing up a few stories I’ve still got hanging around.
There’s always more work to be done. Always.
Writing (and other stuff) was accomplished tonight.
Practical writing first – finished the first drafts of the dedication, the acknowledgement, and the back cover material for Terra Incognito. Yes, even dedications and acknowledgements get drafts because everything needs to be edited at least once.
Fun writing – added another thousand words to a story I hope to pitch to a new publisher later this summer. It’s one of those things I pick at from time to time to recharge the batteries. It’s coming together rather well. Hopefully the publisher will think so too.
Under other stuff, I had a good conversation with Delfin Barral, who’s going to be designing the new Nightwolf Graphics logo and a logo for the For a Few Gold Pieces More collection. We kicked around some ideas and I think we’re on the same sheet of music, so we’ll see how things go.
(Besides, Del used to work for WaRP Graphics. I think he knows a thing or two about drawing wolves. *grin*)
However, the evening was topped off by an email I received. An anthology about a property I really am passionate about approved my pitch for a short story. *inserts fireworks here* I’ve really wanted to do something with this property for a long time and hopefully, this will be the first of many opportunities to do that.
So, it appears going to Origins Game Fair may have just paid off.
Of course, now I have to actually write the story. Yeah, I know, there’s always a catch.
Still, even with my own projects looming on the horizon, I’m really pumped about this. More information as soon as I’m allowed to say more about this.
So, I count this day as pretty win/win.
Came home tonight with the express purpose of getting some writing done—then came the phone calls:
1) My editor for Terra Incognito
2) The designer for Terra Incognito
3) The graphic designer for For a Few Gold Pieces More
4) The editor for Terra Incognito again
5) My web designer
Now, mind you, these were all phone calls that needed to be made/handled, and a lot of good information was passed on during them.
The editor and I discussed the first round of edits for Terra and also how things need to go to get ready for round two.
After I discussed things with the designer about how we wanted to lay this book out and get it ready to go once the editor is done, I had to talk to the editor again and coordinate with him.
Talked to the graphic designer about a new Nightwolf Graphics logo that would be more book friendly than my earlier logos (they looked great on a comic, but not to much on a book cover).
Then finally with my web designer about setting up the Nightwolf Graphics page separate from my author web page to support both Terra Incognito and For a Few Gold Pieces More.
So, the publishing side of getting these books out the door is moving along, but writing must happen too. *sigh*
Continued working on my edits today. I made it through the first pass of edits, made a number of changes the more I reviewed things – it’s amazing how stuff you wrote three years ago seems clunky now. It took most of today to get through the edits. Steve is nothing if not thorough, which is exactly what I look for in an editor.
I’m going to make another pass on the manuscript tomorrow and then I have two new sections to write for this book, based on his advice. Then it’ll be back for editing round number two.
I’m taking the rest of the evening off to recharge and watch some Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible and continue planning a few short stories I’m going to pitch to a new market for me.
What? You thought I wouldn’t have more irons in the fire?
I thought I’d share a little more art with you. I was working on a story several years ago – still need to dust it off and rework it one of these days – and I had Eliseu Gouveia do some concept art for the two main characters.
Zeu has done a lot of work for Steve Roman, my editor, and I thought it would be good to throw some attention to his Deviant Art page too, Go check out his work at eliseugouveia.deviantart.com/
See, this is why I like hooking up with good editors. My non-fiction book, Terra Incognito is comprised of already published columns. Steve has managed to find stuff everyone’s missed up until now, as well as helping me rewrite stuff to make it more concise.
Sure, it seems like an awful lot of work for something that’s already been through the ringer once, but a good editor can always find ways to help you improve your work.
I’ve been going over the edits since 10 last evening until 2:15 this morning and I’ll hit them again after I recover. I think this is going to be a pretty damn good book by the time we’re done with it.
Also yesterday I not only heard back from Shane for some Kickstarter stuff, but I talked to a graphic designer to create a new logo design for Nightwolf Graphics as well as a logo design for For a Few Gold Pieces More.
Plus I wrote about 2000 words on a story I’ve been playing with off and on for a bit.
Not a bad day’s work.
“And when that morning sun comes creepin’ in, we’ll get up and do it again, Amen” – Jackson Browne.
They just posted the panels for Sooner Con, (26-28 Jun 2015)
Here’s my schedule for those attending.
|10:00 am||Maynard – Writing||Writer Beware|
|Noon||Maynard – Writing||Military Service and Its Role in SF|
|3:00 pm||Ballroom A = Media/Science||Kaiju, Unicorns, Bigfoot, and Dragons|
|5:30 pm||Rice – Readings||Reading – Richard C. White|
|10:00 am||10 Forward – Cantina||Koffee Klatch|
|1:00 p.m.||Maynard – Writing||Defeating Writer’s Block|
|2:00 pm||Autographs (Upstairs) – 10 Forward||Autographs – Bradley Denton, Caroline Spector, & Richard C. White|
Look forward to seeing you there
And work continues on everything except what I’d intended on working on today. *hangs head in shame*
1) Based on feedback I’ve received from several people who’ve run or are currently running successful Kickstarters, I “think” I’ve got my ideas for the rewards, add-ons, and stretch goals for whenever I finally decided to launch the Kick for For a Few Gold Pieces More. I still need to do more research on things like shipping costs, book printing costs, editing/layout/design costs, and procuring the items for the rewards.
I’m an analyst. I may not be a “business” guy per se, but I do understand numbers. I’m going to have all the data in my hot little hands before I announce to everyone we’re ready to roll. So, you’ll probably hear me prattling about this from time to time until I’m ready to push the button and start the countdown.
2) However, with that in mind, I did contract Shane Braithwaite to do the cover, a poster, and one piece of the interior art for the book so I can show people what they’re spending their money on. If you remember the cover to Terra Incognito, you’ve seen Shane’s work (and if you don’t remember, please check out his deviant art page. I haven’t quite crossed the Rubicon yet with this project, but the troops are lining up waiting for the word “go.”
3) I also began work on a pitch I’ll be making to a publisher later this week. More to follow there.
4) I did actually pull up a short story I’m supposed to be working on, just in time for a call from my friend (and editor) Steve Roman with StarWarp Concepts. He’s doing the editing on turning my old on-line columns for Penumbra Magazine into a non-fiction book called Terra Incognito.
When last I had talked to Steve, three days after Balticon, he was pretty convinced there was no way we could release the book in time for Shore Leave. So, of course, he calls tonight and thinks now we can, with a significant push from both his end and mine. Luckily, we already have the cover art in house, (Thanks, Shane), and he’s sent me all the other matter (back cover copy, front matter, back matter, press releases, etc.) to start working on them while he finishes editing the last three chapters.
Once he’s done with that, it’s just a matter of making the corrections, looking up some more references, writing a new last chapter, and coordinating with the designer to get the maps and the calendar laid out in the book so it’s easily readable/understandable by the readers, and then getting ready to go to press.
So…will Terra Incognito be released at Shore Leave 2015? Honestly, I don’t know. I’d like to do it there, but I also do not want to schedule a release party for the book at the show until I’m 100% certain it’ll be there.
Stay tuned for more there too.
5) I must have Kickstarters on the brain because of all my work. There are a couple out there I highly recommend people take a look at. The “Monsters” Kickstarter by Silence in the Library is off to a great start, but let’s keep the momentum going! If you have a chance, please go to Kickstarter and check out the authors involved and give them a hand.
6) Another Kickstarter I highly support (and I’m not even in this one *grin*), is “Champions of Aetaltis: A Heroic Fantasy Anthology“, which also has some of the same authors as appear in “Monsters”. I also recommend this book and hope some of you will help them make their goal and unlock some of those stretch goals too.
So, no progress on the short story, but not a dull night either.
We’ll call it even and call it a night.
And apparently I’m still playing catch-up.
Had to work a bit late tonight to make up for some of the time I took off for Origins, but managed to sneak in some good research time in-between dealing with issues. LOTS of issues. *sigh* (Can I go back to the con? It made sense at least.)
Signed and scanned the contract for the Silence in the Library version of Monsters, which includes my story, A Gryphon’s Tale. Also began promoting their Kickstarter for this version of the book. Their Kickstarter can be found here. I’m looking forward to helping with this one and studying how well it goes to help prepare for my own Kickstarter later this fall.
And speaking of that, just finished going over a few points with Shane Braithwaite, who did the absolutely stunning cover for Terra Incognito and he’s agreed to do the artwork for”For a Few Gold Pieces More” I just worked up and sent him the contract for the initial pieces of art and hopefully we’ll raise enough money in my Kickstarter later to get even more art out of him. *grin*
Also, heard back from an anthology I’m going to be pitching too. Got the information I need and have printed off several bits of information. Now to go find some books I have upstairs to review the period I’m going to be pitching for and hope they like what I send them.
And, I also spend some time outlining my next major project.
Busy day, indeed.
Saturday was a great day at Origins Game Fair. I did manage to overcome my sushi food coma from our visit to Kooma to make it to the 10am panel on World Building. We had a very decent crowd and while each of the authors on the panel had their own way of addressing the issues, we all somehow wound up at the same destination at the end, which was great. It showed the audience there was no “one way” to world build, but there were definitely points in common all of the panelists touched on.
The Writer Beware panel went very well, even if my wireless remote didn’t synch with the computer. The audience was very attentive and had a lot of good questions. I was surprised when we didn’t get quite as many people as I was hoping for, based on the number of Writer Beware pamphlet I gave out and people I’d talked to on Thurs/Fri, but, 4pm panels are always tough at Origins, as people start slipping out to beat the rush for dinner. Still, I’ll take small and enthusiastic over large and disinterested any day.
I also participated in the Humor in Fiction panel at 1pm on Sunday. Again, a fairly small audience, but given as it was the last panel of the convention, none of us were surprised. Still we had not only a good discussion about writing humor and giving examples of where it was done well and where maybe not so well, but the audience got into it and the Q&A period was almost a discussion rather than the ask/answer they normally become.
Sales were brisk at times and not-so-brisk at others, but that’s typical of any convention. My largest seller was Full Moon Affair. Apparently, fantasy noir is in. Hopefully, if the sales are there, I can convince my publisher to move Pearls of Darkness up a bit on the publication release chart. However, it’s really inspired me to move forward on the other two Theron Chase stories I’ve started. Plus, the audience reaction to Full Moon when I did my reading was really encouraging.
By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around though, I think all of the writers and vendors were ready to go home. There was a huge cheer from inside the exhibition hall when the PA announcer said, “The exhibition hall is now closed for 2015.” *grin* Arrived at Columbus Airport at 6:30pm after the show and my suitcases weighed in at 45.5 and 50.0. Success!
Unfortunately, the flight wasn’t until 9:55pm, but that gave me time to get started reading Blood Reign, by Steve Roman, while I was waiting. Once the plane was in the air, we must have caught a tail wind or something because we landed at 10:45 back in Baltimore and I was home by 11:45pm. until 2155. We’re in for the long haul.
So, overall, Origins Game Fair was a blast, panels went great, passed out a lot of Writer Beware literature, may have a few writing opportunities coming out of the show and ate way too much, laughed too much, and made a number of new friends.
That being said, three conventions in three weekends is enough. I am brain-fried and flat out tired. Regardless how much I deny it, I’m not 30 anymore. I think it’s time to get home and do normal stuff for a while.
Almost recovered from Origins. Managed to stumble through work today and after a quick nap and a nice home-cooked meal, I got started on playing catch up.
Got with my artist on my latest Pro-Se book, reviewed the cover changes and then coordinated with the publisher to get an approval for said changes. They’re now en route to Pro Se and hopefully we’ll be able to go final with this project sooner than later.
Then, spent time working with Shane Braithwaite on some of the art that’ll be going into the For a Few Gold Pieces More book (and Kickstarter). Hopefully, we’ll be able to go to contract for art very soon and we can get that ball rolling.
I’ve got a few more e-mails to send out in the next couple of days for some projects that were discussed at Origins and then also do some follow-up emails in a couple of weeks with some other possible projects. So, that’s a good sign too.
And, inshallah, things will soon subside to a low roar around here and I can get back to doing what I should be doing on these late evenings in front of the computer . . . writing.
Very soon, I’ll be passing on more information about the Monsters Kickstarter from Silence in the Library, which will feature our stories from the 2014 Origins Anthology, plus some other cool stuff.
More to follow there.
But, here are a few random pics from Origins in the meantime. Remember, any mascot that prides itself on eating humans should not be allowed to get behind you. *grin*
Arrived in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday night to set up for Origins Game Fair and spent Wednesday setting up the traveling author show. There are more authors this year in the Origins Library, so I’m working with a slightly smaller table than Awesome Con but there’s a very good vibe about this show.
Thursday’s show went very well. Quite a few people dropped by the library, but as usual with the first day of a show, more lookers than buyers. Most told us up front they weren’t planning on doing any buying until Sunday, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed there.
The panel on Graphic Novels went very well and the audience, while not overwhelming, was enthusiastic and had some good questions. After the library closed, we rounded up a large group of the Library authors and went out to Lemongrass here in Columbus for dinner and conversation. Had some interesting conversations once we got back to the con hotel and hopefully I’ll have some interesting news to pass on to you all in the next few weeks after those talks.
Friday started out rather slow, the crowds seemed a bit smaller in the Exhibition Hall, but there were more games being offered today, so I suspect that drew off part of the crowd. However a smaller crowd did not mean less work. In fact, today resembled more of a marathon. I had a a two-hour panel on writing for role-playing games, immediately followed by a panel on writing fiction based on RPGs. Three straight hours of panels and then an hour later, Gail Z. Martin and I did our reading. I read from Full Moon Affair, while Gail read from three of her works. Not only did we have an appreciative audience, I got some good feedback from Dennis McKiernan, the Author guest of honor who sat in on our reading.
After that, we had a second author excursion out for dinner, this time to Komma Sushi just a few blocks away from the convention center. Not only was the company superb, but so was the meal itself. I’m just now recovering from my sushi-enduced food coma.
Tomorrow, I have a panel on World Building and then my Writer Beware presentation. Plus, I’m supposed to talk to a couple of people about their successful Kickstarters.
This is definitely a working convention.
Was just getting ready to go to bed here in Columbus when I received an email from Shane Braithwaite. You may remember him as the artist who’s did the beautiful painting that’ll become the cover to Terra Incognito later this year.
We’re working up the contracts for him to also do the cover and additional art for “For a Few Gold Pieces More” Kickstarter that I’m going to be doing later this year.
Not only are we having an interesting conversation over the proposed cover, which we will have done before we initiate the Kickstarter, and the frontspieces for the individual stories, we’re discussing some art to turn into posters and wallpapers for rewards for people to contribute to the project.
However, what was my original idea has somewhat morphed during this conversation and much, much for the better.
He’s a bad influence on me but a great one for you guys.
To quote that immortal philosopher, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
Almost recovered from Awesome Con just in time to pack everything into suitcases and head off for Origins Game Fair. The plane leaves in a while and tomorrow is set-up day.
Everything fits in the suitcases and I left some room in each if I have to rearrange everything to make weight at the airport. That’s always the joy of flying to a show. Just because you made weight last time doesn’t mean you’re going to again because you have more of X book and less of Y book and oh yeah, don’t forget Z and then…
However, whether packing things in a suitcase or into the back of a car to take to a local show, I just fall back on my old Army training. There was no deuce I couldn’t pack for the field, especially at 0230 in a rainstorm (Thank you 101st Airborne), so packing convention supplies into the daughter’s Yaris last weekend was a piece of cake.
And they said I’d never use any of my military training in the civilian world. Hah!