Jury duty – I’m serving on a jury for the first time in my life. It’s interesting, I’m learning new things, and it is my civic duty and all that. But man is it a huge time sink! I still have to get up at five in the morning, but since I’m having to commute to and from downtown Houston, my commute it usually more than an hour in the evenings, often putting me home later than six o’clock. And while I can’t say anything about the actual case, I can at least express my disappointment that it looks like we won’t be finished until next Tuesday at the earliest. In the meantime, my evening writing time is pretty much shot to hell. That means my only real time to write is going to be on the weekends, and the deadline for SoP is coming up fast.
So – on to the actual writing news…
Streets of Payne – I managed to get another three thousand words in on SoP this week, and the story is finally starting to flow for me again. This one seems to go that way for me. It comes in what I’ve heard referenced as spits and spurts (and what a visual that phrase conjures ). One day a scene flows smoothly and I’m able to knock out a few thousand words at once. Then the scene resolves itself, laying the groundwork for the next part of the story, and my mind goes blank. I lose the flow –don’t know how to get from point A to point B, and it frustrates the hell out of me for days, or sometimes weeks. The good news is that I’m nearing the home stretch, and I think the story is about to roll over and stop fighting me. It had better, because I’m on Lynn’s editing schedule for early April. I don’t anticipate it being a problem, but I want the thing to be as smooth as I can get it before then. You’ll note on the progress meter to the right that I set my goal at an anticipated eighty thousand words for this one. From what I can tell, it will probably come in over that, but I can’t tell yet how far over it I’ll be.
In other SoP news, it looks like I’ve gotten the cover art problem resolved. I can’t say yet for sure, and I won’t say any names yet, but it turns out that someone that I didn’t think could do that kind of cover art is willing to take it on and see what they can do with it. Someone that I know has a great work ethic, business model, and is a pleasure to work with. Here’s hoping it works out.
The Road to Rejas – It’s still selling, albeit slowly. As you can see in the meter, I’m currently almost three-quarters of the way to my break-even point. I figure it will likely be another six months or so before it makes it there, but I expected as much. Novellas and anthologies just don’t sell as well as novels – at least not in this genre. But it was a story that demanded to be told.
On a related note, I’ve had an idea banging around for a while that I might have to try to work on in the future. A recurring complaint I had in Half Past Midnight reviews is that the reader never finds out how a lot of things happen. The most common questions are: how did the war begin? and how did Larry end up at the head of an armored military unit? Unfortunately, since the book is written in a first person limited point of view from the perspective of Leeland Dawcett, the book is locked into only being able to talk about what Leeland can see.
Now, some of the questions will be answered in the next book in the series. But there are other situations and characters that are specific to the story in HPM, and they probably won’t be coming back in the sequel. I have the answers to how these things happened in my head, just as I have some of the secondary characters’ background stories in my head. It was a kind of mental backdrop against which I wrote HPM. But that has had me thinking for quite a while that I could write a series of short stories that explains some of these back stories, and put them together in a kind of anthology. It’s an intriguing idea, but I don’t know whether or not it’s worth the cost of publication (again, novellas and anthologies don’t do well), or whether or not there would be enough demand for it. Would there be a return on investment? Maybe in the future, but for now, there are other projects coming up.
Speaking of which, I mentioned that there would be an announcement on a collaboration I’ll be working on with fellow Red Adept author Edward Lorn. Ed and I met through Red Adept Publishing, and we hit it off right away. It’s ironic, considering the fact that he has a gritty, no-holds-barred, in your face style of writing, where I am usually more reserved (some say timid ). Each of us serves as the yin to the other’s yang. I suppose that’s why we get along so well.
We had originally planned on working on a story together a few months ago. We had the basic idea, some characters, and even wrote a few chapters together. But the story didn’t completely grab us, and we each had other projects we were working on. So we benched it for the time being.
Then Ed contacted me with another idea a few weeks ago. We brainstormed it for a while, and a lot of the story gelled for us almost immediately. It is going to be a blending of our two styles, and will definitely be the darkest thing I’ve ever worked on – so dark that I fully anticipate some trouble sleeping some nights while working on it. At the same time, the story has really grabbed me, and in a perverse, masochistic sort of way, I’m really looking forward to writing it. So we begin work on it this summer. Ed’s even worked out our tag line.
So watch in coming months for more news about…
Coming in 2014 … Laughter is contagious.