Go, fly, buy, be nerdy!

Galaxy Add-2

That’s right, you can now pre-order Samuel Peralta‘s next anthology that is due out November 30th. My short story SER PAN COMIDO is featured in this collection of space opera and military science fiction tales, and I’m surrounded by all the good stuff written by all the good people. Better yet, if you’re a Prime member you read for free and if not, your pre-order price is less than two bucks. That’s right, get it while it’s hot!


 

A quick couple of words on writing for Peralta’s anthology and then I’ll let you get on with the ordering frenzy. An internet friend and fellow author Chris Boore nominated THE BIG RED BUCKLE last spring. Based on the number of reads Peralta gets tossed his way I didn’t think anything would ever become of it. Samuel makes a point of saying that he reads everything nominated, but who could possibly keep up with that volume?

June rolled around, and summer started to unfold, I was not holding my breath. In fact, I had returned my focus to finishing Tess’ kayak and wasn’t spending a whole lot of time at my computer writing, when, out of the blue, I got a message from Samuel.

“I liked Red Buckle. Could you write something for Galaxy?”

“Sure, I’d love to,” I replied.

“Good, you’ve got about four weeks.”

With that brief interaction I jumped, not from the pan into the fire, but into a pressure cooker. Tess had already signed up for a sea kayaking class in July, making non-refundable reservations along the way. Now I had two very hard deadlines and not enough time for either.This is where I learned something about myself.

I write well when pressured.

Summary, I enjoyed writing this story. As I got into the meaty details of it, the challenging bits felt more like play than work. I enjoyed working with Jeff Seymore polishing the finished project, and I can recall wishing we’d spent even more time working on things like the summary. I ended this project wanting and ready to write more.

Compared to the work I’ve done for other anthologies, Galaxy Chronicles, and SER PAN COMIDO was easy peasy. A walk in the park.

Pre-order sales rank after about 12 hours on Amazon’s shelf.

Samuel’s series of Future Chronicles anthologies have tremendous reach. If you’re an author, this means access to a much larger audience. Having a story in one feels like a foot in the door. I want to say that this tastes a whole lot like a success. At this point, I’d need a crystal ball to know what it might turn out to be.

So before I end this post I’ll encourage you once more. “Go, my nerds, go buy this anthology before the price gets jacked up. Go, fly, buy, be nerdy!”

Now back to the grindstone.

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That Feeling

You don't get to see the cover ... yet!

You don’t get to see the cover … yet!

This morning I got to see proofs of the cover art for the Galaxy Chronicles and it looks pretty darn good. Even better, it feels pretty darn amazing to see your name on a collection like this.

I’m proud of my contribution to this anthology. I done wrote good words. It’s a good story, in good company. Pre-orders will be available soon.

Off to the Editor

Oh, that’s a good feeling. No, strike that, it’s a great feeling! I just submitted a 7,500-word short story for an upcoming Future Chronicles anthology. Doomsday Chronicles isn’t due out until February 2016, but my story is very done. I’m very satisfied with the work as well.

This piece should cement my SFWA membership, if not this year, then early next year. Added to this In Goat I’ve managed to turn out an entertaining, compelling, topical tale I’m certain will make readers think. So, yeah, I’m congratulating myself just a little bit. I think this may be an overlooked part of writing for a living that more authors need to take in hand. Celebrate your accomplishments people.

“What’s next?” you ask. I’m contributing to another anthology — this time steampunk’s Drifting Isles — and I’ve already begun this one. It’s due in November so I’ve got time and since this tale is outlined and just needs words I’m going to have more time to work on other things concurrently. So I’m left wondering where I should focus.

The top contenders are two novel-length projects and a novella length speculative fiction piece. Counterfeit Horizon is something like 70,000 words (currently) of very rough work. Part of my reluctance in finishing this story — that I began back in 2013 — is the sheer volume of editing that it’s going to take. Counterfeit was my first attempt at a novel length anything, and consequently it’s just riddled with mistakes and plot holes. One strategy I’ve been contemplating is to junk the old manuscript and just re-write the story using the characters, settings and plot I’ve already developed. I wrote the bulk of Counterfeit Horizon during NaNoWriMo, so I know I could knock this out comfortably in a short space of time.

Second is the novella project. Fire Weather is almost there now; a short sprint could have this piece ready for publication by late winter. With the incredible fire season, we’ve seen this summer the story is topical. Right now my big problem is that the tension in the tale tends to fall off. There are interpersonal battles, health issues, and of course, the fireline fight, but when I read my work I’m left wanting more. This story needs some Spike, and my feeling is that I don’t know how much to add. I suppose I can add spice in small amounts, reworking by chapter and scene, until I think it’s got the right flavor. Now that I write this out, this begins to appeal to me.

The final candidate is Winter City Above the Clouds. The first two chapters have been written, and I’ve spent some time this summer working on the outline for this science fiction epic. This project is daunting. And what I mean by that is that right now, I’m looking at what I want to do with it, and I’m not entirely sure I have the skills necessary to reach that lofty goal. I’ll be making everything up, and this tale requires a rich, expansive cultural backdrop just to make the stage believable.

Of these projects, Winter City is where I’d like to be spending my time, it’s where I go to get lost in my own imagination right now. I based my first Future Chronicles contribution Ser Pan Comido in the universe I’ve been developing for Winter City. So it has that element of guilty pleasure about it. I just don’t want that to interfere with the final quality of the piece. Better, I don’t want to find myself back in the same situation I’m in with Counterfeit Horizon.

Conclusion, it’s sometimes very easy to be your own boss and other times it approaches impossible to be at the helm. Option paralysis is real.

Galaxy Chronicles

Galaxy Chronicles

Not the final cover image

Some news, yes? A few of you may know already, but I figure since the manuscript is out there I’d go ahead and make a public service announcement. That’s right, this will go down on your permanent record. Oh yeah? Well don’t get so distressed. Did I happen to mention that I’m impressed?

Boys and girls, your’s truly snuck into the next-next edition of the Future Chronicles curated by Samuel Peralta. I signed a contract to write a story for Galaxy Chronicles less than a month ago and last weekend I turned in about 10k words. The book premier is expected early fall, sometime around September, and you can count on me to tell you when pre-orders are available.

SER PAN COMIDO will be appearing along side works from Jay Allan, Jasper T. Scott, Raymond Weil, GS Jennsen, Nick Endi Webb, Erik Wecks, Nic Wilson, Chris Reher, Jen Foehner Wells, Dave Monk Fraser Adams, Felix R Savage, Pippa LancasterJeff Seymour is editing and Samuel Peralta will manage all the production efforts. Early verdict is positive: “A gritty tale with a beautifully layered atmosphere, that kept me at the edge of my seat!”

In celebration of another publishing gig I’ve dropped the Kindle price of THE BIG RED BUCKLE. For a limited time you can get this story for 99 pennies.