Sunday, February 24, 2013

Seven Forges and one Train

I'm going over the manuscript for my novel SEVEN FORGES coming out from Angry Robot Books within the next year. I tend to go over books a few times just to see if I can catch every typographical error (To date, I can't. Thank God for editors!) and I found myself actually enjoying the story. I think that's a positive sign.

I also find I'm drawn back to the characters in the book even when I'm working on other projects and that too is a positive sign for me. It means the characters aren't done telling me their stories. I have a couple of projects to finish hammering out and then I'll be starting on the sequel.

In the meantime I'm working on another collaboration with Charles R. Rutledge, and I'm in the homestretch of the first draft of BLOODSTAINED WONDERLAND with Christopher Golden. As soon as that's been finished, by the way, we'll be getting to work on BLOODSTAINED NEVERLAND. The books are a lot of fun to work on, but time slips past and both Chris and I tend to work on many, many projects during any given year.

On the subject of other projects, I recently finished the first draft of a Jonathan Crowley short story for the Australian Horror Writers Association's yearly magazine MIDNIGHT ECHO. It's a fun piece and has been accepted. I'm waiting for the editorial notes from Geoff Brown before I can go much further. Remember the headline for this article? That's where the train comes in and that's all I'm saying about the subject for now.

The story is a direct sequel to BOOM TOWN, which I will finish before the end of the year. It's mostly finished now, but deadlines being what they are a few other projects must take precedence. That does, however, mean that this will be a supernatural western as as is BOOM TOWN.

I'm currently polishing my steampunk trilogy outline and my dystopian zombie apocalypse coming-of-age young adult series outlines with plans to hand them over to my agent in the near future to get a little feedback.

All of which is to say I'm actually staying rather busy just now, but in a good way.

This pictures does sort of apply, but also, I just like it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The first review is in...

CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD is in the pipeline and being edited, and should have a more solid release date soon, but in the meantime has read the first draft and kindly reviewed my second collaborative novel with Charles R. Rutledge. The good news is, they like  us! The amazing flattering news is the comparison to one of my favorites. You can read the review here.

We don't have cover art yet, but what the heck, I rather like this picture and it sort of works.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Joe Abercrombie--The Heroes

Now and then a book is a joy. If you don't agree with me then, frankly, I think you haven't been reading the right books.

I'm just finishing up Joe Abercrombie's THE HEROES, which is not nearly the first book by the man that I've read, nor is it likely to be the last. here's the thing: Abercrombie is just damned readable. I mean that. It's not always the case for me. There are several writers I'm on a first name basis with who, frankly, I simply do not enjoy reading. It isn't that they can;t write, it's simply that their style does nothing for me. It wasn't that long ago that I was still saying I hadn't read any contemporary fantasy in a long time that I could enjoy and the reason I'm reading it again is summed up in one name: Joe Abercrombie. There have been a few others, to be sure, but with the sole exception of Tim Lebbon (Dawn and Dusk leap immediately to mind but basically everything I've read in Lebbon's Noreela series has been worth the trouble for me) remarkably little has been written well enough to make me actively look forward to the next book in a series.

THE HEROES is a sweeping epic with a huge cast and that's often a deathblow for a novel because a lot of authors simply can't manage a cast that size without losing my interest or losing control of the cast. That hasn't been a problem here. My friend and coauthor Charles R. Rutledge (who turned me onto Abercrombie in the first place) and I have had multiple discussions about Abercrombie and normally at one point or another one of us will concede that, damn it, the man is just damned good. He knows how to tell a story, he knows how to turn a phrase and he knows how to keep my interest. Barring unforeseen incidents, I suspect he's made a fan for life in me. I'm just finishing up THE HEROES and I'll be starting into RED COUNTRY next.

I'd like to point out that both of the links to book titles by Abercrombie lead to, where currently the hardback editions of the books are on sale at substantial discounts. I like discounts and I like to share them.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

And So It Begins....Again

So from time to time I like to watch some of my favorite old shows while I'm exercising. Either I listen to music or I watch TV. Right now I've decided I want to watch TV and in this case I'm rewatching Babylon-5, the show created by J. Michael Straczynski.

I'd forgotten how well-crafted the show is. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed not just the setting but the plots, sub-plots and characters. I'm only back in season one so far--I only watch one episode a day, while I'm riding my exercise bike--but I am once again taken by work that went into the show.

Maybe part of it is watching the show again and remembering what it was like watching it the first time with my wife Bonnie, but I genuinely am enjoying becoming reacquainted with some of the best characters to come out of TV Land. The sets were imaginative, the alien races surprisingly diverse and, frankly, some of the best damned writing ever done on a sci-fi show. Oh, to be sure there are some who will disagree with me, even some of the characters on The Big Bang Theory, but I stand by my assessment of this show. Darned fine stuff!

And I find I am looking forward to each episode I see again, Sure, I know how this thing ends, but that's okay. Sometimes it's not the story so much as it is the journey.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

And so the dance begins again

I'm finishing up one project and trying to decide which dozen or so to work on next. I have a few that MUST be handled, not the least of which is my final run of words on BLOODSTAINED NEVERLAND, and there's that top secret will talk about it when I can project. And I want to work on another collaborative effort with Charles R. Rutledge. The catch is which one to work on. We'll have to discuss that tomorrow and see what we can get cooking.

Now and then I am reminded how much I love telling stories. It's always a lovely feeling.