The big news that’s been occupying me in most of my spare moments these days is the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russia came stomping in with troops all of a sudden (not displaying the Russian insignia on their uniforms or vehicles – a definite breach of international law) and took possession of part of the country. The web tangles further when you know that Russia has a naval base within Ukraine and has had it since the Soviet collapse. So is Russia right when it says its protecting its own people within the region during a period of instability? Or is it just using every pretext of can to do as it wishes? The latter looks more likely when you consider that Russia invaded the Republic of Georgia back in 2008, took control of part of that country, and still hasn’t left.
I’m deeply upset by all of this, not because of some personal connection to Ukraine, but because I had thought the days of major world powers dragging the world into war were over. If nothing else, these days represent the beginning of a new cold war. I am just old enough to remember the Berlin Wall and the breaking up of the USSR. It was the beginning of a golden time for the world, even those in Russia and China, the supposed losers of it all. Now, the parallels between Putin and Hitler are worrisome to consider because of how similar they seem (and how similar our response so far).
I guess this all speaks to how human nature doesn’t change, it just scales to be more dangerous as we expand our abilities.
This book is killing me. I’ve spent way too much time getting it out, and honestly I’m dragging a bit here at the end. Hugh Howey’s www.authorearnings.com put a lot of wind back into my sails, though, so I’m expecting to release before the end of the month. All that’s left is to finish doing revisions on scenes, get a cover and sales copy done, and upload. Huzzah!
I still live. I’m almost done with the next book and already have three ideas for a next one. 2013 probably will end up being my least productive year so far, so I’m determined to stomp that trend with boots on.
Much like our buddy Mary Sisson, I’m considering making a slight genre change. It won’t be so different that readers of both won’t be able to cross over, and it will let me play in the real world a bit. Yup, I’m considering taking the plunge into dark YA fantasy! I feel that I am more than broody enough for the task, and I’ve always wanted to write about obscure towns in my area. Mary Sue and I will get along famously, I’m sure.
So the year is looking to be a good one.
So the next Bloodbound Iron book is nearly out of the outlining phase. I have a few parts to smooth, and then it’s into the writing. Depending on events IRL, it could be out of first draft a month after the outline is done. Totally finishing it after that would take perhaps another month.
I’m behind my two short stories a month idea, and I’m thinking of switching it to a monthly thing. It’s hard for me to sweep up good short story ideas when I’m sunk in the world of a novel. I have one I think will be good for this month, another humorous story, but I just don’t see me getting two into February.
I’m planning to release three more books this year. BBI3 is the first of those, and it will be #2 of the series (I know, I know). After that, I’ll either write #3 or switch to another story. I’d like to see what effect a change would have on sales, for one, and I’m also not sure where BBI4 will be going. I have to finish BBI3 before I’ll know that.
I’ve also been doing a lot of deep thinking about book promotion. I’m still deciding what that’s going to mean for me. Right now I’m doing Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and recently Google+. Anyone wanting to contact me can use any of those methods, sign up for the mailing list, or, ya know, mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That works too.
I haven’t had a lot of posts up on the site in a while. I haven’t even responded to comments (until today). Well, no more. I have a few posts in the pipes right now, and I’ll probably start releasing one well-considered post a week on a regular schedule. Ya know, because saying “probably” is a good way to ensure that it’ll happen.
I’ve come to a point where I think that the idea of zero promotion for any reason is a bad idea. The logic of it comes from the difference between paper books and ebooks. Ask me about it some time. Or maybe I’ll do one of those I-write-an-article-on-my-weblog thingies.
Anyway, to my many subscribers suffering from asphyxiation because you were holding your breath for the next post, the wait is over. Starting Friday. Probably.
Important news: My second book is out soon. You will all go and buy it on release day like one big glob of zombies chasing the last living piece of meat.
So I just fixed a problem with the site that was proving most onerous last week. Is it completely better? No, but at least now I can use custom sidebars on everything aside from the blog page. The addition today was a superfun accountability meter. I’ma posting my progress from now on so that being tracked by my millions of silent fans will spur me to greater productivity.
The numbers on the meter are guaranteed to be entirely infallible. Where can this wondrous meter be witnessed? It’s on the fiction page and its daughter pages. I still want my email list to be on front (and, apparently, that puts it on the blog too).
So I just finished switching the site over to having a static front page, and it was fairly pain-free. Eventually. Funny how when you keep getting pulled away, some kinds of problems take forever to solve, but if you tackle it without annoying human fleshbags asking for attention and affection, it’s just a matter of a couple of hours.
I haven’t checked my RSS feed to see if it’s broken, and I want to get my mailing list form on my front page, but other than that I’m happy. Did I have to work any css? No. Yes, sort of. I can actually write basic code, so copy/pasting code into a hand-holding plugin and altering one number was about as challenging as swatting a fly. Except my css alteration didn’t have amazing reflexes and a will to live.
Now to go see if my many millions of stealth fans are being deprived of an RSS feed and a chance to opt-in.
So this is something like… day 8 of my daughter being sick. You’d think staying up overnight to watch her would give me a ton of writing time, right? Ha ha ha, oh you poor fools.
I’ve been telling myself I was going to change this site into something more professional, something for readers to visit rather than a place to whine about publishing. Seriously, professionals don’t whine, they put out well-produced propaganda videos. Ahem.
So anyway, it’s happening. Now. I’m going to change the site to have a static home page, just like a real professional. I’m going to do it tonight. I am not going to let excuses, nor coughing little girls, stop me. I am not going to think about what this is going to do to my RSS feeds or links. Nope.
…but I’ve been a little sick. Actually my daughter was sick first (thanks a lot), which kept me up overnight the past several nights. I haven’t been blogging, nor reading and commenting on blogs, nor getting much work done. Luckily for me, I’m in the outlining phase, which means I can more easily spend a small amount of time and actually get something done.
It’s amazing how a story can shift over time. I realized that, nope, that character isn’t going to work for this story, and I needed a new POV character. So you might think that would make things harder. It didn’t. When the right piece of a story slides into place, everything gets easier. That side of the story snapped into focus within the next couple of days. I’m detailing the outline now and getting ready to settle in for the grunt work. Ya know, actually writing the thing.
I’ve been back to writing for a while, and it’s going great. I’m doing the next BBI book. I haven’t decided on a title yet, but it is the one I have listed as Under Wraps. Reggie and Ky are going to get into all sorts of trouble this time around. A few hints: fantastic machinery, magic, and action. I know, I’m really turning the fantasy genre on its head with this one.
I realized earlier today that I needed to make a study of suspense stories to help with one of their plotlines. I generally subscribe to whatever Orson Scott Card says, and he says that tension is what you get when the reader knows something will happen or could happen, but doesn’t have all of the details. That sounds way too simple to base an entire genre of books on, so I’m sure there are things for me to learn.
I’d give myself a deadline for this book, but I don’t have a realistic way to do that. I literally have no idea how long it will take to get this thing out of the concept stage and start making drafts, or how long to get the drafts revised. Alpha and beta reading is going to be more of a process this time, too. We shall see!
I’ve been enjoying David Dalglish’s books recently, and I’m taking a lot of notes on his operations. Two things specifically: his website and his publishing strategy. His The Paladins series is an experiment with writing shorter books that would come out more quickly, and his Shadowdance series books are longer ones that were inspired by the complexity and style of Martin’s Game of Thrones series. Both series are selling well if the Amazon popularity lists are anything to go by (hint: they are).