Denver Starfest 2014

I’ll be attending Starfest 2014 in Denver, CO this coming weekend (May 2-4).  This will be my first convention as a participant, so I’m  pretty excited about it.  As of yet, it looks like I’ll be on three panels.  May 2nd at 7pm I’ll be on “You Got Your Reality in My Fantasy.” May 3rd at noon I’ll be moderating a panel “Combat in Science Fiction and Fantasy” and May 3rd at 3pm I’ll be at “Alternate History in Fantasy and Science Fiction.”  For those interested, I’ll have some extra copies of my books.

I’ll be wandering the halls for most of the event.  It’ll be my first time at Starfest, so I’d like to see what it’s all about.  I hear there’s a lot of Klingons…

Update: Click here for how it went.

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April Writing Update

Now that Renegades: Origins and Renegades: A Murder of Crowes are out on schedule (more or less), I have to move on to the next projects. I say projects, because I’m working on multiple tasks and I’m going to be really busy over the next few months. My writing goals for the next four months are to write the sequel to The Fallen Race, write a YA novel, and to edit a couple other novels and . That’s a lot to work on and really not much time to do it.

My preference, honestly, is to work on new stuff. The sequel is something I’ve wanted to write for the past seven years, ever since I originally finished The Fallen Race. I finished the novel in a place that still left the human race in dire straits. The sequel, which I’m currently titling as The Shattered Empire, takes place only a few weeks after the Third Battle of Faraday. I’ve had it outlined and even partially started for over seven years. Understandably, I want to finish it.

The YA novel is somewhat harder to explain. It is set in a wholly different universe from The Renegades and Shadow Space Chronicles. I’ve already written a novel in that universe, though it isn’t YA. I’m currently dissatisfied with a lot of the YA Science Fiction and Fantasy that is available. Much of it is more fantasy than science, and a lot of it is post-apocalyptic in a fashion that implies that the good times are over… that young adults have little or nothing to look forward to in the future. My goal is to write something a little inspirational and exciting and something that shows that science, exploration, and the future are all things that can be great… with a little hard work.

Editing is something that I’m more hesitant to work on. On the one hand, I really want to get more of my novels out there. On the other… some of them will require a lot of work. More than that, editing is a multi-step process where I revise and deliver to my alpha and beta readers… and then they have to find time to read. For some, that’s a quick turn around. For others, well, it can take a few months (or years). I want to get my backlist out and available… but I want them done right. And really, sometimes it is easier for me to start over from scratch and write something new rather than going back and editing, revising, editing, revising, and tweaking until it is almost but not quite where I want it to be. That said, the novels Fenris Unchained and Echo of the High Kings are both on my list for getting to a publishable state.  I’d expect EHK out soonest, but probably not before the end of summer 14.  Fenris Unchained requires less edits, overall, but is a lower priority.

I’ve got a lot on my plate. But, ideally, you should see something new from me in the next couple months. Also, if you don’t yet follow me on Facebook, I’ll begin posting my writing progress there, both as something of a guide stick and a way to encourage myself. Assuming that all you fine digital people like that sort of thing, I might even post some samples there.

Yar… pirates

This is not a post about me starting a new story based on pirates.  A FB friend was kind enough to inform me last weekend that I, apparently, am being pirated.  Someone was kind enough to post free downloads of my books.  This gives me a somewhat mixed feeling. On the one hand, there’s the feeling that I’m successful enough that people want to make my stuff available to others. On the other hand, I’m not getting money for that. As I said, mixed feelings. Mostly, however, I just feel slightly amused. I mean, sure, I could see someone trying to save five dollars on the Fallen Race… but a dollar for each of the novellas? Seriously?  You can’t even buy a quart of milk for a dollar.

I won’t say I’m indifferent to the money, but in reality, I’m somewhat ambivalent about any potentially lost funds because, hey, folks are reading my stuff, whether they paid or not. I don’t support Digital Rights Management. I feel that ebooks should be available to lend, borrow, and so forth just like paper books. If someone likes what they read, then they might look for my other stuff. If they don’t, well, then they don’t. Not much I can do about that.

I get this attitude from the publisher Baen, who have had their Free Library for over a decade. They also make available books from various authors for cash money. It is one reason which, as a reader, I love their stuff so much. It is also a pain because I’ve lost hours of productivity reading both from their free library, their CDs, and the various books available from their ebook site. Check it out, it’s worth the visit.

The point is, whether someone bought my book or pirated it or downloaded it for free, they’re still increasing my ‘author’s footprint.’ And if they like my stuff, they might tell others, some of whom will, hopefully, buy a copy rather than downloading it for free. If not, well such is life. Would I rather have my readers buy my books and receive that money? Of course; I’m married with kid(s) on the way.  Money is a good thing, it pays for necessities like food, shelter, and power so I can work on my computer.  Still, I’ll take the fact that I do have readers as a net positive.

Renegades Origins Book Bomb!

I’ll release Renegades Origins and Renegades: A Murder of Crowes on noon, 19 April. For this event I’ll be doing a book bomb. Why release two books on the same day? Renegades: Origins includes Murder of Crowes, along with Deserter’s Redemption, The Gentle One, Declaration, and Ghost Story. It also includes six short stories for a total word count over 200,000 words. Five of these short stories are exclusive to this anthology and will not appear elsewhere. These short stories include: ‘Research Notes’ – Run’s take on the escape from the prison station, ‘Dishonored’ – A story about Rastar’s childhood and time before he was captured by the Chxor, ‘Systems Failure’ – a story about what happened between Ghost Story and A Murder of Crowes, ‘Fool’s Gold’ – a short story from Anubus’s perspective, and lastly ‘Timing’ – a short story from Ariadne’s perspective set after the events of A Murder of Crowes. All of these will be available in one package for the price of $4.99

Renegades: Origins back cover blurb:

In times of chaos, there are those who fight for money, for power, or just to survive. In feudal Japan, they were Ronin. In the post US Civil War, they were desperadoes or hired guns. In the chaotic times of the collapse of human civilization, they are men, women, and aliens without shelter or succor. When no one else will take a stand, they stand for themselves. They are deserters, murderers, pirates, and worse… they are the Renegades.

 

For those who have already purchased some or all of the other novellas in The Renegades series, I’ll also be selling Renegades: A Murder of Crowes separately. Renegades: A Murder of Crowes is the final section of the series before the return to civilized space. Like the other novellas, it will be available for just $0.99. That’s right, for less than a (really) cheap cup of coffee.

Renegades: A Murder of Crowes back cover blurb:

Among the rag-tag crew of outlaws and escapees, Simon has a unique background: he’s a cop. So when one of the crew winds up dead, naturally the others turn to him to find out the identity of the killer. It should be a quick investigation aboard the tiny ship with a small crew…. Except that in this case, everyone is a suspect. Simon has to wonder, not who is guilty, but who, on this ship, is really innocent.

Both books will be available at noon (US Central time) on 19 April. Mark the date!

 

Renegades: Origins and Renegades: A Murder of Crowes

MOC4

Renegades: A Murder of Crowes will be released on 19 April, 2014.  Read below for the blurb:

Among the rag-tag crew of outlaws and escapees, Simon has a unique background: he’s a cop. So when one of the crew winds up dead, naturally the others turn to him to find out the identity of the killer. It should be a quick investigation aboard the tiny ship with a small crew…. Except that in this case, everyone is a suspect. Simon has to wonder, not who is guilty, but who, on this ship, is really innocent?

I’m also releasing Renegades: Origins on the same day.  So, if you want to read the extra short stories, or if you haven’t yet purchased the other Renegades books, this is your opportunity to pick up all of them at the same time.  Renegades: Origins includes all five novellas of the Renegades series as well as some additional short stories.  Below is the blurb:

In times of chaos, there are those who fight for money, for power, or just to survive. In feudal Japan, they were Ronin. After the US Civil War, they were desperadoes or hired guns. In the chaotic times of the collapse of human civilization, they are men, women, and aliens without shelter or succor. When no one else will take a stand, they stand for themselves. They are deserters, murderers, pirates, and worse… they are the Renegades.

As with my other books, I’ll be doing a book bomb to boost sales visibility. As a note, however, if you are interested, I encourage you to buy it at noon Central US time on 19 April. Why is that? Because Amazon tracks sales over time, and higher ranked sales means more visibility.  More visibility means reaching more readers which is cool from a reader’s perspective because there are more people they can discuss a book or author with and is cool from an author’s perspective because that’s more money with which said author can buy things like food and other necessities of survival.  So, pencil in 19 April!

Writing Progress & Update

I thought it best that I update my readers (or at least those of you who check here for inf0) on my current work and progress.

Right now I’m done writing Renegades: A Murder of Crowes, the fifth novella in the series.  That will be posted singly.  I’m currently working on Lab Notes, a short story from Run the Chxor’s perspective.  That story, along with Runner, Fool’s Gold, XXX, and Refugee will be included with all five Renegades novellas into one omnibus called Renegades: Origins.  While I know that many people have already purchased some or all of the novellas, this will be your chance to get all five as well as five short stories, four of which are all new.

Once Renegades: Orgins is completed, I’ll go to work on my next project: The Shattered Empire.  The second book of the Shadow Space Chronicles follows the events of The Fallen Race.  It takes place a short time after the Third Battle of Faraday, and it covers Baron Giovanni and the UC taking the offensive, not just in a raid or battle over a minor world, but engaging the Chxor at vital systems and trying to turn the tide of the war.

While writing that, I’m going to try to balance attendence at various conventions, editing and releasing some of my other finished works, and plotting out the YA science fiction book I’ve been wanting to write.  So I’m pretty busy.

I’ve been asked where some of these series are going and whether there will be series.  As a short answer… yes and no.  The Renegades novellas are something I love writing, but to be honest, they don’t earn back nearly as much effort as I’ve put into them.  I’ll still write them and I plan that series to be a long-running one.  The Fallen Race has left some (very big) loose ends, which I plan to tie up in another two or three novels.  After that I’ve got another series planned that ties in, though it is set a few years later, with new characters and a new storyline.

I do have a few stand-alone books, both written and plotted.  The issue I face with that is as an independent author, there are some readers that I can’t reach without an estabilished series.  That said, I’m not the type to run a character through ten or even twenty books of action.  At a certain point an author runs the risk that the character’s arc is spent, either they’ve culminated and grown to the point that they can handle whatever follows or the story becomes repetitive.  Don’t get me wrong, some authors can do it, and do it brilliantly.  But that’s not where my current novels are headed.  Eventually Lucius Giovanni’s part in The Shadow Space Chronicles will come to an end.  I know who will take up the fight after him.  I know where the story will go from there.  But, it will be a different series, new characters, and a new story arc.

All that said, any comments or questions from me?  I don’t mind taking time to answer questions.  Also, I’ll be attending Starfest at Denver on 2-4 May, 2014, so if you have questions, want a book signed, or just want to talk, feel free to find me there!