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Posts Tagged ‘the invisible city’

Who wants to wait until Black Friday? And who wants a sale that only lasts one day? (Hint: the answer to both these questions is, “Not me.”)

Therefore, on the theory that it’s no good selling something if you can’t give your friends a good deal, starting tomorrow, November 23, and running all the way to December 31, all novels in my electronic catalog are being reduced by 25%!*

You want time-traveling adventure on a far-future Earth where aliens rule mankind and recreated dinosaurs roam deserted cities? We got that.

You want to go back to the 1930s, where mysterious dangers hide behind every door and globe-trotting heroes fight the forces of evil and tyranny? We got that.

You want to visit a fantastical (and hysterical) medieval land where an exiled samurai and an untrustworthy card shark turn out to be long-lost brothers, battling fashion-obsessed Valkyries and the Pirate Brother’ood while arguing over whose fault it was they got kicked out of another tavern? We got that, too!

Act now, because prices like this do not come along every day!**

 

*Except for The Invisible City, because it’s already free!

**Every year, yes. Every day, no.

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Well, thank you for your interest! Somehow (and I honestly don’t know how), I pushed along at a respectable clip this week. I am now at 46,510, almost 6700 words ahead of last week. I should come in at 60,000 words by August 12, right on schedule. Woohoo! Right?

Well, yes and no. You never thought it would be that easy. I can see now that this book is not going to come in at 60,000 words. It’s probably going to run around 65,000 words. (Don’t you love how we authors can so blithely throw around estimates in the thousands of words? Don’t you wonder how we do that? So do we.) Fortunately, that only means about a week’s extra work (even including fixing a major problem I recently discovered), so if I edit quickly, I can stick to my publishing schedule. It also means, though, that I have to put some thought into a cover… I’m thinking of doing something classic, like the less lurid of the old Black Mask and Dime Detective covers. We’ll see.

In the meantime, by the time you read this, there will be only 24 hours left in the Smashwords July sale, which means you have hardly any time left to pick up The Invisible City for free, and all of my other books at a steep discount. This is your last chance to save some money on quality fiction, and time is running out…

#SFWApro

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The storm of events that seems determined to sabotage The Experiment has continued–which is a non-self-accusatory way of saying that progress on the novel this week was almost non-existent. I am at 39,831 words, which is about 2,000 words ahead of last week (as opposed to the planned 6,000). The culprit this week, as you might have noticed, is Comic-Con.

We hadn’t been for several years, but when The Better Half managed to snag tickets (no mean feat), we decided we really had to go. So we went down to San Diego on Thursday morning. This meant, for the purposes of this post, that Thursday was a non-writing day; since I knew there would be no chance to do anything useful, I didn’t even bring the laptop. But it also meant that we had to pack on Wednesday, so that night was lost, too (as was Tuesday, for other pre-event reasons). Ergo, the book was pushed back essentially another week.

I don’t blame Comic-con for this; I was the one who agreed to go, after all. And I thought it might present a marketing opportunity for The Invisible City, currently available for free on Smashwords (hint, hint). Comic-con has rules about these things, however, so our efforts were constrained. (All credit to The Better Half, though, who is far better at getting people to take promotional postcards from strangers than I am. Of course, she’s better-looking, so that helps.)

Comic-con itself was pretty much what I expected, crowded and full of long lines. I was surprised to see how it’s spilled out beyond the confines of the Convention Center; there were some interesting things that you could get into even if you weren’t a member. I had my first taste of VR over the weekend, for example. It needs work, but it’s intriguing.

And it’s one of the few places you can wear a kilt and not be stared at. TBH is a rabid Outlander fan, and I volunteered to attend the panel she wanted to see, in a kilt. This meant wearing the kilt all day. They really are quite comfortable. I might incorporate it into my convention persona.

Okay, yes, there are pictures.

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This week there’s no Comic-con, and no excuses! Full speed ahead! Six thousand words or bust! We have a book to write.

#SFWApro

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Yep, I’m still at it. Tonight marks the start of Week 4 of the “Write a Novel in Eight Weeks” experiment. At this point, I am at 23,737 words, a sliver short of the 24,000 target. It turns out that there is a little more to outlining than I anticipated; you need to have the basic facts underlying your plot straight, or you may find yourself in trouble. I discovered that I was really wrong on one basic fact and nearly had to scrap the last third of the story, which would have ruined any chance of bringing it in in less than two months, but the beauty of fiction is that the author in totally in charge, and instead of changing the manuscript, I changed the facts. The story works just as well, and I stay on schedule (more or less).

As tonight’s session starts with a big action scene, I have a good chance of making up the lost ground. Action scenes tend to write themselves.

Speaking of action scenes (he said, congratulating himself on his subtle segue), my entire oeuvre is currently on sale at Smashwords, and The Invisible City is available for free. This is a classic adventure story, with noble heroes, dastardly villains, damsels in distress, damsels getting themselves out of distress, loyalty, treachery, betrayal, friendship, and lots of cliffhangers and hairsbreadth-escapes. (The only thing it’s missing is a dog. The hero should have had a dog. I apologize.) It’s a lot of fun, and if there is a kid in your life you’re looking to turn on to reading, you could do worse.

Now, back to planning that big action scene. Do you think fifty bandits is too many?

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Today Cirsova magazine, which has been nominated for a Hugo as Best Semi-prozine, announced its nomination package (i.e., the selection of stories it wants to present to voters), and one of my stories, for a wonder, is in there. This is, of course, a great hardship for me, since now if I say anything about the Hugos, I have to include a disclaimer. (I’m not sure if this post counts.) This does not mean I’ve been nominated myself, but it’s thrilling to be thought worthy to be a part of the magazine’s pitch to the voters.

On the other hand, it’s also an awesome responsibility, because now I’m the de facto ambassador for the talking gorillas and human/wolverine hybrids from the future who told me the story in the first place. (Yeah, it’s that weird.)*

If you’re not going to Helsinki in August, you can read the story here for free. If you are going to Helsinki, all I ask is that you give all of the nominees a fair shot.

Happy reading!

 

*Shameless plug: If you like this story, it was an inspiration for my novel The Invisible City, available here and here.

#SFWApro

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Before I go any further, I want to make it plain that, regardless of things things turned out, I am very grateful to Jon Mollison, whose enthusiastic support for The Invisible City made it all possible. It is actually a compliment that Jon was so overwhelmed by the book that he forgot to check one small fact before doing me a great favor. So, thanks, Jon. I owe you a drink (of whatever sort you prefer).

By this point, of course, you are wondering, “What the heck is he talking about?” But then, if that is a new sensation, you haven’t been reading this blog very long. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “Let me ‘splain.”

For the space of a few minutes today, I was nominated for the first time ever for a literary award.

The Planetary Awards, initiated in 2015, are “an award where nominations and votes are only open to book bloggers / podcasters / booktubers.” Voting is open to bloggers of all stripes. The categories are short story and novel, and The Invisible City was placed in nomination this year in the novel category. Unfortunately, the book came out in 2013. I regretfully pointed this out to Jon, who notified the administrator, and The Invisible City was disqualified.

Still, I can’t deny that the thrill of seeing my name on the list (however briefly) was wonderful. Beware, world! He has seen the Promised Land! (And The Cosmic City will be eligible in 2017.)

You’ve been warned.

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It’s over. I just delivered a bouncing baby book named The Cosmic City. It weighs in at 88,129 words, not such a large baby by today’s standards, but significantly more than I expected. It was supposed to be eight or nine months in the womb, but took almost 54 weeks.

This is my eighth novel (if I’m not missing one, I’m tired). It marks the end of my first trilogy, which stretches almost 290,000 words including The Invisible City and The Secret City. (If it were a fantasy trilogy, this would be known as the end of Book One.) I’ve never written so many words about the same character before.

I’ve learned some lessons. One was that when you write 290,000 words, you come up with a lot of major characters along the way. In my case, it was about a dozen. Those characters like to have their moments when the series is coming to an end. And that’s tough. Not everybody got his moment, although everybody got some moment. And the main folks got their time in the spotlight. Part of the reason it took longer than I wanted was because I didn’t know much much spotlight there was, or how many plot threads to tie off (one of which I didn’t realize was there until last week. Don’t ask how that happens. It’s a writer thing.)

As much as writers are lousy judges of their own work, I am very pleased with how this came out, particularly the final battle between the two main antagonists. After three books, it had to be special, and I think I nailed it.

Now to take some time off to let the pie cool, then back for edits. But for tonight, sleep.

Good night.

#sfwapro

 

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