Life, The Universe, And Everything

No, that’s not a lead in to a Douglas Adams joke.  Though it could be.

Life, The Universe, And Everything is a writer’s conference in Provo, Utah, mostly concerning Science Fiction and Fantasy.  I first went last year, and ended up having a blast, in large part because I got to hang out with Larry Correia for a good chunk of the three days, as well as meet Steve Diamond, who runs Elitist Book Reviews.

I’m going again this year, and this time, I’ll be a panelist.  Self-published or no, having eight books out means I can sort of coherently talk about some of this stuff, so I’ll be on four panels, discussing several aspects of writing in the genres I dabble in.

On Thursday, Feb 16, at 1300, I’ll be on the “Modern Warfare” panel, along with the creator of the Dead Six series and my co-author on “Rock, Meet Hard Place,” Mike Kupari.  My reason for being on that panel should be self-explanatory to anyone who’s read my stuff.

At 2000 the same day, I’ll be on the “Convincing Conflict” panel, since “conflict” seems to be the primary characteristic of my fiction.

On Friday, I’ll be on the “Military Culture” panel at 2000, again with Mike, as we enlighten those who haven’t been in the Green Machine as to the manifold uses of creative profanity and the drawing of dicks on everything not nailed down (and some things that are nailed down).

Then, on Saturday, at 1700, I’ll be on the “Apocalypse vs Dystopia” panel, since the Praetorian series can be said to be fairly dystopian.

I’ll also be signing books on Friday evening.  Not planning on the gala though.  Too cheap.

So, if you’re in the Provo area that weekend, it’s $45 to attend.  If not for me, it’s at least a chance to get to see Larry and Mike and a bunch of other awesome authors.

Might Need To Spend Some More Time Here…

So, by way of Brian Niemeier’s blog, I was pointed to this blog post by Nick Cole:

http://www.nickcolebooks.com/2017/01/11/platform-you-need-one/

Now, for those who are unfamiliar, Nick Cole got dropped from his publisher for, apparently, purely political reasons.  That’s not a problem I have, so far, faced, in large part because I’ve been entirely indie from Day One.  Where I have run into a problem is that I don’t really have a platform, aside from Amazon’s algorithms, which really only work for you if you’ve already sold a lot.  (Insert something about vicious cycles here.)

So, in light of Nick’s advice, and since Facebook is hit or miss (mostly miss, if my numbers mean anything), I’ll be making an effort this year to blog a bit more.  Can’t guarantee that it’s going to be every day, but at least a couple times a week.  I don’t intend to let it get in the way of novel writing, and I frankly can’t say what exactly I’ll be covering.  I’m a better storyteller than I am a blogger.  It might get fairly random, though I fully intend to stay the hell away from politics as much as possible.  That stuff’s poison, and I don’t need any rage-induced aneurysms, thank you very much.  (For one thing, that would mean that you, the reader, wouldn’t be getting any more books if that happened.)

Bit of a Progress Report

Well, it took a couple weeks longer than I had hoped, but the outline for Lex Talionis, Praetorians Number 5, is done.  Finally.  This one has been a bear to get started, for a couple of reasons.  One, shifting gears from two entirely different genres, in which I was immersed for the entirety of the summer and fall, between the novel that I otherwise can’t talk about yet, and The Canyon of the Lost, has been…difficult.  Add in the grim(mer) nature of this final installment in the American Praetorians series, and you start to get the picture.

I can say this much: the storm clouds have been gathering for the last three books, and now the thunder’s rumbling and it’s starting to rain.  This is going to be a rough ride.

Quick Update

Been pretty busy lately.  Got the first (and second) draft of an Heroic Fantasy story done that I’m trying to sell to an actual publisher, but while I wait on Reader Force Alpha, I’ve embarked on a couple more projects.

The big one is, of course, Lex Talionis, American Praetorians Number Five.  I’m still outlining, as this one is going to be a bear and a half.  But it’s getting there.

In the meantime, I’ve started in on a Jed Horn short story/novella (probably going to end up about the same length as Rock, Meet Hard Place).  It’ll be going up on Kindle exclusive once it’s done.  (Though it might get included in a later edition of one of the existing novels for those who want to have a paper copy.)

Now back to the word mines.

A Bit of News

Those who follow my Facebook page might have seen this already, but I ran into a spot of trouble concerning Hunting in the Shadows‘ Kindle Select status.  Long story short, it seems that Kobo Ebooks failed to take it down after I unpublished the Smashwords version (though all the others are down).  I’ve contacted Smashwords about it; they have contacted Kobo, and hopefully this will be getting sorted soon.  I also contacted Kindle Direct Publishing, explaining the situation, and HitS has a bit of a reprieve; I’ve now got 30 days to make sure Kobo gets their act together.  Considering that Kobo’s website has no contact portal for anything but troubleshooting their ereaders, I’m going to have to rely on Smashwords for it; fortunately, Smashwords got back to me within a couple of hours, so that’s a good sign.

Kill Yuan has now been out for two months, and a few people have asked about the next Praetorian book.  Lex Talionis is coming, and I’ve started to do a little bit of groundwork for it.  I’d hoped to see it out the door by the end of the year; however, depending on how things go over the next couple of months, it might get pushed into early next year.

Here’s why: I just finished a 22k word short story that should be coming out on a major publisher’s website in a couple of months.  I can’t say much more than that, but it’s pretty cool.  It’s my first collaborative fiction project, and my first time playing in somebody else’s sandbox.

I’m also working on a novel for (hopefully) the same publisher.  It’s not sold yet, but the editor has read the pitch and the first chapter (of an early version) and said that she wants to read the finished manuscript.  I’m told, by no less a figure than Larry Correia, that this is a good sign.  Of course, the overall novel has changed a bit since the initial pitch I sent in.  Some of this is because I’ve been working on it off and on since last summer, having put it on the back burner for Kill Yuan, and then again for the short story (which I actually had a hard deadline for).  Every time I’ve come back to it after back-burnering it, I’ve been dissatisfied.  Some of that is because I need to just knuckle down and finish it.  Some of it is because with the initial version, I had two major stories happening in the same novel, and the first one was getting rushed.  So, after talking to Mike Kupari about it, the realization came (with Mike’s prompting) that there were actually two separate books there, and the whole thing needed to be expanded into a trilogy.  After tearing my hair out with the words, “Dammit, Mike!  See what you’ve done!” (to which he laughed and said that spreading discord and making life more difficult for people is just what he does), I outlined the trilogy, threw out a good deal of what I already had written, and got back to work.  Hopefully I’ll have the first draft finished and ready to turn in by mid- to late-September.  Then I can get working on Lex Talionis.

I can say this much about the fifth Praetorians novel; it probably isn’t going to make me many friends on the political front.  A lot of threads, particularly from Alone and Unafraid and The Devil You Don’t Know are going to be coming together and the war is going to come home to the Praetorians in a new way.  Those who study classical history and can take a cue from the company name might get a bit of an inkling of what’s coming.

Now, back to work.

“Kill Yuan” Is Now Available

Today’s the day.  Kill Yuan is out.  Amazon’s being a little slower getting the paperback up than they have previously, but it is on the way.

The Kindle link is here.

As previously announced, the ebook is presently Kindle exclusive.  I’m giving Kindle Select a try, which also means that if you are subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow the book on your Kindle.

Signed paperbacks are now available for pre-order on americanpraetorians.com, to go out June 10.