The First Draft is Done

Well, after a 4057-word day, the first draft of Lex Talionis is done.  Finally.

This thing is a beast.  It is the longest book I’ve written to date, topping the final draft of Hunting in the Shadows by over 13,000 words, weighing in at 161,860 words.  And that’s before editing, where a draft usually gains a couple thousand words.

But there were a lot of threads to tie up in this one.  It’s brutal, it’s bleak, but I think it’s a fitting end to the series.  There are parts that were quite uncomfortable to write, and probably will be a bit uncomfortable to read.  It is a cautionary tale in many ways, as the tagline, “War and Politics Have Consequences” should probably tell you.

I’m going to take a couple of days to let the gray matter rebound, and then it’s into editing.  I’ve got thirty days to get this monster ready to go.

Kill Yuan Second Edition

What’s that?  “Second Edition,” you say?

Well, as it happens, the story is the same.  A couple of typos have been corrected, but that’s the only change to the actual novel.

The big change is the cover.  A few people have expressed misgivings about or outright dislike of the original cover, finding it a bit too much like Archer, and therefore suggesting that the book is a parody, which anyone who has read it can tell you it is not.  It is an action/adventure thriller, along the same vein as the Praetorian series.

Now, I’d already been hearing a bit of this, though I’d also heard from people who really liked the cover.  But when the International Lord of Hate himself, Larry Correia, suggests, “You might want to consider a different cover; it looks like it’s a comedy,” you listen.  So, shortly after LTUE, I contacted Kevin Granzow, who has done covers for a couple of friends of mine, including Steven Hildreth and Ross Elder.

Behold:

The page on Amazon hasn’t updated with the new cover yet, though the preview file on “Look Inside” has, strangely enough.  The paperback is also going to be unavailable until I can get a proof approved; have to check the fixed interior formatting and how the cover file prints.  But it should be back up in a few days.

If you have already purchased the Kindle version of Kill Yuan, you can go on Amazon, go to “Manage My Kindle,” and there should be an option to download an update.

I also just approved the files for the Kill Yuan audiobook, so that should be up on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes in another few days, as well.  I’ll post again here when it is.

Now back to hammering out the last chapter of Lex Talionis.

Short Update

I know, I was going to blog more.  Twice a week or so, I said.  Well, it’s been busy, but here’s a quick rundown as to why.

I had to take a few days “operational pause” on Lex Talionis to do some re-thinking.  As originally outlined, the final chapters were a bit too episodic, as in, “This happens, and then this happens, and then this happens.”  Good storytelling ties things together a bit more.  It should be more along the lines of, “This happens, which leads to this happening, so then this happens, but then…”  The new direction should tighten things up and get it more into the latter model.  Still a lot to do; probably 20,000-30,000 words left, which will put it as the longest Praetorian story to date, a title presently held by Hunting in the Shadows, at 148.5k.

Audiobook production on Kill Yuan is about half done, and it’s coming along well.  That’s bitten into writing time a little, as well, as I’ve got to review each chapter as Cody finishes and uploads it.  But it’s solid.  He’s doing a great job.

Somewhere in there, the idea that led to the “New Ideas” post down below began to solidify.  I’ve even got the beginnings of the first book put together in my head.  Still don’t know exactly when it’s going to fit into the schedule; it’s going to depend on how much I can get done in the next six months, and how Jed Horn #4, Older and Fouler Things, comes together.  But look for Brannigan’s Bastards #1 sometime late this year or early next year, as things presently stand.

 

Now, back to the word mines with me.

“Kill Yuan” Coming To Audio!

So, I’ve been keeping this a little quiet until we got the ball rolling, but Kill Yuan went into production as an audiobook last week.  I’ve listened to the first fifteen minutes, and it’s badass.

Note, this is not the same narrator who did Task Force Desperate.  Cody Parcell, who’s done audiobooks for M. Todd Gallowglass, is taking the reins on this one, and so far, he’s nailing it.  Hopefully it should be up on Audible and iTunes in a couple of months.

And for the fellow nautically inclined, he will be pronouncing “gunwale” properly.  You’re welcome.

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.