The Writer Master Plan

Back in June, Nick Cole and Jason Anspach released a military SF novel entitled Galaxy’s Edge: Legionnaire.  I’d been peripherally aware of Mr. Cole for a while, ever since Harper Voyager kicked him to the curb for political reasons.  But what he and Anspach pulled off made me sit up and take notice.

Because Legionnaire, a brand-new, independently-published mil-SF novel, shot to the top 100 on Kindle, and #1 in its categories, and proceeded to stay there.  For weeks.  And they made no secret that they wanted to share how they did it with other authors.  I talked to Mr. Cole myself for a bit, and got the gears turning, even before they released their After Action Report podcast.

Cole pointed me toward the non-fiction work of Chris Fox, who has been studying what works in independent publishing, specifically Amazon, for some time.  I started doing some more reading. Continue reading “The Writer Master Plan”

Another Article, and Another Review

My latest is up on Breach-Bang-Clear, concerning weapons being, in the words of Sam in Ronin, “A toolbox.”  Knowing your tools means that firearms aren’t like the latest iPhone.  (Of course, the Facebook comments on B-B-C’s page have already gone off the rails…never read the FB comments!)

The NRA recently decided to disallow revolvers and 1911s from their “Carry Guard” classes. They have since reversed that decision, probably after millions of gun owners took to the internet to tell them it was stupid). This decision seems to have once again highlighted the differing opinions in the firearms community about what is and is not an “obsolete” firearm.

I almost said, “reignited the debate,” but who are we kidding? It’s never stopped.

Read the rest on Breach-Bang-Clear.

Also, a fellow denizen of the “Men’s Adventure Paperbacks of the ’70s and ’80s” Group on Facebook, Greg Hatcher, has read and reviewed Lex Talionis.  It is an excellent review.

“I’m not much of a joiner, usually, but I do belong to an online community that is devoted to reading and collecting the men’s adventure paperbacks that dominated drugstore spinner racks in the sixties and seventies.

It happens that many of us write the stuff as well, and one of our number, Peter Nealen, asked if any of us would be interested in reviewing his latest. Of course I lunged at it, despite the appalling size of my to-read pile.”

Read the rest here.  (You will have to scroll down a bit, Greg’s post is a bit of a grab-bag.  Not unlike this one.)

New Ideas

So, after scrapping the first 400 words of the next chapter of Lex Talionis (getting close to finished, but not there yet), I had an interesting idea for a new series.

This wouldn’t be taking the place of any other projects, but would be woven into the years’ schedule along with others.  The idea was spawned by thinking of the old action series, such as Executioner, Phoenix Force, Able Team, Soldiers of Barrabas, or Stony Man.

What if I came up with an episodic (old-school episodic, with continuing characters but not necessarily any long-spanning arc) action series, roughly 40k-60k words per story (roughly the length of A Silver Cross and a Winchester or Nightmares)?  It would be somewhat less “THE WORLD IS ON FIRE!” than the Praetorian series, mainly focusing on going after various bad actors in various real and fictional parts of the globe.  Short, pulpy, hard-hitting action pieces, not terribly geopolitical or intrigue-heavy, but with long-running characters and fast pacing.  With a set, fairly low, word count, I could concievably knock one out in about a month, month-and-a-half, and get the ebook out for around $3.

What do you think, readers?  Interested?

Lovecraftian?

Yes, I’m pretty deep into the shooter genre mode right now, having just passed 75,000 words on the first draft of Lex Talionis, but I’m going to digress for a little, to explore a thought I had while sitting in the “Death Is The Least Of Your Worries: Writing Lovecraftian Fiction” panel at LTUE.

The panelists agreed (and so would I) that the nature of Lovecraft’s horror lay in the confrontation of unfathomable powers which barely noticed human beings.  You might get squished along the way, but it was hit or miss as to whether the monster actually noticed you in the process.  A vital part of the Cthulhu Mythos is mankind’s insignificance, and helplessness, in the face of the chaotic forces that rule the cosmos.  You can try to fight Cthulhu, but it won’t end well for you.

Granted, this is not entirely a hard and fast rule even within the (admittedly broad) confines of the Mythos itself.  Brian Lumley’s Titus Crow bests a few eldritch abominations, and no less towering a figure than Conan the Cimmerian (Howard was a regular correspondent with Lovecraft) banished a few to whatever weird dimension they’d come from with a powerful stroke of axe or sword. Continue reading “Lovecraftian?”

Rock, Meet Hard Place

So, a couple posts back, I spoke of a 22,000 word story that I couldn’t really talk about.  Well, now I can.

A few months back, Mike Kupari hit me up with the idea of doing a short story for Baen.com with him, set in the Dead Six universe, created between him and Larry Correia, between Swords of Exodus and Alliance of Shadows, which comes out next month.  Being a big fan of the Dead Six series, myself, I readily agreed.  The end result is Rock, Meet Hard Place, Part 1 and Part 2.