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.
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
It’s been a few days, so some of the more hyperbolic stuff surrounding the Tomahawk strike on Al Shayrat Airbase in Syria has started to die down. Now might be the right time to weigh in with a few thoughts. This should not be taken as an exhaustive analysis; I’m not in that business, and have slightly less of a finger on the pulse of these things than I did a couple years ago, when I was keeping a close eye on the jihadi groups cropping up in Syria.
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