I know, I haven’t been posting here much. Need to get on that. Probably need to do some scheduling. But I’ve been busy. Very. I’ve got another new series in the works, and it’s more than a little different from anything I’ve done before. I’ve played around with military action adventure, horror/fantasy, and heroic fantasy (though y’all haven’t seen that much of that yet). But this is going to be science fiction. Now, the funny part is that I originally started tinkering with writing, back in high school, with science fiction. I still have notebooks (somewhere) of notes, starmaps, and starship diagrams from those days. I had an entire sweeping timeline of wars between alien empires and human-alien alliances. It was, to borrow a turn of phrase from Nick Cole and Jason Anspach, WingCommanderNotWingCommander with a leavening of StarWarsNotStarWars. In fact, Task Force Desperate started out as a mil-fic backstory leading into the “21st Century Chaos” that was part of the backstory of what that epic evolved into. (It isn’t anymore; the Praetorian Series became very much its own thing.) What I’m working on now isn’t that particular epic. It’s much more “The Clone Wars meets The Horus Heresy with
What’s the difference? In reality, less than one might think. In general, I think, the “Action Adventure” genre, as exemplified (and coined) by Don Pendleton’s Executioner series, which spawned multiple spinoffs and inspired others (there is actually a flashback in SOBs #3, Butchers of Eden, in which Col. Barrabas remembers a night fighting back to back in Vietnam with Sgt. Mack Bolan), has generally been looked down upon as cheap, poorly-done “pulp,” with even less merit than comic books. “Techno-thrillers,” ostensibly started by Tom Clancy with The Hunt for Red October, are considered better quality and more realistic, though still sneered at by the literati (I had a high-school English teacher speak dismissively of Clancy as “pop-lit.”).
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.
I’ve had a couple of requests for a recommended reading list, largely for stuff similar to the Praetorian series. I’ve also been asked about stuff similar to the Jed Horn series, just not as often (since Jed seems to have a slightly smaller following, that shouldn’t be surprising). So, after a little thinking (and a little turning around to stare at the bookcases behind my desk), I’ve got a few recommended reads, fiction and non-fiction, that might fill the bill.
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
I’ve talked about it a little on Facebook, but I’ve recently finished the Jed Horn novelette The Canyon of the Lost, which should be out soon on Kindle. The art is still being worked on, which is why there’s no pre-order yet, but it’s almost there. Here’s a peek:
Jack Murphy definitely has a way with titles. Gray Matter Splatter is a title that few could pull off, particularly in a day and age of nonsensical buzzword thriller titles like True Faith and Allegiance. But Jack pulls it off, somehow. Gray Matter Splatter is a breakneck bloodbath in the Arctic, a bit of a change of pace from the last couple Deckard installments.
So, in light of a recent article highlighting the decline of the B&N Nook (they are no longer selling Nook books in the UK), and some things I’ve been seeing regarding Kindle Select, I’m trying an experiment with Kill Yuan. It has been unpublished on Smashwords, meaning it will be coming off of B&N and iBooks for preorder within the next week. Both outlets have accounted for a very small fraction of my sales to date, so I’m going to try Kindle Select for this one, and see if it works better. If you’re the one person who already preordered it on iBooks, I apologize. You’ll be refunded. I just have to see if Kindle Select offers enough advantages to balance out the small number of sales I’ve gotten on other platforms.
They didn’t lead us to the sheriff’s department, as I’d halfway been expecting. Instead, we headed back toward the interstate, and pulled off in the truck stop at the exit. Craig parked the cruiser back by the semis, then got out and waited. I looked over at Eryn, shrugged, and got out to go join him. He was leaning against the hood of the cruiser, his arms crossed in front of him. “What do you know about Chrystal Meek?” he asked as I walked up to him. I shook my head. “Bupkis,” I told him. “She’s a name that Blake gave us to find if we couldn’t meet up with him. That’s all we know.” Craig frowned, looking down at the asphalt as if to gather his thoughts. “Chrystal’s…well, she’s been through a lot. I’d almost say she’s the one decent person in that blight of a town. A lot of people have tried to get her to leave, but she’s always been the type to say that it’s her home, that she can’t leave, you know? She’s stayed for her mom. Lord knows why. Her mom’s an abusive addict, nobody knows who her dad was, and she’s had a
Gravel crunched under my truck’s tires as we rolled up Ray’s long driveway in the dying light of the next day. Eryn was half asleep in the passenger seat, her head lolling against the window. It had been a long day. There had been a lot of questions in the Forth Police Department. A lot. And no surprise, really. They had a missing kid, bleached human bones, a weird pile of ash and greasy rags, three very traumatized teenagers, gunshots, and two people from out of town who weren’t terribly forthcoming as to what they were doing there with the kids or what they’d been shooting at. Any cop worth his or her salt would be inclined to throw everybody in jail until they had answers. Fortunately, we were saved a lot of time and heartburn by a curious side-effect of the hag’s spell. While the kids had appeared comatose, they were in fact completely aware of their surroundings the entire time. Hags are cruel creatures.