Two chapters left on the rough draft, and then editing and re-writes can start. So, in the meantime, here’s Chapter 4. Dan had to admit that this was the fanciest training setup he’d ever seen. While the initial impression of the compound had been eye-opening, the most sophisticated training modules weren’t readily visible from outside. He was presently standing on the deck of a small container ship. All around was sea and sky, with what looked like a green-cloaked island off in the distance. All of it was projected on screens, that would recognize the laser light from the otherwise very real-feeling facsimile of a SIG SG553 in his hands. It was the most expensive and sophisticated ISMT he’d ever seen. The freighter itself was a full-sized, complete mock-up, almost indistinguishable from a real ship, except that they had arrived in the trainer through a passage that led up through what would have been the hull, where he’d seen that it was in fact a purpose-built structure. If he hadn’t, he might have believed that they had somehow gotten an actual ship inland and buried it. The entire trainer was underground; they had descended about ten flights of stairs to
98,000 words in the bag. Five or six chapters to go on the first draft. The gear list hadn’t been a long one, so when the plane landed in Fort Myers, Florida, he walked off with his carry-on and didn’t even pause at the baggage claim. He headed straight for the ground transportation doors, his bag slung over one shoulder. Spotting the group was fairly easy. Men in the contracting world have a certain look, and there were at least a dozen there on the curb who had it. All of them were of a certain age, fairly fit for the most part, short hair while still being outside of military regulation, some beards, jeans or khakis, collared shirts. Granted, some broadcast their “contractor” status more openly than others, sporting coyote tan backpacks, 5.11 shirts, tan desert boots, expensive Oakley sunglasses, and often worn, sweat-stained ballcaps in either tan or green, with velcro and patches on them. Those were generally the guys that Dan found he disliked. They were usually, though not always, more interested in projecting the tough-guy contractor image than actually being professionals. There were a few others hanging around that he suspected were probably there for the
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.
The draft has just passed 85k words. It’s coming along quick now. So here’s the second chapter, to continue whetting the appetite. Chapter 2 Four Months Earlier Amy and Tom were already outside on the curb waiting when Dan Tackett pulled up to the daycare center. It was already dark, and the clock numbers on his truck’s dash shone accusingly at him. It was already almost eight at night. Sandra Crawford was standing on the curb behind the kids, a stiffly impassive look on her face. He parked the truck, grabbed the envelope off the dashboard, and got out. It was time to pay the daycare bill already, and he mused bitterly that every cent he made working extra hours was going into paying for those extra hours at child care. “Good evening, Mr. Tackett,” Sandra said stiffly, disapproval at his lateness in every word. “I trust you know what time it is.” The Happy Circle Child Care Center was supposed to close at seven, and he was just getting there to pick up the kids at fifty minutes past that. “Yes, Sandra, I do know what time it is,” he replied tiredly. “Work went late tonight. I couldn’t afford
As of now, Kill Yuan is up for pre-order on Amazon, with a release date of May 10. Go here to preorder. And just to give a bit of a taste, so you’ve got a reason to hit that preorder link, here’s Chapter 1: A shout from the watchtower drew Nong Song out of his reverie. He looked up from the table where he had been cleaning his QSZ-92, to see Banh waving from the watchtower and pointing off to the southwest. He grimaced. Nong didn’t like many of the motley squad of Javanese and Malaysians he’d been saddled with, out here on tiny Pulau Repong, but the scrawny, gap-toothed Vietnamese pirate, who liked to boast about the number of merchant throats he had slit dockside in Cam Ranh, revolted him. But Shang Xiao Yuan had put him on this flyspeck in the ocean for a reason, so he hastily reassembled the pistol, then got up and reached for his binoculars. As he scanned the water, looking for whatever Banh had meant by that inarticulate yell, he thought, for the hundredth time that week, that there really was very little to like about this entire situation. He had put on
Since I did a bit of an Area Brief for Kill Yuan, I thought I’d give a little run-down of most of the weapons used in the novel. Since this isn’t a Praetorian novel, things are going to be a little different. Graphics heavy post ahead, because who doesn’t like a little gun porn?
Kill Yuan has a cover: Huge thanks to Adam Karpinski, whose fan art of Jeff Stone some of you might remember from a little while back, who is tackling this cover. Pre-order is coming soon. Stay tuned.
Since Kill Yuan is set in an AO I haven’t ventured into before, I thought it might be useful to set out a bit of an orientation. The setting is the South China Sea, recently the scene of extensive maritime territorial disputes between China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Other countries have become peripherally involved (including the US), to include Indonesia and Malaysia. To get a bit of a picture of the overall geography of the disputes, here’s a map: As part of its program of expanded influence, China has not only been expanding its naval presence in the Spratlys and the Paracels, but it has actually been building artificial islands to further cement its claims. A good brief of the overall situation by the BBC is here.