Well, it's done. After eight months of bashing full-time… and two years of story and structure work (*)… and probably six years of reading and research…
I've finished the new novel. (*) It's now with my little cabal of selfless and insightful and invaluable readers. And, ohh, the cognitive load off. My mind's my own again.
At about 135K words, it's by like a factor of 4 the most ambitious thing I've ever attempted. But I may have just pulled it off. The second book in the D-Boy series, it… (click here for breathless synopsis…)
Now just a matter of shooting it off to my agent then navigating the heavily mined morass that is the current field of publishing. Not going to get started on that again, just now. More later (believe me).
Without going back into the revolutions in publishing and e-books, I was recently convinced to package up every single thing I've got and release it separately including individual stories. I'm not real proud of this, re-flogging old work (longer justification), and wouldn't even mention it except that I'm kind of tickled by the initial three covers I tossed off yesterday afternoon. These I'm kind of proud of.
All day, punks! I can do this all day! ;^)
Another thing that's being turned completely upside down by the e-book revolution is authorship. Basically, collaborative authoring seems to be the new thing. You can mash up genres. You can get exposed to one another's readers. You can produce more titles more quickly. And all the cool kids are doing it.
So when dark fantasy fiction writer Glynn James suggested that he and I collaborate on an asskicking zombie apocalypse military action thriller, my immediate response was: No. My more considered response, about one second later, was: Yes. Glynn is just a super guy, and has been a totally unrivalled font of information, advice, and support in the hyper-dynamic e-book space. He's got a great attitude and commitment and is really just going after it successfully. (*)
You should check out his books.
Glynn's got a great story concept for us sketched out and we're both particularly looking forward to the mad scientist experiment of putting our two totally different genres in the Scrivener blender and seeing what comes out. Stay tuned.
Speaking of staying tuned, now that I'm back into the usual obsession, look for new dispatches soon on:
- The art and art of video game trailers!
- DFW Life & Work Celebration Update! (Overdue!)
- Photos from our ages-ago Berlin jaunt!
- Driving Safety! (Yet again!)
- A day in the life lived in Kensington!
There's no getting around it. Blogging is a hell of a lot more fun for me than novel-writing. (And, at least so far, not a whole hell of a lot less profitable…) Still, one needs a proper body of work. And some things actually are better worked out in fiction.
Hope everyone is very happy and safe out there in InternetLand (and WorldLand). I really look forward to being more present and catching up with friends and family on phone, e-mail and (gasp!) maybe even in person here and there, soon.
Whilst simultaneously giving myself an intensive and overdue education in screenwriting and dramaturgy and story craft.
Well, I've gotten to the end which as I learnt to my cost on the first one can be like nowhere in the same ballpark's zip code as being done.
The second D-Boys novel, it features a conflicted, insanely elite special operator hero with a tragic back story, a hot Israeli special forces chick, Iranian nukes, Chinese hackers, an unspeakably dangerous Delta Force operator gone rogue, squadrons of D-boys, teams of SEALs, CIA paras, Israeli and Iraqi spec-ops teams, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, multiple groups of hyper-skilled jihadis, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Basij (Iranian paramilitary militia), nuclear-tipped-cruise-missile-armed subs, radiological rocket attacks, exploding safehouse takedowns, warship hijackings, stealth drones, armed robots, helo crashes (with guys hanging onto the outside of the helicopter), stealth Black Hawks, Spectre gunships, hacker duels to the death (literally), vendettas, betrayals, reversals, feints, diversions, doublecrosses, disasters, goodbyes, dognapping, assassination attempts, one-in-a-million shots at victory, rescues, messianic mullahs, regime takedowns, unstoppable kill-crazy rampages, and tearful reunions. And a lot more, actually, but I'm exhausted just trying to describe it.
Basically, it has finally been hammered home to me that A) a lot of success has to do with sheer output; and B) when you actually run the numbers, even small numbers of initial sales of very low-priced books… not only add up over time, but also compound, surprisingly quickly, as more and more millions of people get e-book readers.
Also, as for packaging up everything up separately, totally different people all over the world will stumble onto them, and a few will buy, and a few will be turned onto my other work.
He's shifted tens of thousands of books now, and has a non-trivial little monthly revenue stream that's growing steadily and looks especially when he runs the numbers and projections for you like continuing to (grow).
Which is a good thing, because I literally can't look at page one of it right now. (That sometimes happens.)