A brief update on the new book: it’s taking longer than expected.
In somewhat more detail: the working title is just that (“The New Book”) and there’s a full draft of just under ninety thousand words, or 300 pages. The story takes place in near-future Seattle. I’m in the process of incorporating early feedback from beta readers — my agent and a couple of writer friends who kindly agreed to take a look at the manuscript.
How long will this editing pass take? Hard to say. I’m making slow and steady progress. In general I’ve found that where the creative process is concerned, that’s what seems to work best for me — not trying to rush things. Deadlines often require moving along fast, which can be both good and bad, but this time around I have the luxury of being able to take my time.
Which is not to say that I’m spending my days reclined on the couch with my back turned to the computer and my feet up, reading election news on my iPad mini and eating endless chocolate bars to help with the digesting of the election news. Just that getting the story to the level where it needs to be requires some thought as I edit the manuscript (Does this scene do its job of propelling the story along or should it be cut? Can I make that sentence snappier? Would a different word work better in establishing the world building of the story? You get the idea.) This past week I cut ten pages total, consisting of bits and pieces that were bogging down the early parts of the book. Yay!
Two duelists sit across from each other at a table, each with a cup of tea and a biscuit (or cookie).
On the count they dip their cookies in the tea, and then it’s a game to stare each other down until one lifts out his biscuit and tries to eat it. The winner is the one who both holds his biscuit in the longest AND gets the entire biscuit into his mouth without it breaking.
Closing The Loop Editing and re-editing and outlining and reviewing and getting your book out to an agent…you have so much to do now that you’ve finished your first novel draft. Where do you go from here? Saturday 10:00 a.m.
The Critic And Me Ever felt like something was terrible about three seconds after you finished it? This is about controlling your control freak and making things even with the doubt. Saturday 1:00 p.m.
Time Travel and The World of Tomorrow Is Time Travel possible? Discuss ideas about time travel from various fictional resources, as well as real science strides being made toward travel through time. Saturday 3:00 p.m.
Evolving The Writing Process Have an idea, but can’t seem to get started? The answer isn’t always just “Write write write!” Sunday 2:00 p.m.
The Rules of Time Travel A practical primer for the traveler in all of us. Sunday 3:00 p.m.
If you receive these updates via email, as you can see, the newsletter has a new format! It’s now getting to you by way of Mailchimp rather than Feedburner. With any luck, the transition will go smoothly and the email won’t wither away in your spam folder…or, if it did go into spam, you’ve rescued it and are now reading this. As a side note, if the images aren’t displaying correctly, there is a link at the top with an option to view the email on the web.
My thanks to everyone who posted a review of The Feline Affair on Amazon, Goodreads, and other sites! Reviews help other readers find the story, and Amazon reviews are particularly important because without a certain number of them the site’s recommendation/also-bought algorithms won’t kick in. (Exactly how many reviews it takes no one outside of Amazon seems to know.) So whether you liked The Feline Affair, or thought it was just OK, or frankly not very good at all… please let other Amazon customers know by writing a line or two about the book.
In other news, I’ve been hard at work on a standalone novel (no title yet). This one is a little different in that it’s decided that it wants to be written not in the traditional past-tense narration (Once upon a time, there lived a King in the small kingdom of Wilderia…) but in the present tense (The king of the far-way planet of Wilderia sits on his throne. An unexpected visitor enters. The king, dispensing with a thousand years of protocol, rises to his feet in terror…) Examples of present-tense novels you may have read are The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The immediacy of the present tense works well for those (quite different) books and I’m finding that’s the case for my new novel as well. So it’s a little bit of an experiment, but hopefully a good one. (Also, so there’s no confusion—there are no kings in the new book!)
Finally, I leave you with a couple of photos of beautiful Minnesota autumn, taken at Applewood Orchard, just south of us. Most of the apples had been picked over this late in the season, but our small group–husband, son, and family friends–quite enjoyed the pumpkin-shaped corn maze!
The release day for The Feline Affair is here! The novelette is available only as an e-book on Amazon for now, but you can read it on pretty much any device. So if you don’t own a Kindle, no worries. You’ll still be able to read it on your computer, laptop, tablet, or cell phone — you’ll just need to download a free Kindle app first (instructions here).
Mid-month, I sent out the advance MOBI/pdf copies to everyone who requested one. If you requested a copy and didn’t receive it — or missed my previous newsletter and would like to request one now — reply to this email letting me know. Or you can always send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m writing this on the way back from Worldcon so I’ll keep it short, but I wanted to repeat something I said when I sent out the MOBIs and pdfs – I am one lucky and grateful writer to have such wonderful readers! Thank you so much for all the lovely things you said in your emails, for supporting my writing, for taking the time to write Amazon and Goodreads reviews, for, in short, being the best readers a writer could hope for!
The Feline Affair is my first foray into the world of novelettes and I had a lot of fun writing it — I hope you have as much fun reading it.
There’s news to report on the Incident series novelette front. The official publication date is August 25 and the title is (ta, da!)…The Feline Affair. My multi-talented friend Cynthia L. Moyer has whipped up a simply wonderful cover:
The novelette has gone up for preorder on Kindle, but I’d like to send complimentary copies to my newsletter subscribers. (That’s you!) Just reply to this email letting me know if you’d prefer a mobi format (which can be read on your Kindle/iPad/tablet) or a pdf, and I’ll make a list and send the story along mid-August. If you don’t hear back from me by end of August, please ping me again.
And if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, quick, do it now! There is a sign up box to the left (here on my website) and you can email me at email@example.com to let me know which format you’d prefer.
The novelette takes place before the three books in the series and is about 50 pages long. And if you’re wondering where a cat comes into it…well, here’s the blurb:
A wager concerning a famous physics cat has everyone at St. Sunniva University’s time-travel lab choosing sides. Meanwhile, food has gone missing from the biology department fridge. Dean’s assistant Julia Olsen is on the case…or would be if the new chief of campus security didn’t stand in her way. Can Julia rise to the double challenge presented by one sneaky thief and one elusive historical cat?
Set as a prequel to Neve Maslakovic’s time-travel series (The Far Time Incident, The Runestone Incident, and The Bellbottom Incident), the novelette The Feline Affair is a lively jaunt into science, history, and academia.
Hope everybody is having a good summer or, if it’s currently cold where you are, winter! I have two upcoming events to share with you and an update on the Incident series prequel short story.
First, I’ll be at CONvergence, here in Bloomington, in early July. Look for me on a couple of panels and at the “mass book signing”:
The full con schedule is here.
Second, in August I’m going to be attending the World Science Fiction Convention, called Sasquan this year, in Spokane, Washington. I’ve never been to the convention, so it promises to be interesting! I’m looking forward to meeting in person author friends I’ve only connected to via Twitter and Facebook, and spending some time with the lovely people of 47North, my publisher. If you’re attending or live in the area, I’ll be at the following event:
Meet the Authors of 47North!
When: Saturday, August 22nd at 3:30-5:30pm
Where: The Cedar Room at the Grand Hotel
I’ll have complimentary copies of The Far Time Incident to give out and sign. Hope to see you there!
The last bit of news is that the Incident series prequel short story has been upgraded to a novelette based on length. It’s currently in the editing stage–no cover yet. More details to come.
The Bellbottom Incident is now available both in paperback and on Kindle! You can find the book here in the US Kindle store, here in the UK store, and here in Canada. I’ve started to get some sales in Australia (*waves hello to Australians*) so I’m going to add that link as well.
Launch days tend to be somewhat of a bittersweet occasion. You’ve done all you can for the book and it’s now time to send it into the world and hope it finds its wings. That’s not quite true, of course, as there is still plenty that can be done and that needs to be done for the book — working on promotions, arranging giveaways, perhaps a book signing, and so forth. But mostly you’ve said good-bye to the characters, to the story.
That’s even more the case when it’s the last one in a series, as The Bellbottom Incident is; while there may be at least one short story to go along with the series, the three full length novels are done and it is time to clear the board and get cracking on that next idea.