See ya, August.
It’s been a fairly busy month, but not too hectic. There are several things going on, along with a couple more waiting in the wings. The family schedule was a little hectic around mid-month, as we had to get used to the extra weekday kink that is getting Addy to her school now that she’s in Kindergarten. Next year, Erin will be at the same school, so at least I won’t have to worry about getting to two different places to drop off and/or pick up the little’uns. But, that’s a year away. Ah, well.
I suppose if I had to boil it all down to a single word, that word would be “steady.” So, let’s see how we stand as we say goodbye to August:
Untitled Star Trek novel: This is the novel project I started on August 1st. As of today, I’m pretty much on my projected pace. I have contracts in hand (which I need to sign and get back to Pocket, now that I think of it), but until I get a green light I can’t reveal much about it just yet. What I can say is that it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years. The manuscript’s not due until January 7th, but I plan to keep busy between now and then.
In Tempest’s Wake – An e-book novella, this is a “coda” of sorts for the Star Trek: Vanguard novel series. The series finale did indeed take place back in the spring with David Mack‘s rousing last novel in the series, Storming Heaven. The best way to describe this story is that it’s intended as a “bonus” for series readers. I received first-pass galley pages from my editor on July 16th, and returned my edits/fixes on July 20th. We got cover art and synopsis info earlier this week, and it’s still scheduled to be available for several e-Book formats on October 2nd.
“Ten For Ward: Ten Star Trek Novels Passed Over By ‘the Canon’.” – My latest column for my irregularly recurring series over on StarTrek.com. Like the title says, the article will take a fond look back at ten Star Trek novels which have been “superseded” by later television episodes or films. Doesn’t make ‘em any less fun to read, though. I got suggestions for titles from readers here and on Facebook, so thanks to everyone who offered up a favorite title! It was published on StarTrek.com on August 4th.
“Conscript” – short story for the ReDeus: Divine Tales anthology. As hoped, the book premiered at the Shore Leave convention back during the first week of August, and reactions so far have been very positive. The central premise: The gods…all of them…have returned. Greek gods, Native American gods, you name it, they’re all here, clamoring for attention. As for my story, it’s about a Marine who’s wounded in a fire fight and who ends up paralyzed from the waist down as well as losing an arm. Later, his body’s restored by the goddess Athena. There are strings attached, of course, and my character isn’t so sure he likes that deal. It’s essentially an “origin story” for this guy, and while I’d like a chance to revisit him in a future story, I imagine a lot of that will ride on sales of Divine Tales. So…uh…buy a copy or three. Christmas is right around the corner, you know.
“One Day” – On August 25th, we lost a true American pioneer and the first human to walk on another world, Neil Armstrong. I heard about it early that afternoon and it really hit me, as he was and remains one of the very few people I consider my real “heroes.” Motivated to write something other than a simple “tribute” posting, and starting with an idea I wrote many years ago as part of a writing exercise, I ended up with a new story later that day, which I posted here to the blog. As I said on the story’s page: “Thank you, Mr. Armstrong, for inspiring countless young girls and boys every day since you took that one small step. May we make yet more giant leaps, following your footprints as we travel toward paths not yet taken.”
“Ghost Writing: Yay or Nay?” – My latest monthly column for the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on August 17th. This month, I discuss in greater depth something I brought up on Facebook a month or so ago, that being the topic of ghost-writing and why I might or might not take on such a project.
Other stuff in the pipeline:
Essay for Bob Greenberger’s Star Trek: The Complete Unauthorized History – Friend Bob asked me to contribute a piece highlighting Star Trek fans who, due to one reason or another, have found a way to contribute professionally to some aspect of the franchise. How could I say no? The piece will be one of many sidebars Bob is including in the book, which is scheduled for publication in October 2012. I sent my contribution to him back in November, and the latest reports tell me that the book is currently in the editing/formatting phase, and publication remains on schedule. W00t!
Halloween story! As I’ve done for the past couple of years, I’m planning another Halloween story. Whether I “live Tweet” the thing on Twitter remains to be seen. I actually have the thing kinda sorta plotted out, believe it or not. I guess I should write the thing.
Tie-in novel – For late 2013 or early 2014. I was approached about this project back at the end of May. At this point, I have very little to say about it, as I’ve not even really figured what the story will be. I had a discussion with my editor about this book on July 27th, and I’ll be developing an outline over the next month or so, even as I work on the “novel in progress.” As of now, I expect to be delivering the manuscript for this one early next summer. I even have contracts for it, and everything! Talk about lookin’ ahead….
“The Enterprise Job” – This actually was a topic of conversation back during the Starfest convention in April, between me and a friend who’s also runs a small-press publishing venture. He asked to see the manuscript, so I sent it to him a few weeks ago. If he decides it’s a good fit with the rest of the stuff he publishes, then we’ll be in like Flint. In addition to covering all of the popular e-Book venues, we also discussed print-on-demand in order to make available hardcopy editions. When I know more, so will you!
Also, I’ve continued to answer the call of friends Nick Minecci and Terry Lynn Shull, they of the weekly Sunday G&T Show, responding to queries submitted to them via their show’s “Ask Dayton” feature. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment.
Possible future projects:
Steampunk short story: I missed the window for the anthology for which this originally was intended, but the editor has already asked me to submit it for the next anthology in the series. I plan to get back to this one and finish a draft for this over the few weeks or so, and back-burner it until I make some good headway on the current novel project. That’s the plan, anyway. It’s a new genre for me, so it’s proving a bit of a challenge, but I really like the idea I’ve come up with. I’m even thinking I can expand the general premise–if not this particular tale–to novel length, and really go crazy. I guess we’ll see.
Kid’s story book – The idea behind this is to create one of those illustrated books for very young kids (like, say…my 5 and 4-year old). I have an artist in mind, particularly since it was work he did for similar books which inspired me to do this in the first place. I have a completed manuscript, and at the moment we’re waiting on him to get some time in his schedule so we can talk about it. There also are a few other obstacles to navigate before I can approach the appropriate parties about possible publication. For now, this remains a “passion project.”
Vampire short story: I know, I know…I said I’d never do one of these. However, something caught my attention back in late April and I thought I might write something for an open submissions call. I opted out of doing that for various reasons, but the idea and notes I jotted down are still there, mocking me. If nothing else, I have a fallback plan for this year’s annual Halloween story. Of course, the longer it’s lain unwritten, the more I’ve thought about it, and I realize now there’s the germ of an idea for a possible series of stories drifting around in all that mess. Not so much the vampire part, but other aspects which I think I can mine for humor. It would be something lighter than the stuff I usually write, which would be a fun change of pace. Yes, my note scribbling has been furious, lately.
Shared-world story – I was approached earlier in February about perhaps contributing something to an author-created “shared-world” series. At this point, our discussions have been very, very preliminary, as at the time I still was wrapping my head around the series concept and the possibilities it presents. I already have a notion for a story, but it naturally needs refinement to fit the series’ framework. I’m not even sure yet whether we’re talking novel-length, or something shorter. Now that contracted work has heated up again, this has been back-burnered for a while.
And now, on to September.