September writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsHere we go, people: Into the home stretch of 2015. Final quarter, new fiscal year, and all that jazz. As of today, Halloween is thirty days away, and Christmas decorations went up at your local department store two weeks ago.

The struggle is real.

September was a lot of juggling of this and that, including edits and rewrites, outlines and contracts, phone calls and e-Mails as what I’ll be working on over the next few months starts to come into focus. Things will definitely be busy from here until the end of the year, but I think I’ve got things scheduled in such a way that I won’t go completely insane by Christmas.

Stop laughing.

Anyway, here’s the September rundown:

Elusive Salvation – A Star Trek original series novel that’s a sequel to From History’s Shadow. More UFOs! More aliens! More time travel shenanigans! I returned the copyedited manuscript to my editor on September 11th along with all my fixes and whatnot. We’re still waiting on a cover reveal, but at least you can amuse yourself with the back cover copy. As From History’s Shadow‘s cover conjured 1950s UFO conspiracy vibes, this one also evokes the era in which much of the story takes place. I’m hoping I’ll be able to share that, soon. The book is currently slated for publication on or about April 26th, 2016.

“The Ardent” – Our short story for the Pangaea anthology. After a premiere of sorts at the Shore Leave convention back in August, the book officially went on sale on September 29th. So, you’re free to add this to your to-read pile. They also make great birthday and holiday gifts. Just sayin’.

Purgatory’s Key – Mine and Kevin’s contribution to Star Trek: Legacies, next year’s novel trilogy that will help to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek series. This will be the “main” writing project for the next couple of months. We’re not free to really talk details on this one just yet, other than to say the trilogy is slated to publish in July, August, and September of next year. I’m really just getting started on the writing for this one, because Greg and Dave are still writing theirs and there’s a bit of “baton passing” to deal with. That’s okay. I think I  something else to do. Speaking of which….

Tie-in novella – This one quite literally came out of nowhere. I was contacted back on September 9th about my possible interest in writing this story, and I jumped at it. Due to the short fuse nature of this thing, it moved up to the front of my queue. I submitted an outline on September 21st, and got feedback from the editor and licensor the next day. My due date for delivering a manuscript is November 2nd, so you see what will be taking up  lot of time between now and then. Hopefully I’ll be able to actually say what it is at some point soon.

Traveler’s Guide to Vulcan – An “inside the box” Star Trek book that mimics–more or less–something like the Lonely Planet series of travel guides. This will be published by Insight Editions, who’s built up a rep for creating a bunch of really impressive and shiny art and behind the scenes books for a number of entertainment properties. It was definitely a new kind of writing for me, and even though I’ve delivered a manuscript, the fun’s really just getting started as we deal with the interior art, layout, and so on. Naturally, Insight has actual, talented people to do the heavy lifting for this part, but I’m still in the loop. It’s been a fascinating learning experience, so far. The manuscript is with my editor and CBS at the moment, so I’m just waiting to hear back. The book is currently slated to be published on April 12th, 2016. Stay tuned!

The Thrill of A New Book“- My monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on September 17th. This time, I wax shameless about how the feeling of excitement that never fades when you lay eyes for the first time on the finished, ready for the shelf book you’ve written. For those wondering…yes, it’s still awesome.

10 Star Trek Ultimate Holiday Wish List Items” – The latest installment of my irregularly recurring blog series for StarTrek.com, “Ten for Ward.” This time around, I assemble the uber-crazy best ever wish list of Trek geekery I want to find under my Christmas tree, this year. Some of these things may present a challenge, so you’re going to have to start your shopping/thievery early, I think.

Planet of the Apes essay for Sequart – Those Sequart guys just never learn their lesson. This time, I’m writing about the live-action Apes television series for a new collection of essays which will bear the rather snappy title Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos. My essay is due on or about October 31st, last check. As of this evening, I’m about halfway done.

24: Trial by Fire – I delivered my completed manuscript for this novel on July 1st, and I’m currently waiting for my editor to return some feedback and/or dispatch assassins. I’m not at liberty to discuss details at this point, but I hope I can get some clearance to talk about it soon, because…well, dammit, Chloe! As of now, publication looks to be set for next August.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Star Trek: Seekers #4All That’s Left – This one’s all done, and now we wait. We returned our final, final (we really mean it, this time) page corrections to our editor on August 5th. David Mack’s Book 3, Long Shot, has been out about a couple of months, and ours will begin appearing in stores on or about October 27th. Did you see the cover?

“Day to Day” – Short Story for 2113: Stories Inspired By the Music of Rush, edited by John McFetridge and Kevin J. Anderson for publisher ECW. As the anthology title implies, each of the stories it contains will be inspired in some way by one of the songs in Rush’s extensive catalog. My story draws inspiration from the song “Red Sector A” from the band’s Grace Under Pressure album. After receiving a copyedited manuscript from the folks at ECW on August 19th, I made my updates and returned it on August 23rd. At last report, the publisher was still eyeing an April 2016 publication date.

“Surrounding Us and Binding Us Together: Star Wars Across the Generations”Editors Rich Handley and Joseph F. Berenato have taken on the challenge of producing not one and not two but three collections of essays focusing on different aspects of the Star Wars franchise. My essay will be included in the first book, A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe. I delivered a revised manuscript in mid-July, and now we’re just waiting for final pages to review.

Planet of the Apes short story – Yeah, I’ve already yammered at length about this, so I’ll spare you the encore. As things stand now, my story isn’t due until the end of February, and as you’ve likely surmised by this point, I have plenty to keep me busy.

Headlong Flight – A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel set after the events of Armageddon’s Arrow as well as a new trilogy coming next year from fellow scribe John Jackson Miller. This new tale is intended to be another largely “standalone” story with an emphasis on exploring. I received word on August 28th that my outline had been approved by in-house editorial and CBS Licensing, so I’ll be diving into this one just as soon as I’m done with Purgatory’s Key. There may be even be a bit of overlap. The book is scheduled for some time in 2017, which happens to be the same year we’ll be observing the 30th anniversary of the TNG television series’ premiere. Don’t think that’s lost on me…. 🙂

Short Story – For a tie-in anthology that I’m not yet allowed to name, published by a publisher I’m not yet allowed to name, and edited by an editor I’m not yet allowed to name. What I can say is that it’s for a property for which I’ve not previously written, working for a publisher and editor with whom I have no prior experience, and it was a total blast. I also can tell you that I delivered a completed story back on December 15th, and at present I’m just waiting for said unnamed editor to get back to me with his notes, feedback, requests, and so on and so forth.

“The Enterprise Job” – As 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the building of the original Enterprise model, and with recent news that it will soon be moved to a more prominent location within the Air & Space Museum as well as possibly receiving a new restoration effort, I told myself that I have to get off my ass and get this finished, formatted, and made available for public consumption and ridicule. Of course, all of that news about the actual model made me rethink significant portions of my story. Once I address all of that, I still have to figure out how best to get it set up for one of the e-Book venues like Smashwords or whatever, as well as making it available for print-on-demand. I know, I know…”it’s coming.”

Possible future projects:

Original SF novel – Another idea that’s been picking up steam in recent weeks. I’ve revisited a file I had started a while back, refreshed some older notes and added some new ones. I think I may be onto something, and I plan to approach at least one editor with it later this summer, once I get a synopsis/proposal roughed out.

Tie-in project – For who knows? Believe it or not, I actually got this thing to a point where I was comfortable handing it off to another party for review. Why? Because this project, assuming it goes forward, will entail collaborating with an artist. The person I hope will be that artist is currently looking over the material, and if he decides he wants to play, then we’ll get going on finalizing the pitch and putting it in front of the “right people.” This would be for someone with whom I’ve not worked before, so I’m not sure at this point what to expect, but, I’m definitely jazzed to get this in front of someone, because FUN.

The Adventures of Space Marshal Dylan McCade: There has been some preliminary talk about a follow-up to “The Terror of Entropia’s Ice Cannon!” That first story ended on something of a cliffhanger, setting up something I was calling “The Rampage of the Runaway Moon!” and even though that originally was meant as a tongue-in-cheek salute to Space: 1999, it’s looking like we may well go for developing this notion. The current plan is to collaborate on a story outline, and from there decide how best to proceed. In the meantime, the first adventure is still available for listening and reading at the Dylan McCade’s page on the SciFi Commons website, and it’s all free for your ears and eyes alike. So, if you haven’t yet sampled it, you need to be setting course thataway. I’ll wait.

Short film script: Kevin and I hatched this notion a while were talking about some other things. Now that Kevin has experience writing scripts and access to people and resources looking and willing to film such things, we decided we may have the makings of a fun little project. I also have the idea pretty much written out, already, so it’ll largely be a matter of going in and rewriting/freshening up some bits, formatting a 10-15 minute screenplay from that, and then seeing what the next steps are. Mwuah-ah-hah.

Military SF story – A while back, I received a copy of a military SF short fiction anthology – the first in what is to be a recurring series of such books – along with a  handwritten note from its editor that read, “Volume 2 is done. Now send me something for Volume 3!” Well, Volume 3 has come and gone, but I still really want to write something for this series. Maybe once I get past some of this other stuff….

Kid’s story book – Though my original idea (an illustrated story book for younger kids…5-8 range, etc.) might not end up going anywhere, a recent discussion has opened a door to possibly getting this going as part of another, larger project. This would be a licensed product, and things are still very nebulous at the moment as different parties weigh in on this or that, but you can be sure that if anything breaks, I’ll be one jazzed geek.

Trick or treat, October.

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About Dayton Ward

Freelance word pusher. Husband. Dad. Trekkie. Rush fan (the band). Tampa Bay Bucs fan. Observer/derider of human behavior. I know where my towel is.
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2 Responses to September writing wrap-up.

  1. BrainRants says:

    How well-established does one need to be for that military sci-fi anthology you mentioned at the end?

    Like

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