The way-late December writing wrap-up.

all-the-words2016? How the hell did that happen?

December was…let’s see, what’s a word I could use? Insane? Yeah, insane’s good.

There’s a lot going on here at the Manor, only some of which has to do with the silly little writer and his silly little stories. We have a book to finish, you know, and Kevin and I are working to do just that. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we can deliver the manuscript to our editor for shredding next week. Meanwhile? There’s stuff in the pipeline just waiting for me to get started on it.

“Like what?” you ask. Well, read on as we get to the December rundown:

Purgatory’s Key – Mine and Kevin’s contribution to Star Trek: Legacies, 2016’s novel trilogy that will help to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek series. Yeah, this it the novel I was talking about up above. We’re closing in on the finish line, though there’s still some knuckling down and getting on with it that needs to be done so we can get this off our plate and I can move on to Other Things. The trilogy is slated to publish in July, August, and September of 2016, and you can now read the cover copy for all three books!

Headlong Flight – A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel set after the events of Armageddon’s Arrow as well as a new trilogy coming at the end of 2016 from fellow scribe John Jackson Miller. This new tale will be another largely “standalone” story with an emphasis on exploring. My manuscript this will be due later in the spring, and I’ll be turning to it once I’m done with Purgatory’s Key. 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…. 🙂

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 is due at the end of February, and as you’ve likely surmised by this point, I have plenty to keep me busy.

Elusive Salvation – A Star Trek original series novel that’s a sequel to From History’s Shadow. I had to address some proofreader queries just before Christmas, and returned my responses back to my editor on December 21st. This should pretty well do it for this one. The next time I see it should be when I get my author copies, and it’ll be out on April 26th. You’ve already seen the cover, right?

24: Trial by Fire – After sending in a revised manuscript back in November, I’m still waiting for a copyedit and licensor approval. I’m hoping to share the book’s cover copy very soon. Publication is still set for August.

Star Trek: A Travel 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, and is now deep into the art/layout stage. Insight has actual, talented people to do the heavy lifting for this part, but I’m still in the loop and trying to be…you know…helpful. It’s been a fascinating learning experience, so far. The book is currently slated to be published on July 26th. Stay tuned!

Holiday Lists for Writers: 2015 Edition!” – My monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on December 17th. I think the title’s pretty self-explanatory, but you know I couldn’t be completely serious with something like that. 🙂

My Journey to Strange New Worlds” – With the new incarnation of Pocket Books’ Star Trek: Strange New Worlds writing contest, I was asked by the folks at TrekCore to ruminate a bit about my experiences with the original version from the late 90s-early 2000s. Wow. Has it been that long?

Other stuff in the pipeline:

The Armageddon Directive – The Mars Attacks novella I wrote for Joe Books and Topps. I returned a final version of the manuscript in November, and it’s being formatted for e-Book presentation. The current plan is for the novella to be offered as a backers reward for a recent Mars Attacks Kickstarter campaign, after which it will be made available for general sale in the spring. More info as I get it!

Texas Pride” – Speaking of e-Books, here’s one that might surprise you. During last year’s Kickstarter for friend Mike Friedman’s Pangaea anthology, there were a handful of stretch goals built into the funding campaign. One was a story bundle giveway, and I offered to Mike this short story of mine that’s set in the “universe” of my novels The Last World War and Counterstrike: The Last World War – Book II. I wrote the story in 2007 for Amazon’s now-defunct “Amazon Shorts” program, and if you didn’t get it back then, or caught me at a convention where I had one of a very limited number of “chapbook” editions of the story, it’s been unavailable. The story has since been formatted as an e-Book, complete with a snazzy new cover by friend Aaron Rosenberg. It’s going to be given to the Pangaea backers first, but I plan to offer it for general sale in the spring. Stay tuned!

“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. I reviewed the galley pages for my story back during the first week of November. The next time I see this, it should be a really real book! At last report, publication remains set for April 12th, 2016.

Planet of the Apes essay for Sequart – Those Sequart guys just never learn their lesson. This time, I wrote 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. I delivered my essay on October 30th, and early word is that at least one editor thinks it doesn’t suck. Go me! Now, I’m waiting for editor notes and all that.

“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 months. I’ve revisited a file I had started a while back, refreshed some older notes and added some new ones. I think I’m on to something, and I plan to approach at least one editor with it later this summer, once I get a synopsis/proposal where I want it to be.

Original e-Book concept – I’ve been pondering an idea for a new series – something akin to the “men’s adventure” style books I loved back in the 80s and 90s. It would be a setting for which I could write shorter tales – novellas, likely – for e-Book distribution. It would be something of an SF-ish/action bent, with (I hope) lots of humor. Not quite campy, but definitely lighter in tone. This is still very rough at the moment, but it’s something I’d really like to get into later this year.

That should keep me busy for a while. Happy 2016!

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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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