February writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsSo, February sucked.

I won’t be going into much detail here in this space. Suffice it to say that there was a lot going on last month, and I’m glad it’s over. Some things did get accomplished on the writing front, and I begin March with a plate that’s already got shit dangling over the edges.

Nice to be busy, I suppose.

Without further ado, here’s the February rundown:

Planet of the Apes short story – Yeah, this one. This is one of a few immediate pieces of incomplete work on my current docket. My editors have shown tremendous support as I’ve dealt with issues away from the keyboard, but a deadline’s a deadline, and I’ve already missed this one by a couple of days. In and around other stuff that’s due this week, I’m working to finish this as soon as possible, so that my editors can quit holding their breath.

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. This is the current novel “in progress,” and hey! Already behind on it. Nice. The book is currently scheduled for publication some time in 2017.

24: Trial by Fire – I received a copyedited manuscript back from Tor on February 17th, and then a bunch of stuff happened and this one took a back seat for a bit. My responses and fixes to address the copyeditor notes aren’t due back until Friday, March 4th, and it looks like I may even wrap those up today (unless I just jinxed everything). You’ve read the back cover copy by now, right? I’m hoping to share the cover very soon. Publication is still set for August, and hey! Did you hear there’s going to be a new 24 television series? Suh-weet.

New Tie-in project: Earlier in February, I was approached about this project, and we’ve since hashed out delivery dates for an outline and manuscript. Naturally, what sounded like a great idea at the time – delivering the outline on March 4th – went sideways when stuff happened in February. However, I’m well underway with this, so I anticipate no problems with delivery. Again…tempting fate, there. Can’t really say much about it at this point, except maybe that if you like what I did with __________, then you’re gonna love this. 🙂

Star Trek: The Next Generation novel for 2017 – I delivered an outline for this on February 10th, and received noted back on it the following week. Then (say it with me) a bunch of stuff happened and my writing for the second half of the month went in the crapper. So, this is another of those things on my “To Do List.” I need to address my editor’s notes and get this back to her so she can give it a thumbs up and send it on to CBS for approval. All I can say for now is that the events of this story will take place at a point after Headlong Flight…but there may be a twist or three…. 🙂

Another tie-in project – Back around the middle of the month, I was contacted by an editor with whom I’ve not previously worked, and asked about my interest in a special project they were putting together for later this year. Since working with this person was on my Bucket List, I immediately said yes right before roping in Kevin. Between the two of us, we concocted four quick pitches – just a few sentences each – and fired them off to said editor on February 28th. We’re still waiting to hear if any of our ideas pass muster. Stay tuned as things develop!

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. We delivered our manuscript (finally) on January 31st, later than anticipated due to a number of factors, most of which had nothing at all to do with the manuscript. It’s with our editor, and I imagine we’ll be seeing notes on it in the coming days. 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!

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. I currently have for my review a rough layout of the entire book, and I have a window of time to suggest fixes or tweaks. The book is currently slated to be published on July 26th.

It’s All About the Opening!” – My monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on February 17th. Yep, we talk about how to open a story. More importantly, we talk about how not to open a story.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Elusive Salvation – A Star Trek original series novel that’s a sequel to From History’s Shadow. I was given one final chance to review the galley pages and make sure that my corrections/etc. were properly made, and I gave my thumbs up to this on January 28th. The next time I see this thing should be when I get my author copies, and it’ll be out on April 26th. You’ve already seen the cover, right?

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 giveaway, 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 received an advance reader copy of the book on February 27th, and it looks groovy! 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.

So, March, huh? Damn.

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