The kinda late June writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsJuly 2016 is a week old, already?

I’m calling bullshit on that.

So, June was a bit of a weird month. Things going on, pieces moving around the board, other pieces sniffing around the edges of the board because they want to get into the game, and so on and so forth. To borrow and mangle something from The Pointer Sisters, I’m just writin’, doin’ the Freelance Dance.

It’s worth noting that I blew off most of you for the better part of a week while Clan Ward and I enjoyed a nice vacation with my sister and her family. We did one of those Disney Cruises you’ve heard about, and it was everything you’ve heard about. Damned fun, those few days.

What? Oh, yeah. The writing stuff. Okay. So, here’s the rundown for June:

Star Trek articles for Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine: Kevin and I got invited to write for this renowned genre publication back in March. Our pieces are part of the magazine’s celebration of Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary and appear in issue #286, which went on sale on June 7th. You got your copy, right?

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. I’m presently awaiting the copyedited manuscript, which should be arriving in the next couple of weeks. The book is set for publication on Tuesday, January 31st, and pre-order links are already starting to pop up.

Star Trek: The Next Generation novel for 2017 – The current Novel In Progress. 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. I am currently careening toward my deadline for delivering the manuscript toward the end of this month. Hey, time flies when you’re….doing whatever the hell it is I’m doing that’s not actually writing this thing.

New Tie-In project: Earlier in February, I was approached about this project, and I delivered a manuscript on May 20th. After receiving editor’s notes, I returned an updated version of the file on June 29th, and now I’m keeping busy while I wait on feedback. I can’t really say much about it at this point, except maybe that if you like what I did with __________, then you may like this, too.:)

Another Tie-In Project: What happens when you reach out to an editor with whom you’ve not corresponded in a while, about a project you thought was dead? Well, sometimes, you find out that editor has left the publishing company you were hoping to work with, but your email is answered by another editor who’s excited to “meet” you and wants to talk about your supposedly dead project. Then a week goes by and you’ve written a one-page concept document for said project, and it’s being submitted to the licensor for consideration. Can’t say jack about this one…even to report that it’s actually going ahead, but the fact that it went from “Dead” to “Submitting to Licensor” in a week after being in limbo for almost two years? I’ll take it! Stay tuned as details become available.

And then another Tie-In Project: And another one I feared had fallen into limbo, but that changed when the editor reached out earlier this week, assuring us that our original concept pitch was “enthusiastically approved.” We’ll soon be cranking on all cylinders to get our portion of the work done, as this is apparently being fast-tracked. Yes, I’m vague-blogging again, but we have to wait for editor and publisher approval before we can start blabbing about it. Suffice it to say that this is one of those projects that’ll make you go, “Holy shit. Really? Cool!” Also? Bucket List item to be marked off. Sweeeeeeet.

Having Fun With My Readers: Where’s My Book?” – My latest monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on June 17th. This time around, I talk about how marketing yourself and your books doesn’t have to be boring sales pitches all the time, and that you can instead engage your readers in various fun ways, such as my semi-sorta-annual “Where’s My Book?” game. The challenge is still going, y’all, until July 24th, and while I’ve made one update, I need to get on the ball with another one.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Hidden Universe: 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 contains what I think is some pretty fantastic illustrations by artists Peter Markowski and Livon Ramondelli. Everything’s still on track for a July 19th publication date.

24: Trial by Fire – I returned my updated version of the copyedited manuscript to my editor on March 2nd. The next time I see it, we may well be talking typeset/galley pages. You’ve seen the cover, right? Publication is set for August 23rd, though it’s possible I may have a few advance reader copies with me at this summer’s Shore Leave convention. W00t!

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 returned the last set of responses to “proofreader queries” on May 19th, so the next time we see this one should be in late August when it starts hitting stores! The trilogy is slated to publish in July, August, and September of 2016, and but you can pass the time by reading the cover copy for all three books!

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 returned my copyedited essay to my editors on April 16th, so I think now we’re waiting on galley pages.

Planet of the Apes short story – Yep, this one. I delivered my manuscript, which I’m currently calling, “Message In A Bottle,” to my editors on March 7th. They were able to get their notes and comments back to me later that same week, which I quickly addressed so that they could get on with putting together the entire anthology for delivery to the good folks at Titan Books. As it uses the characters from the 1974 live-action TV series (for which I confess to having a soft spot), I think it does a good job reintroducing that aspect of the Apes mythos and providing something you might well have seen on the show had it not been cancelled. At last report, Fox had approved the book’s contents, and the book itself is now available for pre-order, with a scheduled publication date of January 24, 2017.

Texas Pride” – 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 was first given to the Pangaea backers, but I plan to offer it for general sale sometime in the coming months. Stay tuned!

“The Enterprise Job” – As 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the building of the original Enterprise model, and with the recent unveiling of the newly restored model to the Milestones of Flight gallery at the National Air & Space Museum, one would think my window for doing anything with this story has finally closed. That said, I’ve given thought to incorporating all of these recent developments into a new revision of the story. 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…. “one of these days.”

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.

And so we begin the second half of 2016. Aloha, July.

Lay it on me.

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