July writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAh, August.

What can we say about August, other than HOLY SHIT IT’S ONLY TWO WEEKS UNTIL THE KIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND I CAN WORK IN PEACE AGAIN HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT.

:: ahem ::

As for July, things were kinda sorta busy, but overall it was a bit of a quiet, steady, keeping things on the tracks sort of month. I’m working to finish the current novel-in-progress, and there are other things in various stages of gestation. Plans are afoot as to what I’ll be doing to finish out the year, and because of that I expect August to be something of a “clearing the decks” period.

With that in mind, here’s the July rundown:

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 saw its official publication on July 19th from Insight Editions, and it contains what I think are some pretty fantastic illustrations by artists Peter Markowski and Livon Ramondelli. Responses to the book so far have been positive and enthusiastic, and I signed a shit-ton of these at the recent Shore Leave convention in Baltimore. You’ve 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.

Hearts and Minds – Star Trek: The Next Generation novel for 2017: The current Novel In Progress. The events of this story take place at a point after Headlong Flight, but of course there’s a twist…or three. I’m 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.

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.

Star Trek comic story for IDW: Yes! Kevin and I finally have one of our longstanding Geek Wishes granted. Editor Sarah Gaydos reached out to us several months ago, asking if we’d be interested. Our synchronized reply was, “OH HELL YEAH,” and our concept pitch was “enthusiastically approved.” What are we doing? For part of the special Star Trek: Waypoint series of one-off tales, Kevin and I–with an assist by veteran comics artist Gordon Purcell–are going for a full-throated homage to the old Gold Key Trek comics of yesteryear. That’s right, people! The Enterprise with fire-belching warp nacelles, Spock with huge ears, landing parties with backpacks, everybody (including Spock) shouting all the time, and so on. This one is gonna be fun. As I write this, I have a print-out of our scrpt that we’re marking up, in the hopes of delivering it to our editor by the weekend. Huzzah!

Predator short story: Writer/Editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt invited me to pen a tale set in the universe of the classic alien hunters introduced in 1987 in the awesome Arnold Schwarzenegger flick of the same name. It’s a full-blown franchise, of course, with a new movie coming next year. I’m supposed to deliver a quick pitch to him in the coming week or so, with a story delivery for spring 2017. Another fun thing I’m looking forward to tackling. 🙂

Other stuff in the pipeline:

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 – : 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.

‘sup, August?

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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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