Well, August was a weird month.
You know those times when you feel like you’re running at full speed for days on end, and when you get to the end of the week or month you feel as though after all that work, you haven’t accomplished much? August was like that.
I did accomplish some things, and made progress on some others, but here it is September 2nd, and I’m staring at a very work-intensive Labor Day weekend. I’m like, “How is that possible? I’ve been busting my hump all month?”
Welcome to the world of the full-time freelancer.
September is looking as though it will be somewhat more sane, and perhaps with time even for me to make some progress on a couple of things which have been sitting idle for a while and which now beg for attention. I’d be down with that. Oh, and sleeping. Sleeping would be good.
For now, though, here’s the August rundown:
24: Trial by Fire: Hey! This was published on August 23rd. So far, early responses are good, as folks get their Jack on. It’s available in trade paperback and various e-Book formats. You’ve ordered your copy, right?
Purgatory’s Key: Hey! This was published on August 30th. So far, early responses are good, as folks get their Trek on. It’s available in mass-market paperback, various e-Book formats, and even is its own audiobook!. You’ve ordered 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 received the copyedited manuscript on August 17th, and returned my fixes/changes to my editor on August 24th. The book is still set for publication on Tuesday, January 31st, and pre-order links are already available.
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 in a week or so.
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. We delivered our script for “The Menace of the Mechanitrons!” to Sarah on August 11th and got her official thumbs up, and now Gordon is hard at word turning our words into pretty pictures. The issue is slated for November publication, so start bugging your local comics dealer. Go ahead; get ahead of the rush.
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 with the awesome Arnold Schwarzenegger flick of the same name. Now it’s a full-blown franchise, of course, with a new movie coming next year. I delivered a story pitch to him on August 15th, and now we’re all waiting to hear back from folks at Titan Books and Fox. At last report, my story would e due around Spring 2017. Another fun thing I’m looking forward to tackling.
Other stuff in the pipeline:
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:
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.
Still Another Tie-In Project: I was contacted out of the blue a couple of weeks ago about possibly writing a novel set in a franchise that’s new to me, but has its own groups of devoted followers. I thought I might have to pass on that due to other commitments, but now things have shifted a bit and it’s looking more like I will indeed get to delve into this new arena. I’ll post more once I hear more and am allowed to share.
Aaaaaaaand Another Tie-In Project: This one’s a bit closer to “home,” but still a different type of writing than I’m used to doing. However, the person running the show is very enthusiastic and he seems excited to have me aboard, and I’m going to have the opportunity to expand my writing skill set into yet another area. I actually have a contract for this one that I need to sign and get sent back, so that we can get on with brainstorming and all that fun stuff. Stay tuned!
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.