December writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAnd now we say goodbye to December, and 2016.

Holy crap. That year went by fast.

As for January 2017? I’m hitting the ground running, that’s for sure. There are already several balls in the air, but I’ll take busy over thumb twiddling any day.

Wanna see what’s up? Read on for December’s rundown!

Headlong Flight: A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel set after the events of Armageddon’s Arrow as well as the Prey trilogy that was released during October-December 2016 by fellow word pusher John Jackson Miller. I received the final pass pages last week from my editor, and turned in my last notes just yesterday, in fact. The next time I see it will be as an actual book when it hits store shelves on January 31st. You’ve seen the cover, right?

Hearts and Minds: Another Star Trek: The Next Generation novel. I reviewed the copyedited manuscript earlier in the month and returned an updated version on December 6th. I should see first pass pages later this month, and at last report, the book was scheduled for publication on or about Tuesday, May 30th. Stay tuned!

Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire: We are at the art stage now, and I’ve already had a chance to review the preliminary layout and some rough art, including several of the maps for the different “regions” to be visited. I’m thrilled to report that Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski, who provided all of those amazing illustrations for the Vulcan guide, are back for a second round of shenanigans. The book is currently set for publication on July 17. More details on this as things start coming together!

Twas A Die Hard Christmas.” My tribute to the Best Christmas Movie Ever. I did it strictly for the goofs.

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. Titan has greenlit Predator: If It Bleeds for publication next year, and I’ve been given a due date of January 30th for delivering my story.

Star Trek Adventures Role Playing Game: I’ve actually been involved with this for quite a while, but the formal announcement only dropped on December 1st. I was approached by the game’s publishers back in the late summer about maybe writing fiction to go with the game materials, but then things took a crazy turn. With the assistance of friend and fellow writer Scott Pearson, who’s acting as something of a continuity cop for everything, I ended up helping to develop a storyline that will drive the game’s “living playtest” over the next several months as the rules and mechanics are refined. Just this past week, I also provided some additional material for possible use in the game’s core rule book. For more info on Star Trek Adventures, click that link, yo!

Unidentified Tie-In Project: I was contacted out of the blue back in August about possibly writing a novel set in a franchise that’s new to me, but has its own group of devoted followers. I worked up an outline between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and sent it to its editor back on December 23rd. Right now and if all goes to plan, I’ll likely be writing this one in the spring, because…..

Another Unidentified Tie-In Project: I’ve already signed a contract for this book, and I’m currently readying an outline that will be due later in the week. The manuscript due date for this will be in early April, so it will be my main focus from now until then. More later once I’m given the okay to talk about it.

And Another Unidentified Tie-In Project: I unexpectedly heard back about this project on October 26th and it appears this is another one that’s going forward! We’re working out contract and deadline details now, and I’ve got an outline that’s just about ready to deliver to its editor. However, this one may also take a back seat to the project which will dominate my first quarter of 2017. I was honestly thinking this one wouldn’t happen, and I’m rather happy to be wrong. As with the other “Unidentifieds,” I’ll be able to share more info as things  get ironed out, firmed up, signed, and so on.

Still Another Unidentified Tie-In Project: After thinking this idea was dead, I was pleasantly surprised to hear back a few weeks ago from the editor to whom I’d pitched this thing. They told me they’d reconsidered going forward with it, and now it looks like we’re back on! I expect I’ll be hearing more after the holidays, but based on the conversation I’ve already had? This one will definitely be fun and I can’t wait to talk more about it. Mwuah-ah-ah.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Planet of the Apes short story: Yep, this one. I delivered my manuscript for “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.

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 received the typeset pages for my essay back on November 20th, and returned my final corrections to editor Joe Berenato that same day. We found out just yesterday that the book is set for publication in late January or early February, so W00t!

Possible future projects:

Original SF novel concept: Something I’d started a while back, refreshed some older notes and added some new ones. Once I knock out the other outlines that are ahead of it in the cue, I’ll be continuing to work on fleshing out this concept so that I can approach at least one editor with it.

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 once I (HAH!) get some free time.

So. 2017, huh? All right, let’s do this thing.

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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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