February come. February go.
It was a month of maneuvering pieces around the game board in preparation for the next big long bout of writing. The next month or three promises to be very busy on a couple of fronts, but I’m ready to get on with it.
While I’m getting set to dive into my next novel project, and there are plans afoot for two other books as well as a couple of short stories, I’m always on the lookout for something new to do. With that in mind, I made contact with an editor at another publishing house, and while we’re not discussing a particular project, there’s definite interest in putting me to work. I’m hoping to continue that dialogue in the weeks ahead, and see where things go.
(Note to editors: Have words, will write, yo. 😀 )
What have I been up to in the meantime? Well, let’s have a look at the February rundown:
Unidentified Tie-In Project: My outline for this has been informally approved both by my editor and somebody from the studio side, and I’ve been given the go-ahead to start writing. I’m not able to give much in the way of details on this one yet, pending official approvals and other little things. The schedule for manuscript is a bit more aggressive than usual, but it’s still well within my strike zone. More info once I’m given a thumbs-up by the Folks In Charge.
Hearts and Minds: A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, set after the events of Headlong Flight, which came out last month. Most of my work on this one involved reviewing final pass pages and answering queries posed by a proofreader. I actually sent my feedback for all of that back just last night (the 28th). A cover is in the approvals process and should soon be available for viewing. The next time I see this one, it should be as a real book, as we’re still on track for a May 3oth publication date.
Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire: Everything’s been laid out, and we’ve been taking care of final edits and tweaks. I was corresponding with my editor over the past weekend, helping to address a few dangling points before this one heads to the printer. I’m happy to report that Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski, who provided all of those amazing illustrations for the Vulcan guide, were able to work their magic for this new book. It’s currently set for publication on July 17th. More details, including a final cover, still to come!
“Recon” – Short story for If It Bleeds, an anthology tying into the Predator franchise. Writer/Editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt has commissioned 16 all-new tales featuring everybody’s favorite race of intergalactic big game hunters. The stories in this new collection will show Predators on Earth at different points in history, as well as taking their hunts to far-flung worlds. I delivered my story on February 1st, and made a few quick changes later that same day based on editorial feedback. Now we’re just waiting for approvals and copyedits. If It Bleeds is currently slated for publication on October 17th.
“10 Star Trek Books I Wish I’d Written” – The latest entry in my irregularly recurring blog series for StarTrek.com, “Ten for Ward,” which was published on February 23rd. This time around, the topic is…well, just read the title, yo.
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 after a meeting with both the editor and the licensor, we’ve got official approval to start hammering out outlines for at least two books. I was honestly thinking this one wouldn’t happen, and I’m rather happy to be wrong. I may know more later this month. As with the other “Unidentifieds,” I’ll be able to share more info as things get ironed out, firmed up, signed, and so on.
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 received the typeset pages for my essay back on November 20th, and returned my final corrections to editor Joe Berenato that same day. I don’t have a definite answer on the book’s publication date.
Maximum Velocity: The Best of Full-Throttle Space Tales: As the name implies, this will be a collection of the very best stories from the six-volume Full-Throttle Space Tales anthology series originally published by Flying Pen Press. The five editors from the original series – including moi – have come together to select what we think are the stories that best represent the anthologies, and this “Best of” collection is being published in June by WordFire Press. Whether this leads to all-new Full-Throttle Space Tales anthologies, remains to be seen, but here’s hoping!
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. Back in December, I provided some additional material for use in the game’s core rule book, and learned a couple of weeks ago that this work has been approved. I’m currently in “stand by mode,” waiting for direction on what I’m supposed to write next. For more info on Star Trek Adventures, click that link, yo!
And Another 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. I’m still awaiting editorial feedback, but it’s not as though I don’t have other things to keep me busy.
Still Another Unidentified Tie-In Project: After thinking this idea was dead, I was pleasantly surprised just before Christmas to hear 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 just got an update about a couple of weeks ago, that it’s still on my editor’s radar. If this goes forward, it’s gonna be hella fun, and I can’t wait to talk more about it. Mwuah-ah-ah.
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, all of this, plus a week-long Spring Break vacation with the family. Aloha, March!