March writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAaaaaaaaaaaand just, like that, 2017 is 25% in the books.

It’s like the damned year can’t wait to throw my ass over the cliff and into the waiting embrace of my looming 50th birthday.


March’s big news was that I got started on the new novel project, about which I am currently allowed to say nothing. At the same time, I’m working to finish an outline for another book, about which I’m also permitted to share precisely nada. A few other things are percolating on different fronts, as well. Hey! The life of a freelancer is in large part about planning the next few moves on the board.

(Note to editors: Will write for money. Or food. Or vodka.)

What’s the complete scoop on March? Have a look-see:

Unidentified Tie-In Project – The main focus of my attention and energy from now until mid-May or so. As stated above, I’m not yet able to share any details, pending official announcements or whatever else is involved. 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 the go-ahead by the People Pulling the Strings.

Another Unidentified Tie-In Project – After unexpectedly hearing back about this project way back on October 26th after some fits and starts, this one is green-lit and moving forward. I signed a contract back on March 7th, and this is the outline I’m working out even as I continue to press ahead with the other major project. I was honestly thinking this one wouldn’t happen, and I’m rather happy to be wrong. My delivery date for the outline isn’t for a few weeks yet, and as with the other big thing on my plate, I’m not yet able to share anything in the way of info. Stay tuned!

Planet of the Apes essay for Sequart – March also brought a new book to shelves! Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos is the second of two essay collections from The Sequart Organization focusing on all things Planet of the Apes. Whereas the first volume concentrated on different aspects of Apes comics, this new tome takes on the entire franchise, reboots and all. For this second collection, I wrote “It’s A Madhouse Every Week! Television Journeys to the Planet of the Apes,” taking a long look at the live action TV show from 1974. What can I say: It’s still a favorite of mine, warts and all. The book was officially published on March 14th. You and your stinking paws know what to do.

Hearts and Minds – A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, set after the events of Headlong Flight, which came out last month. Though the actual writing and editing of the book is done, there was still a bit work to do this past month, in the form of helping the Simon & Schuster Audio gang to create a “pronunciation guide” to be used during the recording of the novel’s audiobook edition. I returned this document back to them on March 17th. Yep, that’s right! More audiobook action is coming our way. It, along with the paperback and e-Book editions, are still slated for release on or about May 30th.

Star Trek Adventures Role Playing Game – After working with the folks at Modiphius during the fall and early winter to provide backstory material that will help flesh out the game’s core rulebook as well as drive this new game’s “living playtest campaign,” I hadn’t been doing much as that part of the development and testing process got underway in earnest. But then just this past Friday I was contacted by Modiphius about writing up some new material for one of the game’s supplemental source books. So, yeah. Looks like I’m going to have a bit more fun in this corner of the Star Trek sandbox. 🙂

Dayton Ward On Board” – Speaking of Modiphius and Star Trek Adventures, March also brought with it the inaugural issue of Modiphia, the company’s official digital digest magazine covering all of their games and related efforts. I was asked to provide an “intro” article about myself, my secret origin story, and how I came to participate in the game’s development. The first issue was released back on May 9th, and is chock full of cool info and even cooler art. It’s a free download, so check it out!

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 by WordFire Press. Whether this leads to all-new Full-Throttle Space Tales anthologies, remains to be seen, but here’s hoping! A couple of weeks ago, lead editor David Lee Summers hit me with a few questions regarding copyedits for the new edition, and we sorted those out in short order. So far, the book remains on track for a June publication.

30 Years of Star Trek: The Next Generation Novels” – An unexpected addition to my irregularly recurring “Ten for Ward” blog series for, published on March 16th. My editor for the site had spotted a piece I wrote for this space back in February, and asked to included it there. It didn’t hurt that over the course of my babbling for the original piece, I just happened to list ten of my favorite TNG novels from over the years. Funny how that works out, right?

Other stuff in the pipeline:

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.

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 queue, 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.

April also has a trip to Denver on the docket, as Kevin and I participate in the annual Starfest Convention. So, things will continue to be busy for a bit.

Bring it on, 2017 Q2!

Lay it on me.

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