February come. February go. It’s almost as if it’s a short month, or something.
Despite missing out on the other 3 to 4 days other months get, I still managed to accomplish a few things on the writing front. We’re in something of a transitional period here as I work to finish one thing while simultaneously getting ready to plunge headlong into a couple of new projects.
So, here’s what I was doing in February:
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Available Light – Picking up the action in the aftermath of David Mack’s novel Control and my own TNG tale from 2017, Hearts and Minds. After completing my final edits on the typeset pages so that the book could be set up for printing, the only thing left for me to do was (possibly) assist with the pronunciation guide used by Simon & Schuster Audio to help guide the narrator for the book’s audiobook adaptation. Such a guide arrived on February 4th and I helped complete it and returned it the next day. That’s really, REALLY the last thing (I think) I need to do before the book starts hitting shelves on or about April 9th. You can find pre-order links and the official back cover copy here, and hey! Did you see the cover?
Unidentified Tie-In Project – After delivering a very high concept pitch on February 4th, I was asked to draft a more formal proposal, which currently sits on my hard drive and is ready for me to send on its editor later today. If all goes to plan, this will be the “Big Thing” around which other little things orbit between now and late July. More details as they develop.
Another Tie-In Project – This one came along suddenly a couple of weeks ago, with a very tight turnaround. How tight? On Monday, February 18th they came to me with their request and a deadline of that Friday, the 22nd, because they were careening toward a looming deadline of their own and I guess needed something of a “pinch hitter.” Well, it was in their inbox first thing Friday morning because that’s what you do when you want to impress a new client with whom you wouldn’t mind working again. I was notified this past Friday that they made their deadline, so all is well. As of this writing, I’m not even sure when it’s due to be available, but I’m sure an announcement is forthcoming.
And Another Tie-In Project – Something else that popped up toward the end of the month. I was contacted by the publisher on February 26th to gauge my interest, and of course I was like, “Oh, hell yeah I’m in!” There’s already a contract waiting for me to sign and I’m due to deliver an outline by March 19th, with a manuscript due toward the end of April. So, as you might imagine…I’m carbing up.
Short Story for a Science Fiction Anthology – Writer/Editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail has invited me to participate in a new collection she’s curating, Footprints In the Stars, for her own publishing outfit, eSpec Books. As she describes it, all of the stories will revolve around the central theme of humanity discovering evidence that we are not alone in the universe. She’s stressed that she’s not looking for “first contact stories,” so we have to dig a little deeper and come up with something else. With Available Light to bed and the outline for the new “big project” done, this will be what I work on during the coming week or so. My story is due on or before March 30th, and I’m hoping to knock it out before I get too busy with the aforementioned new tie-in project.
Oh, Hey! Yet Another Tie-In Project – I can’t really describe anything about this one without giving away hints as to what it might be. It’s definitely an interesting endeavor – one I’m pursuing with a friend and fellow writer. Between us, we’ve written a handful of short “proof of concept” manuscripts, and we worked with the client throughout February as we continued to fine tune what they want. There may be an announcement coming about this very soon, but until that happens the only thing I can say is that this is a slice of pure fanboy fun. Stay tuned!
Superhero Novella Project – As announced back on February 21st, I’m teaming up with friends and fellow word pushers Russ Colchamiro, Mary Fan, and Aaron Rosenberg–they of Crazy 8 Press–to make with some superhero shenanigans. We’re still a ways out on this one, with a projected publication sometime in 2021, but hey! It’s something new for the project board, so into the list it goes. Obviously we’re only in the very earliest stages of this thing’s gestation, and more details will be forthcoming as appropriate.
Toy Story: Sheriff Woody IncrediBuilds Book/Model Set – One of two “mystery” projects I’ve listed here over the past several months but couldn’t talk about. This is from Insight Editions, who you may recall hired me to do a couple of Star Trek-themed books for similar kits. As with those, I got to pen a book told from Woody’s point of view, which will be packaged with a cool little wooden model kit. I yammered a bit about this here, along with….
Toy Story: Buzz Lightyear IncrediBuilds Book/Model Set – Just like Woody, good ol’ Buzz gets his own cool model along with a book written by moi. Both book/model sets are slated for publication in May. To infinity…and beyond!
Other stuff in the pipeline:
“Wealth, Wayward Teens, and Wards: A Life of Crime Brings No Rewards!” – An essay Kevin and I concocted for Another Fine Day In Gotham City, a new collection of essays focusing on the first season of the 1966 Batman TV series. Edited by Jim Beard, each essay/writer takes a look at a different story from the show’s first year, which mostly means each of us taking a 2-part episode. Kevin and I drew “The Joker Goes to School” and “He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul,” which features Caesar Romero’s second appearance as the Clown Prince of Crime. We delivered our contribution on December 31st, and our editor told us a couple of weeks later that aside from one little easily addressed tweak, we passed muster. At last report, Jim was eyeing March or April for releasing the collection. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available!
Star Trek: Kirk Fu – An Introduction to the Final Frontier’s Most Feared Martial Art. YAAASSSSSSS. This is a project I pitched a couple of years ago, and it sat in limbo forever before a new editor at Insight Editions, Paul Ruditis, came aboard, and things started cooking with gas. The book was officially announced on June 14th, including some peeks at concept art, and of course it’s all totally insane, just as I originally intended. I got to see a tentative cover for this one last month, it’s gloriously hysterical, and I can’t wait to show it off. Unfortunately and for reasons I still haven’t been given, the book’s publication date has apparently been pushed back to March 2020. When I get more details, I’ll be sure to share them.
Still Another Unidentified Tie-In Project – This one is now officially listed as “in limbo” until further notice. I can’t say it’s canceled because there’s still a contract involved and I’ve already been paid a portion of the money, but it’s been all quiet on every front so far as trying to get this thing to move forward. After submitting a revised outline to my editor over a year ago, I’ve been stuck since then while we await a response from the licensor. I’ve attempted to follow up a few times in the intervening months, but so far I’ve had no luck. I guess they’ll find me when they’re ready. It’s not like I’m drowning in free time or anything, but I’d really like to get on with this one. Here’s hoping.
Possible future projects:
Original SF novel concept – Something I’d started a while back, refreshed some older notes and added some new ones. This one’s been on the back burner for a while, because…well…look up at all that other stuff. I’ve been giving this one some thought lately, as it’s the sort of thing I can scribble about during lunch breaks and such at work. I’d like to get it to a point that I feel comfortable approaching at least one editor with it. I guess we’ll see.
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 get some free time (HAH! HAH AGAIN!).