July writing wrap-up.

And before I knew it, July’s in the rearview mirror.

So, yeah. That was a busy month.

The biggest thing I got to reveal was why I’ve been somewhat busier than normal the past few months. At the recent Shore Leave convention, I was able to announce that since April I’ve been working as a contracted consultant to CBS Global Franchise Management. Much of my “portfolio” involves being something of a conduit between them and certain licensing partners for matters pertaining to Star Trek tie-in projects that involve story/narrative in its various forms. So, consulting on novels as well as the occasional comic or game project, along with whatever else I’m asked to do as appropriate. For example, I got the very cool opportunity to write most of the copy for the recent exhibit Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty which was shown at Comic-Con International in San Diego as well as the recently concluded Star Trek convention in Las Vegas.

But in and around all of that? Writing, yo. Still doing the writing thing on multiple fronts. Here’s a look at the July rundown:

Agents of Influence – A new Star Trek original series novel for Simon & Schuster. It’s the first time I’ve played with Captain Kirk and his merry band aboard the Starship Enterprise since Purgatory’s Key, mine and Kevin’s contribution to the Star Trek: Legacies 50th anniversary trilogy with Greg Cox and David Mack. I started work on this one back on April 1st and I’m due to deliver a manuscript :: checks watch :: Shit! Next week! What’s it about? Oh, about 100,000 words or so.  More info to come once I’m allowed to share.

“Lost and Found,” a Short Story for a Science Fiction Anthology – Writer/Editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail invited me to submit a story for what became Footprints In the Stars, a new anthology for her own publishing outfit, eSpec Books. The book premiered a few weeks ago at the Shore Leave convention and is now available in both trade paperback and eBook formats. Whether I get a chance to revisit what I started with this story is anybody’s guess, but it’s definitely something I’m keen to try if I can find the time to do it. (Yes, I typed all of that without laughing.)

Unidentified Tie-In Project – So, here’s something new for me: I’m writing the copy for a new set of trading cards! After signing a contract with this client on June 17th, I set to work on it…fitting it in around the novel, of course. My target date for delivering the entire draft of copy is August 9th. More on this as I’m allowed to share.

More Fun with Star Trek Adventures – Some of you may recall that I pitched in rather early on with some background material for this role-playing game produced by game developer Modiphius. The game is truly firing on all cylinders now, and its content line editor and fellow word pusher Jim Johnson asked me if I was interested in working with him creating material for a new supplemental sourcebook. Sounds like fun, right? So, on June 21st I signed a contract to do just that. I won’t be getting started on it until after the novel’s done, after which I’m sure I’ll be able to turn and burn on this pretty quickly. It’s possible there may be additional work after this project, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, all right?

Short Story for an Upcoming Horror Anthology – Back in May, Kevin and I were approached about contributing a story for a collection that’ll be published next summer. The anthology’s concept is so insane and such a departure from what we normally right and yet just so totally us that we really had no choice but to accept the invitation. We’ve already batted around story ideas even though there’s been no official launch date for getting going on stories and landed on an idea that makes us both laugh so hard our sides hurt. This one’s going to be too much fun. When the group putting it together makes a formal announcement, I’ll have more to share!

Short Story for an Upcoming Science Fiction Anthology – So, yeah…looks like Kevin and I will be working on a couple of things in the coming months. We were approached about this one in May, as well, and received a lot of background info all of the stories will use to fuel their various tales. We received an update over the weekend that things were getting set to kick into gear, so I may have more to share on this soon. Stay tuned!

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Star Trek: Kirk Fu – A Guide to Starfleet’s Most Feared Martial Art. At long last, I got word last week that the final layouts and everything else for this bad boy have been approved by CBS! We appear locked in for a publication date of March 3rd, 2020. So far the only thing I have to show is the cover, but previews of pages and interior art should (hopefully) be coming soon.

Another Unidentified Tie-In Project – Something else I did alongside the new novel. 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!” After returning an updated manuscript on May 7th, I heard back last week that it had been approved by the licensor. Hopefully that means an announcement of some sort is forthcoming. Yay!

Wealth, Wayward Teens, and Wards: A Life of Crime Brings No Rewards!” – An essay Kevin and I concocted for Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 Season One, 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 early summer for releasing the collection. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available!

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.

Oh, Hey! 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!

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!).

And now we’re already ankle deep in August. The hell, 2019?

Lay it on me.

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