Despite the insanity into which March rapidly descended, we here at Ward Manor have done our level best to maintain a sense of normalcy to the maximum possible extent. There have been the challenges we’re all facing as we adapt to an existence that necessitates our staying inside or close to the house.
I received email after email notifying me that movies and other events for which I had tickets or just plans to attend were cancelled and refunded. Our desire to hang out with our friends is set aside out of concern for those very same friends. I still catch myself thinking I’ll take a quick jaunt to some store, only to remind myself the store is closed or – if it’s a business deemed essential – whether my need to visit is essential. The kids are home and “attending” school via virtual means, while my wife and I continue to work from home as we were doing long before the current situation made it a necessity. With all of that said, we’re in a pretty good place as these things go, so none of what I just wrote is a complaint.
And with all of that, life and work continues.
The end of March brought with it the end of my first year as a consultant to CBS Global Franchise Management. What a ride that’s been, and 2020 is already shaping up to be interesting even with the current reality we’re all facing. Despite the slowdowns on various fronts, creators are still creating from their home offices and studios and that translates into material I get to review. There’s still a lot of Star Trek storytelling being conjured out there on various fronts. It’s a fun time to be a fan of this stuff, let me tell you. Keep watching the skies, and all that.
Elsewhere within my little realm, writing or things that somewhat resemble writing continue to gestate in fits and starts. March was a bit of a transition month as things wind down, wind up, or move into position in preparation for my giving them a lot more attention in the months to come. Here’s the rundown:
Star Trek: Kirk Fu – A Guide to Starfleet’s Most Feared Martial Art. Finally published on March 3rd, the reviews and overall reaction to this have all been overwhelmingly positive. Most people are leaning into the fun and goofiness of it all, which is precisely the vibe I was going for. It took a while to get here, but it was totally worth the wait. You’ve already bought copies for you and all your friends, right?
IncrediBuilds – Star Trek: Klingon Bird-of-Prey – Another wooden model/book set from Insight Editions’ IncrediBuilds imprint. This is my fifth project for this series and it was as much fun as the previous entries. As before, I wrote the book that gets packaged with the neat little eco-friendly wooden model that you assemble without needing glue or tape or anything else. It was published on March 23rd and along with the entire IncrediBuilds line might make for some crafting fun for those little ones stuck inside with you.
Agents of Influence – A new Star Trek original series novel. With my last bit of editing finished earlier the month, my final bit of work in the run-up to the book’s publication was to help the nice people at Simon & Schuster Audio with a “pronunciation guide” for all the weird names and terms I came up with while writing the novel. The audiobook edition will be read by Robert Petkoff, who’s brought his voice to several Star Trek audios these past few years. Oh, and did I mention we also have a cover? The novel is set for publication on or about June 9th.
A new tie-in project! I signed the contract for this in late February, and I’ve been slowly working on the outline for it in and around everything else on my plate. The outline for this is due to my editor by May 1st, and the project itself is a a pretty big one that requires collaboration not just with my editors but also other writers with whom I’ll be working in tandem. This likely will be the thing that keeps me busy throughout the latter months of the year, as I don’t anticipate starting in on the actual manuscript until after the summer. More info as I’m allowed to share.
Another new tie-in project – This one unexpectedly came about last week and since then I’ve spoken with my editor to iron out a few details, agree to a schedule and other niceties like payment and all that jazz. A contract is forthcoming and I’ll be working up an outline started next week sometime. I can’t really say much about this one except that it’s for a property for which I’ve not previously written anything, and it’s not a novel. I don’t know when I’ll be able to spill details, but I suspect it won’t be until we’re much closer to the release of the property’s latest installment, which is a ways off. I’ll let you know. 🙂
“Fight Like A Starfleet Captain With Kirk Fu” – A piece I wrote for StarTrek.com to promote Star Trek: Kirk Fu upon its release early last month. Get the lowdown on how this goofy little tome came to be!
“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. The book is scheduled for publication on April 6th, which is, like, next week. Holy looming release date!
Other stuff in the pipeline:
More Fun with Star Trek Adventures – Back in October, I turned in a few revisions for the material I wrote for the first of two upcoming reference books. I finished edits on content for the first book early last month, and I’m presently working to finish material for the second book. Both of these are tentatively scheduled for publication at different points in late 2020, but I don’t have any firm dates just yet. Neither book has been formally announced yet, either, so don’t tell anyone I mentioned this to you, okay?
Short Story for Pangaea III, an Upcoming Science Fiction Anthology – Regular followers know that Kevin and I contributed a story to the first Pangaea anthology, and Kevin went solo for a story included in its sequel, Pangaea II: SuperContinent Boogalo (I may have that title wrong). The formula’s a bit different this time, as instead of us all writing separate tales we all will be feeding a larger narrative in something resembling a round-robin format…but with extra chaos sprinkled in for flavor. I helped a bit back in February with our portions, but Kevin was the one who took point on this one. We delivered it shortly after that and now we’re waiting to get editorial feedback. More details to come!
Short Story for Upcoming Horror Anthology – A story Kevin and I wrote for It Came from the Multiplex: 80s Midnight Chillers. To be published by Hex Publishers, this will be a celebration of ghost and horror stories as inspired by 1980s cheezy, low-budget B-movie awesomeness. The concept, which we ended up calling, “Helluloid,” sounded so insanely fun Kevin and I could not say no when we were invited to contribute. Didja see it? The book is scheduled for publication in September.
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. We’ve been told the project’s official start date has been pushed to the spring, which gives us plenty of time to start locking things down and work with the client to fine-tune what they want. Until a formal announcement is made 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 of last year, 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. I suspect we may ramp up talks about this later in the summer, as the book’s publication is currently set for sometime in 2021. More details will be forthcoming as appropriate.
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’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!).
All right, April. Bring on those showers. I have new grass that needs watering.