June writing wrap-up.

Congratulations, adventure seeker! You have survived June 2020.

WELCOME TO LEVEL 7 OF JUMANJI.

June was a lot like May so far as the home life situation. We continue to observe COVID-19 recommendations and protocols when going out…curtailed as such activities may be. I did take a couple of volunteer shifts at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, my first since early March, as the museum reopened to guests in early June. Our neighborhood pools are open – while following social distancing and occupancy guidelines, of course – which allows my kids to get out of the house and into some sun and exercise. We continue to see close friends, all of whom like us have been doing our best to “behave” with the current situation.

Oh yeah. And there was work, too.

Wearing my consulting hat means attracting more things to my desk. As this tends to be Star Trek in one form or another, I can’t really complain. My dreams are getting a little weird as the different Trek iterations start to blend together into this massive uber crossover event going on in my subconscious. There’s a lot happening within the Star Trek universe, with even more waiting in the wings.

There were a few writing things on the docket, as well.

A new tie-in project! After signing a contract for this in late February and delivering an outline on May 1st, I sent back a revised outline on June 8th. As I’ve previously hinted, this is a big one, requiring collaboration not just with the editor but also other writers with whom I’ll be working in tandem. I don’t actually plan to really dig in on this until September, after the kids are back to school. I have a couple of smaller projects to fill time between now and then (keep reading), but this one will likely be the thing that keeps me busy throughout the remainder of the year. More info as I’m allowed to share.

Another new tie-in project – This is one of those things I’m doing between now and September. It unexpectedly came about late in March and a good part of April was spent coordinating with my editor as well as my collaborator on this book. We delivered an outline in late April and received licensor approval in early June to proceed to manuscript. It’s a tie-in for a property with which I’ve not previously worked and neither is it a novel. I’m well into this one, with a manuscript due at the end of July. I don’t know when I’ll be able to offer much in the way of information or 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. 🙂

Short story for an anthology project – Kevin and I were invited to participate in this “pulp adventure fiction” project, and we pitched a story to its editor back around June 1st. As things stand now, our story will be due in August, with the resulting collection being published next spring. Once we’re given the go-ahead, I can talk more about this one. What I can say is Kevin and I were able to crack each other up with our concept for this tale, so even if everybody else thinks it sucks, we’ll be entertained.

Short story for another anthology project – As if four collaborations (so far) this year wasn’t enough, here comes one more. The theme for this book is much more lighthearted in tone, giving Kevin and I wide latitude for how much crazy shit we can jam into our concept. As with the previous entry, we made each other laugh pretty hard as we developed our pitch, and I suspect we’ll have a bit more fun with this one than might be healthy. This antho will also be published next year, but I don’t have any solid info on that front just yet. More later as I’m allowed to share.

Short story for yet another anthology project – This one came along just a week or so ago as a total surprise, if we’re being honest. It’s for a genre I’ve not yet really written for and I initially declined, but Thoughtful Editor persisted and golly! I guess this is what I’m writing during August before I get going on the new novel. As with the previous two anthos, this is scheduled for publication sometime next year; possibly in time for spring convention season…assuming there is such a thing. I will indeed share more info as I’m given the okay to do so.

New article for StarTrek.com – This month I kept things simple, with a “July publishing highlights” piece that offers teases for those Trek books and comics coming out this month. Additionally, the two pieces I wrote for June – that month’s publishing highlights as well as a piece showcasing books and comics relevant to “Captain Picard Day” – were posted on June 12th and 15th, respectively.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Agents of Influence – My new Star Trek original series novel was released back on June 9th, in trade paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats. You’ve bought copies for yourself and all your friends, yes?

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. After getting an edited manuscript for our portions back from editor Michael Jan Friedman, we delivered our final revisions back on May 11th. The original plan was for the book to debut at the Shore Leave convention in July but that con’s been cancelled for this year, so I’m not exactly sure when this one will poke its head up.

More fun with Star Trek AdventuresBack 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 back in January, and completed writing material for the second book back in March. Both of these are tentatively scheduled for publication at different points in late 2020 (or perhaps early 2021, depending on COVID-19 impacts), 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 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 originally were told the project’s official start date has been pushed to later in the spring, but COVID-19 has impacted this one’s timetable. I likely won’t the full extent of that for a while, yet. We’re looking forward to locking things down and working 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!

Possible future projects:

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.

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!).

And just like that, 2020’s half over. Weird, considering it’s lasted six centuries, yeah?

Lay it on me.

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