July writing wrap-up.

July come. July go.

Another month passes in a blur. Among the highlights? Getting to attend the first in-person Shore Leave convention in three years! It was great to see so many people I only (usually) see at this con, and after two summers of virtual panels and no time hanging in the hotel? I was more than ready to pick up where we’d left off.

There was a definite vibe of “figuring out how to do this again” throughout the weekend, but most folks seemed to snap back in without too much trouble. I had a handful of panels scattered across the con’s three days, and the regular “Meet the Pros” mass author signing event on Friday was also a lot of fun. I also managed to talk with a few people about possible new writing projects at some point own the road. We shall see!

Meanwhile, there are the projects currently on my plate. On that front, things continue apace on both the writing and consulting fronts. The latter brings with it an unpredictable series of ad hoc writing writing tasks, which are as fun as they are surreal. As I said in an email sent earlier this week in response to just such a tasking, “This job is weird.”

Weird, but so much fun.

Elsewhere, things are moving ahead on no fewer than three projects, two of which I’m undertaking with Kevin. Unfortunately, mum’s still the word so far as offering too many details, but rest assured things are moving forward. My goal for taking off a big chunk of summer pretty much dissolved, so now I’m hoping for said downtime in the fall. Not that I’m complaining, of course. Getting paid to do something you love is a privilege, after all.

With that in mind, let me hit the time-out button for a few minutes and update you about what went down in July:

Unidentified Tie-in Project – As mentioned in a previous blog post, I was approached about taking on this new effort involving an intellectual property with which I’ve not previously worked. After pulling Kevin with me to share the fun (and split the work. Nootch.), we had a meeting with reps for the IP owner to get a better sense of what they’re looking for with this book. Armed with that information as well as a ton of reference material, Kevin and I revised our outline and returned it this past Monday. At present, we await a response from our editor as well as the IP owner. I’m hoping we can get started with the writing soon, as the manuscript is due in October. Wheeeeeeeeeee! Meanwhile, no sooner will we finish this book then we’ll likely start the process of developing an outline for a second book in this “series.” Can’t argue with that, amirite? We’ve been told an announcement of this one is coming “soon,” so stay tuned!

Unidentified Shared Universe Project – Another thing I mentioned in that other blog post. Kevin and I received an invitation to participate in this effort, and after our initial, very informal pitch generated much enthusiasm, we spent some time putting together a proper, longer proposal laying out our story in greater detail, which we submitted right before heading off to Shore Leave. We had a meeting with the editorial team on July 28th, and received tremendous feedback and support for our ideas. Kevin and I will be getting started on this one shortly, as our deadline for delivering a manuscript is October 1st.

Untitled tie-in novel – The main thing on which I’d been working the past few months. I delivered the manuscript for this back on March 17th, after which my editor put her Mighty Red Pen to it. She sent the ms. back to me and after making revisions I returned an updated version on April 4th. There were some additional tweaks after the licensing folks weighed in, and I got an official thumbs-up on April 28th. At last report, the copyedits were supposed to get underway a couple of weeks ago, so I’m waiting to hear back about those so I can take another swing through the manuscript to fix whatever they find. There have been some rumors and such about what this is, but I can’t really say much as nothing’s been confirmed or announced publicly. I can say that the placeholder title I’ve seen bandied about is not accurate. It’s what they stuck into my contract at the time, before I’d even written an outline. Suffice it to say there’s a different title on the manuscript.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

“Past Sins” for the High Noon On Proxima B anthology – Kevin and I collaborated on a space/weird Western short story for this new collection, coming soon from Baen Books. Everything’s approved and signed off and we’ve been paid, but scheduling and supply chain issues have forced the book’s publication to February 2023. Click the link to read about the antho and its roster of authors.

Short Story for The Four ???? of the Apocalypse – Despite a couple of bumps in the road, Kevin and I were successful in teaming up to spin our own take on The End of the World for an anthology to be published by editors Keith R.A. DeCandido and Wrenn Sims and their new small-press publishing company, Whysper Wude. We delivered our story to said editors last summer and while we made each other laugh pretty hard, it remains to be seen whether anyone else – beginning with our editors and going from there – shares our enthusiasm. Hopefully more info will be forthcoming sometime soon.

Possible future projects:

More fun with Star Trek Adventures After himming and hawing with STA project manager Jim Johnson off and on for several months leading into the fall, I’ve developed some notes for new material I hope to develop for the game. Unfortunately, this one’s going on the back burner, as All The New Things must take precedence, but hopefully I can throw some brain cells at this in and around the other work.

Science Fiction Novella Concept – Back in the summer of 2020, I was invited to participate in what has become a series of novellas all revolving around a Theme I Cannot Yet Publicly Identify. Though the editor already had a slate of entries for 2021 and now 2022, I’m still pondering something I might work on later this year for possible 2023 publication. At this point, I have a basic premise for a story that fits the theme, and after informing Madam Editor of my interest in playing within this particular sandbox, I quickly scribbled some notes and then set them aside, which is where they’ve been as I tend to other, more pressing matters. If schedules permit, I’ll see where I’m at with respect to The Other Things, and go from there.

More Tales from the Vogue Theater – One of the other things Kevin and I decided while writing “Helluoid” for It Came from the Multiplex was that the Vogue Theater, the setting for our 1980s horror tale, could also be the backdrop for other such stories set in different eras. We quickly came up with springboard ideas for stories set in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, including a prequel of sorts for the original tale. Well, we entertained ourselves, at any rate. At this point, we have no idea what we might do with such a project, but for now just the idea of collaborating on a regular basis has taken hold after last year’s efforts, and we’re both eager to keep the ball rolling. Let’s see what happens!

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!).

Original SF Novel Concept – No, this is not the thing mentioned earlier that I played with last month. Instead, this is something I’ve been thinking about — off and on — for a loooooooooooooong time, but it always kept getting back-burnered because of everything else. I haven’t given up on it, but at the moment other things are demanding attention so this one stays on the warmer for a while longer.

Guess it’s time to get on with August, eh?

Lay it on me.

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