Pushing Through

One of the things I’ve been trying to do is post more often. I doubt I’ll ever get to the point where I blog every day, or even every weekday, but I understand a blog that does not post regularly becomes irrelevant.

So, even though I don’t really have a topic to focus on, I’m going push through and blog anyway. I guess my best idea is to give you a preview of what you can see on the blog in July.

I’ll have a full, detailed preview of LibertyCon coming around Wednesday the 6th. I’ll have at least one post during the con, probably on Saturday the 9th as I talk about the book release party. Then, on the 12th or so, when I get home, I’ll write a full LibertyCon AAR.

One of my goals between LibertyCon and Pennsic is to lay out a general strategy and road map for my plans for Shijuren. These plans require enough time and enough readers to pay for me to live while I write, so if you’re interested in Shijuren and want to see all the secrets revealed, let people know about my stuff. This post will happen between the 12th and the 16th.

For now, you should know I’m not thinking small.

I also plan, between LibertyCon and Pennsic, to lay out my planned schedule for as far out in the future as makes sense. I’ll have a tentative list of appearances, and reached out to them. One spoiler, since I accidentally paid twice for LibertyCon this year, I’m already paid for LibertyCon 30 in 2017. You can expect a full post about this in the week between the 23rd and 30th.

I’ll also be looking at Patreon and Kickstarter stuff. Money is, not surprisingly, an issue for me, and I’ll be figuring out ways to use these two sources. One Kickstarter that will likely happen is one to pay for the creation of A Lake Most Deep on audiobook.

As a side note, my plan is to release everything in audiobook format eventually, but I need to figure out the process, which I will do as I’m doing the first one. In any case, I hope to have a full plan for that written and published in July.

For not having anything to really say, I sure said a lot. I have to say that this post may be a model for future posts, where I write a blog entry about what’s on tap for the next month. It will serve me as a checklist and provide a preview for you.

Thanks for letting me babble. I’m going to relax for a few days with friends and recharge at Trillium War. I’m sure I will see some of you there. For the rest, I’ll chat with you next week.

More Catching Up

I was going to post a bunch of stuff about SCA 50 Year, and I realized I myself wanted to find a TL:DR version, so clearly it wasn’t worth a whole blog post. Here it is:

I got the book done. I sold some. Met some new people. As land agent, everyone had a spot. We did have a few noise complaints. We warned them. Quite a bit of cool stuff, but there could have been more. Equestrians were definitely the star of the show.

Ok, enough of 50 Year, on to Trillium War. I’m looking forward to a bit of a break, as I probably won’t have a chance to write and won’t have much opportunity to sell, but I need a little down time because next week is very exciting for me.

I’ll be at LibertyCon with a book release party of I Am a Wondrous Thing. I’ll also be on a panel, a reading, and several shots at Author’s Alley. A big weekend for me.

As I say, I’m really excited. This is my third LibertyCon, along with a ChattaCon, and I’m starting to know and be known. Now I go there with 3 books instead of 1, and next year intend to have 5. Making progress.

I hope to maybe have some opportunities to take some of the small stories in my head and find some anthologies that match, and there’s one person in particular I want to chat with. I’ll be stalking him.

This has already been a long, tiring trip, but I have a week of friends and smiling and singing.

In terms of what’s next for me as a writer after LibertyCon. I will spend much of the time between then and Pennsic planning my fall and spring. I will also be doing Pennsic prep, of course. I will throw a few words at Where Now the Rider, and I plan on writing a lot of that at Pennsic. I’ll be sitting in Drix’s booth, writing, waiting for people to come by. By the end of Pennsic, I suspect I’ll be in the 30k range, with a goal to complete a draft by the end of September.

After Pennsic comes WorldCon. I’ll talk about that more later. For now, it’s time to order some bookmarks.

So Many Things…

I have so many things to write about since the last blog post that I’ll be breaking it down into several different posts today.

The first thing is to announce the release of I Am a Wondrous Thing, my third novel set in Shijuren.   This novel is the first in the series I am calling the Kreisens, a planned trilogy set shockingly enough in the Kreisens. BookCover6x9_IAAWT-previewYou can find the book on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HHKZJVA

This was a much harder book for me to write than either of my first two because it’s so much more complex. It had a number of POV characters, it covers a much larger geographical area, and it involves more of the top-level intrigue and diplomacy.

I have had so much fun writing this, and it has expanded my view of Shijuren and where I’m going with the world. I have always had big plans for the world, plans I will soon expand upon in their own blog post, but IAAWT expanded my hopes and goals here. This is going to be a fun place for readers and I, if not for my characters.

I had my usual team of rock stars: Kellie Hultgren, Patrick McEvoy, and Adam Hale all worked hard for me to meet the timing so I could have a book release party at LibertyCon. Thanks guys. I had a bunch of others contribute as well.

The big note of sadness is the sudden passing of Jeff Fox, who helped me orchestrate the body mechanics. We talked briefly two weeks from yesterday about whether he wanted to continue and he was definitely willing and ready. Of course, he was always happen to help. I’m still shocked that a man of his age (mine), in great shape, and who did not drink or anything like that could pass from a heart attack so suddenly.

Shijuren will miss him, as will I. I will someday write more about Jeff, but that’s all I can do at this moment. His death seems so much more imaginary than my fiction right now.


The Wiki

Greetings all

Last Friday I sent off the manuscript to Kellie for her last round of editing. Still on track to have I Am a Wondrous Thing published in June.

On Friday, I was talking to Cedar Sanderson about the manuscript and the wiki I’m building in Shijuren (www.robhowell.org/shijuren), and she asked for me to guest post about doing a wiki on the blog she shares with a number of great writers, the Mad Genius Club (They’re not mad, but they are a little miffed). I was immensely pleased and honored by the opportunity, and immediately wrote it.

I’ll wait here for my mother, my ex-wives, and all of my teachers to pick their jaws off the floor at the idea of me doing something immediately.

In any case, you can see the post here: https://madgeniusclub.com/2016/06/04/guest-post-creating-a-wiki/

After finishing that, I have turned myself to the task of finishing the appendices for IAAWT and updating the wiki to fully reflect all of the new stuff I’ve created. I’m pleased to say that I’m done with all of the people, which is the largest category I need to update.

As of now, the wiki is up to over 300 pages. That’s not just the characters in IAAWT, of course, that includes all the other things I’ve done, some of which have not really ever been used except as background for me.

However, one thing that number also reflects is a new way of organizing the wiki. One of the concerns that was brought up to me by two people in two different places was how I was going to handle spoilers. Obviously, I want to update entries based upon what happens in the books, but I don’t want to ruin any of the books for new readers.

My solution is to create a separate page for each entry to reflect changes after each book. For example, there is a page for Edward Aethelredson. On that page is a link for Edward after I Am a Wondrous Thing (he’s a minor character). There’s also a link for Edward after A Lake Most Deep and another for him after The Eyes of a Doll. The wiki process actually makes creating these easy and quick, so the process has been smooth.

Now people visiting the site have the option of clicking on a spoiler or not. Some people love spoilers. Some people don’t. You might ask if this means people don’t have to read the books, but I have written as sparse and bare-bones explanation of what happens that while the ending might be obvious, the story isn’t.

I like it.

As I’m writing Where Now the Rider this summer and in the fall, I’ll be backfilling all the stuff from ALMD and TEOAD.

One of the things I’m going to try with IAAWT is that each of the people, places, and words in the book are linked to the wiki, both from the entry in the appendices and the first time the word is used in the text. Most e-readers are connected to the internet, and it’s easy to add the hyperlinks. This means a reader can click on a link, look up a thing, and return to their reading app without losing their place.

If I get good response from that, I’ll update ALMD and TEOAD to include those links for the e-books, and add it to Where Now the Rider. We’ll see.

If it doesn’t work, two keystrokes removes all the hyperlinks from the document. One thing about self-publishing, I can be very responsive to the feedback of my customers. I tried linking to appendix entries in A Lake Most Deep, but people did not like the way that worked. We’ll try this. Then we’ll see.

I think that’s it for now. Have a great day.

A Good Day

Greetings all

It’s been a good day. The big news is that I have a finished draft of I Am a Wondrous Thing, with all the rearrangements and additions that were needed to make it good.

It was a frustrating edit for a while. I would write chapter 34, then realize a different chapter had to be in front it, so I moved it down and rewrote the new chapter 34, then realized another chapter had to be in front of that one and…

Yeah, I wrote chapter 34 about 6 times in this book. With 4 different point of view characters. There was a ton more re-arranging, but now I’ve finally got 58 chapters plus a prologue and an epilogue I really like.

I’m going to do one more quick pass, then send it off to Kellie. While she’s editing, I will do the pre-production stuff like getting the appendices done, the wiki updated, and I’m going to add links to the wiki for the ebook version.

In other words, it’s on track to be available on Amazon by the end of the month.

Now to see if I can arrange a release party at LibertyCon.