This has been a productive week following up with a variety of things after the seminar. Lots of emails and instant messages. New plans, such as appearances on other podcasts and many new books. Most importantly, new friends and the amazing energy that brings.
When I’ve had the chance to write, I’ve made great progress in The Door Into Winter. The word count won’t reflect this, as I’m only a little more than 1000 words more than last week, but I’m still excited.
I took Jonathan Maberry’s class on pacing and I’ve been inserting some new techniques in the story. The results look very promising.
One of the main things this has done has forced me to reconsider the arrangement of chunks in the story. I’ve spent a bunch of time moving passages around to make a faster, more coherent narrative. I’m much happier with what I’ve done so far, and it’s already having some productive ripples carrying down the road.
We did another Dudes In Hyperspace podcast this week. We got Kacey Ezell back in time for her to talk about her new release, Skies to Conquer, which will come out tomorrow. I’ll have links for that next week.
We’ve had a great, energetic week on the New Mythology Discord channel. It dawns on me, I might not have mentioned it before, but here’s the invite link: discord.gg/FjdgAShBHU. We’d love to have you join us.
I probably have more to talk about, but I’m still catching up from an amazing Superstars.
What I’m Listening To
The soundtrack of Conan the Barbarian by Basil Poledouris. This is one of my favorite things to listen to when I’m writing fantasy.
Quote of the Week
Andre Norton is one of the authors I grew up reading. I can still remember the moment when Ron Thomas gave me Quag Keep, and of course there was Witch World, Star Soldiers, and so much more. Here’s a quote from her that is true for all of us.
As for courage and will – we cannot measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust there will be sufficient to carry through trials which may lie ahead.
– Andre Norton
Also, I’m remiss for not posting this link last week, especially since it’s a story I’ve loved for quite some time. My only excuse is I was distracted by Superstars.
In any case, here’s Sharp Steel by William Alan Webb. This is the first story in his Sharp Steel & High Adventure series, and you want to get in on this now, because there’s big things happening here, and maybe even a crossover coming down the road. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09RVCDW2Y.
Today’s Weight: 323.6
Updated Word Count: 7,375
Eldros Legacy Archives: 813 entries
Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.
This past week, I went to the Superstars Seminar. For those who don’t know, this is a seminar for writers and publishers of all levels and genres. It is designed to help us all level up.
For me, I can tell you it worked. Wow.
To start with, part of the process, and honestly in some ways my favorite part, are the opportunities for publishers like myself to have authors pitch their stuff to us. I really enjoyed this because, without fail, all the authors I spoke to had a great, professional focus. Most won’t get published by New Mythology, but they’ll do well as a group, I think.
While I won’t publish most of them, I did add several new authors to our team. I can’t tell you how excited I am about what they’ll bring to New Mythology and I thought I’d introduce them.
First, is J.T. Evans. You all might remember him from his story “The Empty House” from Talons & Talismans I. Courage takes many forms, and this story is a perfect, strong example of standing up for what’s important. J.T. tends to darker fantasy, and I have to wonder if the horrific car crash he was in at 15 where they had to to reattach his arm might be one reason. Anyway, we hope to publish a trilogy in his setting starting late fall.
Next is Philippa Werner who you’ re going to love. She has a host of writing experience, so much so, she’s already pushing me to up my game as publisher. She’s written under the pen names of Moira Katson and Natalie Grey. As you can see from those two links, she’s already done a bunch of great stuff and we’re ecstatic to have her.
Her first job, by the way, was at an apple orchard, and she still loves unusual types of apples and goes crazy for a really GOOD cider (none of that pasteurized crap). So, if you’re going to a con where she’s at and you have a great local cider, you might remember that. Just sayin’.
Trisha Wooldridge is next. She, too, is pushing me to up my game. She loves writing awesome characters and then putting them into positions where if she were to meet them in real life, they’d want to throat-punch her.
See? I told you all she’d be a fit for New Mythology.
I have to add, her story about her and her husband’s courtship is hilarious. He proposed to her using a rubber chicken. I wish I’d been smart enough to do that. That’s just wonderful.
Finally, there’s Brock Kolby. He’s very interested in the myth and magic of the Indian subcontinent, which, it turns, is also one of my interests. There’s a good chance he’ll write in Amaranth in the Eldros Legacy, and then also his own setting.
I’m calling these guys the Class of 2022. Obviously, I’m looking for new, great authors all the time, but like I mentioned earlier, there are so many writers at Superstars who are talented pros. I don’t know if I’ll walk away with this much awesomeness each year, but I’m certainly going to try.
Whew. Where were we. Oh, yeah, talking about the seminar, not just the superstars who are joining the team.
I got there on Monday with the intent of helping set up on Tuesday starting at noon. Arrived at the con site at about 12:30 after running errands to find out the others who’d gotten there earlier had already done it all. Marie Whittaker, who ran the con along with Mark Leslie Lefebvre, did a fantastic job of organizing things, and this is a perfect example.
So, I was able to nest and relax a bit before socializing that night at Jack Quinn’s, a nice Irish bar. Had a great time chatting with a variety of awesome folk, which also was an example of the week.
Wednesday is Craft Day, and I chose to take the seminars from Jonathan Maberry on pacing and the one on cover art from James Artimis Owens.
In both, I had sort of the best learning experience one could have. I’ve been fumbling along based on instincts and I discovered that many of my instincts are good, they just need to be turned into skills. Also, I was able to find a number of new sets of questions I can investigate, questions I didn’t know enough until taking these sessions to even be able to ask.
I’m already introducing some of Maberry’s techniques into The Door Into Winter and the results are very promising.
Wednesday night was more socializing. The truth is, a bunch of the work that gets done is hanging out with a variety of new people. In this particular case, Eldros Legacy hosted a party, which was a great success. Thanks especially Chris Mandeville for bartending!
I had more than a few great conversations at the party, but the most productive was with Dan Bridgwater. He and I are going to collaborate on the Rick Blaine thread from The Feeding of Sorrows. That thread didn’t get explored in The Ravening of Wolves for the basic reason that his investigation of intrigue and conspiracy in the Galactic Union took too long. Each jump from system to system takes something like two weeks, depending on entry and exit points. In any case, we ran through a bunch of character motivations.
I also gave him a fun idea for a fantasy setting and character. Hopefully, he can find time to write that, too.
On Thursday, there were a bunch of good panels and things to do, but honestly, I really wanted to write after listening to Maberry. Plus, I had some other work so I sat in the main bar area and got words written, the work done, and had a number of great conversations.
Thursday evening we hung out at the hotel bar until very late. Side note: I’m not as young as I used to be and altitude affects things.
Friday was, in many ways, the start of my con. It began with a panel on creating a shared world with all five Eldros Legacy founders. This panel went great, I thought, especially since we presented Kevin J. Anderson with a custom-made Kevin the Unkillable t-shirt. Yes, it said “Kevin,” not “Khyven.”
Lunch was excellent, not the food really, but getting a chance to sit next to Craig Martelle and chat with him. I am very much looking forward to 20Booksto50K this year. He’s an impressive guy who’s got a bunch to teach me.
Then I accepted pitches from a number of new authors during the afternoon. That’s where I started gathering the Class of 2022 I started this post with. Again, I found the authors to be, without exception, professional and talented. They’re going to do some great stuff.
Friday night was the VIP dinner. If you’re trying to build up in this game, the cost for the VIP dinner was totally worth it. It’s a normal process. They put a VIP at each table, then fill the table with others, and that means you have a chance to really talk. In my case, our VIP was Nick Thacker, and I’m looking forward to getting to know him better. He’s very impressive.
Getting home from the Pinery on the Hill, a great restaurant, was an adventure, though. Shockingly, the place was on a hill. Great view overlooking Colorado Springs… while the snow fell. The four people riding with me in my car literally gave a great cheer when I drove into the parking garage.
Saturday, I started with a set of pitches, with a second set later in the afternoon. I was also on a panel about writing short stories. I was, by far, the least experienced person on the panel, but I think I did well. At least, one of the others, who happens to be a big part of the Writers of the Future, enjoyed having me there.
Then came closing ceremonies, where they raised a bunch of money for the Dave Farland Memorial Scholarship. This is a huge scholarship, especially given that Superstars is not a cheap seminar, so if you’re interested, I encourage you to apply.
After that, we had a passel go to Oskar Blues. There was the whole class of 2022, Chris, myself, and a bunch of others. It was a fantastic time to get the new authors seeing just how awesome our team really is.
Finally, there was the end of the con hanging out at the hotel bar. I ended up with another pitch session, some more cool networking, laughing and carousing, and wishing for more.
As I said, I leveled up. I’ve been excited about where New Mythology Press is going ever since I took over, but man, this was one of those times that just push that excitement to a new level.
I’m at Superstars this week and learning a ton. I mean, when I can breathe at 6000 feet of course. Yeeesh. And you know, a bit of humidity never killed anyone either.
But I am learning a ton, as I said. I took a great class on pacing from Jonathan Maberry and another from James Artimis Owens about cover art.
I spent a goodly amount of today trying out a technique from Maberry to speed up the pace of my writing in The Door Into Winter. I am much happier with my opening chapters as I think they really pop.
The best part of conventions, of course, is getting to hang out and chat with writers you’ve looked up to, new writers who are looking to get started, and every other type of writer in between. The sessions here have been great, but the random chats are always where a bunch of actual work gets done.
The big news this week is the cover reveal for No Game For Knights. I’m beyond ecstatic to have an Edward story in this anthology, which is a collection of noir SF/F PI stories. As you can see, I’m honored to be included in this anthology with some of the biggest names in the business. Many thanks to Kacey Ezell and Larry Correia for selecting me.
Side note, I can’t wait to finish The Door Into Winter so I can write the next Edward novel.
I made some progress on The Door Into Winter this week, when not prepping for travel. Mostly, it’s been edits to get me back into the flow, but a bunch of new ideas are already cropping up.
I also started a new short story based for the Hit World universe by Bill Webb. I may have mentioned it last week, but I’ve been able to really get some cool stuff going this week with conversations with Marisa Wolf, the anthology editor.
What a great week, and now I’m getting back to writing.
What I’m Listening To
I’m listening to Todd Fahnestock chomping on snacks left over from the Eldros Legacy party last night and pounding away at the sequel to Khyven the Unkillable. There are worse things.
Quote of the Week
The perfect quote for Superstars Seminar, from William Allen White, whose birthday is today.
“Dip your pen into your arteries and write.”
– William Allen White
Monday I head to Colorado Springs to go to my first Superstars Writing Seminar. Going to be a chance for me to level up, I think. The teachers include such names as Jim Butcher, Kevin J. Anderson, Jonathan Maberry, Jody Lynn Nye, and the one, the only, Chris Kennedy.
For those paying attention to the Eldros Legacy, I’m the only one of the Founders, including Mia Kleve, our primary editor, who hasn’t been part of the program there, and I rectify that this year. We’ve got a talented group.
Speaking of talent, we’re getting close to setting a firm release date for Deadly Fortune, the next Eldros Legacy novel, this one by Aaron Rosenberg. This is set in Shijuren and it’s go pirates, treachery, swordfights, and murder. What more could a reader want?
If you haven’t read Aaron, you’re in for a treat. He’s a prolific writer with a ton of shared universe credits to his name, including Stargate, Star Trek, and Warhammer 40K. Yeah, he’s a rock star and we’re ecstatic to have him.
Tonight we record our next Dudes in Hyperspace podcast. This one will focus on our writing process.
By the way, we have some very exciting news about Dudes in Hyperspace. Details on this next podcast, which should be available in the next few days. Thanks to all who listen to us, because without you we don’t get to do this big reveal.
I’ve gotten back into the groove a bit with The Door Into Winter. Getting sick and needing to get both Deadly Fortune and Keen Edge of Valor out the door took me away from writing, but I had a good day yesterday. Since it had been a bit, I went in an edited chunks to remember exactly what I was doing.
I also started a new short story this week for Marisa Wolf. This one is set in Bill Webb’s Hit World series, which is yet another fun shared world from CKP.
And I think it’s time to get back to writing. I have a character to kill…
What I’m Listening To
This week it’s Signals by… you guessed it, Rush! Yeah, I’m still on my Rush kick.
Quote of the Week
Today is the 63rd anniversary of the day the music died, so here’s a lyric from American Pie.
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend
– Don McLean, American Pie