Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Book news and updates - and please vote for a cover
After publishing or participating in three books over the past two months, I'm catching my breath and assessing the situation. So far, so good!
"Gold on the Hoof", my latest Western novel, is doing well after its first week on sale.
It's attracted nine reviews at the time of writing, all of them 5-star, which is very gratifying. I'm glad you like it. Westerns are by no means my biggest "earner", because that genre is a lot smaller than science fiction or fantasy. With fewer readers, one gets fewer sales by default. Even so, I enjoy writing Westerns, so I guess I'll continue with that unless economic pressures become unavoidable. One has to write what people want to buy, otherwise one doesn't eat!
Speaking of that, as I mentioned earlier, after so many readers of my recent fantasy novel "Taghri's Prize" demanded more, I'm going to make it a series.
I wrote it as a stand-alone novel, but structured it in such a way as to make future expansion relatively easy, so it should work fine. I'm already figuring out the plot for the second book in the series. It's going to involve jewels, theft, royal succession, swords and sorceries, primitive spirits, and a whole lot of intrigue. I'm going to have fun with this one! Look for it next year.
Tom Kratman's new Carreraverse anthology, "Terra Nova: The Wars of Liberation", in which I have a short story, is selling well.
It's the second Baen Books anthology in which I've been featured, following Mike Williamson's "Forged in Blood". Both were a lot of fun, and I hope to be invited to take part in more of them.
I had an unexpected approach, about three weeks ago, to contribute a short story to an independent military anthology that's due out next year. Given the short notice for submission, I decided to set it in a war with which I have more than a passing acquaintance - namely, South Africa's so-called Border War in Angola. I wrote the first draft in just two days, because I had so many memories at my fingertips that it flowed like water. Most of the details in the book are entirely factual, just rearranged in space and time to work together, and hung around a central plot that didn't quite happen like that, but came close once upon a time. We'll see what the publisher thinks of it. It was a fun exercise. I hope to have more details for you in a month or two.
Late this month, I'll have a pleasant surprise for readers of my Maxwell Saga. I've revised the first three books in the series, "Take the Star Road", "Ride the Rising Tide" and "Adapt and Overcome". The new editions are almost identical to the old, but I've gone through them and fixed up early new-author errors like capitalizing the "Sir" when addressing a senior officer, and things like that, and improved the formatting. The plots haven't changed at all. I'll be re-publishing the e-book editions of the three individual books, each marked on the title page as "Revised Edition". I'll also produce an omnibus edition of all three books, which will include a brand-new short story, set after the end of "Adapt and Overcome". It won't be available anywhere else for the foreseeable future. The omnibus will be in e-book format only, with no paper edition.
I'd like to ask your help in choosing the cover for the omnibus volume. There are two possibilities, one conventional, the other showing a "boxed set" format. Here they are, in that order.
Which cover do you prefer - book, or boxed set? I think the boxed set cover makes it visually clearer that this is an omnibus edition, but that may be gilding the lily. Please let me know your views in Comments, or send me an e-mail if you prefer.
I've had to rearrange my schedule in the light of the amount of work on my plate. My current writing priorities are twofold: a co-authored novel with Tom Kratman, which is in progress, and the third and final volume of the Laredo War trilogy, to be titled "Knife to the Hilt". The first project will proceed more slowly than the second, because it has to go back and forth between Tom and myself, which takes time. Laredo 3 should be complete and ready for publication by late November, God willing. Here's a sneak peek at the provisional cover; the covers of Books 1 and 2 in the trilogy will be updated to reflect a common theme, too. Expect some changes in the finished product.
I'm also working on the sixth volume of the Maxwell Saga, to be titled "Venom Strike"; but that's going to get pushed out by a month or two, due to pressure of other work. Look for it in January or February 2020.
As for next year's plans? The second volume in "Taghri's Tales", the fourth volume in the "Ames Archives" Western series, another science fiction novel (perhaps stand-alone, perhaps in a new series), and the long-promised book on preparing for emergencies - not another doom-gloom-and-disaster SHTF-type book, but a sober, common sense approach to preparing for hard times and emergencies, the sorts of precautions and preparations any of us can take. That's four books already! I'm not sure how much room there'll be in my calendar for more, but we'll see . . .
A final appeal. Please leave a review on Amazon.com for any and all of my books that you read! Honest reviews are the life blood of independent authors like myself. They're almost the only way to let prospective readers know about our work, and help them decide whether to try our books for themselves.
Thank you for reading my books (and reviewing them), and thereby supporting my wife and myself. We're both duly grateful!