Power’s Shadow Lives!

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone had forgotten this was coming. It certainly took me long enough. There were reasons–or excuses–but the rewrite is finally done and Power’s Shadow (The Laws of Power Book 3) is now live for the Kindle and Nook/epub. As promised, I’m keeping the price at 0.99 for the first few days since I don’t want to gouge anyone who was following the serial and wants to know how it turned out. It’s Monday the 31st as I post this, and the low price will be good through Wednesday.  After that, it will go up to be comparable with the others in the series.

“Marta, Black Kath’s daughter, is a witch on a mission. Unless she learns the secrets of the Seven Laws of Power, she will remain in bondage to the cruel divinity called Amaet for all eternity. Yet now someone else also seeks the Laws of Power, someone who believes that Marta is the key to finding them, and will stop at nothing to claim them for herself. Marta’s only chance of success—and staying alive–depends on a thief, an emphatically unreformed pirate, and a sword-maiden with a bad attitude. Frankly, the odds are not good. Marta knows that. It’s what she doesn’t know that just might save her.”

Power’s Shadow is the third  book in the series. Books 1 & 2 are The Long Look (The Laws of Power Book 1) and Black Kath’s Daughter (The Laws of Power Book 2). Some people who have read the first two wonder how The Long Look fits into the series. Power’s Shadow, I believe, will answer that question for good and all  (I’m looking at you, Sean).

No Award

WRITING 02

First, let me get one thing out of the way up front–no one does or should care what I think about the Hugo Awards, m’kay? Any interest I have in the subject has more to do with my awareness of the history and traditions of science fiction as a genre than anything that connects to me personally. I’ve attended exactly one Worldcon, and that was San Antonio in 1997. I haven’t been to a convention of any sort since World Fantasy Con in Austin, 2006. I’ve enjoyed most of the ones I’ve attended, but time and the expense of traveling have kept me from being a regular at such things. All by way of saying that I have readers—and bless you all—but no profile or presence in sf fandom to speak of. This is not a complaint; it’s just the reality of the situation, so when I say that I have no emotional investment in who does or doesn’t win a Hugo, it’s mostly true. Yes, when a friend of mine is up for one, then of course I want them to win. Simple human nature, that. None of which stops me from having an opinion, just that no one should care about the fact that I do even if I feel compelled to share it. You have been warned.

This year, a group with a political agenda attempted to game the system, with block voting for a slate of “approved” works. If you don’t already know about this and you’re curious, just do a web search on “Hugo Awards” plus “2015” and “controversy”  and you’ll find out probably more than you ever wanted to know. I’m certainly not going into it here. It’s not the first time someone tried to game the system. It’s most likely not going to be the last. For whatever it’s worth, I’m glad the attempt failed, partly because it was extremely wrong-headed, but also because I want any such attempt to fail, no matter who is doing it or why. I’m just idealistic enough to consider that important. Continue reading

The War God’s Son — Audible.com Update

WarGod-600More promotion, sorry, but it happens when books are about to manifest. In this case it’s the Audible.com edition of The War God’s Son, again narrated by the inestimable Brian Nishii, is now available for pre-order. You don’t even have to read it, as Brian is doing that for you. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

The War God’s Son – Update

WarGod-600The official publication date is set for October 13th, just a couple months away. Here’s a link to the Prime Books web page for the book, including a description and an excerpt from the book and list of places where it can be pre-ordered. The Audible.com edition should be out at the same time, or close enough for jazz.

As the writer, I remember mostly how much work it was to get it done the way I wanted it done, the way I believed–and now I know I was right–it should have been done. As a reader, I think it’s a lot of fun, and we get much deeper into Yamada’s story. I can’t wait for it to come out.

Hapless Penpusher and the Green-Eyed Monster

FairyGreenHairIt’ll happen. Doesn’t matter how centered and zen you think you are, or how much you pride yourself on keeping everything about the work and not your ego. Doesn’t matter how proud you are of your accomplishments, or how much time and energy you’ve given to your work. Also doesn’t matter how good you know you are, deep down. Sooner or later, it will happen. Some writer you’ve barely heard of will win a major award in the field and the “best thing I’ve ever written” didn’t even get nominated. The “buzz” will be about someone else. Someone you perceive to be not even at your level will get a movie or TV option, a foreign sale, an interview, a starred review, or whatever, and there it is. Maybe it’s there just for a second, maybe for days, but it’ll be there. “It” being, and say it with me now–jealousy.

Congratulations or condolences, depending on your point of view—you’re human.

So what now? Sulking over the reminder yet again that “life isn’t fair”? Suit yourself, but you do realize that’s a waste of an epic sulk. Would you sulk at the idea that rain is wet? Makes just about as much sense, and is at least as useless.

If you think this is going to be a pep talk about channeling that negative emotion into something positive, nah. There are entire books for that, so go find one if you think you need it. Likely you’ll find motivation to work even harder, to channel your negative feelings into art. To completely miss the point. Jealousy is about your perceived relationship with other writers in your chosen field. If you’re reacting to that, then you’ve made it into a competition. Once that happens you’ll think you’ve transcended your jealousy when all you’ve really done is put it in charge. Jealousy is calling the shots now, informing both your development and outlook. It’s not gone, it’s just gotten so big and ubiquitous that you can’t even see it. If you get to that point, then there will always be someone doing a little better, someone getting a little more attention, and however well you’re doing or whatever wonderful things are happening for you, it’ll never be enough.

So I’m not that big a believer in self-help. I believe in self-awareness. Jealousy is natural. Envy is natural. You’re going to feel those emotions at some point, however mildly or intensely. What matters is what you do about it. For what it’s worth, I’ve only found one thing that always works—you look straight into the eyes of that green-eyed monster, and understand who is looking back at you. Here’s a hint—it’s not someone else. So it’s not really about them, is it? Someone else getting nominated for an award didn’t take that honor from you. Someone having more readers than you do isn’t taking readers away from you. Stare the monster down, and it goes away. For a while. It’ll be back, and so what? There’s nothing it can do to you, unless you let it. Until then, just keep doing your work the best way you know how. Learn from others when you can, but then make what you learn your own. Because, at least where your own work is concerned, it really is all about you.

Jealousy has no place there.