As the Old Year Comes to Its End…We Skip Ahead

Don’t panic. I’m not going to list New Year’s Resolution angst or get all nostalgic and maudlin about 2011. The year was…interesting. Not great, not terrible, just interesting. I got some work done, tried some new things, and in so doing realized I’d actually broken last year’s New Year’s Resolution, which is and was the only resolution I ever make–to keep doing what I’m doing as long as I can. All that means is staying in the game. I know very talented writers who have packed it in, and I resolve not to be one of them. Writing-wise, I kept on track, but technically my flirtation with DIY publishing violates the “keep doing what I’ve been doing” part of the resolution. So I’ll make the same resolution this year, with the understanding that “keep doing what I’m doing” has new components, and I always hope that “getting better” is in that process somewhere.

Enough about that. The “skipping ahead” part comes now. To 2013, to be more exact. Sean Wallace at Prime Books and I had agreed to do the first ever Lord Yamada story collection, and 2013 is the year. I don’t even have a title yet, but the bulk of the Table of Contents looks like this:

  • “Fox Tails”                                                      9100
  • “Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge”                   13800
  • “A Touch of Hell”                                          9500
  • “Hot Water”                                                    6000
  • “The River of Three Crossings”                      6500
  • “The Bride Doll”                                             8100
  • “The Mansion of Bones”                                7100
  • “Lady of the Ghost Willow”                          8700
  • “Sanji’s Demon”                                              11,300
  • “The Ghost of Shinoda Forest”                        6,000
  • “The Tiger’s Turn”                                            8,900
  • “The Sorrow of Rain”                                        3,700

That number to the right is the word count. Just over half of the Yamada stories are novelettes, so 12 stories adds up to over 98000 words, a pretty respectible size. “The Bride Doll” was sold to an anthology that has yet to appear, and will probably wind up being published first in the collection. “The Sorrow of Rain” was the last story in the sequence and I was going to try it on Realms of Fantasy, but since that’s no longer an option I’ll note it here if it appears anywhere else beforehand. There will be at least one story original to the volume and available nowhere else. I’ll post more here once plans and schedule are more solid.

The quick evolution of the character should be really evident when the stories are read in sequence. “Fox Tails” was the very first, and I’d pictured Yamada as a sort of Heian Noire private eye, which wasn’t completely wrong, but when he reappears in “Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge” it’s clear that he’s going in his own direction. After that I just went along, which I think was the right choice.

The Yamada novel will also probably appear in 2013, that’s To Break the Demon Gate, and that will be from PS Publishing, so 2013 might be a pretty busy year. 2012? I have no idea what’s shaking there. I guess we’ll find out as it happens.

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