Today’s Story Time is “The White Bone Fan,” Originally published in Japanese Dreams: Fantasies, Fictions,& Fairytales, Lethe Press, 2009. The story is a stand-alone excerpt from what eventually became the novel All the Gates of Hell published in 2013. This is the kind of thing I was working on when I was also working on the Yamada series. One sort of fed into the other, and vice versa.
As always, “The White Bone Fan” will remain online only until Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018. Next year.
I’ve been dropping annoyingly vague hints here and there, but now it’s all out in the open—I’ve apparently started a new fantasy series. I didn’t really plan to do it and I certainly didn’t think I was ready, but then I’m not always in charge. I know writers who strongly disagree with that perspective. “I’m in charge and my characters do what I say.” And that’s often true even with me, as in sometimes I am and sometimes they do. But for me it usually works out better when the characters do what they want and I just follow closely and mark it all down, then cut out the bit where they stared at the horizon for an hour just for the hell of it and add the bit where one of them tripped and fell into the icy stream. Just for the hell of it. Or maybe because they deserved it…ahem. Where was I?
Right, the new series. The first one, “In Memory of Jianhong, Snake-Devil” is now up in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #226. I’ve already written and sold the second one and started blocking scenes for the third. As I said, after Yamada I wanted to do some stand-alone stories, since some of my favorites of my own work have been books or stories with no befores or afters, except what was implied in the story itself. I once attempted a few befores and afters in the case of Jin from All the Gates of Hell, because I liked the character so much, but none of them worked out. She was done, and thus so was I.
Pan Bao and Jing were different. I’ve had them in my head for a while, wondering what they were about. I first had him pictured as a bumbling Taoist priest kept successful (and alive) by his far more competent daughter, and there are still echoes of that, but the man himself turned out to be quite different. Then Mei Li showed up, and well, that was that. So it’s a series. I hope you like it. If you don’t I’ll write it anyway.
They have arrived. The signing sheets forthe PS Publishing edition of To Break the DemonGate, that is. There will actually be two PS editions: a 100 copy signed edition, and an unsigned edition of maybe 3-5 hundred. I will have to sign more than 100 copies of the sheet, of course. They always allow a little for spoilage and the fact that people can get really sloppy with their signatures. They’ll pick the 100 best ones and use those for the books. So if you get one and are shocked by my horrible handwriting, just consider–this is the best I could do.
To acknowledge this festive (for me, anyway) occasion, I’ve decided to put a few of my Kindle(r) books on sale. For the time being, All The Gates of Hell, The Heavenly Fox, and The Ghost War are now at $0.99, down from $2.99 and $3.99. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep them there. Probably not long–I feel so cheap when I do this, so if you’re going to take advantage of me, now’s the time.
Edited to add: And I’ve thrown in a few more, what the heck. You can see which ones by going to the Kindle List.
Time for a blog post in which a lot is going on but almost nothing is, you know, actually happening. First Reader still has the manuscript for The War God’s Son and probably will for another week or two. Once she’s done I’ll be ready to look at the book again and possibly get the submission draft together. I would really like to get that done before the end of November, though realistically even if I do, that’s very close to the time that publishing shuts down for December, so it’s unlikely I’ll get a decision on the book until January at the earliest. The only reason I think it may be that soon is that the publisher knows the book’s on its way and might be able to expedite things. We’ll see.
Since it turns out my brain is still too fried from TWGS to write anything else for a bit, I’ve used the time to try and get the print version files of All the Gates of Hell ready instead, though I’ve hit a couple of snags with the formatting. That is, the template I’ve used twice before with no issues is now getting reported with errors that I don’t believe are errors. Computers are great, except when they aren’t. I’ll get it sorted out and put up a notice when the physical book is available, since I know not everyone is a big fan of ebooks. I am, but I also acknowledge that there’s just something special about a “real” book, and I don’t think they’re going away anytime soon, if ever. Provided the coming apocalypse leaves us with at least a Gutenberg-era level of technology. If we’re back to the stone age, all bets are off.
P.S. Yes, I know I misspelled “lama” in my last post. Or rather used the homonym rather than the proper word. Or was confusing the Dalai Lama with Wally Llama. My mind works that way sometimes.
After finishing the first draft of The War God’s Son I’ve been clearing the decks a bit and wanted to get a personal project that’s been hanging fire for a while done and out before I need to plunge back into 1062AD Japan, because once I’m there I won’t be much good for anything else until the rewrite is done.
I also plan to do a print edition, but that takes more time than I have right now so it will have to wait a bit. I hope I can get to that before the end of the year. We’ll see. As for the book itself, I rather think of it as a paranormal anti-romance. That’s not a real category, but maybe it should be:
“Legal Assistant Jin Lee Hannigan thought she had problems enough as a single woman in rundown Medias, Mississippi. That was before Jin meets a homeless man on Pepper Street who just happens to be the King of Hell, and learns that she’s really the mortal incarnation of Guan Shi Yin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, charged with the rescue of unfortunates trapped in the various — and nasty — hells scattered around the cosmos. That doesn’t even turn out to be her biggest problem. It seems that the Goddess of Mercy is on the run and in hiding, which is why she incarnated as a mortal human in the first place. Hiding from what?
But why would anyone fear love? Jin already knows that love is powerful, but what she has to learn, and fast, is that the wrong kind of love is also potentially the most destructive force in all the universe and–even more important–how to stop it.”