Today’s Story Time is from Dragon Magazine #209, September 1994, back when Barbara Young was fiction editor and before TSR was bought out by (ugh) Wizards of the Coast. The story itself was the first in the “Laws of Power” universe that eventually led to the novel series.
Treedle was first. The character, like Golden Bell from “Golden Bell, Seven, and the Marquis of Zeng,” was from a dream. He and Black Kath appeared, along with elements that eventually came together into the very first scene. It was all about Treedle in the beginning, but it was only when Marta showed up that the story came together and I knew it was a series. Treedle’s part was done once the first few stories became part of Black Kath’s Daughter, which, oddly enough is the second book in the series, not the first, because later I figured out that The Long Look was really the first book in the series, and Tymon the Black was in the same universe (yeah, I know. Sometimes I’m a little slow that way). “What Power Holds” remains the actual first story written in that universe.
Confused? Me too. I just go with it, and things usually work out. My subconscious is way smarter than I am.
Standard Note: “What Power Holds” will stay up until next Wednesday, April 4th. And then, not.
If you write long enough, one thing you eventually learn is that actual writing is only part of the picture. A big part of the rest is keeping up with what you’ve written, and the longer you spend in the trenches, the more of a pain keeping everything organized becomes. There are different approaches. The system I use is adapted from one L. Sprague de Camp wrote about using, and if anyone reading this has forgotten or never knew who he was, Google is your friend. Regardless, with some updating it works well enough for me. I keep five separate text files: a Works List, a Submissions List, a Sold List, a Bibliography and a Trunk List.
These are all pretty self-explanatory but I’m going to explain them anyway, if for no other reason than to remind myself how it all is supposed to work, because sometimes I am lax. Ahem. Continue reading
Spent all day up to a few minutes ago doing taxes. I had been putting it off, mostly because I knew I’d lose a writing day just to get everything together (moving, buying a house tends to complicate things, and they’re complicated in the best of times). So now I’m tired and cranky, which is the perfect time to do a blog post. Heck, I’m almost cranky enough to start on politics. Almost, I said. I’m not a complete idiot. Most of the time, anyway.
Despite the curtain state of crankitude, I’m pleased with my progress on the book, and rapidly approaching the halfway point. Some things resolved, a lot more that has yet to be. Looking forward to a final scene that should be killer and I can’t wait to write it, but I have to write the rest of the book to lay the proper groundwork for it, otherwise it won’t work. I call it motivation. Other people just call it, “Seat in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. Now Work!”
Just around the time the book should be done I have an Asian-themed story due for an anthology. It won’t be a Yamada story. Time to do something else, and specifically, time to write some short fiction again. I’m thrilled to be able to do novels, sure, but I love and miss the short form as well, of which I’ve been able to do practically none in too long a time, first with the Laws of Power book, and then the Yamada taking all the writing time I’ve had. I have one more book to write in the Laws of Power series and that’ll be done. Yamada? Well, we’ll see.
I 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).
I received an actual fan email last week, which is a pretty rare occurrence (You thought we led lives of constant or even regular adulation? Yeah, I know. No one thinks that. Or at least not for long). This was on Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate, and came from a nice lady who teaches Japanese, has a grounding in the history and knows the culture, so I was doubly gratified, but even that lovely ego boost had to take second place to the compliment First Reader (Carol) paid me when she finished the first pass edit of Power’s Shadow:
This is a complete paraphrase, just so you know. My memory’s accuracy is not 100 % guaranteed. But this is the gist:
She: (Looking up from the last page of the manuscript) You know, you’re really evil sometimes.
Me: I’ll take that as a compliment.
She: That’s how I meant it.
That was rather the reaction I was hoping for, so from that standpoint, I think Power’s Shadow (#3 in the Laws of Power series) is a success. I’ve started on the rewrite, so it shouldn’t be too much longer before it’s finally available. I do know it’s taken a while. We have, as I’ve already mentioned, been sprucing up our house to put it on the market, so neither of us has had much time to do much of anything except paint and pack up for the last two months. We can finally see some daylight, and once I’ve got the rewrite finished I’ll turn it into a Kindle and Nook ebook soonest. And then I can finally get back to Yamada Monogatari: The Emperor in Shadow, which is honestly and truly begun, but nowhere near being finished. One thing at a time.