If This is a Race, My Lead is Dwindling

WRITING 02Odds and ends and a few points of information that may or may not be of interest. First of all, I’ve been doing pretty well keeping ahead of the posts on Power’s Shadow, but Real Life (tm, pat. pending) has intervened and there is now what is technically known as a snag. (colloquial, (n)– An obstacle or impediment). Circumstances have persuaded me that it would be to my advantage to acquire a certain technical certification in my (other) chosen field. I won’t bore you with the details, but the reality is that I need time to study, and when I’m studying, I’m not writing. I will continue to put up installments of Power’s Shadow as long as that’s possible, but there may be a hiatus if I can’t keep up. If there is a disruption, I’ll try to keep it as short as possible, but the possibility exists, and so–fair warning. Continue reading

Updates–Because Things Happen

YMBreaktheGate_5.5 x 8.5_V01

You’re looking at what is probably the final cover for the Prime Books edition of  Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate, barring any last minute tweaks. The original–and still official–publication date is December 3rd, but there’s a chance that will be moved up to mid- November. I’ll let everyone know once I know. I still have some hope that the PS limited edition will be out before then, but right now it’s anybody’s guess.  The third Yamada book, The War God’s Son is scheduled for mid 2015. I expect at least one more Yamada novel after that, though of course to some degree that depends on the next two.

Power’s Shadow continues to progress. I crossed the 40k threshold last week, so it’s officially a novel by SFWA standards. The story should wrap up at 60-65k words, maybe 70k at the outside. As of now I have no plans to discontinue the serial, so as long as I can stay ahead on the installments, I’ll keep posting them until the book is done. If I finish ahead of the installments, though, I’ll likely put the ebook edition out rather than waiting to catch up. That’s just theoretical, and probably far too optimistic. As with life itself, we’ll see what happens next.

Yamada Monogatari: Demon Hunter – Audible Update

Step4-YamadaAudible.com has already cast the voice actor who is going to be doing the narration for Demon Hunter, and possibly To Break the Demon Gate as well. I don’t think I can mention his name just yet, but he’s bilingual and was born in Tokyo, so I doubt they could have found anyone more qualified. Normally in a case like this we’d be in contact for any questions the voice actor might have, but I rather imagine he won’t need the pronounciation guide. More likely he’ll be able to point out anything I got wrong, so we’ll see how it goes. I think it’s going to turn out great, and I can’t wait to hear it. Once I get a firm release date I’ll be sure to post that. Post? Heh. I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops.

Yamada_BTG_cover-V06b-PrimeYamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate has its own page now at Prime Books, with a listing of places where you can pre-order. Early ordering does as much good for a book as anything–it nudges suppliers into ordering more copies and helps get the word out, so if you’re going to get the book anyway (and why wouldn’t you?), it couldn’t be much easier. Besides, most sources will have it for less than list.

One last note: Prime has also listed Yamada Monogatari: The War God’s Son in their official schedule for October 2015. Once we have the cover art set I’ll put it up here, so stay tuned.

Note: Edited to fix some obvious typos and incorrect usage. As the old saying goes, “I always know better. I just don’t always do better.”

TCB, No Flash

WRITING 02Last week I signed the official contracts for the first American edition of Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate. The title will be shorter in the UK limited edition, since for them it’s a single book, but to Prime it’s the second book in a series. Assuming the stars align and nothing blows up, I should see the contracts for the third book—Yamada Monogatari: The War God’s Son sometime next month. I say “should” advisedly, because nothing IS signed yet and the stars might not align and something may very well blow up. I will point out here that I am not being pessimistic at all, merely realistic. Books may be imagination and dreams given corporeal form (and is that a neat trick or what?) but publishing is a business, and when it comes to business, being realistic is the order of the day.

I could be wrong, and often am—but I think it was Mike Resnick who first said “Writing is art until the piece is finished. Then it’s a business.” Selling a piece—short story, poem, novel, whatever—is just the first step in that business. It’s a tricky first step for a lot of people, which in part explains why so many go to self-publishing from the start. That works for some people, and there’s no denying it. Good for them. For most, however, it just means that it’s not the editors who are rejecting them now, but rather the readers who get to do it later. I can’t imagine that delayed anguish feels any better than the more immediate sort. And it lasts longer. Regardless, for the traditional route, it’s the initial acceptance that brings the stardust and trumpets. Contract time, on the other paw, is proper and necessary but one thing it isn’t is exciting. It almost feels like homework, or doing taxes. Read each clause, be sure you understand it. You do that whether or not you have an agent, because no one—no one—is looking out for you the same way you yourself are, or darn well better be. It’s your career, if you want to have one.

Important, yes, even crucial, but anti-climactic too. I always feel just a little bit depressed after I sign a contract. Maybe it’s the feeling that “It all comes down to this?” That feeling starts to pass by the time the check arrives. But when I see my book in my hands? That’s the excitement part again, and then the book is off to the readers for final judgment. And what it’s really all about.

Wait For It…

SleepingBuddhaI love to wait…said no one, ever. And yet it is one of those times. PS Publishing has an artist lined up for the cover of To Break the Demon Gate, but even preliminary sketches take time and I won’t have any idea what the cover is going to look like until much later in the process. I’ve got contracts and royalty payments hanging fire, but again nothing is ready now and won’t be for weeks, likely. I’ll send out the manuscript for The War God’s Son probably later this month, and there’s another long wait in the making.

Everyone has to “wait for it” at one time or another, in cases where it can’t be avoided, like the DMV or the dentist’s office. Relatively brief times, but they seem longer because there’s nothing else to do but anticipate the joy to come. But for what I call the real waiting, on matters that may take weeks, or months, even years? I sometimes think writers do more than their share. We’re always waiting, if we allow it.

Whaddya mean, “if we allow it”? It isn’t up to us! Oh, but it is. The key to bearing up to all the waiting, of course, is that you’re not waiting. Or to be more accurate, you’re not just waiting. There are things to do, stories to write, books to read, guitars to play, tires to patch and gutters to muck out. You don’t keep yourself busy as a distraction, you keep yourself busy because you’re alive and you’ve got better things to do than wait. Then one day a check and/or contract arrives in the mail, an email arrives with a decision made for good or ill, or maybe a preliminary/final cover jpeg arrives, and you go “What? Already?”

Or you can simply “wait for it” and focus on what isn’t happening and stew away your stomach lining and your last good nerve all the while, and waste one hell of a lot of precious, non-retrievable time in the process. That’s always an option. Not a good idea, but an option.

No one likes to wait. The trick, if there is one, is to simply refuse to do it.