Friday, July 20, 2012

Because its Fans that Keep Me Writing

In case you haven’t heard…it’s hot.

My office is upstairs where all the heat goes, so traditionally I take the summer months off from writing. I still work—if you can call anything I do these days work besides cleaning the house or getting the car inspected. But I don’t write, I scribble ideas, outlines, and research in my notebooks at coffee shops, libraries, bookstores, and while bicycling. This year however my wife bought me a fan. Not just any fan, a Dyson bladeless thingy with a hoop like a cross-section slice of a small rocket engine set on a white cylinder that looks like it ought to be able to grind coffee. As crazy as it is, it works and has managed to keep me at the keyboard.

Due to requests from various online forums I’ve kicked out a few short stories—not my forte, but I have a hard time saying no. I’ve also been working on novels. I’ve finished three since finishing work on Percepliquis, and am presently deep into my fourth. If you’re a fan, (especially if you’re the bladed sort) don’t go crazy. Just because I write a book doesn’t mean I’ll publish it. I don’t want to sell crap anymore than you want to buy it, and at least one of those books isn’t ready, and might never be. However, two of the books are definite keepers.

I should warn you that I don’t intend to remain a strictly invented-world fantasy author anymore than I intend to eat only chicken for the remainder of my life. I think the quickest way to ruin a career, is to lose interest in it. Doing the same thing repeatedly can have that effect. So while I love all of you who have appreciated my novels and asked for more, I’ve promised myself never to write for money, (as long as I can help it) which means I won’t seek to please anyone but myself.  I think any other path leads to the dark side.

I need to stay challenged to keep things fresh and fun, so don’t be surprised if the next work you see is science fiction, a thriller, or mystery, or if the style of writing is a little different. I might use more profanity if I feel the story calls for it, and they might not always have happy endings—but hopefully always satisfying ones. That’s not to say I am giving up on IWF (invented-world fantasy) or even Riyria. Some of the novels I’ve already finished are IWF and I have plans for more, but I will be taking a break now and again to play in other sandboxes. Hopefully some of you will join me, and the rest will not be too irritated while they wait.

Having said all that, this last weekend, Orbit and I reached an agreement so they will be publishing me again, which is why I’m not telling you any details, not even the titles of the books I’ve completed, as I am certain Orbit will want to make the announcement.

So for those of you wondering if I’ve been drifting on an inflatable raft in a topical lagoon trying not to spill my umbrella drink for the last year—fear not, for I have a bladeless fan…hopefully I still have a few  breathing ones too.


  1. Just wondering, would you argue that you're a IWF writer FIRST, or does your pen belong to another genre?
    Also, what genre did you dabble in when your first started writing?

    1. I did start writing IWF first, at the age of around 13, when that was what I first enjoyed reading. As I grew older I discovered other genres and literary fiction and so wrote those as well. I've written horror, science fiction, coming of age, literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, post apocalyptic, trans-world and urban fantasy. I can't say that I have ever written romance or erotica though.

  2. Haha! I've always wanted to get one of those to see if they actually work, but always had other things to spend money on instead. It's awesome that you've been writing even with the heat! I can sympathize with you as living in the south part of Texas is miserable without A/C or fans (we have both going constantly in our house).

    I'm looking forward to the big announcement from Orbit! Know that whatever genre you decide to delve into you'll always have life long fans with us(still breathing ones at that!).

  3. Seconding Jollin because Texas is disgusting right now, and will only get worse as we go into August. Here if you talk about taking our A/C away we hiss at you and claw out your eyes. We have ceiling and box fans in every room, even with the A/C.

    Do you find it most comfortable to write in series-format, or stand-alone novels? I know that can sort of vary from book to book, but have you found one style to be easier than the other?

    1. I have a tendency to write big. A standalone book takes just as much work-up in regards to research and world-building, so it seems a waste to just do one novel. I also feel that readers get to know characters not by description, but by experiencing events with them. So after one novel, the reader is just getting to know the characters, and it feels a waste to stop there. On the other hand I don't really believe in writing sequels (making up a new story after the other is done with no previous plan to do so.) A series for me is one big story that I plot out ahead of time. Undertaking that sort of project is a bit overwhelming and scary, like deciding one day you will devote the next ten years of your life to building a new country all by yourself.

    2. Ha ha ha, nice pun. What I find makes it hard to write in summer are the kids off from school. They want their daddy and I hate to disappoint.