Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What About Chronicles of Gensokai: Book 3?

So, I may have mentioned recently that I'm working away on the Victoria Marmot series. Indeed, I have just recently reached the tentative conclusion of the rough draft of books 1 - 3, and am about to dive head first into the rewrite (which will include adding a few chapters that are currently missing from draft one, as well as rearranging what's left after I cut away a few giant chunks). I'm thrilled with this progress, and really looking forward to the rewrite. At this rate I'm hopeful that I will make my initial goal of releasing all three books in October of 2018.

But you may be wondering why I'm not busy writing Book 3 from the Chronicles of Gensokai series instead.

First of all, if you are wondering that, THANK YOU! I'm really glad that you enjoyed Blade's Edge and Traitor's Hope enough that you care about Book 3! The fact that I've had a few readers ask about a 3rd book makes me very happy indeed.

To answer the question though, I must address a few things. First of all, I had never intended for Blade's Edge to become a series (oops). When I wrote the first draft (and even the second and third drafts) of the book, I thought it was a standalone novel. Sure, there were a few loose threads at the end, but I felt that the ending was satisfying enough to be conclusive and was ready to move on to a new story. Until, as I was wrapping up final edits and getting ready to publish Blade's Edge, I realized there was more of the story to tell. A seed began to germinate, and as more early readers of Blade's Edge asked for a sequel that seed was nourished and started to grow.

Which is how I wound up with Traitor's Hope, which I thought might be the final book. A duology. Not a series. Unless of course...

Yes, by the time I published Traitor's Hope, the same thing had happened and indeed there is a seed of a story for Book 3 in my head. One that I think will be well worth its own book (possibly more than one, we'll see how it goes). And yet, the seed I have is still small enough, and quiet enough, that it doesn't have momentum in my head. It pokes at me every now and again to remind that it is there, and to ask me certain questions, but it hasn't yet reared up and said YOU MUST WRITE ME NOW!!

To be fair, it probably will once I sit down and take a good look at what I've got for a story so far, and ask a few key questions of my characters, but I've been reluctant to return to Gensokai just yet because... well, it's a bit of a dark place, it's in need of a lot of work, and my small cast of characters seem hell bent on doing it all themselves, so... that's a lot of responsibility. So, I'm taking a metaphorical deep breath and relaxing a bit with a story that is a little more humorous and fly by the seat of your pants (although it still addresses some dark topics, I seem unable to avoid them).

So I'm knocking out the first three Victoria Marmot books this year, and when I've done that, I will either dive right into books 4-6 or I will go back to Gensokai, depending on where my head is. Chances are good though, that I will knock out more of the Victoria Marmot books so that, that series can gain momentum, something I've already messed up for the Chronicles of Gensokai, so I may as well get this next series right in terms of timing, and then go back to Mishi & Taka et al when I'm done.

But we shall see. Also, at this rate, I may have all the Victoria Marmot books done by the end of 2019 so we may not be looking at too long a hiatus on the Gensokai books anyway. After all, it took me almost 3 years to get from Blade's Edge to Traitor's Hope, so if book 3 comes out in late 2020 that would be par for the course.

 TL:DR you have time to catch up on Blade's Edge and Traitor's Hope before book 3 comes out, in case you haven't read them yet.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Congress, You're Fired

Every politician in the US has failed us, again.

Neil Gaiman retweeted this Op-Ed and said, with depressing accuracy, "It makes it look as if this is the best government the gun lobby could buy."

A number of people on Twitter have taken to quoting congresspeople who tweeted their "thoughts and prayers" for this latest tragedy with the $ amount of donations that particular congressperson has received from the NRA listed atop their "condolences." Many were in the multiple hundreds of thousands, some were in the millions.

The current white house and current congress are full of people who don't give a shit that over a dozen families took their children to school on Wednesday and then never saw them again. They don't care that people whose job it was to improve the lives of young people were shot because they went to work on a normal weekday.

The horror of these events shouldn't just wash over us. It shouldn't. That it can and does is so messed up that it's difficult to conceive.

But it's hard to dwell on these things for too long when this was the 18th such event since January 1st. If one is confronted with that much horror every two to three days, how can one possibly let the true depravity sink in. To do so would be profoundly unhealthy. And yet...

The correct response is not to simply "move on." It is not to say, "what can we do?" Or to call it an "unpreventable tragedy."

This headline today made me want to vomit:

Raises questions about whether Florida school massacre was preventable??


-------->>>>>>  STOP SELLING PEOPLE AR-15s!  <<<<<<----------


No one needs an AR-15 outside of a combat situation. Even gun loving, former military, hunting aficionados admit this. 
*There was another one from a former SEAL that I can't find again, but you get the gist.* 

Stop selling AR-15s to anyone but the military. 

This tragedy, like every other school shooting with an assault weapon, was entirely preventable.

And don't tell me that making AR-15s illegal isn't going to stop criminals from using them. That argument is just dumb. By that same reasoning we shouldn't outlaw murder, theft, or anything at all, because criminals will just ignore the law. Yes, criminals may ignore the law, but if it makes things more difficult for people who want to commit a mass shooting how can it be a bad thing? Meanwhile, every other country that has banned assault weapons has seen an end to mass shootings. 

And don't tell me that not ALL mass shootings are committed with AR-15s and therefore we shouldn't ban them. Enough of them are committed with AR-15s that banning AR-15s would clearly make a difference. People choose this weapon because it can kill a large number of people quickly. And if you want to insist that other weapons can too.... you know what? Ban them too. Seriously. I'm tired of it. You really don't need anything that spends rounds that quickly in your home. 

Next up, don't tell me not to politicize a tragedy. The survivors of this latest massacre are already begging the government to implement gun control. 

The families of the fallen are asking for it too. Stop pretending that there is some acceptable mourning period that must be observed before we can start asking congress to do ITS ONLY JOB and make sensible laws to protect US citizens from senseless violence. Just stop.

And stop pretending that you care about other humans, or basic human decency, if you think there's *nothing* that could have been done. 

Call your representatives ASAP and tell them that it's time for reasonable gun control. Tell them it's time for them to do their jobs. Remind them that elections are coming up and you are prepared to vote against them in order to find someone who is actually willing to do the job they were elected for. Tell them that #enoughisenough. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Traitor's Hope Awards Eligibility (aka Long Shot in the Dark)

Well folks, this is an odd thing, but if you follow a number of SFF authors' blogs you may notice that a few of them are posting reminders about which of their works are eligible for awards like the Hugos and others.

Certainly, a few of the authors whose works I enjoy make these posts every year, and I've always thought, Man, wouldn't it be cool if my books were eligible for the Hugos?

Funny thing. Turns out they are. Or, well, Traitor's Hope is, as it was published in 2017, is over 40k words, and is a work of fantasy. (Blade's Edge would have qualified in the year it was published if I'd had any idea that was a thing, but I didn't, so that ship has sailed.)

So, umm... consider this my official announcement. If you happen to be reading this, happened to enjoy Traitor's Hope, and happen to be eligible to nominate books for the Hugos, it qualifies for the category of Best Novel.

I realize, of course, that the chances of someone nominating it are slim, let alone it going any further than that, but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained.

So, here is Traitor's Hope: Chronicles of Gensokai Book II, for your consideration....


For centuries the Rōjū council silenced all who opposed them, spreading lies and killing innocents in order to maintain the status quo and ensure that female Kisōshi were little more than a long-forgotten myth. Now that Mishi and Taka have helped to depose the corrupt council, the land of Gensokai is reeling as it takes its first steps towards recovery. As the New Council attempts to corral the renegade allies of the defunct regime, Taka is asked to take charge of a frontline infirmary, putting her in the heart of the battle. To survive, she will have to rely on a person she cannot possibly trust.

Meanwhile, Mishi is asked to lure a vicious band of mountain raiders into the open--a mission that has proven fatal to all who have attempted it so far. Making matters worse, Mishi's mind keeps betraying her and she fears that her kisō and katana will betray her next. As the two friends fight to re-establish the peace in their homeland, the only question is where the next betrayal will come from, and if Mishi and Taka will have the strength to survive it.