Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Writing for 2016

It's been a real wild ride this last year. I managed to get three books published, which I suppose ain't half bad for a starter indy author trying to make a niche for himself. I've learned a heck of a lot since I started really practicing in 2013, and even more since I started publishing. I'm getting much better, and I plan to show that with what I'm producing this year.

I hope to complete and release four books this year. I've got two that are almost finished and need editing, and am starting on two more. The first three are more Primal Frontier stories. One features Ansgar in a  race against time to save a critically wounded man and to stop a rampaging Chasmosaurus, the next Ansgar trying to stop a territory war and to kill a shaman who can seemingly bend animals to his will, and the third featuring Ansgar heading to a mysterious island to hunt and kill a kaprosuchus, which will be one of his most daunting tasks yet. On the plus side, he gets a pet! Hooray!

I am mixing it up however, and am working also on my very first scifi! I call it The Verminauts. I'm a huge fan of Aliens and really enjoy stories or games where you have a small number of heavily armed men fighting swarms of cannon fodder bugs, so this is my homage to Colonial Marines fighting Xenomorphs, Paul Verhoven's Starship Troopers blasting bugs from Klendathu, or Imperial Space Marines fighting the Tyrannids. Also yes, I know Starship Troopers wasn't true to the book. I consider them to be different animals with their own advantages.

The Verminauts are a group of mercs who work in tandem with colonizing organizations and science divisions to clear entire planets from the invasive alien species commonly called the verminoids which hop from planet to planet and breed faster than rabbits on aphrodisiacs in a college dorm campus and wipe out almost all other life. It's up to around 500 men at a time to clear out either thousands to even billions of these nasty critters using anti-matter weapons, lasers, plasma flame-throwers, electric arc guns, anti-matter missiles, and other goodies. It'll be a bit slow at first as we get to see the ship, learn about the organization, squadmates and also some intellectual discussion on environmental impacts, invasive species and human interaction with planets. But the second half will be an exhausting gun-fest on an extinction level.

I'm also in the planning stages for another Horror Western, this time featuring a wendigo. I'm surprised there haven't been more of these. This one is actually based on a nightmare I had. It's pretty remarkable that I can remember it so vividly, since 99.99% of dreams I forget entirely! I'm still working on a plot, characters and other such things, so this one is a ways out.

For yet another project I've got a sister series to Primal Frontier; The Xenogenesis Chronicles! This is a steampunk I've been mentally slaving on for some time, but I think will be superb. It has a Firefly vibe, as Earth is screwed over by a huge cataclysm in the year 1900 and humanity has to survive on a new planet. Airships and strange technology abound as people fight over the technology remnants left over from a mysteriously vanished alien race that once inhabited the planet. Where did they go? What happened to them? And what new adventures will come from discovering more of their arcane tech?
We'll so far follow the crew of an airship named the Pariah, where we have a willful former air military soldier, a female Indiana Jones bent on collecting alien tech, a gun hand with a shady past, a good-natured genius engineer, a soft-toned wise hunter and a shy but energetic woman who loves radio shows and comics. There will of course be bizarre wildlife like fungus monsters and stuff like that. Things you'd expect from Johny Quest.

It'll be full of mad scientists, weird science, bizarre inventions, lots of action, more character focus than PF although it will have similar installments in novellas. However it will also face some very interesting subjects, such as how humanity adapts culturally and religiously to an environment where literally everything their past is based off of is now gone. How will religions cope? How will people adapt to such drastic changes? What sort of new religions show up? How do people find a cultural identity when they might be the last of their race? There will also be a focus on Old vs New in terms of perspective. How much of the past should we hold on to, and what should we let go? There will be lots of intellectual debates in this series, so if you want some smartness with your action, then you'll love this.

I'm still in the planning stages, but overall have most of it figured out. I still have to come up with a plot for the first story that will help everyone get the gist of the situation while delivering on characters and getting the awesomeness of the setting across. This one is still a good ways out, but I think it'll be one of my better works.

I've also managed to contact an artist I've been following for some time and have begun to secure a commission for at least one new book cover. Hooray! His stuff is fantastic and I can't wait to throw my money at him. If I can make some more money this year I'll try to commission more, since I don't want to go with junky default covers or recycle ones I already have.

As an aside my production might fluctuate this year due to other factors. I have only one person who helps me with editing and beta reading to get a fresh perspective, but unfortunately her family is experiencing some extreme difficulties, so I'll have to rely mostly on my own biased perspective during editing. I also plan to move to a new state in August, so my already confused work schedule is going to go into cardiac arrest. Hopefully I can secure a decent job and housing. If I manage to acquire another part time job I can most likely keep up the writing at a solid pace. But if I end up working eight hour shifts, there's no telling how bad that will slow me up.
Either way I'll keep working at these. I aim to be darned prolific during this life of mine, and I wanna keep the future generations entertained! :)

Please keep up the support that ya'll have been giving. The more people that know about my stuff and share with their friends, the closer I can be to eating more than Ramen! :)

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