Over the last year or so, readers have asked me if I'm going to finish the Age of Steam steampunk series. As it stands now, there are three novels and one short story in the series, um...in this order: 1.DEAD IRON 1.5. HANG FIRE (short story, Kindle only at this point) 2. TIN SWIFT 3. COLD COPPER If you've read these novels, you know there is an almost-guaranteed plot for 7 books, what with all the bits of that pesky world-destroying device our heroes need to find. At the end of Cold Copper, things really take a turn toward the interesting. There is certainly more story to tell. So where is book #4? When I pitched DEAD IRON, I was contracted for two books, releasing on a once-a-year schedule. At that time, I was also writing two-books-a-year in the Allie Beckstrom series. The Age of Steam books take a bit of research, and I prefer a little slower writing pace when I'm putting them together. Nonetheless, I happily wrote these books in between the Allie books with a love and passion that I hope shows on the page. These characters are important to me. Fun to be around. Ornery. I love them like the dickens. But by the time we were negotiating the single-book contract for book #3, the market for steampunk had shifted fairly drastically, and sales were not climbing. My editor and publisher still believed in the series, and so did I, so we found a way to get Cold Copper into the hands of readers. My publisher didn't cancel the series. As a matter of fact, they have dibs on seeing the next book in the series when I write it. That's right: when. There are four more books in this series. I plan to write them. Some of you have gone out of your way to tell me how much you've enjoyed the trouble Cedar, Mae, Hink, Rose, Wil and those wily Madder brothers get themselves into. I can't tell you how much those comments have meant to me. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have the best readers in the world! The "how" of writing another steampunk book is another question. Right now, I'm writing book #3 in the House Immortal series--a new trilogy with books coming out this September, next March, then September again. I am also finishing off proofs for book #1, and have revisions for book #2 right around the corner. Then there will be revisions for book #3, copy edits for books #2 & #3, more proofs, etc., etc.. So this year is out for writing another book. My hope (and at this point, it's a hope not a promise) is that I can write the next steampunk in 2015. Where it will be published, how it will be published, and when it will be published is very much up in the air. But I will keep all of you in the loop as the adventure unfolds.
Here's how 2013 shook out for me:
WritingBooks written: 3 -- Hell Bent, Stone Cold, House Immortal Short stories written: 2 -- Life Between Dreams, The Lost The Found Books revised: 2 -- Hell Bent, Stone Cold Books copy edited: 3 -- Cold Copper, Hell Bent, Stone Cold Books proofed: 5 --Dead Iron (mmpb release), Cold Copper, Hell Bent, Tin Swift (mmpb release), Stone Cold Other books worked on: 2 I also tried my first self epublishing and released a Kindle edition of my short story, HANG FIRE, which takes place between Dead Iron and Tin Swift in the Age of Steam series. I hope to put it out in more formats soon. Oh! And my short story collection, A Cup of Normal is now available in eformat! Covers of the books I worked on this year. Because: pretty! Short stories I worked on: This wasn't exactly how I expected my year to unfold, and while I wish I would have fit a few other projects in that schedule, I know I was doing the best I could at the time. Speaking of time, I took 33 days off last year. If you work a normal 5 day a week job, you average about 104 days off in a year. To put this another way, I got a day (or days) off in every month except January, August, September, October. The fallout of having no days off for a three month run near the end of a busy year (Aug-Sept-Oct.) was tricky. By the time November was over (I only took 2 days off in November--Thanksgiving & the day after) I was pretty worn out, writing-wise. Luckily, December's work was a couple of sets of proofs, a revision letter to muddle over/brainstorm through, a short story to write, and a newsletter to design/launch. I did all that and took 8 days off in December over the holidays. Whew!
Newsletters and KnittingI launched my first newsletter in December, and intend to make it a quarterly thing. Thank you everyone who signed up for it! If you'd like to sign up, you can click on the link there in the sidebar of my blog. The newsletter will have excerpts, free stories, knitting patterns, news and more. As for this year's knitting, I think this was the year of the silly hats. I'll let these pictures tell the tale. Cloud light pull (not a hat!) Knight hat for nephew Plants vs. Zombies hat for me Patchwork wizard's hat for son Viking hat for nephew I also knit a pretty slouch hat for a gift, but didn't get a picture of that one before I sent it. This is a pretty long post, so I think I'd better wrap it up. Next post, I'll gaze into the future of 2014 and share news on that new book series I have coming out!
Upcoming Signing:Diana Pharaoh Francis and I will be signing books and hanging out to chat on Saturday, August 24th at 4:00 pm at Escape Fiction in Salem, Oregon. I'll post more about the signing next week, and I might even have some advanced copies of HELL BENT to give away. *hint hint*
Question for you, Dear Reader:With HELL BENT out in a few months, I thought it'd be fun to do a little extra free content for it. If I can carve out some time, would you prefer: A. Short stories or flash fiction from Shame or other characters set before HELL BENT? The book takes place 3 years after the end of the Allie Beckstrom series, so there is some room in there for Things To Have Happened. B. Scenes from HELL BENT told from Terric's point of view. These, of course, wouldn't be posted until after the book comes out for spoiler reasons. C. An on-going Twitter and/or Facebook/Tumblr conversation (mini story) between Shame and Terric, and other guest characters. D. Other thing you think would be awesome. (Please explain in comments.) E. Nothing! Get back to writing more books, Monk! Any and all comments are welcome! 🙂
I'm not sure why, but there is something about the end of July that always makes me think about my goals, and the steps toward achieving them. Maybe it's the knowledge that there is only one month of summer left, one month before the season slowly drifts toward shorter autumn days and longer winter nights. A sense that time is, if not exactly running out, passing by. So I've stuck a note on my monitor listing the current deadlines for the three books I'm working on in various stages, and I've made myself a deal about posting here on the blog three times a week, Monday-Wednesday-Friday. We'll see how long I can keep that streak going. 😉 To that end, if you have a question for me, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll do my best to answer it. But for today, here's a quick recap of Writing Stuff. HELL BENT - I just turned in page proofs, or what some people call galley proofs. That is the very last I will see/can fiddle with this book before it hits the shelves in November. Yay! I am currently writing the first book of a new urban fantasy series. I haven't said much about this book, but I will post about it very soon now. STONE COLD, book #2 in the Broken Magic series (book #1 is HELL BENT). I have a month to make my way through the editorial revisions for the book, so that's going to be August's main project. COLD COPPER - is still out and available in stores and online. I've received some very nice reviews on the book. Thank you reviewers, and thank you readers! Oh...and did I mention that I've seen the draft of STONE COLD's cover already? Good stuff, people! I will share when I get the okay to do so.
Sorry for the blog silence the last couple weeks. It's been busy around the old Monkstead. As is our custom, we threw a big family/friend 4th of July barbecue, fireworks, and birthday celebration at our house. Right after that, I headed up to GEAR Con in Portland. This is a steampunk convention that started out three years ago and is going strong. I first attended GEAR Con their first year, and am amazed at how much it's grown. I met (or reacquainted with) some great writers there including Alex Scully, B.E. Scully, C. Morgan Kennedy, Andrew Mayer, Andrew Fuller, Meilin Miranda, Sara Mueller, Jordan Startford, Sandra Odell. Note: writers, if if missed mentioning you, please forgive. It was a busy couple of days and the details are a bit of a blur. I also met some great readers, did a few panels, and shared in the joy of all things steampunk. To my great delight I also met Roger Brown of STEAMPUNKED OUT. If you haven't checked out his work, you're missing out on some fantastic things. He is also the proprietor of TINKERTON SCIENTIFIC, a devising shop that makes items right out of my Age of Steam steampunk books! Things like this amazing Strange Detector: and this fantastic Deviser's Wand: I found a lovely bracer with a compass rose on it and had it signed by the artist himself! Thank you, Mr. Brown. I love it. By the time Thursday rolled around I was off to Powell's in Beaverton to do a signing, reading, and chat. As always, it was a wonderful event because of the wonderful people who put it together (thank you Peter!) and the fabulous people who attended. Thank you everyone for spending part of your evening with me. Big extra thank yous to Jenna Miller for the amazing Chai Tea Sugar Cookies you baked! They are scrumptious and nearly gone already. Big second thank you goes to John, who made a special trip to give me this: Look at that! Ale with a gargoyle on it named Stone! Yay! I am so saving that for a special occasion.