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!
Things You Can Read SoonHANG FIRE - Finally! Thank you, everyone for being patient with me on this one. HANG FIRE is the twenty-part serial short story I wrote that takes place between DEAD IRON and TIN SWIFT in the Age of Steam steampunk series. It originally appeared as part of a blog tour I did before TIN SWIFT came out. I've been contacted by several people who are disappointed they can't backtrack and easily find all the sections of the story. I am happy to say HANG FIRE will be e-published in its entirety in April. This will be my first foray into epublishing, but I have a feeling it won't be my last. 🙂 LIFE BETWEEN DREAMS - New, original-world fantasy short story will be available in Fiction River - Unnatural Worlds anthology. Mary Still and Tom Curious are part of an agency that monitors terrors and imaginings and the disasters they create. But when they are forced to decide what is worth sacrificing for love, dreams, and each other, they might be making a mistake that could end the world. Available in April. If readers like this one, I think there could be more Still and Curious stories in the future. DEAD IRON - That's right! My wonderful publisher, Roc is re-releasing DEAD IRON (book #1 of the Age of Steam series) in paperback this June! How excited am I about this? Amazingly excited!! COLD COPPER - Book #3 in the Age of Steam series will be out on July 2nd! *throws confetti* And is available for pre-order now. I can't wait for people to get their hands on this book. More on that below...
Things I'm working onHELL BENT - Book #1 of the Broken Magic series is the spinoff of the Allie Beckstrom books. It takes place three years after the end of the Allie books, and is told through Shame Flynn's point of view. While this is a book that focuses on Shame and Terric, I am writing it to stand on its own without anyone needing to read the Allie series. We *do* get to see an awful LOT of familiar faces, both friends and foes. I'm finishing the editorial revisions on it this month, and will send it back to my editor to see if we have a book. If she gives me the all-clear, then I will turn my attention to book #2 in the series, STONE COLD. HELL BENT will be out November 5, 2013 (here's a pre-order link). Oh, and I recently got a peek at the cover. I think you're going to love it!! There is, of course, some news I can't share yet. But trust me when I say some Other Really Cool Stuff is brewing, and I will clue you in as soon as I can.
Tune in tomorrow for: Things* I can give you*A box of advance reader copies of COLD COPPER showed up on my doorstep, and I'll be giving those bad boys away!
You know what I should not do? Blog before coffee. I have started this blog eight times, and erased it each time. So this time I'm just going to ramble about stuff. Apologies in advance. Ramble #1: I am currently working on COLD COPPER, book 3 in the Age of Steam steampunk series. Deadline is creeping my way on tiny brittle feet, fangs bared. Each of my moments are marked by the tick, tick, tick of its approach. Happily, the draft is almost done, and I can manage very quick revisions when I'm focused (or you know, panicked) so I should be able to meet that deadline at the door and sweep it to the curb. Ramble #2: I got to see the cover art for COLD COPPER. It is AMAZING!! It's my favorite cover of the series so far, and I LOVE all my covers in this series. However....I can't share it with you yet. I promise I will as soon as I get the ok. In the meantime, you could totally check out Cliff Nielsen, the fabulously talented artist whose vision brings Cedar Hunt to life on every awesome cover of the series, here on Facebook if you want, or on this web page. Ramble #3: You know what book I'm writing next? Shame Flynn's book. In case you haven't read my Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series, Shamus Flynn shows up in book 3, I think, MAGIC IN THE SHADOWS, though he's actually in book 1, just the briefest of mentions, toward the end of the book. He's Zayvion Jones' best friend from childhood, and since Zayvion is Allie's fella, well...Shame naturally ended up in their lives. And since Shame is...well, Shame, he is also one of the major side characters. And since readers liked him so well, (and I did too) guess who got a spin-off series? Shame. And I can not WAIT to get to these books because I know how fun they're going to be! Ramble #4: Things about the Shame books I know so far:
- They're called the "Breaker" series
- Shame and Terric will be the main characters
- Other people from the Allie Beckstrom books will also appear in the books
- They will be told through Shame's point of view
- There are two books in the series (so far)
- First book will probably come out November 2013-ish, so one year after the last Allie Beckstrom book comes out.
The TIN SWIFT blog tour is done, although there are a couple giveaways still open if you're hoping to score a copy of TIN SWIFT, a magnet, and the steampunk airship bookmark. Check the list here for those giveaways, and also for the free serialized story, HANG FIRE. Last week was pretty busy. I was interviewed and photographed for a local magazine: Willamette Woman. Both the photographer and reporter were terrifically nice, and hopefully, we'll see that article in September. I'm happy to say there are some shiny new changes over on the Deadline Dames. We're currently updating our web design and are in the fine hands of the amazingly talented Ilona Andrews! Yes, she writes awesome books, and designs kick ass web pages! As a matter of fact, she designed my web page too! If you head over to the Deadline Dames and leave a comment, you'll be in the running for a copy of Keri Arthur's novel: BENEATH A RISING MOON. Today, I turned in the proofed copy of MAGIC FOR A PRICE. This is the last book in the Allie Beckstrom series, and brings Allie's story to a close. I had an amazingly good time writing these books, and learned so much. It is a strange feeling to be ending the series, and after I've parsed it a bit more, I'll be sure to share my experience here. But here's something fun to look forward to. I announced over on A Once and Future Podcast that I have a new series coming out. It is a spin-off series from the Allie Beckstrom novels. Guess who the main characters are? Naw, you don't have to guess, I'll tell you. Are you ready? Shame and Terric. Yep. Shame gets his own books, God help us all. 😉