Done. Again. For Now.

I just completed the new ending and some of the expansion scenes for Star Master Book 2. For more about the long, complicated evolution of this space opera novel, see here, here and here. Yes, I have been working on this book for a while, but I hope to have it out by the end of this year, especially since I have no plans to do NaNoWriMo.

For now, my plans are a short break to work up a presentation for day job, play mobile games, read Golden Age mysteries, watch Fringe and Don Matteo with family members, and brainstorm whatever comes after the Star Master duology.

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Where Did THAT Come From: Essem and Co, Ularti

Ularti, the owner of the tramp freighter Vanner, keeps Jetay and Khed in indentured servitude, and is one of the main antagonists in Shadow Captain. Jetay’s story arc, as previously told is that of the drifter Drafted Into a Good Cause, and frequently in that arc, there’s a character who the drifter used to work with, who represents the pull away from the Good Cause. I didn’t have a good sense of what that might be in this case, until I hit on the “Hansel and Gretel” framing for Jetay’s situation.

Continue reading “Where Did THAT Come From: Essem and Co, Ularti”

Where Did THAT Come From: Lanati, Menevis and Family

This is actually a fairly large body of characters spread across the two volumes of Star Master, even if they didn’t require as much work on my part as Shenti and her family did.

Continue reading “Where Did THAT Come From: Lanati, Menevis and Family”

Kindle Vella is Here!

Mauti and her brother Embo have had their memories damaged by an evil psychic. Now Embo is desperately traveling from planet to planet in search of his missing fiancee, and Mauti is trapped in a dead-end job working for a shady politician. The mysterious duelist Roukazor may be Mauti’s only chance of escape, but Embo thinks Roukazor is the one who attacked Mauti’s mind. Can they trust him? They may have no choice if they want to survive….

Vella is a new piece of the Amazon/Kindle family, geared towards serialized fiction. I’ve started a serial called Thorn Master, set in the Star Master universe. It deals with the adventures of Roukazor and Mauti, the parents of Shenti, the mysterious spy from the Star Master series. This takes place about 27-30 years before the events of the first Star Master book. You can read the first couple of episodes for free here. I am currently working simultaneously on Thorn Master and Star Master Book 2, and hope to have the first draft of Star Master Book 2 completed later this summer, with an eye towards publication somewhere between December 2021 and February 2022.

End of Year Wrap-Up

This year, the writing and publishing went fairly well. With the help of some family members who graciously became my beta readers/proofreaders, I finished, polished, and published a new book in a new (for me) genre, and finished NaNoWriMo2020 in spite of some setbacks. I cut severely back on my marketing costs, which had gotten out of hand in past years, and only got back into active marketing at the very end of the year, coinciding with the new release. So far it’s going better than I had any reason to expect. The modest royalties from my book sales and pages read in Kindle Unlimited to date, would almost cover the costs of my test ads on Bookbub and my low budget ad spend on Bookbub and Amazon. We’ll see how long this moment of almost breaking even lasts.

My hope was to finish and publish my first space opera, start working on the sequel while I was polishing the first one, and maybe write the second half of the sequel for NaNoWriMo2020. I didn’t manage that, and given the extra time that the Covid shutdown bought me, first during administrative leave and then with telework, I feel like I could have done more. But it took me a long time to feel my way through the second half of the first space opera, and a moderately long time to clean up the initial complete draft of the book. I finished that cleanup/polishing process only a few days before NaNoWriMo, and it left my creative energies kind of drained. I’ve found at least three short scenes and two longer sections that need major reworking in the second space opera, before I proceed anything further with it.

Still I wrote 100,000 more or less useable words over the course of the year (second half of first space opera+first half of second space opera), polished and published my longest book to date, created its cover, and constructed a wallet-friendly promotional campaign for its launch.

Plans for next year? Try to have Star Master Book 2 published by the end of 2021; refresh the Ancestors of Jaiya series (proofreading and new covers) somewhere along the way. Write as much as I can of Star Master Book 3, and keep daydreaming and outlining that high fantasy idea that keeps popping up. We’ll see how all that works out.

…And I Could!

I finished polishing the space opera today. Final wordcount: 110685. Now it is in the hands of my volunteer first readers. Right now, I’m hoping for a Christmas/Boxing Day Feast of St. Stephen release, but that depends on what the first readers find, whether I can come up with a cover that I’m happy with, and what kind of mental shape I’m in come December, when I’ve finished with NaNoWriMo2020. In the meantime, victory dance!

Complete at 102926 words…For Now

Yesterday, I celebrated my country’s freedom from bad cooking, Received Pronunciation, and taxation without representation. Tomorrow, I will celebrate my temporary freedom from first drafting. You see, tonight I finished the first draft of the longest book I have ever written. The space opera I’ve been trying to write for years finally came together.

A few notes on the process:

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Jaiya Series Collection Released

2020 Jaiya Collection Final

Three Books in One!

Hello! I hope you and your families are all well in this time of uncertainty. While on administration leave due to COVID19, I finally found time to replace the cover art on the original Jaiya Series and compile the three individual novels into one volume. This compilation is available at AmazonBarnes and NobleAppleGoogle, and Kobo. Just click on the name of the bookstore of your choice to be taken to it. I’ve included a synopsis for the collection below.

Journey to the country of Jaiya, in a world not quite like ours. Here, humans ride trains, drive cars, and use cell phones, but they share their world with insect people and trollfolk, and stranger things lurk in the shadows…

Marrying a Monster: As a favor to her parents, Rina agrees to come back to her hometown and take part in an old local custom: a symbolic marriage between the town’s women and the Mountain King, a mythical guardian spirit no one really believes in. But the Mountain King really exists: a monstrous being that feeds on fear and suffering. Rina’s only hope for survival may be Vipin, the dashing scholar hunting the Mountain King, but Vipin is hiding a few secrets of his own…

Waking the Dreamlost: In a place like Jaiya, a woman can’t just back out of an arranged marriage to a bigshot, even if her amnesia keeps her from remembering when and how she agreed to it. Her engagement to a politician makes Itana a target for terrorist attacks, but a former soldier named Marish keeps rescuing her, and gives her a chance at real love. She doesn’t remember hiring him to find out who is stealing her memories, but he is determined to finish the job…or die trying!

Loving a Deathseer: In a place like Jaiya, a servant has to obey his employers’ every whim, even if the whim isn’t in the job description. Erno spends his days rushing around while his wealthy employers bark orders at him. By night, he cases out his employers’ homes and sells the information to his burglar friends. He has only three rules: don’t get close to anyone, don’t let anyone get hurt, and don’t let anyone get framed for the crime. But his latest job will plunge him into a world of political intrigue,and test his rules to the breaking point. His only chance at redemption lies in the love of a persecuted young woman named Zeni, with the power to foresee his death….

Saving a Queen Now Available!

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Journey to the country of Jaiya, in a world not quite like ours. Here the humans wield magical powers and fight against an Empire which seeks to enslave them, but they share their world with insect people and trollfolk, and stranger things lurk in the shadows…

Queen Prasa escapes from her city as it falls to the Empire. Her only hope of survival lies in traveling with Nirav, a smuggler who pilots a type of balloon called a skyboat. Caught between her sense of duty and her attraction to the smuggler, Prasa must listen to her heart in order to find the best way to save her people. But what is the secret cargo that Nirav carries…and why is a flying monster out of the old stories hunting his skyboat?

Hope everyone is having a great November!

I just published the Ancestors of Jaiya series, the prequel series to my Jaiya series of urban fantasy/paranormal romance novels. The Ancestors of Jaiya series starts out nearly two hundred years before the events of Marrying a Monster and the other books in the Jaiya series, and ends about 35-40 years before the Jaiya series starts. Book 2 in the series, Saving a Queen, is now available on all the major ebook stores, including AmazonNookiBooksKobo, and Google Play.