So, I’m feeling much better than I was last week. It seems this week has been pretty good healthwise (Knock on Formica).
Fire’s final proof got sent back to the editor with a few corrections, so that’s expected to be out in October. Also in October will be “War Mage”. I will also be at the Autumnfest for three days in Woonsocket, RI. I don’t expect to sell lots of books there, but I expect to have good food.
I’m working on Air, to be ready for February of next year. After that, I have no idea what to do. Blood From a Stone might be something, but that’s a stand-alone murder mystery. After that…no idea. Well, I do have an idea for continuing with Grimaulkin, either adventures he has on his own or adventures he has with Ash, his nephew. There’s also an idea of an anthology for other Grimaulkin characters, like how Aunt Jane died, where Ritter came from, who Cavalier really was…that’s a possibility.
I’m also going to try to enter more contests and anthologies next year. Maybe get my name out there somewhere.
Last weekend I went into the hospital because my kidney (yes, I have only one) isn’t working well and I had to stay overnight. This weekend I slept wrong, and I have pain, I mean almost labor-like pain, in my neck, left shoulder and arm weakness.
I say all this not for pity, but to explain that if you’re not healthy, you can’t write.
It took me all day to do something that would normally take me 3 hours. I edited the three Fire stories, “War Mage,” and produced the new back-flap of “War Mage.” I couldn’t (and still can’t) type for long periods. My day job is agony.
I’m going to Physical Therapy for it, but it’ll take some time before it heals. In the meantime, I’m skipping the October fall festivals and going to concentrate on RI Comicon. Hopefully this pain will be gone or at least eased up by then.
So I have nothing else to report. I do suggest that if you’re going to write, that you try to stay as healthy as you can because without it, you can’t do anything else.
I sold a total of 18 books at WorldCon, my new record. I doubt I’ll beat that record at RI Comicon, but I’ll try.
Fire is being edited as we speak; “War Mage” is next on the docket. I sent Blood From a Stone for a read-over to see if it’s worth producing. What’s next is a story for a possible anthology next year. I’m writing character sketches about them right now, and the story is relatively formed in my head.
One thing I’ve found out in my writing and editing is that I have to work on my endings. They seem abrupt and quick, coming out of nowhere and just “ending”. I need to learn to pull them out a little more and make them not sou out of left-field.
I noticed how my writing has improved and changed over the years by looking at “Aries” versus, say, “Leo”. Aries is full of detail, superfluous in places, showing off my knowledge. Leo tells the damn story. As my editor says, “Your writing is clean and sparse.” It tells the story without going off on tangents or down rabbit holes. Aries didn’t do that. Aries is my “I know a lot about WW2, and I’m going to show you.”\ I wrote that story off my obsession with WW2, which is why it goes down rabbit holes and goes into detail.
Even seeing Homecoming versus Grimaulkin Redeemed, I can see the difference. Perhaps my writing is getting better. Perhaps I’ve found my voice, finally.
What next? Well, I could continue the zodiac theme by dividing them into Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs. I could have the planets as Gods on Earth. I was going to do the seven deadly sins, but that’s been done so much. Have the seven graces been done? That would be a switch. That would be Max’s story.
As for me…the short story, maybe some poetry. An anthology of stories from Grimaulkin.
We shall see.
So! WorldCon 76 finished, and I sold 19 books! That’s my record for a weekend to try and beat.
However, these fairs and book selling things are bad for my health. I ended up in the hospital (again) with my levels all out of whack. I didn’t drink enough water, take enough iron and steroids, and actually lost weight. (Oh, yes, I fit in the airplane bathrooms.)
We got some good feedback about our setup, which was set back from the aisle to give people room to “step inside”. Most people, though, seemed to be looking for older, established authors, as opposed to new authors. We put together Grimaulkin into a bundle with a rainbow ribbon, and those attracted a lot of attention and sold books. Maybe if we had a sign saying the shorts were $3 a piece but free with purchase we could have sold more.
Nobody wanted tarot readings. Maybe I should skip that on ComiCon this year.
I met so many people, although many who wanted to come back never did. I went to one panel which was about the use of non-binary pronouns and what people want to be called. Needless to say, non-binary people want to be called “they/them” or “ze/zim” or even something else. They want the language to change, but that’s not going to happen in my lifetime.
I found out about collecting ribbons. I guess certain merchants or panels will give out an achievement ribbon. We might do that next time they’re in the US.
WorldCon will be in Dublin next year and New Zealand in 2020. Not going that far for it. Maybe the next one will be in Boston. Who knows.
My next appearance may be some time in Columbus Day weekend, but not sure how that’s going to go. Definitely going to be there for RI Comicon November 2-4 and the Expo on December 1.
I’m reporting to you live from the Worldcon76 in San Jose CA!
So far, we’re doing fairly well with the books and selling. But mostly I came out here to get my name out. Hopefully to sell more books, too! I’ve sold a few bundles of books, which are con-only available, and given away freebies like hotcakes. I’ve met so many interesting people here, went to a couple of panels, and everything’s been interesting and eye-opening. I might do more cons, but the price is not necessarily right to do so. The niche market that I write for (LBGTQ positive and fantasy) are not a big deal in our local area. I have to go where the LBGTQ community is. So maybe some of those cons.
I’ll be heading back home on Monday, and hopefully things will go well on the way home (I’m taking the red-eye).
I’ve sent Blood From a Stone to the editor and as soon as WorldC0n is finished he’s going to take a look at it, However, Maxwell Thomas might write the book under Zarra Knightley….we’re still under discussion on that. It’s not a romance. It’s more of a murder mystery with transvestites and a queer in the closet. But we’ll see on that one, too.
My new Dark Mystic Quill podcast is up, and is an interview with Wayne Barber of WNRI radio. My more recent interview should be available in a couple of months, where I spend the whole hour talking to Wayne about books and the author process.
Wish us luck on day four of five!.