FULL BLEED: SHADOW ON THE SUN
Yeah, been a little while since you've gotten a fresh post. Just that canned content lately. But it's fresh to you, so just eat around the stale parts.
We're well into the silly season for me. Starts at Halloween and really doesn't let up until Christmas. So of course I have a book coming out in the middle of it (December 11, to be precise). Maybe you've heard of it?
I'd love to say that most of my time has been spent in promotion for that. But honestly, I've done what I could. Threw out a lot of lines to podcasters and reviewers and don't have a hell of a lot to show for it. Hell, I had a tweet go Actual Viral and get something like 41k likes, and 10.5k retweets before it died down. That got me a handful of follows and I think five book orders. Which really is about par for the course in the Howling Pit.
Oh, while I'm here. Do me and yourselves a favor and torch your Facebook accounts. Seriously. They're bad. There's a whole internet outside them. Get a blog. Put family pictures there. Do some email. You can live without it. I have for most of the last year.
But don't ask me what to do in place of that for promoting your book. I sure don't know.
What I have been working on, aside from the craziness, is my next book. I might've used an old title before (which is why you shouldn't trust any title I throw out here until you see it on a book cover or maybe in a press release.) Right now, it's under the title VOIDMAW. It wasn't what I was expecting to work on around now, but if you've been reading my blog since the HPL Film Festival, I've teased out why. Hint: because I'll be paid.
It's a weird move for me, simply because it's the opposite of what I've been writing towards. This is a big thing in a big, sprawling space-opera setting. That's a lot of work. At least it is when you're just trying to get the matte paintings right so you can suggest there's a bigger universe beyond the page and the plot you're reading right then. I mean, STAR WARS (to use a loaded example) does a pretty good job suggesting a much vaster galaxy, though you really only see a couple different locations in the first film. And what I'm doing in VOIDMAW is a little more complicated than that, hopefully not too much though.
So the danger is overwhelming the reader with history and blah blah blah. See? You're already bored. That's different in a big galactic setting than it is in, say, 1980s Los Angeles. I can shorthand a lot of that (having actually lived it) and what I've embellished isn't all that much. Not quite so with a decaying human empire in a future some three thousand years or so off.
"Oh, you're optimistic," you say. "Having humans in three thousand years."
Hey, I never said there'd be a recognizable civilization, but there's humans. Distressingly little of what you see around you now survives. Spoiler.
Populating that world believably, and having at least some sense of what makes things run the empire, not to mention aesthetics and anything with any level of granular detail? That's simply a lot of typing, even if you have the details laid out. Basically like writing an RPG sourcebook for this world.
Which I might've done if I were younger and had more actual time. I don't. And oh yeah, I spent a chunk of my younger years reading RPG supplements and guides, which has infected my brain so that this is how I approach things now. But that's just a project that there isn't time for. It's going to be a matter of trying to set up the major players and the organizations behind them and some idea of the world, the vibe and then letting things go after that, just taking notes of what needs to be fleshed out as I go. This isn't a thing I've really done before, so yay for reinventing the wheel on this part of the process.
Now, let's see what else I've been up to.
Oh, yeah. Promotional appearances for me and QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS:
The Rising Shadow (interview)
The Means at Hand (essay on crime and magic and the overlay between the two)
Beyond the Trope podcast (interview where I don't talk about the book much – whoops!)
Okay, just about time to get dinner on the table. More later.