Well, it's been a while since I last blogged, so I thought that I would provide a bit of an update to what's going on, as well as the plans to, well, blog a hell of a lot more in the coming weeks. I'm aware that I've been leaving this far too fallow, and that I really need to blog more than I have done...so here's something of a start. My one little excuse is that I have been on holiday...but given that I got back last week, that's really not much of an excuse, I suppose!
First of all, I couldn't be happier about how things are going with the three 'Alamo' books that are out there right now. The reviews are good, sales are good enough that I will be able to continue doing this for a long time – which means that I am well on the way to accomplishing my dream of writing full-time. The gamble I took way back in April is paying off. I say this not to brag, but to encourage. If anyone reading this is thinking about taking the leap, get on with it! At this moment there is a great opportunity for those wanting to break in...but it won't last forever.
My plan for this month is simple – write Alamo 4. I hadn't intended Alamo 3 and 4 to be quite so tightly connected as they have ended up; don't get me wrong, I consider Alamo 3 to stand alone with a good resolution to the plot, but the plot of '4' flows a lot more strongly from '3' than, say, 'Fermi's War' does from 'Price of Admiralty'. (I'm referring to them as numbers because, well, I tend to keep changing my mind on titles until the last minute. Having said that, I'm pretty set on the next book being called 'Tip of the Spear'.) I'll be starting this one on Monday, with the goal of having it completed within the month – and on sale sometime in the middle of October. The plot's pretty solid in my head for this one.
October is revision month! A couple of years ago, I wrote a 'history of space flights that never happened' called 'One False Step', that I was actually rather proud of – it went on sale for a while, but I have opted to pull it. Partly because it was published through someone else, so I didn't have any control over it, and partly because I think it deserves an expanded second edition and a re-edit. Bluntly – I can improve it. So that's part of October's job, as is preparing a paperback compilation of the first three Alamo books. Both of these will be out in mid-December.
After that, it is time to start considering my next series of books. I always – as I have said on this blog before – wanted to have two series going at the same time, if for no other reason than that I have lots of stuff I want to write! I've been toying with a few bits and pieces, but I'm coming down pretty firmly, I reckon, on Sword & Sorcery. It's by quite a long way my favourite form of fantasy in any case, and I am a Howard fan...so this makes total and complete sense. I have some...well, quite a lot of ideas, but naturally I want to take some time to develop them before I talk about them here. All I will say at this point is that they will be shorter than the 'Alamo' books, I reckon at the 40-50k mark, and that I very much want the first one out at the end of November.
This, of course, is going to need considerable preparation, which means reading...which is excellent news for me! If I'm going to start writing sword and sorcery, I need to refresh my memory of the master of the field...which is why this post begins with a photograph of one of my fantasy shelves. That's my next set of reading. I've got the beautiful new Del Ray Howard compilations – and if you are a fan, you really need to pick them up, just to get that out of the way right now – but it was the Sphere editions where I first discovered Howard, a very long time ago, so it is there I have elected to go. I'm going to read them in order until I run out of books...and, well, it seems logical enough to review them here on this blog as I go! Throwing in some Brak the Barbarian, Kothar, and Clark Ashton Smith as well, naturally enough – variety is, after all, the spice of life...