Well, it’s been a long while since my last blog post, a lot longer than I had hoped, but Malware Blues proved to be rather more...involved than I had expected. However, the hard part is now all behind me, and I can confirm that the book will be on sale on January 4th, just within the New Year. I’m not going to go into spoilers, but this one is a bit of a big deal; it ties up a lot of loose ends, and sets Alamo onto the course it’ll be taking for 2016, back out into unknown, unexplored space. Most of the characters are put through several types of hell, but it would be a rather boring book if they didn’t, I think!
Another piece of housekeeping is that I am now using Twitter! My handle is @REBTongue, and I’m trying to use it semi-regularly. At the very least it’ll give more frequent updates on the progress of books than I’ve historically managed on the blog, and I’m hoping to do rather more with it than that. In fact, I’m rather hoping to do a lot more on the social media front this year than I did last year, so with a little luck, my posts here will be considerably more frequent, hopefully at least twice a week.
I started the year with the goal of writing a million words, a very lofty ambition, I know, but going in I rather expected that I would fall short, and I have. Nevertheless, I’ve written seven Alamo novels this year, as well as the unpublished Crusader story, and I’m reasonably satisfied with that; it just about tops the half-million mark. Next year, though, I aim to do better. As I announced on the mailing list, I’ve moved to a 56-day schedule for Alamo releases, rather than two-month. Which among other things suggests that next year, you’ll be getting seven Alamo novels rather than six.
Even the trickier books tend to take me about three weeks to write, which has meant a lot of, well, dead space in between books, which I have primarily occupied with a variety of projects that never went anyway. I spent months beating my head against the epic fantasy war, and there was the Crusader project - which I did want to do more with, but it never seemed to happen. Things are at last beginning to change a little, because I think I finally have the second series I have been wanting, and it’s going to be another military science-fiction series.
My hold-up until now was coming up with something that would be distinct from Alamo, sufficiently that I was not going to be stealing ideas back and forth. Finally, I have a plot that is working for me, and something that I can seriously get my teeth into. Alamo has worked on the single-ship scale primarily, and given where I see it going for the next six to ten books, it will likely be staying in that arena. Something on a higher scale, then, more at the ‘Admirals and Ambassadors’ level, is where I’m going with the other series, as well as rather more on the ‘space opera’ spectrum. Fleets of dozens, hundreds of ships, facing off against each other, while the politicians and diplomats feud.
I’m surprisingly well advanced on this one; the characters are forming up nicely, as are the overall plot arcs, and I’m working on the nuances of the setting right now. I can tell you that the primary ship is the ‘Churchill’. I haven’t yet come up with a permanent series title, though I am using the working title of ‘Lucky Thirteen’, but I know that the first book is called ‘Minstrel Boy’, and the second, ‘Broad Pennant’. It’s planned as a nine-book series, three sets of three, which again makes it distinct from Alamo - in that Alamo is an ongoing series, whereas this one has a definite beginning, middle, and end. You can expect ‘Minstrel Boy’ to be on sale on March 28th, and for each book in this series to be released at 56-day intervals, in the gap between Alamo books.
There will be a lot more detail in my New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day posts, going over the lessons I learned this year and what I intend to do next year, as well as the dreaded New Year’s Resolutions! For now, I’ll just wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!