In a couple of days at the outside, I should have completed work on Starfighter; I'm right in the middle of the final battle write now, but I thought I'd take a break to tell you what you can expect from this book, as well as what I'll be working on next, as well as a provisional schedule for the remainder of the year. (Yes, I'm taking a break from writing...by writing.) I can announce that I'll be hitting the button on June 28th, so sometime towards the end of that day, you can expect to see the new book on sale. Naturally, I'll be posting both here and on the mailing list as soon as it goes live. It will retail at $2.99, as will all subsequent books in this series.
As I'd expected, this book will be around 60,000 words long in terms of story. Somewhere into the final outlining, my original idea of tying this series into the main Alamo storyline faded to black, and this now represents a stand-alone series set in the Triplanetary Universe, chronicling the adventures of Major Jack Conway and the crew of the Free Carrier Churchill. This was going to be a five-book series, but I now think it is more likely going to be six, instead – but unlike Alamo, this will have a beginning, a middle, and an end – this will be a self-contained adventure rather than an open-ended one. Which I'm already feeling a little sad about, because I'm really enjoying writing these characters.
Whereas the Battlecruiser Alamo series covers the crew of a military vessel, this is a civilian craft, with far less might at its disposal than a capital ship. With only a handful of fighters and a skeleton crew, they've got to use different tactics. To put it more simply, if the Battlecruiser Alamo is Star Trek, then Starfighter is Firefly. With guns. More so than I'd originally intended, but the characters and the setting evolved that way as I wrote it. This one surprised me quite a lot during the writing process, if I'm honest!
As I said, there are six books in this series, though at present I only have titles for the next two – Interceptor and Interdictor. Both of these will continue the story arc, and I've got some exciting adventures planned for this crew. (Amusingly enough, my usual problem with alternate stories – that I keep stealing them for Alamo – is in reverse this time. Both of these books had their earliest origins as Alamo ideas, but I realized a few months ago that they'd work a lot better in this new series.)
As well as the story itself, I've written three appendices for the book (shades of Tolkien, here), providing a pocket introduction to the Triplanetary Universe, a description of the rank structure, and a guide to new readers on how to enter the Battlecruiser Alamo saga. I very much stress that this book is completely friendly to those wanting to get into the setting for the first time; no prior knowledge of the other books is required, though there a few bits and pieces that long-term readers will recognize tucked away in there, and I might cross a couple of characters over later on.
As soon as this is finished – and I mean that literally – I'll be starting work on Operation Damocles. I'll admit this one is daunting me a little, as in concept it's the biggest Alamo novel I've ever planned, but I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into it, as I push the current storyline into high gear. (Yes, high gear. Trust me, you ain't seen nothing yet!) As I promised, this book will be out before the end of July, likely somewhere around the 28th again; you can expect monthly releases from me for the remainder of the year at least, and likely henceforth. Work on Interceptor will start as soon as I've finished the next Alamo, around the middle of the month, for a release around the end of August; I've got a very busy July in prospect!
And there comes the fantasy, as well...which will almost certainly soak up my August. As it stands at the moment, it's outlining as a four-book series – a stand-alone first book followed by a trilogy, and if that sounds like the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, well, that's rather what I've got in mind. I want to take my time on this one, so I'll be spending the next month doing some preparation for it, but if it comes out as I'm currently planning, it'll be the longest book I've written yet, pushing into six figures. Yes, I know it's not Game of Thrones, but everyone has to start somewhere!
Anyway, I guess I'd better get back to work. Those fighters don't fly themselves, you know!