Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Road to Amalynth

Just a quick note today.

I've started in on the rough draft of Book II of the Secrets of the Elements Series, The Hammer of Amalynth. The story takes place a few weeks after Race the Sky, and follows up on the mystery that was unanswered at the end of that particular book. The writing process should go relatively fast since most of the groundwork for the series was built in the first book. So far it is has been easier to write, but that's probably because I had the idea for the opening scene figured out months ago. I'm hoping to have it written and edited within the next two months.

The third book in the series is also moving along and is currently in the outlining stage. Then there's Windows Out, which is a short story collection that contains about a dozen or so science fiction stories. In some ways, it's a sequel to Corridors. In other ways it will have more fantasy elements than the other collection. Almost all of the stories have been written, some are finished, and others are in need of editing. This particular book should be done in about 3-4 months.

More updates soon...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Random Tech Bits

Here are some relatively connected tech stories I've been collecting from around the 'net.

They've officially launched a "drone racing league". Looks like a lot of fun. Well, at least until your machine crashes into a wall and you are out several hundred dollars.

Here are some stories about microbots. One is more speculative, while the other describes a group of ant-like robots pulling an automobile. Here is the accompanying demonstration video.

Then of course there is "Atlas", the upright-walking robot. I don't see it replacing human workers just yet, but the machine's ability to cross uneven terrain is significant.

Here is an article about someone who wants to upload their mind to a machine as a means of achieving a pseudo-immortality. This is something I speculated about a while ago in a couple of stories from Corridors ("IM Forever" and "Image Management"). By the way, Corridors is on sale this weekend for 99 cents over at Amazon.

Finally, I have an update on Book II of the Secrets of the Elements series (Race the Sky is considered Book I). I'm just about to start in on the rough draft of The Hammer of Amalynth. The writing of the book should go pretty fast since I did a ton of prep work for the first book in the series. This novel will continue some of the narrative arcs in Race the Sky and everything will come together in the final book, The Fire and the Anvil. More updates coming shortly.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Release: Race the Sky

Race the Sky, Secrets of the Elements Book I, is now available at Amazon.com.

This is the first novel in the series and it works a little differently than some of my other books. There is more of a mystery factor to this book which will carry on to the other books in the series. The book even ends with a bit of a mystery (not necessarily a cliffhanger). This is deliberate because solving that mystery will take an entire book of its own (The Hammer of Amalynth). In fact, the primary antagonist of the second book, Dr. Amalynth, appears briefly in this one.

Regarding the second book, I have a rough outline done, but it will take some revision before I can start in on the rough draft. There will also be more of a science fiction edge to the second and third books. Finally, if one theme could sum up the entire series it would be this: Faith rediscovered, faith rebuilt, faith refined. I'll explore each of those stages in the months and books to come.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Finish Line

This weekend I finished writing and editing a novel about beginnings. It is the story of a storm chaser in search of answers in the sky as well as on the ground. It is also the story of destruction by a false teacher and how it affects those left behind.

Race the Sky is yet another fifteen year novel for me, the other one being Theft at the Speed of Light. Both books had multiple prior versions but this book's iterations were the most divergent, with only the storm chases carrying over from draft to draft. The story has evolved significantly over the years and although I'm going to classify it as science fiction (especially because of the other two books in the series), some elements of the book are eerily similar to real world events.

Within the next couple of weeks I'll have a cover for the book and then I'll post more updates on the series as a whole.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Confluence

Sometimes in the act of writing a book, unusual creative events occur that have no easy explanation. Such is the case with the trilogy of novels I'm currently working on. The first novel, Race the Sky, is something I've been working on for close to fifteen years. The second book, The Hammer of Amalynth, was originally a novel about relativism and the third book, The Fire and the Anvil, started out as a short story collection. Each book had its own individual problems that seemed insurmountable at the time.

But then something funny happened. One night I decided to experiment and I put all three ideas "side by side". Over the course of an hour, many of the initial problems disappeared and plot elements (and characters) from the individual books started solving the problems in the other books. The third book turned into a novel and the Secrets of the Elements trilogy was born.

In my previous post, I listed the probable back cover copy for the next novel, Race the Sky. Like any first book in a series, there is some setting up of larger narrative arcs and several of the characters in this novel will return for the other two. All three books will follow John Sayers (a stormchaser) and Madeline Kinney (a cult researcher). In the second and third books, Dr. Ferganut will join them (from the short stories Dust in the Whirlwind and Firebugs). At that point, the Dust in the Whirlwind and Firebugs will takes on whole new meanings.

More updates will be coming shortly. Race the Sky should be available sometime in January of 2016.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Vista

When hiking up a mountain trail, sometimes it's difficult to see the summit, especially if the mountain is covered in trees. Although it is encouraging to think about the view at the top, often times a hiker has to focus first on the obstacles before them such as tree roots, rocks, and mud. Even near the top, when a hiker knows the summit is near, it can be easy to want to call it day due to exhaustion.

When you finally make it to the top, though, the view can be worth all the effort. That's where things are at with the novel, Race the Sky. There were some unresolved narrative issues with the manuscript up until recently. Suddenly, as if reaching a summit vista, the final pieces "clicked" into place. This all occurred as I was trying to hammer out the back cover copy for the book.

Here, then, is a glimpse of that vista and a working version of the back cover copy:
John Sayers is a storm chaser determined to crack the mystery of the violent weather that is ravaging his home state of South Dakota. He crosses paths with Madeline Kinney, a cult researcher who is pursuing a nefarious "church doctor" across the region. Together, they find there is more to the secrets of the sky and the church doctor than just anecdotes and hard data.
Of course this is subject to change, but it gets the idea across.

More novel news soon. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Editing Update - Race the Sky

Just a brief editing update today. I'm still working through the edits of the next novel, Race the Sky. I figure there are probably at least 2-3 more editing passes left to go. The reason this particular book is taking so long (along with the cover art) is that it sets up the foundation for the other two books to follow. Things are still on track for an early January 2016 release, however. I'll also making an audio version of the first chapter available soon.

After that, a new science fiction short story collection, Windows Out, will be released. The stories are finished, but they still need some editing before I'll publish it. One story from Windows Out, Fermat's Last Theorem of Robotics, is available here.

And...if you haven't seen it, The Chronopticus Chronicles is available here, here, and here. It contains the short story, The Mines of Mars Part I, along with Fractal Standard Time, Ionotatron, and Chronopticus Rising. Here is the book trailer for the entire series, too. This collection is on sale for a limited time.