Monday, May 22, 2017

Terrestrial Affairs is free...until Wednesday

Thought I should mention that the Terrestrial Affairs giveaways haven't ended.  The ebook is free thru Wednesday, if you'd like to have yourself a nice and easy look at it.  Be sure to review it at Amazon and/or Goodreads if you do!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Space Corps...just putting it out there...

So anyone who has visited this blog recently knows that Terrestrial Affairs has been released, and that it's a Space Corps story.  I've got a Space Corps label where you can trace back every time I've mentioned it previously, and you can see without even looking at all that material that I've talked plenty about it.  A few years back, on another of my blogs, I spent a whole A-to-Z April exploring different characters and stories from the Space Corps saga, and that was well before I really had anything available to read.  Earlier this year I wrote a Space Corps story for the IWSG anthology contest, and it wasn't selected, but it kicked off a renewed sense of interest in finally getting Space Corps out in the open.

So I did something pretty radical.  I finally started using my Wattpad account, which I set up years ago, and began posting edited chapters of Seven Thunders.  (You can read them here.)  I finished the manuscript four years ago, and it's been sitting in a computer file, because I didn't know what to do with it.  This was the story I'd wanted to write since 1998.  It sat percolating for years, and in the meantime I started writing other novel-length stories, sort of figuring out what that was like.  I tried getting a number of them published, had no luck, and then started self-publishing them.  Then I lost all faith, basically, in my ability to be published traditionally, but I didn't want Seven Thunders to be dumped unceremoniously in anonymity, like the rest of my self-published material.  I suck at blogger networking.  I admit that.  I started blogging well before all the cool bloggers you read and/or are ever considered blogging.  But I blogged back then like I did anything else I wrote, which was just for the fun of it.  It wasn't until much later that I even thought visitors could be a real thing, when I randomly started getting comments about stuff I said about TV shows.  Then I found a community, and they were all writers, and they all supported each other and...

Well, I didn't really fit in.  Everyone I connected with, they didn't much care about how blogging was "supposed" to work, either, or we parted ways eventually, and so I never got that bump that everyone else in the community seemed to. 

But that's not really here nor there.  The point is, I got past that.  I started editing, and posting, Seven Thunders.  It's been interesting.  If I were to write Seven Thunders today, it would probably look a lot different.  Recently I've written a lot of much shorter works.  Seven Thunders was written when I had come across a formula for works of a certain length, and that was always my goal, and somehow I always hit it, one way or another.  But it always felt vaguely stifling, creatively.  The more I worked the shorter lengths, the more I saw the creative potential in that.  I'm not saying I don't stand by Seven Thunders, today.  Hey, I'm posting the thing once a week, over at Wattpad.  And I'm not saying the shorter works I've been doing are inherently better.  I'd like them to be longer.  Until Terrestrial Affairs I had gradually been pushing them to be longer.  Terrestrial Affairs, which I'm perfectly happy with, thank you, ended up being the length it is because I had a very short window in which to write it, and I was able to finish it in that window, but I didn't have a lot of time to punch it up to greater length, which meant I had to go with my first creative impulses, which is not something I normally like to do.  But again, it worked with Terrestrial Affairs, especially when I realized how the previously unrelated Wendale sequence fit into it.

I wasn't particularly updating this blog when I developed Wendale, so there isn't anything to see here about it, but I was mulling it through last summer, last fall, and on into winter, three seasons of development, evolution, only to discover what it really was, something embedded in something else, in the spring.  And while I had envisioned Wendale to be more like the Miss Simon stories I was doing last year, I'm actually happy that I was able to do that style but in a genre context as well, because that was what I'd been thinking through that period, too, but I couldn't quite decide how to do it.

I have no idea how interested anyone will be in Space Corps.  I have no idea if Terrestrial Affairs will be anymore successful than the other stuff I've self-published.  I have no idea if Seven Thunders will find an audience on Wattpad.  But I'm starting to not care.  Space Corps began on notebook pages, stuff I obsessively chronicled, for myself, because I wanted to see where the story would go.  Now, it seems to be looking around the public sector.  But nothing about it has changed, really.  I'm okay with that.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Terrestrial Affairs giveaway

To celebrate the release of Terrestrial Affairs, I'm doing a giveaway at Amazon, with three winners to be determined in about a week.  You can enter here.

Terrestrial Affairs is the first standalone Space Corps story I've published.  It functions equally well (hopefully) as a standalone story and as an introduction to Space Corps lore.  While writing it I realized that it neatly dovetails with another story in the saga, as it explains why a character in Collider dies.  (Collider is just one of the many other stories already plotted in the greater saga.  You can have a look at more of the shape of the saga here.)

If you choose to enter, good luck!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Terrestrial Affairs now available

So I've got a new novella out.  As you can see (and might have read in the title of this post), it's called Terrestrial Affairs, and it's a Space Corps story.  This is significant, because I've been working on Space Corps as a storytelling concepts for, well, decades now, but it's taken me a while to start producing material for it, material that you don't have to look under a rock to find.  So on one level, that's what Terrestrial Affairs is, a short work that helps me explore Space Corps' actual potential, and helps readers potentially discover it.

But it's a good story, too (hopefully).  It concerns the emissary of an alien invasion suffering a catastrophic systems failure in his ship, which leads to a crash-landing.  He all but falls to earth in the backyard of an isolated young woman.  Immediately, the authorities come sniffing, both among humans and the alien's own boss.  So it becomes a thorny situation, and to make matters more complicated, the young woman kind of falls instantly in love with the alien, and...

Well, anyway, I think it's a pretty good story.  It also includes a subplot of the story I actually set out to write, which had been intended to be entirely unrelated to genre storytelling, the various offspring of a rotten man, all with different mothers, converging on a town called Wendale.  When I was writing Terrestrial Affairs, I realized Wendale fit right in.  It becomes a story the young woman tells, and then sort of becomes the coda of Terrestrial Affairs itself.

Kind of the thing that most interested me about this project was that I made an effort to make a real cover.  Not just a template that used elements I wouldn't have otherwise included, but creative choices I made deliberately, all the way around.  It'll at least look pretty, in other words. 

I also include a brief sketch of the complete Space Corps saga, plus two short stories I'd written for my WriteClubCo group over in Colorado Springs, efforts that helped make this particular story a reality in a roundabout way, when I was beginning to give myself permission to let Space Corps loose in the world.

If you're interested, you can find paperback and ebook editions for purchase.
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