Well, yesterday I hit 20,000 words on Wolfbreed, my extracurricular novel twice removed. I ran the first 9000 words or so past the Hamsters this weekend, and while there’s stuff that needs work I did get some affirmation that it doesn’t suck. This is good, as when I tap into my id like this it sort of blows all the critical apparatus out of the window.

I got my counter set at 100,000 words as a goal, but it’s quite possible I may overshoot. We’ll see.

Stay tuned.

You Were Searching for What?!?

Quick little factoid—

You can use Feedburner to analyze traffic stats, and one juicy tidbit they provide is the search phrase for people who actually Googled up this site. Some make sense, but some of the others. . .

We have to add this:

My Muse Done Beat Me Up. . .

You might notice a brand new counter in the sidebar. No, I didn’t change the title of something, I just had the experience (last Friday in fact) of my muse coming round, slapping me on the back of the head and screaming in my ear;

“NO! You’re going to write THIS! NOW! Move it, maggot!”

And I’ve done this long enough to know that when she gets bitchy and insistent, I do whatever she says. So I’ve been obsessing and writing a novel furiously ever since. I’m over 10K words into it, and the idea for this is less than a week old. This, while I’m still working and putting OT into the day job. Another few days, my wife might file a missing person’s report. . .

This book is going to mark several firsts for me. It’ll be the first real dark fantasy I’ve done— as opposed to horror set in a contemporary or historical setting. It’s also the first fantasy I’ve done without the crutch of having at least one POV character with a contemporary origin.

I’ll keep you all posted.

Politics + Science Addendum

The Union of Concerned Scientists has published a guide that serves as a good counterpoint to an earlier post of mine about the ugly interaction between politics and science. The only problem is that the examples are U.S.-centric and post-2001 so it’s a little lopsided (i.e. the current American bureaucracy is not the only one to ever push an agenda off on its varied scientific regulatory agencies, and the U.S. doesn’t have the market on perverting science for political ends.)

Anyway, it provides an ugly glimpse into the way the world works.

Careers, Writing, and the Mid-list Ghetto

Well things have gone completely insane at the day job, rendering the posting here rather sparse. My department has lost two employees (really three, but the one was essentially a volunteer), and guess who’s taking up the slack? So the writing and the blog have suffered (60-70 hour weeks will do that to you).

This has been leading to a couple of reassessments of both my careers, with the inevitable conclusion that I’m undervalued in both. While the day job’s sort of a given for the next few months at least, I’ve started working on jump-starting my writing career— which, one hopes, could be elevated to the point where the day job wouldn’t be necessary.

This may seem an odd assertion to someone not in the writing business, after all, I got 17 some novels published, most are still in print, and DAW does a nice job of reissuing their blacklist. What could be the problem? Well, comes down to money. I’m a deplorably consistent writer, a bean-counter’s dream, and as long as they pay me X, they know they’ll make Y profit with little or no effort on their part. It also makes it hard to argue that X is not enough– especially when I don’t seem to be going anywhere else.

Of course, no one here’s to blame but myself. A few years ago my agent retired and I went though a financial panic and negotiated some contracts myself that I probably shouldn’t have— contracts I’m still working out. Well, done is done, learning experience and all that. However, I am now searching in earnest for a new literary agent, preferably one with a good track record with foreign sales. I have a 17-deep blacklist that’s doing nothing for me in that respect. I also need someone who can deal with my constant genre-shifting.

So, readers, got anyone you’d recommend? Let me know.

Copies are in!

Yay! I just got my author copies of Blood & Rust: Two Novels of the Cleveland Undead, DAW’s omnibus reprint of Raven and The Flesh, the Blood, and the Fire, my two vampire novels. (Actually I got 16 of 40 copies, at 640 pages the book is kind of fat and only 16 fit in the box that arrived today— I hope there’s another enroute that just got separated from its sibling.)

This is good news, as Raven has to be one of the books I get the most queries about, which was frustrating while it was out of print. And The Flesh, the Blood and the Fire is one of the novels I am most proud of, the horror and the historical elements coming together very well in my somewhat biased opinion. If you are interested, I have sample chapters from both books here and here. Amazon also has exerpts from The Flesh, the Blood and the Fire on their site. (And, while you’re there, you might as well order Blood & Rust, right?)

By the way, I’m generally bad at titles, but I really like the title I came up with for the collection. Blood & Rust really captures the noir feel of both books. I also think the cover’s sweet too: