Caller 107

I’m thrilled to announce that Curiosity Quills has signed a publishing contract with me for Caller 107No release date has been determined at this time, though it will probably be in the first half of 2014. (I know that’s a wide window but at this point it’s a best guess situation.)


Anyway… sometime around 2006 or so (i’m guessing) I had a very bizarre dream. I’m still to this day not sure what triggered or if it means anything. When I awoke from it, it had the unusual quality of being still in my head as if I had just watched a movie. For reasons I do not entirely understand (for I wasn’t too serious about the writing thing back then) decided that since I remembered it, I should write it down.

So, as soon as I was up I started typing and didn’t stop until I had as best a scene-for-scene transcription of the dream, weirdness and all. This produced a story that was about 22,000 words in length. I thought it was a bit quirky and was not sure what to do with it, so it sat.

It sat on my computer until, quite by chance – and the miracle of surviving two new PC’s – I found it and started reading it again. Since the time I initially wrote it and when I found it a few months ago, my writing had (at least I like to think so) improved quite a bit. I sat down and went through it with my newly honed attempt at editing abilities and lo and behold got it down to a nice trim 20k even.

With Division Zero signed and on the way, I decided to send this one over (at the time I called it “Natalie”) and ask if they might have any interest in this old short story I found and touched up. Well, as it turns out, 20k is too fat to be a short story. Alas, its also too anemic for a Novella. So, the nugget that would become Caller 107 wound up in this limbo of being too big and too small at the same time. Fortunately, James at CQ gave me a lot of positive feedback about the story, and Lisa must have seen something as well as she asked if I would consider bringing it up to novel length.

Well, “Novel Length” I said to myself… How hard could that be?

The first manuscript I wrote, Virtual Immortality, came out 255k at the first draft (since down to 206).  Division Zero hit 98 without breaking a sweat. No Problem I can do this. Well, VI and Division Zero had the fortunate circumstance of both being in the genre of my comfort zone as well as outlined in detail. I wrote Natalie (the short story that would become Caller 107) based on a strange dream as quickly as I could type without losing any of it. No outline, just a stumbling walk from bed to desk and a blur of flying words.

No outline, no plan, just a quirky little story about some kid having a really bad night. I did the only logical thing I could think of. I had to think outside the dream box, as it were, and create a bit before it, a bit after it, and stuff a little in the middle. I must say, being an outliner by nature, working without a net was definitely an experience.

Fortunately, I think it worked. So much for nets – though I do think I will continue to be more of an outliner.

Oh, and Happy T-Day.


Crumpets and Collected Fate

The site mascot

So here it is, week 11 of the blog. Seems like just yesterday I was staring at my email inbox, chewing my fingernails away to nothing while waiting on word from Curiosity Quills regarding my submission. Somewhere within that blur of anxiety, I received the suggestion ‘you need a website’.

Naturally, I agreed with them, and sat down staring at a blank screen. After a few hours of failure to channel my (lack of) Mechanical Aptitude Psionic power, I realized I would need to do something else. The computer was not terribly impressed with a series of silly faces. Even the cats shook their heads.

Fortunately, a close friend who shall remain, for the moment, nameless has a knack for this sort of thing and helped get the ball rolling. (Not the umbrella toting ball, that’s something else entirely…)

With Marty (so much for the nameless part) came hosting space, domain, and blammo — instant blogdom. Of course, the question remained – what do I put on it. While I continue to roam about the dusty labyrinthine corridors between my ears for ideas about which to ramble (and hopefully not bore anyone to death), I decided to take a future novel idea and put it up for grabs in small pieces.

This, I hoped, would allow me to lure people to come back to the site once a week, on the designated day (Thursday) eager for their weekly glimpse into the world of my mad–err, fiction. [wink]

So thereupon, with task in hand, I began the DF blog fiction.

As it is now week eleven, some of you new to the site are probably looking at post 9, 10, and soon to be 11, wondering WTF is going on, feeling a bit lost, and either wandering off for a spot of Earl Grey or trying to [I hope it’s this one] dig down to the bottom to find the beginning.

On good advice from one of the CQ gurus, I’ve added a separate link to the menu for “back posts” of DF. To be even nicer, I’ve condensed the blog-sized bits into nice chaptery goodness that will hopefully make it a bit less kitten-punchingly frustrating to read. The crumpets (for the tea) alas, did not react well to being uploaded… Those, you will need to furnish on your own.

(I do not advocate the punching of kittens, or the feeding of smashed crumpets to full grown cats.)

So with that said, I will continue to blog the story weekly (hopefully not weakly) and as chapters finish, will add them to the archive the following month. I suppose that means since those of you who were so desperate [one can hope] to get your weekly fix of DF can now return only at the more leisurely pace of once a month (or thereabouts, silly leap years) – I shall have to endeavor to occupy this pace with other things.

Well, so be it. I’m still lost in those cobwebs by the way, but I’m getting somewhere soon. I can almost smell cinnamon buns.



Writing Update

The first rough draft of Division Zero: Lex De Mortuis (The law of the dead) is completed at about 94k words.

A cover artist for Division Zero has been chosen and (hopefully) is underway. From what I am hearing, it is quite possible that it will have a first quarter 2014 release date. (assuming all the goblins fall in line, of course.)

Once I get the edit pass settled, I’ll likely post the first chapter as a teaser 🙂