As a Sequel to a Recent Post: One Kay for The Flood Circle

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The Flood Circle reached one thousand copies sold (counting Amazon sales only) as of yesterday, 11/29. The Iron Gate hit this same milestone on in early November, so copies of TFC have moved a little faster.

I’m sure that’s because of the cumulative effect of promoting the previous book.

And while reviews of The Iron Gate have been terrific, I was concerned that some readers would have been dissatisfied with the plot and would just quietly stop buying. That doesn’t seem to be happening.

::dabs brow with hanky::

Also, I’ve posted a note on Twitter about the order of the stories in the Twenty Palaces series. Here it is

With luck, that embed won’t be a dead link in two weeks.

Anyway, the reading order is the order on the front page of my website. The only exception is the novelette “The Homemade Mask”, which is included with my short fiction collection. It comes after Circle of Enemies but before The Twisted Path.

“The Homemade Mask” isn’t what I’d call “essential” to the series as a whole, but if you’d like to read a story told (partially) from the POV of a predator, that’s the place to go.

I’ve also dropped, for a short time, the price of the first book in the series to 99 cents. At this point, there isn’t a lot of promotional stuff left for me to do, unless I start buying ads or whatever, and that has been a decidedly mixed bag for me. I mean, I have basically one social media platform that I use with any regularity, and there’s only so many times I can tell the same group of followers that I have a new novel out.

Which is why I ask once again that, if you haven’t already, please post reviews on your online spaces, on the sites where you bought the book, and even in face-to-face encounters in the real world, assuming that still happens.

Finally, I’m currently at work on my next book, which I’ve mentioned before will be a stand alone. The story and tone are coming together slowly, but I knew this new project would be challenging, and a new challenge is just what I need.

The Flood Circle

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Buy links:

Ebook:  Amazon  |  Apple Books  | Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords

Print:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Audiobook download:  Apple Books  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Bookshop.org  |  Kobo

Audiobook cd:  Bookshop.org  | Indiebound  |  Mysterious Galaxy


I have already described the origin of The Flood Circle in my post about The Iron Gate. Kickstarter. Backers. Fulfillment. Novel. A few people have expressed surprise that I am releasing another book so soon after the previous one. Well, I wrote both together, sort of. First draft and revision for The Iron Gate. First draft and revision for this one. Second revision then second revision. Beta read and then beta read, and so on. The real question is why has the delay between books been so long?

But when I sat down to work out the story, I had to ask myself: Is this the last Twenty Palaces novel?

I could have cut things short. Definitely. I could have tried to arrange the story so that the finale of this book was the midpoint of another, very different book. Then I could have wrapped everything up in a single novel.

It was tempting. I recently discovered that I am not, in fact, growing younger as the years go by. In addition, I like a fast-moving story. Why not put Ray and Annalise through the ringer? Why not… I don’t know… turn my final idea for a novel into a ten thousand word epilogue or something?

It wouldn’t work, though. There was still too much story to tell. There was too much I wanted to get done, and the danger of rushing a story is that it loses its emotional impact.

So there’s going to be one more book after this one, called Twenty-One Palaces. I know the general setting but I have zero plot beats figured out. The stakes, the tone, the supporting cast are all a mystery.

But that’s for the future. For now: The Flood Circle

The Flood Circle Cover

Here’s the synopsis:

The three original spellbooks, source of all magic in the world, have been found, and Ray Lilly has already “acquired” one. Now he and Annalise are on a historic mission to get the other two and they’re ready to kill anyone who gets in their way.

If they succeed, the Twenty Palace Society will become more powerful than it has ever been and could truly safeguard humanity from both extra-dimensional predators and the people who summon them.

But this time their enemies are more formidable than any they’ve ever faced before. What starts as a covert mission to hunt sorcerers quickly collapses into a desperate—and very public—struggle to survive. Can Ray and Annalise track down and kill these sorcerers before they execute a plan to drive the human race to the edge of extinction?


As usual, I’ll be turning the buy links below into actual links as the book appears on each site.

Tantor is still doing the audiobooks, and they’re planning to keep the narrator from previous editions of Twenty Palaces. I’ll add those links as they appear.

You may have noticed fewer options for a print copy this time around. Normally, I set up a print version within Amazon and through Lightning Source’s Ingram Spark system. Ingram’s distribution system is very wide, allowing you to walk into pretty much any bookstore in the English-speaking world and say “Can you order a copy of The Flood Circle for me?”

It also gave readers a lot of choices (for print) that were not Amazon. Bookshop.org and Indiebound both explicitly support independent bookstores. And while the markup at those two shops can be intense, supporting indie stores is a worthwhile goal.

Except it mostly never happens. My most recent bestselling book through LSIS has been Twenty Palaces, and that book sold only twenty copies. Over two years.

What’s more, LSIS wanted to charge me eighty dollars to put the book up for sale.

The POD print editions are already too expensive for readers, and the system is too expensive for me. It’s weird to think of a $80 fee as a negative advance that I’ll never recoup, but I’m sitting here facing facts and accepting it for what it is.

I’m also thinking that they set the price that high to discourage long-tail idiots like myself, and I’m a guy who can take a hint.

So this time around, the only print options will be Amazon and B&N. Sorry about that.

And please, if you like my books, please tell your friends. In person, on social media, posting a review somewhere. Anything. Please spread the word.

 

Buy links:

Ebook:  Amazon  |  Apple Books  | Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords

Print:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Audiobook download:  Apple Books  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Bookshop.org  |  Kobo

Audiobook cd:  Bookshop.org  | Indiebound  |  Mysterious Galaxy

The Iron Gate

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Buy links:

Ebook:  Amazon  |  Apple Books  | Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords

Print:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Bookshop.org  |  Indiebound  |  Mysterious Galaxy  |  Powell’s

Audiobook download:  Apple Books  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Bookshop.org  |  Kobo

Audiobook cd:  Bookshop.org  | Indiebound  |  Mysterious Galaxy

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Some time ago I started wondering how much actual interest there was in a continuation of the Twenty Palaces series. I’d tried the novella route with The Twisted Path, but sales were unremarkable. When I first started publishing with Del Rey, I’d thought I was a mid list writer. Later, it seemed I’d become a writer with a small following, then maybe not even that.

What was the point of trying to plan a career when my choices kept sending me in the wrong direction?

When Kickstarter got around to their brief “Break Kickstarter” idea, I had a really dumb idea: What if I started taking pledges for new Twenty Palaces fiction, but instead of offering a specific goal, I let the backers choose it. Break Kickstarter was meant to encourage people to use the service in a new way, so I set a rate of five cents a word and promised to revisit the series at whatever level of enthusiasm readers chose. No stretch goals. No pledge tiers. For every dollar a backer pledged, they could pick twenty words to call their own.

So, if I made a fifty dollars in pledges, I’d write a thousand-word short story. If pledges were higher, I’d write more, with a cap at two complete novels because I really had no idea how much or how little interest there was.

Well, pledges did hit that cap, and I owed my backers two full novels of at least a hundred thousand words each. The first, called The Iron Gate, is out now.

Cover for The Iron Gate

The Iron Gate

Here’s a description of the story:

Stormy Bay is a dying town nestled against an eerily placid ocean, and Ray Lilly is trapped in it. He can barely remember his name let alone his mission for the Twenty Palace society. Worse, he realizes that for some time now he’s been living as a puppet, his body and mind under the complete domination of an unknown power.

And that power can still seize control of Ray’s body at any time, forcing him and the people around him to playact in nonsense stories that center around a mysterious boy and his monster dog.

The town and its people shift and change, but only Ray seems to notice. He has no idea what sort of magic has imprisoned all these ordinary folks in Stormy Bay, but he does know he needs to get them, and himself, out.

But that might mean crossing a line he has never crossed before. While Ray has certainly taken lives in his work for the society, it was always in self-defense or in the desperate moments before impending calamity. Can he bring himself to commit cold-blooded murder, even to save dozens of lives?

Next up, after The Iron Gate, will be The Flood Circle, hopefully released sometime next month.

After that, I’ll be writing something else to let the creative energies renew. At some point later, finally, I’ll be ready to write Twenty-One Palaces, the final Twenty Palaces novel, The one that wraps up the series.

In the meantime, here are buy links to online vendors below. I’ve hit a few glitches here and there, and will connect to the books as they appear on the various sites. Apple Books is being Apple.

If you want a print edition, options are limited for the moment. I’m waiting for other vendors to connect their catalogs to Lightning Source before I can add them.

As for audio, Tantor will be creating an audiobook that combines The Iron Gate with The Twisted Path, since the latter is a novella and is too small to be on its own. I don’t know when that will be available but I will let you guys know.

And I can’t wait for the book to be fully out, so I can edit these last four paragraphs out of this post.

In the meantime, if you read the book, please write a review.

—-

Buy links:

Ebook:  Amazon  |  Apple Books  | Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords

Print:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Bookshop.org  |  Indiebound  |  Mysterious Galaxy  |  Powell’s

Audiobook download:  Apple Books |   Barnes & Noble  |  Bookshop.org  |  Kobo  |

Audiobook cd:  Bookshop.org  | Indiebound  |  Mysterious Galaxy

Child of Fire Audiobook Available Today. Right Now, In Fact

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Let’s make this short and sweet, so I can go back to revising The Iron Gate:

Today, the audiobook for Child of Fire is available.

Not just on Amazon, but also on Audiobooks.com and iBooks and where ever else you pick up books for your ear drums.

Remember that the prequel, Twenty Palaces, came out last month and that Game of Cages comes out next month. Circle of Enemies is the month after that.

Me, I’m going back to my books.

5 Things Make a Post (nostalgia remix)

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1. Remember the old days when a person would simply turn to their blog and record a bunch of thoughts, instead of giving them away to a profit-free social media company like Twitter? Man, those were the days.

2. I’ve reached a tricky part of The Iron Gate. That’s not a bad thing (the exact opposite, in fact) but this is a part of the narrative where I’m going to be second-guessing myself and jumping around, trying to iron out a decent sequence of events so that things are fun and also cool and also make you want to keep reading. Every once in a while I see writers talk about writing a first draft and just going out with it, and I wish I could do that. Never happen, though.

3. Watched Ernst Lubitch’s final completed film last night: CLUNY BROWN. It’s a rom com that doubles as a satire of upper class British manners. (“Darling, if I trust you now, I’ll always have to trust you. And I won’t.”) Often, when a movie criticizes social mores, it makes itself a period piece. Its much more palatable (marketable) to GREEN BOOK racism than to address racism in the here and now. But CLUNY BROWN, released in 1946, was set in 1938. Anyway, it’s a funny, clever film with terrific performances. Worth watching.

4. Two weeks ago, I asked you guys to please review One Man and my other books, too, and you have really responded. Before I that blog post, sales for all my work on the Kindle store were in the mid-20s. Almost immediately, they jumped to the high 50s or low 60s, and now One Man is only 8 ratings/review from that sweet 100 mark on Amazon. Thank you all. It really makes a big difference to discoverability and to overall sales. If you’ve been meaning to post a review but haven’t gotten around to it, the links at the bottom of the main post should make for easy clicking. Thanks again.

5. My son has been working on a novel and has given me his first draft. It’s pretty good for a first effort, although no where close to ready for public consumption. But every moment I spent doing something other than editing his book or working on my own makes me feel guilty, like I’m slacking off. Luckily, guilt has never stopped me from being super lazy, so I’m going to log off, make a couple of notes about our respective works, and then put in the library dvd for TITANS, which I’ve heard is terrible. If so, I can turn it off after ten minutes or so and never be tempted by it again.

One Man Reviews and Discoverability

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One Man has been on sale for nearly two months, and while sales have not been life-changing, they’ve been holding fairly steady. And that’s mainly because of the reviews.

The reviews so far have been very positive, with a number of people saying One Man was the best fantasy they read all year. To which I have to say:

Wow, thank you.

I spent two years on this book. I’m not what you’d call prolific, and I thought it might be wise to stop trying to be. What if, I thought, I stopped streamlining and started dawdling. What if I gave it extra time and attention to make something complex? What if?

Well, publishers said Meh, which has me thinking that what I want to see in a second-world fantasy is not exactly in the mainstream. (Like all my other books, I guess.) But still! There’s space outside the mainstream if I can connect what I love to the readers who would also love it.

Which is why I’m so grateful for the reviews you guys leave, and why I keep asking for them. Last week, One Man passed the fifty review mark over on Amazon, which is a huge boost to discoverability. Amazon likes to prioritize books that get a lot of reviews, and I’m hopeful that One Man will pass the next level for Amazon’s algorithms, which is 100 reviews. Child of Fire has over a hundred, and so does The Way into Chaos.

However, Game of Cages, Circle of Enemies, and several other works of mine have not, so I have to keep coming here to talk about this and ask you to drop a review if you haven’t already.

Amazon makes that easy. When I enter the book title “One Man” into their search function, the results actually include books with that title. It puts them at the top, even.

It’s different for Goodreads, though. Goodreads’s search algorithm seems like it assumes you don’t actually know the title of the book you’re searching for, and throws up a lot of weird results. For example, when I type “One Man” into a search window, the auto-complete looks like this:

autocomplete includes book titles unlike the search string I entered

What you get before you press enter

I get that Camus is more popular than I am, but are they really putting in a book that I didn’t search for instead of one that I did?

What happens, you may wonder, after I press ENTER to see the results?

Search for One Man, get a lot of books with a different title

It’s like they’re ignoring the title I actually entered.

This shows the scroll bar on the side, and you won’t be surprised to hear that my book doesn’t appear on that first page at all. In fact, it doesn’t appear on pages two through five, either.

The reason I bring this up is that some folks have said they had trouble finding the book on Goodreads, especially when it first came out. You’ll have to throw my name in there to actually find the right page, at least until Amazon brings the search algorithms on Goodreads up to the standards of their online store. Or click this link.

And thank you again for the reviews you have already written. I’m incredibly grateful.

By the way, if you want a direct link to an online vendor to drop a review, see below:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo | Mysterious GalaxyPowell’s | Smashwords

The One Man Post

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One Man is a superbly realised story set in a rich and fascinating world. The horror grips, the fantasy delights and the characters remain vivid and real to the end.” — Justina Robson

It’s been four years since I released a new novel.

Four plus, actually, and I’m a little embarrassed that it’s been that long. There was the Twenty Palaces novella, The Twisted Path, of course, but still. Four years.

This book is the reason.

I spent two years writing One Man. It’s is a big book, over 150,000 words. It’s complicated, with lots of POV characters and locations. The setting is limited–almost every chapter takes place in a single city–but it’s complex.

Which is another way of saying that a lot of time and sweat went into this novel, and I’m proud of the result.

Here’s the back cover description:

———–

One Cursed City. Two Dead Gods. Ten Thousand Murderers and Thieves. One Orphaned Girl.

As a child, Kyrioc was groomed to be the head of one of the most powerful noble families in Koh-Salash, a city built inside the skeletons of two murdered gods. Kyrioc himself dreamed of becoming head of the High Watch, the highest political position in the land.

Those dreams have turned to dust.

Presumed dead after a disastrous overseas quest, Kyrioc now lives in a downcity slum under a false name, hiding behind the bars of a pawnshop window. Riliska, a nine-year-old pickpocket who sells stolen trinkets to his shop, is the closest thing he has to a friend.

When a criminal gang kills Riliska’s mother and kidnaps the little girl, Kyrioc goes hunting for her.

He doesn’t care about the forbidden magic the gangs are fighting over—the severed ear of a glitterkind, a creature whose flesh contains astonishing healing powers. He doesn’t care about the bloody, escalating gang violence. He doesn’t care about the schemes of power-hungry nobles.

In a raging city on the verge of civil war, Kyrioc only wants to save his friend. He will risk anything for her, even awakening the powers that murdered the gods so long ago.

———–

See, I wanted to try an experiment. Most fantasy novels have huge stakes: A Dark Lord trying to conquer all. A usurper seizing the throne, pushing a kingdom toward civil war. A world-shattering magical cataclysm. Invasion of monsters. Return of monsters. Whatever.

But what if I wanted to create a fantasy story about a quest for something small. Something important, but not world-shattering. For instance: the life of a single little girl. Not even his own, just someone he knows.

I wanted to see if I could make a story like that as compelling as one where millions of lives were at stake. The consequences of the protagonist’s actions were wide-ranging. They had ripple effects. The other POV characters have their own quests, and as the status quo of the city crumbles, the dangers escalate.

But for the protagonist? He just wants to save one life.

If I’m being honest with myself, I felt sure that NY publishers would really respond to this novel. I expected the mix of genres, characters, and setting to hit the bullseye. Probably, you could say that I was being ambitious.

I was wrong. One Man was on submission for over a year and a half and, while it earned me the nicest rejection I have ever seen (or even heard about) no one wanted to publish it.

It’s probably a mistake to admit that, but fuck it. I think it’s a good book. A thriller with strange magic, desperation, betrayal, and murder. But it’s an odd book, too, with bourgeois hobbit vampires, and sleeping giants whose flesh can heal you, and a sprawling city built inside the skeletons of two gods who were murdered while fucking.

What I’m hoping, if you’ve read this far down the page, is that you’re interested in a big, odd, ambitious book about crime and magic and a screwed-up guy who has one last chance to do something decent in this world.

Cover for One Man

The trade paperback should be available to order from Ingram, if you want to buy from your local bookstore, but obviously you could also buy from one of the online vendors below.

Sample chapters here.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo | Mysterious GalaxyPowell’s | Smashwords

Randomness for 8/16

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1. The Low-Frills Genre Fiction of 1981. What amazing covers

2. What It’s Like To Own an Electric Car.

3. Almost Every Bob Ross Painting in Existence Lives in a Virginia Office Park.

4. Brewery unveils six-pack ring that will feed sea turtles instead of killing them.

5) My son followed this recipe for making NY style pizza at home, and whaddayano? Video

6) Shipping firm automatically dispatches truck to haul freight, successfully pricing, tendering, booking, then picking up and delivering the shipment without any human interaction at all.

7) Trying to rebuild civilization? This dude is trying to open-source the blueprints for 50 essential machines.

 

13 hours left to back this:

The Iron Gate, a New (Break) Kickstarter Campaign

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Kickstarter is running a “Break Kickstarter” campaign, which invites creators to use the platform in unusual ways. Not to break their rules, but to organize a campaign in an unusual way.

Until I saw that promo, I hadn’t been planning to use Kickstarter again. To be honest, I was gratified that my 2013 campaign for The Great Way did so well, but it was a crapton of work, and I’m a naturally disorganized person. I screwed up a few times while fulfilling that campaign, and that was extremely embarrassing. I didn’t want to put myself into that position again.

But if there’s an opportunity to flout the usual expectations? I’m signing on for the next Twenty Palaces story, The Iron Gate.

Here’s what’s going to be unusual in this campaign:

No video
No stretch goals
One reward: an ebook (although you could decide not to take a reward if you prefer)
One pledge level: (although KS lets you pledge more if you want)
You decide how long The Iron Gate is going to be

The Twisted Path was a novella, and some readers really wanted me to go back to novels. I’m not sure how much demand there is for this, but let’s find out.

For every $50 pledged to this campaign, I will write a thousand words. That’s the minimum professional rate, established by SFWA, of five cents a word.

In practical terms, I’ll look at that as a minimum word count.

So, if the campaign meets its goal of $500, I’ll write a 10,000-word novelette, which is about the length of “The Home-Made Mask”. If all twelve-hundred-ish people from the Great Way campaign pledge $4, that’ll be about enough for a novel.

I’ve set an upper limit, too. If you want to know what that is, or have other concerns, please check out the campaign. Also, if you’d like to take part.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/harryconnolly/the-iron-gate-break-kickstarter

For Every Failure, an Opportunity

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If you’re backing my Patreon, you may have noticed that it has been switched back on. That is, it’s back to a monthly basis, charging credit cards at the start of every month. I’d turned it “off” because I’d started a new job. As of this week I’m no longer working there, so it’s on again.

I’ve never been fired for being bad at a job before, but you know what? It was the right thing for them to do. I absolutely should have been let go. And I’m glad for it.

In previous posts I was a little cagey about where I’d been hired because it was a six-month contract at a game company, and I was sure how it would go. I’ll say now that it was the Valve Corporation over in Bellevue. I’ll also say that they asked me not to talk about the games I worked on/heard about/whatever outside of their offices, even to my own family. I haven’t done that and I won’t start now.

How it happened was this: Gabe, the founder of the company, liked my books and invited me to lunch. This was back in, I think, 2012? 2013? Several months before my Kickstarter for The Great Way, at least. I’d heard of Valve’s games but hadn’t played any, and I honestly thought he was going to ask if I would write a novel for the company. But lunch wasn’t just me and Gabe, we were joined by a bunch of writers already working for the company, and I was all What am I doing here? Nobody needs me to write a novel when they already have Marc Laidlaw sitting right there.

It turned out the offer was to work at the company on the actual games, which I had to decline. I didn’t play many video games because a) they were often asking me to do shit that was illegal and immoral, which I hate and b) too many games were boring, making me quit early, and most of all c) if I did like them, I could be obsessive about it. I mean, Freedom Force and its sequel were scads of fun, but playing them, I spent hours with my back to the living room, and every other aspect of my life suffered. I’m not exactly Mr. Moderation. My wife was especially unhappy to be ignored evening after evening while I shot pretend ray guns at cartoon people.

After that lunch meeting, I started playing (and enjoying) games a lot more, and Valve was a big reason for that. I love the Portal and Half-Life games–like, genuinely loved playing them–because they didn’t ask me to run errands, murder innocent people or navigate lots of high places without railings (seriously the worst). As my son got older, he started recommending games that suited me better, and so I felt I understood them a little better. I never became good, but they made sense in a conceptual way

Then we came to the end of 2018. I’d taken a big gamble after The Great Way and Key/Egg came out. I put two years into a fat fantasy with a cool setting, a plot that was a little out of the ordinary, and badass characters. The plan was simple. Write a book that stands out, place it with NY publishers, and let the backlist bump spill some extra coins into our savings accounts.

Except it didn’t work. Publishers passed. The book was too different, or too something, and there was no new contract and therefore no bump.

At that point, we’d been living off the money from The Great Way for too long and our savings was getting low (not to mention rent increases and a possible eviction in the coming months), so my wife asked me to find a day job, and I thought about Valve, and I reached out. Did, maybe, I have something to contribute there?

Nope! But I didn’t know that at the time.

Gabe and his people were nice enough to give me a chance though, working on a multiplayer team-fighting game that was in the very early stages. I was to do worldbuilding for them.

Which meant: Where and Why.

Where are they fighting?

Why are they fighting?

Those were the two questions I was supposed to answer, and over the course of two months, I couldn’t make a suggestion that both matched the criteria they’d given me and also made the rest of the team excited. Two full months! Of course they let me go.

As a writer, I’ve had my share of one-star reviews. And you don’t grow up in a family like mine and get all tender-hearted about what people think of you. But when you’re sitting in a meeting, and everyone looks miserable because of you–because of the mouth-sounds you’re making–well, that suuuuucks.

You guys should have seen some of the body language in the room for that last meeting. Picture, if you will, a person sitting on a bench at a bus stop at night. They’ve forgotten their jacket, and it’s sleeting. That’s exactly some of those guys were sitting: hunched over, head down, waiting for all this to just be over.

And that was my fault.

See, it doesn’t matter if it’s a great company, or that the money was good, or that there was a free salad bar at lunch every day with chick peas you could scoop right into the bowl (seriously, so fucking delicious). None of that shit matters if the work itself is a waste of time to everyone on the team, including the person doing it. That’s demoralizing as hell.

Me, personally, I think the setting I created for that last meeting would be a home run in all sorts of media–books, animation, whatever–but not in computer games and certainly not in the game they’re working so hard to create. It just didn’t fit. And at this point, I don’t care where my proposals came up short or if they went too far or what was actually wrong. All that matters is that it wasn’t successful, and Valve owns it, and I hope they can cherry-pick a few things out of it that they find useful. And if they can’t, sorry, guys.

Where does that leave me? Not unemployed, exactly, since I’m working for myself again.

Those two months helped refill our bank accounts a little, and I have three completed, unreleased novel manuscripts. One is that big gamble. Another is a mystery/thriller with no supernatural elements. Another is the fun fantasy adventure that needs a little bit more tweaking before my agent takes it to NY publishers.

I’m composing this during the time I’m supposed to be writing a novelette for an anthology I’ve been invited to, but I put that off because I feel like I owe you guys an update on where things stand, fiction-wise. I’ve spent the last two months squeezing my own projects into the hour before I went into the office, but now that I’m back on my own time, things will go faster.

My fun fantasy will go out to publishers (“Funpunk”! You heard it here first, folks). My big gamble book and the thriller will be self-published. Kickstarter maybe? We’ll have to see. I also have to write the next Twenty Palaces novella. And at some point soon, we’ll look again at our bank accounts and maybe I’ll grab another day job.

So I wanted you to know that, even though I haven’t published a new novel since 2015(!) I haven’t stopped writing. I haven’t stopped working hard. There’s new stuff on the horizon and, you know, maybe I won’t try those big gambles again.

Thanks for reading.