It's been a while, but I have reasons! First, let's knock out some small things.
1.) The last book of Chronicles of M is out. You can find that HERE
2.) Truck Stop Hipsters is out, but as the artist has hold/control I cannot give you links or copies because I have neither. Hoping to resolve that soon.
3.) I am writing, but at the suggestion of others, I'm attempting screenplays. This first one is an adaption of the Domitianus character. So yes, horror, but a lot of comedy to it too. I have a few other ideas that will probably be novels and screenplays - might as well do both at the same time.
4.) I'm also learning the Unreal Engine, because I have an idea for a video game that refuses to go away.
Okay, not small things, but easy to list! The big thing, for me, and the reason I've been absent is my employment situation. It's an odd one, one I'm not prepared to discuss much yet, but it'll make for an interesting story later. I work for Yellow Freight. They are/were an almost century old company I've been with about 7 years. In August they filed for bankruptcy, laid off 29k people, and I'm been one of the few still working, helping close up shop. There's ~600 of us at the moment. The situation made national news, so it's easy enough to Google if you choose to.
I have nothing bad to say, it's just that I still have a job through the holidays. The story is more about what it's like to see this situation from the inside, from a company that was this big and this old. All and all an experience that few get that I'm trying to do my best to remember that while I live in this day-to-day void.
After several rounds of edits from myself, and now a round from the legit editor, I'm coming near the finish line. Much like before, I'm going to take my time with this process. It's the end of the main series and I want it to not stink like so many endings do. Is it a true ending? No, but it's the end of a very long journey. It's the kind of ending that all of us could walk away from content, but open enough to allow all of us to explore the possibilities. Us might seem like odd phrasing here, but it really is our journey. I can sit here and play this out in my head all day, every day, but the written word is about us seeing that through together. Shut up, I know it's cheesy.
I don't have much of an ETA at this time, as there's a lot going on these days. I'd like to wrap this up by the end of May, with an early June or July release date. However, we have some conventions coming up, I have a comic to push out to publishers, and I'm currently working on a couple screenplays. Those amount to short films, but it's still a fun direction to be headed in.
I haven't done one of these in a while. Honestly, it's because there hasn't been much to say. I'm just here, typing away. Nothing terribly exciting, or profound. That being said, I think it's time to say something!
I am currently 60k words deep into the draft. I was hoping to be done with this book by the end of the year, but that is very unlikely. I may be done with the draft in that time, but not published, or edited. Basically, I have had a lot of ground to cover, a lot of stories to wrap up, things to mention, cameos to make. It's a huge ordeal ending a long running series like this, and I don't want to ruin it. I hate watching a really good show only to be disappointed by the ending. I don't want that for this series, and I don't want that for you.
That being said, we both know it's not the absolute end. More like End Game was for the MCU. Not a true ending, but one all the same. I may, one day, revisit this period and add more (I occasionally think Mai/Hitori needs another book). We shall see what the future holds.
As for this book. Well, we're at the final stretch, the last act, the final stand. It's going to be full of action, humor, and an ending where you'll be flipping through the series trying to see figure out how you got where you're at. In short, if I do this well (and I will do everything in my power to do so) this will be my favorite book out of the whole series.
It's been a few weeks since I posted, but that's mostly due to how busy I've been. First off, I had a table at Fountain City Comic Con for one of those weekends. If you follow me on Instagram, or Facebook you likely saw some of the pictures I took. It was a blast. I sold some books, talked to a prop master about his work on Army of Darkness, and I may have lined up some new side projects. It never hurts to network!
I started the writing of Book 8 today. Not going to lie, this is going to be a tough one to write, for a number of reasons.
For one, it's the end of a 10 year long series. While some of the characters will move into the next series, not all of them will. It's hard, to be honest. It's like finishing a book series you've been reading for the first time. Except, I made it and I've had to live with these characters in my head a lot longer than what it takes to read the series.
The content is going to be tough to tackle as well. It's really 3 stories in one, set in different time periods, but explaining how it all started, how it's going to end, and where it's going from there. I'd love to separate these out into different books, but my fear is that in doing that someone new to the series will pick up one of these books first, read it, and ruin the story behind the series. For semi-clarity, and a little bit of a hint: even the writing style of the series is explained.
Lastly, I have a lot of things to wrap up, and I want to make sure to include everything, and do so in a pleasing manner. I hate watching/reading a long running series, only to be disappointed with the ending. I'm going to do my best not to do that here.
At present, I'm only 2k words in, and am going to do my best to keep a 1k word a day momentum. Assuming work and life don't get in the way too much, I'm shooting for a 4-6 month release window. Don't yell at me if that doesn't happen. :)
As the main series ends, two new ones will rise from the ashes! Okay, that was a bit Ed Wood dramatic, sue me.
However, there is truth to it. The "plan" is to begin a series as a sci-fi space romp, while the other covers the aftermath of the main series. Not directly tied to CoM, this will take place (likely) thousands of years later. This will be a Conanesque world in this series. By that I mean you'll be getting a world of magic, monsters, varied races (frog people), and crazy characters. I don't have too many specifics written out, but I have a pretty good idea what I want to do and where to take it.
I wouldn't expect too many obvious ties to the main series. What I've found with long running series, like CoM, is that it's increasingly difficult to sell someone on a series that seems to never end. I can understand and appreciate that. So, rather than advertising this to newbies as a spinoff, it'll simply be a new set of stories, set in the same universe. However, if you have read CoM you'll likely pick up on a few things that will make the experience a bit more enjoyable. Think The Mandalorian to the Star Wars movies.
I don't know specifically when I'll get to this series. I'd like to do Dwarves in Space first, but seeing as I have some other projects I'd like to do as well it may be a while before this comes to fruition. Those things I'll start to cover in the next post(s).
If the in Spaaaaaace thing doesn't make sense, Youtube "Pigs in Space". It was an old Muppet Show skit. Anyways, moving on...
One of the things I've very much tried to keep going in these books is a relaxing of genres. I'll read just about anything handed to me, and from that, my style is a bit eccentric. M tends to have a quirky noir, satirical style, Hitori (or Mai in the COM series) is more of a old samurai/manga style, Domitianus was straight horror, and the Death Squad book was a mixed back of documentary, mythology, social commentary, and action. What I haven't dealt with is science fiction, which was very much on purpose.
I wanted to ease into it. I know sci-fi is not everyone's cup of tea. COM starts in modern times and gradually works its way into the future. The idea being that time must pass, but in developing the characters and showing the progress of time through their technology and a bit through language, I hoped that the steps into space ships and planetary adventures wouldn't be as off-putting. If I drag you into space with existing characters, maybe the trip won't be so painful. Hopefully, you're up for the journey.
I'm going to break this post into a few parts, because I dislike writing 50 page posts for people to read. It makes me think of those ridiculous stories before a recipe. Just get to the point and give me the good stuff.
Firstly, or perhaps eightly, the next book in the Chronicles of M series (book 8) will be the last. Not the last of M, but the last of what makes up the "Chronicles" portion. I have written an intro, lots of notes, and pondered the crud out of the book, but the actual progress has been small. This is in due in part to wanting to finish this series correctly, work through all the plot holes I've left behind (mostly on purpose), wrap up character stories, etc. I'm also lacking in progress because of Truckstop Hipsters, creating a video game (I'll talk about at a later date), and the usual adulting things we all love and cherish (insert eyeroll here). There's also a super secret project in the works that I must be super secret about, but if it shall come to fruition...well, we shall see in due time.
Once we're beyond book 8, there are two paths I'm taking this world I've created. One, in spaaaaaace, and the other will continue the path that these current series begins. Saying more will potentially be spoilers for book 8, so I will remain silent. All you need know is that parts 2 and 3 of this blog post will cover the two directions this will go....generically speaking.
I've been working with Eric Wright on a brand new comic, Truckstop Hipsters. It's about 4 friends and their (mis)adventures while hanging out at their favorite locations....mostly a truckstop.
This is in "coming soon" phase. Eric is doing ALL the art work, which includes water coloring the entire thing. It'll be amazing when it's done and I'll post some pictures going forward.
Click on the Truckstop Histpers image to go to Eric's Facebook page. He's an amazing artist who does an array of art (ie not just comics). He also does commissions!