Writing Update

I’ve submitted a short story this weekend. It’s one I’m very proud of so I hope it is received well. This is the third time I’ve tried sending the story out. The first time, I received a form rejection, the second time I received a personalised rejection, so hopefully this continuing trend of improvement means that the third response will be an acceptance. Who knows? I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I have next week booked off work and since all my wonderful travel plans are cancelled due to plague, I intend to spend some of the time working on my writing. I have edits for the third book in the Shadows of Tomorrow trilogy to go through. Edits are never the most fun part of writing a book for me, but they are important so my plan is to spend some of every day working through those to get it done.

I also have the second draft of the fourth Codename Omega book to finish. I’m nearly done, but there’s a plot thread from near the beginning that sort of trails off. I need to try and tidy that up a little bit before I let someone else read the story. This fourth book is a little different from the first three in the series in a way that was a lot of fun to write and that I hope will be a lot of fun for other people to read.

I may not be able to use the time they way I’d intended, but at least I can use it productively, in between trying to get exercise despite social distancing restrictions. I’m trying to make the best of things, which is all we really can do.

Diverse Reading Challenge

There are various diverse reading challenges out there, but I’ve made my own for me. Other people are welcome to take this and adapt if if you want. I intend to read:

  • Written by an author of colour x 5
  • Main character of colour
  • Translated into English
  • Written by a trans author
  • Trans main character
  • Asexual main character
  • Gay main character
  • Lesbian main character
  • Non-binary main character
  • A classic I’ve never read before x 2
  • Written by a disabled author
  • Disabled main character
  • Non-neurotypical main character
  • A genre other than SF&F x 5
  • Mentally ill main character
  • Book I loved as a child
  • Based on non-European folk tales
  • Poetry
  • Book from a small press
  • Self-published book

I expect there will be overlap between these characters. I read a lot of SF&F books, so I’m specifically going to try and read 5 books in other genres to widen my reading, but it’s likely that some or all of those 5 will also meet at least one of the other criteria.

I will share reviews and progress here and on my YouTube channel.

Any recommendations people have for books that meet some or all of these criteria would be welcome. If you’re an author and your book meets any of these criteria, let me know.

Coping During COVID-19

Things are difficult right now for a lot of people, so I wanted to share some thoughts and ideas on ways to cope.

Links to resources and free content:

The Adventures of Technicality Man mobi download – https://plottwister.sharepoint.com/:u:/s/Patreon/EaLnKAt47IJJnvRiVDP-qTIBdqy0N_0A7U9IEzmQF2LpIA?e=LVIbIs

The Adventures of Technicality Man epub download – https://plottwister.sharepoint.com/:u:/s/Patreon/EVf8j9t-uWZErOAG8ZGaHZIBKL-2SSS99NmxwZY_Jw3hfw?e=xfvBEx

Stay home wri mo – https://nanowrimo.org/stayhomewrimo
Free animation course – https://creatureartteacher.com/product-category/special-sale/
Free colouring books from museums – https://hyperallergic.com/548006/free-downloadable-coloring-books/
Virtual science and technology museums – https://interestingengineering.com/11-science-and-tech-museums-you-can-tour-virtually
Free art history classes – https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-10-art-history-classes-online-free/amp

Virtual concerts – https://www.npr.org/2020/03/17/816504058/a-list-of-live-virtual-concerts-to-watch-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown?t=1585498288163

Virtual museum tours – https://hyperallergic.com/547919/2500-virtual-museum-tours-google-arts-culture/
Free text books – https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/textbooks

Writer’s Retreat

I am spending the next five days at a writer’s retreat and I plan to get a lot of words done. I’m not restricting myself to a single project or setting myself a specific word count target but I do have a few goals of things I want to achieve in the upcoming week.

Polish the short story Circle of Memories and submit it somewhere.

Write something of Ridiculously Long and Complicated Urban Fantasy Thing. This story has been stalled far too long and I really want to get back into it so I’m going to read back over some of the previous writing to try and get things moving again. Even a few hundred words will be something.

Write the next chapter of The Third Way. This is a WIP on AO3 that’s been hiatus for far too long and people keep asking if it’s abandoned. I want to make it somewhat less dead.

Write a significant portion of the second draft of the fourth Codename Omega book. I finished the first draft ages ago, so now it’s time to go back through it and see if I can do anything about that slow chunk in the middle where I had no idea how I was going to get my character out of the trouble I’d got him into and it starts to drag. I also need to work in the dramatic backstory reveal I discovered during a random bit of writing after I’d finished the first draft. I don’t expect to finish the second draft in a week, but I can make good headway into it.

See if the as yet unnamed potential sequel to Wolf Unleashed can be made to go anywhere.

If I have time, write a few hundred words on one of the many other half-written beginnings of stories I have floating around.

The Codename Omega book is probably the most critical of these, but we’ll see how it goes. I will be posting word count and other progress updates as I go along. Wish me luck.

A Monster’s Kindness

A Monster's Kindness cover art

Long ago, the village of Shrind sacrificed people to the monsters in the forest. Now the howling has started again, and a village elder has chosen Parton to be the next sacrifice.

Left to die for having shared a kiss with the elder’s son, Parton receives more compassion from the supposed monster than from those who had been his friends and neighbours. In the heart of the woods, learning to accept himself may be a harder lesson than learning to accept the monster.

Available Worldwide

Amazon UK, Amazon US (These are affiliate links – I get a small commission if you buy the book from there)
Apple Books
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
And other ebook purchasing and subscription platforms

A Monster’s Kindness

A Monster's Kindness cover art

Long ago, the village of Shrind sacrificed people to the monsters in the forest. Now the howling has started again, and a village elder has chosen Parton to be the next sacrifice.

Left to die for having shared a kiss with the elder’s son, Parton receives more compassion from the supposed monster than from those who had been his friends and neighbours. In the heart of the woods, learning to accept himself may be a harder lesson than learning to accept the monster.


A Monster’s Kindness is now available for pre-order. UK link, US link. The book is officially released on 19th Oct.

For some reason the cover art isn’t showing up yet on the Amazon page.

A Monster’s Kindness

Several months ago, I was really excited when my novella, A Monster’s Kindness, was accepted by Less Than Three Press. It was due to come out in a couple of months.

This week, the publisher announced that they are shutting down operations. I think this is really sad for many reasons. A large number of the book recommendations on the Queer Reading List were published by this company, so this is a loss for the fans of queer sci-fi and fantasy in general, but it’s upsetting personally to me because of my book.

Thankfully the edits have been done on the text of A Monster’s Kindness, and I received a sketch from the cover artist who was hired. The folks at LT3 have said that they will pay editors and artists to finish projects that have been assigned, so it looks like I will get a cover design alongside the edited manuscript. Given that all this hard work has been done to get the book ready for publication, I will probably self-publish A Monster’s Kindness. It was always going to be ebook only because of its length, so I can take that final step of publication myself.

I think it’s a huge shame about Less Than Three Press. Most of the books in their online marketplace will only be available until the end of the month. If there was anything of theirs that you were considering buying, I guess now is the time to do so. While you still can.

Watch this space for news of A Monster’s Kindness.

Patreon

I am launching a new Patreon if you want to support my work. I’ve looked into Patreon before but never made a serious effort at it, so this new Patreon is me starting afresh.

You can sign up for as little as $1 and that will get you access to the patron-only feed, updates about upcoming works, early information about things like cover art, and, probably more importantly, an ebook copy of The Adventures of Technicality Man. Higher tiers will also give you access to my other books. If you sign up to the $5 tier, you can get ebooks of my Codename Omega series, and the higher tiers will get you physical copies of those books and my other works.

For most of the tiers, I will be sending the books out one a month until you’ve received all the rewards for that tier, and then new books as they are published. The reason for this was that I didn’t want someone signing up for a higher tier, receiving all the reward books, and then backing out, since that could end up costing me a lot of money.

I will also be offering book-related merchandise like bookmarks, tote bags, and printed cards. These will be sent out as regular rewards if you sign up for the higher subscriptions, so you will continue to get rewards between new book released. You will also have the option to prompt me and receive personlised short stories based on those prompts. Some of these may get published at a later date if I feel they’re good enough, but others may remain as patron-only.

I will be posting some bits of writing exclusively to patrons, including short-stories, background pieces of writing, and bits that ended up being cut for the published books. For example, in the Codename Omega series, I attempted a few different starts to that series, including one version that started the story from Navy’s perspective when he first meets Nuke. I plan on dusting off that piece of writing and making it available to patrons on the Patreon.

This is all pretty new for me, so I would appreciate any support you can give. If you are unable to support financially, I would really appreciate if you could share the Patreon links on social media.

If you can sign up, I will send you your free ebook of The Adventures of Technicality Man. I’m running a special offer for the launch. If you sign up at the $1 level before the end of August, I will also send all patrons a free ebook of Omega Rising, the first book in the Codename Omega series, which would normally be one of the higher-tier rewards.

Support me here: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=512163