Felicitations, malefactors! I hope you had a lovely January in what is sure to be a lively – some might say tumultuous – year. For me, 2024 began with a month of creative playfulness and relaxation while waiting for edits to come back for To Burn All Belief. I've been working on an article about AI and the arts, coding an app for my wife and me, and working on graphics for my band.
While the month was super busy, in terms of my writing projects, there's not that much to cover. This newsletter will be a brief one, so let's jump right into it.
To Burn All Belief update
Like I said in the intro, I'm still waiting on the full set of edits from Stacey, but she did give a couple of first impressions. The story is great, she says, and she loved the deeper dive into some of the side characters from An Ocean of Others. It's wonderful to hear this, as it leads me to believe the 3.0 revisions aren't going to be a lengthy and painful process like they were for the first book.
Unfortunately, Stacey has been facing some health challenges, which have made it hard for her to work on the whole manuscript at the moment. I know it'll be worth the wait, so in the meantime please join me in wishing her a swift recovery!
Sibling Suns Novella
You may have noticed a new progress bar on the homepage.
I've had ideas for several novellas in the Sibling Suns world on the back burner, but this month one of them started to manifest itself on the page. In the form of an outline, anyway. This will be a sort-of-prequel to An Ocean of Others, in that it takes place maybe 30 years before that story. But it's weird to call it a prequel, because it's not really related to the events of Dance of the Sibling Suns in any direct way.
It's going to be more of a standalone, slice of life fantasy set in Liwokin, following a mathemelodian working through his existential crisis. The more I've played with the idea, the more the pieces materialize from the aether and fit into place, the more I love where this is going. No idea what the title is going to be – I typically title my books after the first draft is complete – so for now I'm just calling it the Mathemelodian Novella.
As for when I'll finish this? I can't say for sure. I'll likely work on it more in February, but I'll need to pivot to To Burn All Belief as soon as Stacey's edits come in. One lesson I've learned is to be realistic about schedules and only promise that it'll be done when it's done.
I had the opportunity to speak with E.L. Lyons about her book, Starlight Jewel, in a new podcast I'm starting called Talking Spoilers. The purpose of the show is to give authors a chance to dive into theories and spoilers that they don't get to talk about in a normal interview setting. Plus, I get to geek out about indie stories I love.
I'm not sure how regular these episodes will be, as they're rate-limited by how fast I can finish indie books, but it's something I greatly look forward to continuing. Check out the inaugural episode with El – we had a great time chatting!
Last month was the beginning of our monthly giveaways for the year of 2024, and we're continuing this month with a new poster I've added to the store. But before that, we've got to choose last month's winner.
The wheel has chosen. Congratulations to Z.B. Steele, and thank you to everyone who entered! Z.B. is the author of a new grimdark fantasy, For A Few Days More.
A cross between Abercrombie, Tarantino, and Leone sounds right up my alley, so this one's been added to my TBR!
The question of last month was: which indie release are you most looking forward to in 2024? For Z.B. that's the sequel to Michael Michel's SPFBO9 semi-finalist, The Price of Power. That's another book I've been intending to read and hope to get to this year! Michael's a great guy, and I'd love to get him on the podcast.
But that's for another time. This month, I'm going to hit you with a softball:
What book are you currently reading?
Indie or not, it doesn't matter. I'm just curious to hear what you're all reading and how you're liking it. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, and you'll be in the running to win a poster of Felix Ortiz's gorgeous cover art for An Ocean of Others.
If you prefer, you can get the version without any typography, just Felix's untouched art to furnish your walls. I'll check with you about which you want if you win. Good luck!
Sadly, this has been a tough month for our little buddy. Nothing unexpected or tragic has happened. But you see, Nazgul had to get neutered this month, so he's looking a little worse for wear.
We originally tried to get away with just the fluffy donut to prevent him from reaching his incision, but he's both too flexible and too energetic, so drastic measures had to be taken.
Now he's got a donut, a cone, and sedatives running through his system – all just to keep him from licking the surgical spot and running up and down the stairs. Poor guy. We tried telling him it's for his own good, and that this will reduce the overall time he's stuck wearing the things, but for some reason he just doesn't seem to grasp it. It's probably the drugs.
The month hasn't been all bad though. He got a nice haircut, and before that he got to play in the snow!
So, while he's in rough shape now, I'm sure he'll be back to his normal, playful self by the end of the month.
That's all I've got for now, so I'll be back in March with another update. I'm not really sure what that will be – I've rather enjoyed letting my creativity be more free than usual in January, so I'll probably do the same in February. I guess we'll find out together. Until then, thanks for reading!