Sunday, February 16, 2014

Blame the polar vortex

So it’s been a few months since I posted anything new and original. I hope you've all been enjoying the chapters of Prodigal Prince I’ve been posting one by one (or two by two), even though I’m doing it far too slowly and inconsistently. The novel is actually finished (in the sense that I’ve written the last chapter and rewritten and revised and—I hope—improved the thing over time), so I really have no excuse for not putting chapters up more often. Except the polar vortex, because right now I’m blaming that for everything.

For those of you following my life and attempts at a writing career, here are a few glimpses of what’s been going on:

• Conventions. I went to Capricon a few weeks ago, a local SF convention in Wheeling, Ill. I typically go to two conventions a few, both close to home: Capricon in February and Windycon in November. I’m getting up my nerve to volunteer to speak on a few panels. I’ve realized that I can speak more or less authoritatively on Star Trek, Doctor Who, Firefly/Serenity, and the challenge of writing every day whether you feel like it not, since that’s my actual day job. So when Windycon starts looming on the horizon, I’m going to put myself out there. Or chicken out. We’ll see.

• Books. I’m going to recommend a book, with one caveat: The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. It’s a novel about Dracula, in which three generations of historians become obsessed by the possibility that Vlad the Impaler is a vampire, still “alive,” and still dangerous. The book follows three separate but interconnection stories as each main character attempts to track Dracula down in Eastern Europe. Very well-researched and well-written, lots of atmosphere, lots of history.

The caveat? I stopped the book about halfway through. It’s very long, and told in an epistolary format (letters and more letters), much like the original Dracula by Bram Stoker. And while it did hold my interest as far as I got, I decided there were other books I wanted to read soon, and this would have taken me another two or three weeks (reading for an hour at bedtime, which is my “serious” reading, as opposed to the books I read on the bus). So I gave up, not because I didn’t like it, but I was getting too impatient for the payoff. Still, if you have the time, and like Dracula, I recommend the book.

• Writing. I’m sending my urban fantasy novel, A Bar Called Revelations, out to another major publisher. We’ll see what happens (and how long it takes). After that I’ll probably start seriously researching small presses. And I’m working on my other urban fantasy novel, The Black Guard, which is going very quickly in the first draft, probably because I don’t really have any sort of an outline. I’m just making it up as I go along, veering from one action scene to the next. Great fun.

Thanks for your patience, and enjoy the latest installment of Prodigal Prince.

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