Tough Times Demand Tough Talk

A bit of a long-ish addition.  I wanted to wrap up Part One of Empress’ Crusade, at about 18k words, and get on to the campaign itself.  For the historically minded, it will be loosely based on Caesar’s Gallic Wars, always a good read.  In the meantime, I have some research to do about the populations of former Alabama and Mississippi and how that extrapolates one generation on into the Breakup.

Below the fold is a family who loves one another but find it increasingly hard to like one another.  That is probably an odd concept for my younger readers but is something we in our dotage just nod at.  Thanks for everyone’s support!

Continue reading “Tough Times Demand Tough Talk”

Back to Work

Taking time to make some notes, a page of which is in the image, below, helped immensely.  I went so far as to ponder if Faustina puts on some kind of concert for recruiting but that seemed hokey.  But I liked the song, so I think I’ll soft-pedal it and have her sing quietly while leaning on the legionary fort’s walls around midnight.  Hoping for good work today!



Another Half-halt

Got the copyedit of “Princess’ Crusade” back with the typical thousand corrections.  As always, a humbling experience.  But this time, also a vital one.

After my little so-called vision as to where my current MS, “Empress’ Crusade” might be leading me, I was increasingly aware that I was having trouble keeping my future history dates in my head.  When the PC edit came back and at three times pointed out and asked “is this date correct?  is her age correct?” I realized that, even though I’ve been shown some very interesting things about Faustina and the young man who is the Mayor of Huntsville, I have to sit myself down and draw up a proper timeline of all primary and secondary characters, what has already happened, and what I think will happen.  “EC” is going to unfold over two in-book years and I cannot have my readers jerked out of the story saying, “that makes no sense… the timing is all wrong!”

Below the fold is what I was able to get down following the triumph.  A little politics, a little romance (maybe?), and a swim across the Tennessee River.  Hope everyone who is sheltering in place has ordered copies of my books to keep them entertained!

Continue reading “Another Half-halt”

Authors Roundtable!

Stephen Zimmer is one of the hosts of The Star Chamber Show as well as one of my copyeditors.  Wednesday’s was a call-in free-for-all to which he invited me.  I was pleased, one, that I was sober enough to be coherent at 2100 EST, and, two, that I was able to both contribute to the conversation and draw upon the experience of those who have been at the writer business far longer than I.  Looks as if I’m getting into the audio-book biz!

Link is here.  I make my appearance right around the 14:30 mark or so and keep an oar in the water all the way to the end.  Enjoy!


Or more appropriately, a triumph.  Faustina has assembled as many as she can from the Savannah campaign to show them off to the civilians of greater Knoxville.  In a traditional, Roman, triumph, a slave would accompany the triumphator in their chariot and occasionally say, “remember:  thou art but mortal.”  Faustina would turn around with a look of incredulousness and say “no, I’m not!”

I’m not entirely happy with her speech and it will likely evolve by the time this gets edited into a book.  What’s shaping up to be a very large book.

Continue reading “Parade”

Rally, Ho!

Faustina goes to a recruitment rally as she has very little time to recruit and train men.  I’m already sure that her legions for the Mississippi Valley Campaign will be under-strength:  eight cohorts each instead of ten.  I’m doing much research on the side to learn how this will play out.

Afterward she and her newest legate discuss the background of what might have been going on in the lands to their west and southwest.  If talk about HBD scares you, just skip over that part.

Continue reading “Rally, Ho!”

Recalling the Breakup

Faustina gets fed up with all of her paperwork and tunes out to tune in to her godmother’s sparring ground in the home of tribe Tohsaka.  After beating each other with sticks, the demi-human has questions.  Pictures being worth what they are, Fausta answers by pushing one of her memories from before Faustina was born into the girl’s mind.

I think more and more that the Faustina we see emerge from this coming 20-month campaign will be a much harder person than the young woman we know now.

PS  Mild spoiler warning.

Continue reading “Recalling the Breakup”