Unlimited Tsundere Works

Haven’t gotten back to recording my next book, “Foes & Rivals,” for two reasons: one, until I get my first completely passed by ACX, I’m a bit reluctant to get too far into another, in case I am doing something egregiously wrong which will force me to start from scratch, and, two, I STILL – after two weeks – have not completely shaken this seasonal flu; I awake each morning with a mild fever and chills and, worse, still have shortness of breath and an occasional cough, something not well suited for voice acting.

In the meantime, I keep working on that new novel about Empress Faustina’s eldest three sons. I was so tickled to meet Prince Edward’s human cousin (no blood relation), Livia Rupert, that I’ve included their meeting in Austin, Republic of Texas, below the fold. What is up with those two! I’ve also seen a little of the “reels” of Robert’s mission to the border marches of Kentuckiana as well as what might be a life-threatening problem for Laszlo. Honestly, I would be surprised if everyone made it out of this book alive.

Considering that this is about the top three heirs to the empress, I considered giving it the working title of “Lioness in Winter.” But that doesn’t work, compared to the movie – the best I’ve ever seen, btw – as there is no ruling monarch playing a central role. I hope to have something by my next update.

Continue reading “Unlimited Tsundere Works”

Like my books? Nominate my books!

Superversive SF is having their annual Great Bookshelf Hunt: nominations for great scifi books published in 2020. I released three. If you read one or more of them and enjoyed it, I’d certainly welcome the mention as a nominee!

Crosses & Doublecrosses (January 13, 2020) – science fiction (technically political/espionage scifi, but that’s not a category)

Empire’s Agent & other short stories (March 11, 2020) – anthology

Princess’ Crusade (December 7, 2020) – military SF

Thank you, all my blog and book readers, for your constant support!

Assignments

Things I didn’t know two hours ago: what happened to St. Louis and how easy it is for these people to make work for me. You will see that, by the time you get to the end of the addition to this little story, below the fold, I now have the genesis of three more stories. Turn what I have written into a Prologue and each son becomes Parts One, Two, and Three of another book.

Just like that: another novel. What an odd hobby I have.

Continue reading “Assignments”

A Haunting Past

Of the two most famous Inklings, it was said that Lewis would sketch a scene by saying “The children stood in the forest. A chill wind blew.” Tolkien, on the other hand, would spend the next twenty pages not only telling you the history of the forest, but then go on to describe each and every leaf.

An exaggeration, but to make a point. My writing style can, charitably, be called more Lewisian; not so charitably, “the son-of-bitch-writer never explains anything!” Guilty as charged. I have a story to tell and my characters would be rather miffed at me if I take time to describe the leaves on the trees.

A positive of that, though, is in the million of tiny cracks and folds of my novels, there lurk hundreds of more stories. Back in January, I realized that over the course of five years being in Machine Civilization, I was able to pull together a short story collection. Below the fold is another example. Based upon “real life” – whatever that means – events, I was able to peek in on an interaction between Faustina and a civilian in a far flung corner of her imperium. This takes place about halfway through “Empress Crusade;” it is not in the book, but it is canon. Fodder for my next collection!

Continue reading “A Haunting Past”

Deep history

I call Machine Civilization a future history for a reason. All parts of every story connect in hundreds of ways, some I do not see, to every other story. I first met Karl in The Fourth Law; one of the orphans seen to by Lily Barrett. A tendency toward fat but also one of her karate students. He makes another appearance in “Empire’s Agent,” the long short story which lends its name to the book’s title. There, he meets Arpad Rigó from the newly remade Habsburg Empire. “I have to get this boy into the army!” Rigó thought. In trying to make an end of Goddess’ Crusade, I find, years later, he did.

Continue reading “Deep history”

Princess’ Crusade… released!

Very pleased to announce the release of the paperback and ebook version of the first of the American Imperium trilogy, Princess’ Crusade! Book two is already copyedited and only needs a front cover – under development – before it is released, as well. For those of you who have been following along, the third manuscript is nearly complete and hopefully no more than six weeks out. Cheers!

A MachCiv Wiki

An old friend suggested that this morning. I’d been going on about Faustina’s doings as I am trying to complete the MS for “Goddess’ Crusade,” and, confused, he said: why not make a wiki for your entire future history?

As he has a history of most always being correct, I pushed that to the back of my mind and kept on writing. About two hours ago I hit another stopping point (General Hartmann threatened the remaining population of Atlanta with death or evacuation; ethnic cleansing, either way) and I was not sure what comes next.

Pulling out a copy of the partial stemma of my works, see below, I guess it could serve as a basis of a wiki, for many of the major players. I will also have to describe the three tribes of AIs as well as the three (now two) corporations in Japan who took differing approaches to machine thought (Tohsaka, Somi, Neuroi). Then there are all the places where the stories take place, up to and including Mars. Dang: that means I’ll have to describe the constructs of tribes Tohsaka (the Path and platform, rotating difference engines, archery range, airstrip, Henge’s beach…) and Mendrovovitch (the ruined city, snowy steppe, Kuban’s restaurant…).

This is going to be quite an undertaking but I see now that it will allow me to keep a hand in writing during winter 2021 when I am focused on recording and editing audiobooks of my works. Yet another genius idea from the creative mind of Will Deonne!

Six Years

Sitting in my finished walkout basement on 3 November 2014, I received a text message from a friend: “Are you doing anything for NaNoWriMo?”

Unsure if he had mis-typed or was having a stroke, I asked for clarification. “National Novel Writing Month,” he typed. I had never heard of it, so I looked into it: the challenge to write a 50k word novel in the month of November. Hmm. I’ve always had a weakness for irrational deadlines…

Twenty-three days later, I had an awful manuscript of about 52k words. Awful. But still, I had seen something while creating it. I caught a glimpse of entire world filled with interesting people. I wanted to know more. So I kept typing. And typing. To-date I’ve been blessed to write down seven novels, one novella, one short story collection, and one children’s early reader. And my American Imperium Trilogy will be released in just a few weeks, followed by audiobooks in the early months of 2021.

What an amazing half-dozen years I have had. And thank all of you for reading along. Cheers!

Writing. It’s a mental illness.

The group blog of Liberty’s Torch is well worth your time and well worth your follow. I think I may have wandered in there via Gab but I drink much and recall little. Anyway. The lead blogger there, Francis W. Porretto, had a post today about writing. Many of my heart-cockles were warmed by it. Rather than hijack his comment section, I hope to take excerpts of his essay, Post Partum, and add my observations.

“It’s a difficult period in any novelist’s life: he can’t go forward while his thoughts are wrapped around the book he just finished, and he can’t go backward with the revisions he’s already thought of until the others involved have registered their various contributions.”

That only briefly happened to me once, at the conclusion of “Echoes of Family Lost.” It was a follow-on to “The Fourth Law” and once complete I had no idea what to do next. Was I a writer? Did I have more stories to tell? Five years ago, I carved out a space here on WordPress and started throwing 800-1500 word-salad at the screen. Some stuck. I kept going. By the time I got a cover design for EoFL, I had met Chris and Kat, from “Cursed Hearts.” A romance/horror? WTF? I hate both of those! I shut up and wrote what they told me to.

“The first requirement of any storyteller is a mating between characters and crises: people upon whom to impose problems they must solve, or at least cope with. I developed a bunch of attractive character sketches almost by accident – I still wonder from time to time where those fictional figures really came from – and immediately found ways to cast them into conflict with one another.”

I take exception to almost every word in this. The first requirement of a storyteller is to tell stories. It is the height of arrogance to think you really know what the characters’ problems really are. As to where these people come from? Well, if you’ve read along these few years, you know how I have addressed that. Further, I’ve never made a single ‘character sketch;’ they walk onto the stage/screen and act. I just write what they show me.

“But characters don’t struggle with their problems and one another in some sort of white space separate from all else; at least, mine don’t. They need a place to be. I had to pick a place, or conceive of one, that would provide a suitable stage on which to act out their destinies.”

My parents married unemployed with no money. I didn’t grow up poor, but summer vacations were KOA’s and the grandparent’s place in Los Alamos, NM. I saw a lot of the US Mountain West. Later, I learned some of the Kentucky/Tennessee regions. All of that curled up in the back of my mind… and waited. When I needed to put ‘boots on the ground,’ I had scores of places to choose, right behind my eyes.

“Of the sixteen full-length novels I’ve written to date, only four have stayed completely outside Onteora County: three far-future science fiction novels and one magic-based high fantasy. The others have wound up there regardless of where they started or where I wanted to put them. Worse, the characters from my other Onteora Canon novels keep insinuating themselves into my new fictions.”

Knoxville, Tennessee is my game park as Onteora County is for him. I’m thinking about moving there in 5-10 years; Knoxville, that is. It will be easier for me than, say, St. Petersburg, Russia… Osaka, Japan… or Mars.

“And by jingo, it happened again! Characters from just about every other Onteora Canon novel started insisting that they belonged in this new one. I managed to fit a few new faces into the tale, but the “old Onteora crew” is there in force.”

This is where I decided to write this huge response. One character leading to another… As I mentioned, “Echoes…” was a natural continuation of “The Fourth Law.” “Cursed Hearts” lead to an unpublishable novella (I set it in someone else’s sandbox). But the two books of The Saga of Nichole 5? That main character shows up in many more books. Three year old Gary, holding little Henge’s hand at the end of “Echoes…” announces they want to be married. Ten years later, they have their own novel, “Worlds Without End.” Writing that, I met Gary’s kid sister, Faustina. Nine years later she puts together a private army and decided to attack the Chicom PLA garrison in Savannah, former Georgia. To-date, I’m finishing a damn trilogy about her, starting to come out in November. The father of the young women from “The Fourth Law” and “Echoes…”? He’s got a book. I’ve dozens of people like this, scattered all over my stories. Just because they do not have their own book today means nothing for next week.

“I don’t feel an urge to go back and “straighten it out.” I plan to publish it essentially as it is. There are a few elements I’ve decided need buttressing, but not to the extent of “de-hybridizing” the book as it stands. I look forward to hearing what its readers will think of it.”

While I cut my SF reading teeth as a kid on the hard science fiction of Niven and Pournelle, and my future history of Machine Civilization is bedrocked on sentient, sapient machines, I admit I take fantastical, Clarke’s-Third-Law leaps with the tech in my stories, so long as it tells the story. I read much, do research, make sure I’m talking about qubits in the right way… but if I need to use handwavium, that is what the story gets. I’m talking about people; some of whom are bags of bolts; some of whom are bags of blood. They are people.

“I can’t help but wonder how many more books I have in me. I’m old, and not in the best of health. But storytelling is an addiction, a tough one to shake. And I imagine that those damned Onteora characters, settings, and institutions will continue to have their way with me. At least, they have so far.”

I am a semi-professional alcoholic with chronic hypertension just turned fifty-four. Once the trilogy of Faustina’s “American Imperium” is released to the wild, I’m spending Winter 2021 recording audiobooks. I’ve no idea how long I have, either, but we have been given a priceless gift: to touch other’s minds with our ideas. I will keep at it until I die, later or sooner.

Having said all that to say this: thank you for your inspiration and your hard work, Mr. Porretto. As Empress Faustina cries to her legions, Deus vult!

Secret Agent Man

As most regular readers know, I tend to post content and updates on projects here.  Occasionally if something in the RealWorld mirrors one of my stories that’s worth a laugh, I’ll post that, too.

Today is different.  I had an old friend and long-time business associate say, in effect, “you spend all your time writing and precious little promoting.  You should get an agent!”

I have heard and thought this before, but because I had and have no idea what to do, did nothing and just went back to writing.  For some reason, this particular admonition has tasked me.  So, for once, I’m going to ask of all of you:

How in the world do I find and – is hire even the correct word? – hire, contract, a literary agent.  By the end of this year I’ll have a dozen books and one audiobook, so you’d think that would be worth something to somebody, right?  Where do I even look?  What is even the first step?

Thanks in advance… back to writing, now.