Space banditry rules!

Hi, peeps.

I love space banditry.

And I love space opera.

That’s why I’m writing one, and that’s also why today I am pretty stoked that the third installment of my sci fi series, the Far Seek Chronicles, is going to the printer next week. The Edge of Rebellion should be ready for mass consumption the end of this month.
Cover art by Mina Yamashita

Commander Kai Tinsdale knows something’s afoot when she receives orders to post to the military base Koto on the virtually impassable jungle planet Hanzey. Rumors of rebellion against the Coalition are spreading across the quadrants, and the threat of war makes Kai all the more suspicious about her assignment. What does Major Tinniset Vic, the ranking officer at Koto, want with Kai? How might the decade-old destruction of a Hanzien city pertain to Kai’s new posting?

The only person she trusts, former Academy bunkmate turned trader Torri Rendego, is running merchant routes in other quadrants and may be facing her own problems in the growing rebellion. So Kai must play the hand she’s dealt in a high-stakes game of intrigue and revenge where Major Vic holds all the cards and where a gamble could unleash a war all its own on Hanzey.

The Chronicles are a space opera with an ol’ skool pulp fiction kinda thing going on — that is, the books are shortish novels that are clearly serialized. Each installment generally picks up where the previous installment left off. Certain themes and plots carry through, and I stick with some core characters but introduce a few others who show up in later installments. So if you dig that kind of thing, check back around the end of the month. Hopefully, I’ll get sales links and info that I can post by then.

In the meantime, here’s an Edge of Rebellion excerpt.

And if you’re interested, a review.

Happy Friday!

What’s Happenin’

Hey, peeps–

Okay, so wow. It seems that people are digging the two main characters in From the Boots Up and I’ve gotten some luuuuv and some questions about what’s next for Meg n’ Gina. Well, don’t you worry. I’ve got a novel I’m finishing up with the “what’s next.” You didn’t really think I was through with those two, did you? Muah ha ha! Stay tuned!

Other stuff. I was interviewed recently by the awesome Liz McMullen at her show, so if you’d like to hear me blather on about books and writing and go off on some tangents with her, well, there it is. I also do a reading from the latest in my New Mexico series, which is in progress and not published yet! So if you’ve been following that series, well, here’s your chance to see what Chris is going to be up to in book 4. Plus, Liz put together a super-awesome slideshow to accompany the chatting. Hit the link up there to check it out.

Other, other stuff. I will be attending the annual GCLS conference in June. It’s in Dallas this year. I’ll be running around like a freak, as usual. I’ve been scheduled for a panel or two (not sure yet; waiting to see), and I will be TEACHING A CLASS, people. Or workshop. Whatever you want to call it. The class deals with setting and learning how it can be its own character. I’m trying to get y’all to think about your surroundings in ways that will help you bring it into your own writing. I’ll let you know the deets when the schedule is posted for GCLS.

I’ve also got something planned for mid-September. It’s kind of still percolating, and an awesome crew of fellow authors and readers are working on getting some stuff together for that, but I’ll keep you posted. It’ll be super-groovy. For reals. You’ll see.

What’s in the hopper: As you know, I just released From the Boots Up. The third in my Far Seek Chronicles is with the publisher and in editing. I’ll probably be getting the edited manuscript back next month. New Mexico 4 (I’ll release the title once I’m closer to sending it to the publisher) is nearly done; I’m planning on sending that to the publisher in June. And THEN. Well. I’ve got a couple of romance novels to deal with, including the follow-up to Meg n’ Gina (from Boots).

So there you go. That’s the scoop. Staying busy. Hoping everyone’s well and that you all have a fab Thursday.

What’s going on: Hootenanny and projects

Hey, peeps —

‘Scuse my absence. I’ve been mondo busy because we are putting on another Hootenanny at Women and Words this year.

For those of you not in the know, we did a Hootenanny in 2010. That is, for 12 days, we did nothing but give books away to spread holiday luuuuuv and cheer. Probably 5-8 books every single day for 12 days.

We’re doing it again this year, and we’re giving away even MORE books. Hit the link above for the list of authors and how it works. So I’ve been working with my colleague Jove Belle on that, and coordinating with authors and getting the stuff ready because we launch that pup next week. December 12th, my friends. Go git yew some.

Also, just so you know, I finished the manuscript for the third Far Seek book. It’ll be off to the publisher this weekend. I’m hard at work on New Mexico 4 (which features Chris Gutierrez), and hope to have that finished in the next 3-4 months. And then I’ve got some romances in the pipeline, including another novella for Kindle. 😀

And, in case you wanted to get in on a discussion about erotica as a genre, I posted “Respect the Sex!” today over at Women and Words.

I know. Things are crazy this time of year. Here. Have a reminder about things I’ve learned to help get through the holidays.

All right, all. Happy reading, happy writing, happy Friday!

The End. NOT.

OMG, peeps. I’ve been working like a fiend at my day job so I could take a couple extra days at Thanksgiving and in between my X-Files overdose and assorted other things, I managed to finish the manuscript for book 3 in my Far Seek Chronicles. Which, in case you were wondering, is space opera.

Long story short, the past 18 months have not been conducive to finishing up projects, for a variety of reasons. So I was really glad to be done with this one, though I’m enjoying the series immensely.

The way my writing process works is that generally, I’ll do the linear thing. From start to finish, and the story kind of morphs organically during that process. I’ll take stuff out, add stuff, move stuff around, but always be headed forward. I knew last week that I needed to take some stuff out of this version, and sure enough I think I axed 10K-15K words (it’s okay–I had plenty of room to spare), re-tooled a few scenes, and finally got the ending. Whew.

Of course, it’s not finished. It’ll never really be finished, because six months down the line, I’ll think, “Oh, man. I wish I’d done that one scene a little differently.” Or, “Why did that character say that?” There’s an angsty kind of thing that I get when I finish a manuscript. A sort of, “Did I get it? Will this work? Or will it be a giant bowl of suck?” That’s part of the fun (ha ha) of being a writer. Anyone who does any kind of art (or inventing or whatever in any field) knows that feeling. You finish something, but you wonder whether you did it “right.” Whether it’s any good, and whether anyone else will enjoy it.

So I like to think of each manuscript I finish as another document of a particular time and place in my writing life. And, in some ways, in my own life. I’ll re-read something months later and I’ll remember what was going on in my life at the time I was writing it, and how I felt when I was working on a particular section. I like to see, too, how my writing has changed from project to project. What makes it “mine”? What makes it MY style and nobody else’s? Yes, in case you were wondering. I have a bitchy inner editor.

Anyhoo, I have to get the manuscript ready for the publisher, and then it’ll go into editing. So even though it’s done, it’s not really done. And then it’ll go into print/ebook format and start its journey beyond my laptop. And I’ll start working on the next installment in this series. And when that one’s done. . .well, you see how this goes.

Writers are never “done.” I suspect many people who have artistic pursuits or livelihoods understand that. I’m not particularly weirded out about it, since I’m excited to get on with the next story. But I like the idea that I finished this one up, and that it’s ready for the next stage. So to all of you out there who’ve finished something up that you’ve been trying to get out of your hair for a while, CHEERS! Take a little time to revel in that. Because as you and I both know, we’ll get right back on the horse in the morning.

Happy Monday.

Writing news n’ stuff

Hi, folks–

Some cool stuff I ran across. For those who are not in the know, there’s a new professional organization out there for indie authors. The Alliance of Independent Authors can be checked out HERE.

Jane Friedman, guru of many things publishing, is one of the advisors, as is Mark Coker of Smashwords, Joanna Penn of Creative Penn, and Victoria Strauss of Science Fiction Writers of America.

Jane offers a video discussion about publishing, self-publishing, marketing, and groovy things like that at this link.

I’m a fan of professional organizations, because they offer networking venues, workshops, advice, and other benefits (some writers’ organizations can offer health insurance). So if you’re an indie author who’s looking to benefit professionally, the Alliance of Independent Authors might be for you.

Having trouble keeping with the writing? There’s an app for that. Write or Die is designed to encourage you to keep writing. Download the app and start typing in the box provided. There are 3 settings. The gentle mode provides a kind reminder to keep writing if you’ve stopped and haven’t written after a few seconds. It’s a pop-up box. The second, or “normal” mode, emits an icky sound if you’ve stopped writing that doesn’t stop until you start tapping away again. And the “kamikaze” mode starts erasing what you’ve typed after a few seconds. Whichever mode you choose, the app will dole out “prods” until you’ve met your word count and/or time goal.

Whew. Scary. Anyhoo, I’ve also posted a teaser from book 3 in my space opera series, the Far Seek Chronicles. You can check that out RIGHT HERE.

All rightie. Hope everybody’s having a great week!

Happy writing, happy reading!

Teaser, book 3, Far Seek Chronicles

Hi, kids! As some of you know, I’ve been working on several projects and they’re coming to fruition (I know, I know. FINALLY!). One of those is the third installment of my Far Seek Chronicles, the ongoing space opera adventures of Torri Rendego, her crew, and soldier Kai Tinsdale, who serves in the hated Coalition’s military. For those of you who read this series, you know what the situation is between Torri and Kai. For those who don’t, here’s the link to the series info here on my site. You’ll find links to excerpts, as well.

I’m hoping to get number 3 (I’ll announce the title later on, and post a much longer excerpt as we get closer to publication) out by the end of the summer, and I hope to have the manuscript into the publisher in the next couple of months. At which time it’ll undergo editing and re-writing and all that. Hopefully book 3 will be ready early fall.

Stay tuned for more news/fun stuff with regard to the Chronicles!

In the meantime, here’s a teaser from Book 3.
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“What gave you that idea…”

Hi, kids–

Hope everyone will have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Amidst whatever you’re doing today, please remember that this is also a day to remember those who have died in military service to the nation. Here’s a link for more information on that.

Anyway, got a nice comment from “Lisa,” on the “Book List” page here on my site. For those not in the know, my Book List is a list of books in both my series (mystery AND sci fi) and the order in which they should be read. You can either print it out from my site or download a .pdf (there’s a link on that page) to frame it or put it up by your bookshelf or Kindle/e-reader. Or use it to line the bird cage. Whatever floats your boat.

So join me while I answer (or attempt to answer) Lisa’s questions!

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