2016-03-20

Origins

Update
Dragonverse Origins is complete! It is now in the hands of my content editor (a reader who has a knack for telling me where my stories need improvement). Origins is not your typical fantasy, nor is it your typical scifi novel. It's a fusion of both. It serves as a link between the Dragonverse series and another purely scifi book I wrote some time ago - Off Course.

As soon as Origins was sent off to be reviewed, I began work on re-editing Dragonverse: The Adventure Begins. Although this book has been gone over multiple times, it's never really been looked at with editing in mind. I've found a few mistakes and made a few changes. As of right now, while I write this, I'm a little over 50% complete. I hope to have it done and reformatted by the end of next week. I'm not sure if I will be revising the covers or not. I would like to so that all of my books share a consistent look and feel.

After I finish re-editing and reformatting Dragonverse: The Adventure Begins, I will do the same for Ishnef's Revenge and then Off Course and finally When Ships Mutiny. Working as much as I can, this entire re-editing and reformatting process is going to take at least 3 or 4 weeks. I don't have to re-edit the last two, these have been recently looked at by my editor and I feel fairly confident that they are good enough to allow me to skip that phase. The re-formatting process takes about a day though.

As soon as all the re-eding and reformatting is done, I will begin work on PeaceKeeper 3. Well ... maybe. If Origins is back from its initial review, by then, I'll start the editing process of that book. Peacekeeper 3 will have to wait until Origins is in the hands of my wife (who serves as my editor for grammar).

As you can see, I have a lot planned to keep my busy.

Launch Pad
My annual trip to Laramie in support of Launch Pad will begin on June 1st. I will finally get to meet Jim Hines. I've been following him on Twitter for a couple of years now because he is one of the authors (like Kameron Hurley) who has published his writing earnings. I have met Kameron (briefly) during WorldCon last year. We sat on a panel together. I would have loved to have had the time to talk to her in depth, but our schedules didn't line up. She was supposed to go to Launch Pad last year but at the very last minute had to back out. I've never met Jim and this year he is going to Launch Pad. I'm looking forward to meeting him.

I am a huge supporter of Launch Pad for several reasons. The cause is a good one -- educating those people who are in the entertainment industry in science and trying to get them to commit themselves to writing better science fiction. As a young kid, I devoured scifi and it got me interested in science. A lot of people find their interest in science began with reading. That's why it is so important to try to make the science in scifi as close to reality as possible.

But there's another reason I support Launch Pad. It's what launched me on my path to being a professional writer. When I first attended Launch Pad in 2012, I was a successful self-published author with no ties to the writing community. I had never met another writer and I was operating in a complete vacuum. Launch Pad introduced me to a dozen people who I have grown to think of as friends. Although I was just a self-published author, I was treated as one of their own. I felt as if I had become part of an exclusive community. It was a wonderful feeling.

I went to DragonCon because of Launch Pad. While at DragonCon, I reconnected with several of my Launch Pad contacts. That's when I met Stu Segal, a friend of one of these contacts. Stu is the person who asked me to go to WorldCon last year and WorldCon is where I finally felt I was a professional writer. The series of events all started with Launch Pad.

This also helps to point out just how important it is for a writer to become involved in the community of writers. Our day jobs tend to isolate us from the writing community. We spend 8-hours (or more) a day doing non-writing related work. When we get home, there's all the other non-writing activities that must be attended to including spending time with your spouse. Writing often takes a back seat. Being involved and getting to know other writers is what will help you as a writing professional.

If you don't have a circle of writing friends (or, at least, acquaintances) then go out there and get involved. Find a writers group and join. Go to conventions and mingle. Look for programs and activities where writers hang out and make the effort to go there. Yes, it will cost you some money. But the experience of being involved and getting to know another group of writers is well worth the effort. Writers work in isolation but that does not mean you should be isolated from other writers.

I have learned more than I could possibly write down from my association with my writing friends. We are a unique community. If you're a writer, I urge you to join us.