Saturday, May 7, 2011

Updates and announcements

Though I've never been in the military, I hear there is a saying often used, namely, "Hurry up and wait." I dare say that saying also applies to published authors. I, for one, have noticed it can take a long time for things to get moving, but when they start, it happens quickly--and often all at once.

I thought I'd take a moment to post an update on my writing projects and the various states they are in. And yes, this includes the first synopsis of my second book The Waxing Moon as well as me announcing my super top secret project.

Without further ado:

The Hidden Sun, second edition (re-edited and a few extras added) is being released by Walnut Springs summer of 2011. The timeline is either July or August. More on this, including the new cover design when I get it.

The Waxing Moon is written, edited and submitted to the publisher. No details are available about a release date for this sequel to The Hidden Sun. However, as promised, here is the first teaser:

"It's not easy to be Snapdragon. His sister and brother are well known and respected throughout the kingdom of Bariwon. How could anyone compete with a brother and sister like them? Yet, that is what Snapdragon sets out to do. He spends his teen years practicing everyday to become a Royal Guardian. His efforts are rewarded, but even posting the first perfect score in the history of the Shoginoc isn't enough. He must do something more. One of his first responsibilities is to accompany an entourage sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the people of Procep, a small village next to the northern mountains. Snapdragon sees this as an opportunity to prove himself, until he finds out his job is to basically babysit the nursemaids, servants and crafters sent along to help. He does his job begrudgingly, thinking there is no way to earn honor in such a lowly task. However, what happens once the group arrives at their destination forces Snapdragon to make some extremely difficult choices to not only save his life and those he is assigned to protect, but potentially all of the people in the kingdom of Bariwon."

Side note: this teaser is written specifically as to not to spoil any of the surprises in the first book. While Snapdragon is the primary protagonist, many characters from The Hidden Sun play a role in the story.

One of my short stories, The Reluctant Wanderer, has been picked up and published in an anthology called How The West Was Wicked. Ordering information can be found here. One bit of warning, while my story is an enjoyable read (at least I think so), it is fairly tame compared to some of the stories in the anthology. In other words, many of the other stories are more wicked than mine.

I have another short story, The Howler King, which I may submit for an anthology, though right now, I'm leaning on keeping it and flushing it out to be a full blown novel.

I had started writing the third book in the Bariwon series, called The Zealous Star, but have placed it on hold for the moment because I am currently working on another book which I can finally announce.

A little back ground first: I've always loved music, though I don't play an instrument and don’t sing particularly well. Growing up when MTV actually played music videos most certainly influenced my taste in music. One of the videos (and songs) I really enjoyed was called Don't Pay The Ferryman by Chris De Burgh. I absolutely wore out his LP The Getaway. His next album, called Man On The Line was also excellent, with the primary single High On Emotion. By this time, I was a huge fan and purchased all his previous albums. Then, in 1986, he released Into The Light. It was another spectacular album with a great collection of songs.

What I found interesting is that I had the Into The Light for several months when I saw that one of the songs was very popular in the UK and was starting to get airplay in the USA. That song? Lady In Red.

Lady In Red is probably what he is most known for in the states. Chris continued to put out quality albums over the years, but with the change in music taste in the 90's (grunge and rap), he, like many other artists, found that his style of music wasn't as popular in the USA, though he continued to do well in many placed in the world. In fact, its reported he has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. More information can be found at his website.

In 2006, he released an album called The Storyman. On this particular work is a song called The Mirror Of The Soul--an epic song with great imagery, an engaging story and powerful message.

I thought to myself, Self, this would make a wonderful book. But how does one go about contacting an international music star to get permission to do such a thing? Would I even have the guts to ask?

The answer? The worst that could happen is I would be told "no" or ignored.

Through a few inquires sent here and there, I was able to propose my idea to Chris' management. They initially liked the idea, but would have to run it by the publisher. The publisher gave their permission, and suggested I send my ideas so Chris could review them.

So, I sent my proposal and outline for the book, telling myself it would be ok if Chris rejected it.

His response? I won't quote it verbatim, but he said the outline was very good and should make an interesting book. (he even used 2 !! at the end.) He thought my idea of interweaving some of his other songs into the book as "fascinating" and said the overall idea was "very strong."

So, there you have it. I get to write a book based on one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite musicians--not only with his permission, but his support.

It will be called The Mirror Of The Soul. And as of this moment, I have the prologue and 5 chapters written. It may take some time to complete and edit it, but it is on the way!

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