Long but satifsying days

Continued working on my Darkside Codex novel, On Wings of Steel today.

Managed to get in an hour at a local bagel shop after enjoying breakfast with the daughter-unit. Then after that we went out to get her some more driving practice as she continues to get ready to take her driving test later this year. We did some highway driving together for the first time. I have to say, I was very impressed. Unfortunately, her car tends to dog a bit when the A/C is on, so keeping up speed was a challenge. But, all in all it was a good drive.

Afterward, we came back here and I got in a couple of hours of writing in the afternoon and then about three hours this evening.

Total damage for the day was 4049 words. Completed one chapter and 90% complete with the next one. I’m hoping between this weekend and the 4th of July weekend coming up to have the majority of this novel finished. Then I can concentrate on the rewriting/editing/hair-pulling parts before it goes off to the editor.

I’ve heard editors appreciate not getting first drafts, so I want to be sure there’s plenty of time to finish this before it’s due.  Silly editors.

A Wing and a Prayer

Managed to add another 1729 words to On Wings of Steel.  With a little bit of luck, Wings will be four chapters longer by the end of this weekend. Given the usual stuff that needs to get accomplished around the house over the weekend, this may be a bit ambitious, but if you’re going to take the shot, might as well go for the kewpie doll.

On Wings of Steel is part of the Darkside Codex shared world that I helped create for Musa Publishing. The publisher approached me since I was already doing a world-building column in their monthly magazine called “Terra Incognito” with the idea of creating a world from scratch, preferably something Steampunk oriented.

Well, that was a bit of a challenge, but the researcher in me took the bait and over the course of nine months, I created the Darkside Codex bible in conjunction with Celina Summers, the publisher of Musa. It was fun trying to create the world from a blank piece of paper. I literally started with a city and developed it, laying out its shape and its inhabitants and then expanding outward (and upward in the case of the main city, Southwatch).

Once I had the world basically mapped out, then it was a matter of populating it as well as writing the history of the region. I had to decide how much the world might resemble our own and how much the mad science and possibly the magic had changed it. Since Southwatch is not set on an alternate Earth, we didn’t have some of the standard tropes to fall back on. It had to be unique and still familiar to our readers and I hope we’ve managed to create that balance

I hope you will check out the Darkside Codex series of books when they start coming out later this year.

 

Pearls of Water – For a Few Gold Pieces More #6

Pearls of WaterBetter a live swan than a cooked goose.

Some days, it almost doesn’t seem worth  it.

Yuki and I had just scored the biggest haul of our career. We were riding high when we stumbled into the middle of a disturbance in town. Normally, we try to avoid trouble, but this time it came looking for us. Seems the tomb we pillaged belonged to this kingdom’s closest ally, and they’re a tad upset about it. To pay for our transgressions, the king volunteered me to retrieve the prince’s wife. Apparently, she just fled the castle and her absence could turn this disturbance into a civil war. The king doesn’t want that.

Did I mention she fled because someone tried to assassinate her? Or that she apparently turned into a swan and flew out of the castle? Or that I have no clue where she fled to? Or that they’re holding Yuki hostage until I return with this flying princess?

It appears the only way we’re getting out of this is with a whole lot of luck.

I’m not holding my breath.

 

Pearls of Water, the sixth story in the “For a Few Gold Pieces More” collection, is now available from Musa Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, OmniLit, and other fine purveyors of e-books.

 

Some old friends come to call

TSI_Night_StalkingsSpent the evening talking to Steve Roman, the guru behind StarWarp Concepts and my first publisher back in the days when I was doing small press comics. We’ve been working on some projects together here the past few months and it’s time I began announcing them.

Coming up soon, StarWarp Concepts will be re-releasing Troubleshooters, Incorporated as a graphic novel. Originally written by my wife Joni and myself and illustrated by Reggie Golden, this three volume mini-series will now be available again in Fall 2013.  The graphic novel will be available in both a dead-tree version and an electronic version for those who prefer to read their comics that way.

We’re very fortunate to have a great cover for the book drawn by Richard Dominguez of Azteca Production and colored by Eliseu Gouveia. I met Richard several years ago and really enjoyed reading his comic El Gato Negro. I was incredibly flattered when he asked if I’d be interested in a drawing of my characters done in his style.

Interested? I should say so.

And while I’m at it, I feel like I should plug my former and soon-to-be-again publisher’s own works. Steve is writing an incredible YA novel series called “The Saga of Pandora Zweibeck”. His first novel, Blood Feud, has gotten great reviews (not only from me), and he’s working hard at getting the next one, Blood Reign, out this fall.  Definitely hit his web site and give it a look over.

OK. Enough marketing. Back to getting some of my other writing projects done.

Writer Beware

writerbewareimage37 Just renewed my membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America today.

It’s sometimes hard to explain to people why I would want to belong to this group. Given the ease of communication on line and the plethora of social media, isn’t SFWA sort of stodgy and old-fashioned (like the Kiwanis or the Oddfellows)? I mean, why belong to official groups in the era of the individual?

Personally, I think a group is only as strong as its members. If there’s something the group is doing well, then get in there and help make it stronger. If there’s something the group is doing wrong, then get in there and push for change. It’s a lot easier to stand outside and throw brickbats at a group than it is to make it what you want it to be, after all.

With that in mind, I love being able to say I’m a member of Writer Beware. A.C. Crispin and Victoria Strauss have really done a lot for writers, regardless of what fields they write in, in hunting down and exposing publishers and agents who are “not the best choice” for writers. This applies to writers who’re just starting out and who’ve been in the business for decades. Ann and Vic stay on top of what’s going on in publishing and try to let people know how the winds are shifting on the publishing seas* and I’m proud to say that I’m able to assist them in this job.

When you think you’re ready to send your work out into the wilds of publishing, do yourself a favor and swing by the Writer Beware web site. Remember, writing is an art, but publishing is a business. Make yourself smart about the business and avoid falling into the traps that are out there.

And if you’re a qualifying author, consider SFWA membership. Any organization is only as strong as its membership and without new people joining and pushing for change or introducing new ideas, then perhaps SFWA would devolve into “just another club”. However,  I have a hard time believing SF/F authors can’t think up new ideas.

* – a quick pitch for Ann’s Pirates of the Caribbean book “The Price of Freedom“.  Check it out if you’re a fan of the franchise.

 

With a fine-toothed comb

Pearls of Water

Pearls of Water

Finished up the edits to the galleys for “Pearls of Water” last night. So, it should be ready for release on the 28th of June.  Looking forward to the release of this story since it’s not only the longest story in the collection, coming in around 14,000 words,  but it’s also the tipping-point.

From here on out, the stories will still be stand-alone, but if you’ve been following the collection up to this point, things start tying together. Old friends will return as well as old enemies in the next few stories, leading up to the final story in the collection “Fool’s Cup.”

Hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I am enjoying creating them.

Skipping rocks across a pool

And at 9396 words, the first draft of “Ripples in the Pool” is complete. I added another 3992 words to the draft and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with this one. I may make a slight change to the ending when I do the edits, but all things considered, I’m pretty pleased with it.

I’ll try to knock out the edits over the weekend and get it off to editor as soon as possible. That should make her happy. *grin*

Now, I can go back to work on “On Wings of Steel” with a clear conscience.

“Cue up the music”

My next short story is “Ripples in the Pool”, which will be the seventh short story in my “For a Few Gold Pieces More” collection. I added 3000 more words tonight and somehow, not to my surprise, I’ve jumped off of my outline and completely changed the direction the story was going when I started thinking, now how would Clint handle this if he was playing a thief in a medieval fantasy world instead of the American Southwest in the 1870s.

I’ve jokingly said this short story collection reminds me of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser as told by Sergio Leone, but this story in particular feels like my main character is channeling Clint in a big way.

I really need to look up the “Man with No Name” soundtracks to write these short stories to. Somehow I’ve transported a Mexican border village into this fictional world and it’s working.

Not that that’s a bad thing, by the way. *grin*

And so it starts

Welcome to the web site of Richard C. White. I have been a writer most of my life, but this site will be primarily about my fiction and non-fiction writing. There’s no sense in boring you about my “exciting” technical writing career or the report writing I used to do back in the Army. Instead, I hope to bring you updates about some of my current projects as well as talking about my recently released works. If I find some interesting general writing information, I’ll pass that along here too.

I also want to take a moment to plug the Writer BewareTM committee for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It’s been a great pleasure helping out on the committee since 2006 and also recommend that you check out the Writer BewareTM blog also.

So, welcome aboard and hopefully, we’ll all have a bit of fun and maybe find some cool books to talk about (even if they’re not mine).