Mysticon schedule and other convention news

As the Allman Brothers once said, “I was born a ramblin’ man.”

Well, it’s definitely been a busy night.

First of all, I’m 90% done packing for Mysticon, which opens tomorrow in Roanoke, VA. My final schedule (baring changes when I get there *grin*) is as follows:

Friday:
7pm: Signing Table B
10:30pm: Anime Girl Fight

Saturday:
11am: Roleplaying for the Uninitiated
8pm: Media Mashup

Sunday
11am Spy vs. Spy
Noon: Author Readings
1pm: Signing Table A
3pm: Writing 21st-Century Sequels to 19th-Century (and Earlier) Novels

Looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself with some of the people I met last year.

Also, this evening, I booked my flight for Origins Game Fair as well as booking my flight and hotel for SoonerCon 2015, in Midwest City, OK. This will be my first time attending SoonerCon and the staff has been absolutely a pleasure to work with. I’ll finish all the registration stuff for this after this weekend.

Plus, right before Origins, I’ll be attending Awesome Con-DC on 29-31 May. So, yes, this spring is going to be jam packed with conventions AND I’m attending the Write Stuff Writer’s Conference in March . . .

Maybe I’ll even find some time to write in and among all of this.

Striving for consistancy

Focusing on getting Terra Incognito revised and ready to go to my editor. It’s amazing how a series of columns over eighteen months developed (and changed) over time. Part of what I’m trying to do is catch the small inconsistencies between columns. Say in one column I did a numbered list with dashes to separate the name from the explanation and in the next I used a colon. So, now, I get to decide which way is right and then make sure every column matches up.

It’s little things like that which will drive a reader of a book crazy, but with the month between articles, no one noticed (or if they did, they never called me on it). So, while I thought this was nearly ready to go, I’m discovering I may have been a bit optimistic. *sigh*

However, something I’m very optimistic on is the cover. No, you can’t see it yet, but I have contracted out a very talented artist to do the cover for me. His name is Shane Braithwaite and you can see examples of his art at http://sbraithwaite.deviantart.com/.

So, slowly and steadily the book is coming together. I can’t wait to get the opportunity to share it with you sometime later this year.  And now back to work.

Friday is the new Monday

Well, today has been a bit of “How the heck did I get a Monday at the end of the week?”

Woke up this morning to discover one of my publishers has decided to shutter itself. So, as of the 28th of February, my For a Few Gold Pieces More collection reverts to me.

This brings up an interesting dilemma. I know selling a collection to another publisher is, in general, pretty darn difficult. So, I have a couple of options:

1) I could do some re-writing/re-imaging of the story and try to shop it around as a novel, basically using the various short stories as chapters/sections of the book. I’d cut out the pieces where I reintroduced the basics (My rule is always assume the reader is reading the story for the first time, so there was always a small recap to explain what the premise to the story was), and smooth over the transitions, but for all intents, it would be the basic story still.

2) I could simply just hire an artist to create a new cover and do some b&w line art inside and self-pub it as a collection and then write a new novel using the protagonist in a new adventure.

Both have their good and bad points. Obviously, self-publishing the story would require less work (as in the stories are already edited and ready for release). Just need to commission the art and then figure out how to lay it out for both print and e-books. However, if I had to guess, I’d say, the odds were, all the copies I’d sell would be to people I meet at conventions. (Let’s just say, in general, there’s so much stuff out there, unless you already have a following, you still need to get into bookstores for people to find you.)

However, if I do rewrite/repackage this collection, there’s still no guarantee I could sell it to a publisher. I have to admit, I’m leaning more toward #2, but based on the reviews I’ve gotten on the individual stories, I have a feeling it “could” get picked up, but based on editors I’ve spoken to about this, NOT as a collection.

Decisions, decisions . . .

(oh, and the fact it took me 1.5 hours to get home tonight when it normally takes 12-15 minutes is not helping my mood either. I-95 was completely stopped. It took almost 45 minutes just to get up the on-ramp to get into the middle of the insanity. (Looks like two stalled vehicles and a multiple car accident three miles from where I was trying to get on discombobulated the evening commute. *sigh*)

Building the worlds of your imagination

OK, I spent a good chunk of tonight going through Terra Incognito, trying to get it ready to send to a friend of mine who happens to be a freelance editor.

The good news, it holds together pretty well, but I’m sure Steve’s going to have plenty to say about it. After all, these were fourteen magazine columns that I’m trying to reorganize into a non-fiction book. What works for a magazine might not work for a bound book, so I’m definitely going to be leaning on him for his advice. Luckily, he’s been editing both fiction and non-fiction these past few years.

The good news for the readers, but not for me, is I’m going to have to add more sessions to the book. There are a few areas where I said, “And we’ll talk about that in a later column”, but due to my decision to curtail the column after eighteen months, those columns never were written.

So, I had a choice. Either I could simply excise those sentences from the manuscript, which would have been the cheap and easy way to deal with it . . . or, I could buckle down and write those extra sessions.

The more I thought about it, I decided I owed the readers of this book the most complete guide to world building I could create. Plus, having some new material in the book is also a good selling point. *grin* So, I need to reread the manuscript and note every place where I said I’d get to it and decide which of them merit their own sessions or which could be combined into a session or maybe they really weren’t that important.

Also, some of my columns started with a small story to emphasize what I was going to be talking about that session, but not all of them. I need to decide whether or not to add that blurb to all of them. Again, it wasn’t a big deal with a monthly column, but in a book, it might be jarring if I didn’t do it. (If anyone has an opinion here, I’m open for suggestions.)

So, that’s my night tonight. Tomorrow, we start creating a new chapter (or two) for Terra Incognito.

Computers and Bears have much in common . . .

OK, not exactly the progress I had hoped I’d make today on a story I’m doing for fun, but sometimes technology gets you and sometimes you get technology.

I have a writing app on my iPad and up until now, it’s been pretty darn good for a free app. *cue dramatic music* Up until now, that is.

Today, when I wanted to mail the file to myself so I could work on it on my main writing computer, it wouldn’t mail. I did everything according to the manual and all the app would do is throw me out back to a main screen. That, my friends, is not useful.

I fought with the app off and on all day today. Even the app support team wasn’t sure what was going on here. I was about to give up, when I decided I’d try one last thing. I managed to copy the file and posted it into my “Notes” page, and then from there, I copied it into the body of the email instead of attaching it as a file. Luckily, I hadn’t written that much (it’s the first chapter), so the file went through the aether and voila, it’s in my regular mail file.

So, while I didn’t get to add more words to “Cat and Mouse”, I at least have it on the regular computer, saved, and ready to go tomorrow. I want to get this chapter done and off to a couple of beta readers I know before I push on with the project. It’s going to be a serialized novel and strictly “for the love”. It was a project I was really hoping I’d get the chance to write for, but it never got off the ground. Still, I had the outline and all the character sheets done, so I figure it’s good practice as long as I’m making progress on my other stories.

So, besides this and working on updating my web site that’s pretty much been my President’s day off.

A look at a forgotten front during World War II

Normally, here is where I toot my own horn about a new release, but this time, I’ll let my publisher’s press release talk for me.

 

Strikeforce Falcon_smFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY AUTHOR RICHARD WHITE BRINGS WAR TO PRO SE SINGLE SHOT SIGNATURE SERIES- STRIKEFORCE FALCON DEBUTS!

Pro Se Productions, an innovative publisher of Genre Fiction, announces its latest Pro Se Single Shot Signature Series. Author Richard C. White takes adventure into a different theater than most, one that takes on the horrors and heroics of war in Strikeforce Falcon. The series first tale, Flashpoint, is now available as a digital single for only 99 cents.

“War stories,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “have always been a staple of Pulp and Genre Fiction. And there was never a period that this subgenre developed into something clearly defined and full of potential as it did in the 1940s. Strikeforce Falcon harkens back to the tales printed on yellowed paper and captured in celluloid for the big screen that made heroes of the common soldier. What Richard brings to his take on it is not only a love for the type of stories he’s telling, but also an understanding of what war is, something both brutal in its undertaking, but also something that gives rise to great men in life and death situations.”

In the early days of 1942, Imperial Japan was on the march in the Southwest Pacific. The Netherlands East Indies had fallen except for a few holdouts on islands most of their defenders had never heard of before being assigned there. Bataan had fallen and Corregidor Island would only last a few weeks longer. The mighty American navy was still trying to recover from the twin disasters of Pearl Harbor and the Java Sea. It seemed that the Rising Sun would soon make it’s appearance in Australia.

But, not if the men of Strikeforce Falcon had anything to say about it.

Strikeforce Falcon is a series loosely based on the exploits of Z Special Group—a group of Allied commandos who drew on the experiences of the British Special Operations Executive and adapted them to the jungles and islands of the Pacific theater. “Strikeforce Falcon gives me a chance to step out of my comfort zone,” says White. “I’ve been focused on fantasy and science fiction the past ten years, and it’s going to be good to get back to my roots. I think my experiences, both as a U.S. Army veteran as well as a historian, will help me bring these stories to life. But, whatever the source of the inspiration, it’s the action and intrigue surrounding the commando group that drive the story.”

Strikeforce Falcon: Flashpoint features a fantastic cover by Larry Nadolsky, logo design by Jeff Hayes, and digital formatting by Russ Anderson. The digital single is available for the Kindle and for most other digital formats at  for only 99 cents.

For interviews with the author or more information on the Pro Se Single Shots Signatures, contact Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

For more information on Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

Farpoint 2015 schedule

With Farpoint coming up this weekend, I figure I should post my schedule so you know what panels to avoi . . . . I mean, which ones you should definitely attend. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Friday:
Writer/Artist Collaborations 8:00pm
Farpoint Book Fair 10:00pm
Saturday
Autographs (Peter David, Phil Giunta, Richard White, Kim Headlee) 11:00am
Author Readings (Jennifer A. Povey, Richard White, Gregory A. Wilson) 2:00pm
Coping with Discouragement 3:00pm
Writing for Anthologies 4:00pm
Sunday
Animated Science Fiction 10:00am
Autographs (Keith R.A. DeCandido, Richard White) 11:00am
Writing Historical Fiction Workshop 1:00pm
Mapping a Story 3:00pm

 

So, if you spot me, feel free to stop and say “Hi” (although, if it’s during a panel, don’t forget to raise your hand first *grin*). I’m looking forward to catching up with a number of my friends and writing buddies at this show and I suspect a good time will be had by most. (I would have said “all”, but some people are just perverse enough to say they didn’t have a good time just to prove me wrong. *sigh*)

If you’ve ever wondered where authors get their ideas . . .

. . . it’s fairly simple. We read a whole lot. A whole lot.

I promised after I finished Sword of Fate that I would list what inspired each of the ten short stories that comprises my For a Few Gold Pieces More collection.

I really was trying to find some variations of folk tales that weren’t as well known as some of their counterparts or else I wanted to find a non-Celtic/Greek/Norse/Egyptian myth to build off of . For example, Skin the Cat is an amalgamation of Catskin and Donkeyskin, which are both variations on the Cinderella story (but definitely darker). A couple of the stories were also mashes – Shades of Blue was a combination of the legend of Bluebeard and Dracula. Sword of Fate was a combination of the legend of Tyrfing and Superwoman from Yorba mythology, and so on.

So, without any further ado, the list:

#1) The Demon’s Head – (United States)
I made this one up on my own – no folktale here *grin* It’s my homage to Fritz Lieber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

#2) The Mountain of Ice – The Snow Maiden (Japan)
Yuki-onna – http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0703.html

#3) Shades of Blue – Bluebeard/Dracula (France/Great Britian)
Bluebeard – http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0312.html
http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/bluebeard/index.html
Dracula – Dracula, Bram Stoker

#4) Hunters in Darkness – The Wild Hunt (Celtic/German)
The Wild Huntsmen – http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/huntsman.html

#5) The Black School – The Black School (Iceland)
The Black School – http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type3000.html#saemund

#6) Pearls of Water – The Swan Maiden (Sweden)/The Peacock Maiden (China)
The Swan Maiden – http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/swan.html
The Peacock Maiden – http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/…/sto…/peacockmaiden.html

#7) Ripples in the Pool – Melusina (Germany, Luxembourg)
Melusina – http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/melusina.html

#8) Wings of Fire – The Firebird (Russia)
Tsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird, and the Gray Wolf – http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/firebird/index.html

#9) Skin the Cat – Catskin/Donkeyskin
Catskin – http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/donkeyskin/…/catskin.html
Donkeyskin – http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/donkeyskin/index.html

#10) Sword of Fate – Tyrfing (Norse)/Superwoman (Yorba)
Tyrfing – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrfing
Superwoman – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Amos Tutola

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy reading about the original legends and hopefully I was reasonably faithful to the source material.

 

 

Real life research . . .

And the first set of revisions on Mouse Trap are headed back to the editor for review/comment/more edits. It’s going to be good to get back to writing new stuff here soon instead of editing. I have to admit, getting four stories back to edit within a four week period is pretty stressful, but fun in its own way.

One of the fun things about doing the Black Cat is in all of her comics, there was always a two-page spread showing actual judo moves. Now obviously the comics have an advantage since the artist can certainly make it a lot clearer for the reader by showing an example. Well, I did my best to describe the throws and strikes Linda uses as the Black Cat, but to add a little more realism into the story, I turned to a friend of mine, Megan Kirk, who practices judo and described the moves I was using and she gave me the actual names of those throws.

Now, would the story have read fine without that? Probably. But does it add a little something in there for those who “know” judo? Let’s just say, it’s a little tip of the cap to them.

And speaking of tipping . . . I think I should tip my head into my pillow.

And now for something completely different

First set of edits on Mouse Trap are done (at least the paper version of edits). I’ll spend tomorrow typing them in and get them back to my editor. As usual, once I started editing, there was the usual, “Hmm, not too bad” and the more usual “holy crap, what was I thinking?” However, I think this version should be a tad bit more acceptable for my editor.

Also, spent some times this evening working with my editor to put together a summary of The Full Moon Affair so he could write the back cover blurb. I’m looking forward to seeing both of these books come out soon, along with Strikeforce Falcon #1.

Last year was a year of fantasy for me. This year looks to be more detectives, heroes, spies, and soldiers. But, as long as there are stories to tell, I’m pretty happy