Two years after being published in the ebook bundle titled Cobalt City Rookies, the rights have reverted back to me and I’ve been given permission to self-publish it. It marks an opportunity for me to do some new things with the book that I couldn’t do when Timid Pirate put it out. First among these is the opportunity to offer it as a stand alone book with a print edition.
Where can you get a copy? I’m glad you asked! It will be distributed a bit farther afield as time goes on, but here is where it is currently available. I will update this info as more options become available.
Goodreads Giveaway: I’m giving away five signed print copies! Winners will be selected December 25th.
Patreon: Patrons who support my Patreon page at $5 or higher get immediate access to the ebook, as well as every other digital book I’ve put out either as myself or as Mad Scientist Journal. Those who are backing me on December 31st at the $10 will receive a print copy as well.
Amazon: Available on the Kindle or in print. Those who order the print version will also receive the Kindle version at no extra cost.
Ever since a friend suggested on my Patreon page that I do a Kensei serial, my brain has been picking away at the idea. When it first came up, I pitched it to my wife, Dawn. Any writing I did on it would have to go through her for editing. Assuming a weekly short of about 5,000 words, could she handle that on top of the work she does for Mad Scientist Journal?
The short answer is “No.” But we compromised and said, “We’d do it for the right amount of money.” So I put it as the second milestone on Patreon. (The first is to cover the costs of Mad Scientist Journal.) Mostly the money is intended to compensate my lovely wife for helping with another one of my weird schemes.
Since then, I’ve been poking around ideas for what I would write. I have a lot of little seeds for sub-plots that I’ve jammed into my Kensei books. I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to resolve them all in the other two books I have planned. It may be easier to just turn them into plots for serials.
Crossed the 6K mark today. Since I’m going to lose writing days for AmberCon Northwest next week, I’ve been hoping to get 3K a day until we leave so that I’ll offset the time I’ll spend not writing. So far, so good. Here’s a taste from the work in progress.
I’ve started and trashed a few different blog posts over the last few weeks. I have a lot of things gnawing away at me that I want to comment on but haven’t really found the right words for it. But I had some recent and unexpected news that I’m trying to process. So while it’s fresh, I thought I’d share.
A while back I got permission to self-publish my novella, Kensei, as well as a sequel once the rights reverted back to me. It’s a shared world and a good chunk of the characters are taken straight from other sources. Some are co-created with other authors who have played around in that world.
It’s not something I figure I can shop around, but I’ve had at least one sequel in mind for this book for a while. And the scant handful of serious Kensei fans (both of them!) have wanted one. I’m easily led around by a stroked ego under the right circumstances. So I have been working on trying to have a manuscript ready for when the rights revert back to me. I’m in the outlining stage right now.
This week I realized that I had misremembered my contract. I thought the rights reverted back to me in three years. It actually reverts back to me in two. Meaning that I am looking to have things that I need to decide on. And then the fear settles in.
Sarah “Coletta L. Damage” Ingram is the owner and operator of a store called Startle. Among her many awesome options, she does “Dinky” designs of roller girls. I imagine this is intended for skaters who want a cute cartoon graphic of themselves.
But me? I’ll never play roller derby but I’m vain enough to want one for a character from Kensei.
I am blown away by the awesome. And she did this in under a week! For very little money!
Added bonus? YOU CAN BUY STUFF WITH MAJOR TOMBOY ON IT. Keychain? Necklace? Stickers? Available! The only downside is that she’s in the UK, so shipping to the States will probably be a little steep. But! Major Tomboy!
As part of Clarion West‘s on-going series of one-day workshops, I attended the one titled “Writing the Other” taught by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward. Their book with the same name is the first one mentioned any time the subject of writing the other comes up. The book, I have since learned, came out of the class they’ve been teaching for the last decade.
With all the other stuff going on in my life, I’ve been pretty bad about blogging. Part of it has just been lack of time, part has also been not having anything to specifically announce. But today is the launch of my first book length piece, Kensei. It is being bundled with two other books (Wrecker of Engines by Rosemary Jones and Tatterdemalion by Nikki Burns) under the title Cobalt City Rookies. It is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Timid Pirate site.
Over Easter weekend the SeaTac Doubletree enjoyed the presence of the 35th annual Norwescon, the largest science fiction and fantasy convention in the area. Due to a number of factors, I was only able to attend one day. Due to continued recovery from my ACUS con crud, I almost didn’t brave the drive down south and the need to be social for several hours. But I made the trek anyway and was glad that I had. I got to see some friends I don’t often see, plus sit in on some excellent panels. So here are some highlights.
Just a few bits of newsly stuff, mostly stuff announced elsewhere but not here.
First off, I have donated a story to Fighting for Gwen. Every other week they will be providing a short story to help raise legal funds for Gwen, who is a high functioning autistic eight-year-old who has been discriminated against by a school district in California. Some really top notch writers are pitching in to help, so I really encourage you to subscribe to help raise money. Or just donate if you’re feeling donatey. The story I submitted is “One Giant Leap for Panda-kind.” It’s the first Snowflake story I ever wrote and its original title was “Snowflake War Journal.” The folks at Timid Pirate loved it but didn’t have a home for it yet. So I sat on it without a good plan for it. I figure this is a good home for it. I don’t know when my story will see the light of day, so you’re probably better off signing up for six months.
Second, I got to see some early concept art for Kensei. I don’t have any to share yet, but it looks pretty sharp. I hope to have more stuff to show soon.
Third, I’ve been slowly getting started with my first e-zine, Mad Scientist Journal. I’ve gotten some excellent submissions and aim to start publishing a story a week starting in April. Very exciting! It’s also been interesting to see it n the editor end of things. A startling number of submissions do not follow the submission guidelines. This has not been a clear indicator of whether the story has been publishable. Some have been extraordinarily out of line with the submission guidelines, but I did also have an excellent story from a SFWA author who submitted a story that fit with the zine but did not follow the formatting requests. She’s also someone I know personally. I’d give her a hard time, but submissions have been so slim that I’m just happy to get a story that solid.
“Kiss of Death,” the incredible story of two necromancers in love came out in Arcane.
I’ve handed off the first draft of my book, Kensei, to the folks at Timid Pirate Publishing. This is a young adult piece set in the superhero shared universe created by Nathan Crowder. It’s part of the series of YA books that they are producing called “Cobalt City Rookies.”
I’ve opened up to submissions for my experimental e-zine, Mad Scientist Journal. Here’s to hoping I get enough people to get it off the ground.
In less publishing and more gaming related news, it turns out I may be running another kids game. This time it’s because a friend has been vocally hoping a few times that I’d run another game so that his fourteen year old daughter can play. I finally figured out where I might have room to do it and have a few other kids that may be interested in playing, so now it’s just a matter of logistics.
Of the things I’ve tossed out, Star Wars seems like the strongest option mostly because it’s a better known intellectual property. Sadly, there’s not currently any Star Wars game in print. My favorite to date, Star Wars Saga Edition, is out of print. Used copies of the core rules are selling for $60+ on Amazon. I don’t need the rules, but it’s always helpful if players have copies of them. Granted, the kids in the previous game didn’t take the initiative to read game rules until they were much older.
I had also started the first group off on Star Wars. They’re all in their early 20s now. I asked them what advice they’d give to a new band of kids playing Star Wars with me. Here’s what I’ve gotten so far:
Don’t drive vehicles when you don’t have the driving skill.
Don’t go back in time and kill the main antagonist when they were a baby. Breaks the universe.
Don’t kill everything in sight. It’s not GTA.
And, in reference to a completely different game:
Don’t let Jeremy make up your backstory for you.
I feel like I’ve traumatized the last batch of kids. And I’m kind of proud of that.