I finished the first draft of Exodus: Empires at War: Book 8: Soldiers last night (4/20/2015) and immediately jumped into the first draft of book 9, titled Second Front. The plan is to work on rewrites and proofing of book 8 while writing book 9, then doing the same with book 2 of Machine Wars: Bolthole, while doing the rewrites and proofing on book 9 of EAW. Then to jump straight into book 10 of EAW. Whew. The plan is to get through all the books before summer is out so I can work on the fantasy I have been planning for almost a year, but never seem to get to (except for the first three chapters, which are already done) so I can submit it to Baen. I figured that if I can do these four Exodus books back to back, which all use the same backgrounds, tech, etc, I can save enough time to work on that submission.
Why, you might ask, would I want to get a traditional book publishing deal? Because to me that seems like the way to get the most readers. Not that I’m doing badly, and I appreciate the readers I have, and the living I am making putting out indie books. But having a publisher and getting covers in bookstores cannot hurt, and with Baen I can keep my indie series going as my own. And there is always the possibility of getting a collaborative deal out of that mix, which can’t hurt. Having your name on the same cover with a bestseller means that most of their fans are going to read that book that also has my name on it. I have several other ideas for Baen if the first one doesn’t pan out, and can always release the books they reject as indies, so it’s really a no lose situation for me.
I am also having the first two covers of my Refuge series redone by a professional. While that series has done reasonably well, it has not come close to Exodus. I am hoping that new covers will inject some new life into the series, which is near and dear to my heart. This weekend I have the Tallahassee Writers’ Conference. This year I am a presenter, with two sessions. How To Write Science Fiction, and How I Quit My Day Job. I have power point presentations for both of these topics, and will be releasing those over the next couple of weeks along with blogs about each presentation. And I will be releasing two blogs about the upcoming Empires at War Book 8, along with excerpts.
And then we have Liberty Con, in June in the city of Chattanooga. This year I will be on some panels there as well. I have no idea which ones I will be on, or what topics. I’m hoping for at least one panel with some big names, and dreading getting the one person presentation that only two people attend (I went to one of those last year). I have also signed up for two one hour sessions on Author’s Alley to sign and sell books. No matter what, it will be good to attend that con and to see the friends I have made through attending last year, like Nebula nominee Chuck Gannon, Campbell Award nominee Jason Cordova, Sarah Hoyt, Cedar Sanderson, David Burkhead and of course Larry Southard, my biggest fan and most faithful purveyor of my work by word of mouth. Anyone who can make it to Liberty, I would be very happy to meet you.
And then we have the big one at the beginning of September. Dragon Con. I didn’t even try to get on a panel this year, after striking out completely last year. So I will just go and have fun, meet some more of the legends I enjoy reading, and hang out with some friends. I have seen a couple of my fans at each of the Dragon Cons I have attended, and hopefully this year will be no different. Live in interesting times, indeed.