Mid-Month, Mid-Book

It’s a windy, cold Saturday in February around here, with plenty of blowing snow, though thankfully not as cold as yesterday, when the house groaned and cracked as if possessed by poltergeists. Even my pickup truck, normally a stalwart machine, coughed a few times before starting. And if you’re wondering whether Mrs Thomson and I did something special for Valentine’s Day, the answer is no. We treat every day as Valentine’s Day. Yes, it sounds corny, but we’re like that.

I passed the 50% mark on “Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night” yesterday, and this morning, I finally added it to the Upcoming Books page on my official website:

https://www.thomsonfiction.ca/upcoming-book

If you want to see what perils are coming at Lyonesse, check it out. Or visit the Ashes of Empire page on this blog and scroll down. I’ve marked it as appearing in May 2020, but that could move up to late April. It’ll be available for pre-order a few weeks earlier on Amazon, Kobo, and Google Play.

I also designed the cover for “Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron No. 2)” and it’ll appear on the Upcoming Books page eventually. All in all, the last week was productive, though it’s about maintaining momentum. I know where Imperial Night is going. In fact, writing up the summary this morning cleared a few things in my mind, an ‘aha’ moment if you like. I always enjoy ‘aha’ moments, though Mrs Thomson doesn’t necessarily enjoy me going on about them non-stop.

And now to enjoy some time with my hobbies. I promised myself to take weekends off from writing, and so far, it’s been a struggle so I compromised. On Saturdays and Sundays, it’s a burst of model building in the basement, then while glue or paint dries, a burst of writing before going back to the model.

Happy Palindrome Day

Fun fact: today, February 2nd, 2020, aka 02.02.2020, is a palindrome day if you write your dates dd.mm.yyyy (or mm.dd.yyyy, as xromad helpfully pointed out!)  It also means January 2020 went by in a blur.  Where did it go?  At least we get an extra day this month, for all the good it’ll do slowing down the passage of time.  They do say the older you get, the more you perceive the passage of time as accelerating.

January was reasonably productive month.  Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night is one third written.  Some time today, I’ll wrap up Part I and begin Part II.  Funnily enough, current events are mirroring one of the subplots in the book, though I can’t remember whether I stumbled upon the idea first or picked up the initial hints of what was happening on this planet and ran with it.  But it allows me to further develop one of the overarching themes I explore in Ashes of Empire.

And this is the cover:

The keepers

Enjoy Palindrome Day, or as I like to call it, another cold, gray, snowy day in the Great White North.

A Year of Writing

Now that we have what is supposedly the saddest day of the year, Blue Monday, behind us, I suppose I can look forward to 2020 with a happier disposition.  I have many things to do over the coming months, including work on our property once winter fades away, and plan on publishing at least three new novels this year.

Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night is coming along, although not as fast as I’d hoped, but that is often the case when I’m writing the first part of a novel.  My pace tends to pick up along with the action.  I’m nearing the 20% completion mark and still hope for a late April or early May release date.

Once that one’s in my editor’s hands, I’ll start on Deadly Intent – Ghost Squadron No. 2 which I’m slowly outlining during my idle moments.  I’m looking at a mid to late summer release date for that one.

What my third book of 2020 will be is still up in the air.  Perhaps the third Ghost Squadron adventure, perhaps another Ashes of Empire, or perhaps I’ll surprise myself by coming up with something completely unexpected.  It happens.  I wasn’t intending to revisit Decker and Talyn after Hard Strike, which ended the Decker’s War series.  Yet they reappeared in Ghost Squadron, the story of the empire’s creation, because I’d already hinted they would be major players in overthrowing the tottering Commonwealth.

And now back to work.  Imperial Night won’t write itself.

typewriter-3473638_640

A Happy New Year to All

Mrs Thomson and I just returned from our regular scuba diving trip to an undisclosed location where the temperature was 40 degrees Celsius higher than it is here in our part of the Great White North at the moment.  Needless to say, it was a bit of a shock to the system when we stepped out of the airport.  But we’ve unpacked, our dog is sleeping off two weeks at the boarding kennel beside me, and it’s back to the usual routine.

Tomorrow, I resume work on Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night.  The first two chapters were complete, as were the opening paragraphs to chapter three, before we took the great metal bird to more southerly climes.  I’d like to see it in my editor’s hands by the end of March, which isn’t an unreasonable timeline.  Then, it’ll be on with Deadly Intent, the second of the Ghost Squadron adventures.  If you haven’t read We Dare yet, give it a try.  The story is a fast-moving, hard-hitting military scifi story which sets  the scene for the Commonwealth’s impending demise and the rise of empire.

I wish all my readers a Happy New Year.

“Always remember to forget

The troubles that pass away.

But never forget to remember

The blessings that come each day.”

The Day is Coming

We Dare (Ghost Squadron No. 1) is currently undergoing a last round of proofreading, which means it should come out in the next 3-4 days.  Look for it on your favorite retailer’s website by mid week.  Those of you who pre-ordered will get it automatically when it’s released.

In the meantime, I’m making good progress on the detailed outline of Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night.  I expect to start writing in early January, after taking some time off to enjoy life with Mrs Thomson over the holidays.  All things going well, it should hit the shelves in late April or early May.  Then, after that installment in the story of the human interstellar empire’s fall, it’ll be Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron No. 2) and the ongoing tale of the human interstellar empire’s rise a thousand years earlier.  Simultaneously writing two series which bookend a momentous era in our species’ future history is actually quite amusing.

Watch this space for imminent news of We Dare‘s release.

We Dare will be released on December 18, 2019.

Another Saga Begins

My editor is going through my newest project, We Dare – Ghost Squadron No.1 right now.  This is the first in a new series covering the rise of the empire we saw collapsing in the Ashes of Empire books.  Old acquaintances are back and will prove instrumental in the demise of the Commonwealth and its replacement by an empire that will last a thousand years.  I don’t know how long the series will be, but there is ample room for storytelling because the empire’s birth will take years.  In a nutshell, the series will follow those tumultuous events as seen through the eyes of Ghost Squadron’s Marines.  Here is the teaser for the first installment:

The Marines of Ghost Squadron are humanity’s foremost black ops specialists who strike without warning and vanish without a trace.  They will do whatever is necessary to protect humanity anywhere in the known galaxy.  With the Commonwealth increasingly unstable thanks to venal politicians, greedy financiers, and power-hungry revolutionaries, they don’t lack for missions.

When an undercover Constabulary officer vanishes after uncovering a massive cartel-run human trafficking operation, the Commonwealth’s interstellar police force calls for help from Naval Intelligence.  Because the cartel’s operations could upend the delicate political balance between the older core worlds and the more recently colonized outer star systems, Ghost Squadron gets the job.  Its mission: find the missing Constabulary officer and choke off the growing slave trade bedeviling humanity’s perilous galactic frontier.

Ghost Squadron’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Thomas Decker, spent the last ten years as a Naval Intelligence agent.  His job was thwarting plots and terminating the Commonwealth’s internal enemies alongside his partner, a trained assassin.  Now, with several hundred of the deadliest Marines ever fielded at his back, Zack Decker will change the course of history and usher in a new era.

Humanity’s interstellar empire ended in “Ashes of Empire.”  Witness its birth a thousand years earlier in Eric Thomson’s new series “Ghost Squadron.”

jack5.000x8.000.indd

When will it be out?  I set up a pre-order on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and Google Play.  Chances are good it’ll come out the week before Christmas.  The release date is now confirmed: December 18, 2019.  If you want to get it delivered the moment it’s released, follow this link:

We Dare – Ghost Squadron No. 1

One Step Forward

I finished writing We Dare – Ghost Squadron No. 1 late last week, and after a weekend hiatus during which I replaced my old desktop PC with a new model, I’ll start the revision process later this morning.

The old PC, a refurbished Windows 7 box, gave me good service.  I wrote each one of my books with it; I did my graphic design on it, and I was running my business with it.  I can’t quite remember how ancient that HP Compaq is, but they stopped producing the CPU chip in 2009, which should tell you something.  It was giving me signals of impending motherboard failure for the last week or two, and I finally conceded it was best if I replaced the machine before everything crashed and my ability to work with it.

And so, I went out to our local Canada Computer store on Saturday and walked out ten minutes later with a new desktop PC.  Nothing fancy, but oh so much faster and more stable than the old one.  No more hiccups, no hesitation, no ‘not responding’ messages, no stuttering mouse pointer.  Yes, it runs Windows 10, which I dislike for its intrusiveness and bloat, but with Windows 7 support ending in the next few weeks, the writing was on the wall.

It took me a day to set the new PC up so that it runs like the old machine did, with every single one of the tools I need to ply my trade, especially my editing programs.  But to make sure they would work properly, I broke down and replaced my old MS Office version with Office 365.  I’m philosophically opposed to subscription-based software and privately believe whoever invented the concept should be drawn and quartered, but it seems to be the way of the future.  And because I’m in the writing and publishing business, I have no choice since none of my editing software works with OpenOffice or LibreOffice.  Ah, well.  At least my old version of Adobe Creative Suite (CS3, if you can believe it) still works fine.  The subscription on the newest version, CS6, is ruinously expensive.

On the truly bright side, I was able to transfer my web browser data from the old machine to the new machine – cookies, passwords, history, bookmarks, and all – via sync.  That meant I was up and running by suppertime Sunday without a hitch.  Now to revise We Dare.  My editor is expecting it in early December.

Friday Update

I’m at the 85% completion mark for We Dare – Ghost Squadron No. 1 so barring any unforeseen events, I will be done some time next week.  My editor should get it by the end of the month, which means I may well publish before taking a well-deserved rest over Christmas and the New Year.  Concurrently, I’ve also begun the high level outline of Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night and I’ll be plunging into that story in January.

As those of you who read When the Guns Roar (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 6) will have realized, that book finishes her story arc at least where the Shrehari War is concerned.  Will there be more tales of her life and times?  I can’t say.  All I know is that Dunmoore still has a long and storied career ahead of her, but her battles will mainly be fought in the realm of politics as the Commonwealth faces one crisis after another.  If you read Decker’s War, you’ll have an inkling of what I mean.  Should I come up with a good story line, one that’ll keep readers from putting down the book because it’s past midnight, then there might be another Dunmoore, or perhaps even several more.  But no promises.