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.”

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When will it be out?  I set up a pre-order on Amazon for a 26 December 2019 release.  Chances are good it’ll come out a few days before Christmas.  If you’re a kindle reader and 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.

Writing Up a Storm

I’m halfway done with my latest project, We Dare (Ghost Squadron No. 1) and so far, so good.  If the stars align and my editor can pounce on it the moment I’m done, it might even be out in time for Christmas.  And since my experiment with making the sixth Siobhan Dunmoore book available for pre-order worked so well, I will likely do the same for this one.  I’ve pretty much settled on the cover design, as you can see:

We Dare - ebook cover

What’s the story line?  Here’s the current iteration of the text you’ll eventually find on the book’s product page, on the back of the paperback version and the front inside flap of the hardcover version:

The Marines of “A” Squadron, 1st Special Forces Regiment, also known as Ghost Squadron because it strikes unseen and vanishes without a trace, are humanity’s foremost black ops specialists.  They will do whatever is required 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 the Armed Services.  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 is about to change the course of history.

Onwards!

I’m currently doing the last round of reviews with my editor on When the Guns Roar (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 6).  All of the publishing channels are ready for the final version of the manuscript so it’s just a matter of her finishing that last bit.  Barring unforeseen circumstances, it’ll come out some time next week.

While my editor does her thing, I’ve written more than 20% of my next book, We Dare (Ghost Squadron #1), over the course of the last seven days.  I aim to have it finished by mid November.  With luck, it’ll hit my editor’s inbox in early December and depending on her availability, I might just squeeze its publication in before Christmas.  But realistically, it’ll probably be early to mid January – I do owe Mrs Thomson two weeks of uninterrupted holidays from the writing business.  So far, I’ve held myself to my daily word counts, even if it meant spending another hour at the keyboard after supper instead of relaxing to a Netflix show.  But my brain probably gets a better workout from writing than watching the boob tube, so it’s all good.

Staying on the Move

My editor is almost done with When the Guns Roar (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 6).  I should get her comments sometime next week, then it’s one more pass and done.  Barring any unforeseen events it’ll come out before 31 October.  Perhaps even as early as 21 October.  If you get your books from Amazon and haven’t done so yet, go ahead and pre-order When the Guns Roar.  The moment it goes live on Amazon, you’ll find it on your device (provided said device is connected to the internet!).  For those buying from Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, or other retailers, watch this space for the announcement that the book is live.  The paperback and hardcover will be out, if not the same day, then within a day or two.

While my editor is hard at it, I haven’t been idle.  Many have asked me for a series describing how the empire which we see collapsing in Ashes of Empire came to be.  And I got started on that.  I’m still not sure of the series title.  Right now, I’m using Ghost Squadron as the working title, with the first installment called We Dare.  The end of the Commonwealth and the rise of the human empire will be seen through the eyes of a group of dedicated Marines from the 1st Special Forces Regiment’s A Squadron, nicknamed “Ghost Squadron” because of their ability to strike targets and vanish without being seen.  They will be instrumental in precipitating the events that lead to the Commonwealth’s violent demise.  I finished the complete outline just now, meaning I’ll start writing tomorrow.  It’s slated for a January 2020 release, if all goes well.  Though it will be an entirely new and self-contained series, meaning no need to read any of my other stuff beforehand,  Ghost Squadron will feature a few characters from previous books.

To my Canadian readers, Happy Thanksgiving.  May your turkey be moist, your stuffing fluffy and the dinner table conversation devoid of politics.  For those not following Canadian news, we have a federal election coming up on 21 October.  Wherever you turn, there are endless radio and tv ads, posters everywhere, panel discussions and the usual mudslinging between party leaders.  The only way to escape is head into the woods.  Mrs Thomson and I will cast our votes tomorrow at an advanced polling station, though we already know who’ll win in our riding.  We live in one of those places which always returns the same party to parliament.  But, as Winston Churchill famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”  And that means doing our part, however small.

And….

I fired off When the Guns Roar (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 6) to my editor just now, after two weeks of work revising and polishing the story to the standard she expects.  How long it will take her, I couldn’t say but the book will certainly come out in October.  At this point, I’m pondering whether to try putting it on pre-order.  I’ve never done pre-orders so it could be an interesting experiment.  If I do it, I’ll probably set the release date for the end of October, just in case.  But if everything is ready before then, I would certainly move the date up.  However, before I can set up a pre-order, I need to write the book’s description and finalize the cover, which I will do in the next few days.  As they say in advertising, keep your eyes on this space.

What comes after this?  I need to work on the Ashes of Empire: Imperial Night storyline, certainly.  However, I also want to get started on a series covering the other end of my scifi universe’s continuum, something which will take us through the fall of Decker and Dunmoore’s Commonwealth and the rise of the empire whose dissolution I describe in Imperial Sunset and Imperial Twilight.  So far, I haven’t found the ‘hook’ that will get me launched, but these things come unexpectedly.  For example, I unexpectedly figured out When the Guns Roar during a workout session at the gym back in June.

You can pre-order it on Amazon via this link: https://books2read.com/whenthegunsroar.  I didn’t set it up for pre-order with other retailers for technical reasons, but it will be published everywhere ebooks are sold.

Mission Accomplished

I just finished writing When the Guns Roar (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 6).  Now for the revisions and the polishing before my editor sees the manuscript in early October.  Barring any issues, it will be published late next month.

What’s the story, you ask?  It picks up where the fifth book left off, focuses entirely on the Shrehari war and ends rather dramatically.  But I won’t say anything more because I don’t want to spoil the denouement.  I’ve yet to write the brief synopsis you’ll see on the book’s product page, my blog and the official Eric Thomson website.

dunmoore-6