Category Archives: Decker’s War Military Science Fiction Series

The Sounds of Summer

Summer in the northern hemisphere will officially arrive twenty-four minutes past midnight on June 21st, but my first sounds of summer have officially been released.  I’m talking about No Honor in Death (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 1) in audiobook format.  It’s available as of today on

Amazon

Audible

iTunes

Hoopla

Recorded Books

The next two installments of Dunmoore’s adventures, The Path of Duty and Like Stars in Heaven will come out in audiobook format later this summer.  Stay tuned – I’ll let you know when that happens.

In other good news, Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) is 80% done, so that’s another summer release coming at you.  So far, I’m liking my 2017!

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Half-Way There

After the wettest and most miserable spring in living memory around here, we’ve had our first true day of warm sunshine. Summer seems to have finally arrived. Of course, the warm weather means little for my routine, if truth be told. I’ll still be walking the dog if it isn’t raining, only earlier in the day, because he doesn’t like walking on asphalt when it gets too hot, and I’ll still get my time at the gym. This year’s renos have been moving apace, and so far I’m keeping faith with my pledge to renew one room a year. I’m actually quite pleased now that I’ve done the workshop and the laundry room, and have made good progress on turning the basement rec room back into a livable space. The amount of junk that’s been trickling out of the house over the last 2-3 weeks is nothing short of miraculous. This coming weekend, our city is holding its semi-annual weekend of ‘put your unwanted stuff on the curb for others to take’. I’ll be filling the end of our driveway, judging by the amount of old furniture and light fixtures I’ve extracted from the basement. I know both Mrs Thomson and my dog are happy with the progress on decluttering Thomson Manor.

And yes, I have been working on Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) every day. In fact, the first draft is over 50% done and speed has been ramping up, as it usually does once I reach the half-way mark. I’ve also been giving further thought to the plot of the fifth Dunmoore adventure, tentatively titled Without Mercy. You may have noticed the book cover mockup.

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Procrastinating with Graphic Design

Today was a holiday in Canada, the kind where nothing is open and because it rained around here, it reminded me of the dreary Sundays of my childhood.  After two days of reno work, I couldn’t motivate myself to do more, nor could I plunge back into the fifth Decker’s War adventure, so I decided to noodle around with Photoshop.  After learning a great deal about graphic design from my friend A. Lee Ripley (but still nowhere near as talented as she is, I hasten to add), I decided to spread my wings and try some more difficult compositions.  I downloaded a few templates from Covervault and played away for most of the afternoon and evening.  The ones I liked best are now on my author website and my Facebook feed.  Take a look!

Decker Series

SD Series copy

Tomorrow it’s back to Decker’s War #5, which now sits at 30% completed.  Give it another month or two, and its cover will join the others in the graphic above!

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Time Flies

One of the things I’ve noticed, growing older, is that the passage of time seems to accelerate.  In March, we celebrated our twentieth year living in the same house – a record for two people who grew up shifting from place to place as the military moved their fathers to new duty stations, not to mention our moves while I was in the regular army.  And this morning, I was reminded by our kind veterinary clinic that our youngest, and sole surviving dog, turns ten today.  Funny.  I still vividly remember him as a tiny puppy, barely larger than my hand.  Where did all that time go?  Mind you, at five pounds, he’s still small, smaller than the cat we encountered during our morning walk, but he has the spirit of big dog even if his growls and barks are more endearing than menacing.  I get a lot of smiles from passersby as we walk through the neighbourhood ever day, and I know what they see – a big, bearded, fifty-something guy enjoying a stroll with his wee little dog.  Now that he’s healed from his knee operation, my guy can put on some speed when he wants to.

Victory’s Bright Dawn has been out for nine days now, and seems to be doing well with Siobhan Dunmoore fans.  It’s the sort of encouragement that’ll have me write her next adventure, although inspiration for a storyline hasn’t struck just yet.  But I’m steaming ahead with the fifth Decker’s War installment, and as you might have noticed, the cover and synopsis for Black Sword are up both here and on my author website.  I’m aiming to have the manuscript in my editor’s hands late June or early July, perhaps even earlier if I can overcome my habitual tendency to procrastinate, which might be a struggle now that the weather is finally showing signs of improvement.

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Almost There

We’re now within a day or two of Victory’s Bright Dawn (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 4) being distributed to the various retail outlets.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, it will not be available through Kindle Unlimited, but it will be available on iTunes, Kobo, Nook, etc, at the same time as it comes out on Amazon.  The paperback version will  be published concurrently.  I’m probably as anxious for it to go live as anyone, after four months of intense work.  If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll get an email as soon as the new novel is live, so check your inbox over the next 48 hours.  The email will come from eric@thomsonfiction.ca, and will have links to the ebook on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and Nook.

In other news, I realized, 20% into Decker’s War #5 that I wasn’t writing the story I wanted to write, so I returned to square one.  Fortunately, about half of what was already written fits the proper story, so not all is lost.  I’ve been fleshing out the new outline over the last few days, while my editors were giving Dunmoore #4 a final go-over, and this time, I’m telling the right story, one I’ve been planning for the Zack Decker universe at some point anyway.  I’m aiming to have it out by mid to late summer.

And now back to our regularly scheduled Sunday reno work.  Can’t spend all my time in front of a computer typing away, can I?  Besides, it’s either swinging a hammer or a few hours at the gym, and I’d rather finish some of the work I started last fall.

 

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Spring Sunday Blues

The calendar says that today, March 26th, is part of Spring, yet outside, it’s white, wet, damp and miserable.  Mrs Thomson and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood today instead of heading for the gym (a speed skating competition this weekend is making finding a parking spot at the recreational complex a tactical problem worthy of a special forces team), and it felt like one of the worst days of December in this fair town, where the humidity, Winter and Summer, amplifies the extremes.

You may have noticed that blogging has been light of late, but I have the best of excuses – finishing the revision of Victory’s Bright Dawn (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 4).  The manuscript is now with my editor and so far, she likes it.  I’ll be jumping  back into the fifth Decker’s War adventure in the coming weeks.  Its Act I is well along, and as I was chatting with Mrs Thomson over supper today, I realized that one of the plot twists I’m planning was inspired by the Peter Sellers Inspector Clouseau movies, which I’ve seen so many times, I can quote lines verbatim.  Funny how such things happen.  No, it doesn’t mean I’m turning Decker into a farce, but one of the leitmotifs of the movies seems to have infiltrated Decker’s universe.  I’ll let the readers figure it out once the novel is published later this year, but I can say that the foundations for said leitmotif were laid in the last two Decker’s War novels.

I hope those of you in the northern hemisphere are having a better Spring than we are, and to those in the southern hemisphere, may your Autumn not suck.

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Good News

I just realized that I haven’t put up a blog post in two weeks, but there’s a very good reason – I was focusing entirely on Victory’s Bright Dawn (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 4) and yesterday, I completed it. Now come the inevitable rounds of revision and editing. I intend to start the first run through next week, and provided my editor can free up space on her calendar later this month, it may hit the bookshelves by the end of April. Those of you who have signed up for my mailing list will receive an email from me the moment Victory’s Bright Dawn is available for purchase.

In the twenty-four hours or so since I wrote the last word of Victory’s Bright Dawn, I started seriously storyboarding Decker’s War Book 5, tentatively titled Black Sword. It will see Zack Decker and his partner Hera Talyn pulled into a vortex of treachery and betrayal on humanity’s planet of origin, good old Earth itself, and this time the threat will come from within the Fleet itself.  Barring any unforeseen complications, a late Summer publication date is quite possible.

Finally, I’ll be announcing an exciting new development concerning the first three Siobhan Dunmoore novels, hopefully within the next week or so.

 

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No Rest for the Wicked

Howling Stars (Decker’s War Book 4) has been out for six days now, but I haven’t been sitting idle. Quite the contrary. I’m fast approaching the halfway mark on the first draft of A Splash of Blood and, as some might have noticed, I’ve posted the blurb and cover for the fourth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure, Victory’s Bright Dawn. I’ve also written the opening chapter as a way to get my creative juices going. On top of that, I have the high-level storyline for the fifth Decker’s War novel sorted out and ready to go once I finish the two books I’m currently writing. I managed to publish three novels in 2016 and aim to do the same in 2017, which shouldn’t be much of a stretch since I already have two of them in progress.

I apologize for the fact that the paperback version of Howling Stars hasn’t come out yet. I’ve had a few production issues to sort out, but it might hit the Amazon shelves later today or tomorrow ­­ – I hope.

Update 7 December 2016: The paperback version of Howling Stars is now available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/1537515640/

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Howling Stars (Decker’s War – Book 4)

I promised that the fourth Zack Decker adventure would come out in November and there’s just under two hours left in the month in my part of Canada, so here it is:

Howling Stars (Decker’s War Book 4)

decker4ebook

 

The paperback version will follow in a few days.  Enjoy!

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Signs of the Season

Although the leaves aren’t completely off all trees yet — our red maple seems to be hanging on to its leaves with grim determination — there’s no doubt that we’re sliding headlong into winter. On Sunday, we enjoyed a long walk, to take advantage of the blue skies and sunshine, even though it was windy, and I remarked to my wife that the light already had a wintery quality, with early afternoon feeling like the supper hour was just around the corner.

Yesterday, I performed the annual ritual of cleaning out and reorganizing the garage so my wife could park her car in it on snow days, and we’ve started talking with growing enthusiasm about our next scuba diving trip, now that I’ve made the final payment to our travel agent. In past years, I would be facing the string of social events at work during the lead up to Christmas. They represented a sort of checklist of things that must be done before escaping into the holidays, but now, the only Christmas office parties will be in my own kitchen, with a dog who won’t insist on congratulatory speeches although a treat or two are expected.

Even though I’m a writer living in my own imagination most of the time, I’m not immune to the constant media bombardment of current event news. I often wonder how much they influence my story development, even though my protagonists won’t be born for another four or five hundred years. But then, as a lifelong student of history, I also know that humanity has a tendency to repeat mistakes over and over because human nature has changed little over millennia. Lust for wealth, power, sex, and fame are still today as they were when first discussed by the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers. Religious fanaticism has existed since the first humans disagreed on the nature of God or the gods. Corrupt, self-serving politicians are a given, even in the most advanced trust-based societies, let alone those still based on kinship or tribalism.

As a result, it’s difficult to write about future societies without seeming, in the eyes of some readers, to make reference to and comment on present day events. The odd reader might even deduce (for the most part erroneously) my own political leanings. However, since I do not believe in the perfectibility of humankind, I expect our descendants, even centuries in the future, to act in ways not all that different from today. It’s a theme I explored in Like Stars in Heaven (albeit heavily influenced by Arnold Toynbee, to whom I was exposed in my college history classes.) and it’s become a common thread in the Decker’s War series.

Anyways, enough philosophizing. I’m most of the way through the final revision of Howling Stars in preparation for the submission to my editor. Another day or two of sustained effort and I’ll be done.

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