It’s been a week of endings around here, some good, some sad. The city’s contractors have laid down the first coat of asphalt on our street, meaning no more mud and dust, and they’ve begun preparing front yards and driveways for rehabilitation. Whether they’ll manage to complete everything before winter remains open to question. I’m also almost done revising The Warrior’s Knife. After a few intense discussions with my editor two weeks ago, I’m making a number of changes to improve the story and kick it up a notch. As the first of a new series, we’re both anxious that I get it absolutely right. Of course, that means publication is delayed until November, or even possibly early December.
However, our lingering summer is finally over. The furnace came on this week for the first time since spring; the days are getting noticeably shorter and the breeze downright cold. And yesterday, we found out that Gord Downie, the lead singer and lyricist for the quintessentially Canadian band The Tragically Hip passed away at age 53, his brain cancer finally claiming victory. Like millions of Canadians, I was glued to the TV for The Hip’s final concert in Kingston last year, knowing that once the last note faded away, they would never appear on stage together again. Rest in Peace, Gord.
The third Siobhan Dunmoore adventure Like Stars in Heaven has been published in audiobook format. You can get it here:
Will further adventures come out in audiobook? I don’t know. When I signed the audiobook publication contract with Tantor Media, only the first three Dunmoore novels had been published in ebook & paperback formats. I’d like to see the latest installment, Victory’s Bright Dawn and the next books in that series eventually turn into audiobooks, as well as the entire Decker’s War compendium, but we shall have to wait and see.
In the meantime, our rainy summer that wasn’t quite a summer is delivering another deluge from the skies this morning, turning our construction zone street into a muddy quagmire. There’s no longer any drainage and there won’t be until they put in the new storm drains and repave. I’m glad I managed to walk the dog before the heavens opened up — again! Here’s the view from my office window.
If you haven’t yet picked up your copy of Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5), here’s a bit from a kind reviewer:
Absolutely excellent!! […] An adventure that will keep you up all night to find out what happens.
My second audiobook, The Path of Duty (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 2) will be released tomorrow, joining the audiobook of Dunmoore’s inaugural adventure on the shelves of Amazon, Audible, iTunes and more. And that means the audiobook of Like Stars in Heaven (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 3) will soon be available for pre-order, as I expect an August 20th release for it.
In the meantime, my editor has indicated I might get her comments on Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) by early next week. Figure on a mid-August release for it. All in all, 2017 is turning out to be a good year for this author. And yes, I’m also working on the plot for the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure, tentatively titled Without Mercy, though it might not be published before 2018.
As I mentioned before, music is an important part of my inspiration to write, my muse if you like, and a great motivator when I’m procrastinating. I try to give each of my books a theme song, sometimes more than one, when I stumble across pieces appropriate for various parts of the story. It’s hard to predict what will trigger the muse, or what will crop up that meshes well with my writing. Case in point, the theme song for Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) has turned out to be a 1982 hit by the band Golden Earring, called Twilight Zone. Once you read the book (it will be out later this summer), you’ll see why I chose it. As far as musical pairings go, this one is the best so far.
I’m currently more than halfway through the revision of Black Sword. With the greater part of this year’s home reno project done, I’ll be able to give it a sprint, so I figure my editor might see it in a week or so.
Mother Nature’s a fickle one, even at the best of times. Last week, it was cold, rainy, with plenty of Spring flooding in my part of the country. For the last two days, it’s essentially been mid-July, where the temperature, sunshine and humidity are concerned, yet the leaves haven’t fully erupted from their buds yet. But, starting tomorrow, and at least into June, temperatures will be several degrees below the average for this time of year. Go figure. I love the heat. Mrs Thomson, not so much, which means she won’t complain at the cooler temperatures. Now if it could only stop being so windy! The May rains have ensured a bumper crop of dandelions and other weeds, but spraying or burning them in anything more than a light breeze is asking for trouble.
I suppose I should start thinking about where we’ll take our first hike of the year this coming long weekend. Mrs Thomson will probably want a reasonably flat trail, but it’ll have to be on higher ground. Many, if not most of the good ones meander around ponds, bogs and outright swamps, and water levels are still high, meaning they might not even be open. If all else fails, a long walk through the neighbourhood will have to do. At least that kind of an urban hike allows us to gaze in wonder at the massive single family homes around here, most of them very tastefully designed.
Progress on Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) has been steady – I’m past the 25% mark – although I’ve stopped writing seven days a week, reserving Saturday and Sunday for home renos, to give my fingers and brain a break. I’ve also visualized a good opening scene for the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure, but have nothing more than a very high level idea of what the story will be. Hopefully, I’ll get a starship-sized burst of inspiration at some point.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Tantor Media now have me listed as one of their authors, which makes our contractual relationship even more official, I suppose. You can find my author page here:
My books aren’t listed under the “Coming Soon” heading yet, but it’s only a matter of time…
I’ll be getting my editor’s comments on Victory’s Bright Dawn (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 4) by tomorrow, but she finds it my best and best written to date. She’s certainly happy with the quality of the manuscript. Once I’ve absorbed her comments and made the appropriate changes, it goes to my beta reader/proofreader (you know who you are) in a week or two, after which, once I’ve finalized everything and through the magic of ebook publication it will be available to all Siobhan Dunmoore fans – paperback version to follow. I’ll apologize in advance to those hoping to read it via Kindle Unlimited, but I shall not be enrolling the novel in that program. I’m still not confident that Amazon is treating authors enrolled in Kindle Unlimited fairly. That means it will be available via iTunes, Kobo, Nook, etc, as well as Amazon (purchase only) on the day of publication, which should cheer those who don’t buy their reading material from the almighty Zon. If you’ve signed up to my mailing list, you’ll get an email telling you it’s live the moment that happens.
Now if only spring could liven up a bit! Yesterday’s dump of snow, hopefully the last one of the winter, did nothing to buoy my spirits.
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.
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.
Last Friday promised to be the best, and with daytime temperatures forecast to be above zero for the next two weeks, possibly one of the last good cross-country skiing days of the winter. We received almost forty centimeters of fresh snow during the week, and the sun would finally poke out from behind the clouds. But wouldn’t you know it, I came down with a bout of the flu. I could feel something creeping up on me for a few days, but by Friday morning, it had become clear that not only was skiing out of the question, going to the gym as per my usual routine was out as well. As I write this on Sunday morning (day three without going to the gym), it’s already three degrees above zero on a February 19th in the Great White North, and for all intents and purposes, the Spring melt has already begun. Both Mother Nature and I are experiencing a bit of a fever, it seems. Mind you, I’m not complaining about the weather. I’ll never be a winter lover. And the sooner the snow is gone, the faster my little canine companion can go out on walks again. He needs the exercise to rebuild the muscles in his rear leg after last months’ operation. Running around the house just isn’t enough anymore.
Thanks to my bout of flu, productivity has taken a bit of a hit over the last few days, but I’m nonetheless pleased to have reached the two-thirds completion mark for the first draft of Victory’s Bright Dawn (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 4). I think mid-March is beginning to look like a good time for my editor to clear her calendar. It also coincides with another significant milestone – we’ll be making our final mortgage payment and the place we’ve called home for the last twenty years will be entirely ours. I think we’ll crack a bottle of the finest French bubbly on that day which, at this rate might see us freed of another winter’s snow.