Tag Archives: Siobhan Dunmoore

Productive Procrastination

Like most authors, I’m prone to bouts of procrastination, especially after publishing a novel.  Never fear, Siobhan Dunmoore’s fifth adventure is still proceeding, if at a slower pace right now – I’m almost half-way done.  However, I decided to give myself a few days off from writing, since Imperial Sunset seems to be doing so well, but this time, I used my spare hours more productively than surfing the internet or binging on Netflix.  In fact, I build myself a little piece of inspiration, which is now sitting in my office.

Iolanthe SM

It started life as a kit for another star ship altogether, but with a bit of bashing, a bit of rummaging in my spare parts bins and a lot of imagination, I turned it into the Q-Ship Iolanthe pretty much as I’d imagined her from the start.  As you can see, her gun turrets are deployed and she’s in full “Furious Faerie” mode, ready to take on any Shrehari, pirate, reiver or marauder.

Looking at the model, I can now see everything as I write: the bridge and combat information center, along with crew quarters, messes, etc, in the forward section; the shuttle hangar and cargo holds in the middle section (you can see the space doors); the missile launcher bay, which is on the middle section’s underside (the black stripe); the Marine barracks and brig which are immediately aft of the middle section; and of course, engineering with the reactors, environmental scrubbers, antimatter fuel containment units, etc, etc, etc, in the aftmost section.  As you can see, the model is resting on her hyperdrive nacelles while up top there are two sublight drives, one on each side, and two decoy sublight drives which hold the massive aft plasma guns.

I need to take a better picture, with a suitable background and all, but I wanted to share my newest project – finished earlier today – with all the Siobhan Dunmoore fans who are awaiting her latest adventure.

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A Rising Tide

In my previous blog post, I mentioned that Siobhan Dunmoore was whispering in my ear again after a long silence. Well, I was wrong. It wasn’t so much a whisper as a scream. In the last seven days, I’ve written a full quarter of Without Mercy (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 5). That’s around 100 pages! And I’ve done so while also revising Ashes of Empire: Imperial Sunset. I’m not sure what caused this sudden surge of productivity, but I’m going with it. If I can sustain the pace, Without Mercy will be ready for my editor in late June or early July, and that could well mean an August publication date, or for those who keep score, two books this summer, what with Imperial Sunset due to hit the shelves in late June or early July. If I can sustain the pace.  Sometime in the next week or so, I’ll add a synopsis to the Without Mercy page, but you can already see a mock up of the book cover.

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Filed under Ashes of Empire Science Fiction Series, Siobhan Dunmoore Naval Science Fiction Series

And I’m Once Again Done

I finished the first draft of Ashes of Empire: Imperial Sunset today.  The first draft clocks in at just over 400 pages, but that number will vary thanks to the many rounds of revision I and my editor will make over the next couple of weeks. As I previously indicated, this new series will not consist of standalone adventures like my others, but will form a multi-volume saga covering a large cast of characters and a long period of time.

And while I’m not working on Imperial Sunset, I will be turning my attention back on Without Mercy (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 5).  Hopefully, the storyline rethink will work this time.  I know there are a lot of fans who want to read more of her adventures.  In the meantime, you can check out the Ashes of Empire: Imperial Sunset page here: Imperial Sunset.

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Idle Hands are the Devil’s Workshop

It’s been a busy week in Thomsonland.  The first draft of Imperial Sunset (Ashes of Empire #1) is almost 90% complete, which is no mean feat, as my carpal tunnel flareup can testify.  And — drum roll please — Siobhan Dunmoore has started whispering in my ear, so once Imperial Sunset is with my editor, I’ll return to Without Mercy, but with a different storyline than the one I’d originally envisaged.  All things going well, we might see it hit the shelves this autumn.  No promises, of course.  A writer’s muse is one of the most fickle things ever and mine seems to take pleasure in messing with my inspiration..  She sends me more ideas than I can deal with, then vanishes as I’m part way through a draft.  But not right now.  I’m even ignoring spring’s glory outside in a concerted effort to finish Imperial Sunset, except for my dog’s daily walk.  He refuses to let me off the hook and for that, I’m thankful.  Now if I could only stop the flow of words come bedtime.  Mrs Thomson finds my clacking the computer keyboard after ten in the evening a bit much.

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May Flowers

The warm weather finally seems to be settling in around here, and not a moment too soon. Mrs Thomson has finally been able to engage in one of her favorite activities, gardening, while I have been able to indulge in one of my own, not gardening. But I have fired up the grill for the first bout of backyard cooking in 2018. And more work on the property awaits me over the next few months.

I’m glad to say Imperial Sunset (Ashes of Empire #1) is now two-thirds done, and as with all my books, has taken on a slightly different arc from what I’d originally planned. Characters that appeared unexpectedly in the first half are now becoming more and more important, and will likely be a major force in the subsequent installments of the larger, multi-volume saga. I won’t reveal anything here, but these characters will be familiar to readers of Decker’s War.

In other news, as you may have read, all of my novels are now available in hardcover, and to my surprise, the hardcover editions of Decker’s War are selling already. That’s sufficient motivation to ensure I publish hardcover editions alongside the ebook and paperback editions in future. And finally, I haven’t given up on the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure. I sense that she might talk to me again in the near future, and that means Without Mercy might get back on track.

And now, off to the gym, so that I don’t turn into a chair potato.

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Branding the 26th Century

If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve likely read a book or two that I’ve written.  You may recall my occasionally mentioning some variation of the “starburst, swords and anchor” insignia of Siobhan Dunmoore and Zack Decker’s Commonwealth Armed Services.  I finally got around to designing it as a further branding of my military science fiction series.  The Navy insignia worn by Dunmoore, Hera Talyn (when she’s in uniform) and other naval personnel is the “starburst, swords and anchor” insignia, minus the swords.  Army and Marine Corps personnel wear regimental insignia, of course, until they become general officers and wear the “starburst, swords and anchor” insignia, minus the anchor.  As a first design effort, I’m rather pleased by it.  Once I’m sure I like the insignia, you might find it included in future book cover designs.

Commonwealth Armed Services Badge

Incidentally, the starburst with anchor and no swords or motto scroll forms the basis of Navy chief petty officer rank insignia, while the starburst with swords and no anchor or motto scroll forms the basis of Marine Corps and Army sergeant major rank insignia. By the way, if you’re not fluent in Latin, the Fleet’s motto is “Through boldness to the stars”

And since I’m on a roll, I also came up with the Commonwealth Constabulary insignia.  Its motto is “Let justice be done.”

Commonwealth Constabulary Badge

And in other news, all of my novels are now available in hardcover format.

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Filed under Announcements, Decker's War Military Science Fiction Series, Siobhan Dunmoore Naval Science Fiction Series

Choosing Wisely

On this eve of Good Friday, the bathroom renovation is just about completed. A few items on back-order still need to be installed next week, but it’s usable again. And so nice. Modern looking too, compared to its earlier 1974 vintage incarnation. Over the weekend, Mrs. Thomson and I will have the agreeable chore of dusting and scrubbing the rest of the house. I’ve already done my office, which put me a little behind on my daily writing, but progress on my newest project has been excellent.

In the 9 days since I started writing Imperial Sunset (Ashes of Empire #1), I’ve put over 20,000 words to paper, one-fifth of the novel! And this at a time when tradesmen were working downstairs from early in the morning to late afternoon. It goes to show you that when I’m on the right track, my productivity is most satisfying. It also vindicates my decision to shelve Siobhan Dunmoore’s fifth adventure for now and move on to the next idea, since I was getting nowhere. The storyline for Imperial Sunset is already almost entirely formed in my head, and now it’s just a matter of fleshing it out and pounding the keyboard. As this is my twelfth novel, the fleshing out is becoming easier and therefore quicker. I foresee a mid to late June publication date.

And if you haven’t picked up your copy of No Remorse (Decker’s War Book 6) yet, you don’t know what you’re missing!

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Happy New Year 2018

Mrs Thomson and I spent the countdown to midnight on an airplane flying the last leg of the long, twenty-one hour journey home from an undisclosed location where we spent two weeks scuba diving, relaxing and eating way too much.  We saw a few fireworks from up high, but it was an otherwise uneventful slip into 2018.  Considering the blanket of extreme cold that seems to have smothered a wide swath of the Great White North, I’m sure uneventful was the norm rather than the exception, what with authorities cancelling outdoor festivities all over the place.  And now, back to reality…

The coming year will have plenty to keep me gainfully employed as a writer.  Three novels are on the schedule, all of them outlined and the first of the three already 20% written:

  • No Remorse (Decker’s War Book 6)
  • Without Mercy (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 5) and
  • an as of yet untitled 26th Century murder mystery featuring Chief Superintendent Caelin Morrow

Speaking of Caelin Morrow, if you haven’t yet picked up a copy of The Warrior’s Knife (Quis Custodiet No 1), look for it at your favorite retailer.  The reviews on Amazon.com have been uniformly positive to date.

A Happy New Year to all my readers.  And for those living in the grip of Old Man Winter, stay warm!

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The Company You Keep

It’s said, not without some truth, that you can judge someone by the company they keep.  If that applies to authors as well, I invite you to contemplate what the screen capture from the Kobo ebook retailer website, taken today, says about yours truly and the company his novel No Honor in Death keeps!

Kobo CA 6 Aug 17

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Tomorrow’s the Day

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.

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