Tag Archives: writing

Life’s Twists and Turns

Exactly three years ago, on October 8, 2014, I published my first of now nine novels, Death Comes But Once (Decker’s War Book 1). At the time I didn’t have much of a clue about anything and had no intention of turning this first foray into ebook publishing into a series, let alone write four sequels, with a fifth in the planning stages.  I didn’t even come up with the series name, Decker’s War, until the following spring. In the intervening three years, I’ve had occasion to revise this first effort several times as I applied the lessons I learned while developing as a writer, so both Decker and I have come a long way.

But no one could have convinced me three years ago that I would walk away from a successful career a year and a half later by taking early retirement and turning scifi writing into a full time career (my fourth!). And now I’ve published nine novels in three years,  and three more planned for 2018. Funny how that all happened. In 2014, I had no idea things would end up this way. Now, I can’t be happier that they did.

So here’s to celebrating the third anniversary of Zack Decker’s first appearance on the military scifi scene. May he keep finding fans for a long time, because I don’t intend to stop writing.

decker1-ebook

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Once More in Good Company

This August is proving to be a wonderful month indeed.  Recently, No Honor in Death found itself in good company on the Kobo retail site.  Now, it’s the turn of Black Sword, my most recent novel.  What more could I ask for?  If you’re a Zack Decker fan and you haven’t read his latest adventure yet, you don’t know what you’re missing!

DW5 Kobo

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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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More Musical Inspiration

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.

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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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No Fooling this April 1st

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:

https://tantor.com/author/eric-thomson.html

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.

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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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Schroedinger’s Starship

I am more of what we scribblers call a “pantser” than a “plotter” meaning I fly by the seat of my pants when I write, relying on high-level plot points, storylines and desired outcomes to guide me rather than planning a novel down to individual chapter and scene details. My mind simply won’t let me do otherwise. Sometimes, it takes me down dead ends, but mostly, it allows me to set my characters free to do their thing and I’m often pleased when they take me down unexpected rabbit holes. It does mean, however, that I’m frequently confronted with decisions that force me to choose between two separate paths, each driving the story or part of the story in a different direction.

I faced one such decision point the other day while working on the fourth Siobhan Dunmoore novel and it suddenly occurred to me that I had stumbled on the science fiction writer’s version of the old Schroedinger’s cat dilemma. Part of the plot involves finding a starship carrying purloined naval stores and Dunmoore lands in a particular place with her shuttle but can’t determine whether said starship is there or not until she gets out of the shuttle and is able to examine her surroundings. Because chores were calling, I had to stop writing at the point where she’s about to disembark, still not knowing myself whether she would find her elusive quarry. At that moment, I realized that not only would Dunmoore and I have to wait until she opens the hatch and disembarks to find out but that until then, the starship may be simultaneously there and not there. Schroedinger’s starship – all in a day’s work for someone who writes by the seat of his pants.

And no, I’m not telling you how it turned out.  Read the book once it’s published.

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