Monday, April 14, 2014

Cliffhangers & Real-Life Plans

I will be at NorWesCon this weekend! It's a great sci-fi/fantasy convention here in Seattle that I've been attending for years. I'm not doing any panels or anything... so basically I'll just be there as an ordinary attendee, but that has been fun enough for a while now.

Days of High Adventure is doing quite nicely so far. It could use reviews if you are so inclined! Especially happy reviews, though I'm not one to tell people what to write!

As for Rich Man's War: I recently passed the 90,000 word mark. It's currently at 91k. The "middle" of the book was a bit of a challenge for me, because I'm trying to keep the inherent time-lag of an interstellar society straight. Having established that it's more or less three weeks between Earth and Archangel, even by the standards of the fastest ship, makes for a couple of challenges in maintaining a narrative flow. Add in a couple more interstellar locations and it gets trickier.

But it's coming along. I have pretty clear ideas for the rest of it. Although, I gotta say, now that the big climactic action-packed final arc is within sight and the book is already at 90k, I was just thinking... I could just finish it off at any point here with, "Dunh dunh DUUUNNNHHH!!!" and call it good, right?

I mean, granted, I'd piss off pretty much every single reader and never sell a book again, but still...   :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A New Novella -- Days of High Adventure!

So I've told people, perhaps inconsistently, that I may well have a bit of a surprise to release before I'm finished with Rich Man's War. Here it is!

Days of High Adventure!

Gaming with friends offered what Amanda missed in her dreary college life: friendship and excitement, the thrill of combat for a good cause and the chance to be a hero. Neither Amanda nor her friend, Eric ever expected to face the suddenly real world of their fantasy adventures, but when a careless joke draws the ire of a dark wizard, both must rise to the challenge. 

Leveling up has never been so hard... or felt so good. 

WARNING: Days of High Adventure contains graphic violence, graphic pre-marital sex, graphic violation of college housing regulations, rampant geekery, multiple dismemberments, impalings, bad language, nudity, drug references, consumption of alcohol, destruction of private property, paganism, theft, arson, slavery, reptile-on-human violence, improper placement of hazardous materials, money laundering, illegal immigration, tax evasion, poor workplace standards, unwed cohabitating couples, kidnapping, assault under color of authority, bearers of false witness, human sacrifice, desecration of religious sites, unsafe work standards, uncredited film quotes, and references to games falsely accused of Satanic influences. There may be dungeons and/or dragons herein.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Rich Man's War Updates and Post-ComiCon Fun

So this past weekend was Emerald City ComiCon, and just like last year, I had a blast. The crowds were well-managed, a lot of great artists and writers came out, I finally got to shake Peter David's hand after reading his stuff for nigh on twenty years (I'd even used one of his Star Trek novels for my obligatory "outside reading" book reports in high school American Lit), and the Carol Corps were out in full force.

I went to a great panel by Talaria Press on self-publishing and the opportunities available now to new writers, and had a chance to talk to several of their writers at their table afterward. They are some very cool people, and I encourage anyone with an interest in supporting independent authors to take a look. They aren't a big imprint with lawyers and agents and publicists; they're a handful of writers who banded together to create a nice, professional line of books.

Cons like this are also highly motivating for me as an author. It came at a great time, too. The rough draft for Rich Man's War is well more than halfway finished now, with the climax in sight. I'll admit I've wrestled with the middle of this book for a few reasons, not the least of which being that I wanted to make sure my timelines make sense. Rich Man's War reaches further away from Tanner's home than just Archangel and Hashem--though you'll see plenty of both--and I've paid close attention to the delays created by such distances.

The Union hasn't developed real-time communication between star systems yet like you see in many other sci-fi settings, and I have no plans for that to occur. If you want to send a message from Earth to Archangel, you'll need to put it on a ship with a Faster-Than-Light capability, and even so it'll take a couple weeks to get there. When you put a detail like that in place, it plays all sorts of merry hell with things like diplomacy and stock exchanges.

At any rate: as usual, my attendance at ECCC led to me commissioning a couple of art pieces (and not nearly as many as I'd like to have done... stupid finite resources!). When you're talking to an artist at a table in a crowded hall, and said artist only has a day or two to do his or her work, it's much easier to describe urban fantasy ideas than sci-fi concepts, so I don't have anything to show of Tanner or his associates just yet. But I'm always happy to see more of Alex, Lorelei, Rachel & Co.

And, well... there was a pro from a particular comics line right there in Artist's Alley. While I never set out to write Good Intentions with them in mind, I'd be a damn liar if I said I never once thought of Betty and Veronica while writing those stories.

Hope to have more to announce soon!

--Elliott Kay

Monday, March 10, 2014

Poor Man's Fight -- Now Available in Paperback!

So I've proofed it, I've priced it as low as I could, and I'm quite happy with the results!

Poor Man's Fight is now available in paperback! You can get it either through Amazon or direct through CreateSpace. The Amazon version is slightly cheaper (though I don't know how or why). If you want me to get slightly more of your cash, CreateSpace is the way to go... but I couldn't for the life of me give you a reason why you'd want to do that.  :)

And oh, man, have you seen the new cover by Lee Moyer?

Work continues on the sequel! I wish I could give you a release date, but I'm a ways off from that yet. Thanks again for your interest!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Brief Updates

This is brief because I really want to focus on productive story-writing. However, I know there are folks out there interested in how things are going.

Writing for Rich Man's War has suffered recently from the natural interruptions of the holidays and the wholly unnatural interruption of the worst flu I've ever had in my life. Feverish for days, couldn't concentrate on anything, all that. It took me a good three weeks to shake that stuff off enough that I could actually get any writing work done. My girlfriend is fairly sure that I caught swine flu, as she caught that during the big scare in '08 or '09 or whenever and yet didn't get sick at all despite living with me through this whole deal, plus H1N1 is apparently one of the big strains this year... and whatever I had was awful. Presumably, those three details totally add up to irrefutable scientific evidence, right?

At any rate, Rich Man's War is over 60k words, and I'm taking a short moment to do some constructive editing before pushing further. The paperback versions of both Poor Man's Fight and Natural Consequences are still in the works, but they are both in stages that required me to hand them off to other people. I have also managed to get some short-story work done that may come out in the next few months depending on when cover art can happen (and I'm more than content to wait for the artist's schedule).

So that's where I'm at. I hope everyone is having a good new year so far, 'cause mine got off with a roar followed by a sudden stumble and fall into a virus-infested mud puddle. But I'm out of that puddle now and back to productivity again, so here's to February!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Poor Man's Fight: Sequel In Progress!

Rich Man's War, the sequel to Poor Man's Fight, is now well underway! I don't want to give away too much or distract myself by talking about things I haven't written yet, but I feel like I could at least share some current stats on the rough draft:

Rich Man's War currently stands at 44,081 words. The story thus far includes five deadly stabbings, thirteen fatal shootings, five people killed by grenade, three counts of Death By Gunnery Sergeant Janeka, theft of military equipment, theft of starships, three Purple Hearts (pending review, of course), one premeditated defenestration, rampant breaking & entering, one broken jaw, two catastrophically mangled legs, a destroyed tank, multiple acts of espionage, power struggles, several celebrity photo-ops, Christ's name taken in vain on two different planets, computer hacking, an inappropriate crush, a false flag operation, a planetary invasion, orbital bombardment,  mistreatment of wounded soldiers, poker metaphors, gross vandalism, kidnapping, one "It's Not You, It's Me" speech, a nasty knee injury and the long-awaited vengeance for a lonely, bloody teddy bear.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Regarding "Fake Geek Girls"

You may or may not have heard about this whole "fake geek girls" thing, wherein women and girls who show up to sci-fi/gaming/fandom conventions and who play video games are often derided as being, well, fake. Because, you know, they clearly don't have any geek cred, because they're girls. And us manly nerd types have to staunchly defend our manly nerd space.

So. About that:

I went to see Thor 2 shortly after waking up this morning because my girlfriend decided we should just go, right now, first showing starts in like fifteen minutes and you already showered, right???

As we sat waiting for it to start in the theater, I listened to the conversation between three women sitting off to my right about cosplaying, their current roleplaying game plans, fanfic, Tolkein and various video games.

Currently, I am banished to my study because my I do not have the correct chromosomes to participate in the all-women game of Dungeon World underway in my living room. And one of the participants wrote a tie-in novel from a major fantasy MMORPG that is sitting on my desk.

So... yeah. Tooootally fake geek girls.

(Though to be fair, one of those women sitting near me during Thor 2 had a rrreeeaaalllyyy sketchy English accent. That part might've been fake.)