October Status Update

For my 100th post I was trying to think of something special, but kept coming up blank, but this is kind of special for a number of reasons. So it will have to do.

Books

Battlemage – So, I’ve just finished the latest draft of book 1, Battlemage, and it has now gone off to the copy editor. This is someone who has not read the book before, so it is a fresh pair of eyes who can hopefully spot all the mistakes and errors, major and minor, that I can’t see because I’m still just too close to the story and characters. That will be coming back to me fairly soon.

Book 2
The first draft is done. I hit my deadline with a couple of days to spare, and I’m reasonably happy with it. Kind of. Well, there were a number of things I knew that I had to fix, and managed to get those done before I sent it off, but once I have some distance from it others will jump out at me. Right now I have my face pressed up against the trees, so all I can see is the bark, and not the shape of the forest, but I think I know what it looks like from far away, if you see what I mean. The other thing I’m realising now after writing two books in close succession is, there’s always what you intend the story to be and what it becomes. A theme has emerged that I didn’t realise was there, and perhaps it always was in the dark recesses of my subconscious, but only by writing it all down was I able to see it clearly. Or perhaps it simply developed during the process of writing the book. Either way, I’m happy with that newly revealed core and I like some of the unexpected twists that cropped up, surprising me along the way.

Book 3
So, back to page one and a blank page. Actually, it’s not terrifying me. I’ve started many books before and although this time I have a deadline it doesn’t feel different. I’m still writing on evenings and weekends after the day job and I do as much as I can when I’m not too tired.

Podcasting
A while ago, Scott, my co-host, and I decided to take a step back from podcasting. We’d become too entrenched and were almost producing it just for the sake of doing it. Some of the fun had fallen away, so we stopped podcasting for a while. Also when things started to move on my side with the novels, we didn’t think it would be appropriate for us to continue doing the popular The Book Club podcast, where we reviewed SFF books and sometimes spoke to the authors, like China Miéville and Lauren Beukes.

Then we realised we missed the discussion and debate and just talking to each other at length. So we came back to it with new ideas and a new podcast, Bags of Action, which I now co-host with Pete Rogers. Very recently Scott and I have decided to change things with our main geek genre podcast, Comic Book Outsiders. Despite the name, we don’t just talk about comics. It’s more a platform to discuss all things within the genre, comics, books, TV, film, tech, and any other cool stuff that catches our eye. We’ll be announcing something in about the next month or so about what we’re doing, so watch this space as I’ll put the info on here as well. We’ve definitely rediscovered the fun and the uniqueness of the medium. It’s changed a lot in the seven years since we started in July 2007.

Comics
The Flux train moved ever forward, just very slowly. More great pages are coming in from the artist, Maysam Barza, and my co-writer Pete and I are busy rejigging the script to issue 1 to make it more in keeping with the location and native dialogue. We’ve had some great feedback from members of the Comics Experience forum and are now trying to make things clearer on the page. We’re also speaking to a couple of letterers to see how they would bring the story to life as neither Pete or I are professional letterers. I thought book publishing was slow, but sometimes comics really does take the biscuit.

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