For The Record: Why I Published These Books First

It occurs to me that I haven’t really explained why I chose the two books I published to be the first two books I published. Or maybe I have, It just doesn’t feel like I’ve explained.

For one thing, I sort of figured that the first book to be published would be the first I completed, which was The  Bride of War. I DO plan on putting it out, but it still needs a couple of bits of rewrite that have been haunting me for quite a while. I hope to have it ready by New Year’s Eve. But the thing is, I wrote that story thinking it would be a nice introduction to the worlds of adventure I’ve been planning on putting out for a rather long time.

So why not stick to the plan? Probably the simplest explanation is that, to be honest, I hit 40 last December, and this year is pretty much The Year of Making Up For Lost Time. I wanted these books published last year, but got bogged down by life, and ended up here instead, with one month to finish my dashed clever plan to prove I could do it. You know, see the plan to fruition.

Oh sure, I took the seemingly-easy route and did an end run around the big ‘traditional’ publishers, but things hav ebeen so tough for them lately that I just didn’t see my work being treated fairly going that route. So I gambled instead on being able to build my own readership, and in order to do that, I had to get as much material up on my virtual storefront as I could both afford and could get ready in the shortest amount of time. The problem was, and is, that I have two completed novels, but they both need a few tweaks before I can finally lay them to rest. I’m not being precious about this; I know those sections need fixing, and I’m just about to the part where I fix them. But meanwhile, the shelves are bare.

As it so happens, I have some pieces of short-to-medium length that have been more or less ready to go for some time, so I started packaging them up to go first. It’s taken up more of my time than I’d intended, but I’ve reprioritised to put out the stuff that needs the least amount of work first, and the rest to come as quickly as I can manage. I actually have about eight volumes of material either already up or soon to be up, and two or three more projects to get back to work on shortly thereafter.

Terminal Monday: Under Observation is actually a single chapter taken from my second completed novel, Terminal Monday, which is so long, I honestly don’t expect too many new readers to just pick that one up and go. The single chapter, however, is a novella in itself, and stands up pretty nicely on those grounds. if I’d never written the novel, or indeed decided to scrap it, I’d still have this excellent capsule piece that does a bit of everything the novel does, and even gives you a nice little ending that asks but doesn’t beg for more. Richard is a pretty okay guy, but he’s been having some problems, and wen one thing leads to another, he winds up waking up in the (fictionalised) psychiatric ward of Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn. It’s quite a story, and while I have begun to pick up on the idea that some people would rather not read about something that sounds so heavy, I would like it to be known that it isn’t all doom and gloom. Richard has quite a few worrisome and even terrifying episodes, but there is also a lot of levity and sauciness sprinkled throughout, for those that enjoy that sort of thing. I truly believe that it’s one of the most affecting pieces of fiction I’ve written in my forty years, and if people read only one thing from me, I’d like it to be Under Observation.

LinkTales, volume One is an effort to get people to take a second look at The Dark Guild, a series of connected short stories that I wrote for the nearly-forgotten Link: West RPG manual, where it basically got one favourable notice, and not much else. I’d like to write the full novel for it, but it’s pretty low on my list of priorities at the moment, and I’d need to know that people actually wanted me to write it to set other things aside and focus on it. To make this book complete, I also included most of my notes that either did or didn’t get used in Link: West, for the various background concepts and locations. It serves as a sort of reference manual for the stuff I plan on publishing int eh following volumes, including lots of stories that either got written too late for Link: West, or were intended for other manuals that never got done. I decided to make this the second book I published simply because I DO have a second and third volume more or less on the go, and really wanted to space them out so people who liked the first would have time to consider buying the following volumes. And besides, I need more time to dream up the next two covers.

Okay, I think that will be the last thing I wrote about those two unless somebody starts asking specific questions and such. There’s quite a bit to absorb in both books, and I look forward tot he day when people do start asking me questions, because I’d like to read some of the answers myself. 😉

Time to get back to work.


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