artwork by Elias Stern

Bold Trilogy Update

2014 started my writing career and it’s hard to believe that we’re already four years in. My very first release was Rookie Privateer, which took nearly five months from start to finish. The release date is pretty easy to remember as it was the day before my 50th birthday, on April 21. What most people don’t know is that book took longer by a month and a half than the books I’ve written since. Trust me when I say that there’s a reasonably steep learning curve for your first book and while it’s not easy street after that, it’s a fact that book two and on are quite a bit easier. Buoyed by enthusiasm and a general love for writing, I’ve set a schedule of releasing a new story just about every three months after that. That schedule wasn’t intentional, it just kind of worked out that way. Turns out, it takes me about that long to write and produce my normal 24-28 chapter story.

What’s this all have to do with an update on the Bold Trilogy? A lot. Turns out there’s a voice in my head that starts screaming at me when I approach that three-month deadline. For four years now, that voice has been quieted by the normal work product of finishing up my story and hitting publish. February 1st marked three months from when On a Pale Ship was released. As you might guess as of this writing, the voices are starting to grow in their insistence. And, to make matters worse, I have a story ready to be released. ‘Oh, snap,’ you say. ‘You have a book ready and you’re not releasing it?’

Since I just confessed, I might as well put the cards on the table. I’ve never been good at keeping secrets and I think I’ve hinted at this, so I’ll just come completely clean. Yes. ‘Pursuit of the Bold’ is completely written and edited. Artwork has both been commissioned (the picture above is the full paperback jacket wrap for it) and drawn beautifully by Elias Stern. The only thing I’m missing at this point is professionally written ad/blurb copy and in a pinch, I can do that. A reasonable question is; why am i holding onto it? In a previous post, I explained, so let me summarize. At a recent writer’s conference, it was asserted that multiple stories, released close together, perform significantly better than those same stories released over a period of time.

From a marketing perspective, the jury is still out on the trilogy approach. From my perspective, I’m not overly interested in letting marketing decisions drive my writing. There’s a yin and a yang to the whole thing. Without readers buying stories, I couldn’t afford to write at the level I do today. Writing is an intensely personal thing for me. I’ve invest a lot of emotion and energy into each work. For me, it is much more art than it is business and I have little patience for anything that would subvert the art of writing. So, you can see the struggle.

As of today, I’ve just finished ‘Fury of the Bold – #14′ and delivered it to editing. Generally, this process takes four to five weeks to get through. Three things come to mind. First, those blasted Kroerak. I hate them so much, it kind of makes me love ’em for just how insidiously evil they actually are. Second, I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for what I put the crew through. They’ve really signed up for a tough lifestyle. In Fury, I explored my phobia of tight spaces. I’m also taking on some relationship material that is going to be hard for some folks and something I’ve not seen a lot of in space opera. Of course, you’ll have to read the books to discover what that is.

As to release dates for the trilogy, I’m looking at Pursuit (#13) on March 23, Fury (#14) April 20, Judgement (#15) May 25. Of all of these dates, the one that I’m least comfortable with is ‘Judgement of the Bold.’ My discomfort with Judgement is simply the unknown. It always takes me longer to finish something than I expect. In Pursuit and Fury, I had the luxury of deciding that some smaller plot lines could be resolved in later books. With Judgement, I have no choice. Everything needs to be completed.

As always, keep the emails coming. I reply personally to every email I receive.

Happy Reading!