A busy schedule

The life of a writer certainly has its ups and downs.

For me, relishing the journey is of paramount importance. I ride the rejections and hang onto the highs. It’s all good fun. I guess I remain philosophical because, in my belief system, you only get to do this crazy thing called life once. Okay, forgive the wankerism, but perhaps it is some supreme belief in my abilities, but I know, truly know, that I will eventually get where I want to be – namely a multi-published novelist with oodles of cash and a jet-about, luxurious lifestyle. Perhaps it is because I’m enjoying a comfortable lifestyle – having left my job and pursuing my dream, based on years of accumulation and good fortune – but I’m enjoying even the boring days.

I have little to report today. I went to TAFE, hashed out an assignment or two, and had a minor (but important) victory in understanding HTML code (I found out how to keep a static image while text scrolls over it – a technique I’m currently applying to parts of my website).

While I’m enjoying the journeyman aspect of my career, and hanging out for those breakthroughs when they occur, I’ve pencilled in some big plans in the upcoming months.

Harbinger and Outcast

First step is to polish Harbinger just a little more before I send it out to TOR books. That will only be a few days max.

Then I will potter on finalising everything Harbinger related, and perhaps even get a decent start on Outcast (book 2).

The Battle of Iron Gate

In November, I’ll sign on for NaNoWriMo (US National Novel Writing Month) – where I’ll pledge to complete 50,000 words in 30 days. My project is an idea thats been floating around in my head for a few months. In upcoming weeks, I’ll be making a comprehensive plan, before the writing marathon begins. The working title for the project is The Battle of Iron Gate. It’s grim mediaeval fantasy, from a slightly different perspective for a novel. My ultimate aim is 80-90k words. Hopefully, most of those will be completed in November. It’d be nice to have a second novel to attack the marketplace with, simulteanously (almost) with Harbinger. It’ll also be an intriguing break from supernatural horror.

Beyond the Black Door

Janurary will bring me over to Brisbane, where I’ll be at the Clarion South writers workshop for 6 weeks. While there, I’ll be attacking numerous short stories with gusto (after all, that is the focus of the workshop). If not done before, I’d like to tackle/finish the following short stories: The Moonlight Man, The Garden Shed Pact, Charonimo! (all as per my website), as well as Paying the Toll (goth meets bridge troll fairy tale), The Knifemaker of Widow South (A Reason to Murder meets the Stepford Wives), and perhaps Achilles Forsaken.

In and around these short stories (and hopefully several more), my major Clarion project will be completing Beyond the Black Door – the novella version of my story The Black Door. I’m aiming at about 30,000 words (in fact, I’ll be happy with anything between 20-40k). The Black Door is 4300 words, and makes an ideal first chapter. Many people have commented The Black Door feels unfinished. While that was not my original intention, they have in fact given me the impetus to make something much bigger of the concept. To clue you in, think of Beyond the Black Door as a psychologist thrown into a nightmarish hybrid of Alice in Wonderland meets The Cell (movie) meets Seven (movie). It will be warped, surrealistic, and very brutal.

In the Heart of Midnight and Shards

Inspired by the phenomenal word counts Lee Battersby is bringing in from his stint as KSP Writer in Residence, I will apply for the writer in residence position at KSP (in the Perth Hills) in February. By that stage, Disparate Whispers should have a publishing deal, and a few of my personal favourite/best short stories should have reasonably prestigious homes. So, assuming I can score a KSP W-I-R gig, this should time beautifully with my return from Clarion South. In fact, it gives the family and I a few days lingering on the Gold Coast, before I return and take up that (potential) position.

If I was chosen there (and even if not), I will be working on a combination of Outcast and short stories. By that stage, I would hope to be well on my way into my second and third short story collections. Here’s the tip people. Shards is my next collection – exclusively filled with flash and micro fiction. 66 stories all up. I’m already more than a third of the way through, and climbing. The other tip is my third collection (second short story collection) is under the working title of In the Heart of Midnight. I’ve earmarked my novelette, The Savage Redemption of Gaia for that one, as well as several of my Clarion and latter 2004 stories. If I were to get into the KSP W-I-R spot, I’d have several more stories for the collection ready, and possibly have both these collections ready for publication soon thereafter.

I’m hoping ‘Midnight’ will be a more focussed collection than Disparate Whispers. In DW, I have an ecclectic mix of horror, science fiction and dark fantasy. Stories like Plan Ni and Kraken are a little light for the collection to be genuine horror (of course that is subjective). If anything, In the Heart of Midnight will be purer dark fiction. I’ll have Gaia as a mainstay, with works like The Moonlight Man, Firewall v2.0, Technomancer, The Garden Shed Pact and The Beast of Boundary End giving it a horrific theme. And trust me, there are plenty more where these came from. A few other lingering titles could include Contaminid, Room Two, Aisle Nine and Scarecrow Reigns.

The future looks promising. Stand by world.