August Update

Hard to believe, but the summer is already waning. (Or, as the Starks say, winter is coming.)

It’s been a long last year-and-a-half, but for some reason this summer has flown by…in some ways. In others, it feels like an entire lifetime has been lived in but three months. I have a few blog post ideas about writing craft that I’ve been kicking around, but since it’s been a while since I posted a proper update, I figured I’d start there. A lot has happened here these past few months, and I’d be remiss not to talk about it!

Where to even start?

First, the biggest (and most relevant) news to you: THE MODERN DEITY’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY is available now wherever you buy books. This anthology features 15 urban fantasy short stories, revolving around ancient gods adapting to the modern day in intriguing ways. My story, “The Teotl of Gaming,” is one of them. “Teotl” follows Macuilxochitl, the Aztec god of games, as he tries to get by as the head of an online gaming company…while moonlighting as a gambler to stave off the deific equivalent of a midlife crisis. As you might expect, things spiral out of control pretty quickly.

I’m really proud of how this story turned out, and that it’s part of a book with such an incredible line-up of authors. It was my first real foray into urban fantasy, and Macuilxochitl was a blast to write about. The book is available in several different print and ebook formats. All that good info is up on the Fiction page.

We just passed the one month mark since the release of THE MODERN DEITY’S GUIDE…but my focus has been divided into quite a few other areas as well.

The other largest thing I’ve had going on is that my epic fantasy novel, THE FOREST HEART, is out on submission to publishers. This is a story rooted in my soul, and it’s been so exciting to work with the Seymour Agency to get it out into the world. It’s been on sub for a few months now, which means I’m in that “questioning every decision I’ve ever made and courting madness,” phase of the process. I’m told this is pretty normal, but boy will I be glad when we move past it. Having a novel on submission is a lot of waiting, knowing that the book is either in the inbox of an editor you’re hoping to work with…or possibly even being read and considered by them. It’s a very exciting thing, as well as an anxiety-inducing one.

One way I’ve been combating the anxiety is by staying busy. I’ve been writing articles over at Winter Is Coming of course, about everything from Spider-Man rumors to dreamcasting the “10,000 Ships” Game of Thrones spin-off that’s being developed and beyond. I have a piece that went up this past weekend about a different GoT spin-off, the upcoming House of the Dragon, which was a lot of fun to research and write. It’s always a good time at WiC, nerding out about awesome sci-fi and fantasy stories.

On the fiction end of things, I’ve been diving into a different epic fantasy book series, THE PLANERENDER PROPHECY. This series is one I’ve been developing for nearly my entire writing life. It was one of the very first stories I imagined. Some of those scenes go back to when I was a teenager, washing dishes at the local café and daydreaming about seven-foot tall demons covered in blue scales. I finished the first book of the series, WHISPER OF THE DEIMWOOD, back in 2012, and nearly published it with a small press at the time before moving on to THE FOREST HEART. (That, however, is a story for another time.)

Now that THE FOREST HEART is on submission and I’m taking a mandatory break from that world, it’s been the perfect time to get back to DEIMWOOD. I’ve been hard at work revising it, figuring out what parts can be salvaged and which need to be totally rewritten. As you might guess, going back to a story after almost a decade away means there are a lot of opportunities for improvement. It’s nice to be rekindling my love for that tale, and re-immersing myself in its world.

When I’m not writing DEIMWOOD or articles, I have a handful of short stories in various stages of development as well, which I’m hoping to submit to several upcoming anthologies. The one I’ve talked about the most is a hard sci-fi, which I’m planning on submitting to one of the new Zombies Need Brains anthologies. ZNB just launched their kickstarter for those, and they look pretty awesome. As always, once the kickstarter funds they’re open submission. A pretty great opportunity for writers interested in doing SFF short stories, in my somewhat-biased opinion.

When I’m not doing all that…well, I still try to play music when I can. Always something going on here. I played my first live show since the pandemic last month, three hours of just me and an acoustic guitar. It was a really fun time, and definitely has me looking forward to getting out and playing some more. Provided the world doesn’t go into lockdown again. But since that looks like a hairy proposition at best…we shall see.

One final thing I’ll leave you with: I’ll be putting together my first newsletter mailing later this month. If you’ve read this far into the update, it might be the sort of thing you’d enjoy. I’ll be going into a bit more detail about what I’m working on, general thoughts on the publishing industry, glimpses at other fun creative projects, and exclusive previews of my current writing projects. As well as plenty of other stuff, as time goes on. My plan is for the newsletter to be a quarterly email, since no one likes to get spammed.

If you’re interested, you can sign up for it here:

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Be well, and be excellent to one another!

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