East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Back to Mars, in a hurry

OK, so I am outlining a story I will try and sell to Tor.com.
This is a very long shot, and while the up side is they are looking for stories between 20.000 and 40.000 words long, which is nicely in my comfort zone, the down side is I have two months to write it, while at the same time doing a number of other jobs, and this is certainly the hardest market to crack out there.
But let’s admit it, not trying would be stupid.
kermit_typing As I mentioned yesterday, I am trying to ramp up my output – and indeed working on AMARNA1 was a great training.
And while it will still take some time for me to publish one novel-length work per month, I have high hopes for a serious increase in my output in the next weeks and months. Continue reading

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A new story, a true first

I just finished going through the edits of the story I mentioned a while back, the one I wrote for the hell of it, and to clean my systems after a long writing-on-demand stretch. My friend Marina went through it and caught a lot of rubbish I had left in the manuscript, and now the text is clean and ready for action.
432115Now I’ll concoct a cover, and then self-publish it, once again going for both Amazon and Gumroad.
And of course my top-tier Patrons will get a copy, whether they like it or not.

The story is called Listening Post, it’s a little above 6500 words, and it’s a first for me, being military SF.
Or maybe I should call it Paramilitary SF, considering the plot focuses on a privateer ship working as a contractor during an interstellar war. Continue reading


New York and my father

I am putting the finishing touches on a new story, the deadline is two days away. I’m working on another author’s bible, and I’ve enjoyed the writing so far. I like the characters, the set-up, the concept.
As I usually do, I used the web to research a bit the canonical elements. In this case, I used Google Maps to reconnoiter the area in New York in which the main character lives.


And I found to my surprise that the main character lives about a block away from my father’s place when he lived in New York.
It gave me a weird turn. Continue reading

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Done it!

The story is called Slam Dance (ant that will be its title if the publisher does not decide to change it) and yes, it’s the kill the stripper story I mentioned in the past.
15.000 words of it, and change.
And it’s now going through one last check and then it will be on its way to the editor – and with 12 hours until the deadline.

And I am pretty pleased myself – not only for the fact that I made it well within the deadline, but most of all because this was for me a first: my first proper police procedural, without any noir or hard-boiled elements, no fantasy or supernatural or science-fictional elements.
Just straight cops and robbers.
And pulling it was a lot of hard work.


As usual, the internet was a huge resource – I learned a lot about the most popular car and the best beer and the cheapest whiskey in a certain state of the Bible Belt. I explored local cooking and fishing practices.
I studied hunting lodges and brothels.stripper-shoes-double-as-tip-jar
And yes, strip joints, too.
All of this, of course, I did for my Art.
And through Google – which makes all the naughty bits not-so-naughty after all, and the food and beverages 100% calories and alcohol free.

But now it’s done, and I’ll take the night off.
The stripper’s dead, long live the stripper.


20.000 in 6

Uh, WOW!
The big news is, a pitch was accepted for a story, and I have to deliver the first draft by September the 1st.
That’s 20.000 words tops, in six days.
Roughly 3500 good words per day.

I know I can make it – the pitch was accepted based on a pretty solid outline, so I know what’s going to happen, where, how, to whom.
It’s basically just a matter of sticking to schedule and do the mechanical work of pouring the story out of my somewhat overexcited brain, and onto Scrivener.

But I am happy as a child, because this is a HUGE opportunity, and it’s going to be lots of fun.
And hard work.

If you see my blog activity slack in the next days, you know the reason why.
But I’ll try and keep you posted.