Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

...And a Happy New Year! Currently reviewing the sample booklet of Ether I ordered two weeks ago. Thoroughly dissecting the cover design, page layout and other odds and ends for the actual print hopefully some time in the next eight months!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Late-Season Rambling

It's that time of year once more, day is the same as evening is the same as day. Inspiration is hard to come by so I work on gathering my research and plotting out my future tales. The holidays are tough to navigate, as the day job sucks the energy from me and the cold darkness depresses imagination. I have started the first glimmers of an outline for Cloak a bit early as I have found some intriguing research to fuel the trials our protagonists will be put through. And I continue plotting out the comic I have in mind to actually draw one of these years.

I watch and read the precarious situation across the Korean Peninsula with concern and anticipation, or is that anxiety? I can only hope the Kims get what's coming to them, either via more sanctions or their masters in China furtively pulling on that unraveling leash.... Oh and that piece of Wikileaks theater.

It's more and more apparent ebooks are the independent's new modus operandi, so I must get into the mindset for digital content and begin shifting my focus towards them. The Mrs has acquired a NookColor (in addition to her original Nook) and the avenues open to furthering ebook content on the device are astounding. Merging text and visual media will soon be commonplace, leaving big-time publishers in the dust if they don't get on the bandwagon and stop charging ludicrous price points for simple epubs while pooh-poohing multimedia e-reader content.

And one more year piles up under JauntWorld's belt here at Blogger!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

First off, Happy Halloween! You may notice the reformatted JauntWorld blog. I needed to freshen it up a bit, as even I was getting tired of the same design. So, a little redecoration project after three years.

Next up, as of August, I've rebranded EJK Publications into jaunt publications! Along with a nifty new logo, jaunt publications identifies JauntWorld as the flagship series in my CV, as well as other titles and series I will be publishing in the future. When I self-published Jaunt with Lulu back in 2007, I was a novice at this, and didn't foresee the potential stigma associating my publishing company name with my own given name. Now this rectifies the issue, allowing me to brand everything under an umbrella as well as associating with other authors in the future, directly or indirectly. 

What other projects are in the works under jaunt publications? Well, for starters, I've had a long love of comics, and have a small stable of characters I created, starting back in 1985, at my disposal to populate a comic title. I've been designing this universe and when the time's right, you'll see art, old and new, for this project.

Of course Maya and her cohorts are still in my sights, I just don't know when I'll zip over to that Solar System anytime soon.

I have been gathering reference for Cloak, maybe starting an outline sometime next year. I have several set pieces I'd like to include and the best ways to put my heroes and villains through the wringer. Should be fun.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ether Third Quarter 2010 Update

All right, everyone, sorry for being gone for so long. Summer's flown by fast—I finished the first draft of Ether almost two months ago! So, while the missus has been reading the first bits as my official First Reader (when I can pull her away from her Nook) I've been finetuning the Ether book package, all the presentation details and such. It's work of course—I'm my own worst critic and nothing satisfies me for long. But I labor with love and purpose, nonetheless.

Meanwhile, I'm putting together an ebook companion to Ether that'll star Doctor Richard de Lis himself in a little side adventure that takes place towards the end of Ether, while our heroes are otherwise occupied. It'll be a bridge between Ether and the last book in the JauntWorld trilogy, called (for now) Cloak. A second ebook starring Agent Greg Mason before the action of Ether is also in the works, when I'm not busy writing a dozen other things.

Here's a little picture of the cover (again, for now) to whet your appetite:


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ether Second Quarter 2010 Update: Coming Into Focus

The rough draft is coming along nicely, with the final sequential scene finished. However, it's not done yet, as I still have a gap or two to fill, scenes to rewrite, edit or beef-up and a few minor, minor details to put into place. But the entirety of the book is set: beginning, almost all the middle and the ending. The toughest part is putting on my editor's cap and reading with a jaded eye, cutting out the bits that don't quite work or just go nowhere.

Having a complete rough draft is exciting and the next best thing to actually holding the finished product in my hands. I think creating a book must be akin to filming a movie; write a screenplay, film the scenes, edit the best bits in and throw out the chaff.

At the end of a long road, it's good to see the destination coming up over the next hill.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Look Who's Seen The Light

I will admit upfront about being a Russo- and Persiaphile; their histories and cultures are so profoundly different than the Classical Western tradition one can't be helped but be intrigued by every cryptic move either one makes. So it's a bit of a surprise to these eyes to see that President Medvedev, in decidedly non-cryptic terms, spelled out that the Iranian regime of Khatami and his puppet Ahmedinejad are moving closer to possessing a nuclear device.

I suppose the questions are, how much does Russia fear Iran, and what does this mean for US and Russia relations? The Bond-style spy swap last week wasn't exactly a warm handshake, and the typical eastern mode of saving face seems to be more of a pie in the face for Russia after the incident. Does Russia want to invite the Western nations to its corner to show that they'll behave from now on? Maybe a little "Look at us, we're nice guys now?"

One thing's for sure, being a Russia and Iran watcher just became much more interesting.

Further Reading:
'Iran nearing nuclear bombs' Russia warns

The 'unraveling relationship' between Russia and Iran 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Decade Ago (This Past May)...

I began the first draft of Jaunt. Extrapolating from the (sadly, misplaced or lost) handwritten teleplay "Temporal Retrieve" I scrawled out in 1995, I recreated the first dozen pages of the half-baked idea, fleshing them out into what would become Chapters 1 through 5 of Jaunt. Mixing in dashes of The X-Files for inspiration, I chucked out all the Trek fanfic tendencies I'd picked up and unlocked a new avenue for my writing. Not technically the first novel I've written (I have one and-a-half complete Trek trunk novels hanging around here), it was the first wholly original long-form work of mine. I owe it all to the Pocket Books' Star Trek editors' FAQ, which, in paraphrase, said, "Don't bother submitting a first-time work."

And what would become my own playground, JauntWorld, was born.

Now, an Ether update. Two months later, and I'm nearly done with the first draft. My biggest obstacle is just pulling all the strands together to make the story end right. Ether certainly isn't as unwieldy as Jaunt's first draft, which tipped the scales at 160,000 words, and I think it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 70,000 to 80,000. But I'm still under the hood tinkering with the mechanics.

I'm definitely eager to get this book in the bag!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ether First Quarter 2010 Update

Work on the first draft of Ether has been coming along slowly as of late, as I'm delving into the preliminary stages of a potential project (one of many, of course!) I have in mind for the next five years. Mid-to-late 2011 is the publishing date I'm shooting for for Ether, so I have no time to be idle. The last few chapters are coming into focus, so I must plunge ahead regardless.

Ether will have a much wider canvas than Jaunt, encompassing more corners of the world and characters than ever before. The difficulties with that are, I have more to keep track of! Jaunt, despite its many plotlines, was fairly linear, requiring fewer research resources than I have had up to this point with Ether. Half the fun of writing fiction is the research, and Ether's bibliography and sources are a long list, much longer than Jaunt's.

I admit I've struggled to include here various bits of research and inspiration for Jaunt, as the research I did was just so long ago (more on that in my next post!) that nothing of my notes remains. Ether, once the pipeline towards publication picks up, will have a veritable flood of sources and links to put up on this blog. I can't wait, really, as I believe Ether is my best work of writing yet.

Oh, okay, here's a little blurb:

"The explosive next chapter of the JauntWorld series begins now! Special Agent Greg Mason must probe the clandestine mystery that is Project Ether, a dark energy superweapons program rooted in the forbidden research of a rogue Iranian physicist, seemingly in the employ of the Russian-led Confederation of Independent States.

But all is not as it appears. With Mason and his team of IIA agents tracking the clues of Project Ether’s origins—from the remnants of North Korea, the deserts of Iran, the decks of a fast-attack submarine to the wastelands of Antarctica—a shocking disaster leads them to the inescapable truth: the Confederation is already armed with this superweapon, and the countdown to war has begun…."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jaunt Origin Story, Part II

Way back in Dec '07, I posted Origin Story, AKA How I Conceived Jaunt. Well, not only did I have the goofy story about two guys in spacesuits duking it out through time, I also drew a rough sketch while daydreaming in high school one day. This portrait ultimately became Special Agent James Gilmour, complete in his hazard suit that protected him from being "fried" while jaunting through spacetime (not that I knew it at the time). Well, here's the scanned sketch, all cleaned up from its humble beginnings as a class schedule.

 That was a long time ago. And I hope I'm a better artist now, as well!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Year (One Month Late)

2010 kicks off with two new ebooks available through First, the much-anticipated distribution of the Jaunt ebook! With the partnership of Smashwords and Barnes & Noble, Jaunt gets into the ebook format, capable of being read on a wide variety of ereaders, particularly the new iPad and nook! Not to be left out, 2 Shorts (+1) follows suit, both starting at at $4.95!

This is an exciting time to be a creator and reader, with new avenues to books opening up seemingly by the day.

By the way, that barcode to the right is a semacode. For those unaware, it is a two-dimensional barcode that one takes a picture of with their cell or mobile device, and with the appropriate mobile software, directs one to any website of one's choosing. This semacode leads to the Jaunt page, but expect more for ebook formats soon.