I will be giving Zuda one more try. This time with the very talented Hope H as my illustrator. This is my most serious story to date about a woman who can travel through time (and space.) She is only suppose to observe and not "touch". But it appears the temptation to "dabble" may become too great for her.
My newest zuda entry Kiss Em Deadly was submitted today. Kiss em Deadly is about a woman who's touch can kill the living and animate the dead (that she herself doesn't kill). Think sort of Rogue meets Pushing Daisies. Of course things turn out to be much more complicated than that. The woman is much more than she seems...
Kiss em Deadly is drawn by Cedric and co-written by Shannon Codner who happens to look a lot like the main character.
Well I am on the last legs (well near last legs) of the Sapphire Sirens editing process. I received my editors suggestions and am now implementing them. It's actually a pretty painless process. Though I am not sure how these things worked in the "old days" (the 80s) before "track changes" became standard in Word.
While I would love to write one more Zach novel is Daw is interested, I also plan to branch out into a new series. Something like Zach but different. I am even thinking of going organic with this one and writing start to finish withOUT an outline.
While I wait for my feedback from Daw I am working on a number of projects.
First I am trying to get my mind around my next solo-novel. I have a cool idea about a Dwarf PI living in a sort of other dimension Earth, where it's the equivalent of the 1970s and creatures from fantasy mix with regular humans.
I am also working on a YA novel, about a girl who is half-vampire with my buddy Shannon Duffy.
I am also working on a hypnosis self-help book with my good friend: writer, director, hypnotist, actress: Elena Beloff.
I am also working on the next issue of my comic Sam 3.14,PI being illustrated by Scott Roberts and inked and lettered by John Dallaire.
Plus I am working on my next zuda entry, a serious one. This one will be illustrated by Chris Meeks, John Dallaire will ink and color and Elena will also be onboard as a co-writer. Man we better win this time.
Well the Sapphire Haired Sirens has now been delivered to Daw. Now I wait for them to give me their feedback and suggested edits.
It's always an interesting time when you finish a book. On one hand you feel relieved, you did it. You had this story inside of you and you told it in a orderly and entertaining fashion. It's done. It's out the door. It belong to the world now.
On the other hand, you feel like a parent who has just sent their child off to school. You can't help wondering, have I done enough? Is he ready? Maybe I should prepare him more?
Of course you can't coddle them forever (as much as you would like to) so you have to send them off.
The Sapphire Sirens is now being edited. I like to hire a private editor before I send my version of to Daw. I try to make things as easy as possible for my publisher.
One of the first laws of writing is: be nice to do those who give you money.
This isn't quite as important as: have a spouse or significant other with a good day job. (But it's up there.)
It's kind of a relief having the book out of my hands. I believe one famous writer once said something like, "finishing a book is like taking a baby out in the yard and shooting it..." To me, finishing a book is more like seeing your baby walk off to college for the first time.
I can now see the end of tunnel for the Sapphire Sirens. Yeah. I had actually written my way to the end of the tunnel while in Costa Rica but when I arrived back home and read the ending I decided I wanted to make the ending different.
It's funny you plot a book from beginning to end. Then you start writing that book and that book starts to take new meaning. The characters tend to grow and change as they take on lives of their own. In this case I decided the ending I had envisioned no longer messed well with how the characters had grown.
The new ending is better. Really it is. That is my story and I am sticking too it.
I am no finally wrapping up The Sapphire Sirens. I have found out something else about my writing speed, it really increases when I can see the finish line.
I am so close to being done now I can taste it. I see the end in my minds eye clearly I just need to write it. The cool thing is I am writing it quite quickly. I am here on break visiting family in Costa Rica for a couple of days. It's not the most conducive environment for writing, we live in a crowded part of town, I have a LOT of relatives around, we have many barking dogs, there are many honking horns and there are a lot of construction workers working away. Yet despite all of this I have been putting down over 5K words a day.
I guess now that I can see the end I write my way to it fast before I forget it. :) Actually I just want to wrap this one up as I always feel so much better once I have all 80K words down.
On a normal day I write between 1500 -- 2500 words. This is usually over the course of 4-6 hours depending on what's going on in my life. On a good day with no distractions I can do about 4000 words. My record is 10,000 words on a day with no sleep.
The funny thing is I noticed that I write faster when I am writing a fight scene. I don't know why. Maybe because I get excited? Maybe because I am anxious to get the moves down before I forget. But yesterday I wrote a 500 word fight scene in like 30 minutes.
Man if I could write every scene so quickly I could get a novel done in a week.
I am chugging along on the Sapphire Sirens. I am finally starting to get over my "mental lag" from my father's recent passing and get the story clicking again.
As I have mentioned before I write from a pretty extensive outline (usually 25+ pages) but I allow myself to venture off of the outline when the story calls for it. After all sometimes you don't know a character or how characters will react to a situation until you write for those characters for a bit and get to know them and the situation.
Plugging along suddenly it hit me. All along I have known who the killer or killers are in this story and what their motives were but then my brain said, "Oh wow, wouldn't it be cool if I did this..." The this being making the killer a totally different person.
I totally fought down that "Oh wow" moment. I have a very clear version of this story and where it is heading. Following that "oh wow" moment would have clouded that vision and slowed the process down. Being slowed down is something neither I or my publisher wants right now. Especially since this thought was more of a whim than a true thought out thought. Maybe if I had more time I could explore it but not this time. Books are created by having a solid foundation and plans on how to build up from that foundation.
True it might have been fun to explore where this new path would lead me, but when you are deadline the goal is to get there as fast as can. Will I regret not following a whim? Perhaps. But if Sapphire Sirens finishes on time and is an enjoyable read it will be a regret I can live with.
I am back in the saddle writing away again. Okay maybe not in the saddle writing as that doesn't sound very productive, but back at my desk writing again.
It turns out the time off may have been helpful as I saw something about the flow of SSS I didn't like while refreshing myself by reading the outline. I tweaked the outline and then rewrote the parts of the actual story to reflect the changes and how they cascade throughout the story line.
It's amazing that sometimes you can be to close to the project to see it clearly.
If you haven't checked out my zuda project yet, time is running out.
The past ten days have been a real drag on my writing. My family and I spent the last week in the hospital waiting for my dad to pass on. It's amazing how tiring sitting and waiting for the inevitable can be. I spent the night in the hospital with him on Wednesday. I was planning on getting some writing done then I got 325 words written most of them gibberish. He finally passed away on Friday. Since then days have been filled with arrangements and houses have been filled with relatives. I have tried to do some writing but it's dragged.
Yesterday was the funeral. Today he is buried. So today my father is gone but I am trying to stay filled with hope. First my father is no longer suffering. Many many years with Alzheimer's disease made him a person he wouldn't want to be. Second, we have a new president. I am hopeful he will help lift the country up out of it's current situation. People view us as bomb first talk later. Hopefully that and the economy will now start to improve. It will be a long haul but I have faith things will improve. I am also certain my dad and ex-Marine would really like our new president.
Sorry for the ramble. With luck and bit of will power I will be back to writing tomorrow.
Like I mentioned in my other blog I am back in DC comic's zuda competition. Since I hope to move Zach into the comic field (as a compliment to my novels) a win here would be quite nice. My entry this time is Lasers Dragons and Lies, a fun sci fi and fantasy story.
Please check it out and if you like it vote for it, add it to your favorites and give it a nice rating,
Hopefully 09 will be a good year for all. Every year is filled with both ups and downs hopefully this year will have more peaks than valleys. One of the first gags I once wrote for a famous comic strip was, life is a series of trade offs, if you come out even you are ahead.
I remain optimistic that my writing career will continue to grow. Sapphire Sirens is due in book stores at the end of the year. Ballistic Babes (Vixen and Bombshell combined) hits stores in April. Plus Dangerous Dames will be a SF book pick early this year. I have ideas for a couple of other Zach books and a comic.
As for non Zach writing (when you are midlist you need multiple projects) I hope to actually get a new comic in Zuda and win this year. I have another book idea I am working on with my buddy Shannon Duffy. I have another comic idea I am working on with my other buddy Elena Beloff plus I still hope to someday do a hypnosis book with Elena. I also have a couple of scripts bouncing around with producers. So we will see.
And of course there is still my own comic strip Working Daze. I hope it's readership continues to grow.