As far as the blog goes, it’s been a quiet few weeks. That’s by design, pretty much. I’ve been focusing on talking up Forever the Road and the Rucksack Universe, and I was also finishing up some planning for a certain wee something. We’ll get to that in a sec.
I’m also making some overall changes to the blog. Overall I expect to be posting less and less frequently, using social media and my email list more instead. But I’ll always have something here to let you know the latest in this wee author’s life & scribblings and such.
Such as now.
Announcing Book 4: Lotus
The Rucksack Universe is both ongoing and non-sequential. Each book builds on the others, but they all can stand alone too, sort of like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. So when it came time to finally look beyond Forever the Road, there was all this opportunity in front of me.
And boy howdy, I’m running with it. The fourth book is codenamed Lotus (but no, it’s not set in India. Far from it, in fact). That’s just a working title, btw. I started outlining this book in August, and just finished the planning last week. As I work up this post, so far I’ve written 2 scenes.
What’s it about? The Sword and Laser described my work as “beerpunk,” and Lotus is the most beerpunk of anything I’ve done so far. But really, this book is going to be all about…
Well, I can hardly tell you that, now can I?
The other day a friend noted that it seemed this book was coming along fast. “I suppose it is,” I replied. “It’s the first one without any baggage.”
I’m really excited about Lotus. As fun as it was to write and publish The Martini of Destiny, Home Sweet Road, and Forever the Road, those books all came about during a very different time in my life and career. Each of them went through multiple versions and revisions; some started as short stories, the original drafts are completely unrecognizable from their final forms.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. As an author-publisher, I knew I was learning a lot about how to write, revise, project manage, and publish a book. I was really getting a working understanding of my world and this varied cast.
I also didn’t have my writing process down. It’s taken 3 books, lots of trial and error, a few barrels of coffee, and lots and lots of words I’m glad my son wasn’t in the room to hear, but I’ve worked hard to become a better author. I knew that I needed a process to my work, that helped me write quickly and true to story.
Lotus is the first book I’m creating where I feel that process, that confidence and experience, are in place and working together.
It’s an exciting story. We’ll meet some new characters, and we’ll get to know some new things about people we’ve met before. We’ll also meet some folks who have only been indirectly mentioned in other stories.
Lotus will be released in 2015.
New author interview
Carolyn Frosaker-Williams is an Oregonian teacher, book lover, blogger, crafter, mama, and much more. She and her family are really cool people, who my family and I know through a really cool playgroup we’re part of. So when Carolyn came to me and said she wanted to do author interviews on her blog, And Then They, I pretty much ran not walked to be part of it.
I’m starting a new project where I will have author interviews up on the blog. I’ve read a lot of author interviews on the internet. Mine will be a little different. As a middle school English teacher, I have different questions than most bloggers. When I sub in classrooms, or have a long term job, I hear a lot of things that lead me to believe that middle schoolers are at a precarious literary place. So, my questions are (selfishly, I must admit) partly aimed at inspiring the kids I am aiming to inspire. Also, (selfishly) I’m hoping to get some hints at how to be a better writing teacher, and a better writer myself. If I can share that with my readers, then we’re all getting something out of this!
Carolyn just posted her interview with me, the first in the series:
My stories are both realistic and fantastical, and since they are all based in globetrotting and wandering, I refer to them as “travel fantasy.” There’s urban fantasy, the supernatural, alternate history, mythology, and lots of beer, but ultimately every story comes back to travel. Traveling the world has defined my life in more ways than I can count, and the world of the indie traveler is the world of the Rucksack Universe.
Behind the scenes, I’ve also been adding some new things to the site that have been on my list.
A while back I added direct sales to the website, so you can now get Rucksack Universe books directly from me. (Thank you Selz for the cool e-commerce system!)
I started off with individual e-books. But now you can do far more:
- E-book bundles of all 3 books are available for $7.99 (list price: $10.97)
- Signed paperbacks of each book are now available (the first 100 copies of each book bought directly from me will also be numbered)
- And… you can also get a Universe Bundle of all 3 signed paperbacks for $28.99 ($33.97)
When you get books and e-books directly from me, you are directly supporting me and my work. I love having my books available through other stores, but the bottom line is that I also make the most money on books that I sell directly. The signed paperbacks are also only available from me (at least until Jeff Bezos clones me and has a proxy Anthony signing books in an Amazon warehouse).
And That’s the news from the Rucksack Universe, where the beer is always fresh, all the locals are friendly, and the food never makes you sick.
Have a great day. Now to get back to work on Lotus!