January is wrapping up this week, and for me this month has been less than kind. In fact, it has been a right train wreck. When I rang in the new year with friends and family, and celebrated its beginning with a day of great games, good food, and the best of people, I made plans to get cracking on a few major projects that would carry me into the summer. The first project was, of course, Operation: Endgame, the final adventure of Agents Books and Braun. Then there’s the fifth and final season of Tales from the Archives, kicked off on Christmas Day with our Christmas Special. I’ve also got an idea percolating pretty hard in my noggin to the point of where I’m collecting a lot of resources and researching hard how to pull this idea off. All this, and I’ve got a special photoshoot in the works for The Pixel Project and was gearing up for my first con appearance of 2017 alongside Nick Kelly and Robert V. Aldrich.
Recently, The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh went live on Amazon, print editions premiering this week at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, provided we get no unforeseen whammies from CreateSpace. (Thanks, Hurricane Matthew!)Silver Pharaoh is not my first novel, nor is it my first foray into steampunk, as many of you know. The thing about this book that has me fidgeting nervously as reviews start to trickle in is that Silver Pharaoh is my first step into the realm of Young Adult fiction.
And that terrifies me. Greatly.
I’ve got a lot of feelings about Y.A. Fiction, one being that those reading Y.A. are not necessarily “young” adults. Think about it—while Harry Potter could be easily dismissed as a “kid’s book” and is found in the Children’s sections of bookstores and libraries everywhere, just as many adults devoured the adventures of the Boy Who Lived just as ravenously as its target audience.
So, yeah, working in the wild and woolly world of Y.A. for the first time, I picked up a few things… Continue reading →
Today, a new book comes out. You would think on the fifth book in a series, this would get boring. It doesn’t. On this go-round, honestly, I feel like there’s more riding on this title than the previous ones. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove, and yet I feel like I have a lot at stake.
I knew that going into it. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel as anxious as I’ve been in the past. I’ve been on edge for well over a year.
The fear started with making the decision. Pip and I could have gone ahead and wrapped everything up with The Diamond Conspiracy, but we stopped and asked ourselves “Are we done?” The answer: We were having way too much fun with this series. We knew we could have wrapped up the story arc beginning at Phoenix Rising. Wellington’s and Eliza’s story? That was a different matter altogether. We knew two more books were in store for the two of them, and we knew if we wanted them to happen then we would have to fund them independently. I could still recall how hard my heart was going when we said “Let’s do this.” It would mean returning to Kickstarter, a whole new level of stress. Continue reading →
It breaks my heart to look at how long it has been since I have blogged, and yes, it matters a great deal to me. This blog is my getaway, my soapbox, and my coffee shop where I enjoy a heart-to-heart with you.
So where have I been?
Bonus points if Lord Flashheart’s reply
popped into your head…
You know, I wish we didn’t need to have this conversation, but yeah, we do.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with reviews, and let’s be frank—not everyone will like what you do. Reviews, good or bad, are part of the territory. Reviews are a rite of passage for authors, the objective points-of-view that sit down with the final product and say, “Holy crapbuckets, this is the best book I’ve ever read!” or “Many trees died to make this book. Avenge them.” Whenever a new work hits the shelves, virtual or literal, I am always on edge. You have been working closely with editors and peer readers who all invest a part of themselves in your title because they believe in what you do; and if you are fortunate, these voices because they believe in you are going to be blunt, honest, and sometimes cruel to be kind. “My job as an editor is not to change a book,” I heard Ellen Datlow say on a podcast. “My job is to take a good story and make it great.”Continue reading →
It’s official: The Ghost Rebellion is happening without question, slated for a May 2016 release.
Now, with 22 days remaining, we look ahead to some of those exciting Stretch Goals we talk about in our Kickstarter video, and some killer Add-Ons we weren’t expecting to roll out for another week such as…
Tee-shirts from the Ministry proudly commemorating this incredible Kickstarter
…and much more!
With our base goal met, we now look ahead. Let’s make the most of the time remaining and make this a Kickstarter people will talk about. For now, thank you, one and all, for not only taking Pip and me on a wild seven-day roller-coaster ride, but for believing in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. The success of this Kickstarter and this award-winning series would have never happened without you!
Now—onward to those stretch goals. Share this Kickstarter on your favorite social media networks and check-in with us on Periscope for the latest news.
Yes, I know I said “Steampunk unLimited 2016” in the video and all I can do is blame my lack of coffee and the desire to time travel, but I digress…
This Kickstarter really has come out of the box strong. We were already at the 50% mark within four days. I don’t think we saw that kind of love even for The Ministry Initiative. We’re doing all we can to keep the momentum going, and are optimistic that not only will we meet the initial goal for The Ghost Rebellion but we may also see some of those stretch goals come to fruition. There’s a lot of possibility ahead, and we are pretty stoked.
So’s one of our stretch goals—V’s Cosplay—who put together a quick little doodle here of Eliza using “grenade incentives” to get people to pledge.
Since we are talking about possibilities, how about we chat a bit about that video posted above.
If you’ve been paying attention to me on Twitter (as well as Books and Braun), you may have noticed a few tweets taking you to the official website for Periscope. If you haven’t heard of this new platform, here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve learnt in two weeks of testing, filming, and posting. Periscope offers you the ability to stream video from your smartphone or tablet, and opens your live broadcast up for comments and “Hearts” (Likes) that interact with you and your content, all in real-time. You can video for as long as you like, and Periscope will continue the stream for as long as your data connection remains.
So you can see how much fun an app like Periscope would be at an event like Steampunk unLimited.
I’ve been writing in The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences for almost five years now. Five wonderful years. Every time I sit down at the keyboard to reconnect with Eliza, Wellington, Bruce, Brandon, and the crew, it’s like reconnecting with old friends from high school and college. No time has passed. We’re cracking jokes. It’s a real synergy that—I won’t lie—is a tad addictive. I feel as if this world has become my port in a storm, an oasis in the desert; and I genuinely love these people and this world.
Here’s the thing, though—Pip and I are starting something new. Amidst a flurry of D.I.Y. projects undertaken while the Boom is away at summer camp, we started a title that is a complete departure from steampunk. Yes, that is what people know us for, but a solid writing career isn’t based on hitching your wagon to one series and then you’re done. Do you want to be the writer known for that one series, or do you want to have one of those careers where people love your work no matter what world it is set in? This is why Pip and I have taken those first steps in developing a new series, and I am scared shitless. Continue reading →