When we first started talking about the cover of For the Favor of a Lady (Book Two of Revin’s Heart by Water Dragon Publishing) I said, thinking of the climactic last scene, “Well, it’s gotta be Ravensbelth with an airship overhead, right?” So we started with that. But when I looked at the proposed artwork, I realized it actually fits even better for the next book Storm Clouds Gather. So we set that one aside and started thinking again. Then I remembered a passage from the story:

Lady Momoire occupied a luxurious suite of rooms on a corner of the palace, with windows looking north and west, over the ocean. Revin imagined watching the sunset through the windows and then shook the image out of his head.

Seeing a cover come together for a story I wrote still doesn’t seem quite real. It’s such a magical experience to have other people becoming invested in my stories. Seeing the scenes I imagine coming to life through the eyes of other people is something I had not really thought about before I was published as an author.

The covers for Paper Angel Press are being done by Niki Lenhart and I could not be happier. As we have gone from a single story to a series, we’re starting to identify motifs: in the first, we viewed an airship through a porthole. This time, through a window. And there will likely be similar framing for the stories going forward. It’s as though we’re developing a pattern language for the covers that tie them together. As I’m writing the next stories, now I’m beginning to think of iconic scenes that would work well for cover imagery.

Who knew that writing could be so much fun!

The real challenge will be when we do the fix-up novel that collects the novelettes. I predict that’s going to be tough to choose.

Once upon a time, I thought an author would write a book, get it published, and then write their next book. But, once upon a time, I also believed in Santa Claus.

Let me start by admitting that I have never seriously considered becoming a “writer” as a career. I’ve had an eclectic employment history, but I came to writing rather late in life. My first speculative fiction publication (in Esperanto) was in 2010 (in my late 40s). That is also the year I self-published my first book, Poŝtmarkoj el Esperantujo, a collection of haiku in Esperanto and English with imaginary postage stamps, using Createspace.

I went on to self-publish another three books. These are books where I did very nearly everything (although I got a friend to help me edit the manuscripts — you really can’t edit your own manuscripts.) But I did the writing and page layout and cover art and interior art. And “promotion” — if you could call it that.

These books were not commercial successes. But I never expected them to be. I made them mostly for fun — so I could give copies of my poetry to friends and family. And to learn about self-publishing. It was an interesting and valuable experience. But I also came to appreciate how much work it is to self-publish.

I’ve never been traditionally published, although I’ve seen book publishing up close. I’ve worked on several book projects for traditional textbook publishers. And been invited on some of their junkets. My father published several books. And my brother has always been interesting in writing and publishing.

But the key point I’m making is that I’m not personally that invested in my writing becoming a significant part of my financial support. I wouldn’t mind, but that’s not primarily why I’m writing. And this fact drove a lot of my decisions about how I approached choosing a publisher for my work.

In Fall 2021, I signed a contract with Water Dragon Publishing (an imprint of Paper Angel Press) to publish my first work of speculative fiction in English, The Third Time’s the Charm. Working with a small press offers unique opportunities and challenges to an author. But it’s not for everyone. Anyone who is tempted to go with a small press should probably be aware of the trade-offs before signing a contract.

Publishers are a kind of specialized venture capital firm. They put up the capital to publish a book hoping to recoup their investment plus profit. But more importantly, a publisher hopes to discover the Next Big Thing. That’s what they’re really hoping to do: to discover the new writer today that becomes tomorrow’s great and famous writer.

Large (traditional) publishers basically require you to work with an agent. A small publisher probably won’t. Agents can be helpful in terms of negotiating the terms of the contract. And knowing which publishers are most likely to be interested in your manuscript (and, indeed whether your manuscript is likely to be publishable by one of the traditional publishers.) But, of course, their labor doesn’t come for free either. Their interests are aligned with yours but, at the same time, they’re also probably on friendly terms with the publishers too. (Make of that fact what you will.)

With a small publisher, you’re on your own. This is, front and center, one of the primary reasons that Writer Beware warns against small presses. “Be afraid! Be very afraid!” You, as the author, will be negotiating with them directly.

That said, a good small publisher will act like your agent for many of the tasks you would otherwise need to do yourself if you were self-publishing. And, in some ways, is better than an agent: An agent probably has some good ideas about what kinds of manuscripts a publisher is accepting. But the small publisher knows. 🙂

Small publishers tend to not have deep pockets. So don’t expect an advance. But you will probably get a more favorable revenue sharing arrangement. What does a small publisher do? They do the publishing: they edit your manuscript, do the layout, arrange for the cover art, etc., etc.

Perhaps, the biggest challenge is that small publishers (and authors) face is publicity. The large publishers have a track record and established relationships with the national vendors and media outlets to help get favorable placement for their authors in book stores and advertising. Small publishers mostly do not.

In point of fact, however, the large publishers have been pushing authors to take larger and larger roles in publicizing their work. Authors are encouraged to maintain a presence in social media and try to develop a fanbase that can help get “word-of-mouth” referrals, which is the gold standard (or, perhaps, best manure) for growing sales. And as the traditional publishers make the author do more and more of the publicity work anyway, there are fewer and fewer downsides to going with a small publisher anyway.

If you imagine a line between self-publishing (where you do everything) and traditional publishing, there are a whole range of small presses in between that offer more or fewer services. Shop around! Look at what kinds of books they’re already publishing: Will your work complement what’s already there? Do you like their selection of cover art?

And be sure to do your due diligence: What’s their track record? How long have they been around? Have they been reported as a vanity press? Are people complaining about them?

But if you do decide to go with a small press, you should understand that the relationship is a two-way street. The press has chosen to invest in your work. They’re going to do whatever they can to help you succeed. And that means it’s incumbent on you to also help your work succeed. You need to advocate for yourself and get your work out there. But you should also try to help raise the profile of the press: their success will also be your success.

Don’t publicize your book with links to distributors! Link directly to the publisher! They can provide the links to a range of vendors that buyers might prefer. And people going to look at your book might find other things at the press to buy.

Tag the press when you post about your work! Help the public to discover and learn about the press! The more people are looking at the press, the more likely they are to discover what other stuff they might have — including stuff you have there.

Work together with the other authors at the press! They can help cross-market your work and coordinate with publicity. And help discover opportunities (awards, conventions, etc.) that might be useful. Who knows? You might even make a friend or two.

At its best, your relationship with a small publisher is a kind of partnership. If you were self-publishing, you’d be on your own. But with a publisher, you’ve got someone you can work with, ask questions of, and get advice from. Take best advantage of this partnership and work together.

Neil Clarke spoke at length during a kaffeklatsch at Boskone about editing and publishing. Having submitted a half-dozen manuscripts to Clarkeworld, with none of them selected, I was interested to have more insight into what he’s looking for. But he just said, “Surprise me.” He then went to go on to about thematic things he doesn’t like or wouldn’t like. He talked about how the statistics of what he’s accepted historically are misleading, because they don’t really predicted what the next thing is. Although he uses them to try to maintain balance, for example, in terms of accepting manuscripts from international authors. In other countries, the markets for short fiction are limited or absent — or are actually overwhelmed by work translated from American sources. Some local authors can benefit from the “pedestal effect” of having their work appear in the US market and then get translated for distribution back home.

He spoke at some length about the state of the small press. He argues that most short fiction outlets are functionally small press (with a few notable exceptions like Tor.com). Many struggled during the pandemic, but things seem to be normalizing. The biggest problem is not quality or supply, but in getting people to pay for what they consume. (Only about 7% of readers pay for what they read.) The lack of funds means that a lot of the labor involved (e.g. editing) is unpaid, which makes these outlets vulnerable to illness or burnout. We need to find some way to make the finances work better.

Someone asked about using a paywall to let people see some amount for free. But he said that model, which might work for news, wasn’t satisfactory for fiction. Authors want their stuff to be out where people can see it — especially for the fan-nominated awards. If people can’t read your stuff, they can’t nominate it. And, in fact, there was evidence to suggest that stories that were in anthologies — or paywalled — were at higher risk for not being nominated for fan-based awards.

I asked about alternate financing models, e.g. Patreon and Kickstarter. He said he thought they were OK and, in fact, he uses Patreon his own self. But had concerns about using Kickstarter, which he said was like a “sword of Damocles” hanging over your head. It might be OK for seed money to start something, but subscriptions are more predictable: you may have some lapses and some new ones every year, but more likely to be incremental in terms of changes.

A key problem with small presses is that, since it doesn’t really pay for itself, it often depends on free labor. He indicated he had declined to pay himself for his editorial work for years, to “re-invest” the revenues back into the press. After some personal reverses, he decided he wanted to quit his day job to focus on the press full-time, and that it took 5 years, but that he had accomplished that. (Although, he admitted, his wife still had a day job).

In the end, he said he enjoyed working with short fiction: its where experimentation happens, so its constantly changing and evolving — it’s what drives the field. The money quote:

“It’s not negative to notice the problems [in publishing]: it’s negative to do nothing about them.” —Neil Clarke

I had originally planned to attend Boskone face-to-face, but when Omicron caused Arisia to cancel, I decided to wait to see how conditions were before deciding about Boskone. In the end, I decided to attend only virtually. These notes are pretty scattered but I wanted to get down my recollections as best as I could.

There was very little information about what the “virtual” conference would entail. A day or two before the convention, a discord server was made available and the schedule showed which panels would be streamed virtually — usually just one or two per session.

Boskone started on Friday afternoon, but I was still teaching. So I missed the first several sessions and could only start attending Friday evening.

The first session I attended, about “unhappy endings” was interesting to me. Having written a story that is a tragedy (A Bitter Lesson), I was interested to hear what the panelists had to say.

As that was winding down, I noticed that Ada Palmer was holding forth in one of the voice channels of the Discord. So I hung with them for a while before heading to bed kinda early — it had been a very long week.

On Saturday, I came to my computer early and started streaming programming from Boskone, though I mostly left it running in the background while I worked on other stuff. I listened to the panel on Island Fiction — this topic resonates with me having visited St. Croix — and having set my current serial Revin’s Heart in an archipelago of islands. I tried to listen to the presentation about Quantum Computing but I found I wasn’t getting anything out of it to just have it in the background. The Craft of Writing Conversation with Max Gladstone and Ada Palmer was enjoyable. And it’s always fun to hear readings by Charlie Stross & Cory Doctorow. The panel “Writing the Naughty Bits” was fun. I was pleased to learn about Circlet Press.

I got up early on Sunday morning for Do it Again: The Pains (and Pleasures?) of Rewriting. The money quote:

“Being too stupid to know when to quit is a real asset in this business.” —@TamoraPierce

Unfortunately, it was at the same time as the session about inclusive cons. So I switched back and forth between the two a bit.

The Ask the Editors session was interesting — it’s always useful to know what the enemy is thinking. Although that was one of their key points: the editor is not the enemy. But that’s just what they’d want you to think, isn’t it? The money quote:

“It’s frustrating because sometimes editors can be RIGHT!” —David Marshall

The panel on Social Media had Cory Doctorow and had some interesting stuff. I’ve been watching social media for a long time, so it was interesting to hear where things may be going. I enjoyed the panel about Scientists Who Write Science Fiction mainly for getting to see Larry Niven, who wrote so much amazing stuff I remember from my youth. The panel Monstrous Façade: Disability and Disfigurement as a Villainous Trope had the amazing John Wiswell who said, roughly, whether you have an artificial leg or a tattoo, the moral equivalence of your body modifications are equal.

Finally, I had fun with Impossible Cities in Speculative Fiction. There was a bit about the evil side in Star Wars. I agreed with the guy who said that the original Star Wars movie (not IV, but the original) was the only good Star Wars movie. To be honest, the only bit I really paid serious attention to was a kaffeeklatsch with Neil Clarke, for which I took detailed notes. I’ll post that in a separate blog post

When I was the appropriate age for such things, Young Adult (YA) literature was not really a category. I certainly read stories that today would be classified YA. The Three Musketeers and Treasure Island would today probably be classified as YA. They were among my favorite stories I read over and over again.

In fact, the first real book I read, The Hobbit, could probably be defined as YA using Cheryl Klein’s model (as I wrote here). The Hobbit is a story centrally interested in the experience and growth of youthful protagonist(s) who drives a story narrated with relative immediacy. Bilbo is not teenaged, but hobbits age slower and live longer. And even though Bilbo is not a teenager, the story arc is largely concerned with his growth throughout the story. This was particularly brought home to me by the movie adaptations, which changed the story from an optimistic YA story into a tragedy, serving only as the grim introduction to the Lord of the Rings. But I remember one book that would undoubtedly be considered YA today: Another Fine Myth by Robert Lynn Asprin.

I remember my brother loaning me his copy of Another Fine Myth. I was initially a bit skeptical because it didn’t look like a regular book. It was in a trade paperback format and had weird artwork. I remember having to be persuaded to give it a try. But, wow! It totally blew my mind.

I remember thinking, “Can you even do that?” as I was reading the book. It mixed comedy and drama in ways I had never imagined were even possible. The endlessly corny puns tickled my funny bone. I’m sure I made everyone the household sick by reciting the terrible puns. I remember reading that book and its sequels over and over again.

I read several of the early MythAdventure sequels and enjoyed them too, although the series was a bit too much of a one-trick pony. Once the main character had grown a bit, the YA character of the stories was hard to maintain. And the endless puns did have an end after all, as they became increasingly cloying.

None of this takes away from the original magic the story had for me. It was a delight and forever changed what I thought was possible with literature. And I recognize now that this story probably got passed over by editor after editor in the traditional publishing world and, in the end, was published by a small press, StarBlaze Graphics. It makes me appreciate all the more that I’m getting to work with Paper Angel Press and Water Dragon Publishing which let me push boundaries and test limits.

from Poŝtmarkoj el Esperantujo

So, why do I write about the trans experience and trans characters? Because I’m moved by their struggle. And because I’m ashamed that I cowered for years being afraid to stand up for what I knew was right — either for myself or for others.

When I first heard of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism, I wasn’t sure what to think. The TERFs claim to speak for women who want to exclude trans women from their spaces. And, at first, I thought, “Well. I’m a man: what right do I have to enter into a conversation about women’s spaces?” But then I realized something else: Who am I to determine whether or not someone is a woman? If someone tells me they’re a woman, I’m going to take to take their word for it. The alternative can only produce harassment of people who don’t look a certain way. Or sound a certain way. Or act a certain way. Policing people in this way is evil and cannot possibly lead to any good outcomes. It should rejected in all its forms.

In The Third Time’s the Charm, Revin realizes that he’s a man in a woman’s body:

“You know you asked before if I was a woman pretending to be a man or a man in a woman’s body?” Revin whispered.
“Yeah?” Will said.
“I think I know the answer now.”
“Good for you, lad. Be true to yourself!”

The Third Time’s the Charm.

I encourage everyone to be honest with themselves. And I exhort everyone to encourage those around them to also be at peace with themselves. Let’s support each other.

In the end, I’m reminded of a presentation by Ibram X. Kendi about racism. He has so eloquently argued that the axis of racism is not between racist and not-racist. It must between racist and anti-racist. In the same way, it’s not enough to merely accept —and not oppose — transgender people. We must acknowledge their humanity and support them in choosing to be true to themselves. I don’t think anyone “chooses” to be trans because it’s easy — because it is manifestly not easy. Choosing to transition is choosing to finally be honest with yourself. I embrace my trans friends and colleagues and will do my utmost to ensure that our culture recognizes and welcomes them for what they are: fully-fledged members of our society deserving of the same rights and privileges as anyone else.

Read Part I and Part II.

from Poŝtmarkoj el Esperantujo

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while, mainly out of fear. Fear that I will be misunderstood. Or, even worse, understood and rejected. I’m an old, white, cisgendered, heterosexual man. I’ve been happily married to the same woman for nearly 40 years. Yet I write fiction about characters with different sexual orientations and non-binary genders. Is that even allowed? To tell this story, I need to provide as context my experience of LGBTQIA+ issues growing up.

When I was a teenager, my family lived in a rural community in Southwest Michigan that was extremely hostile to literally anything non-traditional. As a short, pudgy, bookish, non-athletic teen, I was terrified that someone might label me as “gay” because, if the label stuck, it would guarantee endless harassment and torture at school. The rural kids were unceasingly cruel to anyone perceived as different with taunts, verbal harassment, and constant threats of physical violence.

My first experience with transsexualism was probably in high school. A woman at the place where my mom worked (and where I worked during the summer) transitioned to male. I remember my parents talking about it, with acceptance, but including a mixture of trepidation and mild horror. How could that even work?

As I went through puberty, I discovered that I was not strictly heterosexual. For the most part, however, I suppressed that part of my personality and buried it deep. In the end, I married a woman and our nearly 40-year partnership has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my life. But I’ve always known that it could have gone another way. But it’s hard to me to publicly admit that even now.

My next LGBTQIA+ experience was meeting up with a friend from high school who was one year older than me. He had been tagged with seeming too gay — he was somewhat effeminate — and I was fully aware of the harassment he had faced in school as a consequence. After graduation, he had moved to the West Coast and come out in San Francisco living the gay lifestyle. When he came back he was flaming. To see how happy he was in his own skin was a delight to me.

But as a back drop, it’s important to understand that this was in the depth of the AIDS epidemic which was in full swing at this point. I was aware and fully horrified by the Republican response to AIDS which was, “I hope they all die.” My friend almost certainly caught AIDS during this period of time, although we never spoke of it, and he has since passed away.

In one of my first jobs out of college, I worked for a company that marketed educational programming to schools. I performed educational assemblies about astronomy for the first year on the east coast and, for a second year, on the west coast. The person who was my contact and did my scheduling was named John. But as I was getting ready to leave for my second year, I was invited to lunch with the owner of the company and my scheduler. At lunch, they explained that John had decided to become Joanna. And they wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to be a problem for me. I was mildly surprised, but it was not a problem for me.

While I was traveling in California, a distant relative — let’s call him an uncle — contacted me and invited me to visit for a few days. When I got to the door, I was surprised to be met by a young trans woman, about my age. I’ll call her “Mary.” She was living with my uncle and we spent the next several days together. I was shocked because she was the epitome of a “drag queen”: huge cartoonish breasts, heavy makeup, over-the-top clothing. I would have been equally surprised by any person who dressed and acted that way. But she was really very sweet. And we had a lovely time together. We went to a number of the local scenic attractions. She did not, however, go with us to the redneck steak house — probably a wise decision given the times.

When I moved to the Pioneer Valley after graduate school, it was like walking into an air-conditioned building for the first time. I had never realized how oppressively conservative everyplace I had lived before had been. Northampton had been the lesbian capital years before I moved here. As the national culture changed during my career, for the first time I met an openly gay man, then my state senator came out as a gay man, and he led the charge for the constitutional amendment that legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. It’s been a headspinningly rapid cultural shift. I never could have imagined it while growing up the backwards wilds of Michigan.

I also became close friends with a colleague who was non-binary. She used female pronouns at work, but male pronouns privately. But she acknowledged that neither gender was a good fit for her. I had simply never imagined such a thing. But coming to see the world through her eyes — and coming to recognize the challenges she had to deal with — were transformative for me. These experiences, more than any other, helped shift me from being unopposed to being an ally.

Since then several other friends and colleagues have transitioned some male-to-female and others female-to-male. Seeing their struggle first hand has been inspiring to me: to have even some understanding of the challenges they were facing.

This isn’t to say that I haven’t made mistakes. It’s been a long road for me and I’ve said and done things I’m not proud of. But life is about trying to learn from one’s mistakes and to move forward.

Read Part I and Part III.

from Poŝtmarkoj el Esperantujo

I’ve written gay, trans, and non-binary characters regularly as part of my fiction very nearly since the beginning. The protagonist of my first piece of published speculative fiction, “Kion Dio Farus?” (2010), is a man in a somewhat unhappy marriage with a child who is mourning the passing of a male friend. Although it’s not quite explicitly stated, it was meant to be clear that these two men were lovers and part of his challenge is the difficulty in concealing how devastated he really is. Several years later, I wrote “Krepusko sub Fago” (2016), which received an Honorable Mention in the international Belartaj Konkursoj and has an ace, non-binary protagonist — they are never referred to with a pronoun and so their gender is unknowable from the story.

My first published story in English, The Third Time’s the Charm from Water Dragon Publishing, has a trans protagonist. He lives in world where woman are second class citizens and same-sex relationships are not generally accepted. He began cross dressing at least in part, simply to receive opportunities not available to women. But when he’s asked whether he’s a woman pretending to be a man or a man in a woman’s body, he doesn’t know. He has never had the question put to him that way before. But that moment, when he’s met a gay man who accepts him as he is and who encourages him to be true to himself, ends up being the factor, more than any other, that changes the direction of his life.

This story and its sequels have now been serialized as Revin’s Heart. I’ve already written 4 sequels with 3 or 4 more planned. In these stories, Revin’s gender is sometimes a plot element, but the stories are not meant to be about his gender: he’s just living his best life, trying to navigate the challenges before him.

I also have an unpublished novella in which the love interest of the main character is trans. Did she have to trans? Well, no. But the story didn’t need to have a mind-reading tree either. But it does.

So, why? Why do I write about LGBTQIA+ characters? I will provide some background in a subsequent post. And provide an answer in the last.

Read Part II and Part III.

Buck Island from Poŝtmarkoj el Esperantujo

When the fall semester ended, I decided to immerse myself in writing fiction. I had a number of ideas that I was interested in pursuing. But I couldn’t get Revin out of my head. Basically, even before The Third Time’s the Charm had been published, I had already started working on the sequel.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I wrote most of For the Favor of a Lady and, although it was still pretty rough, I already knew what I wanted to have happen next. And so, as soon as I got my fall grades posted in December, I started outlining the next installment, Storm Clouds Gather, while I finished making revisions to Favor.

Early in January, I met with the editor of Water Dragon Publishing to talk about where the stories were going. We had a productive conversation. I wondered if he was going to suggest that I should just write the book already. Most publishers are reluctant to consider serialized fiction these days. But Water Dragon is a special place and treats our relationship as a partnership. So, when I said I wanted to write serialized fiction, he just said, “How often?” And we identified a schedule for releases. We also came up with a title for the series: Revin’s Heart.

By January 2, once I was sure I knew where Storm Clouds ended, I started sketching out the ideas for the next, tentatively entitled Crossing the Streams. And, two weeks later, when it was done, I was ready to start outlining the next and — with a couple of marathon writing days — I finished The End of His Rope. I hadn’t imagined I would get it finished by the end of the intersession. But I did.

They’re still rough. But they’ve been making their way through my early readers.

Since I started writing Revin’s Heart, I’ve noticed a change in the kinds of comments I get from my early readers. Up to now I’ve mostly been having people read stand alone manuscripts. But now, people are reading multiple sequels about the same characters. And the comments I get are qualitatively different.

Part of the difference may be simply that my writing is changing — i.e. getting better. And I do think my writing has gotten better. But I don’t think that’s the whole explanation.

The comments I was getting on my short fiction frequently identified problems with the premise or world building. But I think that because these stories are a series, readers have already suspended belief, so those questions don’t arise so much anymore.

One surprise to me is how little I’ve felt the need to go back and change things in the earlier chapters. Oh, I’m made minor tweaks here and there. One example: I had wondered whether or not there should be a moon. I hadn’t mentioned it one way or another. As I understand it, moons like “the moon” are actually pretty rare, cosmologically — common enough around gas giants, but much less common around rocky, earth-like planets. And Revin’s Heart is pretty clearly not any historical earth, although I consciously decided to use the names of Terran flora and fauna (that is I don’t call rabbits “smeerps”). But then I realized that in Favor I had mentioned tides. Oops. So there was a moon. But then Phil pointed out that perhaps there were just solar tides. Ooh! So there wasn’t a moon after all. But I did adjust the timing just a bit in order to be more conformant with the idea that the tides were solar, rather than lunar.

So I’m now working on the next installment — that’s number six, if you’re still counting — tentatively entitled Then They Fight You. With the beginning of the spring semester, I’m expecting only slow progress. But that’s not really a problem, as this one won’t be due to the publisher until around this time next year.

There will need to be at least one more after this one. Probably two, to wrap up the arc fully. And I’ve also committed to writing two side stories. These will be stories about characters other than Revin.

There are certainly other things I want to write but, for the moment, I’m having a wonderful time with these stories. And I look forward to sharing them with all of you.

pen from senokulvitre

In September 2021, I made my first sale of speculative fiction in English for my story, The Third Time’s the Charm to Water Dragon Publishing. I was very encouraged by the positive responses I got. As I said in the author’s note, this was actually a story I began more than 15 years ago that was originally like the first chapter of a larger story. It has evolved a lot since then. But the other ideas I had envisioned for these characters were still there.

I was overjoyed when one of my reviewers, Martha J Allard wrote:

The corner of the sky we see is fascinating, but there is so much else out there! This world begs to be explored. I hope to see more stories about Revin and Will soon!

I am pleased to be able to announce that following stories about Revin, his beloved captain Will, first mate Grip, and the rest of his crew have been serialized and more are forthcoming.

I have signed the contract for the second story, “For the Favor of a Lady.” The series will be called “Revin’s Heart.” The third and fourth stories are already written and more stories are planned over the coming year, including a couple of side stories.

I find this length of story — a 9000-10000 word novelette — is comfortable for me to write. And I always enjoyed reading serialized fiction, like The Three Musketeers and the Sherlock Holmes stories.

I have other writing projects I’m working on too, but it’s a real treat to have this set of stories serialized. Perhaps it’s partly that, when I read manga, serialization is everything. It hasn’t been that way in fiction in the US for a long time. Oh, it happens, but it’s not treated as a big deal. But it’s a big deal to me: I’m very grateful to Paper Angel Press and I’ll be excited to share more about these characters in the days and months ahead.