One year ago, I attended Readercon 31 and met Water Dragon Publishing. What a year it’s been. In my Year in Writing 2021, I wrote about my early experiences with Water Dragon. But when I wrote that in December, I still only had the single publication: The Third Time’s the Charm.
Since then, in consultation with the managing editor, I was able to persuade Water Dragon to serialize 6 following novelettes that extend Charm totaling about 70,000 words that we have called “Revin’s Heart“. So far two of the novelettes, For the Favor of a Lady and Storm Clouds Gather, have been released — and the manuscript for Crossing the Streams has been submitted. The rest are written and will continue to come out over the rest of this year and the first half of next year. Eventually, I anticipate that we’ll collect them together in a fix-up novel. I have also written three “side stories” about characters from the universe that we can include in the novel.
I am fully cognizant that relatively few authors (and vanishingly few new authors) have the opportunity to be serialized. And I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to tell the story my way. I had a variety of reasons for wanting to do this. Partly, I found the 10,000 word novelette was a comfortable unit for telling these stories. Partly, I think I’ve also been influenced by reading manga and “light novels” that are often serialized in Japanese media that are more episodic in nature than a lot of American storytelling seems to be. But partly, I also saw an opportunity to engage with the public over the course of a whole year rather than publishing a book in a single event. But Revin’s Heart hasn’t been my only work.
On Tuesday, August 16, Better Angels, my first story set on the Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy will be released. It was fascinating to try writing for a common setting developed by a group of authors. In November, Something Else To Do, will be released in Modern Magic, an anthology by Knight Writing Press. And I have another story, Imaginary Friends, appearing in The Future’s So Bright anthology. And several other projects in the works, including a new novel “A Familiar Problem“. It’s been quite a year.
And I’m not just writing. I’ve also joined a local writing community, the Straw Dog Writer’s Guild, serving on the Program Committee. I’m serving as a guest interviewer for the Small Publishing in a Big Universe podcast. I’m even offering some technical support for Water Dragon.
Capping my experience, during the first week in September, I’m appearing as a participant in Chicon8, this year’s WorldCon — the world’s premiere science fiction convention — in 8 separate events. I’m moderating three panels, participating in two more, offering a “table talk”, reading with other Truck Stop authors, and helping to offer a workshop. What was I thinking? It’s going to be super exciting to meet with other authors and engage with readers.
As soon as I return — literally the next day — I will need to hang up my author hat for a while and focus on my “day job” for the fall semester. But I’m excited to see what will happen next.