Very early yesterday morning I finished writing Space Train. It’s 97k words of space opera adventure spread across four solar systems, with faster-than-light wormhole transits and alien cultures and a big diverse cast of characters I’ve fallen in love with.
Happily, over the years I’ve developed my way of building a novel, which is to edit and polish as I go, scene by scene. Obviously it’s slower than fast drafting, but by the time I write The End it’s pretty much ready to go. So for me it’s actually far faster than other methods I’ve tried, and certainly it feels like less work.
I honestly think this has been the most fun I’ve ever had writing a novel. I adore the universe, its science, and most of all its people. I’ve loved every minute of it, and I’m already looking forward to writing Book 2. In fact I’ve skeleton-planned the entire four-book series.
Space Train is with my crit partners and beta readers now, and while it’s in their hands I’m preparing a submission package to send it to Angry Robot’s open call in November.
Happy David! Very, very tired, but still happy. 🙂
In a dangerous world of isolated, steam-powered, island communities, a thousand years after Earth’s apocalyptic flood, Princess Victoria and her robot mentor King Henry recruit a ragtag band of airship adventurers to help her fight the military traitors who intend to murder her family and enslave the kingdom.
Victoria has spent all of her sixteen years in a secluded palace on Ben Nevis Island under the protection of King Henry, one of the three original robots programmed by the ancient ancestors to rule the flooded planet Earth. She’s safe there, but her family and their intelligent clockwork servants treat her like the tomboy child she used to be—and sometimes still is. She yearns to fly away in one of the great steam-driven iron airships to see the world.
It seems too good to be true when Henry asks Victoria to board the Royal Airship Elizabeth, with him disguised as her robot footman, and fly over the sea to meet the Lord of Ireland. Victoria jumps at the chance for an adventure, and they take to the skies together.
But the world is a dangerous place. Air pirates prowl trade routes, and slaver fleets cross the oceans to raid unprotected islands. The Royal Navy is building up to a war, and Henry’s old friend, the Lord of Ireland, is accused of giving safe harbor to pirates. Victoria and Henry must overcome them all in order to make their way home to a kingdom that might not still be standing.
A Flight of Thieves is available from:
Apple, Nook, Kobo, and Inktera
Wow. A month’s gone by since I blogged. Sorry. It’s just been one of those months. My good news is that the hip is healing well. Had to work hard on it and two or three weeks ago if I’d been here you would have heard me crying. But it was worth it, and now I’m very nearly as mobile as I was before the accident.
The not so good news is I’m on the edge of a possible slide into relapse. Not wishing that on myself. It’s just that I know how these things go. This is, after all, my 27th autumn with ME, and probably 25 of them have slid into winter relapses that lasted until spring, or summer, or on three occasions right through the following winter too.
So it’s there. Staring me in the face. Daring me to overdo stuff and bring it on. All I have to measure it with is my productivity. Through August and into September I was averaging 1k Space Train words per evening, 6 or 7 evenings per week. These past two weeks I’ve averaged maybe 5k per week. Only a small dip, but significant when allied with feeling generally shit in that good old ME way.
I’m not afraid. Not stupid, either, so I won’t be challenging the beast. But I’m not afraid of it. Still writing every evening that I can. Still enjoying this novel and aiming to have it finished this year.
Wish me luck! 🙂