Work in Progress: Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered Saurians

Progress Report: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered SauriansTom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Last time looked at: 8/15/17

Last actual wordage added: 8/15/17

Pages added, 8/15/17: 2

Current page count: 60

Estimated final page count: 250

Current word count: 15,062

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Went back and re-read and revised pieces to make sure my unplanned plot twist didn’t contradict anything prior. Added an all-new page as well as enough scattered earlier bits to extend what had gone before by a page.

Tom, Betsy, and Peter Cartwright are making plans.

Work in Progress: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Progress Report: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered SauriansTom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Last time looked at: 8/14/17

Last actual wordage added: 8/14/17

Pages added, 8/14/17: 3

Current page count: 58

Estimated final page count: 250

Current word count: 14,752

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Got back to work on this partly so as not to focus entirely on Elfshot. (You haven’t yet seen any progress reports on that one.) I’ve been busily working out plot and background and characters for Elfshot, but I don’t want to get obsessed with it and neglect other stuff.

I went back through all of Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered Saurians, did some minor revisions (largely to get Peter Cartwright’s voice more consistent, but also to get the timeline straight and match what was really happening in 1884), then finally got past where I’d been stalled for months.

And I surprised the hell out of myself with a heretofore-unplanned plot twist. I think that somewhere in the back of my head I knew this was coming, which is why I was stuck on page 55 for so long, waiting for this to emerge. Peter Cartwright, originally intended to be a very minor character, looks as if he’ll be taking on a much larger role.

Good to be moving forward again!

(And by the way, I assume everyone reading this knows that Tom Derringer in the Tunnels of Terror is out.)

Work in Progress: Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered Saurians

NEW!

Progress report: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered SauriansTom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Last time looked at: 6/15/17

Last actual wordage added: 6/15/17

Pages added, 6/15/17: .2

Current page count: 55

Estimated final page count: 250

Current word count: 13,991

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Still much the same: I’m writing Chapter Six, where Tom is being briefed on the job he’s agreed to undertake. He’s in Ogden, Utah, and it’s March 24, 1884. I’ve been reading up on Mormons, paleontology, geography, etc. But the point here is that I’m getting back to work on it after two months of neglect; I read through the entire text up to this point, did some light editing, and added a paragraph.

And why was it neglected? Well, partly travel, with the trip to New England last month and the trip to Vietnam coming up, but largely because I was focused on getting short fiction delivered to various places, and getting Tom Derringer in the Tunnels of Terror done and ready to go to press. That one is now waiting on illustrations; everything else is done.

Status report: Summer of 2017

Got a bunch of stuff that I hope will be out this summer.

First off, Stone Unturned is at Wildside and they said they wanted to get it out ASAP. I have no details, though.

Tom Derringer in the Tunnels of TerrorTom Derringer in the Tunnels of Terror has been edited; I’m not quite halfway through incorporating (or overruling) the editorial changes. I spoke to the illustrator yesterday; she says she has the pencils done for the frontispiece, but hasn’t inked them yet. I’d guess it should all be done soon and should be out in July if all goes well.

The audiobook of Dragon Weather, which was originally scheduled for Christmas 2016 but got delayed, is now entirely recorded, but still being edited. I haven’t yet listened to it to give it final approval.

My short story “The Lady of Shadow Guard” will be in the Roger Zelazny tribute anthology Shadows and Reflections, which is scheduled for next month.Shadows and Reflections

(I have two other new stories in upcoming anthologies, but they won’t be out this summer. One’s scheduled for October, the other for August 2018.)

There’s this anthology with a June 1st deadline that I was invited to submit to. I had an unfinished story called “Fearless” that I thought might be a good fit; I dug it out, looked at it, re-read the anthology guidelines, and decided no, that wouldn’t work.

So I got out another unfinished story called “The Dancing Teacher,” and worked on it off and on for months, and kept being unhappy with how it was going. I repeatedly backed up, throwing out several pages each time, to try different approaches, and eventually decided that the problem was that the story I had set out to write years ago did not want to be forced to fit the anthology guidelines. It wasn’t a good match after all.

So I put that story aside, and started an all-new one that’s now on its third title, “Sorcery of the Heart,” which was designed from the start to fit the anthology guidelines. I’m on page 8 of an estimated 25-30. I haven’t had to back up, really, but I did revise the lead character’s backstory pretty drastically. With less than ten days left, I don’t know whether I’ll meet that June 1st deadline or not, but it’s what I’m working on right now.

Work in Progress: Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered Saurians

Progress report: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Last time looked at: 4/7/17

Last actual wordage added: 4/7/17

Pages added, 4/7/17: 2

Current page count: 55

Estimated final page count: 250

Current word count: 13,931

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Third in the Tom Derringer series. I’m writing Chapter Six, where Tom is being briefed on the job he’s agreed to undertake. He’s in Ogden, Utah, and it’s March 24, 1884. I’ve been reading up on Mormons, paleontology, geography, etc.

Status Report: Lots going on!

Above His Proper Station in paperbackAbove His Proper Station is now out in paperback, from Tor — but I haven’t actually seen a copy yet. I’m supposed to get a box of ’em, but it hasn’t yet arrived.

The Lawrence Watt-Evans Fantasy MegapackThe Lawrence Watt-Evans Fantasy Megapack is scheduled for Monday, March 27.

I spent most of 2016 working on three different novels, and I’ve finished all three of them since New Year’s:

The novel I’ve always referred to by the name of the protagonist, Bravo Foxtrot, was delivered and paid for in January. I have no idea what the eventual title will be, or when (or if!) it will be published. It’s a game tie-in, so I don’t think it’ll be out until the game is, and last I heard that was still some time away.

Stone Unturned, referred to for years as “the Big Fat Ethshar novel,” is complete at 140,000 words and sold to Wildside. The contracts are signed and countersigned. The actual text hasn’t been delivered yet because Wildside was backlogged and asked me to hold off, but I’ll be sending it Monday or Tuesday.

Tom Derringer in the Tunnels of Terror, the second Tom Derringer novel, is finished at 72,000 words and has been sent to the editor, who says she should have her work on it done around the end of April. I’ll be self-publishing this one (and the entire Tom Derringer series) through Misenchanted Press.

My short story, “The Lady of Shadow Guard,” will be in the Roger Zelazny tribute anthology Shadows and Reflections, edited by Trent Zelazny & Warren Lapine; the book is tentatively scheduled for June of this year.

And “The Prisoner of Shalott” will be in By the Light of Camelot, an Arthurian anthology scheduled for August 2018.

The next Ethshar novel will probably be Charming Sharra (formerly Sharra the Petty); I’m several pages into writing it. I haven’t yet worked out the entire ending, so it’s possible it’ll bog down, or it may not reach novel length, but right now I expect it to be a short novel like The Sorcerer’s Widow.

Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered SauriansThe third Tom Derringer novel will be Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians; I’m fifty pages into writing it. My current plan is for at least three more after that: Tom Derringer & the Electric Empire, Tom Derringer & the Floating Fortress, and Tom Derringer & the Misplaced Metropolis. (That last title is subject to change.) I’ve also set things up so that I can insert some shorter stories in the summer of 1883, when Tom spent a couple of months visiting New England; that’s during Chapter Two of Tom Derringer in the Tunnels of Terror. Those would be solo; Betsy Vanderhart wouldn’t appear. The only one I’ve plotted is “Tom Derringer & the Monster of the Mills.”

I have two pending anthology invitations. I’m working on a story called “Double Agent” aimed at one with an April 30 deadline, and a story called “The Dancing Teacher” aimed at one with a June 1 deadline.

Since we’re planning to move in a couple of years, I’ve also been putting some effort into finding somewhere I could donate all my professional papers. I think I’ve found a suitable university library, but until it’s official I prefer not to be more specific than that.

And finally, my agent has a proposal of mine for a science fiction novel that we’re hoping will interest Tor.

So I’m keeping busy, and there’s definitely stuff on the way.

Work in Progress: Tom Derringer in the Tunnels of Terror

Progress report:cover

Last time looked at: 3/20/17

Last actual wordage added: 3/20/17

Pages added, 3/18-20/17: 3

Current page count: 270

Estimated final page count: 270

Current word count: 71,199

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Done! And I don’t see a need for a third draft.

I want every Tom Derringer book to have a double frontispiece, so I’ve sent the mss. to my daughter with a couple of options for illustrations. I’m trying to get hold of my preferred freelance editor — I probably shouldn’t have left that until the last minute like this.

So it’s pretty much done, unless either Kiri or my editor says otherwise. (Kiri is my beta reader, as well as my illustrator.)

Work in Progress: Tom Derringer in the Tunnels of Terror

Progress report:cover

Last time looked at: 3/17/17

Last actual wordage added: 3/17/17 (Well, changed, more than added)

Pages added, 3/15-17/17: 5

Current page count: 267

Estimated final page count: 265-290?

Current word count: 69,998

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Okay, I’m finally revising this. (I finished the first draft on August 1, 2016.) It’s coming along pretty quickly, actually; most of it was acceptable as it stood. I’m up to Chapter Twelve (of 26). I did change the chronology somewhat, and sent Tom on a side-trip in the summer of 1883 that I can use for short stories later if I want to. Betsy would not appear in any such short stories.

I also tied Betsy’s actions in to the eruption of Krakatoa, which moved part of the action from November-December 1883 to September-October 1883, which makes more sense in several respects. Those changes account for virtually all of the added wordage.

I also plan to add a sequence later on where Tom and Betsy undertake a risky swim, but I’m not up to that. That’s the only remaining significant change I expect to make.

Anyway, it’s coming along nicely.