I’m quiet because I’ve been busy! I’m over 60,000 words into the fourth book of my new series, The Human Legion. I’m writing this with my new partner, Ian Whates, and that’s going very well indeed.
Just passed 55,000 sales of the series so far in 2015, which is encouraging.
Unfortunately, not everyone has made it this far. Today I wrote the death scene for a favourite old character. I don’t enjoy doing this half as much as some fans seem to think. However, this is military science fiction. To my mind, if you write about the military at war and no one you care about ever gets hurt, then that’s insulting to the real men and women who put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf.
For more on the Human Legion, head over to humanlegion.com
There’s been a big fuss in the small world of publishing news recently because a letter has been written by somebody called Douglas Preston, and signed by some very important people who wish to return the publishing industry to the good old days when it was largely controlled by six big corporations (or maybe five now that Penguin and Random House have merged). It’s a big deal for me because this letter represents a direct threat to my livelihood. The text is long and boring and with lots of details that won’t make sense to publishing outsiders (or insiders for that matter). So I’ve taken the liberty of cutting out 99% of the words and rewriting it in metaphor. The essence of this very important letter remains unchanged. Indeed, I think it shines with more clarity in my version than in the original.
Dear Department of Justice,
Every year exploitative meat producers throughout North America and Europe force consumers to purchase turkey meat for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The resulting damage to the producers of other meats, and vegetarian alternatives, is devastating, a clear abuse of monopoly power, and incompatible with America ideals of liberty, free speech, and the unfettered flow of foodstuffs. We urge you to stamp out this abuse by investigating the market-abusing suppliers of turkey products, and declaring Thanksgiving and Christmas illegal.
For a less metaphorical treatment of this self-serving attack by Turkeys United on book consumers, see this in-depth article by JA Konrath.
It’s taken me a few months to get around to this, but I’ve just counted up my Kindle downloads and paperback sales for my Human Legion series that came out last Christmas. By coincidence I went past 50,000 at some point this morning.
That’s not really a milestone because the 50,000 includes 2,500 copies of the first book in the series that I gave away as free downloads last month. So I can’t yet say I’ve had 50,000 sales. But it’s still pretty good. As a result I hope you’ll understand when I say I won’t be accepting any new book layout requests for the rest of 2015. If I’ve already agreed to work with you, that’s all still good; you’re booked in!