Category Archives: Deadline

On Nerves: Having them and getting on them

Yes, it is October. However, consider this your September update, as that’s when all the thinking happened.

Book Status: QUEEN OF HUNGER continues to sell regularly, which is fabulous considering how little advertising I’ve done. It isn’t selling “I’m going to Hawaii for my birthday” well, but well enough. In addition, the feedback I’ve gotten from readers has been really encouraging and inspiring. If I could get half the people who’ve told me they loved it to say so on Amazon.com in a review…but I know not everyone is a “reviewing” type. Heck, I don’t have a Yelp account myself, so how can I complain? I can’t. Still, it is good to know people like it and recommend it and are looking forward to the next book. That makes me inexpressibly happy.

Writing Status: I am definitely writing, producing a small but steady amount of new content every week, which is helping to pull me out of my post-publication doldrums. Yes, post-pub blues. I’m realizing now that’s what I’ve had/have/will have for a bit longer. Those blues are manifesting in one serious crisis: I’ve lost my nerve.

Public art is about risk. Committing words to paper is great, but putting those words in front of strangers takes an awful lot of moxie — a fact I hadn’t really come to grips with until I did it for the first time a few years ago. And now, after taking the big risk, I find myself constantly battling doubt: what if the next book isn’t as good? or is too good? What if someone steals my ideas? or I’ve stolen theirs? What about the characters, are they interesting? complex? amoral? cynical? Is it too long? MY GOD EVERYTHING I WRITE IS TOO LONG!

Writing in a vacuum was so much easier than writing with the will to publish. My second-guessing demon is working overtime.

This makes for slow going. And re-writing. And pep talks with fellow writers. And more coffee than I ever thought I’d consume in a day — and I attended grad school, so my coffee intake upper limit is significant.

So while book two grows day by day, whether it will grow in time for a reliable publication date is up for debate. In the meantime, however, I do have some other shorts that are shaping up to be interesting enough to share. They aren’t in the same world as Teach and the Assembled, but you probably won’t mind. I mean, it’ll be free fiction. What’s not to like?

PS — I’m making additions to the Inspirations page too!

A New Page and Writing Status

Yeah, I know, I know, it has been a while since I wrote.

I’ve been busily working on the outline and character sketches for book two of my little series, entitled QUEEN OF CROSSROADS. I’m hoping to have some preview content up in the next few months. QUEEN OF CROSSROADS leaves the comfortable west coast and centers on a new heroine settled comfortably, or uncomfortably, in the midwestern regions of the Commonwealth. The characters are younger, the Assembled just as complicated, and there’s a baby. I think you’ll like it.

QUEEN OF HUNGER is going along well. I don’t have any new readings scheduled for the fall, but as with Westercon there’s no telling what will fall into my lap. Now that the initial flush is off the sales, I’m considering some new marketing venues — we’ll see how it goes.

To help myself with my ongoing writing (both for QUEEN OF CROSSROADS and some other projects) I’m compiling a list of inspirational websites. These links now have their own page here at TALES OF THE ASSEMBLED — Inspiration. Clever, I know. These are pages that I find myself going back to for some spark or detail. That page will keep growing, so if you’re a writer who could use a kickstart now and again, it might be for you.

With that, I’m off. Take care all and as always, thank you for reading.

QUEEN OF HUNGER Available Now!

QUEEN OF HUNGER, Tales of the Assembled: Book 1 is available right now on Amazon.com at this handy link:

QUEEN OF HUNGER

I am excited beyond words that I finally have a chance to bring my book to a wider audience. I invite you all to read and enjoy. And if you do enjoy it, please share that with others. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Through your favorite social media would be awesome. I’m even using my own hashtag: #queenofhunger. Spread it around!
  • By following my blog here for future updates, sources of inspiration, unpublished sideline short stories about the characters in the books, and places where you can meet me and hear me read (Events coming soon!).
  • By finding my author pages on Amazon or Goodreads and reading what I’m reading.
  • By reviewing the book in your own way: on your blog, on Amazon, to your fellow public transit rider when they ask you what you’re reading. You know, anyone!
  • By sending me a comment here or an email to cesarcrossed at gmail dot com telling me how much you liked the book. Every comment keeps me writing, perhaps to spite you, but still, writing.

Thank you again for reading. I leave you with one more snippet from the book.

““You see those points of light, all across the sky?”

“Yeah, the stars?”

“Yeah. There are an uncountable number of them,” she said, “have you ever seen so many?”

That wasn’t exactly true, Wyatt knew. There was an estimated number of stars. He just didn’t know what it was. But he had to admit he’d never seen as many with his unaided eye as he saw right then. Teach talked, her voice low and reassuring.

“They are uncountable because each star is an ancestor, one of the people who lived and died and brought you to this place, right here, right now. That is where the ancestors live after they die,” she told him, “in the distance. And that’s where our souls will go in the end when we die.”

She paused. Wyatt knew it was all crap from her religion, but he desperately didn’t want her to stop.

“So the story goes,” he said, expressing disbelief, “that people used to see pictures in the stars, of their gods and such. Just connecting the dots the way they wanted too.” Teach shrugged.

“That’s where the map of your life leads to in the end, to the stars. Each star, and each story, each connected made-up picture, is a signpost on your own personal road. The stars map destiny, Wyatt,” she said, “your future is out there, written in them. Look out there and decide what you want your life to look like…”

I decided what I wanted my life to look like. It included the word “Author”. And now, I am.

QUEEN OF HUNGER DELAYED

Due to some technical difficulties, and me breaking the age old publishing rule of having everything ready a week in advance, QUEEN OF HUNGER will not be available tomorrow as planned. I’m stuck in a little bit of limbo with Amazon that should be all straightened out by Friday, 5/5. All things being equal, you’ll be able to buy the book either here or on Amazon at the end of the week.

I’m deeply sorry for the delay, but any thing worth doing is worth doing right.

In place of the official announcement, I bring you a little video of what I went to see on Saturday night. A little inspiration for public art. A little glimpse into what makes the Bay Area just so desperately cool. And something a little shiny. Because we all need that.

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