Another Very Occasional Update – With a Story!

Posted: October 16, 2017 by Jason Kristopher in Uncategorized
Been awhile since I posted, so here’s a quick update:
  • I’m moving to Florida at the end of the year. White sand beach, great weather, small town, good university (I’m studying Marine Archaeology now, too, btw).

  • Yes, I’ll still be writing. In fact, I’ll be devoting much more time to it. Not sure what will come out next – still trying to find THAT project (you writers know what I mean).
In the meantime, here’s something I wrote a few months ago that I think holds promise. Love to hear what you think!

A WOMAN’S WAR

by Jason Kristopher

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Based on his own successful attempt by a friend and fellow author, I decided to challenge myself to write every day in March (and yes, I know it’s the end of May). My goal was to write a minimum of 500 words per day, just to see if I could do it. Good, bad, awful, 500 words minimum…

…and I did it. I ended up writing 31,289 mostly decent words, but the important part (to me) was that I worked on 25 separate titles in 13 different genres. I averaged just over 1,000 words/day, which isn’t bad considering I did about 10% of that for all of last year. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of those stories and more thoughts on this process.

For now, here are two of those completed works. The first is my first complete flash fiction piece, called A Song of the Tribe, and the second, called simply Airborne. I hope you enjoy them!

A New Year Brings New Challenges

Posted: February 28, 2017 by Jason Kristopher in Everything Else
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Waaay back in June, I posted my most recent update, letting my readers know about the availability of Beginning, the third and final volume in my zombie trilogy The Dying of the Light. In my opinion, it’s my best work to date and has been well-received by readers of the first two. Plus my mom. Which is always nice. If you’ve read the book, please please please please review it anywhere you can. Here’s a handy link if that helps: http://smarturl.it/review-beginning

In that same post, I talked briefly about the project I was working on at the time, Steak Tartare: A Supper Club Novel. Here’s the synopsis:

In 1948, former OSS officer Jackson Grey just wants to run his LA supper club and forget the horrors of WWII. When he wakes up thousands of miles away on Waikiki Beach, having been left for dead with no memory of how he got there, one thing is clear: the past has a way of catching up with you.

I completed this novella at a much-shorter-than-average 42,000 words or so, and while it initially garnered much acclaim from my critique group, a trusted group of my fellow authors, it did not carry that acclaim through to the end. To wit, there was not much rejoicing. I still plan to go back and ‘fix’ it, but not for awhile. It took most of a year to write, even at such a low word count, and I need some space. Those of you who are writers or hang around writers know this is not unusual.

So, while I have stuck to my self-imposed quota of one book a year, it’s on to a new and different project for 2017! The question is… what will that project be? As I write this, I’m looking over what I call my Fiction Development Matrix – the list of my ideas for new projects – and it has 134 ideas. Most of them will never see the light of day, but it’s still a little daunting when trying to figure out what to write next.

Will it be the near-future sci-fi dystopian story, set post Cheeto-POTUS? Or the middle-grade teddy bear story? Perhaps I’ll start the long-discussed Fallen Kingdom series [epic fantasy], or the steampunk Industrial Revolution, or the pseudo-western that follows a clan from 18th-century Texas through to the far future? What about the urban fantasy set in a world where vampires and other monsters are real but are in no way magical or supernatural? Lloyd Monroe could probably use some more time ‘under the pen,’ as it were.

Whatever I come up with, I’ll share it here. I won’t promise to blog more because that’s a fool’s errand. But I will promise that, when I have something, I’ll share it with you, my loyal and ill-treated fans. Thanks, as always, for your kindness, your reviews, and your support!

“Beginning” Finished, Available Now Everywhere

The third and final book in my zombie apocalypse series, The Dying of the Light: Beginning, is out! Get it here:

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He awoke and, for the first time in almost twenty-five years, remembered who he was…

Twenty years after Z-Day, a handful of survivors are left in massive underground bunkers. It’s finally time to take back the surface… and yet, as always, the worst enemy is not the walkers, but each other. When a new and deadlier Z-Day threatens, will Eden Blake and the other survivors find a way to defeat it—or doom humanity to extinction?

If you’ve already read it, as I’m sure some of you have, please leave a review! Reviews are the single easiest and best way to support indie authors and small press. As to the future of the series, I currently have no plans to add any more full-length books (sorry!), but will be adding on to the short story companion volume The Walker Chronicles from time to time.

New Project: “Steak Tartare”

My current work-in-progress is a completely different type of story, and will be much shorter, I expect.

In 1948, former OSS officer Jackson Grey just wants to run his LA supper club and forget the horrors of WWII. When he wakes up thousands of miles away on Waikiki Beach, having been left for dead with no memory of how he got there, one thing is clear: the past has a way of catching up with you.

Filled with intrigue, action, and mysterious dames, this thriller will follow our anti-hero as he figures out why he’s been brought 2,500 miles from home – and how he can get out of the mess he’s in. Told in the style of a 1940s version of Travis McGee, this will (hopefully) be the first in a long series of “summer/beach” reads that are fun, interesting, and engaging. I’m already planning for books 2 and 3 (Arroz con Pollo, set in Panama, and Beef Wellington, set in London, respectively).

So far, the notes from my critique group are highly promising, with comments such as “a very Maltese Falcon feel to it” – which of course is exactly what I’m going for. Stay tuned here and on Facebook for the latest and greatest on that.

Upcoming Appearances

I’ll be on at least one panel next weekend at Comicpalooza, “Indie Panel: Self Publishing – The Ins and Outs” on Friday at 1pm. I’ll also have a table in Artist’s Alley – #2305, right next to my friend and fellow Gecko Jessica Von Braun. I’m debuting some of the jewelry I make for Rolling Dwarf Studios, but of course I’ll have copies of all my books to sell and sign!

“The Dying of the Light” Update

Posted: October 8, 2015 by Jason Kristopher in My Work, Zombies

"The Dying of the Light: Beginning" - CoverGood news for all of my patient readers out there: Beginning is now in the hands of my editor!

What does this mean? It means we’re on track for a January 1 release date. It also means the book is now available to pre-order on Amazon and the Grey Gecko Press website. If you want to preorder the print editions, you’ll need to go direct through Grey Gecko, but if you’re a Kindle fan, you can pre-order that on Amazon.com. Here are the links

Amazon.com (Kindle only)

or

Grey Gecko Press (All Editions)

What do you get for being cool enough to pre-order?

BONUS #1: All preorders will come individually autographed with a special surprise bonus gift, and print orders will get the ebook free, as always.

BONUS #2: As a thank you to my loyal and oh-so-patient readers, and only for the earliest preorders, I’ll send you the ebook as soon as it’s ready to go, a month or so before the official release date (maybe sooner)!

 

More news! The Walker Chronicles: Tales from the Dying of the Light is now free in ebook pretty much everywhere. Here’s the Kindle link: http://ow.ly/Tb6yV

“The Dying of the Light: Beginning” Update: It’s DONE!

Posted: August 31, 2015 by Jason Kristopher in My Work, Zombies

"The Dying of the Light: Beginning" - CoverYes, you read that right. Over the weekend, I finished Beginning, the final book in my trilogy. It still needs revision, but I’m going to bust my ass over the next month to get that done and get it out to my editor. The current release date is January 1, 2016—exactly 3 years after the previous book, Interval. We’re going to do our best to get it out before then, though.

You can preorder the book right now direct from Grey Gecko Press, and it comes with some pretty cool bonus stuff just for you long-suffering and oh-so-patient readers.

BONUS #1: All preorders will come individually autographed with a special surprise bonus gift, and print orders will get the ebook free, as always.

BONUS #2: As a thank you to my loyal and oh-so-patient readers, and only for the earliest preorders, I’ll send you the ebook as soon as it’s ready to go, a month or so before the official release date (maybe sooner)!

I know everyone has been waiting a long time for this – no one longer than me! I’m happy to be able to give you this news. I hope you’ll be patient just a tiny bit longer. I promise, it’ll be worth the wait (at least, I think it is!).

Like last year, I will be attending Apollocon 2015 as a guest/panelist/workshopist. Here’s the schedule of my appearances and stuff.

 

This year, I get to run one of my all-time favorite workshops, The Genesis of Creation: Where We Get Our Ideas. It’s very audience-participatory, there are prizes from sponsor Grey Gecko Press (my publisher), and it’s a ton of fun.

This time around, I have some great folks helping me out, including George Wright Padgett, Wayne Basta, Shannon Winton, and Jonathan Guthrie! The other panels look pretty cool, too, so come check out this awesome con!

Apollocon 2015 runs June 19th – 21st at the Westin Houston Memorial City Hotel located at 945 Gessner Road, Houston, TX 77042.

Anthony Hopkins Reads Dylan Thomas

Posted: May 7, 2015 by Jason Kristopher in My Work
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My first book series was named after the Dylan Thomas poem Do Not Go Gentle Into The Good Night. I quote the poem in the book, and it’s read by one of the characters. It’s a fantastic piece, and one I’m happy to be associated with, even if third-hand.

Now, I’ve discovered a reading one of my favorite actors did of this poem, and I wanted to share it with my own readers, fans, and friends. Enjoy!

Yes, true believers, I’m working right now (well, not right now, but this weekend) on Beginning, the third and final volume in my zombie series The Dying of the Light.

And for those of you who just want the facts, ma’am, here they are: So far in the last 24 hours, I’ve written 10,029 words, and completed through Chapter 13. The book is 55% done (at a guess).

I’m at a writer’s retreat until Monday afternoon, at a farmhouse in Central(ish) Texas, with several other writers who apparently write a lot faster than I do. They even type faster than I do, which is a pretty intimidating thing. But the point is that I’m working on it, and I’m on target to meet my goal of 25,000 words this weekend.

Your positive energy, feedback, and encouraging comments help, so feel free to leave some! I’ll keep plugging away, and you can watch that little bar to the left get a little bigger every day!

Carrie Patel

This post is a two-parter: read my review of The Buried Life soon (like maybe tomorrow).

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I’ve known Carrie for some time, having been lucky enough to meet her and read her work at a writer’s meetup here in Houston. It was clear to me from the beginning that Carrie takes her work as an author seriously, and that dedication to the craft shines through in her debut novel.

The Buried Life is coming to print and ereaders on March 3rd from one of my favorite publishers, Angry Robot, purveyor of great indie authors and stories.

The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Recoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.

When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…

I had the chance to talk to Carrie briefly at this summer’s Apollocon in between panels and events, and she graciously agreed to take a few minutes from her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me and my readers. Many thanks to Carrie for stopping by, and please, go check out her book – and remember to review it!

1. First question, and always the hardest for most authors: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your book, The Buried Life.

I’m a narrative designer for Obsidian Entertainment as well as a novelist, which means I write dialogue and story for computer games by day and speculative fiction stories whenever I can. The Buried Life is my debut novel, and it follows a pair of detectives and a laundress hunting a murderer in an underground city.

2. You’ve taken an oft-told story – that of a murder investigation – and turned it on its ear by putting in a massive, gas-lit, underground city. How did this particular idea come to you?

I fell in love with the setting first and then figured out the kind of story I could tell about it. I loved the idea of a city mired in secrets and decadence and filled with people who were (mostly) willfully oblivious to their own unique history. Starting from there, a mystery seemed like the most natural story to tell.

3. What’s the most challenging part of being a writer, for you?

Weaving a tight, believable plot. So much has to come together for a plot to work—the individual events have to be interesting and have to form a logical and compelling sequence, characters must have enough agency to act and enough vulnerability to face danger, and all of the characters and factions have to be motivated to do the things that actually comprise the plot. So, there are plenty of places where the process can go wrong.

TheBuriedLife-144dpi4. Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter?’ That is, do you write by the ‘seat of your pants’ or do you plot out your books and stories ahead of time? If you outline, how detailed are your outlines?

It really depends on the story. The more complex the plot is, the more I need to plan and outline, which I’ve definitely had to do for The Buried Life and its sequel, Cities and Thrones. I like to know the overall plot arc as well as the story arcs for individual characters, so I generally need a rough idea of most of the scenes in the book.

5. You’re a narrative designer for videogames as well. Can you explain some of the differences in writing for games versus writing a novel and what brought you to that creative outlet?

The collaborative aspect is one big difference, and another is that story doesn’t usually come first in games (though the extent to which this is true varies a lot, of course). In most games, the story supports and complements gameplay, fleshes out the world, and gives the player context for her actions. Working out a narrative that fits the constraints of a particular game is often one of the most fun parts of the process.

As for how I got into it, I’ve been a gamer about as long as I’ve been a reader. A lot of my formative gaming experiences were with the old Sierra adventure games, so I’ve always been interested in games as interactive fiction.

6. I was lucky enough to be part of a writing group with you previously. Do you feel writing groups are advantageous for writers? Why?

Definitely. Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and writing groups help foster a sense of community and collective motivation. Critique groups in particular are helpful, too, because they give writers fresh perspectives on their work. They’re also good (and relatively gentle) training grounds for toughening a writer up for critical and editorial feedback.

7. Angry Robot, your publisher, is one of the larger independents. What was the process like, working with an indie publisher?

Angry Robot has been fantastic. Their staff, from the editors to the interns, are incredibly passionate and friendly, and I’ve been lucky to work with them. One (pleasant) surprise has been the speed at which they move—I signed a contract with them in November and had The Buried Life scheduled for release less than ten months later, which is quite fast in the publishing industry.CitiesThrones-144dpi

8. Now that The Buried Life is on its way to stores, shelves, and e-readers of all kinds, what’s in the works for your readers?

Right now, I’m working on Cities and Thrones, which picks up after the end of The Buried Life and addresses the many consequences of events in the first book. Soon, I also plan to return to a draft of a near-future Mars colonization novel, which I shared with a few members of our common writing group!


About Carrie Patel

Carrie Patel was born and raised in Houston, Texas. An avid traveller, she studied abroad in Granada, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M University and worked in transfer pricing at Ernst & Young for two years.

She now works as a narrative designer at Obsidian Entertainment in Irvine, California, where the only season is Always Perfect.

Find Carrie on Twitter and her blog, Electronic Ink.