Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Plans!

Just to end the suspense, yes I did win Nanowrimo 2014 with a no-name bad fan fiction based on my Piarra fiction, which All Needs Massive Editing. I have edits on the first book, Chazho, in progress from last April but need to pick that up again and redo from the redo. Actually read back through the redo and reverse one change, then keep going on it minus that change. If I made my character black, the human characters in America would react to him differently and the book's ending would not work. All history wolud be altered. He has to be and look like an alien version of a typical white bearded young geek Silicon Valley type of dudebro, slightly bewildered by sudden success but still Very Stereotypey.

Greater consciousness can come later in series and will.

Big sudden change of plans though. The Piarra Series is a huge rewrite project and one I do not want to release until at least the first five important books are revised and ready for publication. Most of the rest are sort of fun but not integral to the backstory of the whole, but those five are the events that entire backstory hangs on - with many time travel novels intersecting them. 

So when they go to print, they need to be perfect. They will become canon and anything I don't like in them is "history and fact" as the time travel emperor says when he nails something in as unchangeable, work around it.

What's big is that I am also preparing to release a stand alone book, Elder's Pride, in 2015. I was lucky enough to get Jillian Lambert for my cover artist. I've loved her work for years and years, especially her graphic novel Brainsick. I followed Brainsick through many iterations and finally beta read the final version. Adore the story. Then in chatting in general looking at her current projects, we got to talking and she got interested in Elder's Pride.

So I sent her the rough draft. I've already had a good critique on it from Nonny and one little thing from that critique and others stuck in mind - the prose style of the science passages was imitation Robert Bakker. It fell flat because that isn't my voice. I am not an actual paleontologist or a professor used to doing lectures on evolution. I'm a science fiction writer who handwaves on the science all the time, loves science but likes to make it all up to have a free hand with backstory instead of being nailed to unpleasantly limiting reality. 

So in one of the emails to Jill, it clicked as I tried to explain to her what I'd rather do than fake Bakker-voice. Fake Bradbury voice. Poetic, my real sense of wonder about the history of life and story of evolution, not a scientist's voice at all but a science-loving poet's. Not even imitation Bradbury so much as borrow a couple of his techniques of prose poetry and convey a sense of wonder that these cats are related to my cats and the lineage of all cats is a great beauty in the universe. The book is a cat lovers' novel. 

If you like cats and big cats, you'll enjoy Elder's Pride because the story is about a family of cats forming and migrating to a new territory, settling down there, fighting off rivals and having kittens. There are no humans in it. Humans haven't arrived yet. This is in the long prehistory before any of those people in canoes showed up to carve out their territory among the short faced bears, long tooth cats and American lions who were apparently a whole lot like African lions but just lived on our continent then. MGM was on to something!

It's all about the cats. I did it for a Nanowrimo but I researched it for several years before I did, both online and offline. I miss all my big cats and sabercats reference books, they're still in Arkansas. Fortunately though, all this book really needs is some attention to Point of View to keep it oriented for readers and my replacing all the dry science with poetic richness - and poetic conciseness, that happens too when poetry's applied. 

And Jill, who is a very good realist artist as well as graphic novel artist, is going about it a lot like James Gurney, making plans to do a maquette of one of the cats to draw from. This is going to be so beautiful. Heck, I may draw the cats again too in order to keep myself focused on the edits. But the author sketches are for the website of the book, the cover goes to Ms. Lambert. This is going to be awesome!

It is the beginning of the dam break. I have way over 50 novels stashed in my hard drive that need editing and prep. As I start shoveling them into availability the proceeds will go toward the next books in line, until I've got them all out somewhere earning. Only when I've got through the most salable 20 or so will I even start getting down to "maybe this is a toss rather than a rewrite" category. Most are pretty salable. 

Glad to be starting with "cats." I might return to them in November 2015 too, either big wild cats or small ones.