Having just returned from a holiday in paradise (St. Lucia) to find several inches of snow waiting, I couldn't help wondering why the hell Great Britain, a country plagued by notoriously foul and fluky weather, was chosen to host this year's Olympics. One need only think of the showers of--and the shower that is--Wimbledon each and every year, in mid-summer no less. For the athletes' sake, surely there's somewhere more temperate to hold this thing, and economically, surely there's somewhere more deserving and in greater need of a financial/publicity boost in this world.
Anyway, the vacation was great--lots of snorkelling, beach reading, kayaking, and general exploring of the island. The highlights were probably a 2-hour kayaking expedition along the coast with my sister, who's even more of a daredevil than me--and a vertiginous cable car journey over the rainforest. Most of the St. Lucians were very friendly, though we did get pestered too often by beach hawkers and beggers, one or two of whom became needlessly aggressive. It didn't spoil the holiday, but I think the authorities need to get a handle on this excessive badgering of tourists. I'll definitely return to St. Lucia at some point.
While I was away, my new SF book, ALIEN VELOCITY, was lauched at Carina Press (March 26). It's actually a re-release of my EPIC Award finalist Charlie Runs Rings Around the Earth, but with several newly revised chapters and a professional polish by my ace editor Deb Nemeth, the story's in better shape than ever. Carina has also agreed to give my SF books a collective series name, as they're all set in the same universe and contain crossover characters and SF elements. COSMIC SPARKS is comprised of four Carina books so far, two of which are forthcoming releases.
In chronological (universe timeline) order, they are:
ALIEN VELOCITY (Out Now)
SPARKS IN COSMIC DUST (Out Now)
CYBER SPARKS (August 2012)
PYRO CANYON (June 2012)
Carina Press invited me to write PYRO CANYON for their second anniversary anthology titled CARINA PRESS PRESENTS: EDITOR'S CHOICE VOLUME II, to represent science fiction. It's a tale of redemption in the shadow of interstellar war, and features two legendary space fliers, Cardie and Brink, brough back from retirement to complete unfinished business. Gus Trillion is the wounded propaganda officer who makes it his mission to rouse mankind from its apathy, before it's too late.
Despite the tight writing deadlines, I'm very pleased with the finished story. Sparks in Cosmic Dust fans should enjoy the worldbuilding elements in this one, not to mention an important character who helps Gus on his mission.
The other three authors chosen for the collection were Julie Moffett (action adventure/mystery), Shirley Wells (mystery), and Janni Nell (paranormal mystery)--all returning Carina authors, and all terrific storytellers. Can't wait for the collector's edition paperback, as well as the ebook and audiobook versions, which will be on sale as individual titles or in the anthology collection. Once again, Deb Nemeth deserves major kudos for putting the whole thing together.
Those who read and enjoyed PREHISTORIC CLOCK--and thank you for all the positive reviews and feedback--will be pleased to know I'm currently writing the next story in The Steam Clock Legacy. Tentatively titled Moon and Meridian, it will be a bridging story between book one and Subterranean Clock, the direct sequel, and will feature a new steampunk heroine, Meredith McEwan, whose coming-of-age tale really opens up the mystery of the Leviacrum in Victorian London. I did plan it as a novella, but Meredith and her sister are proving too much fun to write, so it'll probably be a novel by the time I'm done.
If all goes well, Moon and Meridian and Subterranean Clock will be wrapped up by the end of 2012, which will pave the way for the long-overdue release of THE RISE OF RED MULQUEEN, book 2.5 in the series, that I submitted for Carina's Christmas steampunk anthology last year and instead received a standalone contract for. Way down the line, then, most likely well into 2013--deep breath--I should have the entire Steam Clock Legacy written, including a final, epic novel that will tie everything together. That's the plan anyway!
Thanks for reading, and as ever feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I do my best to answer each and every email.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a selection of recently-read books (some in St. Lucia) that I can recommend:
THE CITY AND THE STARS by Arthur C. Clarke
RULEBREAKER by Cathy Pegau
(Science Fiction Romance)
THE FORTUNE OF WAR by Patrick O'Brian
DEFYING CONVENTION - Abby Niles
DUMA KEY - Stephen King
STEAM AND SORCERY - Cindy Spencer Pape
(Steampunk Fantasy Romance)
BEYOND THE REEFS - William Travis
(Non-Fiction, Travel, Autobiograpical)
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