Last night, I watched a presentation on web-presence

I’m re-invigorated!  I’ll have this web-thing down pat and kicking money my way by this time next month!  Well, I’ll take a meeting with a bright woman who thinks she can get me moving the right direction.

In other news, we’re going to WorldCon in London next year.

Bill

Interview on TMV Cafe

They have great shows like After Rot: Cookies and Zombies and comics, oh my! Tonight after After Rot, I’ll be interviewed on Free Pie night. 10pm Eastern, or 6 pm Alaskan. Come on over and listen to the interview, but keep the link. This is great internet radio, and you might hear almost any sort of music, almost at any time.

Adventures in The World of Writing Vacations.

Okay. You may know that I’ve taken a month-long leave of absence from work to work on a sequel to Zook Country.  God, or somebody with that sort of extra-natural suasion, has decided to inject some levity into my life.  I don’t think it’s funny, but apparently my supervising deity finds hurricane strength storms and late summer monsoons just really hilarious.

The south wall of my house took two seasons for me to seal up to the point where water didn’t come through it when we had heavy rains during a serious blow.  But for the last five years, I’ve not had leaks during storms.  Until last week.  We’ve had water coming through the walls twice in just over a week, and Thursday night it rained inside our daylight basement.

And I wasn’t there.  I had decided, with permission of the management, to watch Resident Evil Retribution.  I went into the theater on the way home from an appointment I had made before the whole leave without pay thing had kicked up, but which had already stolen three hours from my writing day.  I walked into the theater at 4:40 pm, and the movie was just in time to be seated.  I missed a trailer or two, but caught the flick.  What can I say about the film?  It has exactly the same story content as the average single person shooter RPG from the 1990s.  I’ll probably watch the next one when it hits theaters, and be just as mystified as to why as I was on Thursday.

But then I got out of the theater, and my phone alarm went off to remind me that I had to be in choir practice. I called the manager, and my permission slip read “fine.”

Fine is a bad word in my house, just as it probably is in yours.  I asked, and found out that right after I got permission for the movie, the winds kicked up on the ongoing rainstorm and she’d had to buy and place about ten large Tupperware containers on the downstairs bookshelves and below the points of lowest leakage in the kitchen.  She caught gallons of water in the various containers, and soaked up an unknown amount more with most of our household bath-towels, and she was fairly out of sorts.  Nonetheless, when I said I’d skip choir and come home, she told me that she’d already done about all that could be done under the circumstances.

From almost every perspective, the Thursday episode was her story of abandonment and triumph over extreme weather.  Rain really has to be going sideways to get under the gable and drive through the logs.  I went to choir practice because I’m a coward, and because I really needed to give her a few more hours to let her irritation develop a head of steam. I’ve spent the last few days trying to find somebody who can patch up the leaks in the log wall, because this summer looks to work its way into a stormy fall.

So, that’s the most event filled part of my LWOP.  But I went on leave on the 12th, and had to work almost that entire  day.  I’ve had one friend whom I haven’t seen in thirty years decide to come visit (we went to the dump together, oh my), and I think I’m going to have another visit tomorrow.  The other I saw a mere ten years ago, but still…

In the last two weeks, we’ve had hurricane force winds, lost electricity for a day and a half, and had rain-water come through our back wall, twice.  Since I went on leave, I’ve been to the landfill with friends, and family, in a steady downpour and high wind to drop off a half a ton of collected junk. In the last week, I’ve heard from two friends I hadn’t seen in a decade or more, I’ve had two contractors come out to my house, see the flooding, and feel the soaked floor, then either pass on the job as beyond their abilities, or tell me that I’ll have to try to stay ahead of it myself until the freeze, and had one contractor return my call to apologize and say he was leaving state for a family emergency, but that if I’d line my back wall with plastic he’d take a look at when he got back to Alaska.  I’ve got a bunch of stuff to plug checks (cracks) in logs, but they’re so spongy from absorbed water that I can’t do anything myself until the walls dry naturally.

I’ve written maybe 3,000 words in nine days.  When I’m on-step, I can do that in a day, and still have time for chores.  Now I’m afraid to start writing, since it might be challenging the gods of chance, and cause a tree to fall on my house.

Finally, I got another proof copy of Zook Country today.  I was expecting ARCs this month, but I guess that is not to be.  Should I read the new proof copy, or just okay it?  Inquiring minds want to know

Publishing News!

I have great news! Zook Country has been picked up by Twilight Times Books, and will be in print sometime in the next year. The current link, and introductory $2.99 pricepoint, will go offline later this week, to be replaced by a Twilight Times Books link on or about Friday, 10 March. I shared this first on my Zook Country Facebook page. Go forth. Follow the link and Like Zook Country on FB. Be sure to buy Zook Country while the price is under my control! That’s really a polite request, but go do it anyway… By sometime Thursday, the Bleeding Edge Books edition will be be a fading memory!

Web Friends

Just writing a good book that excites the people who read it isn’t apparently enough.  I’m starting to mumble and chuckle to myself, thinking, “How can I make this thing go viral.” Then I get this really nice helping hand, and I just have to share, because it made me feel so good! Melissa Douthit on Zook Country I really admired the way she caught snapshots of reviews.  Cool.

Zookland Promo

Status

Dirk Van Den Boom, my translator, sent me a photo of the promotion poster.

This is shameless self-promotion, but Dirk sent me the picture, and I have to share it. Unless you’re German, this isn’t available in a store near you. Sorry!

I’m published…

In German. Still haven’t gotten a bite from an American publisher. Dirk Van Den Boom, my German translator and a small-press superstar, e-mailed me day before yesterday to say that Zookland is now in print. I’m a published author! Because I had promised myself that I’d thank the men who saved my life a few years ago, I let go of the opportunity to acknowledge the people who made this book possible (as opposed to the guys who made everything I do today possible). First and foremost, of course, is Dirk, who had so much faith in the book that he spent a year translating it, at his own risk., I got an advance (a very small advance), but Dirk doesn’t make a Euro until the publisher does. Now that’s faith.

Guido Latz agreed to publish an unknown American author based on a sample chapter and a bio (and, I suspect, Dirk’s good name). I truly hope that the decision pays off so that he’ll want me back!

Before either of those people got involved, Nicky Browne, Brian Pickrell, Gray Woodland, Julie Pascal, Morgaine Finch, David Mitchell, Mary Ann Stout, Ric Locke, David Freidman, David Goldfarb , Melanie Hosmun, Jeanine Berry, and Rick Roots, Stan Jones and the whole gang at Chugiak Writer’s guild, and two or three others read and commented at length on one or more versions of Seraglio/Zook Country. Some of you have read more than one version, both with and without dragons. I think that for Morgaine, there came a point when she was spending most of her leisure reading hours reading new versions of my book. There was also a large collection of commentators on rec.arts.sf.composition.

I’m going to keep a contributor’s list with the next manuscript, for equity’s sake. In the meantime, I owe all of you a great debt of gratitude. It’s a far, far better book because of you. There will be a next adventure for Jake and Gary — they’re already running down an underground corridor watching somebody else’s plan go to pieces around them.

Coming to you soon, if you’re German

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a long time. Mostly, thinking what a bad Idea it might be. Offending possible future employers, making the mistake of putting my real opinion of the gatekeepers out on the public forum, being hated by left, right, and anarchists, possibly sometimes for the same posts.

You can’t win at this, it isn’t possible.

But what I came to say is, Zookland is about to be published, and I’m going to receive an actual advance.

This is very cool, IMO, even if I don’t fully understand my own book as I’m reading it. You see, the only publisher that has seen fit to commit money to bring my great genius to the masses is the German company, Atlantis Verlag. They have my book listed already, for pre-orders only. You can find Zookland, and its cover art, here. The question that waits to be answered: Did somebody recognize something special about my book, or did the publisher, Herr Latz, inhale the bus diesel fumes drifting in through his window as he read my manuscript, and lose track of what he ought to be doing?

Regardless of my opening remarks, I’m an optimist at heart. I’m betting that Herr Latz recognized a commercial property, and let my very good online friend Dirk Van Den Boom loose to translate it into their mother-tongue. I hope they’re right in their excitement about the project. Smart money might go on Dirk and Herr Latz encountering adverse environmental conditions while making the publishing determination. Only time will tell.

Oh, what is Zookland about? How does one face down a zook, and why would one wish to do so? I’m going to answer that next, if Marvin the Morose robot will let up to blog again…

Bill