Baby the rain will fall.

  • March 27, 2014 1027

As some of you know from following me on facebook, My wife as been sick since before Christmas. We now know it’s not gout, thank God, and she will be getting shots in her knee for arthritic over the next three weeks. Me, I came down with one lousy stomach flu two weeks ago and I’m trying to crawl back to normal.

Meanwhile, the copy edits for Kris Longknife – Tenacious arrived while I was sick. Ace was kind enough to find two weeks in the schedule for me to work on them starting next week when I hope to have two brain cells to rub together.

And I got the contract for Kris Longknife – Relentless, Fearless and one more. As soon as I can read them, I’ll sign them and send them back.

Lots of fun work, and me barely able to crawl. It happens that way some times.

Some thoughts on To Do or Die.

  • February 25, 2014 2233

Ace asked me to knocked together 500 words or so on what it’s like to finish a book 12 years or so after I started it. In case you can’t find it on the Ace website, here they are.

One of the greatest joys a writer can have is to get to finish a novel put on hold ten years ago.

Oh, ah, and one of the toughest things a writer can do is finish a book that was put away one quarter done ten years back. “Right. Of course I knew what I was doing with it. Yes, I have it around here . . . somewhere.”

I had 25,000 words, written the way I wrote thirteen years ago, but not how I write today. Oh, and I had not one but TWO outlines for the book. Two DIFFERENT outlines. Oh dear.

Being the organic writer I am, I took off writing and quickly added 15,000 words before I noticed that not only was I writing the story different, but there might be a few things I needed to add from at least one of the outlines.

Okay, maybe both of them had some good ideas.

I went back and started revising the whole thing from page one. And spotted that I really did need that scene at the abandoned space station where Ray and Mary get in a whole lot of trouble.

And then Gramma Trouble arrives at the space port and there are these two adorable street urchins and the story heads off after them.

For those of you who spotted it, yes, Major Barbara is a shout out to George Bernard Shaw.

I have no idea where the tanks came from. They weren’t in either outline but they just kind of drove into the story and, hey, nobody gets in the way of a 75 ton monster. No one.

Unless you’re light infantry and hunting tanks is what you do for fun.

The day Trouble tells the Special State Police they’re out of a job was always going to be in the book. I read about a certain morning just like that when U.S. Marines told some Haitian police/street thugs that they should stay home and it went down just like that.

Then, of course, there was the waltz up Black Mountain. It had been covered as a family tale, almost worn so well as to be poetry, in Kris Longknife – Mutineer. Only now, I had to return it to prose and put back in all the blood and mud, artillery and hail.

And to add complications, Gramma Trouble mentioned in Kris Longknife – Audacious that she still felt her shoulder wound when the weather changed. Did she get that wound on Savannah or later? Well, there’s no time like the present.

So, while Grampa Trouble heads into one meat grinder, I had to find something for Gramma Trouble to get into.

By now the story was rolling along like a freight train and I was having as much fun writing it I know you’ll have reading it.

All in all, it was fascinating to go back to a book I shelved over ten years ago and let the characters come out and play. It was also a challenge to write about Kris Longknife’s great grandparents’ world and fill in the holes that were left from Kris’s stories while making sure all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Enjoy the read!

To Do or Die is coming soon

  • February 20, 2014 2256

So here’s the treatment we gave the sales staff for it.

It takes blood, sweat and moxie to win a war.

To win the peace may take all that and a lot more.

That’s the problem dropped in Colonel Ray Longknife lap. How can he win the peace on the misnamed planet of Savannah. Lucky for him, he’s got a Marine not at all misnamed, Trouble. And Captain Trouble has brought a few good men and women to this party.

Savannah will know peace if Colonel Ray Longknife, Captain Trouble and Special Agent Ruth “Trouble” have to take it apart piece by twisted piece.

But there’s something else, waiting in the wings. Something beyond their wildest dreams . . . or nightmares.

Here is the often hinted at story from the Kris Longknife Saga of how Savannah came to have a special relationship with the Longknifes. Here is the story of how Captain Trouble and his Marines took the Ladies from Hell out waltzing up Black Mountain one evil and stormy night.

You’ve wondered about this story. Now you can read it.

Lots going on Jan 10, 2014

  • January 10, 2014 2129

Well, the copy edits of Vicky Peterwald – Target were sent back to NY on Monday. They’re on schedule for the June 28 pub date. I got a draft of the cover for Kris Longknife – Tenacious 10/14. It looks lovely but it’s just a draft because there’s a typo on it. (Right, a typo on the cover. :-) It will be corrected.)

I got a request from Audible to provide the cover for Kris Longknife’s Bloodhound. They’ve got all three of the novellas under contract and will have them out soon.

I’ve asked Ace to get me a copy of Vicky Peterwald’s finalized cover in jpeg and hope to post it soon.

Those of you in the UK and former colonies who have noticed that First Casualty is not available as an e-book, thanks for raising it. I’ve passed it along to Ace and hope to have that straightened out by next week.

I also did a third draft of Fire in the Darkness and sent it off to be edited by my second reader. Since it’s not yet under contract, I’m not sure if it will be a 15 or 16 book. The more orders for To Do or Die the more likely Ace will want it for 15. I’m just saying.

So, for a supposedly quiet week, this had plenty going in it. I was scheduled to write at the coast next week, but my wife has had a bad attack of gout over the holidays and bruised herself rather badly when she fell. I’ll be staying home this month. With luck, I can get Vicky Peterwald – Assassin, the novella for May or June into a rough draft.


Out of the mouths of, er, teenagers.

  • December 26, 2013 1611

Some of you have been remarking on how each Kris book, since forever, seems to end, and then have that extra twist of the knife that tells you there’s some more coming down the track at you. And maybe I do that too much. :-)

Well, my two grandkids watched the latest Percy Jackson movie with me and their Grandmama. It ended with a bit of a twist and the almost 13 year old exploded “Not Fair. That ruined the entire movie.”

His sister, a wise High School Freshman said “That’s a hook. It’s meant to get you to buy the next movie.” She’s so wise . . . and might become a writer.

Danny wasn’t satisfied. “They should not have done that. It’s not fair.”

So those of you who want a more solid ending to the books, you have a partisan in my own home.

And recently I’ve been reading S.M.Stirling’s vampire novels.  They are GREAT!  The first one ended nicely, but with a strong hint of more to come. I quickly read the second book, which ended with a whole lot of loose ends. I really wanted that third book. Fortunately, book 3 was published in July, but I ordered it on the Sunday before Christmas and it is now Boxing Day and I don’t have the dang book. Ouch, ouch, OUCH. I want that book!

Oh, the suffering.

Now we start the Second Iteeche War book.

  • December 12, 2013 2306

I’m back at the Oregon coast working on the second book of the Iteeche War. For now I’m calling it Someone had Blundered. I’ve put 16,000 words in in the first two days of writing it. It reminded me of changes I want to make the the ending of both the First Iteeche War book and the rough draft of KL Relentless. That’s how writing three books in one year all come together.  I’m having a hoot covering Kris’s back story and painting in the seeds of stuff you’ll see in the later books you’ve already read.

Keeping Busy.

  • November 14, 2013 2139

I’m at the Oregon Coast working on finishing the first draft of Kris Longknife: Relentless, your book for 10/15. 15,000 words in so far this week for a total of 91,000 words. I expect to finish by Sunday. Audible contacted my agent about producing the three e-novellas in some package, either stand alone or in one file. I’m not sure which. I also mentioned Vicky Peterwald: Assassin that I intend to have out in June. By the way, To Do or Die, Kris’s great-grandparents trying to make peace on a troubled world will be out in 2/14 and can be preordered now.

More fun coming your way.

  • November 11, 2013 2025

I hear a lot of you complaining about having to wait a year to find out what happens in Kris Longknife: Tenacious. I’d just like to point out that February You’ll have To Do or Die to enjoy and come June will see Vicky Peterwald in print. Trust me, 2014 won’t be so long a year.ToDoOrDie-2


Life is fun. I think.

  • November 2, 2013 1416

While you are enjoying Defender, the Galley Proofs of To Do or Die showed up. They’re due in before OryCon next week. Then I’m off to the coast to finish the first draft of Relentless for Oct ’15. Then in December, I’ll start book 2 of the Iteeche War. More for you to look forward to.

Where is Defender?

  • October 29, 2013 1354

No spoilers here.

This is the section for you folks that are chomping at the bit and can’t find a place to get your hands on Defender. I sold Ace the world wide rights for Defender, expecting them to put it up World Wide. Well, they took three extra months to put up Furious while their suits tried to sell Furious to the UK and commonwealth market. And didn’t. I’m about to negotiate the contract for the next three books and if Ace keeps making so much of the English speaking world wait, I’ll need to think about that in negotiations. Let me know if you have trouble getting Defender, please.