Well, I’m now working on the next book in the Twilight Empress series, because the universe told me to. Well, YouTube. YouTube told me to write the next Twilight Empress book.
You see, I like music while I work. Some people find it distracting to read or write with music playing (especially music with lyrics), but I tend to work better when there’s noise. I have playlists for each book series which are supposed to be inspirational, but sometimes I want something purely random. Then I either just shuffle everything I have available, or I power up YouTube and listen to whatever comes up in my ‘mixtape’ list that day. I end up listening to some really weird stuff that way, but it works.
Recently, YouTube started throwing up a lot of AMVs based around Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra clips. It’s no secret that one of the inspirations for the Twilight Empress books is ATLA and TLOK, so I took this as a sign from on high that it was time for The Last Emperor to be written. (Another influence is the Matt Damon film The Great Wall, by the way, which I must get around to rewatching at some point soon.)
In season two of ATLA, we get introduced to Azula and her two friends Ty Lee and Mai. Azula recruits Ty Lee for her hunt for the Avatar from a circus where Ty Lee is the happiest she’s ever been. Azula basically threatens (non-verbally) to make Ty Lee’s life a misery unless she comes along. Ty Lee is later asked why she’s there since the universe told her to join the circus and she says that Azula spoke lounder. Whatever else I may have had planned right now, YouTube spoke louder.
Meanwhile, Blood Magic will be out next week. I have a few edits to do and a cover to come up with, but it’ll be out just after Easter.
Dance with The Devil, the tenth Fox Meridian book, should be out in the next day or two. Hopefully, Amazon won’t complain about a hint of shadowy, naked Devil butt cos I really quite like how this came out.
I know, I was surprised to learn I had a plan too.
I was planning to follow up the next Fox book, Dance with The Devil, with the start of a new military sci-fi series. Fox 10 is still happening (on time barring unusual circumstances; mid-February), but I’ve got a problem with the military thing which is going to take too long to work out, so I’m changing to a third Princeps Venator book with Dione, Mike, and the gang at SCU. I’m working through the plot at the moment and I’ll start writing tomorrow.
Unfortunately, that means there’ll be a longer-than-usual wait for the book after Fox 10. Hopefully, you’ll all survive without a new book from me for an extra month and, hopefully, I’ll catch up later in the year when I get the sci-fi thing sorted out and finished.
Also hopefully, Anthem turns out to be not as good as it looks. It’s the new release from BioWare (in case you didn’t know), the creators of Mass Effect. I’m going to end up buying it (I have Christmas money burning a hole in my Amazon account) and Mass Effect sucked a good three or four months out of my life back in the day. On the other hand, binging ME got me to write the first Aneka book, so Anthem may prove inspirational. OTOH, early reports of the VIP demo going on this weekend are not exactly sparkling with reports of crashing servers, glitches and bugs abounding, and other issues, so it’s quite possible the game will be unplayable at launch. Something of a problem for BioWare. They’re likely to die an undignified death if they mess this up as badly as Mass Effect Andromeda (which I actually liked, but I didn’t play it until months after launch when all the bugs had been ironed out, and it was also discounted a lot).
I’ve put some of the character concept artwork for True Dark up on ArtStation (click on the image to go there. Pictured above is one of the Twilight redesigns which didn’t make the cut (though I do rather like it – the fishnets worked really well in this one).
The book will definitely be out on Saturday (the 4th of August) unless I have a sudden burst of energy and get it out a little sooner. This is your chance to find out what I thought the characters looked like before you read about them. Note: I’ve upgraded a bunch of models to Genesis 8, so they may look different to previous versions.
Just out of interest, does anyone else go through phases were they can’t type?
I just spelled ‘events’ as ‘venets.’ That’s two character transpositions in a row! My typing has been dreadful for the last few weeks. Yesterday’s favourite was ‘hors’ instead of ‘hours.’ And I just spelled ‘favourite’ as ‘havourite.’ Thank you, inline spelling correction is all I can say.
In other news, all these errors are appearing in the book I plan to have out mid-January. I’m banging away at keys like crazy here, but the dismal English weather is not exactly making for a cheerful December. (And when did it get to be December? I have to make time to get presents at some point! Someone get me a time machine.)
Weird things happen when you watch YouTube’s recommended videos. And I blame Weird Al. Back when I used to play World of Warcraft I found this WoW video animation of his ‘Hardware Store’ song. (If you’re unaware of this ditty, go look it up on YouTube: it’s worth it just for the verbal gymnastics.) Recently, for whatever reason, the YouTube algorithm threw me a different Hardware Store animation, built out of clips for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now, I’m old enough to remember when the MLP franchise started and it was very girly, but the clips made it look amusing and buck it if Netflix don’t have the first five seasons on stream…
So, I ended up binge-watching six seasons of MLP:FIM (I found the sixth to stream on Amazon), and four Equestria Girls films, and I’ve been smirking at the fandom-produced stuff on YouTube, DeviantArt, and a fanfic site… I’d hang my head in shame, but bronies are supposed to stand up proud. Whatever, I’m hooked. For a while anyway.
Now, the reason for this admission is that all this uplifting pony stuff percolating through my somewhat aberrant brain provoked an idea. The idea became a plot. The plot has become a book. I think I posted something saying I had a weird idea and I wasn’t sure it would work. Well, this is it and it’ll be out sometime next week. For those worried I’ve gone totally off the rails, there will be no ponies (in fact, the world in question doesn’t have any equines due to divergent evolution), but it does have dragons. A lot of dragons, though they aren’t exactly big scaled lizards most of the time… I should just let you read about it.
The new book is called Misfit Magic. It’s fantasy, obviously, set in a world with a weird mix of technologies and a fair bit of magic. It’s more traditional fantasy than urban fantasy, and I have no idea what categories I’m going to stuff it into for retail purposes, but Teen Fiction will not be one of them. And I have a cover which is quite bright for once…
Oh, yeah, and it’s set in a girls’ school for magic. Oh… I have to write cover blurb for this… What was I thinking?!
Anyway, I’m looking at releasing this on the 5th or 6th of May, depending upon when I can get through the final edits, and when I can come up with a reasonable cover blurb. And I repeat: no ponies.
Posted in Digital Art, Misfits, News, Opinion
Tagged Brony, dragon, ebook, fandom, fantasy, MLP, my little pony, release date