120k words and counting….

This book has been a little bit of a pain in my ass.

I was aiming for Redemption length, around 110k. When I hit 100k, I told my wife: “I’m there. On target for 110k and a January finish!” She smiled and nodded and I went back to my writing cave. I imagine she laughed at me and took a huge drink directly from the 1.5 liter bottle, ’cause she damn well knew I wasn’t close. She’s much cleverer than I look.

Here I am now, a month later, 20k words further on, and not yet over the finish line. What the hell? I need someone sitting here over my shoulder deleting things as I write them.

“No, I need that! We had to see what motivates him to pull the gun to his shoulder and squeeze the trigger ever so softly! We have to see why he feels what he feels! Pain is an illusion! Love is everywhere. Clouds are ponies! Dance, Mike, you monkey boy, dance! Zombies! Run!”

“Cut it.”

(Anguished voice) “No, I can’t possibly!”

“Cut it, or I cut you.”

(Sulking voice, finger over the delete key) “You’re kind of a dick, man.”

(Sound of knife being drawn slowly) “Okay, okay.”

THIS would motivate me.

Stay on target. Stay on target.

Sigh.

Sooooo….anyway, what’s the point? We’ll deliver soon on the fourth book, LZR-1143: Desolation. Here’s some fun pieces just for your patience:

1. It’s my first one over 110k words;
2. It’s got a submarine, a nuclear explosion, an earthquake, a tsunami, and volcanic eruptions;
3. It’s got Kate’s daughter in it;
4. There are a few Canadian jokes;
5. I like Cheetos
6. Sorry about the last one–this is why I’m having problems

Okay, back to work.

I’m now at 70k words on #4

Unfortunately I’m slowing down a little but I think the good news is that this one might be my longest book yet. For the first time, I’ve split the characters and Mike and Kate take different paths (through no fault of their own, of course, the little lovebirds), which is an interesting journey. We might lose a character in this book though. This episode has a maudlin feeling to it… With ash falling from the sky, the earth splitting, and the ocean taking back vast swaths of the (stunningly beautiful) Pacific Northwest, I feel like the atmosphere might be demanding a sacrifice.

But don’t worry. At least I’m not dick enough to kill off Glenn.

The Acceleration Phenomenon

I’m in the middle of the 4th LZR installment and I find it bizarre that whenever I reach the 40-50k word length, the writing flies by. The 10-20k is always the hardest, followed by the 90-110k. It doesn’t make sense to me…the beginning and the end tend to be more exciting– particularly the piece I’m working on now. I’ve got a killer (no pun intended) beginning already down and a great ending planned but even when I roughly outlined the middle it, didn’t jump out as inspiring. But as I write the characters, I’m getting drawn into their stories and personalities, which makes the middle fly by. Hopefully I don’t get bogged down at the end, but I can’t see it happening. Floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, zombies…if you like my books because I’m not afraid to just say F it and go over the top like a bad Jean Claude Van Damme movie, then you’re in for a treat.

Finishing touches on new work…

This is actually some of the hardest work I’ve done. And no, I’m sorry, it’s not on book four in the series.

Instead, I wanted to get a story out of my head that’s been kicking around for far too long. A sci-fi zombie series that I wanted to do in serial format and release for summer reading.

OmegasixAwakening

Each installation is about an hour’s worth of fun, and some of the hardest work I’ve done in this whole writing gig is trying to keep all my story lines straight. There are a LOT of them. By what I would consider necessity, but others might consider luxury. A little Robert Jordan-esque, but without the 800 page deviations.

It’s a ton of work. I have pirates, I have Marines, I have scientists and evil security guards and engineers. There are zombies. But there is also an inter-galactic theft of valuable ore. There’s deception among criminals. There’s love and hate and cool machines and futuristic mining weapons used as awesome zombie destroyers.

But I have to keep it all straight, and make sure each installment is properly sequenced for the serialized version.

I have about 90k words so far, which is awesome, but it’s only about half the story. The good news is that I’m getting to release the first TWO installments almost simultaneously, with the third soon to follow. The bad news is that it’s hard to split them properly. I’m also struggling with pricing.

Anyway, the good news is that there’s something coming soon. The bad news is that it’s hard work.

Outbreak (2)

I’m the worst person in the world

Really. As a writer, I should know how much time goes in to … well … writing anything.

Today, I am trying desperately to catch up on reader emails and I feel so bad. Some of them are older than my son. Doesn’t matter which son–I should never have to say that.

I’m going to swear right now that I will be better.

But the smart money is not on me.

Answers to burning questions…

So I get a lot of questions to my blog and my email and my Facebook account, and surprisingly, most revolve around two questions. So here are my best answers to start off the new year right:

1. “When will LZR-1143: Evolution be available in paper?”

I first got into this gig with the electronic format, largely because it was so easy. The writing was the easy part for me. The hard part is formatting, pictures, editing of image sizes and margins, removing auto-formatting, etc., etc. These are things that not only try, but kill, men’s souls. However, due to¬†overwhelming¬†demand, and an abiding love and respect for those who wanted a dead-tree version to hold in their hands, I did the work and paid the money to get LZR-1143: Infection into paper. That decision was the right one, and I will be commissioning a paper copy of Evolution by the end of March this year. I will post again when it is available.

2. “When will LZR-1143: [Title TBD] be released?”

The short answer? When it’s written. =)

The long answer? Less satisfying and less pithy, but here goes: It is in process, and I am working on it. But I will be honest. I wanted to produce a quality book to round out the trilogy. I also wanted to make sure my mind was fresh and I had ample opportunity to write a great book. To that end, I also wanted to clear my mind of a couple other concepts before I truly pinned down the third book, so I have been working on some other … creations … before the third book is the majority of my writing time. One of those works is complete. The other is nearly complete. Once the deck has been cleared, the third book is my highest priority for completion.

“Wait a minute, dude. Does this mean you’re not working on number 3 at all? ‘Cause that’s bullshit.”

No! I am writing and outlining and working as much as I have time for. But I am only one partially competent man, and between an extraordinarily demanding day job and several other projects (I’m allowed to do other things, don’t judge me! =), I can only complete so much.

“But seriously, it’s been more than a year since Evolution. You must be really slow and lazy.”

Ha. Yes, I am. But also, we had a baby, I moved several times, and my torso stubbornly refuses to grow that third arm that would help immensely.

“Don’t you understand? We need to know what happens next!”

I have been reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series for the last 547 years. I understand your fracking pain, man. Truly. And I hate being ‘that guy,’ but … I guess patience is a virtue or some other unhelpful BS reply …

So I hope these answers bring peace to some restless souls. I love these stories, and I wish I could devote my life to this endeavor full time. Alas, I would need to sell, like 2ooo more copies per book per month to make that happen, and let’s be honest…I ain’t that good. =)

Happy new years everyone, and I seriously love you all for reading my work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and to you and your families, all the best wishes from me and mine.

The Musings of Bryan James