Good news first – Never Surrender (The Empire’s Corps 10) is out on Kindle. Reviews and comments welcome. Furthermore, the audiobook version of Warspite and the eBook of Bookworm III are available for pre-order now.
Being a father, it seems, is odd. Sleep? What was sleep again? I’ve been having problems getting out of bed in the morning – thank goodness I don’t have a normal job – and problems remembering things, although thankfully that problem seems to have faded as I’ve grown more used to Eric’s sleeping patterns. Actually, he seems to be a nocturnal baby; he spends half the night burbling or crying, then sleeping late in the mornings. He’s also learnt how to kick and pinch … and while it will be months before he’s crawling, he’s learned how to throw himself around a bit.
But he’s adorable.
I’ve also had a few requests for signed copies of my books. Basically, the cost is £10 + P&P. If you email me, I can tell you what I have in stock and what I will need to order; generally, I only keep a handful of each book in stock at any time. I will be at EASTERCON and probably RAVENCON, so please let me know in advance if you will be going and you want a signed copy. I can order extras if I have a rough idea of how many are necessary.
Anyway, my plan for the future is as follows.
I hope to start Coup D’état on Monday. Coup is a stand-alone novel that may be the start of a new series, but we will see.
After that, my current plan is Warspite II, Trial By Fire (Schooled In Magic 7) and Falcone Strike. It may be revised at some point; ideally, I want to get book 3 of both BATG and Democracy out at some point. Let me know what you want <grin>
Love’s Labour’s Won is being edited now. I will let you know details on publication when I have them.
My current plan for The Empire’s Corps is to have Book XI (First To Fight) be Edward Stalker’s origin story. It would be told in first-person, a new idea for the setting, and detail his life from the Undercity of Earth to the Terran Marine Corps. After that, I have a book provisionally entitled ‘They Shall Not Pass,’ which will be the next mainstream book. Can anyone think of a title that has more links to the real marines?
I’ve also been working on plots and plans for Sufficiently Analysed Magic, the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Technology. I have a rough outline of the story now, but it needs time to gel and develop into the fitting link between SAT and the main story for the universe. Would you rather have SAM of Bookworm IV?
I’ve also been looking at other prospective story ideas. One is basically a story about an invasion of Earth from a magic-using world. (This is the one that started with a nightmare, probably the result of stuffing my face with fish and chips.) Generally, it would be a cross between Lord of the Rings and Battle: Los Angeles, set in the UK. Or mostly in the UK. My idea was that there would be a version of Alexander the Great, who would be desperately seeking more worlds to conquer. Ours was merely the first one he encountered.
Another grew out of a discussion on Baen’s Bar. Basically, there was a great hero who died saving the Federation (or whatever) from an alien enemy (something akin to Lord Nelson). However, he wasn’t such a decent man to his family (neither was Nelson) and his son (or his daughter; I haven’t decided) wants nothing to do with his father’s legacy. Or maybe he/she just feels overshadowed by his/her father. Anyway, there’s a place at the space academy for him and he’s going, even if he doesn’t want to go. I have a vague concept of someone planning to launch a coup or do something else that will serve as the bad guy, but I clearly need to give the idea more thought.
I’ve also been looking at the Mirrored Princess idea, again. Basically, it followed the adventures of a girl who was born a princess in an alternate world, but her father (the King) took her to Earth after his brother launched a coup against him. Now, she’s developing magic and needs to go back to study on her native world (and also, perhaps, serve as part of her father’s plans to regain the throne.) This is obviously very close to Schooled in Magic, to the point where I’m not sure I can handle it without plagiarising myself. I’ve seen one author do that (copying herself) and it wasn’t pretty.
She would be a very different character from Emily, to be sure. She would think more highly of earth than her homeworld (hot running water, proper medical care, etc). The poorest person in America might live better than a king in her homeworld. She would be intent, to some extent, on making a profitable future for herself – she’s something of a gold digger, but not in a bad way. She’s certainly a great deal more inclined to make friends than Emily.
There would also be some reluctant to introduce new ideas. Her father might want to hire an army of mercenaries, armed with modern weapons, to put his ass back on the throne, but it would destabilise the entire world. There are a handful of sorcerers in the alternate world that know we exist, but they regard us with absolute terror; they do not want ideas, let alone technology, moving from our world to theirs. (Others might have different ideas, of course.)
I was thinking that magic would be an optional extra, of sorts. Difficult to master, even with a strong gift (I was thinking that anyone can learn to use magic, with enough effort, but some people are just more naturally talented than others). The school would be a combination of basic learning (for their time), a place to make contacts with other aristocrats and wealthy merchants) … and a place to keep hostages for the good behaviour of their parents. There would be a great deal of discrimination too – some pupils are poor, but very blue blooded; others are new money, but have no family history. Rich merchants send their children to help them make contacts with the aristocracy. Basically, it would have a great deal in common with Britain in the years before the Civil War.