What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, to help connect writers on this writing journey. If you’d like to join us, check out the blogs each week, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love!
What I’m Reading
Echoes by Therin Knite. So far, flipping amazing. It’s my favourite mix of good characters (an overly and overtly intelligent intelligence agent, breaking the rules of rookie-hood by overacheiving, and making his senior colleagues look comparatively rubbish), compelling world building (a post-post-apocalypse where humanity has more fancy technology than you can poke a designer cosmetic modification at), and intriguing plot (who is that hottie with the sunglasses and the umbrella, and what’s the deal with the giant firebreathing dragon that’s selectively torching suburban addresses, right under the nose of this world’s FBI equivalent?). Counting it as a lucky find for me.
What I’m Writing
Last Resort, which I’m planning as the first in a series of Urban Fantasy / Sci-fi tales following the adventures of Captain Roger, Space Pirate.
This first story sees our hero maroon his crew on an asteroid and set out for a vacation. He wasn’t going to stand for their attempted mutiny just because the price on his head had skyrocketed, and half the Royal Navy was out looking for him.
His plans go awry when he hits a quarantine blockade while coming into orbit of his intended holiday destination, New Canton. He breaks through only to shipwreck on the colony’s outer dome, and has to abandon ship. He sets off for the resort on foot.
His troubles don’t end there: the quarantine is for a dragon infestation, so of course he meets the dragon on day one. It wants to eat his tour guide (can’t deny, the monster has taste), who for her part is just struggling to pay the rent, but really dreams of joining the Theatre Company and getting out of dodge in The Review. What about the Navy Commodore? Coming after him. The Meiji Ambassador? She’s blackmailed him for a ticket on his (wrecked) ship, intended destination: the Qing empire, who enjoy boiling smugglers alive in hot wax. The dragon hunter? He’s Roger’s old nemesis. The colony’s old lady Governor? She’s up to something, and Roger figures heavily in her schemes. And he only wanted a drink and a deckchair by the pool…
This time Captain Roger might as well start thinking about doing what’s right, because clearly, easy isn’t even on the cards.
Just re-writing the second draft now, planning to release in October before my child is born and I have a lot more on my plate…
What Inspires Me
In my writing I’m really being inspired by Jim Butcher & Joe Abercrombie. Jim writes stupendously action-packed urban-fantasy, where our hero Harry Dresden battles the nastier magical denizens that (allegedly) live hidden among the citizens of present-day Chicago.
Joe writes utterly compelling and realistic characters in a fantasy setting. He somehow manages to pick you up and drop you right into the shoes of Logan Ninefingers, a psychopathic barbarian warrior, and through everything he does you still end up rooting for him to win.
In the universe in general? I’m inspired by scientists, the ones I work with and ones I’ve never met. I’m especially inspired by space exploration, and dream of the day when humans can live out in the solar system, maybe on Mars, or in the Asteroid Belt between there & Jupiter. I’ve started following blogs about space, and I want to start reading more NASA news. Space launch live-feeds + beer sounds good.
What Else I’m Up To
Specifically? I’m going on my baby-moon with my wife soon. Cairns. Tropics and stuff. Beer in the pool. Booia.
More generally? Archery, walking my Wolf, drawing and inking the cover-art, seeing concerts (Metal), eating delicious things made by my wife, weight lifting, preparing the house for my daughter’s anticipated landing date, & lots and lots of work for… work.
I’ve never actually seen the word Booia written out before. I like it! And your story sounds amazing. Have a fantastic week, and good luck with the rewrite.
Haha thank you, I wonder what the dictionary spelling for it is…
Aww cheers, really great to get a bit of feedback on the bones of the thing. Do you have a big project / story on the go? What’s it about?
You have a great week too 🙂
Your book sounds like it’s going to be good 🙂 And I also hope that we can eventually expand into space! That would be awesome! And it would help with so many problems… Have a great day! 🙂
~K.J. Bryen, plungingintothenovel.blogspot.com
Absolutely, how did that John Lennon song go again: no need for greed or hunger? Ahhh wouldn’t it be amazing? *sigh*
I have a hankering for one day writing a western set in space, following the first colonists heading out there.
Thanks very much, means a lot to hear that other people dig the synopsis for my book-baby. Hope your day is great too.
Haha! There seems to be a theme of dragons here 🙂 Echoes sounds very interesting, and so does your WIP! You didn’t mention previously that he was a space pirate, I kind of love that, haha. Are you planning on self pub or are you pursuing traditional? The rest sounds amazing too, have fun on your baby-moon! 🙂
Haha, yeah dragons seem to keep sneaking into everything lately. I’m trying to base all twelve major characters off the different animals of the Chinese Astrology, so the dragon is definitely in there.
And yeah, space pirate he is. Our hero is a bit more Robert Downey Junior than Johnny Depp though. The whole thing is set about two hundred years into the future, but with stylistic elements and historical influences from 200 years in the past.
I was thinking of self publication, because my plan is not really to make money off it but instead to get it out there as widely as possible, and with a minimum of artistic interference. I am planning to self publish on every platform I can find. What are you planning on doing for Nightfire? 🙂
Thank you, we’ll have a blast, all three of us 😉
Haha, funny how they do that 😉 Oooh, I like that! Both the Chinese Astrology and the combination of future and past. Nightfire is a blend of fantasy and post-apocalyptic, and my other manuscript is fantasy/futuristic, I love the blend. That’s great! Everyone has a different goal and dream, so whatever gets your book out there. You have a point about interference as well. Good luck! 🙂 I am querying my other manuscript, and plan on seeking traditional for Nightfire as well. You never know though 🙂
Space pirates! Sounds like fun. 🙂
Thanks! And yes indeed, should be a pretty wild ride when it’s done. Lots of rum and shivering timbers and cannon-fire and spacewalking the plank.
Your WiP sounds awesome, and I am sooo checking out Echoes.
Enjoy the baby-moon and have a wonderful week ^_^
Thanks very much! We will, and you have a great week too 🙂
You sound busy busy busy! I’m just coming out of the other side of babyhood– our little girl is almost 10 months. I had to step back from writing for a few months while the dust settled and I got back into work mode. You and your wife are so smart to have a babymoon! Great idea.
Your book sounds fab– imaginative and adventurous!
Aww congratulations on the little girl, she must be getting to that awesome stage where they’re moving around a bit more and are interested in everything that’s going on around them? My sister has three kids and they’re awesome, so I’m looking forward to it all quite a lot.
Haha when my wife found out about the idea of a babymoon there was never any way she would allow us to miss out. Force of nature, that lady.
Thanks very much, great to get the feedback on the book’s main ideas.
What is the book that you’re writing about? Bug-Girl, was it? 🙂
The story you’re working on sounds fantastic! I’m happy to have discovered your blog so I can continue learning more about it. And congrats on your daughter’s pending arrival! Perhaps I’m biased, but daughters are pretty much the best. Have fun on your baby-moon — but… how is it fair that you get to drink beer and your poor wife has to abstain?! 😉
Ahh alas, my poor wife. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t make the rules. Oh wait, you mean that I should stop drinking beer, in order to show solidarity? But… but… but that’s so… fair! Damn.
I have a strong feeling we’re about to have a girl-explosion in our lives, because a heap of our friends are having daughters too. Exciting times 🙂
Thanks for following, really happy to have the encouragement! I will have to get you to give a critique of the relationship scenes once they’re done, because from your blog it looks like your writing thing is romance (and you can probably tell from the beer comments above that my talents lie elsewhere…)
Romance is definitely my writing forte. 🙂 And as far as solidarity goes, my husband didn’t show me ANY when I was pregnant. He was very happy to have a constant DD for nine months!
Your WiP sounds awesome! Gotta love a space pirate. 🙂 I love the baby-moon idea. Have a great time!
Thank you! Looking forward to reading a bit of plot synopsis on your WiP too 🙂 Will look out for it.
And ahhhh yeeeeah, any excuse to get out of the office for a few days and sit on the beach 😉
Love the description of space pirate Captain Roger and his dragony adventures! I love dragons and stories with them. Have a wonderful time up in Cairns and environs. Are you going up to the Daintree? I thought it was amazing up there.
(Since you expressed curiosity, I think it’s actually spelled ‘boo-yah’; at least, that’s how I’ve seen it in print.)
What kind of Clinical Research do you do?
Thanks! Always good to hear some feedback for the concept 🙂
Na, we’re heading to Fitzroy Island. The Daintree was completely awesome though, I went there as a young’un when we first moved to Aus.
I work for a Pharma company that’s busy trialling new stuff for antibiotics. Really great stuff, and it’s a buzz because there aren’t really many companies left in this therapeutic area (we’ve kind of got a bit of a problem brewing there… what are we gonna do without working Antibiotics? Die, that’s what).
I’ll have to check out ECHOES! I’ve read the first Dresden files book and I really enjoyed it, but I’ve so many series I need to finish!
Your WIP sounds really cool! I love the idea of space exploration and all the possibilities. Have a great week!
Yeah, definitely check it out! The guy has a new series out with book one just released I’m fairly sure. Othella? Cool stuff.
Ahhh the Dresden Files. You’ve probably been told this by people already, but book one is barely even getting started 🙂 It gets ten times cooler in subsequent books. There are, I think, fifteen books so far, with another dozen or so planned. It’s gonna be a big filing cabinet…
Thanks! You too 🙂
I like the idea of combining dragons and space travel in your WIP. I think there needs to be a lot more sci-fi/fantasy combinations!
Have a great time on your baby-moon!
Thank you! And the idea behind the dragon is that we kind of have a WW3, and some groups go a little bit nuts with the genetic engineering… but there are a bunch of genuine fantasy elements (kind of magic, kind of pantheon, and the sinister sub plot that is going to stretch through the whole series behind everything is orchestrated by supernatural beings…)
Thanks again, the baby moon should be fun! I will take lots of photos and post some up here 🙂
Hey there! I love the description of Last Resort, but I’m not sure I can spot the Urban Fantasy elements there. Sounds like some great sci-fi adventure though, (with some fantasy elements, yeah.)
Great to meet you!
Thanks! Yeah… The sci-Fi / urban fantasy thing is what’s got me stumped, I need to work on it. It’s not that I don’t want to pick a genre, but there are lots of sci-fi elements, and there’s a magic side that creeps in slowly. Not as slow as George R.R. Martin’s song of ice and fire, but still. It takes about half the book for the magic side to be really apparent. You make a good point that it’s not really clear from the description I gave. I need to fix that. Also, the city is 95% of the time in the story, there is a fantasy horror element (though not necessarily scary, but definitely monsters involved), and the supernatural element is more monkey magic than vampires and Werewolves. Main influences are urban fantasy rather than sci-fi. Read a lot of Kylie Chan and Jim Butcher, and that’s the kind of thing I’m going for.
Likewise great to meet you! 🙂