Winterhome is now available everywhere. (Kinda surprised that there haven’t been any reviews yet. Y’all have had it for at least twelve hours now… heh.). Petron is due back from my first reader in the next week or so, and then I’ll fix everything she finds before it goes off to the Canadian Copyeditor Babe(tm) for her touch.
Due date: December 10. There will be other reminders and other side projects related to it as we get closer, so keep an ear open.
Now a side jaunt is upon us for the summer: The Star Dragon.
I wrote the first book, Awaken the Star Dragon, exactly a year ago at a writing retreat (One week, one novel.) It got hurriedly published as part of a storybundle last summer, but we never did paper or pushed all that hard, as I was in the process originally of writing a whole series to drop month over month.
That is what’s coming next. Awaken is being renamed Birth, and the series will look like this:
- Birth of the Star Dragon (available now)
- Flight of the Star Dragon (Jun 10)
- Call of the Star Dragon (Jul 10)
- Shadow of the Star Dragon (Aug 10)
- Trial of the Star Dragon (Sep 10)
For all of them, ebook, paper, and audio will go live on the same date, which is another layer of awesomeness that I didn’t have as an option before.
Additionally, these are part of an extended universe, so you can get a head start on Gareth and read his first adventure: Patrol Cutter: Bellerophon! in Issue 006 of Boundary Shock Quarterly. This takes place several years before Birth of the Star Dragon, and let me set things up. Another Gareth/Sky Patrol story will come out in Issue 008 of Boundary Shock, so mark your calendars for Tin Can Pirates in the fall.
When setting out to do a story for Ray Guns & Space Babes, I wanted pulp. And not just any pulp, but that specific 1950’s American Science Fiction that you got in bad B movies and shorts. Noble/Bright and a touch innocent. Manly men with lantern jaws taking on criminals and throwing them in jail. Horrendous monsters from outerspace intent on kidnapping teenage girls for whatever it was they did. “Ray Guns & Space Babes”
It was a fun challenge to write Gareth St. John Dankworth as a 50’s pulp SF hero. And to introduce other characters like Eveth Baker and Jackeith Grodray, who were cops with a more 70’s/80’s bent to them. Worn and tired and grumpy.
I even got a fantastic review the other day on Amazon for Birth of the Star Dragon. 5 stars and all.
May 4, 2019
This is an amusing, readable story, reminiscent of the Heinlein and Edgar Rice Burroughs books of an earlier era. I am not the target audience, but I have kids who are. If you are trying to get a young person to read willingly, this might do the trick. Pretty quick read and I enjoyed it. Author Ward keeps the story moving.“
He gets it. And I’m glad he enjoyed it.
Noble/Bright is the exact opposite of the Grim/Dark that everyone in YA circles seems deeply committed to. Bad things and bad people. Gareth is really Vo Arlo without any of the anger issues, when you get down to it. And I had so much fun with Birth that I had to write the rest of the series.
And, in keeping with the campy, pulpy feel to things, I got to introduce gods, aliens, technology, and a career criminal names Morty who really was my favorite voice. He’s the one I’d just sit around with and enjoy a beer or six. When they cast him in the video, I’ll demand a Queens or maybe soft Jersey accent for the guy, because that’s how I hear him in my head.
And it concludes nicely at five novels, although I left myself two openings. One, I can tell more of the Pulp SF stories of a younger Gareth (Patrol Cutter: Bellerophon! and Tin Can Pirates). Two, I left a nice segue at the end, for how a Star Dragon and his friends could fight crime and explore the solar system after the crazy events of the ending of Trial Of The Star Dragon (!!!).
There will be more dark and ugly things written later, but I wanted to write something happy. Too much of the world is one stream of unrelenting ugliness right now. Once upon a time, science fiction was supposed to be fun. At least if you’re an old fart like me.
It’s time people remembered that.