You can, of course, wing it when it comes to descriptive writing. In fantasy and science-fiction that purely imaginative approach is unavoidable. No one has actually seen a dragon, for example, or a slime monster from Alpha Ceti. But if you are attempting to achieve a certain realism, it helps to have some experience with the subject matter you are describing.
Science Fiction has its big three. Most often these are listed as Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke. The line up varies, of course. It can’t be objectively determined and prominence waxes and wanes with time. Weird Tales had its own holy trinity: Lovecraft, Howard, and Smith. Three seems to be a magic number. Who, I wonder, would be Fantasy’s big three?
I can’t always be reviewing anthologies, you know. I do have other matters to occupy my attention. Here’s a snapshot of some of those matters.
What I’m reading:
Completing a manuscript and typing “The End” is always a great feeling. It’s an accomplishment, the culmination of endless invested hours. But “The End” isn’t really the end. Not even close.
Once you find a home for the book a host of new tasks descend upon you. We’re assuming for the purposes of this post that the book has a publisher, and is not being self-published. That option carries with related, but divergent necessities. Where to start?
I have made no secret in these posts that I write a bit of fiction now and then. At least I believe I haven’t kept it a secret. If I’m mistaken, well, allow me to correct that: My name is Ken Lizzi and I’m a writer. And I don’t intend to quit, cold turkey or otherwise.
Bearing that in mind, instead of discussing and promoting the work of other writers, this post will plug some of mine. Because that’s how I like my commercialism: Crass and brass.
As with many of you, home improvement projects have played an unusually prominent role in recent weeks. Now, I’ve not had the excuse of being home with time on my hands. I’ve been going to the office every day. Nonetheless, at the behest of MBW, we’ve been buckling down, checking off items on our to-do list.
As they say, two steps forward, one step back. I mentioned last week that the rights to Thick As Thieves reverted to me and I decided to put out the second edition myself.
Thick As Thieves came out a few years ago. I’m rather fond of that one. Crime and fantasy are not strangers. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser met during a robbery. Conan’s rap sheet would fill an entire scroll. Heists instigated a number of his adventures. Even Bilbo acted the burglar. There are plenty more examples. But I may have added a novel element by filtering a sword-and-sorcery story through the sensibilities of Elmore Leonard. I hope I succeeded.
You can’t keep a good man down. Or at least you can’t keep a perhaps not-so-nice fictional character down. If you enjoyed Boss: Falchion’s Company Book One, you’ll be happy to learn that Falchion is back, in Captain: Falchion’s Company Book Two. The book is out in print and digital, and an audio version is in production.
This means I get to engage in my favorite activity: marketing. You may note a hint of sarcasm in the preceding sentence. If not, allow me to restate it bluntly: I don’t like marketing. Shilling your own wares feels uncomfortably like begging. I honestly don’t care for it. But, it is absolutely necessary. If no one is aware you have a book for sale, no one is going to buy it. And I want people to buy Captain. I wrote it in order to entertain people, and it can’t do that if people don’t read it.
So, yeah. Marketing. Sigh.
“Don’t miss out on the entertainment sensation of April, 2020. Pick up your copy of Captain: Falchion’s Company Book Two today. Tell a friend. Leave a review.”
Cue confetti and balloons.
Anyway, I hope you are all doing well in these interesting times.
Whether we’re facing a world-changing pandemic, or not, I’m still working. Not just at my day job; I’m also still producing books. I expect to have another book out early in April, perhaps by the first. Specifically, Captain: Falchion’s Company Book Two, the sequel to Boss.
Falchion is back, now running his own mercenary company. I think you’re going to like this one.
I got the rights back to Thick As Thieves. I’m considering just putting it out myself, rather than shopping it around to another publisher. That way I’ll have a book out between Captain, in April, and Warlord, in July. What do you think? Sufficient distance? Too much? Not enough?
If you’ve read Thick As Thieves, do you have an idea what you think the cover art should look like? Or was the first edition’s cover on point?
The sequel to Karl Thorson and the Jade Dagger is off to the publisher. I’m waiting on comments. Of course, I hope it is perfect as is, without the need for more than, say, a proof read. There is a first time for everything, I suppose.
So, if you’re “sheltering in place” and in need of entertainment, I’m doing my best to keep you supplied.