Guess what? It’s been exactly one year today since The Punch Escrow was published and my life forever changed. The book has now been translated into several languages and I’ve been afforded the opportunity to travel around the world and meet with readers—something I would never have imagined. The process is still in effect! The Korean translation is being published next month.
My little passion project went on to get starred reviews on Kirkus, Library Journal, and Foreword Reviews—where it ultimately was awarded their Gold Award for best indie sci-fi book of 2017.
I wanted to take this time to thank you all, again. Thank you for making this possible. This adventure has been nothing short of amazing. I apologize for not personally replying to the many questions many of you have sent me about the film adaptation. It’s just that I don’t really have anything new to report. I’m in weekly communications with the film’s producers, but—as I’m discovering firsthand—it’s hard to make a movie. I promise to share movie updates as soon as anything solid happens on that front.
As for the sequel. Well, I have the whole thing pretty much outlined. I can tell you the working title is The Hash Collision. That’s news, I guess! I’m holding off putting pen to paper until Lionsgate finalizes the first book’s film adaptation so that I don’t risk breaking serious continuity with the sequel (some things will inevitably be different, but I don’t want to write major plot points in the sequel for characters that somehow end up dying in the film adaptation of The Punch Escrow).
Last: In case you missed it. I’ve had a short story published in the Hugo and Nebula award winning Apex Magazine. It’s called Kerouac’s Renascence, and I invite you to read it. You’ll find it’s a very different tale than Punch.
My deepest gratitude and well wishes,
Friday, October 5th, 7-9 PM at The Book Cellar in Chicago for THE ANIMAL IN MAN LAUNCH EVENT!!!
What better way to celebrate this announcement than with some new character concept art? Fresh from the digital canvas of the super-talented Nic Morales, may I introduce you to Zariel, also called “Old Four Swords,” and I think you can easily see why.
Zariel is a genetically engineered octopus, hailing from Peskora, the tropical archipelagian nation far to the west where vast numbers of aquatic species dwell. Each of the four swords he wields are a technological marvel, capable of cutting any material clean in half, no matter its molecular composition. There is, in fact, a moment or two in The Animal in Man Part Two: Ferocious Heart when the lone octopus literally brings about the collapse of a tower.
Do you like this art? Did you like Nic’s previous concept for Saghan? Would you like a chance to have a signed poster of this thing hanging up in your office? From now until October 5th, all you have to do is make an order of The Animal in Man: Violent Mind or show up for the launch event at The Book Cellar to enter in person for a chance to win these!
At this point, I realized the old one was severely outdated. At this stage of the game it just wasn’t good enough. After all the writing, cutting, rewriting, recutting, and of course the finagling, mangling, and beautifying I’ve done to the story, I know I got something special here for you. It’s time to get this project out to a broader audience. Please hit that Share button and help me get the word out!
Ultra-special thanks to Kyle Probst for shooting and compiling all this footage (and somehow making me appear presentable). And as ever, an outlandish heap of thanks to all you Animals out there, my greatest supporters. Some exciting news is forthcoming… (Perhaps with an ACTUAL DATE…?)
Well, it’s been a long time coming, but finally I have a progress update for Tantalus Depths.
I’ve finally finished my first full reworking of the manuscript based on my editor’s feedback, and sent it in. I had intended to get this step of the process finished by the end of last year, but clearly these kinds of edits are a lot more challenging than I had assumed they’d be.
All told, though, I’m happy with these edits. I’ve extensively rewritten several chapters at the beginning and end of the book, but the book very much remains the same story I wanted to tell initially. These changes have helped me make Tantalus Depths a more effective piece of storytelling in the areas that really mattered to me.
At the end of my edits, my manuscript is now about 20,000 words longer than it used to be. Most of that added content was devoted to more fleshed-out worldbuilding, better character development, and better prose in my descriptive imagery. It’s longer now, but I believe the added content improves the pacing and flow of the story to such a degree that it will feel like it’s become shorter.
I originally wrote Tantalus Depths between 2012 and 2014. Since then, I’ve honed my writing skills, and I feel confident that this new draft showcases that improvement in my literary abilities. I’m prouder of this book than I’ve ever been, and I’m thrilled to carry it forward to the next steps.
So, what’s next for Tantalus Depths?
Well, now that I’ve turned it in to my editor, the ball’s in his court. It’ll be a few weeks before he gets the opportunity to read through my changes and send me back any new feedback he has for me. When that’s done, I’ll take a look at whatever other changes he feels I still need to make and then make use of that feedback in another draft. We’ll keep going back and forth like this until we’re both satisfied that the manuscript is as good as it can be. The biggest and most complicated round of edits is done, though, and each step in the development edit process should move faster than the one before it.
Think of the editing process like carving a sculpture out of a wooden log: first you go at it with a chainsaw and remove all the bulky bits you don’t want. Then you go at it with a chisel to get it to the precise shape you want it. Then, finally, you go over it with sandpaper to smooth out all the tiniest imperfections. I’ve just finished my “chainsaw edit.”
So what am I doing now that I’m free of Tantalus Depths for the next few weeks?
Well, until my editor finishes reading through it and sends me his notes, there’s nothing I can do for Tantalus Depths. I won’t be idle while I wait, though. I’m going to jump back into Proteus. My plan had always been to jump back into Proteus as soon as I was done with my Tantalus Depths edits, but I really didn’t think it would take me this long to get through with them, and my campaign for Proteus is almost over. So I intend to ask for one more 90-day extension for Proteus. I still need close to 500 orders to hit my full publication goal, so it’s going to be a lot of work, but during the time that I am waiting for feedback on Tantalus, I plan to devote myself fully to campaigning for Proteus. I’m determined to get both books the publication treatment they deserve, and to firmly establish myself as an up-and-comer in the writing industry.
So, stay tuned. As soon as I have more news for Tantalus Depths, I’ll be sure to let you all know. Meanwhile, I’ve prepared some exciting resources for my new Proteus campaign, and I think you’ll find them pretty interesting.