Good Sunday morning! Tomorrow will mark two weeks since the surgery that removed a cancerous “plum” from inside of my head. I continue to do well and to improve every day. My outlook for both treatment and recovery are good.
The next stage in my treatment will be five consecutive days later this month of targeted CyberKnife radiation therapy. This should have few side effects or ill effects of any consequence.
This therapy demands high precision targeting and control which will require my own custom iron maiden mask … of a sort (example pictured below.) This mask will be used to position and hold me in place during the treatment sessions. I just might mount this war trophy on a wall somewhere with my pointy sword afterward!
After radiation therapy concludes, we will then begin with immunotherapy. As I have said before, this is a regimen of medications designed to train your body to better identify and fight cancer itself – teach a man to fish rather than just give him a fish.
Let me take this opportunity to say that the standard of care, consideration and professionalism that I have experienced throughout all this – from the surgical and other care teams at my local hospitals here in Ottawa, Canada – was and continues to be outstanding, despite the extreme pressures placed on the whole system by the pandemic.
AND … BIG NEWS FOR THE BOOK LAUNCH!
Two days after I returned home from the hospital, I got some unexpected and totally awesome news: I have made the programme for the World Fantasy Convention (WFC 2021) taking place early next month in Montreal (I’ll be attending virtually). This is pretty much the top event of its kind in the world.
To say this was great news at a great time is a gross understatement. I will be on one panel, and I have also been given a slot to deliver a reading from Bane of All Things.
I bought my ticket to WFC 2021 two years ago and applied to its programming in March with no expectation of what might come of it as a debut fantasy author with a small and unconventional US publisher. I could not have expected better.
And ... another great Canadian author has also been gracious enough to provide a promotional blurb for the book:
"A dark and engrossing epic fantasy that starts off small but just keeps building. I’m really looking forward to what comes next!”
That comes from James Alan Gardner, author of They Promised Me the Gun Wasn’t Loaded. Check him out!
That’s all for now. I definitely feel that the cup is half full.
Stay safe and keep reading ;)
Greetings friends and supporters. We’re certainly due for an update on the state of Tantalus Depths, and I am thrilled to say this update is a really good one.
About a week ago, I received my first round of copyedit notes for Tantalus Depths. They were wonderfully thorough and picked up a ton of minor punctuation and grammar errors that managed to elude my notice through more than a dozen full readthroughs. They were easily fixed, and the book feels much cleaner for it.
You’ll remember that the development editing process took almost two years to complete, due to extensive rewrites and passing through multiple draft stages. Copyedits, I am happy to say, are much simpler and more straightforward, and mostly just involve clicking "accept" on every grammar change my copyeditor suggested. I made sure to read each sentence in context to ensure that none of the suggestions accidentally changed the meaning of the sentence, and I caught a couple that would have done so, but even with that close attention to detail, I am proud to say that it still only took me a few hours to make every single change expected of me for this stage of the process. While it took me months to get through a round of development edits, I was able to finish all my copyedit notes and send them back to my publisher in less than a week.
This very well may be the first time in our five-year development process where we’ve actually been ahead of schedule, and we are rapidly nearing the end. My copyeditor will go over the changes I’ve made, and barring one or two more potential correspondences to correct a few outstanding issues, we will soon be done with the copyediting process and be ready to move on to the proofreader. After that, Tantalus Depths will at long last be completely finalized and ready for its release.
It’s been a long road to get here, friends, but we are rapidly gaining momentum in the last stretch before the finish line. Expect some very exciting announcements in the next few months, including a cover reveal and our long-awaited official release date.
I never thought it would take this long to get this book into your hands, and I do hope future projects will move more smoothly now that I know what to expect. But I can definitely say with confidence that the book is ten times better now than it was before this process began, and I could not be more excited to see what happens when my world finally enters yours.
Stay tuned, my friends, and watch the skies.
The Void is calling...
CANCER UPDATE, OCT. 07, ‘21
Good day, everyone. Yesterday, I returned home from a surgery to remove the Melanoma tumor from my head. Surgery went well and the prognosis is good. Now, I face a couple of months of recovery at home and treatments with radiation and immunotherapy.
Bottom line: This is the first day of the rest of my life, and life is good.
The dark irony in all this is that my two main characters, Ryn and Josalind, each have “demons” of a sort in their heads. And it turned out that I did, too. But different than them, I can say at this stage that mine is easier to excise.
Thank you for all your support and good wishes.
The House of Dust publishes today!
Supply-chain woes mean it’s displaying as "in stock soon" on many retail sites instead of "available now." So copies from Amazon, B&N, et cetera will arrive a little late. However, we do have copies in stock at Inkshares, so placing an order here would mean it’s shipped right away...
To anyone who’s already read, THANK YOU! Share your thoughts on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, or wherever. You always here authors say it, and I’ll say it too: reviews really do help.
And thank you to everyone who followed the project on its long journey to today.
PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS TO ENSURE BOOK DELIVERY
Hey everyone. A quick update on THE GHOST TRACKS. The release date has been pushed back one week, to October 26th. A VERY important note. If you ordered a physical book from Inkshares, and have since moved, please update your address on the Inkshares website. Otherwise, your book will be sent to the old address on file.
To update your address, sign into your Inkshares account. Then click the circle icon on upper right corner of the screen. In the dropdown menu, select "Shipping Address." From there, click the "Change Address" box and input your current one.
Also excited to announce that there will be an audiobook version of THE GHOST TRACKS, produced by Audible Studios. We recently cast the actor who will be narrating the book, and the recording should be completed soon. I’ll be sure to send out an update once the pre-order page is live on Audible.
Thanks again for all of your patience and support!
CANCER UPDATE AND PENDING SURGERY
As most of you know, I have been living with metastasized melanoma for almost two years. Since my second surgery in March 2020 to remove affected lymph nodes under my left arm, I appear to have been cancer free. To remain that way, I underwent a year of targeted gene therapy that ended in May of this year.
I now have periodic CT scans and brain MRIs. My last brain MRI seven months ago was clear. But since then, I have developed a tumor in my brain that would suggest the gene therapy was a failure. Plan B now will be to remove all evidence of this growth with a combination of surgery and perhaps radiation and then proceed with immunotherapy.
The kicker in all this is that I was on the gurney with the surgeon outside the operating room, ready to go under the knife, on Thursday afternoon this past week. Then word came down that a shortage of post-op recovery beds meant they had to bump my surgery. Because of other scheduling issues, I am still waiting to confirm a new date this coming week. In the meantime, all I can do is manage symptoms with medication.
It’s a tough time all around with scheduling in hospitals with all the pressures that are on the healthcare system because of COVID (I have zero sympathy and zero patience for anyone who refuses to get vaccinated without a legitimate medical reason, but that’s another story). I live in Canada with a public healthcare system and the there are still dire challenges right now.
All we can do is just wait and see and hopefully I will get a new surgery date confirmed on Monday and then take it from there.
Where gene therapy tries to attack the cancer directly, immunotherapy boosts your own immune system’s ability to identify, target and destroy cancer itself. So, you could say my first treatment with gene therapy was giving a man a fish to eat, and Plan B with the immunotherapy will be teaching him to fish for himself.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that the tumor is easily accessed and easily removed … relatively speaking. There are of course risks with any kind of surgery like this, but I am assured in this case that a positive outcome is the most likely outcome.
AND … Bane of All Things is still releasing, come hell or high water!
Again, due to COVID disruptions (this time, impacting book publishing supply chains) the release date has shifted back three weeks to Dec. 07 – but it will still be out in time for Christmas, so chill that egg nog!
Thanks again for all your love and support.