Well folks, I am way overdue for an update, and I can’t really put off making one any longer. I was hoping the next update I’d send would be an announcement that Tantalus Depths has finally finished its edits and is moving on in its production, but unfortunately we’ve seen some delays to that end. Originally, this was supposed to be the year it was going to be released, but it shouldn’t really come as much surprise that covid-19 did a number on that idea. Releasing a major novel during a pandemic is a surefire way to make it a financial flop, considering the state of the economy, the fact that many bookstores were closed entirely for several months, and the fact that my publisher’s ability to physically print and distribute the books was crippled as well for much of this year. On top of that, I work in a hospital, so not only did quarantines, stay-at-home orders and social distancing not give me any extra time at home to work on side projects, but my stress levels have been through the roof on a constant basis since March, which is far from conducive to creative writing and editing efforts. Due to all of the above factors, development on Tantalus Depths really slowed to a crawl this year, but it is picking up again. I am on my absolute final set of development edits now (for real this time. I’ve told my publisher I have exactly one round of edits left in me, and that’s it). I’ve been getting back into a consistent writing regimen, and I’m currently on track to be 100% finished by the end of the year.
We have other things to look forward to soon for Tantalus Depths as well. I’ve been told that after we wrap up these development edits, I’ll finally be able to start working with my cover designer on Tantalus Depths’ official cover art. I’ve seen some of this artist’s work already, and it is extremely impressive professional work. In addition to that, between the end of my development edit and the beginning of my copy edit, we are planning to have a special round of edits with a professional physicist to check the scientific accuracy of Tantalus Depths, which I could not be more excited for.
I have many other things in the works right now, but most of them are still too up-in-the-air to talk about at this stage. I know the long delays between updates makes it seem like I’ve forgotten about my writing, but that’s far from the case. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes, there just haven’t been many new exciting benchmarks in my progress worth making announcements about. I don’t like making promises I can’t keep, so I’ve been trying to avoid predicting what will happen when during this process. The world of professional publishing is still mostly unexplored for me, and everything I’m doing is a first. I certainly never thought it would take this long to publish my first book, and I’d like to think it won’t always be that way, but I am learning as I go. Thank you all for your patience during this process. I know most of you are as eager as I am to see what the end of this process looks like, and I’m really looking forward to celebrating with you all on the other side.
Because there’s still no definite release date planned for Tantalus Depths, and because I need to keep my writing skills sharp while developing my editing ones, I do have one special side project I’ve been working on since the summer that you will be able to read very soon. I’ll give a bigger update specifically for that later with more details, but for now here’s just a quick rundown of what to expect.
My new short story, "Reliquary," will be appearing in the upcoming "Passageways" anthology. This is my third published short story after "Breach" and "Countermeasures," and like them it is set in the same universe as Tantalus Depths (that universe has a name now, by the way, so look forward to a series title drop soon as well). Passageways is a special anthology that features nine short stories from different authors who each have their own literary universe of stories. Think of this anthology as a dimensional crossroads: a place where vast worlds filled with fascinating characters, complex storytelling, and carefully crafted settings can be easily accessed from one another. If you read this anthology and find a story you really like, good news! There are more stories where that came from, and you’ll like them too.
I couldn’t be more excited for people to read Reliquary, and I’m deeply honored to have it collected with the works of so many other brilliant authors who I respect so much. Check it out! It’s available for pre-order now, and will be released on December 11.