Hi, everyone! Summer has passed, the chill has begun here in the South, the leaves are falling…must be autumn, and maybe time to talk a little bit about where I am and my future projects before the onslaught of winter.
I got back not long ago from the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, held in Surrey, British Columbia, toward the end of October every year. This was my third visit. One of the great pleasures this conference gives me is ‘teaching’ or really rather ‘guiding’ a couple of seminars. The ones I did this year were on the importance and power of names and how to write accents in dialogue. Very much fun. Got to see a lot of old friends and make some new ones. The conference is really worthwhile, because beginning writers get to sit across a table from more established writers at what are called “Blue Pencil” sessions, to show three or four pages of a manuscript and get immediate feedback on their work. So…a little scary for both people involved in that exchange, but again…very rewarding.
I would suggest that if you’re at all interested in learning more about the art and craft of writing, you seriously consider attending the Surrey International Writer’s Conference in October of 2012. I can guarantee you will enjoy it AND take something valuable away with you. Plus Surrey is not very far from Vancouver, which in itself is worth a few extra days. A most beautiful area in a great country.
The website you should take a look at, if you’re interested in this, is http://www.siwc.ca/.
On to other things…
Yes, autumn has arrived and that means intense worktime for me. Before I talk about what I’m working on next, let me say that The Hunter from the Woods is nearing publication and also the fourth Matthew Corbett adventure, The Providence Rider, will be released in (I think) March. I’ll tell you that in this one we leave New York for a while to visit a mysterious island in the Bermudas, and that Matthew comes face-to-face (?) with Professor Fell.
A note also on the title. I have a book that lists all the inhabitants of New York during the timeframe I’m writing about. Some of the names of the townspeople I use are real. So I’m looking through the names and one jumps out at me…Providence Ryder. Is that a great name, or what???
Anyway, that name started my thought process. And the book came out of that, of course. So that kinda goes back to my seminar on the importance and power of names at the Surrey conference, huh?
Speaking of names…let’s touch on Michael Gallatin for a minute. I am so proud and excited about the imminent publication of The Hunter from the Woods. It goes back and forth in time from the Wolf’s Hour period to document several episodes in Michael’s life. It hopefully adds to the character and also answers a few questions that some have posed to me over the years. Does it raise more questions? Of course! I wouldn’t be worth much as a writer if I didn’t leave the “soulcage” open for more of Michael’s adventures. So I have…and we’ll see what the future holds there.
Ah, yes. The future.
I am entering a period where I’ll be writing about the future, as opposed to the era of World War II and of course Matthew’s colonial era. Next up for me is a novella I’m doing for Sub Press, entitled Lawson. It’s set about seventy-something years in the future (though I never say the exact year) and involves a mercenary assassin in a megacity in a world run by corporations. The corporations are always at some level of warfare with each other, thus the need for men like Lawson who will go anywhere and kill any man, woman or child for a few extra “credits”. Lawson’s only friend and companion is his sex-doll robot, and he really doesn’t have much reason to live. Until…he meets the target of his next mission…
Lot more to Lawson, and to Lawson, than I’m telling, naturally. This will have a lot of action in it and I think will emphasize a new, more spare writing style I’m trying to develop. Do not fear…this “new” style will not affect the Matthew books…
Okay…onward to my next “big” project.
Many reviewers of The Five have mentioned that the supernatural element is very low-key and muted. That was done on purpose, to make the human element stronger. I recall I was telling someone I could always have gone the route of having a scene where a guitar comes to evil life and wraps around the player’s throat like a python. I was kidding, but this person’s eyes got huge with delight.
No, no, and no! The Five was not meant to be a special-effects showcase. It was a solid story, and I wanted to keep the book grounded in reality while having a supernatural undertone. But the next big project will be a Hell-On-Wheels extravaganza (I hope!!!).
Next up is a science-fiction/horror novel with a huge scope and I am planning to go over the top with this one. Tastefully, of course! But yes, it’ll have some scenes that I hope will both terrify and haunt and creep-out and resonate and all that good stuff. I may have mentioned the title before. I won’t mention it again, though…just let it sit, and trust that this will be worth the wait. Actually, I’m hoping to finish it up around April/May.
Other things…for all five or six of you who seem to enjoy them, I’m going back to doing Radio 678 shows. Why, you ask? Why should I be doing radio shows when I should be writing? Because I like doing them and I get to use some of my special-effects music equipment. So there you go…Radio 678 is fun for me, so that’s the bottom line.
I will offer you this: the next Matthew Corbett book after Providence Rider will be titled The River of Souls and is set in the Carolina colony. I think it will be two books in one, in a way, with the ideas coming together to form a single story…sort of like streams merging to form a river, yes? So I’ll be working on that when I finish the sci-fi/horror tome.
I get a lot of this: that people think I am a slow writer. Guys! It’s always been the publisher who’s been slow. I’ve always had things sitting on the shelf waiting for publication, or things in the pipeline. I think it’s because I do so many “different” things…I don’t know. But I can tell you that I am working full-speed ahead now, so when I hear somebody say I’m a slow writer…well…let’s just say I try to be “exact” in what I want to say, but usually the projects are stacked up and ready to go.
Okay…this autumn’s tale is nearly concluded. This is where I am and where I’m going. As always, I am pleased and honored to have you along for the ride. I have years of good stuff ahead…can hardly wait to get at some of the ideas, but everything has to “cook” at its own time and temperature.
And speaking of temperature…it’s cold outside. Light the fire and pull up the blanket, get something tasty to drink and lose yourself in an engrossing and involving book…there’s nothing better!