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My Writing Summer (Thus Far)

One of the truisms of being a writer is that you never, ever feel as though you are working hard enough. You could always be writing – you should always be writing – and everything else you do can quickly seem a mere distraction.

Like this, but with a laptop.

For me, my most important productive period is during the summer, when I am not teaching, not grading tons of student work, and not prepping for my four classes each semester. From May until late August, I write as much as I possibly can (while also doing some work for my day job, but that doesn’t involve teaching or grading).

I get a lot done in the summer. I just have to watch the altitude of my colleagues’ eyebrows steadily rise as I tell them how much I’ve done. But it never feels that way to me because there is so much I have left undone.

So, in the interest of enhancing my own sanity, I am going to list off the things I have completed, sold, or published this summer. This is not meant to make people feel bad about their own production – just remember that I produce just about nothing between the months of September and April, and hopefully you’ll feel better.

I’ve Written:

Like this, but while scribbling in a notebook.

1 Novel Rough Draft: The Day It All Went Sideways – A Novel (~85,000 words)

3 Short Stories: “Life in Death, Death in Life” (~6000 words), “Three Gowns for Clara” (~6000 words), “The Dragon’s 13th Virgin” (~6000 words)

3 Op-Ed Pieces: one for Analog’s blog, 2 for Stupefying Stories’ blog, a total of about 4000 words.

Blog Posts: I’m not sure how many, but about one a week – so perhaps ten of them? They average about 1000 words apiece, too.

I’ve Published:

1 Novelette: “A Crystal Dipped in Dreams” in the July/August issue of Analog

2 Op-Ed Pieces: the one mentioned above in Analog and one of the ones in Stupefying Stories. The second one for Stupefying should be out soon.

I’ve Sold:

1 Flash Story: “What the Plague Did To Us” to Galaxy’s Edge

1 Short Story: “Applied Linguistics” to Analog

So, in total, I’ve written between 115,000-117,000 words and published or sold a total of 5-6 other works. That is a respectable amount of work. I should be proud of it. I am proud of it.

Like this, but with me running dialogue in my head.

But the fall is returning. I’m getting e-mails talking about syllabi and meetings I have to attend. The real world is invading again. I may be able to tick these numbers up a bit more before the end, but not by much.

But that’s okay. I’m still working. I haven’t failed to do anything I set out to do this summer. And there’s always semester break and next summer. Anything I didn’t finish will keep. I press on.

Maybe your word count is lower than mine, and maybe it’s higher. But the whole point here is that it isn’t about word count. It’s about setting goals and achieving them and being satisfied with yourself. I struggle with it – all writers do – but you need to take the time and appreciate what you’ve done. Give yourself permission to congratulate yourself. You deserve it.

Now, back to writing.

 

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Auston Habershaw: My Hugo Award Eligibility

Hi, all!

The most prestigious award in scifi!

The most prestigious award in scifi!

So, awards season is coming up, which means Hugo Awards nominations are now open. As is customary among authors who have published work in science fiction and fantasy in any given year, I’m going to write a handy-dandy little precis of what works I have out there that are eligible and in what categories. To nominate me (or anybody else), just go to the Hugo Awards website to learn all about it. Hey, maybe I’ll even see you in Helsinki, Finland for this year’s WorldCon.

Anywho, here’s my eligibility (I believe):

Novel

No Good Deed, Published by Harper Voyager Impulse in June, 2016

nogooddeed_cover-art

 

 

 

 

 

Short Stories

“Tea With Silicate Gods” Published on Perihelion in March, 2016

“Lord of the Cul-de-sac” Published in Galaxy’s Edge in May, 2016 (and recieved a two-star recommendation from Tangent Online)

“When It Comes Around” Published on Perihelion in September, 2016

“The Day It All Went Sideways” Published in Time Travel Tales from Chappy Fiction in November, 2016

Of all those, the ones I am perhaps most proud of are “Lord of the Cul-de-sac” and “The Day It All Went Sideways” and I’d ask you give those particular attention. Like, if you were to read one thing, read the Galaxy’s Edge piece. Then again, “When It Comes Around” is free and “The Day It All Went Sideways” is free for Kindle Unlimited members, so there’s that.

I obviously think the world of No Good Deed, but it’s the second book in an as-yet unfinished series (working on it, working on it), so I’m not going to ask people to nominate it, really. Second books don’t tend to win awards. Then again, it isn’t as though I’m likely to get nominated for much of anything, anyway (listens for crickets) see?

Anywho, this is me, humbly planting my flag and saying “I’m here, too!” Thanks so much for your time and attention.

I’m In Galaxy’s Edge!

Nice cover, eh?

Nice cover, eh?

Just out this weekend, my story “Lord of the Cul-de-Sac” can be found in this month’s Galaxy’s Edge. It’s a charming, light-hearted tale of a dragon moving to suburbia and the collapse of the housing markets in 2008. You can read it here. It’s free online, but you can also order it (and the rest of the issue) in dead-tree format by going here and following the links beneath the cover art.

Galaxy’s Edge is a great venue and I’m very proud that my work has made it there, sharing a table of contents with the likes of George RR Martin, no less (!). Go read the whole issue – good stuff!


In other publishing news, I’ve got at least three stories coming out in the next few months (well, at least one, but as many as three – the other two aren’t exactly upfront about their publishing schedules, shall we say), so stay tuned.

Also, a reminder that NO GOOD DEED, Book 2 in the Saga of the Redeemed, is coming out on June 21st! Pre-order your copy today (available everywhere fine e-books are sold)!

My semester is wrapping up and I’m starting to gear myself towards what my summer writing project will be. It’s a bit up in the air (currently talking with an agent about best career moves – exciting stuff, but I can’t really say more yet), but there are good odds I’ll be looking to dig into Book 3 of the Saga of the Redeemed and possibly plan on having a solid draft finished by the end of August. Either that, or giving the Saga a rest for a bit and working on a new stand-alone or maybe series. Hard to say at this point, as I’m at something of a crossroads in my career. My contract with Harper Voyager is complete with the delivery of NO GOOD DEED, but I don’t feel the series is finished – it’ll take two more books, I think. However, the series, while selling modestly well, isn’t selling anywhere near enough and isn’t getting enough attention to necessarily warrant 2 more years of my time to completing, as much as I love it. If there are better options, I might be better off taking them and circling back to this series later on.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, go and check out the May 2016 issue of Galaxy’s Edge!

Writing Updates: My Continued March (Amble) to Victory (Modest Success)

So, time for a writing update!

Thing have been going very well, lately. Lots to update everybody with, so I’ll start with the short fiction news and move into the novels.

I'll be out there on the edge someday soon!

I’ll be out there on the edge someday soon!

Short Fiction News

Galaxy’s Edge Sale!

My short story “Lord of the Cul-de-sac” was just purchased by Mike Resnick over at Galaxy’s Edge. This is a great market with a typically stunning table of contents and edited by the man who has won the most Hugo awards in history, so that’s pretty damned sweet. No word yet on when my story will appear, but I’ll keep you all posted.

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Sale!

I mentioned this a few weeks back, but I’m still pumped that I sold a story to CC Finlay over at F&SF.

My story “The Mithridatist” (set in Tyvian’s world, Saga of the Redeemed fans!) went on a heck of a journey through the pro-markets, garnering personal and, dare I say, glowing rejection letters from places like Tor.com before finally earning itself a home. Again, no word on release yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Escape Pod!

I also recently sold a story to Escape Pod podcast about a month ago. It’s free and in audio or text. “Adaptation and Predation” is a space opera-esque story set in my Union of Stars world and has received a very positive response. I’ve even gotten some fan mail! Yay!

Chappy Fiction!

Then there’s this as-yet-untitled Time-Travel anthology over on Chappy Fiction, which bought/will buy my story “The Day It All Went Sideways” dealing with two-bit gangsters and fifth-dimensional time. I’m being called an “anchor” for the antho, which is a great compliment and I’m excited to see what Zach Chapman puts together!

Beyond that, I’ve got another five stories or so on submission to various places on and in various stages of review and another two I need to spiff up and send out again. Pretty good haul for a guy who spends *most* of his time writing novels!

Novel News

The first book in the Saga of the Redeemed, The Oldest Trick, and its two halves (The Iron Ring and Iron and Blood) are currently selling very well – particularly the two halves – thanks to a price promotion and a BookBub at the end of last year. The Iron Ring peaked at #115 overall for Amazon (#2 for Fantasy) on the day of the BookBub “Book of the Day” promotion, which is mind-bogglingly awesome. It and Iron and Blood have been selling in the low 5-figures in rank ever since, which, in Amazon terms, is really goddamned good. So thank you, all of you, who have read!

That said, I could still use more reviews! I have ranked up a few over the past month or two (all very positive – thanks!), but you can never have too many reviews and, given how Amazon’s algorithm works and how important word-of-mouth is for book sales, more reviews is essential! If you’ve read any of my books, I would be ever so thankful if you left a review (even if you didn’t like it very much!).

Now for the kinda-sorta bad news. My editor at Harper Voyager has left for another publisher and, as a result, I have a new editor (hi, Rebecca!). Since she has just been saddled with a lot of my former editor’s old workload, she’s had to delay the publication of No Good Deed again. Bummer. It’s new release date is June 21st, 2016. This is disappointing, but at least now it seems like that date will be firm. I’ve also seen the cover art, which is really pretty awesome. Not time to reveal it just yet, but very pretty, trust me.

So, yet, Tyvian will be yet a few more months before he arrives in his second adventure. Of course, that’s typical Tyvian – never arrive on time when you can arrive late and make a splash. This also gives people world-wide more time to read the first book and be ready when the second comes out, so silver linings abound.

Overall, then, a great batch of news. I leave you, Tyvian fans, with the teaser text from No Good Deed, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet. I hope it sounds as intriguing as I hope it is:

Cursed with a magic ring that forbids skullduggery, Tyvian Reldamar’s life of crime is sadly behind him. Now reduced to fencing moldy relics and wheedling favors from petty nobility, he’s pretty sure his life can’t get any worse.

That is until he hears that his old nemesis, Myreon Alafarr, has been framed for a crime she didn’t commit and turned to stone in a penitentiary garden. Somebody is trying to get his attention, and that somebody plays a very high-stakes game that will draw Tyvian and his friends back to the city of his birth and right under the noses of the Defenders he’s been dodging for so long. And that isn’t even the worst part.

The worst part is that somebody is his mother.