Greetings from Prague! Writing

LMEEThere’s news of a monster sale and competition at the bottom of this post, but, first of all: I’m still alive!

Apologies for the prolonged radio silence, but finding an apartment in Prague proved trickier than expected. We thought we had a place twice before, only for the deal to collapse – either from the terms changing at the last moment, or other related shadiness.

But we have a place now and that’s the main thing. Internet connection should be hooked up this week, and then I can re-commence taking over the world.

While the apartment search was frustrating, all that pounding the pavement was great for getting to know the city. And what a city!

Aside from being so bloody beautiful, it’s easy to see why so many ex-pats have set up home here since the Velvet Revolution in 1989. The rent is about a quarter of London rates, beer is about fifth of the price, and the whole town is just an incredibly inspiring place for creative types. In short, I’m pumped about getting back to work.

The disruption of moving and flat-hunting has set my writing schedule back a fair bit, but hope to make up some time by, uh… typing faster? First up (and hopefully before Christmas) will be Super Tramp – a near-future, mildly dystopian, and (hopefully) darkly comic tale of two homeless guys who get roped into a twisted reality show. It was supposed to be a short story, but I had way too much fun writing it and expanded the idea as I went along. I might even turn it into a series. We’ll see how it sells, and how I feel after editing.

Following hot on the heels of Super Tramp will be the revised, expanded, and updated version of Let’s Get Digital. I’m trying to figure out a way that purchasers of the original version will get the 2nd Edition for free – or at least as many of them as possible. If you bought it from Amazon (or Smashwords), that should be relatively easy and I’m trying to see if I can do anything similar with other retailers – but more on that in a future post.

Right after that I’ll be finishing off another historical novel – Bananas for Christmas, which is set in New Orleans and Honduras at the turn of the 20th century and based on the real-life comic-book hero Lee Christmas. I actually wrote the first draft of Bananas back in February 2012, but haven’t been able to finish it for various reasons and I’m very much looking forward to diving back in.

And then it’s onto something fresh. I’ve a whole bunch of SF and HF books queued up to write, but we’ll see which nudges its way to the front once I clear my slate. In all cases, you can sign up to my mailing list to be the first to hear when anything is released. I highly recommend you do that if Super Tramp is something you might be interested in because I’m currently toying with the idea of launching it at 99c to test out a new strategy (and to reward my mailing list subscribers who usually purchase at full price).

I’ll be back to regular blogging too. On Thursday I’ll have an awesome guest post from the author of the best book on self-publishing I’ve read. I was lucky enough to get an ARC, which I devoured, and you’ll be able to read an excerpt (and purchase it yourself) in a few days. Why am I giving over my blog platform to an author with a competing book? Isn’t that just giving free advertising to the competition? Well, tune in on Thursday to find out!

Two unexpected items. First, I bumped into a blog reader in the wild, which was a first (waves to Evan). And, second, I finally discovered what all the Thanksgiving fuss is about. We don’t have an equivalent here in Europe, but after attending an awesome Thanksgiving dinner the other day, hosted by an American ex-pat, it might be my new favourite holiday. It’s like all the fun stuff of Christmas, with none of the annoying/stressful bits!

Thanksgiving also seems to have escaped a lot of the commercialization that Christmas has been subjected to, something the Americans make up for, in style, with Black Friday and its newer sibling Cyber Monday.

Reading about all the stampedes, brawls, and knife-fights on Friday made me think Cyber Monday might be more my thing too. I noticed Amazon has kicked things off with a $50 discount on two Kindle Fire models – you can buy the 16GB HD for just $119 and the higher-spec 16GB HDX for just $179. No discounts on the e-ink readers yet, but I gather they’ll be posting new offers every ten minutes to this deals page, so keep an eye on that throughout the day/week.

But Amazon don’t even have the deal of the day. I’m taking part in a sale with 24 indie authors who have all reduced their books to 99c (plenty for non-Kindle owners too).

This isn’t any old sale. Some of these books are brilliant. Pick of the bunch, for my money, is Ed Robertson’s The Cutting Room. It’s not just the best SF book of the year, it’s the best I’ve read in ages. Here’s a quote from my review back in July:

cuttingroomThe Cutting Room is a tour de force from Ed Robertson that is destined to become a modern SF classic. I really enjoyed his Breakers series, but this for me is a step up again. It’s refreshing to read such an unusual and thrilling take on time travel and its implications, as well as the possibility of multiple universes and inter-dimensional travel.

This book doesn’t just entertain, it’s food for the brain too. A white knuckle ride that will make you feel smarter at the end. Maybe Book of the Year for me so far. It’s that good.

Honestly, if you like SF and don’t pick up The Cutting Room while it’s 99c, I’ll reach through the interwebs and throttle you. Even if you don’t like SF, if you are a writer and interested in new ways of writing (this was originally released as a serial, and the whole collection is just 99c), this will make for fascinating reading.

Along with Ed’s book, there are top titles from stellar writers like J. Carson Black, Scott Nicholson, Jennifer Blake, Deanna Chase, Alexendra Sokoloff, Donna Fasano, and many, many more. You can see all the titles, and enter a competition to win $200 of Amazon vouchers, at the sale site: Love, Murder & Everything Else.

These deals expire tomorrow so don’t dilly-dally (and a huge thank you to Matt Iden for putting together such a great sale). This promo put A S
torm Hits Valparaiso
into the (overall) Top 20 on Kobo US. I’ve no idea what that translates to in sales terms, as KWL reporting is screwy at the moment, but it’s always nice to hit a chart.

That’s all for now, back to unpacking for me…