Gunslinger to the Galaxy cover—how do you like it?

Just playing around. What do you guys think?

I’m going to try to put out my book covers and descriptions before the books are actually written. That way, I have an image I can use whenever I’m blogging about it. Also should help with promotions.

Gunslinger to the Galaxy is coming along well. Should finish up with the first draft sometime in September. This book is a really fun one! It picks up right where Gunslinger to the Stars drops off and doesn’t stop for anything. If you thought the explosions in the first book were big, wait for the second one!

In other news, I should have a cover for The Sword Keeper soon. The art looks fantastic! Really happy with how it’s turning out. I’m almost through all the edits, too, so it shouldn’t be long before that ones up for preorder. Hopefully by the end of the week.

Mid-August update

It’s already mid-August? Where in the heck did the last eight months go? Feels like the election drama from last year never really died down.

Don’t worry, this post isn’t about politics. Not enough time in the day to follow the latest circus sideshow in the Emerald City of Oz. Time has been on my mind, though: specifically, how to write 10k words a week (minimum) while catching up on the massive list of publishing tasks. I think I’ve found the answer.

I already get up every day around 7am to get ready for my part-time day job. Recently, I started getting up at 6am to put in an hour of writing first thing in the morning. The goal isn’t to pound out words so much as to get the mental gears turning, so that later in the day (such as lunch break) I can pick up very rapidly where I left off.

So far, it seems to be working. Plus, it’s a whole lot easier to sit down and write at the end of the day when you know you’ve already got more than a thousand words under your belt and can hit that daily word count goal with just another few hundred. My writing productivity is improving significantly, and as I continue to work out the kinks, I believe it will continue to improve.

On the writing front, I’ve put A Queen in Hiding on the back burner for the moment, and have instead moved on to Gunslinger to the Galaxy. This one is from Jane’s point of view, and so far, it’s a blast. Should be finished with that WIP by the end of September.

On the publishing side, there’s all sorts of stuff going on. I’ve got a cover artist for The Sword Keeper, and the preliminary sketches look really amazing! Also going through the edits and getting the metadata worked out. I’ll probably write the author’s note over the weekend. By the end of next week, it should be up for preorder with a release date of September 23.

My goal is to get to the point where I’ve always got a novel on preorder. Another goal is to have print books and audiobooks for every title more than 15k words, but that’s going to take some time.

This would all be so much simpler if I didn’t spend 30 hours a week at a day job. Time, money, or youth: you can only pick two of the three, and if you’re under 40 one of them has to be youth.

That’s what I’m up to these days. Expect to see some exciting stuff in the weeks ahead!

All of my books and stories, in series order

A friend of mine recently asked me to give him a list of all my books in series order. That was just the kick in the pants I needed to put this page together. For your convenience, I’m putting it up as a blog post too. The links to all the book pages will appear on the series page as soon as I can get around to it.

Joe Vasicek

Gaia Nova

The Gaia Nova books are all mid-sized novels (75k to 110k words). It is a far-future space opera series that takes place in a galactic empire long after Earth has been lost to legend. They can be read in any order, but they take place in the same universe with recurring characters. They are listed in the order in which they were published. Heart of the Nebula is a direct sequel to Bringing Stella Home.

Bringing Stella Home
Desert Stars
Stars of Blood and Glory
Heart of the Nebula
Mercenary Savior (forthcoming)
Empress of the Last Free Stars (forthcoming)

Star Wanderers

The Star Wanderers books are novellas (15k to 35k). They take place in the same universe as Gaia Nova one thousand years earlier. The first four books are linear, while the last four books are parallaxes of the first four, from the point of view of the side characters.

Outworlder
Fidelity
Sacrifice
Homeworld
Dreamweaver
Benefactor
Reproach
Deliverance

The Jeremiah Chronicles (Omnibus 1-4)
Tales of the Far Outworlds (Omnibus 5-6)

Sons of the Starfarers

The Sons of the Starfarer books are short novels (35k to 45k words) that take place in the same universe as Star Wanderers, with a few recurring minor characters from those books. It is a linear series.

Brother in Exile
Comrades in Hope
Strangers in Flight
Friends in Command
Captives in Obscurity
Patriots in Retreat (forthcoming)
A Queen in Hiding (forthcoming)
An Empire in Disarray (forthcoming)
Victors in Liberty (forthcoming)

Sons of the Starfarers (Omnibus 1-3)

Gunslinger Trilogy

These books are all short to mid-sized novels (50k to 90k words). They take place about 40 years in the future, after Earth makes contact with the galactics.

Gunslinger to the Stars
Gunslinger to the Galaxy (forthcoming)
Gunslinger to Earth (forthcoming)

The Twelfth Sword Trilogy

These epic fantasy books are all mid-sized to long novels (85k words and up).

The Sword Keeper (forthcoming)
The Sword Bearer (forthcoming)
The Sword Mistress (forthcoming)

Genesis Earth Trilogy

These are all mid-sized novels (about 70k words) that take place in the near to mid-future.

Genesis Earth
Edenfall (forthcoming)
The Stars of Redemption (forthcoming)

Short Stories and Novelettes

Below are all of my short stories and novelettes, in the order in which they were published. If they first appeared in a magazine or anthology, I’ve included that in parentheses.

Decision LZ1527 (Leading Edge Magazine, December 2009)
Memoirs of a Snowflake
A Hill on Which to Die
Starchild
L’enfer, c’est la Solitude
(Perehilion SF, March 2016)
The Curse of the Lifewalker
(Sci Phi Journal, June 2016)
The Gettysburg Paradox
Utahraptors at Dawn
Welcome to Condescension
Killing Mister Wilson
My Name is For My Friends
Jane Carter of Earth and the Rescue that Never Was
The Open Source Time Machine

J.M. Wight

Short Stories

Worlds Without Number

Beginning of July update

So! It’s been an eventful month. Hard to believe that June is over already. So much to do, so little time.

On Friday, I finally finished Patriots in Retreat. Needs a quick revision pass before it’s ready to be published, but that shouldn’t take more than a couple of days. For now, it’s on the back burner while I move on to the next book in the series, A Queen in Hiding. Should be a lot of fun.

I want to finish off these Sons of the Starfarers books quickly so I can move on to other projects, like Edenfall and the next Gunslingers book. The important thing right now is to build momentum. I want to be writing at least 2k words a day, which shouldn’t be too difficult to do, provided I guard my writing time from interruption.

There was a lot of life interruptions in the last couple of weeks. My truck’s transmission went the way of all the Earth, and I need to replace the catalytic converter as well. It’s almost worth it to buy a new one, but I already know the problems with this vehicle so it’s probably better to keep it. Definitely stressful, though.

My blogging experiment in June was actually a lot of fun. At the same time, engagement didn’t increase notably, so I think I’ll scale back to three or four posts a week, rather than posting daily.

Lots and lots of work on the publishing side of things. I’ve got a backlog of tasks that need my attention. Fortunately, they’re logged in such a way that I’ve been able to keep up with all the important and urgent stuff. The 4th of July vacation should be an excellent opportunity to catch up with the rest.

The deadline for my next WIP is July 29th. I’m going to need to double my daily output in order to hit it, but that’s a very doable goal. Just in case, I’ve given myself a two week buffer before starting the next one, but I’m going to do all I can to avoid going over it. Any extra time is for short stories, and there’s a bunch of them that I’ve been waiting to write.

That just about does it for now. Onward and upward!

Beginning of June update

So it’s the beginning of June already, and it’s starting to feel like summer here in Iowa. Because it’s so flat, the sky stays light F O R E V E R, which is kind of neat. Lots more time to go on walks, which is where I work out plot points and other stuff.

Patriots in Retreat
Phase:Draft 1.0
100%

In any case, Patriots in Retreat (my current WIP) is coming along well. It’s turning out to be shorter than I’d expected; there’s only three chapters left, and it’s not quite 20k words. Will probably come in between 3ok and 25k, making it one of the shorter Sons of the Starfarers books.

Middles are tough, even for short novels. I have no idea if this draft is going to turn out clean or not. But I am trying to cycle through as I write, to minimize the number of drafts I need to do. If I can master that technique, I can double or triple my production.

The Sword Keeper is just about finished, only a few more touch-ups before I send it out to my editor. Need to get back in touch with him. We’re definitely still on track for a release this fall, and I’m super excited because I think this is one of the best books I’ve written. Look out for a WIP excerpt later on this week.

There’s a couple of short stories I really want to write, but I’m so swamped with the other stuff that I don’t know when I’ll be able to get to it. I’m not behind (yet) on my current WIP, but I need to keep a steady pace of just under 3k words to meet my deadline, which is going to take some effort.

I haven’t started writing Gunslinger to the Galaxy yet (the sequel to Gunslinger to the Stars)… well, that’s not quite true, because I have written the first line:

My name is Jane Kletchka, and I’m here to set the record straight.

…but in any case, I’m starting to get a bunch of great ideas for that one. Will probably start working on it sometime this fall.

Publishing-wise, I’ve got a ton of stuff to work on but not enough time to juggle it. Most of the stuff falling by the wayside is marketing stuff, which isn’t good, but sales seem to have picked up in the last month so hopefully that isn’t too much of a problem. Still waiting for some reviews to roll in for Gunslinger.

Major items on my publishing to do list include:

  • Write the author’s notes for “The Open Source Time Machine” single and short story bundle.
  • Compile the metadata for “The Open Source Time Machine” single and short story bundle.
  • Format and publish “The Open Source Time Machine” single and bundle.
  • Send The Sword Keeper to Josh Leavitt for editing.
  • Write the book description for The Sword Keeper.
  • Find a cover artist for The Sword Keeper.
  • Rewrite all short story descriptions.
  • Make a new cover for A Hill On Which To Die.
  • Upload all books to DriveThruFiction.

Not a small list—and that doesn’t include all the maintenance-type stuff!

So that’s the big challenge: making time for all of this while working the day job. It’s only 5-6 hours a day, but it adds up. I am saving money, though. My goal is to turn around at least $100 from my writing profits each month into investments. It would be really cool to start investing in space technologies, and the research for that could tie into my writing projects very well. Virtuous cycle and all that good stuff.

That’s what I’m up to these days. Peace, love, and penguins y’all. Thanks for reading!