1. Today I signed my first solo contract with Baen Books for a book entitled 1636: The Flight of the Nightingale. It contains two short novels laid in the Ring of Fire universe:
· Bach to the Future, which is the collected adventures of the Bach brothers, most of which have been published in The Grantville Gazette, but also including the final installment, for which this is the first publication.
· The Flight of the Nightingale], an adventure story laid in northern Italy, which has never been previously published
Publication date is unknown at this point.
2. With Eric Flint's permission, I'm also announcing the pending publication of 1634: Essen Defiant, which will be published by Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press in the near future. This may have been mentioned in earlier informal announcements, but you can consider this to be an official notice. This is a collaboration between Kim Mackey and myself, and provides the sequel to Kim's first book Essen Steel.
Well, the Grantville Gazette team has started building Volume 76, the next issue of the e-magazine. My novelette Requiem for the Future will be the lead story in the issue, from what I understand. It's a Franz and Marla story, for those of you who are among their fans, and it tackles a theme not often explored in the ROF universe–the price paid by the up-timers for their bringing the elements and trappings of late 20th century American culture to the past.
I think you'll like it, but fair warning: you may want a box of tissues handy when you read it.
I finished the expansion for Letters From Gronow a couple of nights ago, and sent it off to the publisher, Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press. The new material almost doubles the length of the story over what was published in The Grantville Gazette, so those of you who liked that will need to be on the lookout for the book version.
Publishing updates will be posted as I get them.
Actually, among the worst news I could ever provide. My wife Ruth passed away on the evening of Thursday January 25th, as a result of complications from open heart surgery.
Bear with me a while. I'm going to be very distracted for some time.
If you're of a mind to pray, please remember my family as we try to adjust to the huge hole in our lives where my wife and my kids' mother used to be.
There haven't been any writing reports for several days, because there has been very little writing going on. Tuesday night the galley proofs for the mass market paperback edition of The Span of Empire arrived from Baen Books, the publisher, and they need the corrections back by first thing Monday morning. So I've been rereading a book I wrote several years ago. Interesting experience. It was good. I'm rather proud of that one.
Anyway, review finished, corrections listed and sent in tonight. Back to writing tomorrow.
The editors of The Grantville Gazette will begin building the next issue, Volume 76, before too long. I've been told I have two stories in this one: a 1632 novelette starring Marla Linder and Franz Sylwester entitled Requiem for the Future, and a non-1632 fantasy story that will be featured in the Universe Annex section entitled Pendragon.
These are two very different but very cool stories, and I'm looking forward to seeing them made available to the public.
Grantville Gazette 75 has gone live over a week ahead of the normal schedule! Merry Christmas!
Reminder, I have three pieces in this one, including the conclusion of my extended serial Letters from Gronow. If you want to see how the story ends, now's your chance!
Grantville Gazette issue 75 is being assembled now, with a publication target date of 1/1/2018. And for the second time in less than a year, I'm going to have a hat trick in it: a story titled "Lex Talionis" (actually a novelette), the conclusion of a long serialized novel "Letters From Gronow Part 6", and a non-fiction article I wrote with Chuck Gannon titled "Time May Change Me Part 2". I managed the same stunt about six month ago in GG 72.
I'm not the most prolific author in the history of the Grantville Gazette, but I'm pretty certain I'm the only author that's managed a hat trick, and I'm very certain I'm the only one that's managed to do it twice.
Grantville Gazette 74 is now available at the following links:
I have two works in this issue: the short story Quelles Misérables, and the fifth installment of the serialized short novel Letters from Gronow.
Developers and programmers and layout specialists, get a clue! I know it's trendy and the common thing to put texts in subdued or even pastel shades on white or other subdued pastel shades. It makes for a very artistic look. I get that. The problem is, for anyone who doesn't have perfect vision–which includes a high proportion of everyone I know–those kinds of presentations are incredibly hard to read due to the lack of contrast.
I'd be willing to bet that up to 50% of the reading public skips over your oh-so-stylish and oh-so-attractive work because they can't read it–especially if it's in a miniscule font. I know I blow right by anything like that for that very reason. I refuse to hold a magnifying glass up to a monitor to try and read anything like that.
For example, the information booklet of an older CD I picked up today by an artist I like was printed in kind of a burnt orange hue on dark lavender background. I couldn't read a single word. I had to google the album to get a list of the tracks! (Which I promptly printed out in black ink on white paper and taped into the booklet. )
Your best bet of getting higher readership numbers is to present your text, whether on-line or on paper, in a crisp font with a shade that provides a strong contrast to whatever the background is. The paler the color of the font, the less likely it is to be read by higher quantities of readers.
But, it's your business, so it's your call. It's just sad that you seem to be losing track of the fact that if you desire communication, you have to first connect with the reader.
Have a nice evening.