So what can you look forward to in 2016?
Most of my time, at least, in the first half of the year, will be devoted to revising and publishing Scars of the Sundering, books 2 and 3: Lament and Salvation. My goal is to have Lament finish for a debut at ConQuesT in Kansas City over Memorial Day and Salvation finished to debut at Gen Con in August.
Finishing and turning in “Burble’s Big Day” will take part of my time in the first quarter, as well.
I plan to write a second World of Calliome short story in 2016, though I don’t know which characters it will feature at this point.
The big project for 2016, as if publishing two full-length novels wasn’t big enough, will be to write the first draft of the next Zack Jackson novel, Zack Jackson & The Secret of Venus. I’ve been developing bits of plot over the last several months and I expect sometime after Lament‘s completion, I’ll kick development into high gear.
2015 threw me a lot of curve balls which affected many of my plans. Malediction was supposed to debut at ConQuesT and I barely finished it in time for Gen Con. I wanted to have all three Scars of the Sundering novels finished by Gen Con so I could start Zack Jackson 4 in 2015.
Obviously that didn’t happen. Here’s hoping 2016 is a little more cooperative, ’cause I don’t have time for nonsense!
After MUCH heartache, Scars of the Sundering, Book 1: Malediction is now up for pre-order on Amazon!
Pancras thought trouble waited at the end of his journey.
Shadow demons, chaos rifts, and petty archmages all conspire to disrupt his quiet life. Summoned to face a Mage’s Guild inquest over minor grievances, the minotaur wizard leaves home and travels south with his companions, the twins Delilah and Kale.
Harsh winter weather traps them in an unfriendly city where a run-in with a drunken bully leaves him dead and the trio in jail. Fortunately, the opportunistic prince of the city needs a wizard to curse his unwanted wife. The only catch is Pancras’s sense of honor.
As he stalls for time, the twins involve themselves in an uprising in the city’s salt mines. Pancras left necromancy behind him, but it’s looking more and more like he’ll need to break his moral code–and further anger the Mage’s Guild–to get them out of the city in one piece.
The paperback is also available at Amazon, and, of course, at CreateSpace (where I make more money per copy). I’ll have copies at Gen Con, of course, at table AF on Author’s Avenue (roughly row 1250).
I posted earlier (The Challenge of Malediction) exactly what I went through to get this book finished. It’s such a relief to be done. Basically, this book was delayed by multiple illnesses and deaths (yes, that’s supposed to be plural). It really lived up to its title.
Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra is now available in three additional stores: Smashwords, Kobo, and DriveThruFiction. This means if you don’t have a Kindle, you can get the third Zack Jackson novel for your e-reader now, too! It also means that it should have moved through the distribution network and be available for order in most bookstores. If you’ve been waiting for Zack to be available on platforms other than Kindle, your ship has come in!
The third book in the Zack Jackson series, Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra is now available on Amazon! You can purchase it for your Kindle for $3.99. The print version is $13.99, and if you buy the print version from CreateSpace or Amazon, you receive the Kindle version free.
The Zack Jackson series follows a 43rd-century student as he joins the Junior Rangers (think Boy/Girl Scouts in space), learns about Earth’s place in the greater galactic community, and explores the diversity and dangers of the universe. This volume follows him as he goes on a trip to one of his friend’s home world, the jungle world, Valtra. Even as his friends’ lives seem to fall apart around him, Zack learns not everything is as it seems, even on founding worlds of the Galactic Confederation. Helpless though he feels to help his friends with there personal problems, that doesn’t stop him from poking around ancient ruins and discovering an old adversary’s interest in Valtra.
Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra will be available for Kindle e-readers on Friday, May 30th! The print version will be available to order through Amazon or CreateSpace as soon as I get all the files approved; it might be on or before May 30th depending on how long CreateSpace’s queue is. It will follow in other formats on August 27th, after the Kindle exclusivity period ends.
From the back cover:
Life can be complicated even while on school break, especially when one is nearly a hundred light-years from Earth.
After a challenging freshman year at the prestigious Cytherean Academy on Venus, Zack Jackson is excited to embark on the Junior Ranger trip to his friend’s home world, the alien jungle world of Valtra. As he explores high-tech arcologies, ancient ruins, and makes friends with species from across the galaxy, Zack encounters clothes-eating insects, oppressive bureaucrats, and natives with bad PR. Yet, despite his excitement, he feels helpless as the lives of his friends unravel before him when they receive bad news from home.
Dire tidings can’t disrupt the Junior Ranger trip, though, and while he and his friends explore abandoned ruins, an unexpected discovery brings an old adversary into Zack’s life once more, and he uncovers the secrets hidden – in the hives of Valtra.
Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra is the third novel in the Zack Jackson series of science-fiction stories for all ages.
The Zack Jackson Series includes
Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos
Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy
Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra
The doldrums of December caught up with me and I hit a brick wall with Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy. It was a very busy and stressful month and I just couldn’t get my brain in gear to actually write anything. I might have written 1,000 words all month. Probably not. By the time January rolled around, I was pretty much lost.
So, I did my old trick of outlining the plot to see where the holes were. Now I have a roadmap of where I need to go to complete this first draft. I’ve already written over 6,000 words, so I think I’m back on track. I might have the manuscript finished by the end of next week. Then it’s off to editing (and I can get back to writing fantasy)!
Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos is now available in print direct from CreateSpace. You still have time to order copies to give as Christmas gifts and you don’t even have to go to the store and brave crowds to do it! Zack Jackson & the Cult of Athos is suitable for sci-fi fans of all ages, but particularly those 11 and up. It’s been written as science-based speculative fiction moreso than space opera (ala Star Wars & Star Trek).
Amazon distribution is coming soon, as soon as the files propagate through the system. Supposedly, this will take 5-7 business days, but I’ve found it often takes less. I’ll make another announcement when the print version is available on Amazon. Since it has been published with Expanded Distribution, it will eventually be available to order through Barnes & Noble and other booksellers, but I don’t know how long that will take. In any event, if you’re interested in seeing the author get the most bang for your buck, I get the highest royalties when you buy direct from CreateSpace.
That holds true for my other novels, as well, Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs.
Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos is now available for sale at Amazon for Kindle. Explore a new sci-fi universe with Zack and the Junior Rangers in this, the first of a new young adult science fiction series. It’s exclusive to Kindle for now, so if you’re a Kindle Prime member, you can borrow it for free!
A print version will be available through Amazon.com and CreateSpace.com as soon as I get the files proofed and approved. I’ll make an announcement when the print version is available.
Tonight, I finished the final edits and the cover layout for Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos. I submitted the files to Amazon and it should be available on Kindle and in print very soon! Watch this blog or my Twitter feed (@hccummings) for the release announcement.
‘Twas a long journey, for sure. You’ll be able to read the further adventures of Zack and his friends in book 2, Zack Jackson & The Cytherian Academy next year.