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Free Will continues, with all new doses of intrigue. It's time for Episode 8 of Free Will and Other Compulsions, In which Doug causes a stir, Greg joins a conspiracy, and Cassy meets with her lieutenant.


Cast this week (in order of appearance):
Kitty NicIaian as The Airport Announcer
George Chlentzos as Douglas Reeves
Michael Lemonjello as Hakim and Xylar Portillo
Chris Lester as Greg Singh
Michael Seltzer as The Chairman
Stephanie Sawyer as Cassy Orinthal
and Derek Moore as Jim Hartman

Promo: The Write Stuff bundle, a toolkit for writers. Only available through June 3, so get it while the getting's good!



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Fellow Pod-People!

I've made a few audio promos up for The Write Stuff, current book bundle at Storybundle. The bundle runs for about another eleven days, and if you or your audience is interested in the craft and business of writing, this is a must have, because...well, look what's in it:

So, if you have a podcast, or know a podcaster, please run this. It isn't often you can get upwards of $100 worth of writing books for $15, and especially when each of the authors is a high-level expert in the exact subject of the book she or he has written for this bundle (for example, this is why my book on audiobooks is here, but why I did not write a book on craft. I am a puppy next to some of the great wolves in this bundle whose books concentrate on craft).

Here are the promos, for your listening and propagating pleasure.

Promo one (male voice, 58 secs)
Promo two (female voice, 80 secs)
Promo two (male voice, 74 secs)

Thanks to kickass composer Danny Schade for permission to use his track Gravity from the Crudrat soundtrack.


If, like me, you love writing, you may have noticed that, when you get to a certain point, writing isn't just about writing (if it ever was in the first place). It starts to eat your life. Ideas come faster than you can write them down, you start to accumulate rejection letters and/or low indie pub sales, and you really start to wonder if it's worth it.

For a while, you can find encouragement through solidarity. Peers who know what you're going through, because they're going through it too. But it's hard to actually find your way forward--mentors on the Internet are a dime a dozen, but good mentors are ones that have mastered the things you want to master, and they're hard to find, because they're usually busy doing that thing (or, alternately, they're not very good teachers, since that's a whole different skill set).

And it's not just that way with craft. At a certain stage as a writer, you have to start learning writing as a business. You have to deal with taxes, you have to learn to structure your time, to decide which projects are worth taking on. If you self-publish or form your own company, you have to learn about packaging and subsidiary rights. And, while all that's going on, you still have to find a way to write.

The trick to surviving this season of writing is to acquire tools and acquire them fast. And it is in that spirit that I am very VERY proud to be included in the kind of toolbox I wish I'd been able to find when I was first learning writing as a business.

The Write Stuff is a craft and business ebook bundle featuring books by writers who are both great teachers AND well-accomplished in their area of expertise. Vonda McIntyre (one of my favorite writers!), Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Judith Tarr, Doug Smith, Dean Wesley Smith, Chuck Wendig, Bob Meyer, Jerrold Mundis, and myself. You'll learn about audiobook production, writing without an outline, writing fast, dealing with publishers, structuring a novel, writing fantasy, structuring your business, and loads, loads more (plus a 40% off coupon for Jutoh, a very well-put-together ebook authoring suite that runs everywhere, including on Linux and Android).

If you love writing, if you have dreams of making your voice heard, or even if you're a little ways down the professional road, you're going to find a LOT in this bundle you can add to your artistic and professional toolboxes (I'm finding loads in here). Give yourself the price of lunch, and dive in. Grab the tools, use them, and add your voice to the new golden age of fiction. And, if you want to, earmark a portion of the sale price for Girls Write Now or Mighty Writers.


This is just a general update of sorts, as much for my own personal mile-stoning as for anything else.

Last night I typed "The End" on Lantham #6, called In The Cloud, thus adding to the stockpile that my poor publisher has to wade through in her copious free time. Normally, this would be a cause for opening the next scheduled document and working on the notes to get into the new book.

This time, it didn't quite happen, because for the first time in a few months, I'm torn about what to write next. On the one hand, I have Lantham 7 pretty much ready to write--I know what it's about, and I'm excited about where it's going. On the other hand, I've come to the uncomfortable realization over the last few months that I've been essentially avoiding Antithesis 3.

Frankly, the next two installments of Antithesis scare the hell out of me, and I've been round and round in my own head, and I can't really figure out why. In the past, books that have scared me have always wound up being some of my very favorites once they're done (and, by happy coincidence, they're frequently reader favorites too).

Since I have a podcast due, which got pushed so I could wrap up the Lantham book, I'm going to do the ultra-courageous thing and avoid making a decision for a couple days--but the thing I can't avoid looming in my near future is that, whether it starts this weekend or in a few weeks when Lantham 7 is in the can, I'm going to be diving deep once again into the dark and twisted universe of Joss Kyle, Alyssa Hartman, Cassy Orinthal, Doug Reeves, and company.

Which, I suppose, leaves us only with the nagging questions:
Will our writer conquer his paranoia and delve deep into the most paranoid universe on his plate?
Will the resulting book do justice to the ones that have come before?
Will he choke to death on index cards and thumb tacks as he lays out his plot on his office wall?
and Will he eventually survive the adventures of the characters he so dearly loves to torture, or will they turn on him and declare victory once and for all?

Find out. Next week (by looking at the word-count-o-meter in the right side bar). And remember:
It isn't whether you win or lose, it's whether you sit the fuck down and type through the game.


Free Will returns, this time, for good.

It's been a while, but I'm not going to re-cast the previous episodes. They're still in the feed for listening. No more delays, no more unnecessary and inconvenient service interruptions. It's time for Episode 7 of Free Will and Other Compulsions, In which Jim meets a teacher, The Omnivore finds a puzzle, and Cassy prepares for battle.


Cast this week (in order of appearance):
Elizabeth Rossi as The Schoolteacher
Derek Moore as Jim Hartman
Philippa Ballantine as Brittany Hydra
and Stephanie Sawyer as Cassy Orinthal




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The Silent Generation (folks born during the run-up to World War 2) is dying. As a cohort, they were a remarkable bunch. Tom Brokaw calls their parents "The Greatest Generation," but Tom Brokaw can go suck eggs. This little cohort is the group that kicked the western world into high gear after World War 2. They built the infrastructure that the Boomers took for granted, and they had an extraordinary work ethic and sense of optimism that, until recently, went missing from the national (and international) consciousness after the the economic and social train wreck of the late 1960s and early 1970s. They don't get enough credit for proving out the bedrock notion of a liberal democracy, that ordinary people doing ordinary things can (and do, and will) create a world of abundance worth inheriting.

Some of that great generational character comes about by accident. They were born at a time when the conditions were right for them to perform that massive, world-changing, and largely invisible service.

Now, again by accident, they are doing something else that might have an even bigger impact on the future of humanity:
...continue reading A Final Service?


This week on The Next Ten Thousand Hours, we have a conversation on the beach. Because: beach!

Within you will find:

  1. A conversation about choices. On the beach.
  2. Reading: A selection from The Resurrection Junket
  3. Kitty's Corner: Knit Hats - Sportsball Edition

We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

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The Lombard Alchemist Tales is a series I've been working on for a few years now. Beginning with At The Edge of Nowhere, these stories center around a creepy pawnshop in a gambling town on the edge of a nuclear wasteland, and the artifacts it sells--all of which are more than they seem. Subsequent installments like Chicken Noodle Gravity, Sunday Morning Giraffe, and The Serpent and the Satchel have proven very popular, and over the course of those four stories, I worked out the mythos and history of pawnshop and planned out fifteen more stories.

Now, the first of the new batch is here: The Empty House.

Love is a hunger...

Alan Tosetti set the sterling standard in a town built on silver. The greatest architect in Nevada history, he died before he could finish his masterpiece Craftsman. Two years later, his youngest daughter, died in the same house, sitting in front of the fire, of old age.
She was only twenty-six.
When the tales of Tosetti's legacy draws a hungry young architect from the big city, he finds a broken-down ruin with a soul full of music, and a chilling secret that can only be unlocked with the help of a demonic pawnshop in the radioactive wastes in a broken-down city at the edge of nowhere.

Now available as an ebook from Smashwords, Amazon, Kobo, Apple, and Scribd.

I am finishing up The Auto Motive tonight and tomorrow, and as I write, I face west.
Whenever possible, I always write facing West. Facing the sunset. Looking out at the sun dipping behind the ocean, behind the horizon.
Literature, stories, fiction, they're the business illusion. Like the sunset. The view of the sun sinking into the sea is looking off the back of a thousand-mile-an-hour railway coach.
Looking at the past--and at the future. My sunset here is the sunrise in Asia. A new morning for another part of the world. It's a glimpse into the future I will see tomorrow in full force.
Looking East? It may be looking forward, but it's looking forward into the past. Into days already bent low with decay. Into blinding lights that illuminate the land but do little to shed light on tomorrow.
Science Fiction, Mystery, Gothic fantasy, suspense--all the genres I write in--have one thing in common: They are about unfolding. They're a peek behind the curtain, over the horizon.
It's a personal affectation.
And it's why, whenever I have a choice, I write facing west.


Happy New Year, everyone!
I'm back in the game with a new book, and several more scheduled right after this (I've been writing a LOT over the last year. You can see the current release schedule here). This first book takes place in the Antithesis Universe, about a hundred years after the events in Free Will, and gives you a small window into the future of that world (it is not, however, part of the series, so it won't spoil you for Antithesis, nor does it feature the same characters).

"...a gut-twisting adventure I couldn't put down."--Nathan Lowell, author of Owner's Share

She has everything to die for...

The Milky Way. Sixty thousand light years across. A hundred billion planets to explore. Most of them out of reach, even of the Mannix-Alcubierre Warp Drive. In 2235, Earth's few well-worn neighbors brim with colonists and terraformers. Humanity now faces the final limits of its growth.

When Chan Xiyi Aya's dream of life beyond the rim lands her in hot water with the Foundation who employs her, she gets her shot at the job she's aching for: chronicling the history of a planet she'd kill to protect, three hundred light years beyond the rim of human space.

The catch?
Only the dead can go.

Read the first chapter in your browser.
Or in epub.
Or in PDF.

Now available in paperback, or as an ebook from Smashwords, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.