Tag: Chasing Cold

Worldbuilding and Story (Part Three of Three)

So, you’ve built a world. You might not know all the details yet, but you have the basics down, and have begun to answer the questions of why the story is taking place when and where it does. Now, you have to get down to telling the story, putting together the elements that make up your narrative structure.

People often ask about the how of writing, the nuts and bolts of the process of coming up with an idea and following it through to a final form, be it short story, novel, essay, or memoir. But the thing is, ask a dozen writers and you’ll get a dozen answers, all different and all specific to writer and the genre and the stage of that writer’s career. So, I figured I’d throw my two cents, or my three ideas, into the ring along with all the others

I’ve talked in previous posts about how I’ve arrived at specific ideas or decisions in my own writing, even talked about the process of world-building. Where world-building is more about creating the back drop for the story, and the conditions where it can occur, this is more about the story telling process, the business of creating a plot and crafting a narrative that makes use of the world you’ve built. Continue reading “Worldbuilding and Story (Part Three of Three)”

We have liftoff!

I’ve been remiss in sitting down to write here, mostly because of a couple of long, stressful weeks.

We had our launch for Chasing Cold on the 14th, and it was a great party. One of those one of a kind moments. Seeing the stack of books on the table was so incredible. Knowing that I made that, that those words were all mine, and that those people were there for me.

There were some lovely surprises. My friend, Kim, who lives in Saskatoon, flew out without telling me. My friend, Jason, who I haven’t seen in almost fifteen years, who I’ve been conversing with since reconnecting online a year or so ago, showed up with no warning. He’d even messaged me during the day wishing me well and gave no hints at all.

My sisters came out and I took the preceding week off, so I could make sure things were ready and we could spend some time together.

It was amazing to see so many of my friends and family together and mingling. And to see them with my book in their hands.

So, to bring it up to speed, the hardcover edition is up on Amazon, Indigo and most of the major book sites around the world. The paperback is delayed, but we’re sorting it out. The Kindle version is out too, and Kobo and Nook aren’t far behind.

I even had my first customer review on Amazon and it was great. The reader gave me five stars and loved the story, And for all the right reasons, the things I’m most proud of and happy with about how the book turned out. So, that was a wonderful boost that came at just the right time.

Because, the one thing they never tell you, is that often you get something you’ve always dreamed of, and then, like all other moments, it passes. And the real world is waiting for you. Which isn’t a bad thing. Not in my case anyway, as I have a good life and the novel is icing on a very tasty cake.

That first week back at work was a chore, though, let me tell you.

I’ve posted a gallery of photos from the launch, so if you’re interested, go to the top of the page, just under the header and you’ll see a tab for photos. Hover on it and there’s the link for the gallery. They are beautiful, if I do say so myself. They were taken by my dear friend, Geoff Cook and he did an amazing job of capturing the event.

Chasing Cold got its first review…. yay??

Well, I checked for the review in Publisher’s Weekly today and it had gone up.

It’s not exactly awful… just kind of… Meh.

And I was tired and off my game from the time change and the stress of waiting and a dozen other little life things, so, initially, it hit me hard. But I collected some thoughts from friends and Facebook folks and let it mull for the rest of the day. Some thoughts came to mind.

  • Awkward pacing. What does that mean, exactly? Too fast, too slow, too both? It’s just sort of a vague comment that I can put into the mental filing cabinet, I guess. Note to self: make sure pacing in future is not awkward. Whatever that means. Flippancy aside, I thought I had paced well, so either my perception is way off or the reviewer’s is. Or it could be taste. As I move forward I may be able to take something from this.
  • Reviewer seemed to think it felt dated, kind of like old school pulp fiction. My publisher referred to it as Golden Age. Okay. this I can form an opinion on. I grew up reading Edgar Rice Burroughs and Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein and Anne McCaffrey. That’s my era, and I fully cop to showing my age. In reflection, I think on some level, I was trying to write a more overtly gay version of that kind of book. A space opera feel without the pulse-pounding plot. I get that it may not be everyone’s taste. Sort of feels like saying “I didn’t like Jaws because it had too many sharks in it.”
  • The comment about older readers. Srsly?  OLDER READERS UNITE!
In the end, I wrote the book I wrote and told the story I wanted to tell. Some will dig it, some won’t. And this is the first review. There will be more and some will be good, some will be scathing and still more will be meh again. Nothing to do but take it, absorb it, run with it and move on. 

Ship design

I found this image, designed by Andrew Ley, over on Concept Ships (because I am a complete geek who reads stuff like that in my spare time) and was a little bit gobsmacked.

It’s almost exactly what I envisioned the Brazen Strumpet, the ship in Chasing Cold, to look like. I mean, in the original concept, she’s a fine dining ship, and in my novel, she’s one of the few trading ships still in operation. But the basic geography is the same. Main difference is in my ship, the upper room that looks like it’s the dining room is larger and broken into crew quarters. But it’s pretty uncanny, so I thought I’d share it. Click it to see the original over on Andrew Ley’s site.