For the past little while, I've been distracted from this project by an overwhelming surge of The Other Things that make up my life. For this I apologize because I've been less than communicative. Sometimes I get so far into my own head that I'm out of cell range. My wife and I went on our first vacation in years and I saw parts of my own state that I've never had the privilege of exploring before.
|Sometimes you just have to get in the car and go for a three-day drive.|
No leather was worked, no wood was carved, no sheep were sheared. I did clean out my shop before it started raining and we built another oven and baked some bread, but that was revisiting a guild that already had its checkmark.
For all intents and purposes, the Renaissance Artisan was 'out' for most of the summer.
Which isn't the same as saying that I've been idle...
As you probably know that before anything else that I do, I am a writer. I make sense of the world by telling stories about it. Whether it's history or fantasy, it's all words to me. When I'm lucky, I get to share those stories with others. Writing is my vocation and my first love. This means that at any given moment, I have more than one project on the docket and often when a deal is being considered, it is confidential until all the papers are signed.
Which is a long way to go toward saying that this week, I signed a contract with a small UK-based publisher called Crooked Cat Publishing to bring my humorous science fiction novel Howard Carter Saves the World to bookstores. The official announcement was made by my publisher yesterday via social media.
I've been bouncing off the walls ever since.
Howard Carter is a novel that I just sat down and told the first story that occurred to me, taking it wherever my fancy led, no matter how bizarre. Aliens who learned about earth by watching Sesame Street? Done. Secretive government agencies? Mysterious universities? Mad scientists? Got it all. Giant robots? Oh, the giant robots... I wrote it all in public (rather like I've been doing here) posting chapter-by-woefully-unedited-chapter on a blog, writing live and in front of a studio audience. No laugh tracks allowed!
If you want to read a bit of it, here's a free short story that gives you a general sense of the storytelling and characters from the novel.
Which is a long way of going about telling you that I'm sorry I dropped this to run off and do that, but I will be back in the workshop in a week or so. I have a half-finished costrel and a shoemaking project in the wings. I've also been making connections to get a proper handle on the life of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, plus the weavers, spinners, mercers, and tailors that lie at the end of that supply chain.
In the meantime, I have some up-front work to do on getting Howard Carter ready for print and I'll be ducking in and out as my editor and publisher need me. If you would like to join me on that part of the journey as well as this one, I'm inviting you to come with me on the next step of the journey as we prepare Howard for his debut at Amazon and other online booksellers.
Side note: Would it be cheating to use this as part of a study of the Worshipful Companies of Stationers and Clerks? Just a thought...
However it goes, my goal in that project and this one is to put out a story that is good enough for you to read and enjoy, one that you love enough to not only read but to recommend to your friends. I've worked in publishing at enough different levels to know one thing for certain: positive word of mouth is how success happens.
There will be much, much more later.