Fragments of background (Epsilon universe)

What follows here is spoiler-riffic, so if you’re not into that kind of thing, don’t read below the break.  I’m in the midst of working on Epsilon: Redeemer for NaNoWriMo, and in doing so have ended up looking back at some scenes I scribbled out a long time back, when I was tooling around with a project called Resistance, which was a story mostly about Korea Cooper and Lucas Ross.  I have a .doc file full of scenes that were a mix of background scenes and sequences that might end up in later works in the Epsilon universe.

More ramblings (and one of those scenes) below the break.

Continue reading

Broken Stars is now complete, heading into final reads and revisions.

[progpress title=”Epsilon: Broken Stars” goal=”70000″ current=”79949″ label=”words”]

A novel roughly thirteen years in the making is finally complete and should hopefully be released by the end of the month.  I’ve shot it off to a few test readers for their commentary (one of whom I’m certain is a bit annoyed with me thanks to the wall of text spam he was getting all day yesterday).  I’ll be doing edits and tweaks based on their readings/proofs.

Epsilon: Broken Stars came in at a higher word count than I anticipated, and will shrink/grow with the forthcoming edits.  I finished writing at around 2am last night, emailed it off, then crashed for five and a half hours (up by 8–yup, there’s something wrong with me).  I need to let it set for a few days before I go back to start any edits of my own I might decide to do, but as of this writing, it’s complete but for proofreading and minor edits.

That is to say I don’t think I’m going to be adding any more chapters, fight scenes, or any other such thing.  I might do some Epilogue tweaking, but that’s for another day, after I let it sit and rest.

Of course, I still need to write the dedication and the acknowledgements, as well as format copies for several different e-publication venues.  That’s a task for another day.

Between yesterday and early this morning, I wrote more than 7000 words.  That was a huge day for me (I also managed to somehow buy tickets to the Red Wings game in there, go figure).

Writing yesterday was mostly action sequences, which I have a great deal of difficulty writing.  Erik says it’s because I’ve never actually been in a fight before, and he’s probably right about that.

Here’s a sample of what I came up with, though, for two action-packed chapters.

            Desantis only hesitated a second before he triggered the detonator.  A series of quiet pops echoed off the buildings, followed by the larger, explosive roars of the charges going up in a secondary blast and taking the back end of the lander with it.  The craft’s pilot was knocked sprawling into the light of one of the streetlamps.

He scrambled to his feet a few stunned seconds later, yelling.  I grasped Sam with one hand and Desantis with the other.

“Time to go,” I hissed, then ducked down the alleyway, trusting them to follow.

Sam looked positively gleeful by the time we got back to the car.

“We did it!  We actually did it.”

“Celebrate later,” I said, giving her a stern look as I jerked the passenger side door open.  “It’s not over yet.”

She sobered as she caught sight of my expression and went quiet, nodding.  She ducked into the car without another word.

Desantis looked at me across the roof and I just shook my head.  He shrugged and got in, and I joined them a second later.

“Biesterfield and Twelfth,” he said as Sam got the vehicle moving.

She nodded.  “Thanks.”

We wended our way up a few side streets before we turned onto one of the north-south streets a couple over from Biesterfield and headed north toward city center.  I was doing math on the way and realized something.

“Mac, how many did you say were landing here?”

He blinked at me.  “Six, Cap.”

“And five on the other continent.”  Maybe I heard him wrong.  Maybe he said six and I misheard him.

“Right.”

Damn.  “Compliment on a cruiser like the Tallahassee is twelve.”  So where’s that last lander?

The car swerved a little as Sam caught up to my line of thinking.  “Five and six is eleven.  Where’s the last lander?”

“That’s what I want to know,” I said grimly as Desantis scrambled for his palmtop.  Three klicks out from the Scarlet meant there was significant lag between sensors and the palmtop, and Desantis cursed his way through trying to figure out where that last lander was coming down.

Sam whipped the car around a corner, headed toward Biesterfield on one of the east-west streets, then whipped around another corner onto our target street.

She plowed right into a roadblock and a subsequent hail of weaponsfire.

 

Epsilon: Broken Stars by Erin M. Klitzke

Turned out pretty decent, I’d say.  That’s actually toward the beginning of the action, believe it or not!

Only time and readers, however, will tell me exactly how well I’ve done.  We shall see!

Look for Epsilon: Broken Stars in your favorite ebook store coming soon.

Broken Stars nearing completion; new tale soon in the offing…

[progpress title=”Epsilon: Broken Stars” goal=”70000″ current=”68374″ label=”words”]

[progpress title=”What Angels Fear” goal=”21000″ current=”18738″ label=”words”]

 

So, I know that I tweeted that I’d announce the actual name for SEKRET PROJEKT this weekend, and it was mostly that I didn’t get around to making a blog post to that effect–it was on the business cards I was handing out this past weekend at the Grand Valley Renaissance Festival, promoting my writing as much as I was selling other things (jewelry and sewing things).

The true name to SEKRET PROJEKT is What Angels Fear, and it’s the story that I talked about in this post last summer.  It’s a short work in the same universe as When All’s Said and Done, my first Nanowrimo project.  I hope to release What Angels Fear shortly after the release of the forthcoming Epsilon: Broken Stars, which is nearing completion.

Rather than a true science fiction piece, What Angels Fear is a paranormal yarn in which normal chick Julia Kinsey meets a boy named Darien who seems a little…off.  A chance encounter in the creepy little town of Andover Commonwealth sends her down a rabbit’s hole into a mystery that could put her life in jeopardy.  It is almost a direct prequel to the story in When All’s Said and Done (in fact, as the current draft of When All’s Said and Done stands, events that take place at the end of What Angels Fear take place during the first few chapters of When All’s Said and Done).

Here’s a little taste of Julia’s story:

            A flicker of movement caught my attention and I tore my eyes away from the building, peering through the gap in the inner wall.  The angle made it hard, but I thought I’d seen…

There!  A gaunt figure stared at me from just within my line of sight.  It was a man, dark-haired and scrawny, dressed in what looked like sweats.  Though I couldn’t see his eyes, or really make out the features of his face, I had the feeling he was looking right at me.

Something about him reminded me strongly of Darien, though I couldn’t say what.  I tried to beckon him over.

He just shook his head and looked down.

What’s going on in there?

Something jerked the figure back and out of sight.  The massive gate in that inner wall ground shut with the sound of metal against stone.  No iron bars there, just solid sheets of metal.

Whatever it is, they don’t want people to know.  My pulse quickened and I stepped back from the main gate.

A hand grasped my arm.  I jerked, reeling away from the touch.  The hand snapped open and I went down on my butt in the grass.

“Who the hell are you?”  I demanded before I’d actually seen who’d grabbed me.

A woman about my age stood over me.  She had bristle-short red hair and was dressed in a black jumpsuit that made her look like some sort of extra from The Matrix.  She stared at me for a moment, then said softly, “You need to get out of here before someone else finds you.”

Someone else?  I was a little worried about anyone finding me.

She offered me a hand up.  I stared at it for a moment as if it were a snake about to strike.

“Who are you?”  I asked again.

She shook her head slightly, stone-faced.  “You don’t want to know.”

Her expression reminded me of someone else.  Oh, shit.  Darien.  That’s who it reminds me of.  It was the same blank mask of an expression that he wore most of the time, though this girl seemed much, much more functional than he did.

I took her hand slowly and let her pull me to my feet.

“You should get back to town,” she said quietly as she released my hand.  “You’re missing the show.”  She turned back toward the wall and walked toward it, looking back at me for just a moment.  With that last long, measuring look, she walked through the wall and vanished.

What Angels Fear, © Erin Klitzke 2011

 

I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t think I’d want Julia’s life.

What Angels Fear should hopefully be out by the end of the year.  And speaking of release dates…

I still don’t have a solid one for Epsilon: Broken Stars, but I hit the 68k mark this morning, which means there’s less than 2k words left to write before I meet my 70k goal.  The tale will go a bit longer than that, however (I have at least two chapters yet to write, one in the section I’m working on now and one at the end of the book).  Price point will be $2.99 when it releases, and I’ll keep things updated here when it comes to release dates and the like.  I’m hoping for mid-month, but that’s going to depend on two factors: inspiration, and how fast I can get editorial turnaround from my volunteers.

This year’s nanowrimo project, however, will be the sequel to Broken Stars that focuses on Lucas Ross, leader of the Resistance and friend of Broken Stars narrator, Aaron Taylor.  There’s a few thoughts for that already bouncing around in the back of my brain.  Hopefully, that will take less time to materialize than Broken Stars has!

Getting back into the groove

Today, I cleaned my room.  Then I checked the status of Falling Stars on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, then checked to see if I’d sold any on Smashwords (I hadn’t) while I slept.

Then, I sat down to write.

It’s been one of those days when it’s been difficult to get something started, despite having ideas percolating in the back of my brain for a couple days.  The characters weren’t feeling chatty, the words didn’t feel like they wanted to flow.  So, after typing some pre-work scribbles from yesterday afternoon and confirming that I did not, in fact, have to show up at the store today, I headed for my local Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte and a change of scenery.

Lo and behold, the Awakenings chapter 11 opener was written.  Here’s a taste.

            I hope that you decided not to go to the city.  Something’s about to happen, something connected to that damn asteroid, and I just feel like it’s better that you’re with everyone at the university.  Something—not someone—tells me that.  I know you stopped believing her and believing yourself, but please, just believe me in this.  The interview isn’t that important.  If you walk away from her—from all of it—now, you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life.

However long that’s going to be remains to be seen.

Now, Chapter 10.06 went up today.  Page hits have been down since last weekend for some reason, though I’m not certain why.  Possibly has something to do with folks getting back into the swing of school, possibly the weather, possibly a piss-poor advertising spread the past week–any number of factors could be to blame.  I certainly don’t seem to have the malware problem I was having before, which is amazing (apparently, stripped-down, recustomized versions of the WordPress main themes are helpful in that regard!).  Hopefully, numbers will go back up again soon, but only time will tell.  I know that there’s at least a small following for my little epic post-apocalyptic urban fantasy, and I think I can live with that.

I mentioned at the top of the post that I’d checked various outlets for sales figures on Falling Stars.  For folks not in the know (ie, anyone not privy to my brain or my AIM name), Falling Stars is a novelette set in the same universe as Epsilon: Broken Stars.  The story itself is just shy of 13k words, but the ebook release has the first chapter of Epsilon: Broken Stars attached to it.  I’m actually really excited about all of this, because it’s my first ebook release.

I posted it to Smashwords and Amazon on Friday, then posted it to Barnes and Noble on Saturday (as of this writing, they’re still processing the file for listing in their catalog.  My fingers and toes are crossed that Smashwords will accept Falling Stars for its premium catalog, which is distributed to other e-bookstores such as Kobo, Apple, and a few others.  At 99¢, it’s a fairly affordable little read and I happen to think it’s a decent story to boot.

From the way things have been going the past couple days with Epsilon: Broken Stars, that may well be out in early October.  Fingers and toes crossed–it depends on how much I can plow through in the next week or so and how quickly a couple able volunteers can proof-read the document for me.

I’m building my book portfolio, slowly but surely (and possibly faster than some new indie authors, too)!  Publishing that first ebook was exciting and scary all at once, but I’m fairly pleased at the result so far…even if sales are next to non-existent.  Hopefully, more friends in the facebook crowd will give me a hand with advertising!  A huge shout-out to Erik of Dear God What Have We Wrought?! for his Facebook marketing of my work (I netted one sale out of that so far, thanks!).  For those of you who’d like to give me a hand with that and don’t know how, it’s as easy as heading to the Smashwords or Amazon pages for Falling Stars and hitting the “Share” button for Facebook (in both cases, the button is on the right hand side of the page–on the Amazon page, it’ll be tucked under the “Read on these devices” box, and on Smashwords…well.  Smashwords makes the share button pretty easy to find).

For now, though, it’s time for me to get back to the writing.  Wish me luck!