I Promise I've Been Doing Stuff

For the last year or so, I've been relatively quiet on social media about my writing and the projects I've been working on--other than repetitive "Hey it's NanoWriMo again! Isn't this fun?" posts. You may have also noticed that it's been two years since I published my last science fiction novel. It's been a busy two years in general, what with getting married and traveling and moving to Baltimore, getting a dog and all that jazz, but in between all the other things that have happened, I have been plugging away at my writing like a beaver at a tree, and I figure it's about time I give you all an update.

1. The Sagittan Chronicles: I currently have 5 novels and novellas in the Sagittan Chronicles series drafted. Yes, I said five. Two of them are set to be released this fall (yay!) and I am ahead of schedule for both.

2. Short Stories: I also have several short stories completed or in the works. One was released as part of anthology in June, and a second one will be coming out as part of a different anthology in mid October. 

3. Rutherford: Sorry, Rutherford fans. I haven't worked on this at all, other than to brainstorm some new book ideas. I have several, and hope to put one more out before the end of the year, but have been prioritizing novels of late. But don't worry--more are on the way!

4. Land of Szornyek: Hurray for the apocalypse! This series is about what would happen if the apocalypse was caused by the sudden appearance of monsters. It's set 30 years post apocalypse and the characters live in nomadic communities focused on survival. It's is written as a serial, with each piece able to stand alone. This is a new strategy for me, and I'm excited to share it.

5. Other Stuff: I have also been working on expanding my knowledge of writing and publishing as a whole, by taking online courses, reading industry-related books, and doing writing exercises. I've posted one so far, and I plan on sharing a few more.

To wrap up, I have a treat for you. A cover reveal! The newest novella in the Sagittan Chronicles (Book 4) is scheduled to be released early September. It is titled, The Polylocus Problem.

24 hours. One impossible math problem. And a very disgruntled intern.
The assignment: to figure out what is wrong with the new polylocus Door and fix it before the interplanetary network of travel and trade crumbles. But between babysitting her manic boss and trying to reroute the dozens of random people wandering into her office, Kaia can’t get anything done.
Unfortunately, the problem can’t wait. When the infamous bureaucrat, Axel Vance, imposes a 24-hour deadline on the Globe for solving the problem, Kaia has to start trusting her instincts—and quick.
With the help of the intimidating Peacekeeper Quin Black and the kindly Dr. Winkler, Kaia races to find a solution, no matter what challenges stand in her way.

And, just for a little bit more of a treat--an excerpt!

Standing slowly and stretching, she made her way over to her desk, only to be surprised by a small scuffing noise.

Turning, Kaia’s eyes widened—first in surprise, then in mild fear, then in exasperation. A small man in an eye-searing orange- and red-striped suit with a fur collar stood in the middle of her office, looking around nervously. “Metta met needa lo qua?” he asked.

Kaia sighed again, more loudly this time. Another one?

The man gestured frantically to the Door and then, looking around with wide eyes, rushed forward and out of Kaia’s office into the much larger Door Room outside. He stopped and looked around with a terrified expression, and then ran back into her office waving his arms.

Kaia pressed the button on her intercom. “Terry?” she asked. “I have another one. Could you send a team—”

She looked up as she heard another noise, this time a hissing sound, and watched in amazement as the Door stretched and shivered, widening. She had never seen any Door do that, ever. 

“Oh my—oh my—” Her jaw dropped.

An animal the size of an Earthan elephant thundered into her office, throwing back its head and releasing a loud, eerie screeching. It had a short nose and a blue rear, and a striped hairy mane hung around its neck. A dusting of snow drifted from its back onto the floor and began to melt. Kaia covered her ears as her heart began to pound, and ran to exit her office. The man in the striped suit was waving and yelling in his language, and otherwise being entirely unhelpful.

Kaia bolted into the Door Room only to run smack into John, her boss. She fell to the floor in a heap as John scrambled up and stepped over her. 

“Oh my!” he exclaimed, throwing his arms open wide. “It’s beautiful! It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! Isn’t it the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?” He turned back to look at Kaia. 

She nodded as the creature stomped forward. Then her eyes widened again as she pulled herself up from the floor—another creature stampeded through after the first, the little man’s yelling and screaming doing little to calm the anxious creatures.

John was not helping either.

“Look at that mane!” he commented, waving his hands about his head. “And the blue rear! Gorgeous creatures! We should keep one here, in the Door Room! What do you think of that, Kaia? We could keep a tame one to welcome newcomers! I think this might be pure genius—possibly the best idea I’ve ever had.”

Kaia tried to calm herself, taking a series of deep breaths. He probably really did think it was the best idea he’d ever had. He seemed to be thinking that a lot lately, whether it was with the candy that turned people’s teeth green (without using dyes!) or the new health plan that included health care for pets (only including lizards and ponies) or the company swim team (but instead of swimming laps, they had to swim in elaborate shapes inspired by mathematical equations). In the meantime, she was grading his students’ papers, offering guidance to those who needed his help with equations, and working on the polylocus Door—which was also his job. Because if she didn’t do it, who would? 

“What’s going on?” 

Kaia turned to see Quin standing behind her. She breathed a sigh of relief. He could take care of things. He wasn’t often in the office, as he was stationed with the military on the outer rim of the planet, but he always managed to solve a few problems when he came to the city.

“Someone,” she said, “came through the Door with… with…” she gestured helplessly at the massive animals.

“Gorbitants,” Quin muttered. “Great.” He stuck two fingers between his teeth and let out a piercing whistle. The two gorbitants reared up on their hind legs and came back down with a thump. Then, they bowed on their front knees and placed their heads on the ground. The man in orange- and red-striped suit ran up and adjusted a few knobs on their collar. The next moment, the gorbitants lay sound asleep on the floor. 

Kaia hadn’t noticed them in all the commotion, but behind the gorbitants came two women and another man also in striped suits with furred collars, all yelling furiously in their native language.

She looked at her watch. Only ten in the morning.

It was going to be a long day.

Stay tuned for more information on release dates and giveaways!

Click here to get blog posts (about writing, the universe, and everything) delivered to your inbox weekly!