Tomorrow I return to work. My summer vacation is over, as is my time as a full time writer.
I did manage to get a rough draft of my novel done, and I have started draft 2, which for me is usually where things get very detailed. Currently I have one novel, one novella, and five short stories making the rounds. We've done all right this summer.
You will hear more often from me now that I'm back at work.
So, before the end of the week, I'll get started on that RAINN auction regarding Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon. Hey, if you have a friend named Catherine who doesn't mind what MZB did to her kids, this will be a perfect opportunity for you or that friend to make a donation to RAINN and get a personalized autograph. Or maybe your friend will want to bury the book. Whatever.
Thank you, summer. You were very, very good to me. Especially Convergence, the Ren Fest, and Detcon. Very good. I'll miss you.
Mirrored from Writer Tamago.
(Crossposted from Jennifer Brozek)
I have to admit, I have a soft spot for the Haxan world by Kenneth Mark Hoover. I love a good weird west tale and Haxan is it. Someday, the worlds of Mowry, AZ and Haxan, AZ will collide and it will be epic.
HOW I CREATED HAXAN
I fell into writing westerns, and dark fantasy westerns, entirely by accident.
About five years ago I started listening to the Old Time Radio Gunsmoke series. These were created and written by John Meston, a writer who wanted to bring adult sensibilities to the western. He hated what Hollywood had done to the Old West, relying on crude mythology and cliches. He wanted to write adult stories about the men and women of that time in a responsible way, leaving behind more cartoonish aspects which had taken root in the collective mind.
The OTR portrayal of Matt Dillon is very different from the television version. John Meston created Matt Dillon as a man as violent as the men he has goes up against. In fact, in the radio series, Matt Dillon is almost a psychopath who beats men within an inch of their life. Kitty, in the radio series, is a worn-out prostitute, and Doc Adams is a gibbering ghoul intent on collecting autopsy fees.
While listening to these episodes it wasn’t long before I knew I wanted to do something along the same lines. I had no intention before then of writing westerns or using a western setting as a backdrop in my fiction. John Meston, and his work, set the hook in my mind. I feel I owe him a lot.
Around the same time I finished reading the entire comic book run of Jonah Hex. I liked the hard-bitten edge of the character as written by John Albano, and the art of Tony DeZuniga has never been matched, in my opinion.
One afternoon I went outside to sit in the sun and I started making notes. I first had the town as Hex, New Mexico, probably a result of the comic influence. But I quickly changed that to Haxan, which is a Swedish word for “witches” and is the name of an excellent silent horror film from 1922. Just like that I had the entire plot of “Haxan” in my mind.
I started doing research, and to make things a little different leavened dark fantasy in the story. Not a lot. I didn’t want the fantasy to overwhelm the historical aspect at all. I had seen this in other “weird westerns” and frankly, never thought much of it. I didn’t want the West to be another generic (and replaceable) backdrop to my story. I wanted “Haxan” to be about the West, and any dark fantasy present would be included to illuminate that singular aspect.
I must say I have never thought I wrote “weird westerns” although the Haxan stories, and the novel published by CZP, are categorized that way. Being pigeonholed is a crux every writer must bear, and I don’t let it bother me too much. But, to me, your typical weird western is just another cliched story with vampires, werewolves, and the occasional Cthulhu-type monster in a walk-on role. I am a big reader of history and philosophy. I know the most frightening monsters have always been human. So that’s what I set out to write.
I’ve said many times Haxan is my own little dark corner of the universe where I get to play with matches. The setting and the characters lend themselves to many different story styles and genres. But I am always careful to make the West, and its culture, and the men and women of all races who struggled everyday to survive, my central focus. This came home to me in a big way when Jennifer Brozek remarked I should start writing stories about the other people in Haxan rather than concentrate on Marwood. I immediately saw what she was getting at. The whole mythos of Haxan needed to be told, rather than one slice from an individual viewpoint.
I haven’t looked back since. I’ve published about 20 Haxan short stories and more are coming. The novel Haxan was published by CZP earlier this year, and they’ve scheduled the next one, Quaternity, for May 2015. I will begin work on the third Haxan novel, Seven Devils, this fall.
So far I’ve enjoyed writing in the world of Haxan very much. People tell me they like the stories and the characters a lot. But I haven’t done it entirely by myself. I have some very good writers and friends I bounce ideas off to gauge their reaction whether a story idea is worth pursuing.
No writer writes a story entirely by himself. But as of today I am a citizen of Haxan, New Mexico, circa 1874, and I think I am going to stay there for a while.
Kenneth Mark Hoover has sold over fifty short stories and articles. His first novel, Fevreblau, was published by Five Star Press in 2005. His work has appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons and the anthology Destination: Future. He is a member of SFWA and HWA and currently lives near Dallas, TX. Mr. Hoover can be reached through his website kennethmarkhoover.com where extra content, including character biographies and photographs, can be found regarding the world of Haxan.
Mirrored from Writer Tamago.
Mirrored from Writer Tamago.
Oh Wiscon, how could you? You were the darling of my convention season, with your feminist emphasis, your stout writer's track, your concern for multiple viewpoints, and your thoughtful programming. Have we just been living a lie?
I don't understand what's happening with your decision regarding Jim Frenkel. Because it seems so unlike you to put the needs of one harasser against the constituents of the convention.
Listen, I'm not going to go over my arguments again. Instead, I'm just going to link to the same post I put up for Readercon a couple of years back. Just change the appropriate personage titles and con titles, and we're good to go.
The issue, dearest Wiscon, is that you must protect your constituency. You're opening yourself up for legal action, should Frenkel harass someone on your watch. You are not equipped to evaluate psychological reform. AND, unlike the case of Readercon's harasser Walling, Frenkel was fired from his job for harassment. If anything, your case is less ambiguous than the Readercon case, yet they took the stronger action.
You know I can't come to the con now, right? I can't come because of where I come from, and what I stand for. I can't back your decision to say that's it's okay for a known harasser to come back based on arbitrary decisions you are not equipped to make professionally. You're letting us down, Wiscon.
What's sad is that you're going to take a membership hit. Wiscon, you are supposed to provide the safe spaces. I shouldn't have to be talking to you as a collective body about the issue of harassment. It's a no brainer at a feminist convention. Right? Right?
Give me some reason to come back next year, Wiscon. Grow a spine. Be what you pretend you are.
Otherwise, I will be writing you for a refund of my membership and my dessert salon ticket. Because you're no longer a con I want to attend.
Mirrored from Writer Tamago.
I was going through the pile of sketchbooks on the coffee table, deciding which ones to keep out and which ones to put into the closet. As part of this process, I looked through them and photographed some stuff to get it into Evernote. Here’s some of it.
A few ideas on where that Batman story I started a while back might go. I think Nick came up with this DUMB-ASS JOKER PLOT? I’m not sure. Looking at it now I think, yeah, it’s at pretty much the right level of MALIGN STUPIDITY for a Joker plot. And I really like Harley’s line about “…and I think there were like twenty-three more HAs?” when she’s describing it.
Also here is something I will probably never do anything with. I like the idea but I’m not sure it’s the right one for me; if it sings to you then feel free to swipe it.
There were also a bunch of roughs for a story about Oscar and Dana, some bits for that demon sex story I’ve been slowly working on, and some bits of Rita. Some of which are for my eyes only, some of which I’ll be throwing into a process post on the comic’s blog…
I was writing a post on a comics-making board about how Some Ideas Take Time when I realized something.
I usually tag 1995 as when I started coming up with “The Drowning City”.
I’m planning to finally start drawing it next year, after finishing Rita. Which will be in 2015.
Twenty years. It took me twenty fucking years for that thing to gestate. For me to take all the tragedies of my life and use them as raw material for this fucking story that bubbled out of my homesickness and just wouldn’t go away. Ever.
All I can say is that I hope it turns out to be worth it.
And if it isn’t? If it turns out to be a bunch of overwrought, maudlin crap that I abandon halfway through? Well, at least I’ll have finally got it out of my system.
(Crossposted from Jennifer Brozek)
My life is boring from the outside. All I can talk about is what I've edited or written. I'm in a groove of work and not much more right now. A number of projects are falling in my lap all at once.
I just finished the final edits of my Shadowrun novella, Doc Wagon 19. It's been officially accepted and all that. I also just turned in Never Let Me Sleep (Permuted Press), the first book of the Melissa Allen series, my YA SF-thriller where I kill a whole state in the first chapter. Today, I'm working on the page proofs of Shattered Shields and I know page proofs for Chicks Dig Gaming are on their way.
Now, I'm shifting to writing-writing-writing. I'm working on Chimera incarnate (Apocalypse Ink Productions), the final book in the Karen Wilson Chronicles. Then I will be all about Never Let Me Leave, which is Melissa Allen #2. I also have 3 short stories due by the end of the year. So, my days will be marked by word counts, revisions, and page proofs. It's boring from the outside but awesome for me. I'm busy but I'm happy.
Still to be released in 2014
I dreamed I came into the possession of several very large crates full of unhappy, enslaved dragons. I had to keep up the pretense while trying to find a way to free them. I did not manage to do this before waking up.
(I don't know when, I just found this in the iPad blog client when I opened it up to do something else.)
Stuff I did today:
0. Turned off ads on Rita because the Patreon campaign passed $55/page!
1. Handed off my Genesis to Fluffy. I’d bought one along with a copy of Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles to use as photo-ref for a Further Confusion ad last year, and finally got sick of having it kicking around the living room floor yesterday. I offered it on Twitter and they were the taker; we hung out chatting for a while too.
2. Visited with Liz Meinert, an old friend from New Orleans. She’d been stuck half-dead for the past twenty years due to Mysterious Unspecified Problems, that finally turned out to be heart issues. She had surgery recently, and is bouncing back with a vengeance – something I can really sympathize with, given how I kinda completely shut down for most of twenty years after my father died, and am now running wild doing things like pole dancing! It was pretty great to hang out and talk about nerdy nerdy stuff.
edit. submitted it, here’s the ticket for it. I r open source.
I knew I was getting close, but I wasn’t expecting to have it happen for another month or so. Big thanks to the donor who pledged twelve bucks per page and pushed it over!
The next goal is “move to a better-insuated apartment” at $750/page. I… I ain’t gonna hold my breath on that one. *grin*
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