Irons in the fire.

I just got back from mailing the last two copies of ULT. One was erroneously flagged “return to sender;” the other I held because its recipient was in the process of moving. Now that the final two copies are out of my hands again, I thought it best to jot down a few words here.

Normally, I write a long post in which I reflect on the journey to releasing a book, but this time I don’t think I’m going to. ULT was a reflective journey from start to finish, and to be perfectly honest, I’d rather look forward right now.

If you follow me on social media (and I don’t see why you wouldn’t), you’ve probably seen me mention different works in progress once or twice. The truth is, I have six different WIPs at the moment–not including the final Monochrome book.

We’re also working on launching my back catalog on other platforms now that the exclusivity arrangement with Amazon has lapsed. To that point, A LIFE TRANSPARENT goes on sale on the NOOK platform on September 29th. It’ll also be available on Kobo, Scribd, etc. Probably not iTunes, though, because Apple has an issue with me linking to the print versions on B&N, and because “Apple can go fuck itself.” (He said with a grin while checking email from his iPhone.)

A LIFE TRANSPARENT

THE LIMINAL MAN will probably follow at the end of October, on the two-year anniversary of its initial release. The back catalog of ULT stories will also follow in October as well.

Now, back to those irons in the fire. I’ve got a tentative list of stories that will make up the next round of ULT releases. Only two of them are done, and have been published–or are being published–this year, so I can’t lead with them.

Here’s the list:

  • HOUSE OF NETTLE AND THORN – This was originally going to be ULT #5, but I set it aside because I needed to rework it. I eventually did, but not until earlier this summer, and its since been purchased for publication in the forthcoming DEAD HARVEST anthology (release date pending). The contract stipulates a six-month rights term from the date of publication, so once that’s cleared, this one will be prepped for an ULT release.
  • THE OTHER LAND EXPRESS – This was published in ROBBED OF SLEEP: VOLUME ONE earlier this year. Rights are wide open, but I want to lead the second round with something entirely new.
  • THE DARKNESS BETWEEN DEAD STARS – My current WIP and one I’m determined to finish within the next couple of weeks. It’s about a civilian who volunteers for a one-way mission to Mars–and when he’s about 50 million km away from Earth, someone/something knocks on the door. Obviously there’s a lot more to it than that . . .
  • MR. McOGGLE’S GUMDROP PANDEMONIUM – This one is my ode to H.F. Arnold’s The Night Wire. It’s written in a similar style, from the perspective of a night security guard who’s hired to keep an eye on Moon Hill, PA’s only toy store. Yes, it takes place in Anthony J. Rapino’s fictional town of Moon Hill (with his permission, of course).
  • WE WHO WHISPER YOUR DREAMS – This is another leftover from the original ULT sessions last year. I didn’t get very far, but I’m hoping to bring this one to completion in the next couple of months. Tentatively, it’s about lucid dreaming, “Old Hag” syndrome, and sleep apnea; it’s also based on a weird dream I had in which I hard a voice speaking to me from inside my mattress.
  • WHEN THE DEAD RUN – One more leftover from last year that never went beyond the early stages of conception. The premise is simple: a recently-divorced middle-aged guy is trying to get back into shape by going for nightly jogs. One night while he’s out for his job, he glimpses a beautiful woman who is also out for a fun–except she’s glowing, and there’s a cluster of shadows chasing her. Hilarity ensues.
  • THE FINAL RECONCILIATION – This one may or may not end up being an ULT story when it’s finished. I haven’t decided yet. It’s shaping up to be a slow burn and may become a full-fledged novella. Anyway, it’s about an aging rock star recounting his progressive metal band’s rise to stardom–and the last show that effectively ended their careers. They’re the Yellow Kings, and their album, “The Final Reconciliation” is driving their fans mad . . .
  • THIS WON’T END WELL – An idea I had as recently as yesterday that won’t release its grip from my imagination. This one’s about two warring neighbors whose unhappiness with one another reaches hilariously violent, depraved, supernatural heights.

Like I said above, these are tentative. Anything could change between now and . . . whenever these are published. This is what I’ll be working on for the next few months.

And no, before you ask, I haven’t forgotten about the last Monochrome novel. I have lots of notes and a dry-erase board next to my desk filled with all sorts of things to remind me that I have an obligation to keep. And because I’m sadistic, here’s a teaser: “The Ungod is the absence of creativity and ambition.”

Have a good weekend, everyone.

TK