I have another question

Posted in ebooks, self-publishing, Short Stories.

I’ve been writing (Peril & War at the moment) and revising (Silence), and in between, when the creative impulse is at its lowest, I’ve been proof-reading and format­ting.

All six of the stories related to the West novels are now on-line (six are avail­able in the iBooks store, four at Barnes & Noble, one at Kobo, six at Diesel, one at Sony. I do not know what happened to Echoes at B&N, and I’m trying to have it redis­trib­uted, but so far that hasn’t worked). My type­setter is halfway through the book, but has gone to Alaska for two weeks.

ETA: All six of the stories are now avail­able, as of this morning, at B&N. A new page has been added to the sidebar — Short Stories — which has links to all of the etailers that currently have the avail­able ebook.

All of the stories that now remain are stories that stand alone (with the excep­tion of The Augus­tine Painters and The Colors of Augus­tine, which are set in the same universe, but are not connected to any of the novels). I intend to continue to post them, and to announce them in much the same way the six Essalieyan shorts have been announced here.

One of the things that makes short stories inter­esting is the ability to exper­i­ment with different moods, tones, tenses; to shift gears and write some­thing that wouldn’t neces­sarily sustain a novel (or at last, not a novel I could finish). What this means, however, is that some of the stories are distinctly different in mood or tone than anything one would find in the novels. Some, however, are not.

Authors are not entirely objec­tive about their own work (yes, this is an under­state­ment). Being the author, I’m not there­fore objec­tive about my own work, but when I look at the list of stories, there are some I think would work for my novel readers (the Augus­tine stories, which appar­ently also work for people who don’t), and some I’m far less certain about.

In my long and winding way, I am getting to the ques­tion, honest!

Would people appre­ciate it if I indi­cated, when posting about the stories here, which ones I feel will work, and which I’m far less certain about? I don’t consider any of the stories bad, but years of working behind a book­store counter make it second nature to try to recom­mend books to customers who will like them. (Except my own, because — again — objec­tivity issues.)

30 Responses to I have another question

  1. technomom says:

    My two cents, or twenty-five cents, or what­ever is required consid­ering infla­tion and exchange rates: I prefer that you let us come to them fresh, with no precon­cep­tions. I’ve enjoyed all of your work that I’ve gotten my greedy eyeballs on, in all of its delightful variety.

    Cyn

  2. Joey says:

    Do you like writing about such things? For short fiction not related to any other work I think it’s fine to put them out there without addi­tional commen­tary and get back to writing more Augus­tine stories. Hee.

    I think inter­ested parties would comment/discuss via your Yahoo group, perhaps giving others a sense of what worked for whom. I’m quite fond of several of your short stories. Really like short fiction in general, and I’m sure I’ve packed at least twenty antholo­gies to take with me to Reno (yay for auto­graphs, sez the fanboy!), along with at least that many novels. (Will miss you this weekend.)

    However, if you need more distrac­tions from fiction writing and proof­reading, by all means write novels describing your short stories. Hee hee.

  3. DeDe says:

    Hmmm — Well I wouldn’t be worried about whether people will like them or not…maybe just a brief warning for some of the shorts that have a completely different ‘feel’. I can think of one off the bat — that was much darker than I was prepared for.

    I would however enjoy reading about YOUR percep­tion of how the stories come across…You write — I read… :-)

  4. Mary Allen says:

    I too enjoy your percep­tion of your stories and appre­ciate a heads up if the story is going to be dark.. I just finished the Black Ospreys and was only disap­pointed that it ended. I like long books — more to read. I discov­ered you with The Hidden City, then went back to read every­thing else you wrote that I could get my hands on. I was busy trying to track down the antholo­gies when you announced you were putting them out as e stories. I was thrilled as I hadn’t looked forward to trying to get each indi­vidual anthology. I am hoping you write more about Kiriel and Anya.

  5. Hmm. I like hearing your impres­sions of your work and writing process, but I’m not sure if telling us here which ones you feel may not work for us… will work, since we all have different tastes. :) I like short stories where authors stretch them­selves and play, but I’m not coming entirely from a read­er’s perspec­tive…

    I suppose the corre­lating ques­tion is this: Do you want to hear people either agree or disagree when you tell us that you’re less certain about a story?

  6. Since I enjoy your writing and also you writing about writing, I’m forced to say ‘go for it’. I’ll still read what­ever the work might be, but reading your thoughts about it just add to my enjoy­ment.

  7. Hilda says:

    I like reading every­thing you write here. The infor­ma­tion is straight to the point, inter­esting and usually shows a nice sense of humor. If you write short stories, I will try reading all of them. Like “tech­nomom”, I prefer to have no precon­cep­tion. I know I will enjoy most of them (your style). I absolutely love the Cast series and the Sun Sword books, including the Sacred Hunt. Some of those books have the covers taped, loose pages inside, marked and under­lined, and the appear­ance of very old books. On the other hand, I stil can’t sink into the Sundered Series.

  8. Aaron says:

    I find your intro­duc­tions to the short stories more telling of their style and tone than any notion of whether they relate to a partic­ular set of novels. Perhaps, instead of trying to cate­go­rize them as such, just announce them here by posting the intro­duc­tion. That should give them enough context to let the readers decide on their own if some­thing sounds inter­esting or not. And it’s also what would be avail­able as a sample on Smash­words or Kindle, anyways.

  9. Paloma Doveny says:

    I think you’re thinking too much. You are such a great writer and everyone is going to read every­thing of yours anyway! Like the comments above, it’s nice to be warned if some­thing is really dark (not always fun to read) and it would be inter­esting if you posted on what you were going for in a story or exper­i­menting with etc. but like other commenters said, just go ahead and write and we’ll be lapping it up, while we wonder how you ever manage to invent all these char­ac­ters and stories in the first place! I find a great pref­er­ence for the House and Sun Sword series over Cast. So hope there will be more of House and Jewel, and more of the Sun Sword, Valedan and Diora. So many dangling plot lines and burning ques­tions of what Happens NEXT????????? and will the wait be very long?

    I remain a devoted fan.

  10. @Mary Allen: Kiriel and Anya are in the the future — in some ways, I consider Sun Sword to be the midpoint of the Kiriel arc.

    But neither will appear in House War =/.

  11. @Ann: Yes, actu­ally :). If I’m uncer­tain and readers feel that my uncer­tainty is, or was, wrong, I’d like to hear that. I did once say “Readers of mili­tary SF will not be the readers for these books” (refer­ring to the West novels, I think) as an example of the ways in which books never reach all readers, and someone gentle made fun of this state­ment, as he is a West reader…and a Weber reader.

    I have a much better radar for these things when I’m speaking about anyone else’s books/writing, because it’s one of the things I’ve done in the book­store for decades.

  12. @Hilda: Some of the shorts have a very distinctly different style than either the CAST or the West novels, though — it’s in style, more than actual subject, that I’d be iffy. Whereas some, I’m certain will work. (And, given writing and reading, I could be wrong about those too.)

  13. @Paloma: Yes, there will be more. In January of 2012, Skir­mish arrives, and it starts directly after the last of the Jewel parts of The Sun Sword. Diora and Valedan, on the other hand, aren’t in these books. I am, at the moment, on schedule for War and January 2013 — but that presup­poses that War doesn’t get too long. About which, given my past record, I attempt to say no more.

  14. Michael says:

    Want. So. Badly!!!!!!!
    Oh and I think you have a typo towards the end there. For some reason you said War comes out in 2013 instead of 2012. Would want anyone getting confused. ::GRIN::

  15. I think for your own sake (certainly not the the gang at DAW) you should pull out all of the stops on WAR. Just let it rip — after all, it’s only paper — and it’s not like that didn’t happen with ‘Sun Sword’!

  16. Aaron says:

    I concur, but only in the sense of length. If you pull out another Riven Shield/Sun Sword punch, I think we’ll all be happy, no matter how long it takes.

  17. Sharon M says:

    Please, can you tell me when there will be a new printing of The Riven Shield? I’ve been hanging for months — it’s not avail­able anywhere, elec­tronic or paper, not even at used book stores or my local library. Well, there are some intrepid resellers offering it for more than $100, but as much as I really want to know what happens next, I’d rather you profit. Please urge your publisher to print more, or offer it on Kindle/Nook!

  18. Joey says:

    Sharon M.: If you wish, I’d be happy to check book­stores in my area (three are genre!) and if The Riven Shield is avail­able I can let you know. You could then work it out with the store … or with me.

  19. Hilda says:

    Sharon, like you, I was desperate for Riven Shield (it’s amazing, feels like the best of the series), and I followed up some infor­ma­tion a while back. If you don’t want to wait for the elec­tronic, try the following.I obtained it from the Bakka-Phoenix Book­store in Canada. It costs a little bit more than here but I found it very worth­while (reading it 2nd time). Send an e‑mail to Chris Szego at chris@​bakkaphoenixbooks.​com. They may have one or two more; it’s much in demand. It costs $10.99 in Canada, plus $10.00 for ship­ping. It beats any price I found here, and I’m very grateful for having it. They have a safe system for paying and options. Their fax # is 416 – 963-9994. The store # is 416 – 963-9993. Good luck!!!

  20. I know all of the books are in the queue for kindle versions, because I know the woman who is proof­reading them. They had to be OCR/scanned, so the files that result require proof-reading before they can be converted — and I have no firm ETA for their actual avail­ability, but I do know they defi­nitely will.

  21. The ONLY issue I’ve ever found with your books is you tend to leave us with a cliff hanger at the end of a series!!! Your Sun Sword series has so many loose ends every time I reread that series I’m hoping and PRAYING you’ll have another series that ties them all up or more prefer­ably :D have SEVERAL series which ties them up :D Your form of writing and lack of the “fashion state­ment crea­tures” (ie. ware­wolves, vampires, etc) is a fresh full breath after having drowned in stereo types!
    Please let me/us know if you have any plans to continue or expand on your Sun Sword series so I can either break my heart now or wait in baited antic­i­pa­tion for the first release ;)

  22. The first three books of the House War series are about Jewel & the Den in their forma­tive years.

    But book four, Skir­mish, starts the day that Jewel arrives back in the Terafin manse. So, yes, I am. I realize that it is not the brightest thing in the world to start a new series and then pick up after an entire other series in the middle, and I kick myself for it every hundred words or so at the moment. But, the novel that is coming in January 2012 picks up where Sun Sword left off, at least for Jewel and the den.

  23. Actu­ally, it occurs to me that I should say two things: Char­ac­ters that were intro­duced in the first three books of the series are also impor­tant in Skir­mish.

  24. Even if it wasn’t the best thing to do another series in the middle of another I person­ally have no complaints about your Cast series… another VERY good series and the one that I’m pushing on my friends and family even more than the Sun Sword and its rela­tive stories ;)

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