First things first - Happy New Year Commanders!
2013 has been a crazy (busy) year so far. I never would have expected to spend much of it thinking about and working on a sci-fi novel based in the game world that first sparked my interest in technology way back in 1984.
The Christmas break wasn't really a break for me as I spent every spare moment fine tuning the last few chapters of plot and having gained access to 8 alpha play levels of Elite: Dangerous, finally able to go back through my chapters and write the flight combat scenes. I am still working on these, being the perfectionist I am, and remain 3 chapters from finishing the first draft -- but all still on target for planned release I am confident to report!
The biggest news for me this festive season though was being signed to the Fantastic Books Publishing Elite authors collective. This is an independent publisher with a lot of experience in publishing fantastic science fiction (see what I did there?), and I can't tell you what a weight it is off my shoulders to have some experienced back up in these final stages of the process.
Fantastic Books ran another Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to make audiobooks & special edition box sets for the (then) four books they had signed:
1. Elite:Reclamation by Drew Wagar
2. Elite:Lave Revolution by Allen Stroud
3. Elite:And Here The Wheel by John Harper
4. Elite:Tales From The Frontier, an anthology of 15 stories by Darren Grey, Tim Gayda, Allen Farr, Lisa Wolf, Ulla Susimetsa, Marko Susimetsa, Rose Thurlbeck, Chris Booker, Alexander Saunders, Gareth Bailey, Nicholas Hansen, Ramon Marett, Frederick Burbidge, Matthew Benson and Christopher Jarvis.
I want to assure all of my backers that your pledge rewards will be fully met. Fantastic Books have made a big commitment to this. They are also fully in favour of going the DRM-free route for all the digital imprints, so you will get everything I promised you -- and more. In fact it is likely the print on demand cost prices will be much lower, as Fantastic Books obviously have much better print deals for their whole company than I could arrange independently. In addition, the book will be available as a hardback and in the box sets detailed in the Kickstarter they ran.
For the 32 of you who paid £75 for a limited edition copy, we are looking at several options to make your purchase special enough, including a signed, limited edition dust jacket and a set of ACEO cards featuring the main characters... There will be more on this as we work out the details, and if any of you have any particular thoughts about what you would like then do get in touch, either leaving a comment or you can email at email@example.com.
The final note I want to share with you as it made me dance around the house with joy this morning and I have to share it with someone or else explode - initial feedback from the publisher around the first few chapters couldn't have been more positive. I was terrified sending my work for professional review for the first time, but it seems my attention to detail, planning and obsessive self-editing is paying off.
Commanders, the literary hyper-drives are powering up and I have a feeling we are about to jump into a Fantastic (see what I did, again?!) 2014 of Elite action!!