Next update August 9
A day late with the update, but in my defense I actually thought today was the 19th, not the 20th.
That’s one of the dangers of being retired… days all blend into one another. And now that the NBA season is over and we’re into network TV reruns, the only reason I need to know the day of the week is so I don’t miss the final round of a golf tournament or to catch the latest Breaking Bad episode. Fortunately things will get better in September when NFL season fires up again – the Sunday and Monday games help anchor me temporally.
So, what can I talk about this update? Some of you may have heard about the recent changes/restructuring at BioWare Austin, but I don’t have any insider info to share. Now that I’ve left BioWare I’m just one of the "regular folks" – I don’t have any insight into what happened or what the future holds.
Besides, I’ve been focused on my own stuff. Children of Fire (the first book in my original fantasy trilogy, for those who haven’t been paying attention) is coming along nicely. It’s exciting to be working on an a world that is completely of my own invention and over which I have total creative control. Star Wars is great, but I’m not the one who calls all the shots for that universe (nor should I be). It was around when I was still in grade school, so I’m just happy to be a tiny cog in the machine. With Mass Effect, I had a lot more influence, but it was still a collaborative project, and there was always give and take. With Children of Fire, however, I can be a creative glutton – there is no give, it’s all take. I do what I want, when I want. It’s very liberating.
But even though I’m enjoying working on Children of Fire, I feel like I’m in an odd place creatively right now. Not odd as in I’m going to get all experimental with my writing – that just isn’t my style. It’s just that I’m sort of "stuck" between projects; I’m wandering in Limbo.
I finished my latest Star Wars novel, SW: Annihilation, a while ago, so I’ve mentally shifted gears to start working on Children of Fire. But Annihilation isn’t actually out yet – it doesn’t hit shelves until November 13. So even though I’ve "moved on", the general public still hasn’t seen it. Your (hopefully appreciative) reaction has been deferred, and because of that I still have tendrils from the book clinging to my mind.
The lingering connections are only going to get stronger over the next couple months: I’m sure people will want to know more about Annihilation when I head down to Celebration VI in Orlando next month. (Details of my schedule are still pending.) And when it is finally released, I know I’ll get a ton of e-mails from people who liked (or maybe didn’t like) the book. But by that time, I’ll already be working on the second book in my fantasy trilogy, The Scorched Earth. Annihilation will be fresh and new for everyone else, but for me I’ll already be two projects removed from it.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m very excited for the book to come out, because I love seeing fans’ reactions to my work. (Well, most of the time.) But sometimes things feel a bit schizophrenic as I’m pulled back and forth between the novels I’ve finished and the novels I’m working on. Remember that if you ever meet me at a convention or a signing and I seem a little hazy on the details of my own work.
People often find it hard to believe, but it’s more difficult for me to recall my own stuff than it is to remember someone else’s stuff. Partly it’s because when I finish with a project my mind is ready to move onto the next thing – that’s what keeps me going as an artist. But it’s also partly due to all the revisions and rewrites that may have happened along the way. The audience only sees one version of the work – the final product. I’ve got two or three (or five or six…) versions all jumbled together in my head, and it’s not always easy to remember which one rose to the top in the final edits.
Uh… I guess that’s it for this update. Mostly just pointless rambling about stuff you probably don’t care about, but it is a blog so I guess that’s pretty standard. Hopefully next update I’ll have more details on my Celebration VI appearance.
Also, if you have anything you want me to talk about in these updates, feel free to suggest it in an e-mail. I can’t promise I’ll use the suggestions, but if something catches my interest I might run with it.