September 15

Next update October 4

I’m back from Vegas, poorer but wiser.

For example, I learned that betting my buddy $20 he couldn’t finish the infamous Heart Attack Grill Quadruple Bypass Burger was a mistake – he powered it down with room to spare. I also learned that my winnings at poker aren’t enough to offset my losses at craps and blackjack. (You’d think that would make me give up on the table games where I play against the house, but I haven’t learned that lesson yet.) And I once again confirmed that Vegas is the best place to go when I want to blow off some steam and celebrate the completion of another book.

That’s right: the first pass on the manuscript for Children of Fire is now in the hands of my editor. Feels good to have it done, even if we are a long way away from publication. The plan is still to publish Children of Fire and The Scorched Earth – the first two books in my original fantasy trilogy – in 2014. So I guess I better get started on that second book.

However, here’s a bit of info about the first book. As it stands now, it’s the longest novel I’ve ever written – roughly 150k words. The longest of my Bane novels was about 110k, the Mass Effect novels were about 85k. So there’s a lot going on. That’s not to say things are slow, though – as I’ve mentioned before, I hate “filler” in my books. I don’t like to write scenes where characters sit around a campfire and share poems with each other; even at that length every chapter keeps the plot moving forward.

I’ve posted this before, but for those of you who missed it here’s a brief summary of Children of Fire. I’m not a huge fan of these synopsis style blurbs, because they tend to paint everything in broad, overly familiar strokes, and I really think it’s the details and writing style that make characters and books come alive. But I also understand that people want to have some idea of what the book is about, so here it is:

The Old Gods are dead, sacrificing themselves to create the Legacy: a magical barrier to protect the mortal world from the fires of Chaos and the legions of Slayer, the once mortal champion who dared to rebel against them. Now, after seven centuries, the Legacy is slowly crumbling. The Order, fanatically devoted servants of the Old Gods, seek to preserve the Legacy and thwart Slayer’s return by brutally stamping out the forces of magic and Chaos that seep into the mortal world. But Chaos cannot be controlled or contained. Across the scattered corners of the land four children are born of suffering and strife, each touched by one aspect of Slayer himself – wizard, warrior, prophet, king. Unaware of their true nature, the Children of Fire are hunted by both the religious zealots of the Order and the minions of Slayer. Cursed by their bloody, violent births, each must each do whatever it takes to survive, unaware that one of them holds the key to restoring the Legacy… or to tearing it down.

So Children of Fire is done and I’m moving on to The Scorched Earth. But while you’re (hopefully) waiting for my original series to arrive, you can still check out my latest Star Wars novels. Revan is being released in mass market paperback on September 25 – get your preorders now! And Star Wars: Annihilation is coming in hardcover on November 13.

I’ve also got a couple upcoming appearances that I’ve previously mentioned. First, I’ll be at the Arboretum Barnes & Noble in Austin, TX for Star Wars Reads Day. I’ll be appearing with author Aaron Allston and several of my former BioWare colleagues for a discussion panel, some Q&A, some signings and all sorts of fun, prizes and giveaways.

Saturday, October 6
Time: 2:00pm
Barnes & Noble Arboretum
10000 Research Blvd.
Austin, TX 78759

Later in the month I’ll be up in Canada for StarFest at the St. Albert Public Library on Sunday, October 21. I’ll be getting interviewed by fellow author and former BioWare colleague Brent Knowles, and I’m sure we’ll find time for Q&A from the crowd and a book signing as well. My talk is officially titled Exploring Evil and the Dark Side of Star Wars, though I imagine I’ll be touching on Cerberus and Mass Effect as well. You do need to purchase tickets for this event, so hurry before they’re sold out!

I’ve also got another ausio interview from Celebration up on the web for folks to listen to. This one is with Jedi Journals – my part of the interview kicks in around 1:25 into the report.

Okay – guess that’s all for this update. I’ll touch base again in early October.