September 6

Next update September 27

Children of Fire is out in North America and the UK!

Wow, talk about a crazy week! The NFL regular season is under way for 2013. I was in San Antonio for a book signing and I popped by to check out WorldCon/LoneStarCon3. And Children of Fire is finally out in North America and the UK! (Check out the cool UK alternate cover art if you haven’t seen it yet.) The early reviews are in, and the critics to love it! Publishers Weekly gave it a feature starred review, and so did Library Journal. And it got great scores from Roqoo Depot (5 metal bikinis out of 5!), Fangirl Blog (8.5/10) and RT Book Reviews (4.5 stars).

I’ve also been doing lots of interviews to support the book, you might already have come across these, but here’s a list of the big ones so far: FanGirl Blog; Roqoo Depot; Suvudu and my web interview from San Diego Comic Con. And I was also part of a retrospective published in the latest issue of Star Wars Insider magazine celebrating the 10th anniversary of BioWare’s Knights of the Old Republic game.

While all this was going on, I’ve also been writing The Scorched Earth, book two of the Chaos Born trilogy. And I’m pleased to announce that the first draft of the complete novel is finished and on its way to my editors! But don’t get too excited – it’s going to be many months before it actually hits the shelves. This is still the very early stages of the process: my editors still need to look it over and we need to decided if we want to make any rewrites or changes. After that, it needs to get a full proof-reading pass, a typesetting pass, an Advance Reader Copy will be made… let’s just say it’s going to be well into 2014 before the public gets their hands on The Scorched Earth.

Still, it always feels good to get that first writing pass done; it’s a real sense of accomplishment. But the timing is kind of strange - everybody else is just getting introduced to Children of Fire, yet it’s old news to me. My focus is already on The Scorched Earth, but that disconnect is the nature of most creative entertainment forms. By the time a book or game is released, the folks who wrote it or worked on it have moved on.

Actually, moved on isn’t the best way to describe it. I’m still very invested in Children of Fire, and I’m dying to see what the fans think. The early sales numbers are already starting to roll in, and it looks good so far. I’m not doing Star Wars numbers, of course - it would have been nice, but hoping for that wouldn’t be realistic. Star Wars is HUGE, and it can be surprisingly difficult to get many of those readers to try something else. Fortunately, though, I’ve built up enough street cred that some SW fans are giving Children of Fire a look, and based on the e-mails and Twitter response they’re loving it!

That tells me that I’ve just got to keep putting the word out there. In the publishing industry it’s an accepted fact that moving fans from an established universe or series – like Star Wars or Mass Effect – to a new project by the same author is very, very difficult. We’re creatures of habit, and it’s hard to move us out of our comfort zone. So for Children of Fire, I’m in a bit of an unfamiliar position – I basically need to get out there and sell myself. (Not to be confused with selling out, which happened long ago!)

Fortunately, the publishers understand this and they’re committed to giving me the time and promotion to help my Chaos Born trilogy find its audience. I’m actually curious to see how the sales chart over time. The Star Wars books tend to move huge numbers the first few weeks, then drop off sharply. The Mass Effect novels were more of a slow burn – they didn’t come out of the gates as fast, but they held steady for a long time. 

Since Children of Fire is the first book in a new series, it will probably build up slowly as more readers hear about it and share it with their friends. But when The Scorched Earth comes out, it could be a whole different ball game. By then, the series will have built up its own following (I hope!) – that could get book 2 off to a roaring start.

My next big event is New York Comic Con in October, where I’ll be doing several signings and even a panel or two. We’re still working out the specifics, but once I know the details I’ll post it on my Twitter feed.

Until then, I have a few weeks to rest and recover. We’ve got some friends and family coming to visit from Canada, and I need to squeeze in my traditional celebratory trip to Vegas in honor of completing The Scorched Earth.

So, no updates for the next little while. But I’ll be back soon – go ahead and read Children of Fire to keep yourself busy until then.

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