I’d never heard of the publisher Dynamite before the two James Bond collections I’ve read, but I’m really impressed. The issues of the comic collected in this book were written by Andrew Diggle and illustrated by Luca Casalanguida, and they sure delivered the goods. Casalanguida has a striking, cinematic style that really helps evoke the sense you’re watching a film. And Diggle’s script was aces: Bond was clever, ruthless, and observant. Much like the first James Bond graphic novel I read last year, Vargr, I actually enjoyed the comic better than I have any number of Bond movies. So far the scripts are simply smarter.
Highly recommended. I look forward to reading more. As an added bonus, unlike a lot of the stuff I write about, this one’s in print!
Sometimes writing can be a real slog. You know what needs to be done because you have the outline, but you’re feeling your way along or think there’s something missing, or what have you. Sometimes you’re wrong and your test readers tell you you’ve just revised it too many times and lost touch with it.
But sometimes you learn that maybe that one astute beta reader was right about something not quite working in a scene or chapter. Recently my editor was looking over book 1 and discovered some issues in the third act that left me scratching my head. I got to thinking he was right and wondering why didn’t I pay attention to the observations of that clever lady I live with.
There were two or three problems that really left me feeling stuck in a box. And then I spoke to my agent, Bob Mecoy, and he improvised the way out of every single one of them. Brilliantly.
I read people giving advice about agents. Some write that they don’t need them, saying that they can negotiate their own contracts and handle their own business. Maybe they’re skilled enough, or have taught themselves enough, that they’re right. I don’t want to learn the business side anymore than necessary to understand my contracts, though, and I’m lucky enough to have someone who’s had years of experience not with that aspect of it, but other business matters as well.
I’m back in editing mode for the next little bit, so I’m running silent and deep for a while. But I wanted to point you towards a cool Kickstarter, Corsair Leader, where you’re flying Marine and Navy squadrons in WWII in the Pacific. The game looks like it’s going to be a blast, and is based off of the Air Leader engine I already know and love, so I was an instant pledge. I knew it was coming, so traded away some other games to build up the funds.
The link is here. I’ll have more writerly stuff to talk about in a little bit, specifically on how my agent, Bob Mecoy, is awesome. But the day’s already had a delayed start after a sink clog, so I need to sign off and get to work.
The oldest drove back to college yesterday afternoon and the house is already much emptier. It’s strange how quickly that happens. It’s not just his physical presence, absent, it’s his energy. I’m very fortunate to have a good relationship with both of our children.
He sure gave us a wonderful gift this year, a mini-roleplaying campaign of about seven episodes that I’m most likely to turn into a Dabir and Asim novella.
When not gaming or writing I’ve been reading my way through The Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries. I may have to pick it up and permanently add it to my collection. Not just because it’s really too big to read when borrowed from the library, but because there’s some masterful stuff in here that I might want to read again. The most interesting, so far, are a Sherlock Holmes pastiche by none other than Stephen King which is one of the finest pastiches I’ve ever read (“The Doctor’s Case) and the best Manly Wade Wellman story I’ve ever read, a mystery set on an Indian reservation, “A Knife Between Brothers.” I’ve yet to read a real dud, and even the minor ones still have me nodding my head in approval.
After that long gauntlet of deadlines I took a lot of time over the last four weeks and did house work, spent time with family, readied for the holidays, read for fun, and wrote some short stories. This morning I stepped back to the long suffering novel and think I’ve finally tweaked an argument at a turning point in the book so it works. It was the last sticking place, I think. I hope to know my editor’s take in just a couple of days.
2017 was a strange beast. There was a lot of personal stress that I won’t go into, but there were a lot of achievements as well, the first being the successful launch of Tales From the Magician’s Skull. I’m delighted to be the magazine’s editor. I spent the majority of the year thoroughly revising one novel — and that entailed rewriting vast portions of it — and then finished writing a second one. I was invited to write for and assemble a collection of World War II stories for a secret project that will shortly be announced, and I did that, and it was a blast. I’d never have thought I could pull that off, much less that I’d have an opportunity to try, but I’m pretty pleased with the result.
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