Happy New Year everyone!
2006 was a big year for me. I got laid off from my day job, got married, and got rehired to a different day job at my old company. I also had a few nibbles on A Clockwork Murder, but no takers. Still, I feel good about that one. I also wrote my 4th novel, and I'm editing hard on my 3rd. It amazes me to think that I've written four complete novels. And I enjoy them all (well, the first one is ok, but not great). But then, I'm a bit biased.
I'm still wavering on what direction to pursue with my writing career: push on the fantasy/mystery, or go forward with the science thrillers. Both appeal to me for different reasons. And I get plot ideas for both. But conventional wisdom is that you have to go with one (not that I adhere to conventional wisdom). For now, I'm still sending out ACM, but I'm going to A Writer's Weekend in March (and doing my science in SF talk again), so I've given myself that as a deadline to have Viral Coat ready to shop. In the long run, I think I want the science thrillers to be "my thing" more than the fantasy/mystery. All you gnome fans out there don't worry, I plan to keep those going too. Maybe I'll go with a smaller publisher or do free podiobooks or a web comic or something. Or maybe I can sell it to Tokyopop (biggest manga publisher in the US). Who knows. I have a special treat though. I've been teaching myself to draw (because, you know, I don't have enough going on already). Attached is the first sketch of Zook Terpin, the protagonist of A Clockwork Murder.
In revising Viral Coat, I've found that it is easy to get lost in the research. Where should they put their boat in on the Yangtze? How fast could a junk travel? Would the people in the region speak Mandarin or Cantonese? Etc. I want it to be as real as possible, or at least for readers to not be able to tell which scenes are places I've been and which one's I'm making up. But, too much research makes Todd a slow reviser. I have about 70,000 words now, and I need to be between 80,000 and 100,000 before I can sell it. Preferably 100,000 for a thriller.
On the reading front, I've been delving into thrillers. James Rollins' Excavation was a good read. I'm in Sahara by Clive Cussler now, and I have some of the classics cued up on my Sony Ebook reader. I'm also going to get the last two Michael Crichton's, because I like his stuff and want my own to be sorta like his. At least as far as the cool science is concerned. If you want to be a good thriller reader, check out: http://www.thrillerwriters.org/mustread.html
And finally, I have a request. I've got the new website up and running smoothly: http://toddcedwards.com. I do have one problem, and that is that in all the shuffling around, I lost two of the old newsletters. If you have Sept. or Nov 2006, can you please forward them to me? Thanks! Be sure to check the site out. I have two short stories up there to enjoy, and I plan on putting up more of my old writing. And my calendar pics too once I get a chance to resize them all.
Have a great year!