2014 Writing In Review

2014 was a fairly productive period for my first year as an author. In late February, I released Convergence, and it’s since been featured as a Kobo Next Read Selection in their Science Fiction & Fantasy category, and was just recently a Book of the Week over at SciFi365.net. I’m pretty proud of this work, and reviewers have been responding favorably. I’ve heard from several readers who have greatly enjoyed it, and that alone has made this indie venture worthwhile. The title itself has raked up 10 reviews at Amazon, with a 4.8 out of 5 star average. On Goodreads, it’s accumulated an average of 4.42 out of 5 stars. It’s also made the Top 100 in Amazon’s Cyberpunk category multiple times since its release in both the US and the UK, which was very, very exciting to see.

My productivity hit its peak over the spring and summer, when I finished the first draft of Emergence and then dove into a short horror story, Consumption. Between those two works, I broke more than 110K in word-count over roughly three months.

Consumption released in October, and is currently standing at a 4.4 out of 5 star average among nine reviewers at Amazon, 4.15 on Goodreads. Again, I’ve been really happy with the reader reactions to this one. I was a bit nervous releasing it, as it’s so very different from Convergence, and is a bit off the wall. Horror is a genre I love, and I plan on dabbling in that end of the writing pool again in the (near?) future. I’ve got a few ideas I’m toying around with, but for the time being I’m heavily involved in my next novel.

And that next novel is, as I mentioned above, Emergence. This sequel to Convergence has been undergoing some serious editing and rewriting throughout the back-half of 2014. I recently received some beta reader feedback, which I think has helped tremendously, and it was great to get yet another set of eyeballs on this work. My content developer had terrific notes and suggestions, as well, and between those two readers I really do think Emergence is going to be one heck of a strong book. I’m hoping a few more betas will chime in soon. The next step is line edits, and I know my editor is going to have some more mighty fine suggestions, and that, in some ways, the work is only really just getting started.

Once those line edits are done, it’ll be onto the proofreading stage, and then art design and formatting. I’m eying a late first quarter or early second quarter release for 2015.

That’s not all, though! With Consumption out, and Emergence close to wrapping up, I was invited to take part in an anthology. There’s been a few kinks to work out on the scheduling for that one, but I have a 10,000 word short story, Revolver, that will be in the mix. Current plans are to have that one out for the spring, and I got an early look at the cover art and some of the story ideas from my fellow contributors. This should be a really great anthology, and I’m looking forward to sharing more details as we get closer to release.

I’m also in the very early stages of sorting out ideas for book three in the DRMR series, which will follow-up on some of the plot developments that occur in Emergence. I’m still a little bit away from hammering out all of the story details, but have settled on some interesting ideas that help expand on some of the conflicts seen in Convergence. I’m about five thousand words in and things are just starting to gel, so lots and lots of work ahead of me on this one.

On the blog side of things, I published 258 posts. These drew in more than 11 thousand views, across close to eight thousand visitors. Not a bad first year for this site (note: posts prior to 2014 were imported from a previous blog). I’m going to hedge my bets and say, conservatively, that between this blog and all the story writing, I probably produced close to 300 thousand words this year.

So, 2014 was busy, and I’m expecting 2015 to be equally productive. Keep an eye out for more news, more reviews, and new releases in the coming New Year.

Now, back to writing…

2014 Writing In Review

CONVERGENCE is SciFi365’s Book of the Week

Breaking news: CONVERGENCE was chosen as SciFi365’s Book of the Week. I’m absolutely thrilled by this. They write:

Our new book of the week, ‘Convergence’ by Michael Patrick Hicks, is one of those where it’s summary just doesn’t do justice to how good it is. It is truly an excellent Sci Fi novel and a worthy ‘Book of the Week’.

A cyberpunk thrillride…. The conflict between the humanity of the main character, Jonah, and the things he has had to do to survive in this harsh new world makes ‘Convergence’ an absolute pleasure to read.

Again, just sheer delight from me, and many thanks to the SciFi365 team for their support and their kind words.

CONVERGENCE is still on sale, for a limited time, for only 99 cents, so go feed your eReader!

| Kindle | Nook | Kobo |

Also, be sure to check out SciFi365 and sign up for their mailing list. I’ve found lots of great suggestions from their e-mails, and plenty of good deals. You can subscribe right here.

CONVERGENCE is SciFi365’s Book of the Week

The War On Christmas

It’s that time of year again… Pundits of a particular “news” station are frothing about the annual “War on Christmas.” Over on twitter, I, and a few others, reminisced about the ordeals of last year’s struggle and the impending holocaust that will no doubt be upon us this month with the hashtag #WarOnChristmas.

What do you remember of last year’s atrocities? Did you battle against the Elves and the chaos the Kringles wrought? Share your tales of woe and horror here, or on twitter with the #WarOnChristmas hash tag.

Here’s a few I enjoyed and retweeted:

The War On Christmas

The Writer Emergency Pack just received full funding (and well beyond!) on Kickstarter, which is excellent news because I have absolutely no idea how to wrap up my current WIP!

Congrats to John August on this wonderful project. These helpful cards got the backing of 5,714 awesome people (me among them, of course) and raised $158,109, which is well above the initial $9,000 goal.

Status

Inforgraphic: Self-Publish or Traditional?

The folks at The Write Life developed this infographic as a bit of a tongue-in-cheek guide to choosing your best publishing options.

Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing: Which Should You Choose?
Courtesy of: The Write Life

 

What are you thoughts?

Inforgraphic: Self-Publish or Traditional?

Quick Update On Revolver (A Sci-Fi Short Story)

Today, I finished up the second draft of REVOLVER, my contribution to a short-story science fiction anthology that will be releasing in 2015. No word on an exact release date yet, but keep checking back for more info!

This one clocked in a bit shy of 11,000 words, or close to 20 pages. Every page had revisions, some of them pretty significant (remember: writing is rewriting!), with more than 300 changes made to this 796 line manuscript. There were a lot of deletions, some insertions, and plenty of sentences that were altered and put under the knife. I’ve now sent it off to the editor and our other contributors and am awaiting their feedback, while keeping my fingers crossed.

Here’s the quick-and-dirty blurb, which may change as things progress but should give you a good idea of what to expect:

In a near-future America, poverty has run rampant and political apathy has allowed special interests to gain control of the country. A crowd-funding platform, Revolver, has been established by the nation’s moneyed elite to combat the increasing blight. Their latest participant is Cara Stone, a depressed woman with no hope for her future and nothing left to lose. There’s never been a Revolver entrant quite like her before. The corporate states of America are hungry for blood, and Cara promises to deliver.

REVOLVER is a bit of a dark work, and definitely the most political my fiction has gotten to date. I understand that may turn some folks off, but that’s simply what the story is. It’s dark, it’s angry, and it contains a few issues that I needed to get off my chest.

And for the moment, it’s now out of my hands. I’ve sent it up the chain, so to speak, and we’ll see what happens next. Stay tuned!

Quick Update On Revolver (A Sci-Fi Short Story)

Reblog: Writer Emergency Pack – helping writers get unstuck by John August — Kickstarter

I came across this Kickstarter project on Twitter today, thanks to this post from Chuck Wendig:

And that led me to John August’s page, and this tweet in particular:

So, now being pretty darn curious as to what the heck this all is, I hit up August’s Kickstarter page and pledged some support. Here’s the link:

Writer Emergency Pack – helping writers get unstuck by John August — Kickstarter.

And here’s what August says about the impetus behind his Writer Emergency Pack project:

Writing is hard. You’re constantly trying to figure out what word comes next.

Creative writing is even harder. When you’re working on a story, you’re not just trying to decide what word comes next, but what idea comes next.

It’s easy to get stuck.

I know what that’s like because I’m a screenwriter. I’m lucky to have had ten movies produced, from GO to BIG FISH to FRANKENWEENIE. I also host a popular podcast about film and television called Scriptnotes.

Over the years, I’ve had conversations with hundreds of writers, both on the podcast and around the lunch table. No matter what genre or medium, all writers face story problems. Plots that plod. Characters that don’t connect.

Every writer has her own techniques for pushing past these problems — little nudges and prompts to help get the story clicking.

Writer Emergency Pack is a curated collection of some of the most useful suggestions I’ve encountered. It’s by writers, for writers.

I’m really looking forward to getting this deck of cards and checking out the Dark Mode booster pack when it becomes available next year. I think this is going to be pretty darn entertaining, and who knows what kind of crazy stories this could lead to!

As an added bonus that makes donating/pre-ordering all the more worthwhile, August is taking a Get One, Give One approach to help get these cards into the sweaty palms of both writers and youngsters just starting out in local creative writing programs. I think this is a pretty exciting initiative to help bolster support for writing and show kids just how truly fun and awesome this thing we do can be.

Reblog: Writer Emergency Pack – helping writers get unstuck by John August — Kickstarter