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The Big News
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Sorry I've been such a coy bastard. I was waiting for the go-ahead from my agent, Ginger Clark, before trumpeting it publicly, but here's the good news:

I sold two novels to Juliet Ulman at Bantam Spectra!

(Now is the part where we all go "Squee!")

Moreover, it's the start of a series, so assuming these books don't tank, I'll keep writing books in the series. I already have firm ideas for book three, and promising ideas for books four and five. (I really want to write book five, and it will only work as the fifth book in the series, I think.) It's an open-ended series, so each book will stand alone, but feature recurring characters, some larger over-arcing thematic/character issues, etc. But the story of each book will finish by the final page of each book. I promise. I don't do single-arc trilogies, quintets, dodecalogies, etc. -- I love many such series like that, don't get me wrong, but the idea of writing such a thing puts my brain in knots. I just don't think I'm built for it, at this point in my writerly life-cycle. I'd rather be in the "Discworld" or "Anita Blake" veins than the "Wheel of Time" or "Song of Ice and Fire" veins.

Which books, you might ask? Well, the first one is Blood Engines, which longtime journal readers may remember as "the Frog novel." That's right -- I get to write a contemporary fantasy sorcererpunk series featuring my kick-ass sorcerer Marla Mason, who very dedicated readers have previously encountered in my stories "Pale Dog," "Encounter on a Back Street," and (in an earlier, rather darker incarnation), "Haruspex."

(Now we all say "Squee" again!)

Book two is tentatively titled Ferocious Dreamers, and ludicrously longtime readers may recall my attempt to write this novel many years ago, during a novel dare in, hmm, 1999? I had the underlying idea for the book, but not the chops to pull it off, and I stalled about 40,000 words in. Not much of the original book was salvageable, but I returned to it last year, writing in it a little bit here and there, producing about 30,000 decent words. But I was unwilling to finish the novel, because there was no point in finishing it unless I sold Blood Engines first. But now I have, so I get to finish it! Whoo! That'll be my next novel project. We'll call it the sleep disorder book, for now. Because using titles before a book or story is written -- even stupid working titles -- is bad luck for me. I don't know why, I just know it is, and always has been. So there.

Book three, if there is a book three, will begin with the incidents in "Pale Dog" and will touch on the ideas that appear in "Encounter on a Back Street". Marla vs. Death (or one particular avatar of Death, anyway) is one of my most long-standing story ideas. But, you know, that's off in the future, if ever.

A couple of people have asked me if the Bridge novel has anything to do with this series. Nope. It's totally stand-alone. I'm not even sure it takes place in the same universe (though it's definitely in the same multiverse!). I don't know when/where/if I'm going to sell the Bridge novel yet. Time will tell.

Oh, and the deals for the books? Not bad. In fact, according to Scalzi's Real World Book Deal Descriptions, that's exactly what I got for each book: A "Not Bad" deal. Which means, among other things, that Heather and I can pay off most of our debts, afford to have a child, and buy a new couch. Life, she is very, very sweet. (Of course, the checks won't arrive for a while, but just knowing they're coming is a source of great relief.)

(Update: My agent just rightly accused me of selling myself short, pointing out that, taking the deal as a whole, I got a "Shut Up!" deal, by a rather comfortable margin. She's right. And props to her for getting such a deal for me!)

I celebrated the good news at Blue Heaven with my fellow Blue Angels (or whatever the hell we call ourselves), as seen in a couple of photos by Sandra McDonald:

Thanks to everyone who's supported me, given me feedback, and read my stuff! I hope to be writing stuff for you to read for a long while yet. And it looks like I'm gainfully employed for the next couple of years, at least!



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