Monthly Archives: April 2015

A bit of technology from 1921. Spotted at the mineral museum in Florence, Italy.
A bit of technology from 1921. Spotted at the mineral museum in Florence, Italy.

Updates

My debut novel, STEAL THE SKY, is set to be published by Angry Robot Books on Jan. 5th, YAY! They've purchased two more books from me in the Scorched Continent series, making it a trilogy. You can read more about it here, pre-order it here, and add it to your Goodreads here.

Book Two in the Scorched series is well on its way, with a complete outline in place and currently at about 30k words in the rough draft. I'll be putting a progress bar up for that soon. I know what it's like to have to wait for a series I love to reach its conclusion, so I'm going to be completely transparent about the status and process involved with the next two books.

Inspiration

I've been really inspired by quite a lot of game art recently. Not only is it richly atmospheric, but I've noticed a trend with indiedevs in fantasy games recently that's leading away from traditional fantasy land. There's a lot of varied settings out there now, with stories to match, and they're growing more varied every day. I've also been entranced by just how much information and mood can be conveyed by some of the more masterful works of pixel art. It's a strong reminder that you can't go wrong focusing on the basics.

Two weeks ago I went to an incredible lecture about ancient technology by Richard Carrier (more on this later) at the Chabot Science Center, and that's stuffed my head full of ideas for many more stories yet to come.

A Story Recommendation

Yuca and Dominoes by José Iriarte. It's a beautiful, bittersweet story about leaving home.




This is a terrible picture of my sand timer:

hourglass

I found it here, and although my exact model is sometimes sold out, there are always others like it available.

Like many people who work from home, manage a business, and generally have about a billion plates spinning in the air at any given time, I often find my time fragmented and my schedule full of tasks that fall conveniently into the “multi” category. This works great for most things, but some tasks can suck you in and not let go. Which, yay for focused work, but when you’re really into completing a project it can be to the detriment of everything else.

You don’t want to pick your head up from a project at 4am and realize you needed to have gone to the post office before 5pm. The previous day. Not that I’ve done that before. Nope. Moving on...

Enter the hourglass. Mine is meant to be a literal hourglass, measuring 60 minutes give or take a few. Its use in my daily routine is tri-fold:

  1. Its first, and probably most important, job is to give me a marker of the time I spend at the computer. Most of my tasks are accomplished in front of a screen, and the timer gives me a reminder to get up, move around, stretch, etc.
  2. It helps me out when I’ve got a handful of tasks with nebulous time-frames waiting in the wings. For example, I’ll do database entry for an hour, stretch break, then edit photos for an hour, etc. Breaking up work like this keeps me from going to the post office drop-box at four in the morning because oops, how do clocks work again?
  3. If I’m having trouble focusing or getting into a project I need/want to get into, it gives me hard limits without being intrusive. There’s no obnoxious alarm or vibration to distract me, so once I do knuckle down if I need more time I can just flip the hourglass over and keep going (no flipping allowed if I’m using it for number two of this list).

 

And there you have it. Its lack of intrusiveness has been really beneficial to my schedule - it's an excellent way to mark time spent, without being jarred out of whatever you were just doing.




Angry Robot Books

I have joined forces with Angry Robot Books to publish my trilogy, The Scorched Continent series!

Not that any of you should be surprised by this. I mean, come on, a publishing house named after robots? Of course I love them. It’s practically one of my prime directives - I mean... rules, yes, human rules, that’s it - to love anything with robots.

Right. As I was saying...

Phil and the team over at Robot HQ have been a treat to work with, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for my debut novel, STEAL THE SKY.

When I set out to write STEAL THE SKY, I wanted to write a book that encompassed the fun of early fantasy adventures while still playing with the modern shift toward grittier stories. To do this, I infused my primary protagonist with a PG Wodehouse-style levity intended to contrast against the brutal backdrop of the world he inhabited. And then I gave him a buddy. Because dark, post-modern fantasy worlds are a little more bearable when you've got a friend around to keep your head on straight. Even if he keeps stealing your hat.

What my agent has to say about it: 
STEAL THE SKY has everything you could possible want in a book – shape-shifters, exploding gas, flying airships, conniving con men, pulpy adventure, and sand. Lots and lots of sand. We have known Megan for a while and were blown away after the first pages of STEAL THE SKY. It’s DUNE meets cyberpunk, or desertpunk as we like to call it. There’s conspiracies galore, wise-cracking tricksters, and adventures to be had in the air under the harsh desert sun.

My publisher's description:
Detan Honding is a conman on the run who thinks he’s got it made when an opportunity arises to steal a gorgeous new airship. Unluckily, the watch-captain whom he thought was in on the plan with him turns out to be an imposter. She’s a wily shape-shifting creature known as a doppel, and she’s wanted for murder.

With the doppel bringing more attention to his schemes than he’d like, Detan considers fleeing the city. But the doppel makes it clear she’ll harm his only friend if he bails on her – and so he’s forced to act. When his attempt to steal the ship backfires, he ends up in the hands of the empire that’s been chasing him, and must use a special power he’s always been afraid of to escape.

STEAL THE SKY is due for release on January 5th, 2016. You can currently find it here: Amazon & Goodreads