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Unascended -- the Beginning

atlantis
Unascended is finished and turned in! Now we wait for first edits.

To celebrate, I thought I'd share the beginning of the first chapter.

Chapter OneCollapse )

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Writing History -- the process

general's mistress
A reader asked how I write history -- how much is real, how much is made up, and how I blend the two. That's a really complicated question! I think the most useful thing is to give an example. This is a scene from The General's Mistress, and it's one of the hardest and most complicated to write because I'm doing about six things at once.

First, this scene is a turning point in Elza's life. In her memoirs it's clear that whatever was said after she drew a veil across the scene changed not only how she viewed Bonaparte, but how she saw herself. It was that important. And yet she doesn't say exactly what was said! So I had to write the scene knowing it's pivotal for the character.

Second, this scene is hard for the reader because many readers have a very skewed picture of Bonaparte. If you're expecting the Short Ranting Man of vaudeville humor, this will completely throw you. So I have to sell an entirely different picture.

Third, it has to work as it stands for readers who are reading The General's Mistress without any of the other Numinous World books.

Fourth, it has to work for readers who are coming to it as the fourth Numinous World book.

Fifth, it has to work as a sex scene.

Sixth, it has to move the action for the rest of the book, because it changes Elza's trajectory.

So! Terribly complicated scene. Here's my "director's commentary" below. Think of it as one of those DVD extras where the director tells you what they were doing in the shot.

Elza and BonaparteCollapse )

Awesome Art!

The Lost
Nothing makes me happier than when our work inspires other people's creativity. This is wonderful and amazing art by Wraith Worshipper on DeviantArt. I hope she doesn't mind me reposting so you can see how gorgeous it is! Now I've got to put this scene in Unascended!

Ember and Newton by Wraith Worshipper

And here's my cat Selene, no longer a kitten but the inspiration for Newton.

Selene

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Wind Raker -- the big picture post

Lost Things
Now that Wind Raker is turned in to our publisher, it's time for the big picture post!

It's the spring of 1935 and the team is heading to Hawaii! Here are some of the real people they'll encounter.

Dr Peter Buck pipe

This is Dr. Peter Buck, Jerry's boss for his dig and the director of the Bishop Museum. Dr. Buck, also known as Ti Rangi Hiroa, is a fascinating person, and Jerry is going to learn some unexpected and exciting things from him.

More fun under the cut!Collapse )

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The Order of the Air

Lost Things
A question for everyone who is reading/has read the three Order of the Air books so far -- which is your favorite? I'm very curious.

Poll #1963413
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 11

Which is your favorite so far?

View Answers
Lost Things
2 (18.2%)
Steel Blues
6 (54.5%)
Silver Bullet
3 (27.3%)


Why do you like that one best?
secrets
A reader asks, "It interests me how big of an influence MGM takes on your books. Do they edit out whole scenes or are the changes usually more minor, like a changed word or sentence? Do they have any influence on your creative process when you first come up with the story line?"

Great question! First, MGM has to approve the plotline. The biggest step was the first one -- the idea that this was season six, and that changes would happen that were actual and real. With most tie-ins everything has to be at the end of the book exactly as it was at the beginning. Nothing can change, nothing can be learned, no plot can advance, no character can grow. In essence, a book must be static. At the end of the book it has to be like it never happened.

Legacy is not that. It's a sixth season, which means characters can enter or leave the show, their relationships can change, and they can change. This is a huge leap for MGM, and we're very proud that they selected us to do this.

MoreCollapse )

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Unascended -- On the Hunt

atlantis
A reader asks if I will "drop some little snippets to feed us starving piranhas" about Unascended, so yes, I will!

Please join Teyla, Rodney, Ronon, Daniel Jackson and Ember on a mission....

On the HuntCollapse )

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Unascended

atlantis
A reader asks, "How is Unascended coming? When will it be out?"

Unascended is coming! We'll be done in just a few weeks. Right now I'm working on Teyla, Rodney, Ronon, Daniel and Ember investigating an Ancient installation that isn't what it seems, which is definitely a fun party to write!

After we're done with the first draft it will go to our editor, Sally, at Fandemonium for her first edits. Then we'll get it back and make the changes. Then it will go to MGM for their edits. Then we'll get it back and make those changes. Then it will go back to MGM for final approval, then to proofreading, and then at last to formatting and print. So I am guessing maybe the end of summer or beginning of fall? It really depends on how long each of these steps takes.

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Working on now?

Numinous World
A reader asks, "What are you working on now?"

Everything at once, as usual! Mostly Unascended, the seventh Stargate Atlantis Legacy book. We're finishing up, and I'm working on a scene 3/4 of the way through with Richard Woolsey. I'm also going through first edits on Wind Raker, the fourth Order of the Air book, and my goal today is to add a scene with a midsummer ritual. I'm also looking at editorial comments on my very first (publishable) novel from before Black Ships, a historical romance set in Fin de Siecle Paris. I haven't started the ninetieth revision yet, but I will soon. I'm also playing with the idea for a high fantasy novel or novella with romance and adventure, tentatively called The Winter Lord.

After that? Sometime in the next few months I'll start the fifth Order of the Air book, Oath Bound -- in which Jerry goes to Alexandria hunting for the lost treasures of the Soma! I am looking forward so much to writing Alexandria again, in a very different time, through the eyes of someone who loves Alexandria that was. Also Melissa and I will begin the eighth Legacy book, Endless, but we don't have an outline for that yet so it's a little ways off.

Bound By Story

Silver Bullet
A couple of readers have asked questions lately that touch on this from both ends -- Numinous World readers asking about Gull in the 20th century and the 20th century story, and Order of the Air readers asking about Pelley, Stasi, and the villainous plans that were hinted at but not revealed in Silver Bullet.

This scene in the next book, Wind Raker, is one of the scariest scenes I've ever written, Melissa says, for all that two people sit and talk, and so I thought I'd share it with you as this gets at both those sets of questions. This is a key scene! I'd really love to hear what you guys think of where this leads the story!

Honolulu, 1935 -- with some spoilers for Silver Bullet

Bound By StoryCollapse )

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