Back on track

skm_c284e15081511210_0001
These go in The Lightningfall, for one of the antagonists. Not for use while writing.

November and December were slow months for me, writing-wise. I wrote up a short story based in The Bloodheart universe, and worked on edits for a couple projects, but basically was bouncing from thing to thing without focus. It was like I said, “Oh, good idea, let’s become a human Ping-Pong ball for a while!”

Fun for creativity? Yes. Good for productivity? No.

So, I did the New Year’s Resolution thing. I picked one project and dedicated to writing 5 pages a day on it. I cheated and started prior to my birthday, after Christmas.

Success! Got back on track.

I’ve written approximately 20,000 words since Christmas. Huzzah! Every page typed is a page closer to finishing The Lightningfall, which is the sequel to The Bloodheart.

Doesn’t mean I’m not taking notes on my other projects–and some days, yes, making yourself write is a pain. But it’s always worth it at the end of those five pages.

 

 

Year in Review: A Tale of Five Stories

Before I get too far, I’m looking ahead. What’s coming up in 2017? Several things. You know me: there’s never just one project.

  1. Publication of Man Behind the Wheel, a sci-fi novel set in a near future USA where it’s illegal to drive
  2. Preparing an outline for a third Takamo novel
  3. Edits of Airfoil: Hotspots, a short story which will be featured in a February/March anthology published by Crossover Alliance
  4. (Possible) publication of Airfoil: Origins, the novel that inspired the short story
  5. Edits and eventual publication of the second Takamo novel, Strife’s Cost
  6. Writing a sequel to The Bloodheart, a sequel to For Us Humans, an urban fantasy/scifi/superhero novel called Starspike, and a doppelganger story

Whew! Yeah, I’ll be busy. But that’s the fun part. The goal is to get The Lightningfall (sequel to The Bloodheart) done first, while likely writing bits of other books. Of course, there’s also several other project ideas floating around.

Okay, so back to 2016. Here’s what happened in my writing world this year.

Empire’s Riftempires-rift-front-388x600

I finished the manuscript for the first novel in the Takamo Universe, and saw it published by WordFire Press/Kevin J. Anderson Presents in October. (Actually started writing in December 2015, but hey, close enough.) It’s now listed in the Baen catalog. That’s pretty exciting! There’s a sequel coming up in 2017, tentatively titled Strife’s Cost, that chronicles the continuing adventures of several primary characters.

God, Robotgod-robot_960-375x600

Back in April, Castalia House published this e-book anthology about religious robots. It’s meant to pay homage to Asimov’s I, Robot, and I think accomplishes the goal nicely. My short story is Daily Bread and tackles a problem with one of the faithful – how to deal with the Lord’s Supper/Communion.

For Us Humansforushumans2-388x600

This novel was a work in progress for nearly three years. It finally came to fruition in May, when I published it through Amazon/Createspace. Funny, Mitt Romney is the president seeking re-election in the background of the story world, but I never would have guessed how the real election was going to turn out six months later. An alternate timeline in which our world is part of an alien federation seems less strange.

The Word Endangered3-0wordendangerednew-388x600

Seven years ago, Marcher Lord Press launched my writing career with the publication of The Word Reclaimed. After a five-year hiatus from that story universe, I returned readers to The Face of the Deep series with The Word Endangered. It follows the adventures of a surveying ship and its crew as they face a new threat to the interstellar Realm of Five, 10 years after the events depicted in the original novels. Writing this one at the end of 2015–and then seeing it published this fall–was like visiting long-lost friends, and if I get another chance to go back to see them, I’ll be quite happy.

bail-out-cover-front-1250x2000-500x800Bail Out

This short story takes place in the same universe as For Us Humanssix months later. The captain and crew run a planet-hopping company with the goal of helping alien species where only humans can get the job done. I hope to spin it off into a novel at some point.

As always, thanks to all my readers, and I hope you enjoy what’s to come next!

Rescue aliens in ‘Bail Out’

Bail Out Cover Front (1250x2000) (500x800).jpgMy short story Bail Out: A Human Interventions Job is up for grabs on Amazon. It’s a concept I came up with as part of an anthology submission, but it didn’t get accepted for the mix, so me being me I went ahead and published it.

“Rycole aliens hire Captain Todd Nazaryan and the crew of the starship Chesapeake to retrieve the lost complement of an exploratory vessel. It’s all in a day’s work for the five members of Human Interventions as they risk their necks to finish the jobs other species of the Panstellar Consociation won’t do…

“The ones only human beings will get done.”

Bail out takes place in the same story world established in For Us Humans. An alien federation brings Earth into the fold after first contact in June 2001, setting up an alternate timeline in which 9/11 never happened. Humans are taking their first steps into a wider galaxy.

I also put together a paperback version, which includes sketches not found in the e-book. Why? Because I wanted one to keep on myself, being a physical book aficionado. The paperback’s Amazon entry will be linked to the ebook in a few days. It’ll make a great stocking stuffer – seriously, you can roll it up. I tried.

In other writing news, I completed a short story set in The Bloodheart universe that I’m editing this week. Writing continues, albeit at a slower pace, because I’m involved in a community production of And Then There Were None. That’s right, I’m in a play.

My evolution beyond high school introvert continues!

 

‘The Word Endangered’ – Return to Space

It’s here! The Word Endangered is available in paperback, as are the first books of The Face of the Deep series – The Word Reclaimed, The Word Unleashed, and Broken Sight.

Even better, I’m running a giveaway for the next month for The Word Endangered through Goodreads. Three fortunate souls will get a signed copy shipped to them.

Still geeking out over the amazing covers done by Kirk DouPonce of DogEared Design. He’s done the covers for pretty much all my books, and rest assured, I’ll be sending more work his way.

Interview on 307NetRadio

Mark Bentley of 307NetRadio interviewed me this morning about my upcoming projects.

As mark astutely says, with me, it’s hard to figure out what my latest project is, because I always have something in the works.

Speaking of works:

The Word Endangered releases in paperback Friday, Oct. 14. I’m planning a Goodreads giveaway, which will go active then.

I’m doing a book signing in my town, Buffalo, Wyoming, on Friday, Oct. 28, for The Word Endangered and Empire‘s Rift. Speaking of Empire’s Rift, the Kickstarter is progressing beyond the original goal, but with 47 days to go, there’s still plenty to raise for the stretch goals – including the new $4,500 goal which will produce an audio version of Empire’s Rift.

I recently submitted Airfoil: Origins to a couple of publishers, after tweaking the manuscript.

Man Behind the Wheel, a near-future sci-fi about a pursuit specialist in an America where it’s illegal to drive, is being edited.

I’m planning out a short story for entry into the planned Humans Wanted anthology. The premise is excellent, and the story I’m working on is based in the same alternate timeline as For Us Humans.

Whew! Busy is an understatement. Anyway, check out the interview! It’s a long one, at almost an hour, but it’s worth dropping in for even short stretches to hear what’s going on.

Kickstarter launch for Takamo Universe

Well folks, it’s time: the Takamtakamo kickstarter.jpgo Universe online game project has started its Kickstarter effort. My novel Empire’s Rift is the centerpiece of this event, the linchpin story for the fictional world of the game universe.

Best part is, I finished the sequel, tentatively titled Strife’s Cost, on Sunday afternoon. One rough draft done.

Please support the Kickstarter however you can. There’s a lot of options, and great perks!

Kickstarter campaign launched!

Legendary science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson, author Steve Rzasa, WordFire Press, and the makers of Takamo Universe join forces to transform the Takamo game universe into written word.
You can help bring classic science fiction into the world of sci fi video games by supporting the publication, distribution, and promotion of the first novel in the “Kevin J. Anderson Presents” series: Empire’s Rift by Steve Rzasa.
We need as many backers as possible to support us within the first few days. Please click here –takamouniverse.com/empire – to pledge now. Thank you!
 Perks include:
• Ebook of Empire’s Rift
• 11x 17 art prints
• Paperbacks of Empire’s Rift
• Online Q&A with authors
• Autographed paperbacks
• Book by Kevin J. Anderson autographed hard copy
• Your name in a future Takamo Universe story
• Skype meet and greet
• Your name in a future Kevin J. Anderson book
• Complete signed set of Dune hardcovers
• Signed Empire’s Rift Manuscript
Randy Ritnour
CEO Takamo Universe

A Call for Reviews

3.0WordEndangeredNEWI’m looking for sci-fi fans to read and review The Word Endangered in preparation for the October 14 release of the paperback. Enclave Publishing has provided me copies, which I’ll mail to you–signed, of course–in exchange for a review.

Posting to Amazon and Goodreads is great. If you happen to be familiar with Christian Book Distributors, more’s the merrier.

Let me know if you’d prefer an electronic copy instead. Contact me and I’ll get you a copy to review in the mail as soon as I can.

WordReclaimedSpeaking of which, Enclave has put The Word Reclaimed up on NetGalley. I’m looking to get reviews of my first novel, in hopes of pushing the total up over 50 – whether or not that’s a magic number, I have no idea, but it’s a good goal in any case.

“The Bloodheart” for a Buck

So the big news this week is I’m going to Salt Lake City Comic Con.

slccc 2016 profile.JPG

That’s right. Yours truly will help staff the WordFire Press booth from Sept. 1 through
Sept. 3. WordFire, of course, is Kevin J. Anderson’s company which is publishing my next novel, Empire’s Rift, a story fleshing out the Takamo Universe online game.

BloodHeart_3DTo commemorate both events, I’ve put The Bloodheart e-book on sale for $0.99. The Bloodheart is my only fantasy novel, and the book I’m taking with me to highlight at the WordFire booth. I’ll be signing copies for guests there, and promoting my other works.

It’s been gratifying to see the reviews crop up for this, my first experiment at self-publishing. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that cover artist Kirk DouPonce snagged a Parable Award from Realm Makers this year for his jaw-dropping work.

This sale will last through Sept. 8, giving you the chance to grab a thrilling read for the upcoming Labor Day weekend. If you’re going to SLCC, I’ll see you there. If not, I’ll meet you in the pages of The Bloodheart.

A new space adventure

It’s official – there is a cover.

EMPIRE’S RIFT front

My next book is Empire’s Rift: A Takamo Universe Novel, and will be published by WordFire Press in late Fall. WordFire is owned by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta Anderson. If you don’t recognize the name, Kevin Anderson has a ton of titles to his name, perhaps most notably the expanded Dune universe with Brian Herbert, and the Jedi Academy Trilogy  from Star Wars Legends–one of my favorite sets from back in the 1990s.

Last year I started writing what could be termed encyclopedia entries for the Takamo Universe, a play by mail game now evolving into an online adventure. By the time last summer rolled around, I talked about in “Back to Space Opera” how I was writing short fiction. Well, they commissioned me to write a novel to kick off an expanded story world, and Empire’s Rift is it.

Then it got picked up by Kevin Anderson. So… wow. Exciting stuff!

I also will be attending the Salt Lake Comic Con to lend a hand at the WordFire booth. Double exciting!

Here’s the summary for Empire’s Rift. Stay tuned!

EMPIRE’S RIFT back cover