starting to suspect my steampunk is ya…

Maxwell felt as if he had gone to hell. A hell with cows.

Though it’s… quirky at best.

The only ‘rules’ that I’ve been able to find for deciding between young adult and adult fiction tends to be 1) the protagonist’s age, 2) the style of writing, and 3) the length of the book. But surely, there must be more to it than that?

The project is something of an action/adventure maypole dance– I’m aiming for something light, fast, clever, and complicated. Probably much longer than my last book (which is short for a fantasy). I have teen characters, I have middle age characters, I have old characters. No absolute protagonists. My last book was dark and serious– this one is funny and forgiving. Victorian-esc expectations and manners, so quite clean as well.

Is there a reason to aim for YA over adult, or vice versa? It probably won’t make much of a difference, but I’ve started eyeing agents for the previous novel, and I’m wondering about the advantages or disadvantages once The Artificer’s Angels gets a little further on.

Over the weekend, I’ve revamped my home page.

It’s been long overdue. I still need to put in some of my new art (most of what I have there in my galleries are from 2006) and I need to change the confirmation page on the email form (it’s on a wonky default format), but otherwise I’m pretty happy with it.

Most notably, I now have a mailing list! Anyone who would like to be notified about my novel without wanting to bother listening to me ramble in my blog can go to, enter in their email address, and will be noted when it’s ready for pre-order.

In other news, World Building Month is officially over. I’m halfway done with compiling the last showcase, and I apologize that I haven’t been around this last week. I’m currently about 92,000 words into my book, halfway through the last chapter. Writing the last twenty percent, I’ve heard, is harder than the previous eighty, and they’re right. Now that I’ve slogged through it, I think that writing a last chapter is comparable to climbing up a wall by one’s fingernails. Isn’t writing glamorous?


cover art preview!

Blue Crystal, proposed cover

This is the very rough sketch of the future cover, commissioned from the wonderful Nykolai. Go see her gallery. (Rough idea for) The back:

In a sunless ice-world where cities are built underground, Vastii is a corrupt, dirty metropolis ripe with gangs, mercenaries, rebellion, and scheming politicians. To suppress an uprising in the west, the king took his own niece, Lady Wyrren Jadis, as a political hostage. Officially, her presence will ensure her father’s loyalty to a king that he never cared for. The king never mentioned that he intends to use Wyrren to accuse her father of murder.

Forced into a strange city with only a few companions, the king’s niece is seen as an easy way to the king’s ear or a weapon against the monarchy. But Lady Wyrren loves freedom more than comfort, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to fight for it.

Anyone think this is noteworthy enough to pick up at a bookstore and flip through a few pages?

the great commercial

One of my ideas for marketing my book once it nears publication is to (as well as doing the usual book signings, ads, internet banners) is to make use of my training in computer media and art to make a commercial for my novel and put it up on YouTube. I’ve seen this done before with varying degrees of effectiveness. Some use classical music and images from the public domain. One was sped up video of a woman writing the title of her book with a long, loopy handwriting. Another (very effective) took this compelling music and selected pieces of the cover art to great effect. I’m brainstorming with myself how to make something exceptional so that it will be easily passed around.

This is my current plan. Keep it short, first– I think I’ll aim for forty five seconds. Thirty five of that will be for animation, and the last ten will be for the title, author, cover art, and release. Blue crystal is a dark book, and one of my ideas is to use a combination of simple drawn animation (white lines on black), 3d graphics, and photoshop paintings. That way I can do nifty things like model part of a scene, animate the camera moving down dim the render, and transition to the animation in black and white. Every once in a while I can do a detailed photoshop painting, and scatter the piece with moments of detailed art. Rylan will fight his tiger in the arena. Police with elaborate silver demon masks will look intimidating. Wyrren will walk through walls.