Jason Cosmo: Royal Crush Update

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

A quick update on my progress toward releasing Jason Cosmo #3: Royal Crush. Over the weekend I finished my latest editing pass through the text — tightening prose here and there, fixing a few typos, and making decisions I had put off about some story details. The next step is to finish my re-read of Noble Cause (book two in the series) and make notes of any “continuity” matters I may need to adjust in Royal Crush to keep my story straight.

(As longtime Loyal Readers know, Royal Crush is a revised retelling of my Royal Chaos (1990), which was the second book in the original Jason Cosmo series. It that sequence, Jason doesn’t do much between book one and book two. In the current series, Jason has an extensive adventure in Noble Cause before coming to the start of Royal Crush. This has a ripple effect throughout Royal Crush, in ways both large and small. I’m doing my best to make sure I don’t miss anything as I update the text!)

While I finish up the text, I have also been in touch with my Cover Artist and hope to see some preliminary sketches soon. More details on that once we’ve formally inked our deal. All I can tell you is the cover will be great and very much capture the spirit of the Jason Cosmo series.

That’s all for now.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

Hero Wanted on Wattpad

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I’ve neglected the Update for many moons … mainly because I’ve had little Jason Cosmo news for you. Today I have two items to update you on:

Read Hero Wanted on Wattpad!

Wattpad is “the world’s largest community of readers and writers”. It seems like a very good place to introduce myself to new Loyal Readers. I am serializing Hero Wanted at Wattpad, with a new chapter released each week.

You, Loyal Reader, have probably already read the first book in the Jason Cosmo series. But maybe you have some friends who haven’t? If you think your friends would enjoy Hero Wanted, please do me the favor of sending them to Wattpad for a free taste of Jason’s adventures!

Here is the link: http://www.wattpad.com/story/30765268-jason-cosmo-hero-wanted

Please drop by on Wattpad and say hello! You can leave comments, post a review, or up vote each chapter … any of those would be a big help to me in attracting fresh eyeballs to the story. (Mmm, delicious eyeballs. Always better fresh.) Because algorithms.

Royal Crush is coming this summer!

Mea maxima culpa — My plan to release Royal Crush last year fell apart for a variety of reasons, some quite excusable, some less so. Now I’m back on the case, driving through the next round of revisions and expecting to finish the manuscript in May, for a summer release. Summer 2015, that is. Just to be clear.

More updates soon.

As always, thanks for reading!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo Confusion

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

As I close in on finishing my first draft of Royal Crush, I took a break to do a little Cosmoverse maintenance.

I labeled the books Jason Cosmo and Royal Chaos as the “Cosmo Non-Trilogy” on Amazon (I haven’t released Dirty Work there yet for lack of cover art … which I hope to remedy.) and added a “From the Author” note on each book’s Amazon page to try to dispel confusion about the old series vs. new series.

I also took an hour or so to untangle the messy classification of the Jason Cosmo books on Goodreads. There I labeled Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, and Dirty Work as “Jason Cosmo original series” (eschewing my jokey “Non-Trilogy” label there in favor of maximum clarity) and marked Hero Wanted and Noble Cause as #1 and #2 of the “Jason Cosmo” series.

Longtime Loyal Readers know I took a do-over and rebooted the series with Hero Wanted but I can see how a new reader might read the book Jason Cosmo, then pick up Hero Wanted and think “What is McGirt trying to pull here, writing the same book over and over. Who does he think he is – Dan Brown?”

My original plan on releasing Hero Wanted in 2009 was to drop the original series down the memory hole. But some Loyal Readers wanted the originals in ebook form too! So I reconsidered and gave the Non-Trilogy a pardon from oblivion.

I knew confusion among newcomers would be the price of that decision, so I do have to patrol this issue from time to time. This latest burst of activity was triggered by a question from a new Loyal Reader about how all the books fit together and which order to read them in.

I hereby decree that Jason Cosmo and Hero Wanted are two different books telling the same story … just like there are many books telling the same story of King Arthur, Robin Hood, and other legendary figures! The original series ended with Dirty Work. The current series marches on!

If you already understand the Non-Trilogy/Current Series distinction – congratulations! You’re a hardcore Loyal Reader, part of the “in” crowd, and really could have skipped this entire post…but thanks for reading anyway!

If you’re a new Loyal Reader…welcome! There is a more extensive explanation of this mess on my Non-Trilogy page.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Royal Crush and Other News

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Hero Wanted (2009)

Hero Wanted (2009)

Happy 2014! I know, it is already March, but this is my first update of the year. I’ve been busy writing new stuff for you…and still am! So let me give you a quick update on what I’ve been up to.

  • ROYAL CRUSH: The third volume of the rebooted Jason Cosmo series, following HERO WANTED and NOBLE CAUSE, opens with Jason and the twins Sapphrina and Rubis in Rae City to attend the Royal Wedding of Queen Raella and the wizard Mercury Boltblaster. A joyous occasion! Which, of course, will soon go horribly, horribly wrong. ROYAL CRUSH is a revised version of my 1990 book Royal Chaos. I am revising line by line, keeping the gist of the original story, but adding new details and perhaps a new twist or two to keep longtime Loyal Readers on your toes. Just before composing this post, I finished the first draft of Chapter 17. (I think there will be 30 chapters in all.) This is going faster than NOBLE CAUSE because I am working from an existing text. I don’t want to put a definite release date out there, but I expect to be done with the principal writing before the end of March. That leaves editing, proofreading, formatting and cover art to be done in April. So ROYAL CRUSH may be ready for a May release … but that is only an estimate right now! I will keep you posted on my progress. I am reporting the completion of each chapter on Facebook (Dan McGirt Page) and Twitter (@JasonCosmo), so follow me there for the very latest updates.
  • BOLTBLASTER: I’ll hit pause on the main Jason Cosmo series after I finish ROYAL CRUSH and turn next to the long-awaited BOLTBLASTER, the story of Mercury Boltblaster’s early years. More to say on this later — one book at at time! But I can report this book is already under way. I wrote a prologue, three chapters, and a detailed synopsis more than 20 years ago. I pulled these files from the archives recently… and they hold up pretty well! BOLTBLASTER will be fun and I can’t wait to get to it!
  • COVER ART: I recently had a good meeting with a very talented fantasy illustrator to discuss covers for several Jason Cosmo titles. Specifically, we talked about Rainy Daze and Dirty Work, both of which have sad text-only covers prepared by me using Microsoft Publisher back in 2009. That was barely okay then, but I want to get both of these ebooks into wider distribution on Amazon, Apple, etc. so they need professional cover art. I don’t like to name names until the deal is done, but Talented Artist has some good ideas and I think you’re going to like the new covers.
  • COSMOPEDIA:  The Cosmopedia is my online reference to the Jason Cosmo universe (or Cosmoverse), also available for you to browse. It unavoidably involves some mild spoilers if you haven’t read the books, so be warned. I recently finished a page-by-page push through HERO WANTED, updating and adding entries to the Cosmopedia, so check it out while you wait for the next book!
  • MAILING LIST: I’ve launched a Dan McGirt News mailing list, so sign up to get an email alert when a new book is available. All I need is your name (which can be an alias…) and email address. I will not rent out, sell, mangle or otherwise misuse your email address and promise not to spam you. I’ll let you know when a new book is out, or other major news (like if there were ever a movie deal…) but I won’t be cluttering your inbox every day. I’ve got books to write! SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST HERE.

That’s the news from the Eleven Kingdoms!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Magicka: The Ninth Element

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Magicka: The Ninth Element by Dan McGirtOver the past year I’ve worked on — and occasionally mentioned — a “Secret Project” media tie-in novel. It is finally finished, published, and on sale now!

Magicka: The Ninth Element (A Tale of Wizards) is set in the world of the Paradox Interactive fantasy adventure computer game Magicka.

Now available at the Amazon Kindle Store and on the Apple iBookstore.

Also available at Smashwords and at Barnes  & Noble.

Also available at Kobo.

Read much more about it at DanMcGirt.com

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo Audiodrama Debuts at The Drama Pod!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I have exciting news. The audiodrama adaptation of Jason Cosmo: Hero Wanted has begun at The Drama Pod! Click that link and have a listen now. Episode 1 is about 16 minutes … perfect for your iPod while you commute, jog, go to the gym, do the dishes, whatever. (But please do NOT listen while operating heavy machinery or performing surgery of any kind!)

Have you listened? No?  Go listen now! I’m about to discuss the episode …

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Dan McGirt at Dragon*Con 2013 – My Schedule

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Dragon*Con is almost upon us, coming up Aug 30-Sept 2 in Atlanta, Georgia!

dragoncon logoAs previously reported, I am a Dragon*Con Guest this year and have several scheduled appearances/events during the con. Here, for the benefit of any Loyal Readers attending who want to come say hello, is my schedule:

FRIDAY,  AUG 30

Reading and Q&A
Time: 4:00-5:00 pm (1 hr)
Location: University – Hyatt

At this session I will read a selection from Noble Cause and answer questions about my work. (If requested by attendees, I may read the selection aloud.)

SATURDAY, SEP 1

SFWA Table
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (1 hr)
Location: Not sure.

In an astonishing lapse of judgment, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is leaving me in charge of their table during this period. Where the table is, I do not know. But if I find out, I’ll be there. And if you find out, I hope you’ll drop by. Sitting at a table all alone is sad.

Autograph Session
Time: Sat 4:00-5:00 pm (1 hr)
Location: International Hall South – Marriott

This is your official chance to have me autograph your copy of one or more of my books. I will also sign books by other authors, napkins, programs, footballs, baseballs, human flesh, or anything else that fails its Save vs. Sharpie.

I share this session with several other writers: Jane Espenson, Brad Bell (TV writers, I think), S.M. Stirling (Dies the Fire, Island in the Sea of Time, etc) Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (the Saint-Germain Cycle and much more). The way this works, we each have our own table in a big room. I expect my line will the shortest, as I have a much more select and elite Loyal Readership!

Laws and the Writer
Time: Sat 7:00-8:00 pm (1 hr)
Location: Embassy D-F – Hyatt

The official description is: “How the law affects you as a writer, what protections it offers, and how to seek the help
of a professional.” I think that means the help of a legal professional. (There is a small chance this panel is an intervention and I am being set up.)

I will be moderating this session. My plan — assuming I am not wheeled away to a nice padded cell Hannibal Lecter style — is to share a few pointers about copyright, defamation, plagiarism, and contracts and then answer audience questions as best I can. I am a lawyer, but (as I will repeat several times) anything I say in this session is not legal advice, but is for informational purposes only. Every situation is unique and if you need legal advice you should retain an attorney of your very own.

[Fans of Michelle Hodkin — my information in the previous version of this post was out of date, and she is not scheduled to be on this panel. You WILL find Michelle at the Decatur Book Festival on Saturday and elsewhere at Dragon*Con.]

SUNDAY – MONDAY

On these days, and when I am not at the above sessions on Friday and Saturday, I will be wandering around Dragon*Con, attending sessions, admiring the cosplayers, cheering at the Parade, looking up friends, continuing my long-running feud with William Shatner, checking out artists, etc. If you see me, say hi!  I look forward to meeting you!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

[NOTE: Post updated to correct erroneous information about one of my panels.]

 

Smashwords Summer/Winter Ebook Sale is Back

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Noble Cause (2010) by Dan McGirtJuly is (almost) here again and that means the Smashwords Summer/Winer Ebook Sale is back. Winter in July? Yes —  in the Southern Hemisphere! Ebooks are everywhere!

At one minute past midnight Pacific time on July 1, the special Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale promotion catalog goes live on the Smashwords home page. At the stoke of midnight Pacific time on July 31, the catalog disappears.

This year most of my Smashwords titles are discounted 50%, including all the Jason Cosmo books:

5o% off (enter code SSW50 at checkout to get your discount)

The original Non-Trilogy is on sale too:

100% off (enter SW100 at checkout)

This sale is only at Smashwords, only from July 1-31! If you already bought these books — Thank you! Please tell a friend about sale. And, as always, thank you for reading.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

Jason Cosmo: Royal Crush Update

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

As I mentioned last week, the next book I will release in the Jason Cosmo series is Royal Crush (a revised edition of Royal Chaos).

In the next few weeks, I expect to be done with the still-not-yet-named media tie-in Secret Project I’ve been writing the last few months. (Again, I’d love to tell you more, but the timing of a public announcement is not up to me on this one.)

So, right after the 4th of July weekend, if not sooner, I’ll be diving into Royal Crush full-time.

The rest of this post is process talk, for those who might be interested. Because Royal Crush is a revision of an existing book, I won’t have to spend much time on dreaming up plot or characters — the basic story will follow the outline of Royal Chaos.

So what will change? What makes this a revised version? Most of the changes in this digital remastering will come under one of four headings:

  1. Correct errors: horror of horrors,  a few slipped through into the published version of Royal Chaos. I’ll fix those. (While no doubt adding new errors. So it goes.)
  2. Better writing: I’m a better writer than I was in 1988-89 when I wrote Royal Chaos. I’ll go through line by line and revise any sentence, paragraph or scene that needs it to my 2013 eye. Tighten the prose, stamp out passive voice, banish excessive adverbs, improve awkward constructions, etc.
  3. Harmonize: I will add or alter details in Royal Crush as needed to be consistent with lore and events previously established in Hero Wanted and Noble Cause — and to fit with what is coming in future volumes!
  4. New Scenes: I will very likely add a few new scenes, possibly even a new chapter, to the story. That way, even if you’ve read Royal Chaos, you’ll get some all-new never-before-seen action with Royal Crush.

There you have it, my plan of action for Royal Crush. But there is one more preliminary step I have to take before I can really dig in — I’ve got a little version control problem to solve.

Until recently, my only electronic version of Royal Chaos was the “final” version of the file I printed out and mailed – in a box! – to my publisher back in 1989. In the intervening years, every so often, I’d open a copy of the file and make little spot edits and revisions, more for my own amusement than anything else, as this was way before the Ebook Era.

But note — what I was editing was the version I mailed off to the publisher, not the post-editing as-published text (which I only had in print).

More recently, I scanned a print copy of Royal Chaos, cleaned up the file, and published an ebook version. So now I had an electronic version of the published text of Royal Chaos — and from time to time over the last two or three years, I’ve made edits to a copy of that file — more or less forgetting about the first file.

Two different sets of changes to two slightly different base texts. Oops!

So step one, before I get to my 4-point plan, is to “compare documents” and merge these two versions of Royal Chaos into one starting text that I will, over the next few months, transform into Royal Crush.

More than you wanted to know? If so, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Stay tuned!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

 

 

 

What’s Next for Jason Cosmo

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

If you haven’t read my Really Big Announcement at DanMcGirt.com go check that out first, because I don’t want to repeat myself here.

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