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Bookburners Season 4 Is Here!

Oh, oh, hello, I — I didn’t see you there. Things have been... well... 

72,051 of 90,000 words

72,051 of 90,000 words

Yes, that about sums it up. Ahem.  We’ll get back to that in a moment.

Meanwhile... forgive my hair and the musky smell around my general person, and open your ears. Gentlefolk all, I have brought you all together here today for a very exciting piece of news. Bookburners Season 4 has begun!

Episode 1 is available to read for free (!!!) right now, and you can preorder the omnibus for the season right now, too. Where? You can as always buy individual episodes or a season subscription for the audio and ebooks from Serial Box directly. Or head on over to my Buy My Books page for the complete roundup of retailers; available at a fine bookselling website near you, more or less.

For those of you who are new around here, Serial Box publishes ebook and audio versions of bite-sized serial fiction.  It’s like HBO for ebooks, so we use a lot of ebook language — a bunch of writers work together to make a great story, and then split each season into distinct episodes which are released once a week. And Bookburners is a fantasy series about a black ops team working out of the Vatican who hunt down and confines magic.

It is alternately creepy, sweet, moody, action-packed, and deeply weird — and I can say all that because I only write two episodes a season so I can’t take all the credit. My co-writers,  Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, Margaret Dunlap, and Brian Frances-Slattery are the absolute best most funnest people in the world to work with. (Except for maybe all of my other teams, XOXO, I love you all equally, it’s just that it’s a LOT.)

If you’re not new to Bookburners... you guys. YOU GUYS. This season goes into some uncharted territory and I am flailing with excitement at what’s in store for you. I really can’t wait.

Finally, while I have you, I thought I’d issue a quick PSA about the ~*~super neat trick~*~ Serial Box does. You can start reading an episode on the official Serial Box app, and switch to audio — and it magically knows where you were and continues from the same page! Pretty neat, huh? I could’ve used something like that when I was a commuter. Text on the noisy train ride, but audio on the walk to the station, with seamless switching in between. Dang. (It’s only for iOS right now, but I swear the Android version is coming.)

Right. Right. So about that word count thing up there. It’s been quiet around here for the last few months because, as you may have guessed from my last post, I’ve been struggling hard with burnout and illness and kind of a hot mess. But I’ve also been plugging away at a deeply political novel for the last few months. I’m not quite there yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel from here.  

For a while I think I’m going to use this space as a little bit of public accountability, talking about the wild and ridiculous state of my book, my process, and myself. It’ll be a good time. Thanks for sticking around. You are, as always, the best.


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Time Out for Burnout

It’s funny how you can mean to take a week or so completely off, and instead you wind up running around like some kind of domestic berserker trying to deal with holiday-related cooking and cleaning, not to mention months of accumulated medical appointments and paperwork, restocking the pantry, all of those necessaries that make your life run more smoothly. Seriously, there is nothing like announcing “I am taking today off” to induce record-breaking productivity.

...Is that just me?  It can’t be just me.

The last month of the year, I wanted so hard to take a week or so off. But there were some looming pieces of work I had to finish by Jan. 2, not to mention those countless other things popping up like new heads on a hydra. I simply didn’t have it in me to burn through it all in a glorious two or four days. So instead I settled for half-measures; a little work, a little not-work, limping along to just meet my deadlines in time while not grinding the poorly lubricated gears of my brainmeats too hard.

Shockingly, this half-vacation punctuated with personal obligations did not actually cure my burnout. I know, I know, who could have guessed that still writing is not as good as not writing! So I was dreading work, procrastinating, the whole shebang. All I wanted to do was sleep in until 2pm and play video games until 2am, rinse and repeat.  

All of this half-holiday time was good for feeding new media and new experiences in to my brain, at least. I played through Gorogoa and tried Civ VI for iOS; I finished Null States and a series of LitRPG books; I watched The Good Place, The Last Jedi, and the last couple of seasons of Psych and its movie. I made ricotta cheese; I did some sketching; I started exercising and cooking for my family reliably. But I still wasn’t feeling quite myself.

Well, I finally did it. Thanks in part to the snow days in the Northeast, I squeaked out five whole days in which I did no writing, no edits, no meetings of any kind.  For most of them, I didn’t even leave my home, or my pajamas.

Funny thing, though. By day two, I kept thinking about my novel whenever my mind wandered. About the characters, the themes, the intersecting web of interactions.  By day three I was starting to get really excited about this book again. By day four, I was impatient for the kids to hurry up and get back to school so I could get to work putting some of this on paper.

This is how I work best; when an idea has worked its way into my brain and become a puzzle I’m trying to solve, constantly in the background. A low-level obsession. It’s like when you’ve played too much Tetris, except with narrative. I love it, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve felt like this. Definitely not since August, and maybe not since January.

And yet here we are. I’m back, and I’m writing, and I am so excited, because this is going to be so great, friends, seriously I love this thing I’m writing, gahhh Kermit flailing I love it so much. And I hope one day in the not-too-distant future you’ll love it, too.  And in the meanwhile: gosh, it is so great to feel like myself again.


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Get the Serial Box App for iOS | Android