A little more backstory

I’m writing a fantasy series entitled The Iron Elves.  The first book, due out July 2008 in hard cover from the nice folks at Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster) is titled A Darkness Forged in Fire.  At the moment, it’s a bit of a beastie at 160,000 words so some judicious editing is in order.  My editor at Pocket is currently reading through the ms and will be sending me his revisions shortly.  Concurrent with that, my agent, Don Maass of the famed (dare I say world renowned) and eponymous literary agency, is finalizing the details of the contract with my editor.  If you’re at all interested in being a writer then you’ve probably contemplated the choice of finding an agent versus finding a publisher.  It might seem like a Catch-22, and in some ways it is, but I firmly believe that if you are pursuing a career in the field then you will want an agent.  More on this later.

Meanwhile back at the day job, my book (and when I say my book it’s with my editor’s hat on) Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq by Kirsten Holmstedt, is going on sale July 4th.  I’m damn proud of this book, this author and these amazing women.  I had a chance to meet several of the women soldiers in the book at the recent Book Expo America (BEA) held in NYC at the beginning of June.  We held a book signing on Sunday morning and after going through nearly 300 copies we had to turn people away.  I hadn’t been sure what to expect, so seeing such a huge and positive response was very gratifying and seems to bode well for the success of the book.  We’re beginning to get reviews and full articles in newspapers around the country and radio and television appearances are stacking up.  It should be a very good summer.

And so it begins…

My intent, and no doubt life will modify it with all due haste, is to update my journal and subsequent website about once a week.  Why anyone will want to drop by and read it may very well remain a question for the ages, but two possible answers are they are related to me and/or I paid them to do so.  Far less likely is that you’ve heard I’m writing a fantasy series and wanted to see what the fuss, such as it is, is all about.  So far…not much.  In contravention of most good writing advice here’s what happened before you got here:

The day I successfully defended my MA thesis I went home and started writing a fantasy novel…naturally.  That was nine years ago.  Between then and now I attended Clarion East, the science fiction and fantasy writing workshop for aspiring writers, took second place in the Toronto Star Short Story Contest, was hired by Del Rey Books to edit military history and science fiction and fantasy, went to Europe several times as a historian on battlefield tours, was hired by Stackpole Books to edit military history, history and current affairs and conflicts, wrote another fantasy novel, some short stories, started a couple of other novels, tried speed dating, took up running (it’s not sex, but you do wind up sweaty and wanting a snack,) and watched every episode of the Sopranos – marone!