Welcome to the new folks who have joined in the past month!
Thanks to everyone who read and sent feedback on the sneak peek of THE RED SKY. If you haven’t been able to get to it, or just got THE BLACK SKY and don’t want to spoil it, no worries! The sneak peek isn’t going anywhere, so you can always come back and read it.
I’ve got some new music to share:
SURVIVE came out at the beginning of March, twelve tracks of instrumental electronic music with a pulse. Available via Bandcamp.
And out today for Bandcamp Friday is Quick Hits. Bandcamp Friday is when fees are waived and the artist collects 100% of the cost.
Quick Hits is thirty tracks, each around one minute to a minute and a half, of compositions from the last few years that started out as something but didn’t get any farther.
Both SURVIVE and Quick Hits will both eventually make their way to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
Reminder: if you are interested in music, and music that an author like me might listen to when writing, you’re in luck. Check out THE RED SKY playlist on Spotify, all the music I listened to during the writing of THE RED SKY.
Other goings on’s:
Speaking of THE RED SKY, my beta readers are done, I’ve scoured their notes and made edits, and now the book is off with my copy editor to make sure I’ve used the correct “your/you’re” and such. The final version should be back at the end of the month, so in the meantime, I’ll be finalizing the layout of the artwork, writing up the acknowledgments and other important interior text, and other odds and ends.
Lastly, had a short vacation trip to visit family in Florida. It was nice to put toes in the Gulf of Mexico, even if the water was still a bit chilly. The picture below of my daughter and wife looking out into the gulf with the blue sky above does not do justice to how cloud-free and blue the sky was that day. We needed a short getaway from the unpredictable Ohio weather that gives us flurries and cold one day followed by scorching heat a day later.
A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas
The second book in the COURT series by Maas takes much of the worldbuilding established in the first book (THORN & ROSES) and expands on it, sometimes to almost unnecessarily long detail. I enjoyed most of the book, though at times the approaching end game of the plot felt fairly predetermined (i.e. the big twist is fairly obvious), Maas is skilled at growing the tension and stakes. There’s some spice, though not as much as expected, and the book runs a tad long for my taste, but still an entertaining read from beginning to end.
ARTIFICIAL CONDITION (THE MURDERBOT DIARIES #2) by Martha Wells
Second novella in the Murderbot Diaries series digs into the backstory and gives a compelling task for our beloved Murderbot. A good deal of the story is the conversation between Murderbot and ART, a sentient spaceship. It has all the hallmarks of a classic buddy-film pairing, except they’re not human. The description “page-turner” gets tossed around a lot but that’s the truth about these stories. Short enough to read in a single sitting or over a day or two, Wells is masterful at weaving plot and character development to move the story at both the macro and micro levels.
THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES (S.2, HBOMax) - Funniest show on television.
SECRETS OF GREAT BRITISH CASTLES (S.2, Netflix) - Insightful, educating, and full of good intrigue.
BRIDGERTON (S.1 & 2, Netflix) - Lots of drama and intrigue mixed with spicy courting. Occasionally silly but entertaining.
RAISED BY WOLVES (S.2, HBOMax) - Craziest show on TV, every episode twists and turns in unexpected ways.
UPLOAD (S.2, Amazon) - Too short, but continues to be an under-the-radar gem.
ALI WONG - DON WONG (Netflix) - Hilarious standup.
TAYLOR TOMLINSON - LOOK AT YOU (Netflix) - Deeply funny.
ENCANTO (Disney+) - Delightfully entertaining with excellent songs.
A MOST WANTED MAN (iMdbTV) - Slow burn adaptation of a John LeCarre novel with a stellar Phillip Seymour Hoffman performance.
Rock Believer - Scorpions (2022)
Wild Loneliness - Superchunk (2022)
Rockets - Rockets (1978)
A few reminders before you go:
READER REVIEWS! If you read and enjoyed THE BLACK SKY (or any of my books for that matter), I would be grateful if you left a positive review or a rating at Amazon or GoodReads. Reviews help other people find the book.
All previous newsletters are archived. Lots of stuff to check out including a link to the original 2011 screenplay of THE BLACK SKY, hints and helps to get started on the real work easter egg hunt teased at the back of the book, and more!
For those that have read THE BLACK SKY, you may remember a mention or two of a bar called “The Dank,” the place Tessa worked at in college where she and Bishop met. I created a virtual playlist for this “punk rock bar,” which you can check out on Spotify.