The Jovian Manifesto, More Good News!

The Jovian Manifesto, More Good News!

Some good news on the publishing front. My latest novel, the Jovian Manifesto (the second installment in the Formist Series), is back from the editor and I’m now making corrections. Once that’s done, it’s back to the publisher for another run-through, and then it will be ready for publication. While I can’t give a precise date, a realistic estimate at this point places the release date early this summer. And I’ve already seen some sample artwork, and it looks awesome!

And while I don’t want to spoil anything, I can say that the second book has plenty of action scenes! One thing I worried about in book one was that it had a rather slow buildup. Of course, that’s a consequence of having a story with multiple settings and an intricate plot. Nevertheless, I wanted there to be more action scenes in the second and third books, and ensure that they occurred throughout.

Credit: NASA

Suffice it to say, there are a few combat scenes that involve powered exosuits, some exotic locations, and the aforementioned space combat. Writing these scenes was admittedly a bit of a challenge, since its kind of hard to predict what combat would look like where super-advanced technology is involved. In a society where anything can be synthesized and manufactured at the atomic level, what kinds of weapons, armor and ships would be possible?

In other news, The Cronian Incident is still getting reviews. At this moment, it has accrued 12 reviews on Amazon (with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars) and 16 on Goodreads – with an average rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars. Hopefully, the second book will do just as well.

 

The Jovian Manifesto is Complete!

The Jovian Manifesto is Complete!

Yes, after a good six months of planning, plotting, writing, rewriting, and worrying about deadlines, The Jovian Manifesto is finally done! And by that I mean I’ve finished writing the manuscript and the process of editing and polishing is about to begin. I’m also expecting some artwork in the coming weeks so there are plenty of surprises ahead!

In addition to being the sequel to The Cronian Incident (released in September of 2017), The Jovian Manifesto is the second book in the Formist Series. So based on the release date of the first book and assuming I can get all the edits done by the end of this month, that would make this the second books that I’ve written in the past six months. Would now be a good time to take a wee break? I hope so!

Here’s the preamble that I’ve been saving for the release:

“Months have passed since the incident on Titan. For Emile and the Formists, life is returning to normal now that their enemies have been dealt with. Or so they thought. On the Jovian world of Europa, a mysterious document has been released that threatens to reveal everything. The Jovian Manifesto, as it’s called, has the Outer Worlds up in arms and the Inner Worlds fearing a civil war. The Solar System is on the verge of ignition, and all that is needed is a spark.”

As I stated in a previous post, this sequel will feature a whole new bunch of characters and locations. In fact, all of the new leading characters in this novel are women, which surprised me even. I did want to move away from male primary characters since the first book was a little heavy on them. But even I was a bit surprised when someone pointed this out to me.

As with The Cronian Incident, my publisher will be the venerated UK-based company known as Castrum Press!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say congrats to my friend and fellow writer, Rami Ungar! Rami recently signed a contract with Castrum Press to write horror and suspense (his specialty). Thanks to Castrum’s pro-active approach to recruitment, I was able to set up a meet between him and Rami, and the two hit it off! Good luck to the both of us, Rami! Busy times ahead 🙂

Interview with It’s Write Now!

Interview with It’s Write Now!

Follow the link below to see my interview with It’s Write Now, a book-sharing site that is committed to sharing Kindle ebooks to promote new authors. It was the single-longest interview I’ve ever done, but that was no problem. Lots of interesting questions that really made me ponder and dig deep!

Incidentally, they are also giving away free copies of The Cronian Incident for a limited time. If you’re looking for a hard SF read, get your free copy while you can!

https://itswritenow.com/78050/author-interview-with-matthew-williams-of-the-cronian-incident/

Interview with SciFy Shenanigans!

Interview with SciFy Shenanigans!

Check out the link below to see my latest interview for The Cronian Incident. This one took place with the good folks at SciFy Shenanigans. This is the author website of JR Handley, a husband and wife writing team that specializes in military science fiction. Be sure to check out their interview antics, and have a look at their novels while you’re there. It’s a pretty bad-ass site!

SciFy Shenanigans: Matthew Williams

They even featured a song that I used as inspiration to write The Cronian Incident – Mars by Gustav Holts!

 

DONE!

DONE!

For reasons which will be become clear in a moment, I am not feeling very wordy today. So I shall keep this plain and put it into a series of bullet points, all with exclamation marks:

  • The manuscript is complete!
  • Sent it to the publisher last week!
  • They’re about half-way through and said they like it!

Hmmm. Okay, maybe I need to go with the wordier version!

After 18 months, I have finally finished the manuscript to The Cronian Incident. And after about a week, they wrote to me to tell me that they were half done and they were enjoying it. Naturally, they were sure to note that there were some flaws and some things that needed fixing, but nothing major. In other words, it will need polishing, but they see no reason NOT to publish it at this time! 🙂

This moment has certainly been a long time in coming! And in all honesty, I felt kind of deflated once I had written the last sentence to the last chapter. I was happy and knew that the significance of being done would probably hit me soon enough. But at the time, it was like climbing a steep hill and getting to the top, only to realize how tired I was and how far I still needed to walk to get back to the car!

Ah well. Like I said, I am sure I will hit me it eventually. And in the meantime, I’ve been encouraged and relieved to know that the publisher didn’t think it was pure crap! Because believe me, when you’re heavily invested in the creation of something, you really worry that others might not like it! And that is perhaps what made completing the manuscript so very difficult and time-consuming. It was not just me feeling like, “man, I need to finish this!” There was also the feeling of, “but what if this doesn’t work out? What if this is no good? Have I wasted all this time? Will I have to start over?”

In the meantime, all I can do is wait and stay cautiously optimistic. The publisher has told me that they anticipate finishing the book by sometime next week; at which point, I imagine we’ll start talking about edits and contracts, etc. Getting close, people! Fingers crossed!

Good News… of a Literary Nature!

Good News… of a Literary Nature!

First off, let me apologize for not announcing this sooner. But as with all good things, I didn’t want to announce anything prematurely or risk jinxing it. To put it simply, I have been approached by a publisher about my current work in progress – The Cronian Incident. And while nothing has been put in writing just yet, if all goes well, it will be part of Space Dock’s 2017 publishing catalog – which is the sci-fi subsidiary for a UK publisher.

To  start at the beginning, back in October, this publisher sent me a message via Facebook. It seemed that we were part of the same writer’s group, and he had heard me going on about The Cronian Incident and all the ideas I was exploring to create it. Apparently, this is something lots of publishers do these days, which is rely on social media to look for aspiring authors.

Anyhoo, I replied to him that I would be interested, and that the manuscript (though not yet complete) was coming along nicely. Over the course of the next few weeks, we did the usual back and forth. He explained what they were looking for and asked me about my long-term plans, I told him about the overall story and how I hoped to write sequels to it.

Jupiter's larger (Galilean) moons, Callisot, Europa, Io and Ganymede. Credit: NASA
Jupiter’s larger (Galilean) moons, Callisot, Europa, Io and Ganymede. Credit: NASA

 

He then asked me to send the first four chapters to see if it had promise. Here too, I learned something valuable. These days, its the first four chapters (not five, not three) that make-or-break many online sales. You see, people using Amazon are able to download these as a sample and will base their decision to buy the whole book depending on whether or not it’s grabbed their interest.

So the first notes the publisher gave me was that he liked the idea, but also stressed that the beginning needed “a hook”. There was little in the first four chapters of my original draft to introduce the overall plot, they said, and things kind of built slowly. So I revised it, added a prologue that contains the “inciting event” of the story (a kidnapping) and sent it back. This met with his approval, and he sent it on to one of his editors for a second look.

And just a few days ago, they got back to me again. Once again, I got some kudos on the story, but more concerns that things take too long to develop. However, this time around, it was more in the form of a suggestion. I took this to be a good sign, but of course I took the suggestion seriously. These people know what readers are likely to buy, so I’m not about to disregard their recommendations.

Terrafomed Mars by ittiz
Terrafomed Mars, one of the focal points of the story. Credit: ittiz

So I’m doing a second round of edits now, and working to complete the novel so its ready for the 2017 publishing season. At this point, I’m over 70,000 words into the story, and I imagine there’s about ten more chapters to go. At this rate, I can estimate that the final product will be probably be about 100,000 words (though that is likely to come down after all the editing is finished).

And like I said, nothing has been signed yet so nothing is written in stone. But so far, I’m pretty enthused about how things are going. It’s taken me over ten years to actually get to the point where a publisher was interested in my work and contacted me. In the meantime, feel free to join me in being cautiously optimistic!