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ROTF #1 is Amazon best seller #1 (in Star Trek)!

Choice of Futures coverWell, how about that — I just happened to look at my Amazon author page, and it looks like the Kindle edition of Star Trek: Enterprise — Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures (the first book in that series) is currently their #1 best seller in the “Star Trek Series” category. I suppose that probably has a lot to do with the fact that it’s currently on sale for 99 cents, but hey, I’ll take it.

The current #2 in the category is John Jackson Miller’s new Discovery tie-in novel The Enterprise War, telling what Captain Pike and the big E were doing during DSC’s first season. I wouldn’t be surprised if that book ends up in first place soon. Nice to be competitive, though.

More WILD CYBERS progress: Preorder listings and Goodreads

Folks who’ve looked at my site’s front page will have already seen that preorder links are starting to appear for Among the Wild Cybers: Tales Beyond the Superhuman. Here they are again:

They’re showing publication dates of either June 29 or August 1, but neither date is entirely settled yet. Either way, the Kickstarter backers will get first crack at the book.

The Amazon page for the paperback includes an image of the back cover text, which I noticed had a couple of typos. (The line “humanity must adjust their understanding” should’ve been “its understanding,” and the summary of “Aspiring to Be Angels” contained the phrase “an insane superinelligence.”) Fortunately, the book hasn’t gone to the printers yet, so it was easy to fix both errors, and the corrected back cover is now up on Amazon.

One thing my editor Danielle asked me to do, in order to help promote the book, was to join Amazon’s and Goodreads’s author programs so that I could contribute to and curate my respective author pages. I did that for my Amazon page several months ago, which let me link it to this blog as well as managing my list of books on the site. But since my Goodreads author page already linked to my blog, it didn’t seem as urgent to sign onto it. Still, I decided this past week to get that done at last, and so I’m now a Goodreads author:

Christopher L. Bennett author page at Goodreads

Aside from doing a little maintenance on my list of books there (which included a couple of listings for renamed or cancelled Star Trek titles plus a pop-religion book of some sort by a namesake author), joining up also lets me participate in Goodreads’s “Ask the Author” program, where you can submit questions to me and I try to answer them. It didn’t take long at all for one of my regular readers to find me there and ask me a question, and my answer is posted here.

I’m glad I took the time to answer that question, because it helped me with a short story I’ve been trying to write. The question was what advice I’d give my younger self about writing, and I mentioned the best advice I’ve ever gotten, which was from Deep Space Nine producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe on the one occasion that I pitched to the show back in the ’90s: Always approach a story from the perspective of character. Who is affected most by it? What is personally at stake for them? When I thought about it, I realized I was stuck on my current story because I was going about it backward — starting with the high concept and just hoping the characters would emerge as I wrote. But nothing was really coming, and the story wasn’t going the way I wanted. So last night, I decided I needed to apply Wolfe’s lesson and figure out how to give the viewpoint character a personal stake in the plot and the core conflict. Once I figured that out, a new approach for the story emerged quickly, and I’m already making progress on the revised version, though it meant tossing out most of what I’d already written. It also let me solve an outstanding problem with the premise of the story, something that I thought was key to the central idea but required going someplace darker than I was comfortable with, or than I felt was appropriate for this story. The new idea gave me a better, more character-driven way of arriving at the same point of crisis that catalyzes the rest of the story.

The thing is, it’s one of two short stories I’ve come up with for an anthology that’s only open through the end of the month, and not only am I not sure I’ll finish in time, but I’m not sure it’s turning out to be right for that anthology. I’m not too sure of the other one either, and it’s a good deal shorter (and thus would earn less) than this one should turn out to be, but I may decide to try my luck with that one anyway and save this one for another market. We’ll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I really should be trying harder to look for a job, but it’s hard for me to balance that and writing at the same time, especially with the distraction of my recent hip pain (though I think that’s finally just about gone, knock on wood). Which is problematical, since certain writing projects are still taking longer to pay off than I’d hoped, and I haven’t had much luck selling new stories lately, so my money situation right now is tighter than ever. I know I’ve got a Kickstarter coming up soon for the book, but the problem is one of staying afloat until then. So any more immediate donations would be greatly appreciated — though job offers (e.g. for a copyeditor or transcriptionist) would be even more appreciated.

In the meantime, feel free to submit questions at my Goodreads page, and I’ll try to answer them when and if I can.

Welcome to my Amazon Author Page!

I decided this afternoon to do something I should’ve probably done a long time ago — signing on to Amazon’s Author Central so I could edit my personal author page. I’ve updated my author bio there and added a couple of books it didn’t have listed, and I’ve also linked my blog RSS feed to it, so this and future posts should show up there. There are one or two things coming up that I hope to be able to announce soon, and it would be nice to have a bigger audience for them.

To Amazon readers who come upon this blog for the first time, welcome! Please feel free to look around my blog and the associated author site, including pages for my Original Fiction, Star Trek Fiction, assorted TV and movie reviews, etc. And feel free to check out my autographed book sale!

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