Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Title, Release Date (and Launch Events) Revealed!

Friends, I'm happy to announce that my first sci-fi novel has a title, a release date and two launch events across Virginia!  Here's a promotional image with information.



Yes, the title is going to be Wandering City Blues after all.  I guess sometimes the answer's just staring you in the face.  The fine folks at Comic Logic and The Ashburn Pub in Ashburn, VA, will be hosting a two-part local launch for the book on October 26th.  Comic Logic is a fantastic comic shop and gallery that just celebrated its one-year anniversary.  It's also one of the best comic shops I've ever been to (not just because they stock my other books, either).  The Ashburn Pub not only has excellent food and drinks, but it's also in the same shopping center as Comic Logic, which is great because the October 26th pre-launch is a crossover event between both venues.  Come see me at the comic shop throughout the day and pick up your signed copy of Wandering City Blues, and look in the back of the novel for a selective menu of cocktails based on the book.  Then head over to The Ashburn Pub and try those same cocktails!  The cocktails are designed by bartender extraordinaire, Ashburn Pub owner and Comic Logic co-owner Kevin Bednarz.

Then on October 29th, the new novel will launch worldwide at Virginia Comicon's 30th anniversary convention.  I currently have a panel discussion about Wandering City Blues confirmed and we're working on a launch party as well - more info to come.  I'll also have a table at the con the entire weekend, so I'll be signing and selling copies of all four of my books.  There will also be a giveaway of one-of-a-kind items throughout the show: the unofficial soundtrack, a free copy of another one of my books (your choice), the original handwritten outline for the novel, the filthy piece of paper in the ad above and more!  The "and more" may include a plushie of one of the colossi in the book, a thumb drive full of digital goodies like an in-character podcast set at the emergence of the leviathans, gift cards or art prints, depending on what we can pull together by then.

If you aren't in the Virginia area, Wandering City Blues will be available for purchase via Amazon.com on October 29th.

Wandering City Blues is the fourth book (and science fiction debut) by jonny Lupsha.  It begins 99 years after mankind has had to flee the surface of the earth due to a worldwide blanket of poisonous fog that rises from the sea.  Fortunately for us, 13 different colossi, each reaching above the 1,000-foot fog ceiling, emerged from the Mariana Trench along with the fog.  Immune to the mist, these weird creatures develop individual migration patterns and are entirely indifferent to humanity building cities on their backs for the 30,000 or so people left on the planet.  With the entire planet a mass transit system, no central government or electricity, one titan populated by cannibals and a conspiracy on the horizon that could end civilization as we know it, Detective Leon Adler and his mysterious new partner Iris 13 just landed the case of a lifetime.  Wandering City Blues is available worldwide on October 29th from publisher A Carrier of Fire.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Dinner Scene.

Well folks, this past weekend I got to write another one of the scenes I've been looking forward to since I started this book: a formal dinner scene which contains a protracted, uncomfortable conversation between one of my protagonists (a working-class Joe or Jane) and a snobbish, upper-class type.  This isn't meant to be a "One Percenters are Evil!" allegory, nor any other kind of sociopolitical commentary.  In my opinion, I've had so many heavy and serious moments in the book that I liked adding in this feel-good "standing up for the little guy" moment.  I'd like to think it's a little bit like Matt Damon stopping the aggressive snobby student in Good Will Hunting from hitting on Minnie Driver, or even - dare I say it - Leonardo DiCaprio holding his own at dinner with Billy Zane and the other rich folk in Titanic.

I think the pacing of the book really allows for - and needs - this bit to happen, especially at the moment it does.  From the beginning of the murder mystery on Triton, Leon Adler and Iris have been traveling on foreign colossi that are populated by a wildly eclectic cast of characters, or they've been on layovers between stops.  Finally reaching this fifth titan, where the trail leads to its big climax and resolution, really demands a breather - a resting point - before the rest of the shit hits the fan.  The reader gets the feel that "we've made it, now we just gotta catch the crook," and so the protagonists have the opportunity to rest and recover before barreling down the home stretch.  Another great thing about this dinner scene is that when I envisioned it, it was only going to have three, maybe four characters, but I managed to balance dialogue between eight characters, which was a first for me.  I hope you folks like it when you get to it.  I'm really proud of how it came out.

Sadly, the next thing I'm writing is pretty spoiler-tastic so I'll have to keep it on the down-low and talk about something different next week.  On the upside, in addition to adding 3,100 words to the manuscript this past week (including but not limited to that dinner scene), I also rewrote a lot of the chapter that preceded it.  That chapter is called "September" and although I was good with the events in it, I got the feeling I'd made it a lot harder on myself than I needed to.  A bad guy was kind of helping the good guys but kind of trying to kill them; the good guys' motivations and relationship in "September" kept going back and forth and so on.  So I took a good, long look at the whole chapter and cut and rewrote a couple thousand words from it.  In the end, it didn't get much longer or shorter, but damn did it get stronger.

The current chapter is called "The Seafarers" and it's the tenth chapter in the book.  "So what?" I hear you asking yourself.  Well, I think the book is only going to have 11 or 12 chapters, so I'm likely within a month of finishing the manuscript and well on time for my projected Fall 2016 release window.  Until next time, faithful readers!

Total Word Count:  71,229

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Surprises along the Way.

As I've put this next book together, there have been a number of elements I've added to it that I hadn't begun to think of when I started writing last November.  Someone asked me in the last week or so if anything like that had come up, and it made me think of some of the things that came to me mid-production.  Here's an example from early in the book, in my eternal interest of keeping your experience here spoiler-free.

Early on in "Timeshare," Sean Bellamy enjoys the view from a lookout on the outskirts of Moscow.  As he gazes into the fog, he recalls an urban legend he heard in his childhood about a tribe of child-warriors who never left the surface.  Since the airborne pathogen in the fog, Red Lung, kills within 15-20 years, it's rumored that there are these clans - almost gangs - of adolescent-aged parents who roam the surface, scavenging for what they need to survive.  The idea came to me after reading a couple issues of the excellent We Are Robin, which follows a group of youths galvanized into action after hearing of the death of Batman's titular sidekick.  Whereas the Robins swarm criminals and exercise street-level vigilantism, in my book I have this unique little legend about a caste of stubborn, reckless, fornicating teenagers (if you can imagine that!) who just said "screw it" and may or may not be down there, somewhere, hidden by the deadly miasma that coats the planet's surface.

The point is, I didn't think about these kids until I was writing the first sentence in "Timeshare" about them.  I thought "Okay, I need a tall tale to help give this world some pep" and out they came.  What's cool is, I decided it really worked for the overall story I'm telling in the novel, so maybe 30,000 words later, two other characters living on colossi get into a conversation about them.  "Hey, have you ever heard about those rumors..."

I worked another tall tale into another early scene, but I think I'll save that to surprise you in the book.  See you next week; thank you so much for your continued interest and readership!  I have huge announcements coming up the next week or two, so make sure to keep coming back!

Total Word Count:  67,598

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Traffic Increase / This Blog Entry Is Spoiler-Free.

Happy Wednesday my friends, fans and theriopolitans!  It's great to be back on task with the book and to provide some updates for you.

First off, I wanted to say that I don't know how or why, but over the last week it seems visits to this blog have been as high every day as they usually are on Wednesdays when I post stuff.  That's a pretty crazy uptick in traffic.  So if you're new to the site (or just my mom hitting "refresh" on repeat every day), welcome!  This is the portal to my upcoming book, which is a sci-fi novel about mankind's 30,000 remnants living in cities which are built atop 1,500-foot-tall roaming colossi/kaiju.  Please feel free to familiarize yourself with the first ~20% of the book by reading "Timeshare," which is right here clicky clicky.  Enjoy!

Moving on, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the next couple months on this blog.  I'm getting closer to the end of the manuscript every week, which means I'm starting to write major character deaths, plot points, surprise settings and so on.  This is great because it means I'm progressing nicely through the novel, but it comes at the cost of not being able to discuss a lot of what I'm working on. You know what I mean:  "Oh, I just wrote this huge climactic scene where _____ confronts _____ about _____ and so _____ tries to kill _____..."  So starting this week and headed forward, I'm going to do my best to continue providing intriguing insight into and content about the book.  Please forgive me if it seems a little skimpy here and there, but again, it's all for your benefit.

This past weekend, my wife took our daughter to the National Zoo in downtown DC, so I had Saturday to work.  I spent several hours working on an intense couple of scenes I can't go into for spoiler purposes, but here's something cool.  I got to spend some time in Google Maps looking at the streets and interstates of Miami and Miami Beach, which will be incorporated realistically into this novel.  Also, by the end of the chapter I'm currently writing, the main story will have taken place over a full three months, which is cool.  My hopes with using the titans as homes and as transportation were that it would lead to a protracted length of time.  I didn't want anything solved in a week because it would be too easy, too quick and it wouldn't lend itself to the larger scope of the story and the setting that I'm attempting to convey.

Okay!  That's enough for now.  Hopefully next week I'll be able to give you something more concrete, but until then, stay tuned!

Total Word Count:  63,646