Philippa Ballantine

We are just back from RavenCon, and already we’re looking forward to Balticon in just a few short weeks. RavenCon was a blast. I got to meet new people and visit with some old friends, and even got pulled into being part of a reading of the Eye of Argon in place of Philippa Ballantine. But that is a story for another post… This post is about Balticon 48, and what is coming up in the next few weeks. One thing that I’d nearly forgotten just jumped up and hit me by surprise: an impending publication!

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From Alpha to Editing

by Doc Coleman on April 16, 2014 · 8 comments

in Novels

I didn’t post last week. Bad blogger! But there were reasons for it. Things were actually quite busy, and what time I didn’t have taken up by work had to be dedicated to sleep. And I still didn’t get enough sleep.

So, a lot of work last week, but a lot to show from it, too. I finally had to end the Alpha Read, as my last Alpha Reader wasn’t able to give feedback on the last few chapters of the book due to the distractions of moving to a new house, caring for a family, holding down gainful employment, and other unimportant things like that. ;D Heh. Actually, I don’t blame him for where he placed his priorities, I just regret not getting  his reaction on the last chapters of The Perils of Prague. I did get some feedback from my weapons consultant and made a few changes on how firearms are handled in the book. With these final edits, the Third Draft of Perils has finally drawn to a close!

And I did one other thing last week.

I hired an editor.

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Wellington Books never wanted to be a field agent. He was quite content as the Archivist for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Happy to spend his days in the hidden sub-basement, tending his analytical engine, seeing that all the agent’s reports and their associated artifacts were properly cataloged and filed. Life was simple, but good. He even had time to tinker on his own personal projects.

And then she came.

Eliza Braun had been a filed agent. Had been. She had blown up one too many installations, defied orders one too many times, and had been assigned to the Archives to learn some humility.

That didn’t work.

Instead, she had drug poor Wellington out of the Archives, insisting that they investigate unsolved cases they had discovered waiting to be cataloged. And then they got caught.

And now, they were off to America…

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Today I get to be part of a momentous event that has been years in the making. Up until now, my role has been solely as a spectator, so I’m pleased to be offered the chance to add “presenter” to my name tag. It all started many years ago with a story of magic and madness set in the distant shores of New Zealand. A story, told ably by a native daughter of the land, one Philippa Ballantine. Pip podcast this story back in the day, and it was met with great enthusiasm and demands for print copies. Only one problem: publishers in the big markets (read the U.S. of A.) didn’t think that anyone would buy a book set in New Zealand. This was no doubt because they couldn’t find it on the map, and their ideas of what the reading public would like to buy were works of fiction in themselves. Many years went by…

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I’ve started up a writer’s group. More specifically, I recently founded the Germantown Writer’s Guild. In part, this was due to a conversation at thanksgiving with a fellow writer who wanted some advice on getting more serious about her writing. Another contributing factor has been hearing Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris talk about the great fun that they have had with their writing group.

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In my previous post, I talked about my experiences on Friday night at Capclave. In today’s installment, I’m going to talk about what happened Saturday.

The first panel I wanted to attend on Saturday started at 10 AM. That didn’t happen. Well, actually it did happen, it just happened without me. After such a long day on Friday, I was too tired to get up early. It was after noon before I finally dragged my carcass out the door and headed to the con. When I got there I did not like what I found. Or rather, what I didn’t find.

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As I mentioned in last week’s #WriterWednesday post, this past weekend was my first experience with Capclave. I wasn’t at all sure what to expect, but I figured that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend a con in my own back yard. I expected the con to be small, but in its own way, it was bigger than usual. I guess having George R. R. Martin as your Guest of Honor will do that to your tiny literary con. This had both good and bad consequences.

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This post is partly inspired by a post from P.C. Haring. P.C. has had a very bad September. The theme of his post is “Why do we fall, sir?” The answer, of course, is so we can learn to get back up. But that got me thinking… There are many reasons why we fall. Some trip. Some will leap for greatness and fail to catch themselves. And some… are pushed.

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If you’ve paid attention on this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big supporter of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences from Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine. I’ve done reviews on Phoenix Rising and The Janus Affair, the two released novels for the Ministry, and I’ve even written, performed, and produced an episode for the Ministry’s podcast Tales from the Archives. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to post about the Ministry Initiative, the Kickstarter project to raise funding for a tabletop Role Playing Game based on the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Part of the Kickstarter was The Ministry Protocol, an anthology of short stories written by authors carefully selected by Tee and Pip. And that is what we’re talking about today…

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If you’ve been reading along here, you’ve seen me refer to a story that I’ve been writing for Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris’ Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. I’ve been referring to that story up until now, by the code name “Northern Mists”. Well, no more. Today I can finally reveal the true title, because today the Ministry released Tales from the Archives, Volume 2, Episode 7, “The Cross of Columba”, written and recorded by yours truly, audio editing and sound effects by my lovely wife Keetara, scoring by Tee Morris. And to put the cherry on top, the release date is Kee and my wedding anniversary!

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