November Natterings

Hello, and welcome to that time of the year when weather patterns (in the northern hemisphere) turn colder, society (more or less everywhere) becomes holiday focussed, and I get very tempted to go to places with an actual fire in the vicinity.

On a personal level, I am thankfully a little less disrupted than I’ve been, though life still isn’t in an easy place for me and mine. Just quieter, and sometimes, with a little luck, quieter can be a kind of solace in difficult times.

As ever, though, I seem to wind up making trouble for myself – so while things have been quieter, I’ve also been busier.

I put out the first three of my reviews for SPSFC –

I attended a comic signing, and had to wax lyrical about the good feelings that comic produced –

And I ran across a case of plagiarism ( via: and wound up absolutely compelled to look into it more deeply –

Considerably more activity from me than we usually see, and in the middle of all that, I’ve finalized the Quicker than Blood outline, at 20 000 words, made a shorter version I can actually read through over a cup of coffee, at 4 000 words, and finished the first chapter, largely out of recycled and rewritten material.

So! Quicker than Blood’s first draft is officially in progress, my fancy math implies the first draft should be done anywhere from end of January to end of April (I’m betting as things progress it’ll indicate I need longer than that), and that the end-wordcount will be anywhere from 75 000 words to 120 000 words.

I’m excited! But I’m also thinking about how I want to handle this story.

For one thing, it lets me explore a side of the San Iadras setting I haven’t dug into directly yet – the cops and robbers stuff, crime and criminality. We’ve seen some hints in the sidelines, especially around Troy Salcedo and his Uncle Fred in Mouse Cage, but it’s largely untouched territory.

For another? I’m wondering about my self-publishing plans.

While Mouse Cage has done absolutely amazingly in terms of reviews and people connecting to the book, it hasn’t sold as well as Dog Country did in its first year. That might be due to economic downturn, the subject matter might be a bit less clear to potential readers than ‘Dogs with guns’, but it might also be something else.

When I put Dog Country into the world, it was not that long since I’d been posting fiction regularly online, usually on furry-fandom art sites. I think that’s how I used to reach a lot of my audience, and I’m wondering if I should do some of that again.

Specifically, I’m wondering if I should experiment with serializing Quicker than Blood.

There are sites like Wattpad, Royal Road, and even the furry-centric SoFurry, where people still post fiction like that.

I don’t think I can start serializing Quicker than Blood until it’s finished and edited, of course, but there’s a method used by a lot of Royal Road authors where they serialize their work, then delete everything but a sample portion off the internet and publish it via Amazon, taking some of their audience with them.

I’m tempted to go with a modified version – maybe something like, once it’s ready to publish, I put it out there, just not as an Amazon exclusive like usual. Then I serialize it on some of these websites, on a fixed schedule (maybe x number of chapters a week or something), with prominent links to where the book can be bought for those who’d like to skip ahead and get to the ending right now.

(Avoiding Amazon exclusivity would also open some options for me around flat out shoving my books onto Patreon for you all… But there are some drawbacks around not being elligible to Kindle Unlimited. So there’s ups and downs, there.)

Another option used by Royal Road authors is to run an ongoing serial, and post chapters a few months early on Patreon… which I’m also interested in trying, but, honestly? That’s more for people telling long-form serialized fiction, stuff where it has the potential to keep going and going, and I like having stories with clear endings, and I’ve never gotten much success with writing to a continual rapid schedule, I’m more of a ‘sit and stew for months then write in a marathon rush’ type, so… that model might not work for me, but it’s also something I could experiment with, I suppose.

The point being, I am interested in exploring some options to reach a wider audience, and this is one of them.

If you have thoughts on all this, or things you’d like me to do for you, please let me know! After all, while I’d like to reach a larger audience, that comes in second place to interacting with and pleasing my current audience.

Otherwise, I am going to get back to dealing with all the life stuff so I can clear my week to hammer at Quicker than Blood as well as coping with the holidays and doing my best to be there for my loved ones, and I very much hope that you are going to have a fantastic December, no matter what its shape.

Thank you for your interest, your support, or even just for taking the time to enjoy what I write. <3

Categorized as Patreon

By foozzzball

Malcolm Cross, otherwise known as 'foozzzball', lives in London and enjoys the personal space and privacy that the city is known for. When not misdirecting tourists to nonexistant landmarks and lurking at bus stops, Malcolm enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy with a furry twist.

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