The Space Cantina – Questions Asked and Answered

SpaceCantina_HeaderOver the last few years I’ve started using Twitter as a way to promote and keep in touch with readers and writers all over the world. I’ve met some pretty swanky people (you all know who you are my friends), more than I ever thought I would. Most of those are writers of almost every genre I can think of. It’s an amazing tool and I’m overjoyed to have found it and all of you.

One of those awesome people tagged me recently to answer questions. Technically I’m supposed to tag 10 more writers to answer questions of my own. We’ll see if I can grab all ten. For those of you who have been reading my blog and wondering “Where the heck has he been?” I’ll answer that first.

 

So let’s get started. Continue reading

The Space Cantina – A thank you to DGS and creating a zombie horror world of my own?

SpaceCantina_HeaderOver the past few months I’ve had a lot of fun creating Dark Winter, a novel set in the world of H1Z1. H1Z1, as you know, is owned and run by Daybreak Game Studios (formerly Sony Online Entertainment). Daybreak has been very good to me, going so far as to write an article about my story. I was flattered and amazed that this company, a company who I’ve followed and enjoyed since my days as a struggling wizard in EverQuest 1, would pay this little project any kind of attention. It was simply phenomenal. A dream come true.

And then you guys started reading it too.

Book One saw a couple hundred viewers each time a new chapter went up, a number I was blown away by. Hundreds of people wanted to read my stories. Wow. Holy shit. I had readers!

I’ve always wanted to be an author. I’ve been working on several novels and have had several short stories published in the past. I currently have a steampunk novella out for publication and if that sees any fruit, I’ll be sharing that news here.

But all of this got me thinking about doing a zombie apocalypse novel of my own. If a couple hundred people really enjoy Dark Winter, maybe they’d like to read about another world as well?

Maybe.

It’s safe to say a good deal of my readers come because they like H1Z1 but I also like to think they enjoy my writing. I have so many stories yet to tell long after Katie and Lindsay’s journey comes to an end. And it will come to an end in Book 2.

So what happens then? Well I could go back to working on other things, lurk about on the H1Z1 reddit like I always do (that will never change), or start telling some of those stories.

I have a few ideas about other worlds I’d like to write about. The most obvious is a very H1Z1-ish world where a virus has taken hold and destroyed civilization. Those stories are very common, and also very popular. I love them and have read many, many versions. Despite their shared concept, each story is unique, each apocalypse different.

Another concept I had was putting an apocalypse into a medieval setting. What happens when the walking dead, when the whole world, begins to die where your most advanced weaponry is a bow or longsword? Communication is very poor and a plague like that could spread unchecked for years. It opens up a great deal of ideas. What if the black death was a zombie plague? The End of Days feels a lot more powerful to people of that time period when men and women still feared the darkness.

Or perhaps there are other fantasy concepts out there? There is a setting I’ve mulled about in my mind for years. It has a little magic, a little deception and a whole lot of epic adventure against a dying world. Storms ravage the skies, the dead walk in the dark places and a dreaded queen holds the whole world in her grasp. They call her the Witch Queen in whispered conversation for she lives long past when a mortal should die.

And still others. What if a plague broke out on Europa, a far reaching colony in space? What if they were abandoned by Earth to their fate, not even worth a nuke for a quick death?

I have a lot of ideas and I’d love to tell them all. If anyone has any thoughts or want to voice an interest, let me know in the comments.

Don’t worry, Dark Winter will go on until its done. I have no plans to stop it before the end.

Thanks!

The Space Cantina – When is Dark Winter Book 2 starting up?

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No one has actually asked this, but I thought I’d post anyway, just in case.

Book 2 is starting very very soon. I’ve begun writing it but I have two things on my mind right now. The first is the release of H1Z1 in Early Access this Thursday. I normally release my chapters on Friday. It is entirely possible that if I post a chapter this friday, it will be entirely buried by issues of EA. I have a number of loyal readers (about 40 of you, no small number!) and I would hate to release something for you and have you miss it!

That said, it wouldn’t be going anywhere and you could always find it later.

So I’m considering putting of Chapter 1 of Book 2 until Friday, January 23rd. That would give me more polish time and let the initial excitement of EA die down a little. I might be missing out on some new readers coming to Reddit for the first time this Friday though.

It’s a very tough call.

So, Mike, when are you doing it? The answer is… I’m not sure. I want to see what state the chapter is in by Thursday. If it’s good to go, then I’ll release it. If it is… well, not up to par? Then next Friday instead. Like SOE, I don’t want to release a crap, rushed project.

Why? Because you guys rock and I want you to get the best possible work from me. And maybe I’ll be too busy playing H1Z1 this Thursday. Maybe. But I’m sure that will be a small issue right?

Right.

The Space Cantina – Things and Stuff

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So it’s been a while hasn’t it? No, I haven’t stopped writing or dropped off the face of the Earth or anything like that. This new job has really crunched my time, first with launch of our game and now with an upcoming move to consoles, I doubt it’ll lessen anytime soon. The free time I do have I spend on my novel, penning adventures for my tabletop RPG group, or simply decompressing in front of my computer with a good, fun video game.

When I started this blog, I wanted to give myself a schedule. I wanted to challenge myself to write to it all the time, build an audience and get myself out there. I’m not sure I really succeeded but it really taught me a few things about time management. It also taught me my limits. It gave me some great stories though, and I met lots of cool people.

So what is this message? No, I’m not walking away from this blog. I’m actually considering starting up a new story in the same vein as Icarus. By that I mean, journal-entry type stories that are short and post regularly. I have a rough idea for a story but no title yet. I’ll let you know when I do.

In other news, my novella 36 Hours is currently at a publisher, though no word on its progress. I also have a SciFi short story that’s out with Analog right now, though no word from them either. Hopefully one of them might be good news, but I’m more waiting for them to come back rejected so I can send them out again. The life of a writer eh?

I hope everyone’s been great. Thank you for reading my little blog over these past few years. I’ll try and give you more reasons to come back, and soon.

Thanks everyone,

Mike.

The Space Cantina – My neurotic issues this week

SpaceCantina_HeaderIt’s been a while since I simply posted my thoughts on my blog, so I think I’ll take the time to do so now.

Lately I’ve been having trouble concentrating, collecting all my thoughts into one cohesive story and putting it down on the page. For this reason “The Blood” will miss a week due to the fact that I simply don’t have Part 12 done. This upsets me because I made a vow to post EVERY week, regardless. Well, I am going to have to break that vow. So for those of you who read my blog, I’m really sorry.

Work has been very busy lately and I’ve been putting in over 50+ hours each week about, including some hours on the weekend (when I’m not traveling). I’d like to say that’s the only reason I haven’t had a lot of chance to write, but it isn’t. The simple fact is I’m having a problem. For over a year now I’ve been trying to create this novel and there are weeks when it just goes and goes… and then it hits a snag that unravels the whole thing. I break it down and break it down and in the end the whole thing is scrapped and redone.

This week has been worse. I’ve been unable to sit and settle myself into any kind of writing mindset. I’ve been nervous and agitated, and I haven’t been able to focus on anything. I try but nothing gets done. I was sick today, though it was mostly just exhaustion. My stomach has been giving me bouts of nausea and my head just won’t give up the headache. No, it’s not some kind of weird illness… I’ve checked. Whatever it is, it’s related to my nerves and my inability to settle down. It’s like I’m having a nervous breakdown for no good reason.

This sounds like a lot of whining, and for that I apologize. I don’t know what’s happening to me or why. I don’t know why this novel just won’t get written. It’s finally split into TWO different stories even! Two different universes too. It’s getting ridiculous.

I wanted to write a story that made me feel the excitement of Battlestar Galactica again. It would be about starfighter pilots at their training academy as the whole universe begins to descend into war. I wanted to write what it was like to sit at school and feel helpless as everything around you turned to fire. I most especially wanted to create characters that you would identify with and cheer and cry with as they overcame their adversities and pushed through the worst of Plebe Year.

So why won’t it just come out?

I’m starting to wonder if I’ve read too much science fiction lately. If that sounds ridiculous it’s because it is. Basically I’ve been thinking too much about what is “realistic” and it’s destroying my fun in this genre. I’m getting too worried about what people will say about my physics and my lack of realistic science. I’m giving myself a bad case of paranoia and I need to stop.

I write fantasy in space. I also write about steampunk for no good reason. I write about fun things that excite me. There, I said it.

Now let’s see if I can just let it go and accept it.

The Space Cantina – Upcoming Fiction: 36 Hours

Just a quick note gang, the next piece of fiction I’m doing is entitled “36 Hours.” Some of you know about the old version, but this will be a NEW version! And it’s steampunk! I’ll be posting the first part on Wednesday I think…

Also I may only post once a week since the sections will be much larger than Icarus’s were. Hope you guys like it!

/Hackett Out.