Ice Yearning

I have written a fantasy novel. After writing a lot of RPG books, this was what I wanted to do next, and a month or so ago I finished. Since then, I’ve had a few people I know read it and make comments, and I’ve made some revisions as a result. (And caught some more typos.)

Now I’m going to publish it. However, I’m not going to do this the normal way. I’m going to publish it on the web. You can read the first chapter of Ice Yearning right now, free. That’s a link to the relevant web page, in case you hadn’t guessed.

However, since I’m a professional author, you can’t read the next chapter until I get some money. So, I’m asking people to pay for the current chapter. Once I have enough money, the next chapter will go online, and the process starts again.

One advantage of this method is that I don’t have to worry about piracy. I’m releasing the chapters under a Creative Commons license, so it’s legal to distribute and share the released chapters, as long as you don’t make any money off them or change them. I’m still the only person allowed to do that. This means that, once the whole book is paid for, people will always be able to read it.

This is, you might guess, an experiment. It is possible that I will make almost no money off the novel. That, however, is a risk that I take every time I write something; there is a company that owes me $3,000 for writing I did almost three years ago, and I’m starting to suspect that they’ll never pay. (I’m not going to name them until I’m sure, though. $3,000 would be rather nice right now.) On the other hand, I’m not the first person to try this. Greg Stolze has used a very similar model to publish RPG material, and Alexandra Erin is using another version for a very-adult-themed fantasy novel. I am aware of other people doing similar things, as well. No-one I’m aware of is using exactly my model, but I’ve just tweaked it to suit my novel and my preferences. Nevertheless, this is hardly a well-established model yet, so this is still an experiment.

So, this blog post is the first bit of the publicity campaign. Please have a look at Ice Yearning, and if you like it, please pay for the first chapter.

Birthdays

It’s been a while since my last update. Sorry about that.

One reason is that I finished the first draft of my first novel on Thursday. More about that at a later date: watch this space!

The main reason, however, is that after finishing the novel I was extremely tired, which is doubly unsurprising. Writing is tiring, six month old babies are tiring, and I have both. However, we did have a good Easter weekend.

Easter is not celebrated in Japan. Yuriko did a web search for decorations and the like, and found that a few egg distributors and chocolate companies are trying to promote it, but it hasn’t caught on yet. That doesn’t mean that it won’t, but for now there are no chocolate eggs on sale in Japan, at least outside the main international market near Roppongi. So we made our own. Well, Yuriko made them. Silver brought us some egg moulds when she came over in October, and Yuriko melted Dars bitter chocolate to fill them. That was a success, and she wrapped the eggs in silver foil, with shiny stickers for decoration. They looked pretty good, in the end. And they tasted good, but then, they were solid chocolate. (Actually, I don’t need to use the past tense; we still have a couple left.)

The other celebration was a joint six-month birthday party for Mayuki and our friends’ daughter. This is the English-Japanese couple who live about twenty minutes’ walk away and had a daughter within a week of Mayuki’s birth. Yuriko sees a lot of the mother (the Japanese one), but I don’t see quite so much of them; something to do with having to work. Fortunately, Sunday is a day off for everyone, so we got together for a joint first birthday party. If you add their ages together, they are one, after all.

The mothers prepared dinner, which was English style, while the fathers took the babies to the park; Shinrin Kouen, in this case. The weather was really nice, so we sat on the grass for a while and chatted about life in Japan, while trying to stop his daughter eating Mayuki. Then we went to their flat, and had the dinner, with birthday cake, “Happy Birthday” songs, and lots of photographs and video.

I’m planning to take things a little easier than normal this week, since I have no looming deadlines and I need to get over finishing the novel. That might just mean slightly more frequent blog entries, if you’re really lucky.