Kerry Nietz is no stranger to our blog. He originally signed our slam book back in 2013 when the first of his Peril in Plain Space novels, Amish Vampires in Space, released. He was back last year to discuss Amish Zombies from Space. Now, he’s guest posting for us and brings with him two gifts: one for readers and the other for writers.
For readers: A Star Curiously Singing is free for a limited time. Grab this one while you can. It’s one of my favorite books!
For writers: Kerry gives us the gift of encouragement with this guest post. Since I’m in the querying process, it’s a timely gift for me. Perhaps it’s a timely gift for you as well. 🙂
This was supposed to be my last novel.
In the fall of 2003 my first book—a memoir entitled FoxTales: Behind the Scenes at Fox Software—was published, and I hoped it would smooth the road for me to become a published novelist. Anyone familiar with the publishing business knows that few first books (or second books, or third books) breakout enough for a writer to have publishers knocking on their door. Few books, in fact, sell more than a couple hundred copies. But alas, I was both naïve and optimistic.
Over the course of the next five years I wrote a handful of novels, corrected them, and queried publishers about them. I had a few nibbles, but ultimately nothing happened. I’d written a lot of words, but none of them were going anywhere.
By the winter of 2007, I’d reached the conclusion that my dream of being a novelist wasn’t going to happen. I’d tried a lot, learned a lot, but the road now looked like an unplowed field.
Still, I had this story idea about a computer programmer of the future. I also wanted to experiment with writing an entire novel in first person present tense. I’d written the prologue of FoxTales that way and wondered whether I could maintain it for an entire novel.
I decided I’d write one last story…for me. I didn’t care if anyone ever read it. I didn’t care if I even corrected it or queried about it. I was simply going to write it for my own enjoyment. Then quit.
So, while waiting in an airport one day, I pulled out my laptop, created a new document, and wrote:
It is hard to describe, this buzzing in my head. It wakes me, obviously. But it is hard to clarify for someone like you—at least the type of person I assume you to be—someone with a free head.
Almost fifty thousand words later I had a first draft. I read it over. I knew it wasn’t perfect. I knew it was a little short. Yet there was something about the book, tentatively titled 2000 AP, that I thought was truly unique. I decided to find a second opinion.
I knew of a guy, Jeff Gerke, who had just started his own publishing house. I knew he also worked as a freelance editor. One of his editorial services was a complete read through of a manuscript along with an opinion as to whether it was publishable. I hired him to perform that service with 2000 AP in the spring of 2008.
Months went by.
Finally, in the fall of 2008 he sent me a message. “I’m reading it now. I love it.”
He concluded that the book needed a better beginning, a revised ending, and a handful of other changes. “If it had all those things,” he said, “I would publish it myself.”
I spent the better part of a year making those additions, and in the fall of 2009 the book, now titled A Star Curiously Singing was published. My first last novel. There have been five last novels since.
About A Star Curiously Singing
** Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal Award Winner **
Sandfly is a debugger. He is property, bought and paid for in an Earth under sharia law. All faiths but one have been banned. And the rule of the great Imam is supreme.
As a debugger, Sandfly has an implant in his head that connects him to the world’s technology–and doles out mental shocks to keep him obedient. All he wants is to fix bots and avoid shocks.
Now he’s been called into Earth orbit. The masters have a new spacecraft–one capable of interstellar flight. On its maiden voyage, the only robot on board went mad and tore itself apart.
Why? Better question: does it pose any risk to humans?
When Sandfly reviews the bot’s final moments, he perceives something unexpected. Something impossible.
As Sandfly pieces together the clues, a trap spreads beneath his feet. If he solves the mystery, he may doom himself. And if he fixes the robot, he may shatter his world.
Suspenseful, unique, and awash in cyberpunk jive, A Star Curiously Singing presents a bleak future that might be closer than we think.
GET YOUR FREE COPY HERE.
NOW YOU: Are you a reader or a writer? What are you reading/writing now?
I thought this book was absolutely terrific and really enjoyed it. I read all the old school scifi and it’s been a long time since I found current science fiction that I like to read. This was one of them.
I’m a fan of the old school too, Tim. And you’re right, finding good sci-fi stuff is harder today. Thanks for being so supportive!
A Star Curiously Singing was the first but not last Kerry Nietz novel for me. The story is fascinating and memorable. So glad you wrote it, Kerry!
Thanks, Cynthia. You’re very encouraging. Hope you have a great week!
I loved A Star Curiously Singing. An interesting take on what the future may hold frightening as it is. I loved Sandfly’s character. With ASCS and Mask you write a great “every man”. I love that archetype. You had me at Freeheads. It’s such a loaded name. I knew I’d like a series with a book with that title.
Thanks, Gretchen. Glad you enjoyed them. (My hope is to release an expanded and revised version of Mask some time later this year. Wait ’til you read my note on that one. 🙂 )
Great encouragement to keep persevering, Kerry. This writing adventure is not for the faint of heart, is it? Thanks for sharing your journey.
Absolutely, Beth. The one thing I preach to new writers is perseverance. Without the willingness to persevere, you might as well not start.
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Loved reading the story of how ASCS came about Kerry. Thanks for the encouragement.
Now, back to my camp NaNoWriMo project…
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My camp NaNoWriMo project – hahahahaha. It’s telling that the only day I’ve been able to write is April 1. I am a joke. 😉
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Thanks Lisa and Kerry! Can’t wait to read your book. And thanks for the encouragement!!
You’re welcome, Loraine. Thanks for stopping by!