Mid-nineties, I quit the rat race to do it my way.
Today, the company has a respectable booklist. I finished up Gom's story - which wasn't going to happen back there.
I also revised a couple of books without hustle - notably The Chimes of Alyafaleyn. And got on with my
SF quartet - I'm now on the last book. All this without the usual perks: book reviews and mag ads.
Somehow readers find us and buy not just the Gom series but others too.
The books are printed and bound inhouse, or rather indome as shown above. Looks like a Christmas
pudding draped in brandy sauce, doesn't it? (shot taken the first Thanksgiving spent there.)
Is in fact a fair-sized dome up on a North Carolina hill. My Windy Mountain, love at first sight.
Everything happens there: writing, designing, printing, binding, and all by my own hand -
for the pleasure of shipping the finished items to readers around the world.
Since we started, Amazon has happened. First, we sold the paper books there, some directly and others via our rep, Strawblue. Either way is good but Strawblue can have me sign the books and ship them off from here.
I've always felt that putting out books in the trade is like acting in a studio rather than on a live stage.
(I know firsthand what flies between actor and audience and it's great.) It's just as great to know
who troubled to find my books and where those books are going!
After, came Kindle. (Shades of Jean Luc Picard hugging his printed treasures but no complaints there!)
Whatever happened to ...
To retreat is not to retire. The best thing about this whole undertaking is the present quality of life.
In with the writing I'm creating a rich native woodland around the dome, walking, jogging
along a beautiful lake, teaching, and ... whoa ...
Earlier this year, I came across a 3D CGI program called Blender.
I checked out a few movies made in that format, notably Sintel, and Jotun.
I've always sketched and doodled while writing, finding that it helped pull things out of the ether.
That's why much of my stuff is peppered with illustrations. I love the ancient traditions:
illuminated mss, illustrated chapter intials, the chapter heads of the old novels
(which completely gave away the contents, no matter). But here was another whole new element:
3D modeling. I took to thinking things could be grander.
Never liked the idea of any person doing Gom in the flesh. Or someone else creating him for animation.
Now I'm doing it myself. I plan to bring out more Ulm personnel, maybe animate a scene or two.
It's a challenge but fun. Blender is a great program, and if you're interested, it's free.
But as a result, it's buccaneer alley out there, few cohesive courses and printed books are soon out of date.
Youtube is full of experts all touting different methods of doing the same thing and all of it a bit of this and that.
But the grief is worthwhile. Up above are my trophies so far. They are technically 'low poly mesh' and still in the works.
The first animated scene? I'll start with panning down through whining winds onto Windy Mountain,
zooming in to Stig's hut door where he'll open it and go off to work past Hoot Owl's tree.
Will take a while. Tune back in some time for the next thrilling installment.
On some cockamamie suggestion a while back, I opened up a personal website - no tweet, no twitter.
(If you're curious to try the link, hit the back button to get back here!)
It's ended up taking overflow from FPI, a sort of parking lot for background info on books
there's no room for over here. Rwandan coffee beans, Middle Eastern topography, space ships and
orbiting space factories. Stuff for folk who like to browse. Background material for ...
The Last Legacy
I'm nearing the end of the final SF book, "And the Meek."
The Earth section is 99% complete, I'm bringing Hesta on Phrynis up to speed,
rounding out her tale before the two plot lines merge.
So much on the calendar, no time in each and every day though wouldn't change things any way -
and that's a rhyming couplet!