You listen to the Shared Desk, don’t you? If you don’t, you should. If you do great, skip the next paragraph, collect $200, and take a ride on the Reading Railroad.
So there are these two authors I know; Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine. A great couple of authors that have done great things on their own but put to the two together and you get two great things that are even better together. They’ve got this series of books out. Maybe you’ve heard of them. They’re the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. On their podcast they talk about this as well as everything else they’re up to and even a little bit about the world of writing.
Tee and Pip have another novel coming out in the MoPO universe. It’s called the Janus Affair. I have not read it yet, but you can’t be darned sure that I will. During the first novel they did a series of 99 cent Penny Dreadfuls. They were also called Tales from the Archives. Stories by different authors that tied back into the MoPO universe. They were all great fun.
Well, I’ve been holding back for a while, but some time ago I had inquired what their plans were for the second book. Were they doing a second set of Tales from the Archives? Had they sent out requests for authors? Could someone volunteer to take on an assignment? I asked a LOT of questions. I’m like that. I get overly anxious, a little excited, and somewhat starstruck when talking to world famous authors. Even though I’ve known that since before they were world famous 🙂
I sent off a writing sample and did the normal wait game. I’m getting used to this wait game when it comes to writing. No, really. The part I’m having trouble with is when you get the nod of approval then don’t want to go out ranting like a madman when you hear “Hey, let’s run with this one.”
Now, like most authors I suffer from insecurity. I also seek approval of my ideas. I like to think I keep things in check for the most part, but it’s difficult when you’re waiting. So when Tee gave me word that I was going to be included with the next round of Tales from the Archives, I leaped for my keyboard. I bashed out three different ideas and sent them off. And waited.
Yeah, writing involves a lot of waiting. I had an idea which he might go for and started my research in that direction and had a plot already formed in my head. As soon as Tee showed the slightest interest in the one I thought he might, I fired off a plot, characters, questions, and the like.
Then I waited again. Tee, now looking for a job, was slow to get back and I fully understand that. Me, being the eager beaver that I was, got to writing. I knew I could do re-writes if needed. I was excited, I was pumped, I wrote like the wind. I had the first draft done in three days, and was going through edits when Tee came back with answers to all my questions. I’d almost forgotten about my plot and questions. I was just excited to be writing a really cool story.
As stories are wont to do, mine changed course in mid-writing. I felt the initial idea had some weak points and I wanted something a little stronger. By the time I was going through the second draft, I read Tee’s answers. My response to him was “I must be a mind reader” as I had gone in the direction he’d indicated and later that day uploaded the first iteration.
I’ve been writing for quite some time. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how edits go back and forth. I wasn’t surprised at all when Tee sent me the message “Don’t be worried about all the edits, I’m digging the story.” Honestly, he changed far less than I expected and the story is stronger for the edits. There were a lot of little additions that made the story better, and some modifications needed so the story stood out from the other tales.
My re-writes are back and I’m just waiting for final approval before I begin with the task of recording. All I can say is WOO WOO!
I mean, it’s very cool to be included in the group and I’ve seen the names of the other authors. You’re going to want to follow along with this batch of tales. I highly recommend getting the other penny dreadfuls as I’ve read them all. They’re all separate or you can buy the bundles. Don’t forget to pick up Phoenix Rising if you haven’t already. I LOVED the book. But please don’t take my word for it.
When I attended World Fantasy Con 2011, I listened in on the panel for Steampunk by the founders of Steampunk. When the panel was asked “Who do you see as up and coming in the genre of steampunk” K.W. Jeter (the man who coined the term ‘Steampunk’) said instantly “Tee Morris and Pip Ballentine.” You can check out the video of this panel online. It’s worthy of your attention.
As soon as the story is available you can be sure I’ll be shouting out as loudly as I can about it. No, really. 🙂 If you listen to the Shared Desk they only hint you get about my story is the word “Terracotta”. Oh, you’ll have to wait. Yes you will. I need to get back to what I do best! So…