Space Opera With a Twist

Month: October 2019

Writing Up a Storm

I’m halfway done with my latest project, We Dare (Ghost Squadron No. 1) and so far, so good.  If the stars align and my editor can pounce on it the moment I’m done, it might even be out in time for Christmas.  And since my experiment with making the sixth Siobhan Dunmoore book available for pre-order worked so well, I will likely do the same for this one.  I’ve pretty much settled on the cover design, as you can see:

We Dare - ebook cover

What’s the story line?  Here’s the current iteration of the text you’ll eventually find on the book’s product page, on the back of the paperback version and the front inside flap of the hardcover version:

The Marines of “A” Squadron, 1st Special Forces Regiment, also known as Ghost Squadron because it strikes unseen and vanishes without a trace, are humanity’s foremost black ops specialists.  They will do whatever is required to protect humanity anywhere in the known galaxy.  With the Commonwealth increasingly unstable thanks to venal politicians, greedy financiers, and power-hungry revolutionaries, they don’t lack for missions. 

When an undercover Constabulary officer vanishes after uncovering a massive cartel-run human trafficking operation, the Commonwealth’s interstellar police force calls for help from the Armed Services.  Because the cartel’s operations could upend the delicate political balance between the older core worlds and the more recently colonized outer star systems, Ghost Squadron gets the job.  Its mission: find the missing Constabulary officer and choke off the growing slave trade bedeviling humanity’s perilous galactic frontier.

Ghost Squadron’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Thomas Decker, spent the last ten years as a naval intelligence agent.  His job was thwarting plots and terminating the Commonwealth’s internal enemies alongside his partner, a trained assassin.  Now, with several hundred of the deadliest Marines ever fielded at his back, Zack Decker is about to change the course of history.


I’m currently doing the last round of reviews with my editor on When the Guns Roar (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 6).  All of the publishing channels are ready for the final version of the manuscript so it’s just a matter of her finishing that last bit.  Barring unforeseen circumstances, it’ll come out some time next week.

While my editor does her thing, I’ve written more than 20% of my next book, We Dare (Ghost Squadron #1), over the course of the last seven days.  I aim to have it finished by mid November.  With luck, it’ll hit my editor’s inbox in early December and depending on her availability, I might just squeeze its publication in before Christmas.  But realistically, it’ll probably be early to mid January – I do owe Mrs Thomson two weeks of uninterrupted holidays from the writing business.  So far, I’ve held myself to my daily word counts, even if it meant spending another hour at the keyboard after supper instead of relaxing to a Netflix show.  But my brain probably gets a better workout from writing than watching the boob tube, so it’s all good.

Staying on the Move

My editor is almost done with When the Guns Roar (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 6).  I should get her comments sometime next week, then it’s one more pass and done.  Barring any unforeseen events it’ll come out before 31 October.  Perhaps even as early as 21 October.  If you get your books from Amazon and haven’t done so yet, go ahead and pre-order When the Guns Roar.  The moment it goes live on Amazon, you’ll find it on your device (provided said device is connected to the internet!).  For those buying from Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, or other retailers, watch this space for the announcement that the book is live.  The paperback and hardcover will be out, if not the same day, then within a day or two.

While my editor is hard at it, I haven’t been idle.  Many have asked me for a series describing how the empire which we see collapsing in Ashes of Empire came to be.  And I got started on that.  I’m still not sure of the series title.  Right now, I’m using Ghost Squadron as the working title, with the first installment called We Dare.  The end of the Commonwealth and the rise of the human empire will be seen through the eyes of a group of dedicated Marines from the 1st Special Forces Regiment’s A Squadron, nicknamed “Ghost Squadron” because of their ability to strike targets and vanish without being seen.  They will be instrumental in precipitating the events that lead to the Commonwealth’s violent demise.  I finished the complete outline just now, meaning I’ll start writing tomorrow.  It’s slated for a January 2020 release, if all goes well.  Though it will be an entirely new and self-contained series, meaning no need to read any of my other stuff beforehand,  Ghost Squadron will feature a few characters from previous books.

To my Canadian readers, Happy Thanksgiving.  May your turkey be moist, your stuffing fluffy and the dinner table conversation devoid of politics.  For those not following Canadian news, we have a federal election coming up on 21 October.  Wherever you turn, there are endless radio and tv ads, posters everywhere, panel discussions and the usual mudslinging between party leaders.  The only way to escape is head into the woods.  Mrs Thomson and I will cast our votes tomorrow at an advanced polling station, though we already know who’ll win in our riding.  We live in one of those places which always returns the same party to parliament.  But, as Winston Churchill famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”  And that means doing our part, however small.