February 19th, 2020

Snoopy

Terminal Peace, Draft One

I started writing Terminal Peace in August of 2018 … a few months before Amy got sick. After her cancer diagnosis, I tried to continue working on the book when I could for a while. A few hundred words here and there when she was free from the hospitals and I had the spoons to write.

Eventually, I gave up. I couldn’t focus on the book, and I certainly wasn’t in the right mental space to write humorous SF. I spoke with my agent and my editor, both of whom were incredibly understanding and supportive. I set the partial manuscript aside and focused on taking care of my wife and kids.

A month or so after Amy died, I started writing again. I had a hard time caring about the story. My life was very different from when I’d started. I was different. I ended up starting from page one, reusing a fair amount of what I’d already written, but adjusting the story as I went. I also added a new plotline that let me process a little of what we’d been going through.

Last night, I finished the first draft of the book.

It still needs a lot of work. Like all of my first drafts, it’s crap — but it gives me a better grasp of the story, and allows me to go back and turn it into something cohesive and exciting and … well … good. I hope.

I have no idea how long it will take me to turn this into a final, publishable manuscript. Nor do I know when DAW would be able to schedule it for publication once that’s done. I’m still not writing as much or as quickly as I was before everything went to hell at the end of 2018, but I’m doing better than I was.

If I had to guess, I’d say Terminal Peace would probably be out within 1-2 years. But that’s a complete guess.

Thanks to everyone for their patience and support. It helps to know people are excited to read the third and final Janitors book, and it helps too that everyone has been so understanding about how long it’s taking me to finish it.

And as a reward for reading this far, here’s a snipped from chapter one that will almost certainly be changed by the time the book is published:

After a month of repairs and upgrades, Mops barely recognized the Pufferfish bridge. Gone were the video game controllers Grom had used to simplify navigation and tactical. All the exposed circuitry and wiring had been repaired, and the various notes and reminders Kumar had scrawled on the walls were scrubbed clean. The air held no trace of the old methane smell from spilled alien slushees.

At Mops’ request, they’d even installed a cupholder at Grom’s station.