June 1, 2021
The Ports of Surset Book 2, Port City is Now Available! In Today’s Post you will find Book 3 progress, plans, and spoilers; WIP and posting plans; and the case for treating Pollen Season like an STD outbreak.
Plant Pollen is a Species-Hopping STD
I may have mentioned last time: I have been ill this year. With all of 2020 seeing people hiding from riots and murder hornets and Covid, the beginning of 2021 is what tried to kill me. Actually, it was the early onset of Spring. In the Tallahassee region, pollen season is a known problem in the medical community. They prepare for it by stocking up on every type of OTC antihistamine, Neti Pots, and humidifiers. People who have never had a problem with allergies in their lives will move to this area and suddenly get pnuemonia after a run-in with pollen. I’m personally convinced it’s the work of dark forces unknown, but I haven’t gotten much support on that as yet.
My doctor, bless her, is just about the best heckin doctor on the planet, though. I managed to miss the annual pneumonia in 2020 due to masks, hiding in my house, the liberal use of air-conditioning and filters and so on. 2021 sent a major invasion just so it wouldn’t miss me this time. I got a sniffle, then a cough, then a negative Covid test, then steroids and antibiotics for pneumonia, then the most insanely strong antihistamines known to man. I also lost over a month of conscious time from my life.
A little side note, my hubs started working as a park ranger (in training) which is the fulfilment of a life-goal for him. The other rangers, upon hearing about my battle with pollen, quipped, “Plant pollen is really their means of sexual reproduction, so, in fact, your wife has an STD.” When I heard that, I launched into a fit of laughter that turned into coughing that landed me flat on my back with a breathing aid. It took almost two months to fully recover and I’m still finding it hard to walk quickly or very far without taking breaks to catch my breath. It’s almost June now and I feel like I’ll still be fighting to recover when it hits again.
A a result: My doctor and I have a plan. I am not supposed to wait for the onset of symptoms for the next pollen season. I have the breathing treatments, the Neti Pot, the antihistamines, the cough syrup and all the rest already on hand. I’m working hard to get my heart and lungs strong again, and when the spring arrives, I’m going to turn on the A/C, double filter the blower, and wear a respirator mask until it’s all over.
The Ports of Surset: Book 3, The Second Order, is about 9/10 finished drafting. I reached a point at about the 1/3 mark where everything finally started to come together. The characters made it on time to their appointed plot points, the story didn’t spin out any crazy holes I needed to patch, and the path was clear to move forward at breakneck speeds (which is my default generally). While I still worry, as all artists do, that I am going to turn out a satisfying and well-received end to this story, I no longer feel as though I’m still just at the beginning of the journey.
I intend to release Book 3 on July 7, 2021, along with a free prequel which will follow one of the characters who is called away on a side-quest, and a free sequel which will revisit the Company as they prepare to move forward in the new world they are helping to create. The side-quest is happening concurrently with the rest of the main story, which I will try to make clear in the description, so readers can decide if they want to read it before or after. The sequel, closure on the question of what happens to everyone when all of this is over, should definitely be read after Book 3. It will leave nothing unanswered. I don’t think…
It will go into Kindle Unlimited, the same as with the first two books, and therefore, will not be available at any other site for ebooks until I take them out of that exclusive status. The paperbacks will be available on Amazon as well; however, I intend to pursue wide distribution of the paperbacks before Fall. (Wide distribution means available at all major outlets and a few smaller ones, too, I hope.) While I plan to leave the ebooks where they are until at least January 2022, there is no reason not to have the paperbacks available to other distributors and libraries. The two new freequels accompanying the release of Book 3 will be available wide, of course. There is a bit of a plan to release a box-set, probably sometime next year. At that point, the entire series will absolutely be distributed wide.
After the Ports of Surset series is finished, Ubriel Bryne will take a bit of a break. My next project under that name will revolve around the story of a long-haul ship captain. It is intended to be a study of what one woman’s life has become, her decisions and the circumstances around those decisions, and where she decides to go next. No one lives in a vacuum, even space ship captains who live in a literal vacuum. Her friends and crew, and even her family, will draw her into the right and wrong of one species’ fight for recognition and acceptance into the wider universe of sentient life forms. Or something like that. I reserve full rights to change everything about this story before it is written.
Before that, another pen name, Jami Lee Montgomery, will be starting a new series. The voice for this name is completely different. It will be a nice change of pace for me and give me a chance to stretch and recharge before going back to Ubriel. Jami’s series, Starling Nightcastle, is intended to be a dark urban fantasy revolving around personal demons and better angels. Each episodic story should be about 200 to 300-ish pages, so novel length but not massive. I don’t have an end of series length in mind yet. I figure I’ll write and rapid release three at a time into KU and then release a Book 1 containing the first three stories wide at some point halfway between the release of the third story and the fourth. If that makes sense.
I am hoping the Starling Nightcastle series will be fun and maybe a little spooky. I’ve written a bit of the first two stories, and I’m enjoying the way the characters are developing. If all goes to schedule (never call it a plan, they look for the word plan), I expect to release the first story in September 2021. Maybe sooner, but I won’t rush it. I’ll let everyone know!
Ports of Surset Wiki
In an effort to make the wiki available to fans of the book, I am attempting to integrate the wiki with this website. Hopefully, by the time Book 3 is released in July, and the freequels are out, I will have figured out how exactly to make this happen. Never fear! If you get to the end of all three books and four freequels and still have questions that you need to answer, there will be a wiki to turn to.
What Fans Ask
I get asked all the time: How do you come up with your ideas? The answer…
Coming up with ideas has never been a problem for me. I don’t see the world the way everyone else does. You know when you see a movie or TV show with a character tripping balls on some drug and they show that character’s perspective as hyper contrasted with woobly edges or some kind of kaleidoscopic effect? Yeah, that’s almost normal for me. Okay, not the kaleidoscope or woobles, but the hyper contrast. Not just in my vision. There is a surreal quality to most things in the world as they are processed through all my senses and into my brain. It often feels like there is a group of others in there, each perceiving the same input in a slightly different way. The resultant collage of those perceptions is what I, as a whole person, perceive. Sometimes, there are leftover bits that spawn off into interesting what-ifs and suppositions. Those turn into stories.
My sleeping brain, I think, gathers up those leftover bits and mixy-matches them. I see that process in my dreams. I’m told my dreams are odd, too. I dream in color, with full surround sound, and even feel and smell things in the dream world. I really don’t think my brain shuts down the way it is supposed to during sleep. Anyway, when I wake up, on most days, I have a new story idea or at least a new clarification for an old one. It doesn’t only happen while I’m sleeping. I was recently on a road trip with the hubs to visit ailing, elderly family and had a full-fledged, complete and ready to write idea just appear in my head. I think we were passing a cemetery when that happened. Thoughts about afterlives and genetic sequencing and reincarnation and the physical structures that store personality and memory in the brain swirled around in my head. Before we’d driven a mile, I turned to Z (the hubs) and asked, “You wanna’ hear a new story I just made up?” At this point, I could never have a new idea for the rest of my life and would still probably have a hard time managing to get them all written before I die.
In The News
As of this morning, Covid 19 vaccinations in the US sit at about 40.7% of the adult population of the nation. Worldwide, an estimated 5.4% are fully vaccinated. That’s a huge difference. There are still so many questions. Once fully vaccinated, will we need to have booster shots? Can we still act as carriers of the disease to those who have not been vaccinated? Are the outbreaks in other parts of the world likely to spawn variants that are resistant to the current vaccine? How can I make my day-job bosses let me remain a full-time work from home employee?
Social, Media and Otherwise
Currently, there isn’t much going on in the SocMed world (for me). I am still trying to find new and interesting other things to post about, I don’t want to just be a commercial with every post. There is more to me than that. Honest. >.> Anyway… For more information about my books and my dogs and my reasons for rebelling against artificial social expectations, sign-up for the mailing list!
Take Care! –Amy (aka Ubriel Bryne and Jami Montgomery)