The print version of Planet Seekers – Team Alpha is live on Amazon, closing out the last of my tasks for that book. It’s part of the Review Roundup tour, though the novel portion of that online event won’t kick off for a few more days. If you’re interested in getting a review copy, you’ll need to join the group to gain access–but then you also become eligible for prizes based on the number of reviews you post.
In other news, I have the final version of the new cover for book 2, and am excited to share it with you here. I’m still negotiating when it’s due to the editor, but my plan is to finish writing it in the next few months so I can release it this year. As mentioned previously, it picks up directly after book 1 and I’ve already written the first 500 words or so, so it’s shaping up to be an exciting sequel. I’ll be posting the new book page shortly.
As part of my research for this one, I recently read a highly disturbing article about scientists charged with taking care of the final individuals of species going extinct. The mindset of these scientists wasn’t all that different from that of people dedicated to animal (and especially dog) rescue–a kind of gallows humor and grimness that pushes them to persevere in the face of burnout-inducing circumstances. I see the personalized face of this in my friend Gayla, whose day job as an animal control officer brings her into regular contact with the worst of humanity. She’s struggling to find the energy to write her books because there are just too many animals out there who’ve been harmed by their contact with people.
On the other hand, research released in June about civic honesty details an experiment with “lost wallets” to test the trade-off between self-interest and honesty, that showed that at least between humans, the likelihood to help was consistent and significant across the globe. Other research shows our brains can only take a certain amount of focus–that’s it’s actually a feature that our thoughts wander periodically. And that it’s important to get outside regularly too. An article about tech-addicted teens being sent into wilderness training made me grateful in a different way for my dogs’ needs driving us toward daily walks of more than a mile at a minimum.
Finally, an article about the impact on our brains of speaking more than one language kept me awake for a while one night as I considered for the umpteenth time my basic relationship with the concept of “home”, which for me has never been any particular place. But it’s another component of characterization for the people populating my Planet Seekers books, too, and the ending quote about how learning a new language changes how you see the world around you could have philosophically deep implications for people who were already multi-lingual, but have now had a new language implanted in their brains. It will be interesting to see how that plays out over the course of the series.
Aside from all that, we’ve been keeping busy supporting our friends the Slambovians as they prepare for their UK tour. This is partly out of self-interest as hubs has taken the next step in his creative process and started recording his songs to be able to release an EP for his birthday. And he’ll be opening for them when they play in our area in mid-August. So don’t be surprised if you see me tweeting about these events regularly over the next couple months.