Monthly Archives: October 2009

Blizzards and Editing

Published October 31, 2009 in Writing - 0 Comments

Over the past few days, Colorado has been hit by a tremendous early-season snowstorm.  Schools and roads were closed for three days; we had over 18″ of snow in our driveway, and our street wasn’t plowed for three days.  (In the meantime, we ate most of the fresh food in the refrigerator and started in on all the canned goods.)


Fortunately, Rebecca and I didn’t have any travel plans or anyplace we needed to go; Jonathan & Jessica had some wedding planning to do, and Jessica couldn’t get out for her first day at a new job (not a disaster, since the blizzard closed down the company, too).  But we holed up and got through it just fine.


I was wrapping up the last chapters of editing in HELLHOLE, so it was good to be trapped in the office where I could edit without interruption.  I did, however, find a new chapter that needed to be written.  Not to be deterred by the wind and snow, I bundled up, put on the boots, took the digital recorder, and tromped up and down the deserted roads until I had the six pages dictated, which I then transcribed and polished the following morning.


Then on Friday the snow stopped, the skies cleared, and the temperature rose to 45°F.  Got the driveway cleared; the plows came through; and everything melted rapidly.  Today, Halloween, it’s 55°F and perfect for trick or treaters.  I completed editing the last HELLHOLE chapters, wrote Brian Herbert a cover letter with some ideas, and sent everything to him for his crack at it.

Now I can catch up on all the other little thing around here.  Happy Halloween.


Star Challengers

Published October 24, 2009 in Writing - 0 Comments

Over the past month I’ve mentioned a new science-oriented young adult project Rebecca and I are developing along with the Challenger Learning Centers.  Here is our more detailed announcement:

June Scobee Rodgers Presents

Star Challengers

by Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson

A series of science fiction adventures for young readers (10–14) to promote interest in science education and to emphasize the importance of the space program

The challenge is to get kids interested in science.

The challenge is to make them think of innovation and the future.

The challenge is to foster a generation of forward-thinkers who will choose careers in science and technology.

Star Challengers

A bold new series of novels—science fiction with real science—targeted at readers 10–14 years old, hungry for adventure and substance.

The Challenger Centers for Space Science Education have teamed up with award-winning, international bestselling authors Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson to create this series of adventures.


Five students are chosen to attend a “special” event at a nearby Challenger Center run by the mysterious Commander Zota. Little do they know, though, that they are about to be swept up in a wild adventure that will take them across time and space—for Zota is from the future . . . a bleak, desperate future where Earth faces a terrible crisis, but without any innovators to solve it. Zota’s mission is to go back in time and help create a generation that will be prepared for the challenges the future holds.

Star Challengers

The Challenger Center for Space Science Education reaches more than 400,000 students and 40,000 teachers per year with educational experiences that transform lives and enrich our nation’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. With 46 Challenger Learning Centers (and an ex officio center on the International Space Station!), and a wide range of educational services, including our signature spaceflight simulations, the Challenger Centers have become a powerful force for change in our nation’s education.

Millions of readers worldwide are familiar with Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson from their award-winning and New York Times bestselling Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights series, their work on Star Trek, and their original Crystal Doors series. Rebecca Moesta has written novels based on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and the animated film Titan AE. Kevin J. Anderson has written for Star Wars, X-Files, the phenomenally successful new Dune novels with Brian Herbert, and his own original series The Saga of Seven Suns and Terra Incognita. Together, they have sold over 20 million copies around the world in more than 30 languages.

These novels will be rollicking SF adventures, but they also drive home the message that educational interests and career choices students make now have an enormous impact on the future … and may even save the world.

Terra Incognita #2 Delivered

Published October 18, 2009 in Writing - 0 Comments

A few days ago I delivered the final, thoroughly edited and revised, eighth-draft manuscript for the second “Terra Incognita” novel, THE MAP OF ALL THINGS.  704 pages, 177,000 words, with a summary of Book 1 and a complete glossary, as well as a marvelous new map drawn by Richard Ware.

Many of you have written to ask how long it takes to write a novel.  I outlined THE MAP OF ALL THINGS during our Panama Canal cruise in November 2008 (and you’ll see some of those details in the novel).  I had all the first draft chapters dictated by early spring, then spent months editing to get the book in shape for the editor at Orbit Books and the group of test readers, all of whom received the 5th draft manuscript by July 1. 

After receiving all of their comments by the end of the month, I spent the next weeks (including while on the road for THE WINDS OF DUNE tour) doing the major rewrites, additions, and changes.  After DragonCon (Labor Day, early September), I was able to concentrate on the fine editing (the 7th draft) and then Rebecca gave the manuscript her line-by-line copy edit; I keyed in all of those changes (about 7 days of work) and finally delivered the 8th draft to the publisher for production.

Within the next few months I will receive the publisher’s copy edit, then the typeset galleys for proofing, and the book will finally be released in June 2010. 

Throughout all this, I have been working on other projects—most notably HELLHOLE with Brian Herbert, the lyrics for the second “Terra Incognita” rock CD, editing BLOOD LITE 2, and a young-adult series about the space program.

Next month, I will be plotting and outlining Terra Incognita #3, THE KEY TO CREATION, which should come out in June 2011.

Retro-Blog: From August On

Published October 4, 2009 in Writing - 0 Comments

Taking a break from editing Hellhole chapters to do a quick summary of the things that kept me too busy to post blogs since I wrapped up The Winds of Dune tour in mid-August.

As a pleasant change of pace after I came home, Rebecca and I had a chance to meet James LaBrie in person. James is the lead vocalist for Dream Theater, and he also sings on our Roswell Six/Terra Incognita CD, the character of Omra in the tracks “Ishalem,” “I Am the Point,” and “Anchored.” We had dinner at the Wynkoop Brewery in downtown Denver just after James had come into town, and then the following night we attended the Dream Theater concert (great show!) and afterward backstage we also met band members John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess.


With James LaBrie at the Wynkoop Brewery

That weekend Rebecca and I flew to LA to teach part of the Writers of the Future workshop and to present at the awards ceremony, which was held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. We got to spend time with many of our author friends — Doug Beason, Dave Wolverton, Rob Sawyer, Steven Savile, Tim Powers, Dr. Harry Kloor, Jerry Pournelle, Eric James Stone, Steven Kotowych, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Sean Williams, and others.

_hug6157_hug6222uTeaching the workshop

_jsb7864Presenting the Awards

_hug7679With Illustrator Judge Val Lakey Lindahn and grand prize winner Emery Huang


Rebecca presenting an award with actor John Francis Daley
(“Sweets” on the TV show BONES)

_hug7730Rebecca, John Francis Daley, and prize-winner Heather McDougal

Less than a week later, we were off to DragonCon in Atlanta, where we had numerous panels, signings, as well as a table in the dealer’s room. The Max Lager’s brewery restaurant not far from the convention hosted a special party for Winds of Dune, Terra Incognita, and Roswell Six. (The brewmaster JR even created a special, and delicious, AnderZone IPA for the occasion.) Chris Brown, the guitarist for Roswell Six, gave an acoustic performance at the event and also hung out with us in the dealer’s room for most of the weekend. Frank Herbert’s grandson Byron Merritt (from also came, his first DragonCon, and scoped out the convention.

chrisbrownAt DragonCon with Chris Brown, guitarist for Roswell Six

Saturday night John Tackett arranged for us, along with fellow WordFire representatives Diane, Sarah, and Joe, to have a behind-the-scenes tour of the Atlanta aquarium, which was quite amazing. (Yes, whale sharks are enormous.) Throughout the weekend, Rebecca and I had twelve readings, autographings, and panels on various tracks including apocalyptic fiction, Star Wars, Dune, writers’ workshops, young adult fiction, horror, and music. With all those appearances, plus our table in the dealer’s room, we hope that every fan had plenty of opportunities to meet and interact with us.

And now it’s back home for a while to do some serious catching up.