Monster Hunter Nation

Announcing Two New Correia Collaborations, a Sci-Fi with John D. Brown and Fantasy with Steve Diamond.

I can go ahead and announce the two new collaborative projects that I’ve been hinting about.

The first project is a fantasy novel co-written by me and Steve Diamond.

The second is a sci-fi novel co-written by me and John D. Brown.

Those names will be familiar to my regular readers. I’ve Book Bombed both of them, and have known these guys for years. They are both extremely talented authors, and I’m excited to be working with them.

I recently wrapped up a few big projects, so Toni Weisskopf approached me if I had any ideas for other collaborations. (I’d done a series with Mike Kupari, was wrapping up the edits on the last of the John Ringo MHI novels, and have one outstanding with Sarah Hoyt). I pitched her these two, Toni liked them, the other authors who I’d come up with the ideas with were all in, and as of this morning it sounds like all the contracts are signed and are on their way back to Baen. So here goes:

The Fantasy Project

Steve Diamond is the author of the YA thriller Residue, and a bunch of short fiction, including a story about Vatican Combat Exorcists in the upcoming Monster Hunter Files anthology. I first met Steve when I was a relatively new author and he interviewed me for his book review site, Elitist Book Reviews.  Then I found out he was a fellow accountant and we hit it off. We ended up in the same game group (Writer Nerd Game Night, so if you read those serials, you got to see Steve first learning how to write fiction). We also wrote the Son of Fire/Son of Thunder short stories together.

Then when my writing career started doing really well, I realized I would have to quit my day job as a finance manager for a defense contractor, so I hired Steve to be my assistant. We worked together for a year while I trained him to do my job, and he took over when I left.

This idea is about four years old, and we originally brainstormed it to be a story set in someone else’s IP. I had been approached to write that project, only it fell apart for business reasons unrelated to us, and got shelved. But in the process we worked up like a 20 page detail outline for what was a really, really cool story, with some neat characters.

That outline sat on the shelf for years.  I still wanted to write it, because the characters and plot were just that interesting, but the setting didn’t belong to us. So when Toni asked for collaboration ideas I sat down with Steve, and we started thinking through how we could lift the characters and plot out of one setting we didn’t own, and make up a new world to stick it into. And the fun part was that once we weren’t constrained by someone else’s already established rules, we came up with some really nifty ideas.

The brief pitch, it’s a grunt’s eye view of a war (think WW1 on the eastern front) in a world based on Slavic mythology and grimdark fairy tales. It’s about a young man who has been avoiding conscription, until something nefarious steps in and violently shoves him toward his destiny.  Then it’s off to the trenches, magic and mustard gas, wearing armor made out of dead golems and powered by the souls of the damned, where the troops are more frightened of the secret police behind them than the monsters in front of them.

Yeah. This one is bad ass. 😀

The Sci-Fi Project

John Brown is the author of the Servant of a Dark God series, and the Bad Penny thrillers. We both started out around the same time, and as two relative nobodies with no chance in hell of getting our publishers to pay for us to go on book tour, we teamed up to send ourselves on book tour. Usually by picking a major city, schmoozing our way into getting an official book signing at one store there, then getting a map to every book store in the region, and driving from store to store for several days straight to meet the staff, sign the stock, and hopefully get some new fans. So we spent a whole lot of time in cars together. And in fact, the scariest drive of my life was with John Brown, from Denver to Evanston in a blizzard, with me driving a Ford Focus. Not fun.

John and I had teamed up to teach a How To Plot A Novel in an Hour class a couple of times at LTUE. That’s where some authors are given some random ideas from the audience and show that they can tie them together by plotting out a whole novel on the fly. The problem with those kinds of panels is that when you ask the audience for plot elements, it is like a competition to see who can throw out the stupidest crap. And inevitably the professional authors make even the weirdest ideas work (that’s how Jim Butcher wrote Lost Legion with Pokemon in Codex Alera), but it’s usually silly and a lot of time is wasted.

Two years ago John volunteered us to do it again (I’m kind of the Vanna White to his Pat Sajack during these), and this time rather than get hung up on dumb random suggestions, we’d start with all the elements already written down. And to keep it a challenge, instead of an audience member, we drafted my (at the time) 10 year old son, and basically asked him “Okay. Tell us everything you think would be awesome in a sci-fi story.”

And of course, being a ten year old boy, the answers were “giant robots, space pirates, murderers, giant monsters, bandits, etc.” And he even DREW THE GIANT ROBOTS.  (and let me tell you, nobody can envision a crazy fight sequence like a ten year old).

So armed with these extremely awesome plot elements, we went to LTUE, and in front of the audience, over two hours, came up with a basic world build, plot structure, theme, characters, and sketched out most of the scenes. All to show the aspiring writers that this stuff ain’t that complicated. Only when we got done, I looked at what we had and thought… Damn… This could use some more thought and tweaking, but we could actually write this book.

A few years later, and we are.

The brief pitch: In a universe where advanced military tech is limited to ‘civilized’ worlds, there is a team of thieves who specialize in stealing war mechs, and selling them to groups which are normally banned from possessing anything that dangerous. The pirates don’t usually ask questions about what the stuff they procure is used for. Giant killer robots are just tools, and who is some bureaucrat to decide who can and can’t be armed?  Only this time, they see what the client is using their merchandise for and it’s just too much to stand. But Warlords really don’t like it when you back out of a deal, and there’s hell to pay.

This one is going to be really cool. And I’m excited, because though I’ve done some sci-fi (D6 is like 15 minutes in the future, and Grimnoir is actually sci-fi) and quite a few pieces of sci-fi short fiction, this will be my first straight up space opera.

##

The fantasy project is due first, though at this point I couldn’t even begin to estimate the release date. In the meantime I’d invited you to check out John and Steve’s books. They are excellent writers.

* * * * *

(Edited to add links- Jack)

Residue- by Steve Diamond
Residue_1a

Servant: The Dark God (book 1)- by John D. Brown
Servant

Behind the Scenes of Me Filming Gun Stories
Monster Hunter Files Anthology Cover Reveal
Max Florschutz
Guest

Hey, I remember that LTUE session, and have thought back on it since then and wondered if you ever would go forward with it! Sweet! I look forward to reading it!

T.L. Knighton
Guest

A space opera from the ILOH? Yes, please.

Even if it’s a million times better than my own space opera. 😛

Dan Lane
Guest

Gateway drugs, sir. Readers and fans consume books (not literally. At least not usually) at a *much* greater rate than authors of our favorite series write. Thus, more readers of space opera can lead to more folks wanting more space opera. Win/win.

Tomyironmane
Guest

Step 1: Be Larry.
Step 2: Write a book about giant fighting robots.
Step 3: Profit.
Looking forward to that one, I am.

Steve Diamond
Guest

Larry and I had WAY too much fun brainstorming this!

And I can’t wait to see the Space Opera John & Larry put together.

…this has been a really good week lol!

Ctrknight
Guest

I don’t know what makes me happier. The fantasy project, or the image of the ILOH as Vanna White

John Brown
Guest

He’s so gorgeous nobody even notices what he’s doing.

Craig Reed
Guest

>>And of course, being a ten year old boy, the answers were “giant robots, space pirates, murderers, giant monsters, bandits, etc.” And he even DREW THE GIANT ROBOTS. <<

Your son just described Battletech….. 🙂

Faceh
Guest
This is some wonderful news and the concept sounds great. I already know the execution will be amazing. Now I’m just waiting for the Monster Hunter Intergalactic series, with werewolves and orcs roaming the hallways of spaceships and the Immortal Agent Franks using antimatter torpedoes to vaporize the encroaching old ones. A guy can dream, and I dream of Supernatural Space Battles! On another note, I really enjoy the increasing number of collaborations. I don’t know if it is a more efficient way to get books done or not, but surely it allows for the Authors to play on each… Read more »
Jack
Guest

where do i find Writer “Nerd Game Night”?

SirShades
Guest

Search box at the top of the page. Nerd Game Night brings up all references, The Drowning Empire gets you a more refined search to just that story arc.

Brendan Malloy
Guest

The most shocking thing to come out of this is that Larry fits in a Ford Focus. I always assumed that compact car was his shoe size.

I’m excited about both of these collaborations, I really enjoyed Bad Penny and Residue.

Katie R
Guest

I read Bad Penny. It’s really good.

Christopher M. Chupik
Guest
Christopher M. Chupik

Hard to go wrong with giant robots.

Unless you’re Michael Bay.

Robin Munn
Guest

It’s not really the giant robots that Bay went wrong with, it’s his human characters. The amount of effort involved in modeling *every piece* of the Transformers, and how those pieces fit together in both robot and vehicle forms, was seriously impressive — but the human characters in those movies, pretty much to a man (and woman), were nails-on-chalkboard annoying.

Robin Munn
Guest

And *some* of the Transformers, too. Basically, it’s a movie series that’s vastly improved by liberal use of the Mute button on the TV remote.

Achillea
Guest

And the FF button, which I employed pretty much every time a human appeared on screen and opened its pie-hole. The only exceptions were the opening scenes in the command center, which were frickin’ awesome.

gbm
Guest

Joy!!
Now are we gonna hear more from Bubba and Hannah in the future?

Shawna Canon
Guest

These both sound pretty cool. I read Residue recently, and I’ve got some John Brown books on my Kindle that it looks like I need to get to reading. Gotta prepare for when these ones come out.

detroyes
Guest

Looking forward to both!

Any word on when MHI Memoirs #3 comes out?

anonme
Guest

>Larry is not only writing a space opera, he’s writing a space opera with giant robots.

Be still my beating heart.

Aaron Nagy
Guest

I have only 1 question about the robots…Real or Super?

Randall Rapp
Guest

You might want to check out Saga of Tanya the Evil, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saga_of_Tanya_the_Evil for reference for your fantasy book. Very similar setting but not quite as dark.

Randall Rapp
Guest

You also might find Pinnacle’s Weird Wars game setting https://www.peginc.com/product-category/weird-wars/ and Modiphius’s Achtung! Chthulu http://www.modiphius.com/achtung-cthulhu.html Game setting useful. Both run on the savage worlds rule system.

detroyes
Guest

I was thinking that when I read the Steve Diamond collaboration description. Yes, if you ever get the chance, by all means check this series out. Sincerely hope it gets a second season; Tanya Degurechaff is hands down the best new anime character this year.

Lawson
Guest

You paid your son for the idea right? =D

Vivian Lane
Guest

Speaking of writing stuff, could anyone point me to finding betas for UF? For PNR, I can find people all over my spaces, but while I read some UF, I’m clueless on where to find reasonable folks willing to read and lend some comments.

Thanks!

Dan Lane
Guest
Hrm. PNR and UF blend a bit on setting- I can remember when UF and PNR were shelved together, and things got quite confusing some *mumblety* years ago. Goodreads sticks the two together quite frequently. Since you are differentiating between the two, it sounds like you know what you’re looking for. If you want to put in the groundwork, there are urban fantasy boards here and there (that I don’t keep up with and haven’t in ten years or so) where you can go. If you’re new there, you can introduce yourself, talk about what you like UF-wise, and so… Read more »
Vivian Lane
Guest

Hi, Dan,

I’m mostly surrounded by romance folks. As for readers, I’ve published both and there was very little crossover in my audience. I have 3 committed fans of my UF characters. So I wasn’t reaching UF readers.

There is some crossover, but it’s not huge. Romance fans mostly stick to it, reading for that happy ending in each book.

My UF does have love stories, but doesn’t qualify as romance because of the lack of that ending in a single book.

Dan Lane
Guest

You might try the Goodreads Beta forum here. That’s for the free betas, not the paid ones.

The slush pile on baen’s bar might also work for ya. I’ve seen outright fantasy and alt history as well as all flavors of sci fi, so you never know.

Good betas are better than gold. Good luck to you!

Vivian Lane
Guest

Thanks. The baen’s bar link doesn’t work, though.

Old NFO
Guest

These should be ‘interesting’ in a good way! 🙂

boballab
Member

Alma T.C. Boykin did a similar fantasy book where the main character uses magic and is part of the Austro Hungarian Army at the outbreak of the war but is an Officer and Noble instead of a grunt. Be interesting to compare the two takes on the concept. https://www.amazon.com/Carpathian-Campaign-Powers-Book-ebook/dp/B01N2WNVN1/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1492672608&sr=8-3&keywords=alma+boykin

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Achillea
Guest

Will definitely be keeping an eye out for the giant robots thing (does it have a name yet?). My kindle is chronically short of books thanks to my reading tastes being so damned finicky, and the handful of authors like Larry who can be trusted to put out good stuff can only write so fast.

Brian Vause
Guest
Larry, I will be 60 years old tomorrow. I have read and enjoyed a lot of books and stories over those years and spent more than a few hours playing RPGs (both paper as well as CRPGs) and I have to say that between you and John Ringo, I have had more quality entertainment these past couple of decade than all the rest of my life. Yes I’ve read many stories by the “greats” and they were definitely entertaining but they always had heroes or characters that I really didn’t relate to. They never had a sharpshooter who had a… Read more »
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