during a recent extended week's holiday from my regular (bus driving) day job, I put in a good few hours per day i.e. a good few thousands of words per day, into Kumiko (war world #3). Kumiko was at the 52,000 words mark when I started my 'holiday' -- this was a mixture of 39,000 words of eight finished chapters + 13,000 words of extra notes etc. At the end of the holiday Kumiko was a much more finalised 13 finished chapters and a healthier 63,000 words. It'll be a little more than this when I've finished polishing it, but that's cool for now. Yes, I type fast when needs must and I can restructure a whole novel on the fly (as I had to here) under strict time/motion constraints.
What this means is that (while there are a couple of narrative threads to tidy up in the Kumiko first draft and a general spit and polish on the technical aspects of War World's ranks and badges) I'm happy that I've done all I can with that side of the Earth story and can now focus upon Reaper (free planet #3) as Xmas 2014 dawns and the publication year of 2015 for the tandem third parts in the Free Planet vs War World trilogies looms. I have a few more lieu days of holiday next week, so I've ample time to pen a good wedge of Reaper stuff.
The important thing is THE DREAMS HAVE STARTED. And by this I mean, "I can always tell when a novel needs to start because I start getting insistent and specific dreams about it. I've had TWO very important i.e very Reaper-relevant early-morning dreams already this week, so my Writer Mind (lol) is nagging that I 'crack on with it'." Yes, I realise the dream content is arbitrary and subjective, but I seem to know where all this material fits in - like magic. Reaper has over-grown enough now, and the story begs to be clipped and shaped. Like a hedge. Fun'd...
Running total: 20,000 words, and rising.
Sunday, 14 December 2014
Monday, 4 August 2014
this happened, the genie escaped the bottle, I can't put it back in. I was there, like a good little writer, hammering away on the keyboard, re-writing chapter one (again), then re-arranging and restructuring chapter two (nipping an tucking, adding and taking away), now having a go at chapter three of 'free plane #3' novel Reaper and it just WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAM'd me.
REAPER (fp #3) turns out to be Organic vs Crystalline.
Yeah, I know, I was surprised by that development, too. I certainly didn't expect to go in this direction with book three. In fact, nowhere in the detailed plan I have for the conclusion of this three-book series is there any mention of crystalline existence. But there it is.
It came from an examination of the old Patent Database - the Custodian Liberation aka McCardle and Hoskins finally get their finger out and start sifting through the Privatised Creativity, Passion and Kinship Store of ancient inventors for the good of mankind rather than the cynical furtherance of the Profit margin. And there it was ... the elixir of life, or at least the bridge to everlasting life.
Of course, I realise I've put a narrative cat among my pigeons. Do I care? Yes, it's giving me a headache, but I do this for you, sweet nectarous reader, so that you can find some succour in your daily grind.
MARCH 16th UPDATE: I was actually considering giving up (for profit) writing for good last night. I came this close to never finishing WATCHER or REAPER. I thought, "Why should I when I alraedy have the novels in my head?" what do I need to gain from commercialising my talent? But I made a major discovery today. And that's powered me on to get these two books finished this year.
In February, I 'got inspired' to start writing about CRYSTALLINE EXISTENCE in REAPER (free planet #3). It's based on my ideas of a Sentient Water Planet i.e. Earth's real presence, its ancestry. I thought of the least likely crystal that could be out there i.e. a WATER BASED CRYSTAL that grows from salt water (with a special catalyst, nudge wink) the way salt is harvested from water.
Today's major discovery is a real mineral called RINGWOODITE that has 15% by weight of water trapped in it. I'm loath to call 'my crystal' Ringwoodite but there's no reason why I can't have a more purified form of the crystal as the basis for the Eternal Life & Homes (albeit undersea) in this third book. The crystalised memories of the ancestors forming the structures within which Free Planet will live its life?
AUGUST 4th UPDATE: REAPER (free planet #3) novel is on the blink while I'm busily writing KUMIKO (war world #3) novel. The Free Planet narrative and the War World narrative are kinda connected, or have become connected over the final stages of their respective trilogies. Is it a Free Planet or is it a War World? I like that it's happened this way, as it's less convoluted than if I'd planned a dual-trilogy series from the get-go.
Yesterday morning, during a lovely 9 mile jog in the woods and along the river, I received (from the ether) a generous wedge of narrative resolution to add to the Crystalline/Organic thrust of the Reaper arc, just free stuff wedged into the waking dream that is my writing process.
Monday, 19 May 2014
here's a FIVE STAR review of my latest Free Planet novel LIBERATOR, from one of my favourite authors Gene Brewer (K-PAX series):
Mike Philbin's Liberator does more than continue where Custodian (Book I of the Free Planet series) left off. By this time the premise is picking up more steam, the characters have become more real, the storyline more accessible, the indictment of our social and political norms more scathing. Mr. Philbin's wordplay is truly striking and original. The images stick with you. There are moments of tongue-in-cheek humor and his wit is increasingly biting. This is an author who gets better with every book. He is someone to watch. [LIBERATOR on Amazon]
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
I've just been playing around with the idea of bringing out (or selling on to another publisher) the idea of the FREE PLANET trilogy, as one book. The three separate parts of the proposed book would sport the names of the separate novels Custodian (2013), Liberator (2014) and Reaper (2015).
FREE PLANET was always envisioned as 'one book' but then it got a little more involved, became a second, then third book (potentially) so I thought, "Maybe this is the time to show you what I've been working on as a cover idea for such a trilogy," were it a) possible or b) attractive to publishers.
It'd be about 80,000 + 60,000 + 60,000 = 200,000 words as a book, which is quite a wedge of words. Just a thought... back soon.
APRIL 13th UPDATE: for those of you going, "Where did the updates on Reaper (free planet #3) go?" fear not, I am still, technically, working on it. It is still destined to be released in 2015. Watcher (the project I'm writing at the same time) is dominating my thoughts right now, is all. As you'll see from the new War World TRILOGY cover, it's Free Planet's real competition, and I'm not sure which'll win, yet.
Reaper has not been put on the back burner, in fact I'm going to make myself write some more of it right now to push the book past the 20,000 word mark also. Yeah, maybe that'll do it. I'll try to make myself write more Reaper before I allow myself to write more Watcher. In reality, I'll probably finish Watcher first.
"Who watches the watchers?" indeed.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
I know because I just adapted the 2,000 words short story of 'what happened to the hunted-to-exhaustion Janey and Timmy' (you'll remember tham from the tail end of Liberator FP#2, if you read it) for use as a structural device throughout the novel.
It's done already. It's in the can. Finito.
I decided to split this 2,000 word Oral History of Timmy Brecke into chapter starts, each paragraph of this 'short story' precedes the action of each chapter of the yet-to-be-written novel. I sensed that (as it was 2,000 words) it would be nice if it came to about TWENTY CHAPTER beginnings, hundred words a-piece.
And it did. Exactly twenty paragraphs. 20 chapters.
I was very surprised by that, and it felt like 'some kind of sign'. That means I can write Reaper in chunks of 4,000 words giving me a novel total for FP#3 of anywhere around the 80,000 words mark. We all know my 'guesstimations' aren't always reliable and we all know that whimsy, inspiration and good old randomness can insinutate its way into my novel writing process but there it is. Day of the Reaper is officialy GO, GO, GO and there's lots to say about 'why Free Planet took four years' to really gets its arse in gear. Why the world nearly had to end, twice. And why you'll shit your pants when you see who was behind what. There really were so many counter/parallel FPS simulators going at the same time, and the PPI or PATENT PROTECTION INITIATIVE was very well funded by T.H.E.Y. i.e. You The People, so no fucking surprise there then.
We'll find out what happened to Timmy and Janey, we'll see if this near-ruined homeworld eventually became a Free Planet.
FOUR MONTHS LATER UPDATE: as the War World series and the Free Planet series have organically intertwined in the last year or so, Reaper (free planet #3) will be probably remain on hold until some narrative issues in Kumiko (war world #3) have been ironed out. Reaper is due to be finished, then, some time AFTER Kumiko has finished.
Or at least until the threads and connections between the parallel projects have been finalised, not necessarily 'set in stone'. Oh, set in stone, Mike, I like that. SET IN STONE.
Friday, 7 February 2014
Though I have a really good idea where this third Free Planet novel may go, I haven't started to work on 'Reaper' yet. In fact, I don't intend to for another maybe six months or more as my main focus this season will be the STALKER'S GUIDE TO... novel.
"Why not make the third novel in the Free Planet series take place all on the same day," the day when it all happens. The day Free Planet 4 Real is born.
It's still gonna contain the same narrative elements I'd always intended to include, but I'll cram it all into one day. Dawn to Dusk, eight months after the events in Liberator. Have it a non-stop marathon of intense emotional and physical drama. Wear down the reader as it'll undoubtedly wear down the characters.
This will be the day when the old (Commercialised (Consumerist (Corporate))) world ends and a new one begins. This will be the day when mankind finally begins to see the 'great gift he's been bequeathed' and the thing he nearly ruined with his Quest for Profit/Asset/Conquest.
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
click to buy paperback
Not everything that appeared to happen during the Custodian Liberation happened as a result of Free Planet. There was another parallel drill going. As there always is in the need to know compartmentalised military game. It's just the way it is. Deal with that, and mankind can move on to the next level of politico-military tactician Zbigniew Brzezinsky's Grand Chess Game.
Custodian (the first novel in the Free Planet series) showed how a group of Oxford University rebels could rework The Industry to their advantage, to YOUR ADVANTAGE. But was the resulting 'free planet' really all it pretended to be? Is there another (parallel) free planet simulation being run? A military drill? Real 'terror'?
Liberator (the next novel in the Free Planet series) shows what really went on FOUR YEARS AGO when you thought a 'brave rebel world' of Diversities, Floating Homes and Freed Humanity were taking place. In this novel you'll discover THE REAL REASON why 'free planet' happened.
And you're not going to like what you find!
Oh, and in case you haven't seen it before, here's the book trailer for Free Planet #1 novel: CUSTODIAN
yes, I used the same incidental music for both book trailers, uniformity of purpose. Sir, yes, sir.