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Behind the Scenes

Bad About Updating

So, I’m bad when it comes to making posts.  I get distracted by other things going on in my life, and this website falls by the wayside.  Anyways, I’m just going to give you all a quick update on where things stand with my books.  My second book, The Mirror Initiative, is still in editing.  The primary editing pass is done, but the second & third ones are a little held up due to busy lives.  I’m hoping that progress will be made during the Christmas holidays and hopefully be available for purchase late January.  That is my current hope.  I’ve been working on working out the plot for the third book and started actually writing this this week.  I’m shooting for that book to be in your hands late summer/ early fall of next year.  After that, I will take a step back and evaluate where things are and decide on a course from there.

So, that is where things stand at the moment.  I hope everyone is having an awesome day!

The Process

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Nathan outlining at the beach, May 2016

So, it’s been about two months since my last blog post.  A long silence from me, I know.  So, why no posts?  Well, I have been in writing mode for the next book.  My energies have been directed there and the blog has fallen by wayside, as a result.  Well then, where are we at on that?

Good question.  I have now finished the rough draft of the next book, titled The Mirror Initiative.  It continues the story started in New L.A., but I’m trying to shape it in such a way that it can stand on its own.  I want the story to be good on its own, but if you have read New L.A., you’ll get more out of it.  We’ll see how good of a job I did soon enough.

The next step is the editing process.  Right now, I’m taking a week off to decompress and separate myself rom the story so I can come back and look at things from an objective standpoint.  I’ll then do a read through, where I already know I’m going to make some revisions while doing that.  Meanwhile, my primary editor is busy reading through the rough draft.  After I decompress and do my read through, I will start meeting with her and we’ll work our way through the book making more revisions.  As a new draft comes together from that process, I will start sending copies of those to my two other editors.  One of them, my wife, will make what I call the “I don’t get it” pass.  She reads through and anything that she doesn’t get through the text, we’ll discuss and make revisions to make things clearer.  Finally, the other editor does a proofreading pass, making sure things are spelled and punctuated correctly.  Finally, I read through one last time and make sure I’m happy with it after all the revisions.  After that, I put it all together and put it into production.  That step usually involves commissioning a cover and then converting into e-book formats.  I get back an e-book proof that I then go through and make sure it all still looks good.  After I approve the proof, it gets distributed to wherever you end up buying your e-book copy from.

So how long is this going to take?  Well, for New L.A., from finishing the rough draft to releasing to the world, it was 3 ½ months.  But part of that time was during the holidays, which slowed the process up.  My personal goal is to have it out by Thanksgiving, but we’ll see how it goes.

And what am I’m going to do in the meantime while not editing.  I’m going to start working on the third book, which will complete this “trilogy”.  Right now, I know where that story will start and where it is going to end, but there are details in the middle I need to figure out.  I’m also going to do some world-building for an off-shoot story that is connected, but takes place in an entirely different setting.  So, I’m staying busy and we’ll all see how this goes.

Character Origins: Lady Chameleon

Rarely seen, yet her presence is felt from a long distance.  Thus is the nature of the Lady Chameleon.  And she is one of my all-time favorite characters I have created.  When I figured out a way a version of her could exist in the world of my book, I was very giddy.  As always, I will cover how the character evolved in my head, and won’t necessarily give anything away about the book.

Beginnings

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Lydee Chameleon, Imperial Agent

The Lady Chameleon was originally created as an antagonist in my second Star Wars campaign in 2001, the one using the D20 rules and taking place in the Prequel era.  She was the leader of a criminal organization called Chameleon, and was primarily an information broker who was making a play to become one of the bigger and more powerful organizations in the galaxy.  And she became the antagonist my players hated the most.  Whenever my players encountered her, they would prevail, but yet they never really felt they had beaten her.  She was always playing a deeper game.  The beauty was she wasn’t always in their face, but was always working in the background.  It was a major highlight when they were able to finally take her down, once and for all, some four years later.   Though they did let her live, so maybe not once and for all.

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Lady Chameleon, City of Villains

For me, she was always fun to play when she came up in the story.  And in my head, she became a living breathing character.  And I think she was for my players as well.  Years later, I was playing City of Villains with my best friend online and we were talking about making a team, or what would be a guild in other games.  I suggested we call it Chameleon and he coldly and firmly stated, “NO!”

After Star Wars

Even before the campaign was over, I was starting to branch out in her development.  In 2003, I wrote a short story that was basically the backstory for my campaign and told the story of the main NPC, Jedi Master Talek.  In that story, I wove in some backstory for the Lady Chameleon and started fleshing her out more.  Since that time, I have written some more short stories based on my Star Wars campaigns, and she plays a part in some of those stories.

But since that campaign, she has mostly lived on as characters I play or play against in video games.  In late 2008, I tried out City of Villains, and the character I first created for that was the Lady Chameleon.  About a year and a half later, I created her as a Nemesis for my first Champions Online character.  In late 2011, in the MMO Star Wars: the Old Republic, I created an Imperial Agent named Lydee, who is a part of the Chameleon legacy, and is modelled on the Lady Chameleon.  Since then, she has popped up as characters I have played in DC Universe Online, Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, Skyforge, Tera Online, and World of Warcraft.  Have we seen the last of her?  Probably not.

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Lydee Chameleon, Star Wars the Old Republic

Bonus

Here is the last version of the Lady Chameleon’s Star Wars D20 stats:

Lady Chameleon: Adult Female Human, Scoundrel 4/Noble 4/Crimelord 10; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Def 22 (+3 Dex, +9 Class); Spd 10m; VP/WP 88/14; Atk +11/+6/+1 melee (1d3, punch), +14/+9/+4 ranged (3d4, Blaster [Sporting]); SQ Contacts (x4), Coordinate +1, Exceptional Minions, Favor +2, Illicit barter, Inspire Confidence, Inspire Fear -6, Lucky (1/day), Noble bonus class skill (Gather Information), Precise Attack +1, Resource Access, Tainted; SV Fort +7, Ref +14, Will +14; SZ M; FP: 5; DSPs: 9; Rep: +18; Str 11, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 16.

Equipment: Blaster [Sporting], Comlink [Encrypted], Credit Chip, DataPad [Personal]

Skills: Appraise +25, Bluff +27, Computer Use +18, Diplomacy +26, Disguise +20, Entertain (impersonation) +11, Escape Artist +7, Forgery +18, Gamble +23, Gather Information +29, Hide +7, Intimidate +22, Knowledge (streetwise) +25, Listen +6, Move Silently +7, Pilot +7, Read/Write Basic, Search +8, Sense Motive +26, Sleight of Hand +7, Speak Basic, Speak High Galactic, Speak Huttese, Speak Neimoidian, Speak Ryl, Spot +8

Feats: Impersonator, Infamy, Influence, Skill Emphasis (Bluff, Gather Information, Sense Motive), Trick, Trustworthy, Underworld Connections, Weapons Group Proficiency (blaster pistols, simple weapons)

Notes: Exceptional Minions: 36 levels

Chameleon Clone Bodyguard (Soldier 4/Scoundrel 1/Loyal Protector 7) (x3): 36

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Lady Chameleon, DC Universe Online
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Lydee, World of Warcraft
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Lydee, Neverwinter
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Lydee, Admiral of the USS Chameleon, Star Trek Online
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Lady Chameleon, Nemesis in Champions Online
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Lydee, Tera Online

Upcoming Crazy Month

I was going to post another Character Origins this week, but things in real life kept getting in the way.  And they are going to continue to get in the way for the next month.  This is also impairing my writing schedule for Book 2, as I’ve been distracted to actually sit down and get some chapters written.  But, I’m still thinking stuff out and making notes.  And despite the upcoming crazy month, I will have a lot of time to brainstorm and troubleshoot in my head.  Just not going to be able to actually write anything.  Planning to go into hardcore writing mode during the summer to make up for it.

The crazy month starts this upcoming Friday, April 29th.  I’m going to be doing a lot of traveling during May, both flying and driving, and should reach a conclusion on Memorial Day.  It’s going to involve two cross country moves and a whole lot of the southern part of this country.  It’s going to be an adventure, which you can follow along on Twitter, if you are so inclined.

My Twitter feed is normally fairly inactive as I never feel like I have anything to tweet.  That’s going to change on April 29th.  I plan to take and tweet pics during my travels.  So follow along with @NathanRux.  Expect the first tweet early in the morning on the 29th.  #crazymonth