It’s been a busy summer. Last autumn, when we realized that THE DAWN COUNTRY--published in March of 2011--would be our 50th published novel, we decided to grant ourselves a special holiday. Not every author publishes fifty novels, let alone books requiring the complexity and research that ours do. Our reward was a cruise that encompassed most of the classic archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. We toured sites beginning with the Cycladian/Minoan civilizations, the Etruscans, Ionian Greek, classical Greek, and the Hellenistic and Roman ruins at Ephesus.
We walked the streets of ancient Carthage and toured the museum in Tunis, which houses the most extensive collection of Roman mosaics in the world. It was spectacular. Being there after the revolution was marvelous and we wish the Tunisian people all the success in building their new democracy. If they pull it off, they will become a beacon for the entire world.
We walked the cobblestoned streets of the Roman forum, marveled in the Marcus Agrippa’s Pantheon, and stood atop the ramparts of the Castille Sant’Angelo. The Capuchin ossuaries filled us with an unsettled wonder. Phoenician, Greek, and Roman ruins beneath the streets of Barcelona amazed us. Antoni Gaudi’s Familia Sagrada stunned us with its marvelous intricacy. No building we’ve ever seen compares.
As familiar as we are with the magnificence of North American archaeology, exploring the roots of Western civilization gave us a sense of place for the academic studies that have filled our education.
On the publishing front, the paperback for FIRE THE SKY will be out in September, and the paperback for THE DAWN COUNTRY will be released in December. THE BROKEN LAND, book 3, of the PEOPLE OF THE LONHGOUSE saga will be out in hardcover in January of 2012. We humbly believe that it has the best ending we’ve ever written—but we will await your judgment on that, since yours is the one that counts. We owe a debt of gratitude to our excellent editor, Susan Chang, for being a tough editor. Tough editors force you to do your best. We’re grateful.
If you’ve finished FIRE THE SKY, you should be aware that A SEARING WIND is the final Contact novel that features Black Shell and Pearl Hand. At this moment, we’re completing revisions and will deliver the final manuscript by August 16. Thanks again to our editor at Pocket Books, Jennifer Heddle, for her pertinent comments. The hardcover for A SEARING WIND will be released in February, 2012.
The final and fourth book in the LONGHOUSE series, entitled THE BLACK SUN, will be complete by November of this year. We’re making pages by the day.
Other significant news! We’ve finally managed to negotiate terms with DAW Books and will be releasing our science fiction titles in e-book format in the next couple of months. So, too, will we release out-of-print titles like RAISING ABEL and DARK INHERITANCE. The Skip Murphy/Maureen Cole thrillers will also be released--and for the first time you won’t have to read German to enjoy them!
Our negotiations with MacMillan continue, though we’re a little closer to a deal on eBooks for the PEOPLE series, and other Macmillan titles. Why such a long and drawn out process? EBook publishing is literally changing by the moment. No one is sure what form the “book” will take in the future, so everyone’s edgy about rights. Stay tuned.
If you haven’t experienced the Graphic Audio presentations of PEOPLE OF THE WOLF and PEOPLE OF THE FIRE on compact disc, you might want to. We’re absolutely delighted by their work. They hired top-notch performers and artists. It’s always interesting for us to see how others view the characters and stories we’ve created. Sometimes it’s, well, horrifying. Other times, as with the Graphic Audio versions of our books, it’s just plain wonderful.
The Graphic Audio presentation of PEOPLE OF THE EARTH, parts 1 and 2, have also been issued, with part 3 on the way. Graphic Audio markets the stories as “A movie in your mind.” The titles are available at both Love’s and Pilot truck stops across the West. Google “Graphic Audio” and search by author or title.
PEOPLE OF THE LONGHOUSE is also available in audio form from www.tantor.com in a 12 hour unabridged version. We, naturally, prefer the unabridged versions. In the old days, when our books came out in “abridged” formats, some of which were very good, we nonetheless used to scratch our heads, because we didn’t recognize our own stories!
Upcoming public appearances include the Archaeological Gala, August 6th, in Dubois, Wyoming. We’ll be offering signed editions of our work at the silent auction held for the George Frison Archaeological Institute. Contact Melinda Bobo at the Dubois museum, 1-307-455-2284. Then, on Friday, September 16th, we’ll be giving an evening lecture on “Warfare, Witchcraft, and Cannibalism” at Aztec Ruins National Monument in Aztec, New Mexico. Contact Cyresa Bloom or Gary Brown at Aztec National Monument for details. We think it starts at 7:00 p.m.
For those who’ve asked, the baby buffalo born last winter, Blizzard (thanks to David Majors for naming him), is doing just great. We had a rainy spring and summer, which means our grass is belly-high on a buffalo, and filled with vitamins and minerals. All of our buffalo are looking fat and sleek. It’s amazing to look out our windows at the end of July and still see green grass and wildflowers covering the mountains. What a great year this has been.
Until next time, we wish you the best of health, the warmth of family and friends, and a world filled with great reading.
W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear