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My Work and Future Updates

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I’ve had a lot of new followers recently. So I have decided to talk a little bit about myself, the work I do, and what I’ll be doing in the future.

Who I am.

As you can see, my name is Jeffrey N. Baker. Currently, I am an animator in the gaming industry. But in early 2011 I looked at my career goals and realized that I had a big passion for telling my own stories. Bringing characters to life is fun, but the world building and character creation excited me more. So I reshuffled my ten-year plan and decided to focus on becoming a Story Developer. In a sense, I was gunning for Chris Metzen‘s job.

I began to write game modules (you can download my Oblivion mod if you’d like). This resulted in a lot of sketches of level layouts, some levels built in Dragon Age, and even a Neverwinter Nights module I had planned to send to Bioware for an open position.

But something funny happened.

As I spent my extra time writing more prose, I found how much more I enjoyed it than game development. Here, I wasn’t restricted by game mechanics or my limited knowledge of scripting (don’t get me started on scripting). I could create anything I wanted and it spoke to me.

So I dropped the game writing and focused on short stories and starting my first novel.

My Work

I was very lucky to start off with the fledgling eFiction Magazine started by Doug Lance. In their early days I was lucky to have three of my short stories be picked up as well as being featured in an author highlight. Check out my Published Material section for a list of those.

A side note, Doug has done an amazing job with eFiction. I’ve seen it grow into a powerful force within the indie-fiction market. They’ve really put together a strong group and I love seeing what they’re doing each month.

Well, from my early successes it really propelled me to find a local critique group and really focus on developing myself as an author. My first submissions to them were met with a lukewarm attitude. But all it did was spur me to want to wow these people. Several of them are published themselves and have a great mind for story.

So I kept at it.

In the fall of 2011 I hooked up with Jason Minor, lead character designer for SW:TOR, who was putting together an anthology called “Fables for Japan.” The goal for this anthology was to raise money to help in the Japanese relief effort after last years earthquake and resulting tsunami. The stipulation for everyone’s story was that it had to be Japanese themed. I thought it was a great idea and so I submitted “Hiroko’s Tale.” Which appeared in Volume 1 of the series.

Currently I have two more stories, both of which are being turned into sequential art pieces, that will appear in Volume 3. I talk more about them when it’s closer to being released.

During that time I also wrote two hard Sci-Fi shorts stories. “Slip Drive” and “The Afterlife Hypothesis.” My critique group really enjoyed them both and put it into my head that I could potentially sell them both. So I did some more edits and got them ready.

But I wanted to try something different. I didn’t want to shop them around to more online magazines. Instead, I wanted to see what Kindle Direct Publishing was all about. And I felt that “Hiroko’s Tale” and “Slip Drive” were the stories to try it out. I go into more detail in other posts about them, so if you’d like to know how that went you can check them out.

That brings us to now.

The Future

I’ve started to blog very consistently now. Nearly getting one a day for I think something like two weeks now. But for the future I plan to limit myself to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule. I do this mostly because I want to be able to have something to say. And because I want to give myself days that I can just focus on my own writing.

Of which, my plans are to do some more edits and revisions on my next short, “The Afterlife Hypothesis.” It is about a scientist who goes to extreme lengths to answer the burning question in her mind–is there an afterlife? It’s a dark exploration to what happens to you once you’re dead.

I don’t plan on releasing it as a single, however. I will write two more Sci-Fi shorts and put them all together with “Slip Drive” for a Sci-Fi anthology. Keep a look out for that sometime this summer.

Sprinkled throughout that time I will continue work on my first novel. It is YA horror set in modern day New England. It is still a work in progress (I’ve just last night finished writing chapter 6). But once things start getting closer to the finish line I’ll talk more about it. But I can give you this. Think Harry Potter meets H.P. Lovecraft *evil grin*.

Thanks for taking the time to stick around and get to know me as an author. I love to entertain. And books can do that like no other medium. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Buts in chairs, hands on keyboards, it’s going to be a fantastic ride.

 

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5 Comments

  1. beatbox32 says:

    Thanks for posting this. I always enjoy reading about where others are at on their ‘writing path’. And I just saw the link you put up for my blog! Thank you so much for that.

  2. Your comment about online magazines got me thinking–have you ever tried sending anything to print magazines?

    “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction,” “Analog,” etc. are VERY prestigious markets with a lot of history behind them and they’re still doing well. Plus FSF responds pretty quickly.

    I’ve only sold two stories to a print magazine, but “Slip Drive” and “The Afterlife Hypothesis” are a bit more thoughtful and idea-centric than my monster pulp slaughterfests. Look at the sales Katherine, Terra, and other Lawrenceville group members have made–they’re very concept-driven, not MONSTER! LASER! MONSTER!

    Since “Slip Drive” is already published on Kindle, it might be too late to send that one to a print magazine except as a reprint, but “The Afterlife Hypothesis” might work.

    • I may give them a try. Though FSF seems to be stuck in the dark ages. Which I believe is true for most big publishers and something they need to address. Mail in submissions? What a waste of time and paper. At least Analog appears to be catching up to 2012. Though I don’t see any information on how the rights work. Do they maintain first printing rights? When do those rights revert back to me?

      I’m still not sold that a traditional print route is the way to go. This is where eFiction Magazine excels, in my opinion. They have a simple submission process and can get back to you within the month. You maintain your rights in full. I wish more companies would follow their example.

      Yeah, I’m 100% certain “Slip Drive” is out of the question. But we’ll see how I feel about “The Afterlife Hypothesis” when it’s done.

      We’re in the Wild West days of self publishing. The Old Guard needs to jump in before they’re left behind.

    • I forgot to answer your initial question. I’ve sent things out to Clarksworld Magazine. They turned them down. Of course, Clarksworld only accepts one submission a month, so the chances are slim. The two I submitted were picked up by eFiction.

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