What a long, strange decade it’s been!
It wasn’t even 10 years ago I opened up the sandbox of Cobalt City to other authors with Cobalt City Christmas in November of 2010. In that time, I started Timid Pirate Publishing, put out some books, folded Timid Pirate Publishing, and then put out even more books.
By my count, there’s around 20 Cobalt books out in some form or another, not including the ones currently being written and the thick stack of Patreon stories I’ve written for the universe.
And a surprise morning of writing with one of those other authors made me realize how many I had roughly plotted out and planned for “some time in the future.”
It was a lot.
At a bare minimum, it includes eight more de la Vega mysteries alone featuring Gato Loco and Snowflake. Eight. There might even be one or two I had jotted ideas for in notebooks that I’ve forgotten and might dig back up. Add to that, a minimum of four miscellaneous Cobalt novels focusing on individual heroes and unexpected team-ups of various Protectorate members. And then there’s Requiem of Ash, the long-awaited end to the Protectorate Era which I eventually have to write just to get some closure.
And no one lives forever.
So, full of end-of-decade chutzpah I am setting some bold and utter unrealistic goals. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so I’m stepping up to the line. And if I don’t hit my mark while reaching for the stars, I might as well reach the moon. Or, you know, freeze and die in the vast vacuum of space… wow. I don’t like this metaphor anymore!
Here’s the plan for the next year at least:
One Cobalt City Patreon story a month. I mean, that’s always the goal, though if history is a guide, I average something closer to eight stories a year. I’m okay if that’s the mark I hit. I can live with that. But ideally, one a month with the arcs being collected and made available outside of Patreon once they’re done. I have the first one of those, Red Stag & the Wild Hunt–The Calling almost ready to go. Just waiting to finalize cover details. The first Bantam collection will follow sometime before May, ideally in time for my 51st birthday.
On top of that, I’m going to try and push out three de la Vega Mysteries in 2020. I’m going to make 2020 the Year of Gato Loco. I know it’s insane. It’s unrealistic. But 2020 is already going to be a crazy year. This might help me focus the crazy into something productive. Or it will break me.
Up first, the long-promised follow up to Ride Like the Devil, The Panda Sanction. This novel will finally give everyone’s favorite panda sidekick/mechanic/driver the origin story he deserves, putting his past under a microscope as he and Manuel hunt down his “father” and the secrets he hid from the Chinese government. It will also bring Xia Lo, the Harlequin, into the mix as a multi-novel ally and perhaps more for Manuel de la Vega.
Proposed book two for 2020 will be Sangre de Santos which will send our trio of heroes back across the southern border to deal with a drug lord & cult leader who has an entire region in his grip.
Proposed book three for 202 is A Kind of Homecoming which will take Manuel, Snowflake, and Xia into the heart of Mexico City to come to the aid of his family. But returning to Mexico City comes at no small risk, as Manuel’s past lies in wait to destroy him.
Looking back, I remembered coming into this whole Cobalt City enterprise as something fun–a project and a world much too big for me to tell all the stories myself. I wanted to bring in other people to help me spin stories here and that happened beyond my wildest dreams in the last decade.
I can’t even begin to imagine what the next decade will bring. (Yo, Hollywood! Holla at ya boy! We can work something out!) But I can hardly wait to find out.
The world is changing. We change with it. And if we’re very fortunate and maybe a little bit stubborn, we can make it into a little bit more into the world we want to see. And I want to do it by telling stories about friends and found family willing to take great risks to make the world better and safer.
Ultimately, that’s all I’ve really wanted to do with Cobalt City. To entertain, certainly. But also to give someone a hero to believe in and a bit of hope. Even if that someone was just me.
See you in 2020.