The Dragon Round comes out July 19, which means that I only have 48 hours before ascending into the heavens on a chariot made of royalty checks and bright-eyed acclaim.

In the meantime, here’s what’s been up:

I had a story accepted by Every Day Fiction, “Candle, Card and Mirror,” which they offered excellent notes on before crashing a year or so ago. Now they’re back and I’m glad to be a part of the project. I can’t wait to hear what their very active Facebook fans say.

I also had a story accepted by Swords & Sorcery, “Time Is a Lady’s Unerring Blade.” The first of my gempunk stories that I wrote, but the third accepted, it will come out this month, a nice plug for Dragon Round. (Note to self: follow up with the publishers of the other two stories to find out when they’ll appear.) I came up with the idea for the world while walking to Chipotle on Eighth Avenue neaer my office at 48th and Broadway. I now go the one on 48th between Sixth and Seventh, which is slightly closer, but it occurs to me that I’ve never had a story idea while going there, so I may have to switch things back.

And the first podcast of one of my stories came out, a wonderful rendition of “River Boys” at FarFetchedFiction. You can hear the episode here.

Up next, “The Catskill Dragon” at Deep Magic and, at long last, “Fade to Red” at Lightspeed in October. If anything will ever win me an award, it’s either of these.

I have a bunch of stories held, so hopefully more good news will be in the offing soon.

The great perk of being a novelist is that other people send you galleys for blurbs. I’ve done this for decades as an editor, but it’s weird and wonderful to actually write one myself, not to mention flattering to be asked. Now I know that a lot of writers just make up something generic to get their names out there, but I’m committed to reading anything people want me to blurb and giving an honest endorsement, if the book’s worth my endorsing it. The Facefaker’s Game by Chandler Birch absolutely is worth it. Here’s what I had to say:

Take Oliver Twist. Add more twists. And magic. And a heist. And ravagers. That will get you close to how much wonderful is packed into The Facefaker‘s Game. The writing is effortless, the pacing quick, and the characters fun, and I’m annoyed that Birch took to heart the adage, ‘Always leave them wanting more.’ Because I want. I’ll be standing on the docks, waiting for the sequel.–Stephen S. Power, author of “The Dragon Round”

Did I have to include my attribution on my own blog? Yes, because saying you’re a novelist never gets old.

On the sequel front, I finished a draft of chapter one of Dragon Tower. Now I’ll write summaries of the other chapters, revise that first chapter to tighten up one arc, and submit them to S&S as my option by the end of August. Hopefully six weeks of sales and their current strategic vision will encourage them to pick it up. If not, or even if so, I’ll also develop my new secret project…

Finally, on the novel front, I’m happy to announce I have a new agent, Paul Stevens at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. He knows so much about spec fic that he might forget more each morning than I could learn in a year.  He’s the perfect person to guide my career going forward.

See you on the other side. I might forget you, but after my apotheosis as a novelist, I’ll have people to remember you for me.