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Thinking RebelFire

Well. That was quick. On Monday I wrote that suddenly I was living above my means and would commence cutting and selling.

I asked if I should open a Patreon account solely to keep ‘Net access going and pay hosting costs on the blog and Claire’s Cabal. “Yes,” you said.

On Wednesday I created that Patreon account. Subscriptions quickly approached my $60 a month goal.

Patreon likes multiple goals. So what the heck. I created a $120 a month goal level, adding a performance promise. I figured keeping that promise would would quite a ways in the future.

By this morning, thanks to a spate of generous patrons and an even more generous matching offer at the Cabal, 16 patrons had made it $104 a month. Yikes. 16 $1 a month pledges … or eight $2 a month pledges* … or four $5 a month pledges and I’ll have to keep my promise.


My promise was — and is — to write a new story in the RebelFire** universe — just for “patreons” — if subscriptions reach $120 a month by March 31, 2018.

Seems I might need to start writing long before then.

I confess that makes me nervous. My creative partner on RebelFire, Aaron Zelman, is gone. I’m not a natural fiction writer. I always thought it was the thing I most wanted to do in the world, but it terrifies me. I have to be pushed, nudged, and occasionally dragged bodily out of plot pits (something Aaron was astonishingly adept at on RebelFire and BHM webmaster Oliver Del Signore did equally well for Hardyville Tales***). I’ve already had a couple people offer helping hands out of those pits on the new story-to-be. We shall see.

The great good thing is that, after Out of the Gray Zone, I really, deeply, madly wanted to write more RebelFire books. In that cause, I made copious notes and ran a few rough plot concepts past Aaron.

New books weren’t to be. But for some reason, instead of throwing my notes out (which I usually do), they’re still there.

So today I’m thinking RebelFire for the first time in a long time. And wonder of wonders, I’m getting hyped on the idea. This will just be a story, mind you, and of unknown length. Not a book. Still, between that and Paladin Press reverting rights to all my titles and kindly sending pdfs of three books, interesting things might be happening.


Oh, and the “living beyond my means” business is being solved quickly, too. Debts will largely be whupped into shape by the end of this month, thanks to buying, selling, and even a very nice unsolicited donation. I shall soon be back to being a proper frugalista.

Well, I will be once winter house projects are behind me. They’re much, much smaller and less costly than the summer home-improvement marathon was, but they’re no less gratifying. By January I hope to be moved into my real bedroom. Which might, soon after that, even have heat. After 4-1/2 years, it’ll be about time.


* It’s actually slightly — but not much — more than that because Patreon charges fees and subtracts those from the total shown on the page.

** The link is to Amazon. If you want a copy of RebelFire: Out of the Gray Zone, click on “new,” buy from seller Living Freedom, and you’ll get an autographed book direct from me.

*** Same deal as with RF.


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty October 16, 2017 3:31 am

    I sent a copy of RebelFire to each of my grandsons long ago. They have asked me, from time to time, when there would be more. I do hope you will write a new book for this eventually – so I can send that one too. 🙂 I’d be delighted to help in any way I can.

  2. jordanms2015
    jordanms2015 October 16, 2017 5:39 am

    It’s about time you started putting pen to paper AGAIN.
    Gezz’s lady all you’v been doing lately is laying around eating bon bon’s and watching soaps

  3. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas October 16, 2017 6:40 am

    Very cool to read how quickly that financial situation has improved. And yep, your earlier book went to my nephew, too. Congratulations(!) at even developing the enthusiasm for writing another story–I, at least, might feel the prospect of beginning such a project to be a little daunting, without a large such measure of enthusiasm.

  4. david
    david October 16, 2017 7:12 am

    I may have to squeeze my budget to see if I can budge it off a few bucks. An autographed copy of Out of The Gray Zone would be worth the effort!
    I was, curiously, able to find a Rebel Fire T-shirt before I could locate the book, so I have both. But of course, neither is autographed.

  5. larryarnold
    larryarnold October 16, 2017 8:23 am

    I happen to be an expert on plot holes. (Digging, not filling.) My TEOTWAWKI novels have characters like us, who are so competent I can’t get them in enough trouble to keep readers turning pages.

    But I’m a good editor, if you need that.

    just for “patreons”
    We need you to be heard beyond the choir.

  6. Claire
    Claire October 16, 2017 8:34 am

    “We need you to be heard beyond the choir.”

    Thank you for the editing offer, larryarnold. I may take you up on that.

    You’re right about choirs. This first story is strictly an incentive for Patreon subscribers. But I’ll be creating second editions of a couple of books and putting some out there that have been out of print. And who knows where all this might lead?

  7. Claire
    Claire October 16, 2017 8:37 am

    Thank you, firstdouglas, ML, david, and jordanms. Yes, that bon bon eating has simply got to stop. 🙂

    I wish I were the kind of fiction writer who just burbled with ideas and enthusiasm (which I often am, once I’m in the thick of things). But in the meantime, thanks for both the encouragement and the understanding that even a single “simple” story can be daunting.

  8. Jim B.
    Jim B. October 16, 2017 11:00 am

    Why don’t you see if you can get L. Neil Smith to do a co-lab on the book with you? He worked with Aaron before, so he would be familiar with his “style”. Or if not that, you could also ask if he’d, at least, look over or help edit the book. Most of his book work is fiction, despite his articles.

  9. Jim Brook
    Jim Brook October 16, 2017 11:26 am

    I know what you mean about fearing the project a bit. I have had a great plot line in my head for a fictional secession-oriented book, revolving around the health care mess, for a couple of years. I even wrote down a whole lot of points and basic ideas. I doubt I will ever write it. After all, being a doctor keeps me pretty busy. I worry that I would not be able to develop characters and write a story that would draw people in. If I thought I could do that, it might be fun to write, even if only 200 people bought it. You were able to write fiction pretty well, though. I mean, what could be better than the Young Curmudgeon? By the way, do you mind if I post that review you wrote on my website? I did not realize I wrote that well. It might help me start getting the book moving.

  10. Claire
    Claire October 16, 2017 11:36 am

    Jim Brook — By all means post that review on your website. Just give me a linkback please. And if you ever do decide to write that novel, I’ll be one of the 200. 😉

    Jim B. — Thanks for the idea. Truth is, Aaron didn’t have a “style” because he never wrote a word. He earned his co-author credits in other ways. I think the world of Neil, but I don’t think he’d welcome me leaning on him. And really, once I get going, I’m okay (other than the occasional plot pit).

  11. parabarbarian
    parabarbarian October 16, 2017 5:14 pm

    March 31, 2017 seems like short notice to me. Did you mean 2018?

  12. Claire
    Claire October 16, 2017 5:43 pm

    Oh crap. Did I do that? Must go edit before even more people notice I can’t count.

    At least I got it right on the Patreon page. (And I see that I owe you thanks for more than just the correction!)

  13. larryarnold
    larryarnold October 16, 2017 10:16 pm

    Alpha + Alpha = Chaos. Somehow I think that L. Neil and Claire trying to collaborate might bring on TEOTWAWKI.

    March 31, 2017
    Easy to do. I just finished editing this week’s newspaper, and one of our most literate contributors had an article about “this year’s EasterFest will be (date).”

  14. Cz75
    Cz75 October 18, 2017 3:18 am

    I followed the amazon link leading to the Rebel Fire book and clicked “new” – “buy from seller Living Freedom”. And ended up with a book from some other seller in the cart (books by suzy). I deleted it and tried again: No dice.
    When I tried the same with Hardyville Tales, I didn’t even get a specified seller/shipper.
    I would have loved to get autographed copies, so I backed out.

    Hopefully things work better for domestic clients (I’m European) 🙂

  15. Claire
    Claire October 18, 2017 5:18 am

    I agree. Really good. Thanks for the link.

  16. Claire
    Claire October 18, 2017 5:22 am

    Cz75 — I’m sorry that happened to you. I’ll email you and perhaps we can make this work without Amazon’s help.

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