There's a lot on my to-do list (I feel like there's always a lot on my to-do list), but this week I've found myself focusing on two specific items. The first is, of course, the edits for If A Butterfly Don't Fly. I'm making progress, but as usual it's slow going. The editor has again requested that I rewrite large portions of the story. I understand why, but a) it's painful to do, and b) it's ridiculously time consuming. Still, I want to try to get it done quickly so I can really start digging into the second thing I've been working on this week.
Dragon Spy, the seventh book in my Supernatural Consultant series, has been languishing for far too long and I've finally taken the time to get some work done on it. Chapter One is from Nickel's perspective, which is always a bit more serious, but Chapter Two has decided it wants to be from Lumie's perspective instead. There's a bit more levity when Lumie is around and causing problems. I can't say it's more fun to write Lumie instead of Nickel, but it's easier to find the right flow. This means I can finally start figuring out the second half of the blurb for Dragon Spy. It also means that I'm planning for a future book to be in Platinum and Goldie's perspectives. Admittedly, the main characters of that future book will depend on who is speaking to me at the moment, but I'm having fun planning ahead.
The two additional books on my radar right now are still Ge-Mi: Part Two and Ground of Resurrection. Part Two is at the halfway point and I'm having a bit of trouble getting it over that hump and into the start of the build up for the final battle scene. I'm hoping to take some time to refocus the plot and get it moving again. Resurrection, on the other hand, is just waiting for me to have time to return to working on it. I only need to write about 5k more words and the story will be complete, which is basically the last battle and the romantic conclusion. When I finally have some free time to devote to writing, I'm hoping to get Resurrection completed.
The release dates for all of my books coming out in 2018 have been decided. The Coup and the Prince was pushed back, as I thought it would have to be, and I have the official date for Heartbeat:
I would say these dates are not going to be changed, but I'm still working on the second round of edits for Butterfly and am expecting to have to deal with the second round of edits for Coup fairly soon. If I can get the second round of edits for Butterfly back to LT3 within the next week or so, that story will be in good shape. Heartbeat, on the other hand, will only be getting a quick edit. It's a reprint, so it's already gone through the editing process once. The plan is to clean up anything we might have missed last time, which won't be a difficult lift. (I'm kind of looking forward to an easy round of edits, to be honest.)
LT3 accepted The Sentinel's Prophesy! The contract is signed, so in about nine months I'll start seeing edits and such. What this means for me (besides the fact that I'm excited to have the story accepted) is that for the first half of 2019 I won't have ANY edits at all to deal with. None! I'm going to have to take a mental health deep breath first, but once I'm centered again I will be able to devote all of my writing time to actually writing. With no edits with their due dates hanging over me, and no stress from having to take an axe to a story I've worked so hard on, I expect to be able to finally start making real progress on my to-do list. Ge-Mi: Part Two is at the top, but I also really want to get my fairy tales completed, and it's been far too long since I've played with Lumie and the rest of my Supernatural Consultants. It's a lot to look forward to, which is one of the main things pushing me through getting all the editing completed, and I can't wait to be able to get started.
The finals for the two covers I mentioned in my last post have arrived and they are gorgeous! The Coup and the Prince is set in a city ravaged by the aftermath of a coup. The rebuilding process and the struggles the characters have to endure are perfectly exemplified in the broken castle. Heartbeat is a reprint, but this is its first original cover and I have to say the artist outdid themselves. The purple and gold are striking and the moon and the wolf provide the last bit of oomph. I really do love everything about these covers!
I don't have any official information about release dates. The Coup and the Prince will be pushed back, but the new date has not been decided as of yet. It is available for pre-order at LT3 if you're interested in reserving your copy. Heartbeat also does not yet have an official release date. It's still a few months out from that information becoming available. Until then, I hope you enjoy the covers:
I have so much news to share. Some of it's good news and some of it's bad news, and I'm really hoping you and LT3 will forgive me for the bad news. Let me get all of the bad out of the way first.
I am a very, very bad author. I struggled so much with the edits for The Coup and the Prince. It was ridiculous considering how short the story is, but for some reason those damned edits just wouldn't go. I finally got them back to LT3, but I was beyond late. There is no way Coup will be released on time and it's all my fault. I'll let you know what LT3 decides to do about it, but for the interim I will continue to wallow in misery for my incompetence.
The next bit of bad news is that the audio book for Supernatural Consultant: Volume Two will be delayed indefinitely. I know some of you had expressed interest in Volume Two, which is why I reached out to LT3 about it. Sales for Volume One just weren't high enough to justify putting Volume Two into audio. LT3 is still interested in doing it, but it's been pushed back to the bottom of the to-do list. The second that changes I'll let you all know.
The last bit of bad news is Paint, Guns, Money, & Love is out of print. It wasn't selling well and it wasn't my best work, so it was decided to let it go. I have a feeling it won't be missed, but I'm still sad it's gone.
And now, finally, on to the good news!
The response for Ground of Insurrection has been phenomenal. I haven't seen a single negative review! A few bits of constructive criticism, but overall everyone has really enjoyed it. Reading all those wonderful reviews really lifted my spirits when I needed it most, so thank you to everyone that read and reviewed.
The Coup and the Prince is available for pre-order at LT3 for a 15% discount. You can get your copy reserved today: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books...
I have been working on Ge-Mi. No, part two hasn't grown, but I finally started organizing book two. Each book in this series will be split into two parts and Di-Na, the second book in the series, not only has a name, but it has its two main characters. I hope you'll love Kay and Sierra as much as Taylor and Nevada. Now that I've gotten all of that figured out, I'm really hoping to return to finishing Ge-Mi: Part Two. Feel free to check out the summaries and such on my current projects page.
I have seen the first draft covers for The Coup and the Prince and for Heartbeat and they are perfect. I'm really looking forward to sharing the final versions with all of you, so check back for a cover reveal post soon!
All I have left on my to-do list this weekend are the edits for If A Butterfly Don't Fly. I put them off while I was figuring out Coup. I'm hoping because this is the second round, the edits will be easy. We'll see, but I'm going to start working on them as soon as I finish giving The Sentinel's Prophesy one last check. I am going to get Prophesy submitted to LT3 today.
And that's it for all my news. I'll keep you all appraised as I learn more and I'm hoping next time it will be all good news.
Ground of Insurrection
Ground of Insurrection begins with a disemboweled body left in the middle of the village square and the main character, Ruse, has to get his wheelbarrow and cart the body away. There's blood and intestines and Ruse with his trusty shovel to pick it all up. I admit that I was a bit leery with starting the story on such a macabre note, but as I wrote and planned I realized that it was the only way for such a story to begin.
I first conceived of the idea of a village whose residents were criminals when I read LT3's Villains Inc. anthology call from a few years ago. As I began delving deeper into writing, I quickly realized the story didn't fit the call. There was too much focus on how the villains had gotten to the village and why and not enough on the evilness of the villains themselves. I knew I wouldn't be able to change and write a revised plot within the deadline, so I put the story aside to work on other things. Then LT3 added a new collection call called Devil's Land. I quickly realized that my village of criminals could fit with this call even better than with the Villains Inc. one! I pulled out the old story and started writing again.
A village full of criminals would, by necessity, have different laws than a regular city. I felt that nothing would offset that dichotomy better than the dead body that Ruse has to deal with on the very first page. Murder isn't just legal, it's expected. As is thievery and spying. The fact that all the criminals also have magic to augment their criminal activities adds yet another dimension to the village. Of course, now that villains were no longer the center of the story, I had to add in a new twist: the location. The village couldn't be a modified penitentiary or a work camp in Siberia. Rather, it is located in the inhospitable prairie borderlands disputed between two countries: Ammet and Oshe. The prairie is a living thing of sorts that doesn't appreciate interlopers, including the armies both countries have sent to attempt to claim the entirety of the prairies for their own. The prairie ate those armies. Instead, Ammet decides to send their country's criminals to colonize the prairie. No one in Ammet cared whether the prairie killed those criminals and the prairie itself was willing to allow a few to build a home there. Thus, the village was born.
As I wrote I quickly realized there was a problem: I had reached the upper limit for the word count for the collection call and I still had to write the second half. I sent it off to a beta reader and they agreed. There needed to be more to the story to make it feel complete. I ended up deciding not to submit Insurrection for any anthology or collection call. A few years went by and I slowly kept plugging away at this story. As I kept working, I found that suddenly having the freedom to write outside of the specific parameters of a call really helped the story grow. Ruse as a character became more three dimensional and the story itself became less about the blood and gore and less about the prairie, and instead became more about the relationship between my main characters and how they learned to survive in such a difficult environment.
There's a lot more to the story than that, of course, but if you want to find out why Ruse is still carting around dead bodies you'll have to read Ground of Insurrection to learn more. It comes out in just a few days, June 13, 2018, so preorder your copy now.
I had a conversation with LT3 about the release date for If A Butterfly Don't Fly and the decision was we ought to push it back. I expected this to happen once I saw the scale of the edits and LT3 came to the same conclusion. This was a mutual decision that takes a lot of pressure and stress off of both of us, and allows us to properly prepare Butterfly so we release the best possible product to our readers. Trying to force a July release date would not have been fair to you.
The reason I only glanced through Butterfly instead of delving right in is I am behind on the edits for The Coup and the Prince. My goal is to spend this entire weekend getting Coup completed. It's doable as long as I can stay focused. Wish me luck!
If I need to step away from edits for a moment, I might take a few hours to finally read through The Sentinel's Prophesy and get it formatted for submission. I think I was able to smooth out the transitions the last time I looked at it, so this time is a last check for anything that jumps out at me.
Plus, don't forget Ground of Insurrection comes out next week! You only have a few more days to get it for a 32% discount (LT3's having an amazing sale right now!). It should be up on Amazon soon too. I'm really excited for the start of this new series and I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
The cover for If A Butterfly Don't Fly is here! It's a lovely autumn scene, but for those of you that read Kelpie Blue, you know the mushroom is a big hint of what's to come. I also really like the blue butterfly. This book has music and magic and quite a bit of faery danger. I think you'll all really enjoy it.
If a Butterfly Don't Fly is currently scheduled to come out on July 11, 2018. It is currently available for pre-order at LT3. Please check it out: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books...
Given the number of questions (and quite a few demands) regarding when Ge-Mi: Part Two is coming out, I know many of you are anxious for the second half to be in your hands. My answer for the last few months was "I'm working on it", but progress has been painfully slow. That's finally changed. I wrote 6k words this month and have planned the next part out. The story is basically at the halfway point where all the set up is complete and now it's time for the drama to really begin. Drama isn't easy to write because of the complexities that go into it, but it keeps my interest better than set up. If I can keep the momentum going, I can really make a lot of progress in this story.
Last month I went through The Sentinel's Prophesy one last time to try to smooth out some of the bumpy bits and set the story aside. The plan was to pick it up mid-May--so as soon as I get a free moment--and give it one last thorough edit. I'll get it formatted for submission and then I'll see whether LT3 will accept it.
The problem with continuing work on Ge-Mi or Prophesy is that I got more edits and those take precedence. Instead of going for round two, it appears Ground of Insurrection went directly to copy edits. That makes sense, given most of the questions I had were simple ones that could be answered by any editor. I've started going through them and it's fairly straightforward. I've made a lot of progress so far. They're due at the end of this week, and I should have them completed on time. Ground of Insurrection is coming out really soon, so make sure you get your pre-order in before June 13th: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books...
I also received the first round of edits for The Coup and the Prince. I wrote the story to be short and sweet, but apparently I was a little too short and not quite enough sweet. There are four or five places where the editor recommended I add scenes and there are a couple of other significant changes I need to make. These edits are going to take time and a lot of work. Luckily there is still plenty of time before this story is slated to come out in September, but given I know the second round of edits for If A Butterfly Don't Fly will be coming my way very soon, there might still be a bit of a time crunch.
Speaking of Butterfly, it is now up for pre-order at LT3. You can get it for a 15% discount: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... I have seen the first draft of the cover, which is lovely and I can't wait to share it with you. Butterfly is also up on Goodreads for those of you that like to mark books as "want to read".
In my last post I stated I had a great new scene planned out for Dragon Spy and I wanted to restart working on Ground of Resurrection. I literally had both manuscripts open on my computer and after I posted my blog, that scene in Dragon Spy began to take shape. I wrote a few hundred words of good stuff (Lumie is making a mess, which is a ton of fun to write) and I was excited about where it was taking me, and then oddly, I paused. I went into the depths of my computer and for some reason I dug out The Sentinel's Prophesy.
Longtime readers of my blog will remember a few years back (to 2014) I had a good idea for a side story in my Oracle series that I felt would give it the extra bit of world building the series was missing. That side story is The Sentinel's Prophesy, but despite my really wanting to write it, the story never really came together. It has been sitting on my computer, untouched, for over a year now. In the past week I have added over 10k words to the story and it is now complete! After over four years of working on this story (a story that shouldn't have taken me more than a few months to write), I have finally finished it. Of course, I do still need to reread it and give it a first edit. The section I wrote a while ago and the section I just finished are a bit separated, so I need to smooth that out too. Otherwise, I'm going to leave the story to sit for about a month before I pull it out for final editing and to get it ready to submit. Hopefully, LT3 will accept it.
What does this mean for the rest of the series? Well, the contract for the first book, The Oracle's Flame, was just renewed. I feel like that's a good sign that LT3 will be interested in also renewing The Oracle's Hatchling, book two, when it comes up for renewal in September. I am really hoping it will not take me another four years to write the final book in the series, The Oracle's Current, but I am very stuck on that story and am wondering if it might be better to completely scrap what I have and start over. Either way, Current will need a while yet before it starts chugging along again. Until then, I'm going to remain happy over finally getting Prophesy complete!
October 3, 2018
If A Butterfly Don't Fly
November 14, 2018
The Coup and the Prince
December 12, 2018
Mell Eight is an author writing with LT3. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.