I hope everyone has a very happy new year and I'm wishing you bright things to come in 2021!
So far my writing in 2021 is looking good:
For my upcoming books, A Little Fairy Dust will be released on the 4th (you can pre-order it HERE), Magnified is in excellent shape for a March re-release, and we have begun the first round of edits for If A Butterfly Don't Fly, which is currently scheduled to come out in April. Once this first round of Butterfly is complete, I should receive edits for Wounded Alpha, which is also scheduled for April. This is excellent progress on both re-releases and for some brand new material!
I am excited to continue moving forward with getting all of my old stories available again, but I'm also really happy to offer brand new books for my longtime readers. Right now I have three completely new books coming out in 2021: A Little Fairy Dust (which does reprint Cleanly Wrong and Cinder-Elle, but also has seven additional new stories), Wounded Alpha, and Ground of Resurrection in September.
I am really hoping to fit in some writing in 2021 as well. I already know editing my re-releases will be a constant, just as it was in 2020, but I am going to try my best to try to continue to work on brand new books. I have made good progress on the start of my brand new (currently untitled) series about a witch having some difficulties with vampires and werewolves. I'm hoping to complete at least the first two books in that series over the next year. Of course, I also want to spend some time with Lumie (as his stories in Supernatural Consultant series aren't done yet), and I want to make progress on the third and final books of my Magnified, Out of Underhill, and Wizard Wars series.
And now it's time to watch the ball drop and get 2021 started!
You might remember a few weeks ago I mentioned I was smelling oil every time my heat turned on. I finally had someone out to look into it, and it's bad. The technician found a puddle of oil underneath the pump, took the pump apart and found more oil, and guessed there's even more oil leaking somewhere he can't see. It's not a ton of oil, because the oil in my tank isn't mysteriously vanishing, but it's enough that he told me my furnace is shot. I have to completely replace it, which is going to be a fun adventure. Anyone have any recommendations on a good oil furnace brand?
I'm especially thrilled because I've only owned said furnace for about five months, which means it was probably shot last winter and the previous owners lied to me about it being in perfect working condition. Now I'm wondering what else I'm going to have to replace. The AC unit is very old too, so I might try to get a package deal for that with the furnace since they're tied together. Do I need to take a closer look at my water heater? What other big ticket items did the previous owners ignore? Owning a home was supposed to reduce my stress, because living in an apartment really, really sucked. Unfortunately, until I have all the pieces and parts of my house fixed, my stress levels are going to remain incredibly high.
Luckily, I have writing to escape with. Codified is going well. I completed a major scene and have started the bridge to the next one. The guys are about to travel somewhere new, so I'll have to do a bit of world building. There's still a lot to write, but I'm really liking how it's going so far. Although, I just received the first round of edits for the Magnified reprint (book one in the same series) and I have to finish those before I can continue writing.
I know I mentioned it when I first posted the release dates for my books, and I mentioned it when those dates were subsequently changed, but all potential release dates are tentative. The dates have changed again. We are aiming to release as many books as possible in 2021, which means were are condensing the schedule. Our aim is to finish re-releasing all the reprints (peppered with some brand new material, of course) as soon as possible. This is good news for you. For brand new readers, you're getting almost my entire back list at your fingertips in an incredibly short amount of time. For everyone else, you're getting the brand new books sooner too. Those of you who have waited far too long for Ground of Resurrection (for example), you'll now get it months earlier than previously planned. You can check out the newly revised schedule HERE.
The best part of the new schedule is what comes after. Yes, I will be spending all of 2021 in almost constant edits, and that's going to get trying at times, but once everything is re-released I will be free. Without those obligations, I will have a ton of free time to focus exclusively on writing. You have no idea how much I've missed unfettered writing time these last two years. Only one more year and I'll be back to my normal writing schedule.
Speaking of books I need to write, I've had a break between edits over the last week and I was able to add a small chunk to Codified, the third and final book in my Magnified series. The prologue is complete and I've started the setup for chapter one. I'm still figuring out some details for the overall plot, but in many ways the prologues of all three books in this series have been the hardest to write. Completing that section for Codified was a huge success, one I hope to continue capitalizing on for as long as edits remain scarce.
I'm sure it surprises no one when I say edits are continuing. I am still working my way through A Little Fairy Dust. If It were only one story, I'd be done, but with so many together in the collection it takes on a unique set of challenges. Each individual story has a slightly different tone, which means I have to switch gears mentally whenever I finish one and start another. Completing the edits has been much harder than I expected as a result, but I'm making a lot of progress and I'm really happy with how all the stories are turning out. I'm hoping to have A Little Fairy Dust back to the editor really soon, which means I'll be able to return to working on Magnified again!
Writing has been...well...sparse. I want to be working on Dragon Spy or Codified, but neither story has good chi for me right now. I need to figure out where I'm blocked so I can begin moving forward again. Instead, my brain has been poking at one of the random stories sitting on my to-do list. It's untitled and there's no summary (see Spirit Story on my current projects page), yet my brain has been coming up with ideas for the next scene. Spirit is supposed to be a slightly darker detective story. I want it to be more horror-style than my usual happy dragons (think Magnified, but with less traditional forms of magic), but I've got to be in a certain mood to write (my style of) horror, which hasn't happened lately or Codified would be flowing better.
The other story that has been bugging me lately is one of the stories I never got around to writing ten years ago. A witch, exiled from his coven because he's male when all witches should be female, is forced to visit the den of vampires and werewolves by the news station he works for. That fateful meeting sets the carefully rebuilt life the witch had made into a tailspin. I've wanted to write the story for years, but haven't had the time with all the other stories on my to-do list. Suddenly my brain keeps replaying the opening scene over and over again, to the point that I need to write it down.
I am hoping once I finish the two sets of edits on my plate I'll be able to get some writing in. Whether it will be for the two stories I need to be working on, or the two stories my brain is insisting I work on instead, I can't tell you. All I know is I'll be glad for any writing I do accomplish.
I have reached the halfway point in The Oracle's Current! The main love interest has been introduced, and the conflict is about to really get going. I recently came to a realization about this story: I can't have it meander throughout the world; it has to be focused completely on the Monastery. As the final book in the series, I need to tie together all the last loose ends, and I can't do that if they're not in the location where those loose ends need to be tied. I therefore had to scrap my idea of more pirates and heading to Altnoia, but I think the new plan with the Monastery at the center is ten times better. I'm super excited to see how it goes, and to see if I can get it completed in time to submit to NSP with the rest of the series.
As part of my work from home social distancing, I've been auditing some college courses to help my subject matter expertise grow. One course I'm taking is about magic in the middle ages. I promise, it does technically apply to the work I do for my day job, but they had a whole section on Jewish magic too. I took a lot of notes, and some ideas are definitely swirling for Codified. If you remember, Codified has been stalled because I haven't had the time to do the research the story needs. This course has helped with some of that, and has also given me some new avenues to start digging through as well. I don't actually know when I'll be able to return to writing Codified, but I'm happy with the progress I've made.
That's it for writing at the moment, but between what I've added to Current and finishing my Fairy Tales, I think this has been a very productive last few weeks.
Social distancing is very interesting. For an introvert like me who prefers my own company, being home by myself has been wonderful. I have been teleworking, which means I primarily get to work from home (interspersed with office visits to keep the place running), and I've found I'm a lot less stressed and tired by the end of the day. That means I have the energy to write on weeknights, energy that has been lacking since I started my current job. I've therefore been working on trying to finish some of the stories you all have waited years for:
I have three (maybe four, if I write an epilogue) scenes left to write in the last fairy tale story for the anthology I've been promising since the day Cleanly Wrong went out of print. I'm hoping to have it done this week, which means as soon as NSP tells me it's okay to submit more books to them, the fairy tales will be sent in first.
Next on my to-do list is to try to finally complete the last book in my Oracle series, The Oracle's Current. It's a series that deserves to have its ending, but I've been stuck on how to get the two main characters to meet. I've finally had the time to figure that out, so now I need to write it. As soon as my fairy tales are done, I am looking forward to turning my focus onto this story.
If the horrible virus continues to spread and social distancing and teleworking continue, my goal is also to make a lot of progress on Codified, the third and final book in my Magnified series. Codified is a slow process because of all the research that goes into it, and also because it's triple the length of the usual stories I write. I haven't had the time or energy to work on it, so I'm looking forward to it.
That said, all my plans hinge on my not getting sick. I am staying at home as much as I possibly can, am washing my hands obsessively, and am keeping 6ft away from other humans. Please, please, please do your part to keep everyone safe by doing the same. I hope everyone stays healthy during these difficult times.
I just had a moment of realization. It's December! I knew the month had arrived, given Thanksgiving just passed, but somehow it just didn't quite compute. For some reason, I'm mentally still thinking it's early November, but somehow nearly two months have passed since I last posted something! I'm so sorry for vanishing like that. I will try to do better from now on.
That said, I don't have much to share. I'm still in the waiting game for everything. Edits for Ge-Mi: Nevada and Dragon Consultant should arrive any day now. I'm hoping they'll be fairly straightforward, given they're reprints. I am expecting more substantial edits for Ge-Me: Taylor, which should be the third set of edits I receive. Hopefully that process will begin to move forward very soon.
I am eight weeks into the 16 week timeline for when I could hear back from NineStar regarding my submission of my Wizard Wars series. Given how many of my books they have already, I'm glad for the wait, but at the same time I want to know! Fingers crossed I'll hear good news soon!
I have been writing, of course. For some reason, I got a really good idea for how to finally get Yani and Aaron out of the basement and therefore complete the prologue for Codified, the third and final book in my Magnified series. I went ahead and cleaned up Magnified and Justified, so I can submit them to NSP whenever, but I'm hoping to make some real progress with Codified before I submit this series. So far, I'm 1/6th of the way through writing Codified. I still have some planning to do, but now that they're out of the basement I can hopefully start moving forward to the long-awaited final battle with Cain.
Other writing has all been focused on trying to get my fairy tales complete. There's just the last two to finish, both of which are completely planned out. Mina needs a final push to get to the ball in A Heart's Dream, and then I can get that story moving again. The Beast is flowing smoothly, but I had to stop to write down my amazing idea for Codified. Once I have to pause Codified for some time on the planning board, I'm sure I'll return to my fairy tales.
Those of you that follow me on Twitter already know that I successfully submitted Ge-Mi: Part Two to LT3. For everyone else, Ge-Mi: Part Two was officially submitted to LT3! I got confirmation that they received it, so now it's just a waiting game. LT3's website says it's a 6 to 8 week waiting period while they evaluate the manuscript. If they accept it, I should be signing the contract sometime in June and the book should be released anywhere from 9 to 12 months after that.
So what's next? Editing, of course. I'm still working on the edits for the reprint of My Truest Love. After that I'm expecting the edits for the reprint of Wings of the Stars. The Coup and the Prince might have a copy edit or galley coming my way in the next few weeks, and then the second round of edits for Ground of Resurrection will arrive. Editing continues to take the bulk of my writing time, but once that list is done, I'm expecting to have a few months without any edits.
Which means, I finally get to write again! Di-Na: Part One is, of course, high on my to-do list, but that list is incredibly long right now. I think I need to focus on the stories that have languished the longest. I really, really want to finish off my Oracle series and The Oracle's Current, so that's on the top of my list, and I also want to finish my fairy tale project. There's also Codified and Dragon Spy, which are both patiently waiting for a bit of my attention. There's so much still to do and I'm looking forward to finally having the time to actually do it!
December 28, 2020
A Little Fairy Dust
January 4, 2021
Mell Eight is an author writing with NSP. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.