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.
Happy October everyone! The leaves are changing, there's a nip in the air, and my AM alarm keeps going off before the sun rises. After the hectic holidays, I'm looking forward to the chance to relax in the calm of autumn where the only thing I have to worry about is how much candy to buy this Halloween.
Of course, I just bought a new house, so figuring out how to get it ready for winter is still stressing me out. I had a long telephone call this morning with a prospective oil company (my heat is oil and there's a massive tank in my garage). The poor lady had to explain where the gauge is to tell me how much oil is in my tank, and that the big red switch that says EMERGENCY is actually my burner switch. As long as it's in the on position, just setting my thermostat will do all the work. Phew. Turns out, the only thing I need to worry about in regards to my oil is keeping an eye on that gauge, and when it gets too low, give the company a call.
I also have to figure out where the turn off valves for the outdoor spigots are, but I think that's going to be a conversation with the neighbors sort of adventure. Aside from that, my house is in good shape. The new blinds were finally delivered (first ones delivered were wrong, so I had to re-order them) and will be installed this week. The only other project I need to do is figure out how to anchor my new pantry to the stud in the wall, and then this house is as perfect as it's going to get!
Which leaves me much more time to focus on my writing. I didn't get as far as I would have liked in Dragon Spy. The prologue is done and the chapters renumbered, but I need to get cracking on the next scene. The story is going to abruptly switch to Alloy's perspective, which I have been looking forward to writing for months, but everything else going on in my life keeps getting in the way (like calling oil companies this morning instead of writing).
Also, edits keep popping up. Today's addition to my editing pool is the first round for A Little Fairy Dust, my fairy tale anthology. While the individual stories inside aren't too long, combined this is the largest single book I've ever written. I have no idea how much time it's going to take to finish the edits, so working on them is my priority at the moment. Which means Magnified, which I have the pre-edits for, is getting pushed aside again. Hopefully I'll be able to finish both sets of edits soon, so I can return to writing again.
To anyone that celebrates, I hope you had a happy new year and have an easy fast!
The response for Dragon Soldier has been beyond amazing. Readers really seem to love it, and that has me so excited! I was incredibly busy the last few weeks, so I never got around to posting the new cover, but it's as wonderful as the rest of the series. You can check it out here! Dragon Adventures, the next book in the series is completely ready to go. All we're waiting on is the cover, but the editing is done. I hope to have the official release date for you very soon.
Sticking with news about my Supernatural Consultant series, I have been writing Dragon Spy again. I finally figured out one of the reasons the story wasn't flowing correctly was because the prologue really needed to be chapter one instead. I started writing a new prologue, which introduces a new dragon, and it's already looking so much better! There's still a lot of little plot details to work out, but overall this story is really starting to take shape.
I have also finally finished the preliminary round of edits for Kelpie Blue, which is still slated to come out in January. The prelims were a beast to get through, and it took me a lot longer than I had hoped, but I did it and the story looks so much tighter because of it. I'm also super excited to start working on a different series. As much as I love my dragons, taking a break to play with a feisty kelpie was awesome.
Next on my editing to-do list are the prelims for Magnified. I think I got into a groove with Kelpie Blue, so I'm hoping to carry that forward and blaze through Magnified. I am also expecting the first round of edits for A Little Fairy Dust, my fairy tale anthology. It's a huge book, so it will take a little longer to go through the editing process, which is why I'm expecting it to land in my inbox any day now.
These days it seems like all I have to talk about in these blog posts is editing. Yes, editing for my Supernatural Consultant series continues at a good pace, and we're ahead of schedule, but there's more to my writing world than that and I want to share it with you.
I've submitted two huge projects to NSP:
I have added 2k words to Dragon Spy, the next book in my Supernatural Consultant series. (For new readers of this series, by next I mean not previously published. There are seven previously published books, all of which have been/will be re-released by NSP in 2020. Dragon Spy is book eight.)
In other news, I bought a house. It's my first house so I'm super nervous. Closing is in a week and a half, the moving truck is scheduled to come soon after that, and my apartment is currently stuffed with boxes. I foolishly thought packing my books would be the easiest place to start, however, I've filled four boxes of just books (and I know about weight limits, so they're not overfull), but have only taken about a third of my books off the shelf. Luckily, I'm moving close by. I'm going to have to take those full boxes over myself, empty them, then bring them back to fill again for the movers to take. If someone can explain how books multiply so quickly, I'd appreciate it.
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!
Despite the constant edits, I have managed to squeeze a little writing in. There are so many stories I want to get complete, but finding time to work on them has been difficult, especially when so much of my writing time has been stuffed full of editing. Here's what I've been able to accomplish the last few weeks:
I added a few more drips and drabs to Dragon Spy, book seven of my Supernatural Consultant series. Mostly I'm trying to figure out the balance between Nickel's role and Lumie's role to the overall plot. They're both big personalities that demand focus and attention, and giving it to them both without losing the essence of the series is going to be an interesting task for this particular book.
I also added about 1.5k words to Ground of Resurrection. I've said this before, but all I need to finish writing this story is time. There's about 4k more to go and it's all planned out, so it's really just about finding a few stolen moments to work on it. As soon as I'm done with edits, I expect this story to be the next add to my completed list.
LT3 also posted a new collection call named Bound by Nothing. It's about shifters and injuries that I thought was really interesting. I've got an idea for it and I managed to write about 3k words, but I don't know if I'll be able to complete the story by the deadline. It's due at the end of January and it's only asking for a minimum of 20k words, but I have so much else to do that this story might unfortunately not get there in time. Which doesn't mean I'll abandon the story, of course. It wouldn't be the first time I've missed the deadline for a call and later published the story anyway, but I would like to try. You can check out my tentative summary on my current projects page and I hope to have a title to share soon too.
But what about Ge-Mi: Part Two, or the fairy tales I keep insisting I'll work on? I fully admit, I've gotten distracted from these two endeavors. Ge-Mi is another story that I just need to find free time to work on, but because the story is so involved, it's got to be more than a few brief moments stolen here and there. Usually that's all I have, which is perfect for all the other stories I've mentioned so far, but not for Ge-Mi. That's going to take a few weekends of no other distractions to really get into and right now that time is being spent on edits instead. As for the fairy tales, I've got two left to complete and one still to rework. I can work on them in the stolen moments, but I'd prefer to finish Resurrection first, so once that story is done I know I'll return to my fairy tales.
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.
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!
It only took me an extra three weeks, but the edits for If A Butterfly Don't Fly are finally back with LT3. They need to go back to the editor for another round, but I think (I hope) I was able to make a lot of progress this time around. We'll see how I did when I get round two in a month or so. Right now I'm going to take a deep breath and try to let the stress of overdue edits finally fall away.
Of course, now that those edits are done for the moment, I'm sure the second round for Ground of Insurrection will arrive. Insurrection is starting to head quickly towards release day, and getting the edits complete is a big step towards making sure June 13th happens. I'm not expecting anything too crazy for this second round, so it'll hopefully go quickly. Don't forget, for the rest of April LT3 is having a huge birthday sale and you can pre-order Insurrection for 40% off: https://lessthanthreepress.com...
With editing done for the time being, I can finally turn to writing again. There are so many stories to work on, but right now my muse has the next scene planned for Dragon Spy, book seven in my Supernatural Consultant series. Lumie decided he needed to come say hello and I have a hard time saying no to Lumie. It should be fun to write and I'm hoping that will also help me get further along with planning out this story. It's been stalled for a while because I'm not entirely certain how I want to organize it all. I also want to get back to finishing Ground of Resurrection, but I've lost the momentum I had a few months ago. Basically, whichever story grabs my attention and keeps moving forward is the one I'll be working on.
When I'm writing a book, a lot of the time the ideas for the sequel start popping up. I usually shelve those ideas until the current book is complete, and then pull them back out to start work on the sequel. Except, by that point those new ideas are dusty and sometimes difficult to work with because of the amount of time they've been sitting (which has sometimes been years). That was the case for Ground of Resurrection, the second book in my Wizard Wars series. It took me years to write book one, Ground of Insurrection, and all the ideas and plans for book two got warped and messed up. I've scrapped and restarted the first 1k words in Resurrection at least three times, just trying to get the pieces I shelved to work with what actually wanted to go onto paper. The story was stuck around 1k for a few months, but then I received the first round of edits for Insurrection.
Somehow, reading through Insurrection reminded me of those original, shelved ideas, and reordered them until they finally started to come together in a story that makes sense. Writing Resurrection suddenly became a process of getting the words onto paper fast enough before my brain moved on to the next scene. Resurrection has just passed the 10k words mark. (I've also started shelving ideas for a potential third book in the series that will likely be called Ground of Defection.) 10k words is the halfway point for the books in this series, which are all only about 20k in total, and I know the basic layout of the rest of the story. It's just a matter of finding the time to write it all down, but I'm really hoping Resurrection will be completed soon.
On another note, thanks to all your advice from my last posting I have decided to go with Dragon Spy as the title for book seven in my Supernatural Consultant series. I hope regular readers of my blog will understand that I am recycling a previously scrapped title. I have also come up with the first paragraph of the working summary for Spy, which you can read HERE. I'll be able to add the second paragraph and smooth out the first paragraph once I've fleshed out the story a bit more, but at least now you can get the basic gist of what I'm going for in this story. I haven't made a decision on what to do about the title for my coliseum story, but I'll let you all know what I eventually decide.
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.