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!
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".
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.
Today I have for you the cover of Ground of Insurrection, the first book in my Wizard Wars series, which is coming out on June 13, 2018. I took one look at the cover and went "yes!". It's basically a snapshot taken directly from the book, with the prairie stretching on for miles. I admit the prairie wouldn't have left a bit of food like the skull lying around like that, but the skull is very dramatic and provides the context that no matter how pretty the prairie might be, it's deadly. This cover definitely reaches the top of my favorite covers list.
Check it out:
Ground of Insurrection is currently available for pre-order at LT3. Normally there's a 15% discount, but LT3 is turning 9 this year and the combined sales mean you can get it for 40% off instead. It's a great deal, so make sure to get your copy today: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books...
This past month has been a bit crazy, so I haven't been able to keep you all updated with news as I learn it. I do have a lot of fun things to share! First, I have potential release dates. They're subject to change, but as long as I get all my edits done on time (which as you'll see below I'm not doing too well at) they shouldn't change too much. Mark your calendars:
Insurrection has already gone through one round of edits. I'm expecting the second round to appear sometime this month, which should finish up the editing process for this story. Insurrection is now available for pre-order at LT3 for a 15% discount (plus more because of LT3's birthday sale), so you can get your copy now. It's also been listed on Goodreads if you want to add it to your to-read list: https://www.goodreads.com/book...
I received the first round of edits for If A Butterfly Don't Fly, so that story has started moving forward too. At first, the edits for Butterfly didn't seem to be too bad, but then I found where the editor asked me to add in a new chapter. The reasons for that new chapter are solid, so I started writing it, but it's been fighting with me and now the edits are late. LT3 was kind enough to grant me an extension for the edits, so I'm hoping to have them done really soon.
The reviews for Kelpie Blue have been beyond stellar. Everyone that has left a comment has agreed that Blue, my lively Kelpie with the sharp teeth, is adorable and the story itself is a ton of fun. If you've read Kelpie Blue, it would be awesome if you could pop over to Goodreads or Amazon and leave a quick review.
As for writing, unfortunately edits take precedence. That means I didn't finish writing Ground of Resurrection in March like I had hoped. However, that doesn't mean I can't plan the rest of my stories out mentally. The main characters in Codified, the third book in my Magnified series, have been stuck in the basement and I've been struggling to figure out how to get them out. I think I've come up with an idea, but until I see how it flows on paper I don't know whether the idea is a viable one. In Ge-Mi: Part Two, they've all arrived at the graveyard, but I need to figure out the ceremony there in order to get them out of the graveyard and into the scene that really starts the romantic drama. I think I'm starting to get a good idea of how to move it forward, but until the edits are out of the way I can't work on it.
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.
Three day weekends with very few plans are a wonderful thing when you've got edits that need to get done. I spent just about every free moment this past long weekend editing Ground of Insurrection and was able to finish it early. I've just sent it back to LT3. They do need another round with the editor, but I don't foresee any serious difficulties arising. Additional news about potential release dates, covers, and everything else will hopefully be forthcoming at the end of the month. I'll keep everyone in the loop as I learn more.
I was checking the links on my website this past weekend and I realized the Satisfaction Guaranteed Anthology is no longer. According to my records it went out of print this past September. I totally missed this fact. Heartbeat, my story from the anthology, is actually the prequel to my Trickster's Eye series. I gave it a read-through, fixed a few small issues, and have resubmitted it to LT3. I hope they will accept the story a second time.
I don't know how long I'll have until the next round of edits appears, but I'm hoping to get some writing done in the interim. I have three stories open on my computer right now: Ge-Mi: Part Two, Ground of Resurrection, and my untitled Coliseum Story. I have plans for what happens next in all three and all three are clamoring for me to write them. Whichever one screams loudest at me will win, but any writing at all is good progress. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
I have received the first round of edits for Ground of Insurrection. A glance through says they'll be very straightforward, so hopefully I'll have them completed and back to LT3 for a second round quickly. The editor said the story was "fantastic", which I was overjoyed to see. This story gave me some trouble as I was writing it, trouble that is unfortunately repeating itself as I'm trying to write the sequel, so hearing it did turn out well after all that was really wonderful. Now that the edits are moving along, LT3 can start planning release dates. I expect to learn a tentative date for Ground of Insurrection sometime after I return the edits, so I had better get to working on them now because I'm as anxious to learn the release date as I'm sure you are.
I don't really have all that much else to share with you today. It's been a while since I posted anything so I wanted to say hi and to let you all know that I am trying to work on some of the stories you're anticipating. Mostly I've been planning, which doesn't sound super exhilarating, but is absolutely necessary to move my stories forward. For example, in the next Supernatural Consultant book (tentatively titled Dragon Trick, but that might change) I know the ultimate goal of the story, but I haven't quite figured out how to get the characters there yet. I can't start writing again until I figure that bit out.
I've been plucking away at Ge-Mi: Part Two as well. I've said it before in regards to this story, but I'll say it again anyway: it's slow going. I'm setting up so many little things right now that will have an impact all the way to the end and I really want to get them right. That means the story is only growing by a few hundred words each time I work on it. That's better than nothing at all, but it's not a lot in terms of how much I still have to do.
Aside from that, I'm patiently waiting for the next round of edits for Kelpie Blue to appear. I'm hoping they'll wait until after Ground of Insurrection is back with the editor, but as March and the imminent release date looms closer, I know they'll have to appear soon. We're also nearing the time when If A Butterfly Don't Fly should begin the editing process (especially since it was accepted for publishing at the same time as Ground of Insurrection), so I expect that story will also appear in my inbox sometime in the near future. There's so much to look forward to!
Ground of Insurrection
June 13, 2018
The Coup and the Prince
September 5, 2018
Cover Coming Soon
If A Butterfly Don't Fly
November 14, 2018
Mell Eight is an author writing with LT3. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.