Magnified started as an experiment. Most of the books I write fall within the 20k to 40k word range, and I wanted to know what a story I wrote in the 60k range would be like. I also wanted to know whether I was capable of writing a novel-length story. From that desire, I crafted Magnified.
Learning how to elongate the story with additional scenes of drama, pulling the story together around a pair of budding romances, and creating an enemy threatening everything they stand for was unlike anything I had ever written before. Or since. Magnified took a lot out of me to write, and challenged my abilities in ways I hadn't dared try before. The results awed me, and to this day Magnified remains one of my personal favorites of the stories I've written.
I admit, after writing Magnified I was happy to return to the world of happy dragons and simple romances, but I soon returned to the challenge to write the sequel, Justified, and will return once more to write the last book in the series, Codified. The challenge teaches me new techniques that I then bring to my books about happy dragons, so I am pleased whenever I have the time and energy to focus on Magnified once again.
I wrote the prologue for Magnified first and submitted it to LT3 as a 10k word short story. LT3 liked it, but told me it didn't have enough romance for their press. They asked me to rewrite it and try again. The ideas for adding werewolves and wizards to the vampires I had already introduced blossomed, and the challenge of creating a novel-length book bit me. Over a year later, and an additional 50k words written, I resubmitted Magnified. I told LT3 the story was a bit different to last time, and they responded with: A bit? The rest, as they say, is history, and now NSP is republishing Magnified so a whole new set of readers can enjoy this wonderful story.
Magnified comes out on March 1st in ebook and print at most major retailers. You can pre-order it today from NSP and get it three days early!
If you're a reader like me, while you enjoy ebooks, there's something about the feel of a print book. If I can, I prefer to buy books in print, so I want to take this moment to highlight some of my own books that are available in print right now, or will be available in the very near future:
Available For Purchase:
Fingers crossed, but I haven't had any home issues in the last week! I'm running out of big ticket appliances to replace, which hopefully means there's less available to go wrong. Not worrying about my house does mean I have more free time to focus on writing!
Circle Y, the second (untitled) book in my (also untitled) series about a witch and some werewolves, has reached the halfway point. I've introduced the bad guys, set up the main drama, and am ready to get the ball rolling. FYI, if anyone has any suggestions regarding what you think I should title the books or the series, I am definitely open to recommendations. I'm not in a rush to decide, since I won't be submitting these stories to NSP until the end of 2021 at the earliest, but it would still be good to have something to actually call them.
I have also reached the point in book two where I need to start thinking about a book three. I'm not certain there needs to be a third book, but I'm loving these characters and want to keep working with them for a few more books. The problem boils down to: is there enough plot to carry more books? I am hoping as I keep working on the latter half of Circle Y, I'll be able to come up with an answer.
On a different note, I have begun work on the first round of edits for Justified, book two in my Magnified series. Magnified comes out in March (only a few short weeks away!), so I don't want to spoil anything for first time readers by talking too much about Justified right now. Let me just say the edits are going smoothly and I expect Justified to stay on schedule for a May release.
Here's a quick status update for my books being released in the next few months:
Every time I mention I'm having an issue with my house, someone invariably nods sagely and says "the joys of home ownership". Every time! I'm wavering on whether it's actually joyful. I bought a house because I couldn't stand to stay in my noisy, smelly, and annoying apartment, and I don't regret that decision at all. However, to date I have had to replace every single appliance in my kitchen, my furnace, my AC, and now my water heater. (Finding water leaking into my basement Wednesday morning was less than ideal.) I'm waiting for that moment where home ownership is stress free, when I can simply enjoy having my own space without worrying something else is going to go wrong. At this point, I don't think I'm going to reach that stage until after I've rebuilt the entire house from scratch, but one day I know I will achieve the elusive joy of home ownership.
On a happier note, I have seen the first draft of the cover for Magnified. It blew me away! I can't wait to share it. Also, all the edits are done for Magnified, so it is completely ready to go for its March release. I have also completed the second round of edits for Wounded Alpha, so that's on pace for an April release.
I haven't had much time for writing these past few weeks. My untitled Circle stories are still going well, which is nice, but I haven't had a moment to dig into any of my other works in progress. I am thinking of scraping the third book in my Wizard Wars series. I'm not sure the overarching story warrants a third book, and my efforts to force one to happen anyway aren't going well. Maybe that will change once the first two books are released again, but for now I'm setting it aside to focus on more pressing books.
Now that my home ownership issues have (presumably) been solved, I plan to focus my free time on writing rather than on calling plumbers. Wish me luck!
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!
How editing works:
Wow, I've made so much progress! I've reworked sentences, approved a ton of commas, and clarified a bunch of issues with the editor. I'm moving along so fast and I'll have this finished in no time!
Looks down at the page count. I've only done two pages?!?
Editing is a roller coaster. There's the high when things are going well, when the edits are moving along smoothly and I feel like I'm making progress. Then there's the low when I realize despite all the work I've done, I still have over a hundred pages to go. Or when the editor (helpfully) points out something I've done very, very wrong. And then the high again once I get through those snags and start chugging along, and then the low... You get the idea.
I'm behind on the edits for Magnified, and every time I get into the groove and start feeling like I'm making progress, I look down at the page count and realize just how little progress I've actually made. It's hard, but this is how all edits work. The difference is Magnified is 20 to 40 thousand words longer than most of my stories (it's double the length of one of my Supernatural Consultant books), which means it takes a lot longer to complete. The plan is to finish Magnified quickly this weekend, so maybe I'll have time to write something too.
Thanks to everyone for sending emotional support about my furnace. I have decided on a brand, and I have decided to bite the bullet and get an AC unit too. It took a ton of research to figure out the best model for my climate, and to decide on Energy Star ratings, but a decision was finally reached. Of course, I made my choice too late on Friday, so I won't get the contract until Monday, but hopefully I'll have a new furnace before the new year!
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'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.
A Little Fairy Dust
January 4, 2021
March 1, 2021
Mell Eight is an author writing with NSP. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.