The installers got to my house a little after eight this morning, worked all day, and by 4 PM I had a new furnace! Right now my house smells like whatever crud is burning off the new furnace, but that toasty marshmallow/acetone smell is still better than the burnt oil stench I've been enduring the last few months. Once everything is burnt off, I'm hoping I won't even notice when my furnace is on.
I have received the first round of edits for Wounded Alpha. This is a brand new, never before published story, so I'm incredibly excited it's moving closer to being released! My amazing editor really likes the story too. I am hoping to finish this round of edits this weekend so the story can continue moving along in time for its April release date.
I have also had a lot of success on the writing front. My witch/vampire/werewolf story is complete. It needs a lot of edits. I started writing the sequel, which is when I realized I needed to fix a couple of things in book one to ensure I had proper continuity. After I fix things in book one, I'm going to set it aside until the sequel is also done, just in case I find something else I want to change. At some point I will also have to come up with book and series titles, but for now I'm just going to enjoy writing again.
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 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.
Just a dusting of snow, they said. Hah. A few inches isn't a bad snowfall, but the meteorologists got it so very wrong. At least it was pretty. Now the temperature is starting to dip and I've had to turn on my oil furnace. I've never had oil heat with forced air before, but it seems to be working. The place warms up when it runs, and I just have to keep an eye on the gauge to make sure I don't run out. However, my entire house has started smelling like oil. Not burnt oil, just oil. Does anyone out there know anything about oil heat? Is smelling oil normal, or is there something wrong with my burner or exhaust vent? My brand new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (and that was a saga to install) haven't gone off, so it's not dangerous, just annoying. Any advice you can give me would be super appreciated!
On a more writerly note, I've had two books come out recently! Readers really seem to be enjoying Dragon Adventures. My two side stories featuring two dragons who demanded their adventures be told were incredibly fun to write, and I'm so glad you're enjoying reading them too! I promise we return to our main family when the series returns with Dragon Lesson in just a few short weeks, but Aqua and Rios might have some cameos in books down the road. And speaking of Dragon Lesson: I have seen the first draft for the new cover, and it's amazing! I can't wait to share it with you.
I had another recent release, but this one snuck up on me. I knew NSP was creating a print volume to compile together the first three books in my Supernatural Consultant series, but I had zero idea it had been released. NSP doesn't sell print on their website, but you can buy it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble (and probably other retailers too). If you like print books, please let me know. I'm hoping NSP will release more of my books in print in the future. Which print book are you looking forward to the most?
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.
Yes, you read the title correctly! Every single manuscript I sent to NSP for consideration has now been accepted. The last stragglers were my entire Dragon's Hoard series (minus the short story collection, which I cant submit just yet), Elemental Ride, The Coup and the Prince, and Space Stars. It's taken a year of hard work to reach this point, and I am incredibly excited!
When will you be able to buy any of those books? I can't say with any certainty right now, but I'm hoping NSP will weave them into the 2022 release schedule. "What do you mean, I have to wait until 2022 to buy Tori's book again!?!?" Sorry, but I have so many books in NSP's queue that my Dragon's Hoard series was unfortunately pushed to the end. It's my very first series and Finding the Wolf was my first accepted manuscript at LT3, so I promise you I'm as eager to get Tori, Nyle, and White back on the digital shelves as you are. (For anyone wondering, Tori is a very similar and equally lovable character to Lumie.)
This also means I can start shifting my focus from the past to the future. It's time to start writing brand new material again rather than just worrying about all my reprints. Yes, I will be editing endlessly for the next few years, so writing time will continue to be limited, but it finally feels like I'm making forward progress again with my writing.
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.