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".
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.
I have been working on my untitled coliseum story off and on for about a year now. It's purely fantasy with a type of dragon character I haven't utilized before. Writing it has been fun even though it hasn't been smooth sailing. I am finally approaching the climax of the story where the hero must fight the bad guy and I realized I needed to come up with a title. The problem is that the only potential titles I could think of were 'Dragon Sands' or 'Dragon Moons'. Both would fit with the story and I'm leaning towards the former, however I realized that the title is far too similar to that of my Supernatural Consultant series. Every single one of those titles are two words and start with 'Dragon'. The last thing I want is for someone to spend money on what they think is the next Supernatural Consultant book, only to be greeted with a vast desert and a cave full of dragon eggs instead. I don't know what to do. Should I use 'Dragon Sands' anyway? I could use your advice, so please let me know what you think!
Speaking of Supernatural Consultant, despite not being on the short list I mentioned in my last post, book seven is the story I started working on. I've added about .5k words, which was enough to set the next scene and build some drama for what's coming next. Which brings me to my conundrum about this story as well. I originally settled on 'Dragon Trick' for the tentative title because it fit with the rough outline in my head. As the story continues to expand on paper, I'm realizing that 'Trick' is not the right fit after all. In fact, I think I might be leaning towards resurrecting 'Spy', which was scrapped as the title for book six (Dragon Lesson). Do you think if I started calling book seven 'Dragon Spy' I would confuse readers who associate that title with Dragon Lesson?
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!
The reprint of Hadash Aviv, my short story crime thriller, is coming out next week! LT3 is having an amazing sale, so make sure you pre-order your copy soon. I'm super excited about this story coming out as a stand alone. It may be short, but it's definitely one of my favorites. That's why I was so happy LT3 agreed to reprint it. I hope you'll like it too!
I'm still chugging away at the edits for Kelpie Blue. The hardest part is that the editor pointed out something that I completely agree has to be fixed, but getting it fixed correctly is proving to be quite a challenge. I think this time I may be able to get it right, but there's still so much to get done and the due date is coming up fast. I still absolutely love the story and the characters I've created for this unique world of the fae, but I know I will love it even more once the edits are done and gone.
The Coup and The Prince was accepted for publishing at LT3! It's a cute stand alone story that I've been working on for the last two years and I'm super excited to see it heading towards publishing. Hopefully it will tide you all over until I am able to complete Ge-Mi: Part Two and/or the next Supernatural Consultant book (which I know you are all waiting for).
Speaking of writing, I've been a very bad author. Instead of working on anything on my to-do list (which is far too long), I started writing a contemporary story. It's about soccer star with a serious injury, the nurse caring for him, and the gang trying to extort them both. It's an idea I've had in my head for a while now, but I never actually wrote it down. I went on a trip recently and while I was bored on the airplane I couldn't help typing up the first 4k words. It's not anywhere close to being complete, so I've added it to my to-do list. My plan is to put that story aside to work on something else, so presumably my next blog post will have some good writing news.
What is it about getting a big stack of edits that makes me want to run the other way? I don't know if this is a me thing or an authors in general thing, but edits suck. They're this necessary evil staring at me from the abyss. I know I have to work on them, but I can't help putting them off. What this means is I took one look at the edits for Kelpie Blue, gulped, and then scurried back to the safe realm of writing. I have completed writing The Red Apple Witch when I should have been working on my edits.
Those of you that have been following me for a while know that The Red Apple Witch is a fairy tale I started writing soon after Cinder-Elle came out in 2012. Every once in a while I poked at it, but for the most part the story lay stagnant in my computer. Then I had the idea to combine a bunch of my fairy tales into one compilation and I said to myself, I have to finish this one too. Well, I've finally done it. The Red Apple Witch still needs a lot of editing, especially the older parts of the story, but I am so glad to finally say it's complete. This means I have five fairy tales complete and just about ready for submission, one tale that I need to rework the ending (Thunderbird), and two more that I need to write. I recently read through A Heart's Dream, which I've been stuck on for a bit, and realized the reason I was stuck was I was trying to force the story to be 30k words when it was really only calling for 15k. The other story I need to work on is Trip Trop Trail, which is a Billy Goat Gruff retelling with a twist. I have the main points figured out, but I can't decide whether I want it set in the modern day (which would be the only one of my fairy tales in that setting) or if I should do a more fantasy-like setting instead. Once I figure that out, I'll be able to start writing.
Supernatural Consultant, Volume Two came out recently. This is the second print compilation of the series and it picks up where Volume One left off. It includes Dragon Detective, Dragon Soldier, Dragon Adventure, and Dragon Home. You can buy your copy at LT3 today and it's also available at your favorite print retailer (but it's cheaper for you to buy from LT3).
Kelpie Blue is also available for pre-order at LT3. They're having a very nice sale right now, so you can get it for 32% off: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... It comes out on March 21, 2018, which will be here soon. (And, yes, I have been working on those edits. Don't worry.)
There are so many wonderful authors out there participating in NaNo. I see them posting their word counts for the day/week/etc and I am very impressed by everything they've accomplished. I wish I could emulate them, but I've tried and in the end I decided that NaNo just wasn't for me. Being on a specific schedule where I have to write X number of words per day with the intention of completing a story by the end of the month doesn't work for me. Having that much structure instead stresses me out. I see how much I didn't get accomplished the previous day, add that word count to the amount I didn't get finished that day, and it all starts piling up. In the end, all I get out of NaNo is stress-induced writer's block which translates into equally ineffective December writing.
At the same time, I can't say that I've managed to significantly increase the word counts of any of my stories even though I haven't been doing NaNo. I've done some planning for my stories, including the final fairy tale story I need to write. I have also read through my currently out of print story Heart's Tournament. I gave it a minor edit and decided to resubmit it to LT3, but then I came to a dilemma. The reason I didn't immediately resubmit it when it first went out of print is that I had always planned to write the sequel. I still haven't written said sequel, but I have started planning the prologue. The question becomes, do I resubmit now in the hopes that I'll actually write the sequel this time, or do I write the sequel first and then submit them both together? There's pros and cons to both options, but what it really boils down to is that I already have too many ongoing projects on my to-do list. Until I finish a few more stories, I really can't start writing this sequel. Either I have to resubmit and (if LT3 accepts it again) hope I get the sequel completed before it goes out of print again, or I have to hold off for what could be a few years before I resubmit with the sequel attached. I'll let you all know what I decide.
I started working on The Red Apple Witch after that and I was just getting into it when I got an email from LT3 with the second round of edits for Kelpie Blue. Turns out that while some of the things I fixed last time worked, a number of the changes I made either weren't right or didn't change enough. Technically there's less to do this time around, but it's still a big project. The sooner I get it done, the sooner I can return to writing. Please wish me luck.
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.