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!
LT3 emailed me to let me know Road to Revenge, the first book in my Road To duology, will be going out of print on January 1, 2018 (tomorrow). They asked if I was interested in renewing the contract, to which I immediately replied yes. This isn't going to be a huge rigamarole like with Dragon's Hoard. Road to Revenge will get shined up a bit with a quick edit, but it shouldn't even have an interruption in sales. Dragon's Hoard was down for weeks while it went through editing and getting new covers, which Road to Revenge honestly doesn't need. Still, it's nice to see Road to Revenge getting a bit of spotlight for once.
On another note, I completed the second round of edits for Kelpie Blue mostly on time. They are headed back to the editor for another round, but I can really see the improvement in the story so far. It's far smoother to read through and now that the edits aren't making me want to tear my hair out, I'm relearning to love my crazy kelpie. March seems so far away, but it will come soon enough, and then all of you will be able to read it too. I can't wait.
I have written over 1k words in Ge-Mi: Part Two today and I hope to continue adding more to the story the rest of this long weekend. It's not even close to being complete, but I'm liking where it's going. I'm building up right now to introduce a new character that will add some tension to Nevada and Taylor's relationship. I am also working towards getting the plot reintroduced, which requires setting up some twists and turns that I hope readers will enjoy. There's a lot of little things to get right, so it's slow going, but it is going and that's what's important.
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.
LT3 and I have been sending emails back and forth. I've asked far too many questions and probably annoyed the heck out of them (sorry!), but it was very productive nonetheless. I now have lots of news to share with you. First, the cover for Supernatural Consultant, Volume Two has arrived! Volume Two is the second print compilation in the series and will include Dragon Detective, Dragon Soldier, Dragon Adventure, and Dragon Home. LT3's plan was to try to get it to the printer today, so--barring human error and unforeseen circumstances--it should be for sale sometime next week. I will let you know when it's up on LT3's site. I know Amazon and some of the other online stores take a bit longer, but at least you'll know when to start looking.
Second, Volume Two has been included in the list of books to be turned into audiobooks. I believe it is currently third on the list and audiobooks take time to make, so look for it to be available next February, March, or April. I'm hoping to be able to pin down a more exact date when the book is sent to the voice actor.
Third, LT3 and the editor for Kelpie Blue conferenced and came to the same conclusion I did: a January release date for Kelpie Blue--given the extent of the edits--just wasn't realistic. LT3 provided me with a new release date instead. Look for Kelpie Blue to be in your hands on March 21, 2018.
And, don't forget to pre-order your copy of Hadash Aviv, my short spy thriller. It will be released in just over a month, on December 13, 2017 and (if you haven't read it before) I think you'll really like it. It's a reprint, so check your ebook libraries to see whether you already purchased it, and then if you haven't go grab your copy today: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books...
March 21, 2018
Mell Eight is an author writing with LT3. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.