I’ve been busy. That’s the short answer. The longer, more detailed answer to what I’ve been up to lately follows.
Sometime last year I started outlining the third Alchemancer book, tentatively titled “The Inversion Solution.” I actually completed that outline, then switched gears back to my Assassin Without a Name series because I’m trying to round that one out with a solid ten stories (the story being told in that series will go longer than 10 stories, but 10 seemed like a good number to shoot for as an incremental goal). After spending some time with my witty assassin, releasing The Goddard Affair, Thief’s Gambit, Assassin’s Justice, as well as compiling the first three assassin stories into a collection called The Killing Knife, I changed my focus back to Aaron, Serena, and Ensel Rhe. I did leave them in a somewhat precarious position at the end of The Nullification Engine, so I know it’s important to get back to that series and get the next book out. The problem was that I was not satisfied with the outline. It needed more.
So I re-worked it from the ground up. Along the way, I realized there was too much going on to wrap the series up with only one more book, so I decided to add a book four. At that point, given the complexity of the various storylines, I knew I needed to outline book 4 before even thinking about starting to write book 3. I hate writing myself into corners or missing an opportunity for foreshadowing or some other tie-in. Plus, I really needed to work out the details to make absolutely sure I was telling the best story possible. So I pushed through and finished the outline for book 4. With both outlines now finished, I’m poised to finally begin writing the next book. People on my Facebook Page have been asking about it, too, which is kinda nice and cool at the same time. It’s good to know someone out there is looking forward to getting their hands on it.
Meanwhile, I also finished the outline for “Witch’s Imperative,” the next/seventh Assassin Without a Name story, and started writing it. I’m about 5,000 words in.
The plan moving forward is to split time between the two series, most likely giving more of my time to “The Inversion Solution” simple because it’s going to be longer than "Witch’s Imperative," and thus will take longer to write, and because I know readers have been waiting for it for a while now.
Last, I’ve commissioned a very talented artist to create a character illustration of everyone’s favorite witty assassin. I’ve received pencil sketches and some initial color blocks and absolutely cannot wait to see the final illustration. It’s going to look fantastic. The next step after that is to have full illustrations worked up for each of my major series. Think Aaron and Shanna in the middle of a chaotic, elemental storm for The Five Elements or Ensel Rhe and his daughter, Jakinda Rhe, battling a host of skeva for The Nullification Engine. I’d also like to see the Assassin Without a Name with Elizabeth at his side caught in the middle of a host of Jakaree priests. Exciting stuff. The business purpose of these illustrations is to use in advertising, on my web site, and in other promotional capacities, so there is reason beyond the coolness factor.
And that’s about it. I don���t write full-time; I’d need to sell a whole lot more books for that to ever happen, so I make use of what time I can outside of my day job.
One last parting word... If you’re on Facebook, stop by and like my author page, why don’t you? You’ll get occasional updates like this one as well as other genre related goodies and you can post stuff and ask me questions or just strike up a conversation. I'm very approachable and love to talk to people who share a common interest in all things fantasy.
Until next time!