I’ve been having a blast over these last few months continuing to work on the Splitter Saga. I’m trying something different with this series than what I did with my first two books–namely, I’m going to hold back on publishing the first book in the series until I have more of the series written. I doubt that I’ll wait all the way until the whole series is finished, but I’ll probably wait until at least the first two or three books are ready. I know that waiting to publish leaves everyone hanging for a little while longer (especially after I teased the cover a little while back!), but on the writing side it’s afforded me the fascinating opportunity to work some updates and adaptations into book one based on how the story is evolving as I work on book two. I’ve also been doing a fairly extensive edit on book one to make it even better. The end result is that I anticipate a richer and deeper world and a more captivating story when it does finally come time to start publishing these novels. I’ll keep you all posted on my progress as I press forward in this brave (and exciting) new world!
I’ve been having a great time this year being back into more of a writing groove. Along those lines, I’m pleased to announce that my latest novel, Splitter, has been completed and is going through editing at this very moment. I’ve also finished the cover design, which I’ll tease for you here just because I’m super excited about it:
Splitter is book one in a new dystopian science fiction series, The Splitter Saga. I’ll save the blurb for a little later so that I can tease you all one more time before Splitter is published, but it’s a story that almost wrote itself. I hope that everyone has as much fun reading it as I did writing it.
I’ve already started on Sentry, which is the sequel to Splitter, and I’m continuing to work on the sequels to Awakening from the Shadows and Shattered as well. Now that I have three different book ones completed, my wife has made the [probably wise] suggestion that I start finishing some book twos and book threes before I start anything else new. I do have some cool new series ideas that I’ll get to eventually, but for the foreseeable future I’m going to be working on finishing what I’ve started. I hope you come along for the ride!
After a slow year for writing in 2014 and a slow start to the year in 2015, it was great to get back to a more productive pace again during the latter half of 2015. In my 2015 goals post, I set a goal of 200,000 words for the year even though I’d originally planned to shoot for a more modest 100,000 words. It turns out that I landed almost exactly in the middle:
2015: 142,434 words
Nearly all of those words were written in the second half of the year, so I’ve finally been able to re-establish some routine and consistency again with my writing. I think that this development has quite a lot to do with being better rested and back to a more normal home routine now that the babies are a little bit older :-) My 2015 writing progress was spread across four different projects: The Emerald Veil (Book 2 in the Mirynthir Chronicles), Scarred (sequel to Shattered), Bloodrunner (Book 1 in a new science fiction series), and Splitter (Book 1 in another new science fiction series). In terms of book completion, it would probably be a better plan to concentrate all of my efforts on one book at a time rather than jumping back and forth like I have been doing, but I’ve been having so much fun writing each of these books that it’s hard to restrain myself. Splitter is actually fairly close to completion and will be the first book out of this list that is finished. After that, I plan to return to The Emerald Veil so that fans of the Mirynthir Chronicles don’t have to wait any longer to find out what happens next for Zaron and the others.
Lastly, I mentioned a little while back about the exciting possibilities that are available now for self-published game designers through The Game Crafter. I’ve been working on ideas for two different games: Starliners (a galaxy-building game of intergalactic trade) and an as-yet-untitled fantasy empire-building card game. I made good progress on both of these designs during 2015, but it will still be some time before they are ready for publication. I know my way around art and photo-editing software a little bit, but I am certainly not an expert, and since I am the artist as well as the game designer for both of these games, it takes me a little while.
Looking ahead to 2016, my writing word-count goal is going to be just what it was last year:
Goal for 2016: 200,000 words
I’m secretly hoping that I can blow this goal out of the water. We’ll have to see how it goes :-) As I mentioned earlier, I anticipate that both Splitter and The Emerald Veil will be finished and published this upcoming year. After that, I’m not sure if I’ll start work on the sequel to Splitter or if I’ll keep working on some of the other ongoing projects. We’ll see what happens as the year rolls along. I think that does it for the year-end summary and for my new goals. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is having a great start to the new year! Happy 2016!
I’m going to keep it simple this time. My primary goals for 2015 are twofold:
- Publish The Emerald Veil (Book 2 in the Mirynthir Chronicles)
- Publish Starliners (Galaxy-building card game of intergalactic trade)
My secondary goals are probably best left to myself, as they are a little more ambitious and likely only a subset of them (if any) will be completed, but . . . I can’t help myself, so here they are anyway:
- Publish Soulbound (tentative title for Book 3 in the Mirynthir Chronicles)
- Publish Scarred (tentative title for sequel to Shattered)
- Publish Bloodrunner (tentative title for debut title in sci-fi cyberpunk series)
And then, because I can’t make it to the end of a list of goals without setting a word count goal, too:
Goal for 2015: 200,000 words
Ha! There, now I’ve done it. Until my fingers hit the keyboard, I had fully intended to type 100,000 words, not 200,000. But it looks like I’ve set loftier aspirations for myself than I had originally anticipated. I guess that means that I’d better get to work. So I’ll talk to you again in a few months, when I’ll hopefully be headed downhill and nearing the end of The Emerald Veil. Until then, happy reading, and I hope that your 2015 is off to a great start!
So we’ve come to the end of another year . . . a glance back at my year end report from 2013 feels a bit like reading a Tale of Two Cities. 2014 certainly didn’t match 2013 in terms of overall productivity. I missed my yearly goal, and I also missed my updated in-year goal that I made when I realized I would miss the original goal :-) But all is not lost! There were still plenty of exciting things that happened in 2014. Shattered was published. The Emerald Veil was begun. As I mentioned in my last post, a fun new card game called Starliners was begun. And 2015 will be the year to bring these things to fruition. To recap my writing progress for 2014, we have:
2014: 50,345 words
You know what? 50k words isn’t the worst thing in the world. Sure, it’s not 200k like I was aiming for, but it’s a lot more than nothing, and looking back on my writing over the past decade or two, there were definitely some years where I never set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, but you know what I mean). And now it’s off to 2015, where I am hoping to get my writing productivity ramped back up in a big way. Wish me luck :-)
I’m finally getting around to wrapping up my 2014 writing progress blog posts (yes, I heard that snicker over there in the corner . . . I know that we’re already into February :-) ), and in the interest of thematic matching, I figured that the fourth quarter progress post should mimic the amount of writing progress that I made in the fourth quarter. In other words, it shall be short and sweet ;-) So without further ado:
Fourth quarter, 2014: 1,216 words
I did actually spend some time doing some interesting non-writing things in the fourth quarter. I gave Shattered a visual facelift for one thing. But there’s also another interesting project that I spent some time on. First, a quick step back. For someone like me, for whom writing has always been a fun hobby, the advent of self-publishing was a dream come true because it provided a viable, plausible, and direct avenue to get my stories out into the world for others to read and enjoy. Reading and writing have always been things that I have enjoyed, and so has gaming. I’ve actually never delved too deeply into console gaming, but I love playing computer games, board games, and card games. I have a board game collection that spans several shelves in our playroom closet. I play collectible card games like Magic the Gathering as well as other card-based games like Dominion and Race for the Galaxy. So you can believe how excited I was to discover that, just like with writing, there is now a self-publishing avenue for producing your very own card games and board games. One of the biggest sites seems to be The Game Crafter, which lets you self-publish full board games. There are also many other sites that will allow you to self-publish card games. So in the beautiful afterglow of this exciting discovery, I spent some of my Q4 free time designing my very first game: a galaxy-building card game of intergalactic trade called Starliners. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ll get it finished and released into the world sometime in 2015. And speaking of releases, I promise that you’ll finally get to read The Emerald Veil sometime in 2015, too. It’s on its way. I promise :-)
I’ve just given Shattered a bit of a facelift . . . some very minor tweaks to the story (which you probably wouldn’t even notice if you already read it, so don’t feel like you have to go back and read it again unless you really want to!) and, most importantly, a new cover. While I did like the original cover and thought that it was representative of some key pieces of the story, I also felt like it didn’t really do a great job of proclaiming the genre and tone of the book to someone who hadn’t read it already. In particular, since terrorism and jihad are such key components of the story, I really wanted to capture that clearly on the cover: thus, the new cover, which proclaims “a novel about terrorism” about as strongly as possible. I hope that this cover will prove enticing and exciting to those who haven’t read the book yet. And if you already have read Shattered, then this would be a great chance to point it out to a friend who you think would enjoy it. Thanks in advance!
One other Shattered-related news flash is that with the introduction of Kindle Unlimited, Shattered can be read for free by those who have signed up for Amazon’s monthly reading program. Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 per month and gives you access to 700,000 books that you can then read for free. So if you are a voracious reader, it sounds like a really good deal. For me, since my time is anything but unlimited these days with three young kids at home, I’m going to stick with my normal book purchasing habits. But maybe one day! In the meantime, happy reading and I hope that you enjoy Shattered’s new look. You can find the novel here on Amazon.
I’ve decided to drop down to a quarterly report with my writing progress updates. A cynical person would suggest that I’m dropping down to a quarterly report to disguise the fact that I haven’t been making much writing progress lately. A generous person would suggest that I’m dropping down to a quarterly report so that my other blog posts aren’t dwarfed in a sea of writing update posts. There’s probably some truth to both ;-) Life is certainly very busy these days (when is not, right??) and I still haven’t settled back into a regular writing routine yet after the twins were born in May. I’ve made some bits of progress here and there, though. Slow and steady is the name of the game. Definitely slow. Sometimes steady :-) But I’m hoping to get back into a much more regular writing routine during the last few months of the year. Wish me luck! But for now, we have:
Third quarter, 2014: 10,156 words
All of these words were progress on The Emerald Veil, which is chugging along. I’m still hoping that I’ll have a miraculous burst of productivity that will enable me to finish my rough draft of The Emerald Veil by the end of the year, but it will likely slip a month or two into 2015. We’ll just see how it goes. I’m having a blast writing it, though, and I’m looking forward to being able to share it with you!
I’ve also been putting together a new cover for Shattered that will be debuting in the not-too-distant future. While I liked the original cover at the time I designed it, I’ve come to believe that it just doesn’t tell enough of a story or even really reveal what genre the book actually is. I think my new attempt does a better job on both of these counts. I’ll post the updated cover here on the blog before I update on Amazon to give you all a sneak peak first and so that you can let me know what you think.
That’s all for now . . . thanks for tuning in, and happy reading!
As the year goes along, I feel more and more like we’re probably going to need a readjustment of the original goal of 200,000 words for 2014! I think that my new informal goal will simply be to finish The Emerald Veil by the end of the year, which should at least put me past the 100,000 mark for the year. We’ll see how things go as the summer finishes up and we move into fall. Life is certainly busy when there are three little kiddos in the house under the age of three! I’ve continued to poke along, making it a little bit farther into The Emerald Veil and yielding:
June, 2014: 3,404 words
Every little bit helps, right? And every little bit is one step farther in the novel! I’ll get there; it will just be a little bit slower than originally planned :-) Hope that everyone is having a fun summer and getting to enjoy some R&R!
As I mentioned in my earlier post, May was a month full of many wonderful moments and many short nights of sleep as my wife and I welcomed our twins to the world. It’s hard to believe that the little ones are over a month old now as I write this! I did manage to do a little bit of writing here and there in May, although it’s not too much to speak of. June will probably see a little bit more writing, although I’m not sure exactly how much yet. I’m beginning to think that a goal of 200,000 words for this year may prove to be a little ambitious! Never say never, though–we’ll just see how the latter part of the year goes. But for now, for May we have:
May, 2014: 2,014 words
Every little bit helps! The Emerald Veil is chugging along, and hopefully a few months down the road I’ll have a first draft finished! Until next month, enjoy some summer sun and a good read!