Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What I'm Working On Next

With the completion of the Blood Calling series, the natural question is: What happens next?

In all honesty, I’m not 100% sure.

My original plan was to try to get ten books out in the course of a year. I don’t think I can pull that off at this point.

Let’s go into why.

Last night, I pressed publish on The Enforcers, a Blood Calling Novel, thereby bringing the Blood Calling series to a conclusion.

Now, my original plan was to cap the series with a novella/novelette about Emma, who was the breakout character of the series. I have a strong sense of how the story would go, and just need some information about ancient Egypt to put the story together.

Unfortunately, my good friend who knows all about Egypt has been very sick lately, and so I’ve had to table the Emma story for the foreseeable future.

The publication of The Enforcers brings my published book total to eight. Early next week, I’ll finally get the final copyedits done on my Basic Movie-Making book, which will bring the book total to nine.

Since the Emma book will be/would be fairly short, I figured I would be able to write it over the last couple of months with no trouble, and get it released in March, and that would be ten total books.

Instead, I’m faced with three options.

One. Come up with a shorter tale to tell, write it, and get it covered and edited by the end of March. That probably won’t happen, simply because I don’t have any short ideas in my head right now. Might I have one in the next 40 days or so? Anything is possible, but I’m doubtful.

My second option is to finish the edits on But the Third One Was Great: Volume 1. The problem there is that the first volume is about 175,000 words right now. Going at normal editing speed, it would take my copyeditor about 30 days to get through the whole book. And that assumes that I’m done making my edits. Which I’m not.

My final option is to write another novel, and get it edited and released in the next six weeks.

Granted, I’m a fast writer. I might be able to write a book in six weeks, if I did literally nothing else. At 2000 words a day, I could knock out a 90,000 word novel (a little shorter than Mercy) in roughly 45 days. Then I would have one day to copyedit and release the book.

This is not really in my best interests.

Still, nine ebooks in one year is some pretty impressive work. So I think I’ll just let that stand, and be happy with it.

What does that leave?

Well, the Emma story is up in the air, and will remain so.

I still want to finish the edits on But the Third One was Great, but it’s a massive and strange project that’s going to require a surprising amount of work on my part to finish. I suspect it will take more than a month to get the copyedits done on one volume, let alone two.

Subsequently, I think this project is going to get pushed around on my schedule for a while.

I had talked about writing a sequel to Mercy, which is my best-selling novel. I had an idea, and I’ve had requests to write another part, but for lack of a better way to say it, I’m lacking a compelling reason to write part 2.

I have characters, and I have goals for those characters, but what I’m lacking right now is a strong emotional component. And to my mind, what made Mercy special was the emotional component.

I’m having that same problem with The Werewolf Solution. Mentally, I’ve sorta-kinda written and rewritten a start to the next volume, trying to figure out what events would, or could, launch another adventure.

When I wrote the original novella, I had strong ideas of where the story would go next. But again, I’m less sure about the emotional undercurrents. More importantly, I covered some similar themes in Blood Calling, and I want to make sure I don’t repeat myself.

So what to do?

Well, I started another novel. At the moment, it’s called Frank, the Lonely Unicorn. What it’s about is pretty much in the title, and I’m not revealing anything else because I’m still working out the bits and pieces of the story.

Why do a unicorn story? Honestly, it’s because Fairy Godmother-In-Law, despite the fact that I’ve never pushed it at any readers and bloggers, continues to sell. I suspect it’s because there just isn’t a whole lot of humorous contemporary fantasy stories out there in the world, and people in need of a fix are stumbling across my little story and enjoying it.

Granted, I could be wrong about the world’s craving for a story about a sarcastic unicorn on a hunt for love, but, well, it won’t be the last time I incorrectly gauge what readers want.

Beyond that, I don’t have much in the way of plans. Friends have been encouraging me to look for a traditional publishing deal for my novels, and I’m giving it some thought. So if you like my stuff, and you know an agent or publisher who likes the kind of thing I do, feel free to drop me a line.

I’m also considering changing up my covers a bit, and doing a little reformatting, and fixing the handful of typos people have found in my novels.

(Of course, it’s generally about three per book. Really. So I don’t know that it’s a priority.)

Do I have other ideas? At the moment, nothing pressing. I have a few old movie premises that might be fun to turn into novels, just to attempt something that doesn’t involve the supernatural. But that’s far, far, far in the back of my mind.

Tentatively, I still plan to write all the books I’ve spent the last few months thinking about, though I suspect my time frame will probably expand quite a bit. Getting all these books out will at the very least drag me to March 2013, and probably beyond.

Things May Change.

But this is where my head’s at now.

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