I rolled over 10,000 words on Book 6 today. Just blew right past it. It feels good to be writing again, to put words on the page that I’m (mostly) happy with. The story is shaping up pretty quickly, and I’ve got most of the book plotted out in my head already.
I’ve also commissioned a cover for Book 5. Yeah, I don’t even have it edited or formatted yet, but I don’t see why I can’t get a cover image figured out ahead of all that. I already knew what I wanted it to look like, so I went ahead and pulled the trigger on getting that started. The plan is to have it ready to publish by the end of November.
All of which is to say: things are progressing. Things are progressing very well, and I’m looking forward to the start of November and NaNoWriMo (when I’ll really kick the Book 6 work into high gear). Wish me luck!
Today, I finished up the first draft to Book 5. It’s the shortest book I’ve written, at just about 45,000 words, but it’s all killer, no filler. I talked with my editor this afternoon and have arranged for it to get edited at the beginning of November. That means I should have the finished product ready for release by Christmas! Just in time for stuffing all your stockings.
This has been, in many ways, the hardest book I’ve ever written. Anxiety and depression are much to blame for that, unfortunately, but I feel like I’ve come through whatever block I was experiencing and I’m back in my groove.
In fact, I spent some time this afternoon plotting out Book 6. It’s gonna be pretty epic, and it picks up right where Book 5 left off.
I’m feeling pumped and ready to write more. It’s a good feeling.
Just got word this morning from my editor that he’s done with Book 3! As soon as I’ve sent him his money, I’ll get the manuscript back, and then begins the arduous task of making corrections.
It shouldn’t take more than a week or so to get the corrections and changes made, at which point I can start formatting. Once formatting is done, I can get the cover made. I already know what I want it to look like (a rough sketch is featured above), and I’ve got the stock photo all picked out. My cover artist has a pretty damn fast turn-around, so best estimate is that the book will be ready to go before my birthday at the end of March. And what better birthday present than a new book?
It’s November 1st, and we all know what that means: NaNoWriMo! That’s right, its’ National Novel Writing Month again. Last year, I worked on a series of short stories (only a couple of which I actually ended up liking), and the year before that was The Invisible Crown. A few years before that – the first time I did NaNoWriMo – I wrote the original draft of The Hidden Throne. And the year after that one, I wrote what’s now Book 4 in the series, the as-yet-unreleased Crooked Halos.
What I’m saying is, I like doing NaNoWriMo. I like the challenge and the structure of it. I always intend to do so much writing during the summer months, when my schedule is looser and there aren’t nearly so many obligations eating away at my time. But I always end up getting nothing done. It doesn’t help that my depression usually rears its ugly head during the summer months, when I’m more socially-isolated than the rest of the year.
But November, for whatever reason, is prime writing time for me. I get so much written every November, even if it’s not a full novel. And it usually carries over into the rest of the winter, with me getting lots of words in throughout December and January as well. I can usually get at least one book written during that time, sometimes more.
So, here’s to a positive and productive NaNoWriMo! I’m planning to use the time this year to work on a few short stories I’ve got rattling around, and maybe I’ll finish up Book 5 while I’m at it. There’s always plenty to do!
As the school year draws to a close, I’ve been digging into Book 2 and getting it prepped for a fall release. My editor sent me her edits and notes a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been going through them and making changes and corrections as needed. In fact, I finished up just this week and have moved on to formatting.
Formatting has been a bit of a challenge. I found the font Royal James used, so there’ll be visual consistency in the books, and I’m doing all the little, fiddly things that have to be done to make it look like a real, professional book. Margins are set, title pages are created, and I’m messing about with the header text and page numbers now. There are some challenges with getting everything exactly the way I want it, but I’m confident it’ll all be ready in September.
Once the formatting is done, I’ll be in a holding pattern, waiting for my artist to create the cover. I know he has other jobs ahead of mine, so it’s going to be sometime this summer before he even begins, but once I have the cover in hand the book will basically be ready to go. Between now and then, there’ll be a short story called “Bad Press” (anyone who got the old Hazzard Pay collection from a few years ago will be familiar with this one, though I’ve added a few new bits).
So, all in all, things are moving along well. I feel I’ve got a much better handle on the stuff I have to do to self-publish this time around, and I think the results are going to be fantastic. My editor was tremendously positive about the manuscript, as were my beta readers, so I’m hopeful this one will be a hit.
Just thought I’d give you guys an update on Book #2. I’m about halfway through the manuscript, plugging right along a few pages at a time. There’s a couple of spots I want to go back and completely rewrite now, but I want to get through the basic edits first.
My current goal is to have Book #2 done and sent off by the end of September. Yeah, it’s not my original goal (which was the end of July), but it still gives my editor plenty of time to go through it (the book won’t be released until next December, after all).
I’m still waiting to hear back from said editor on Book #1. I’m starting to get anxious about it all, since the book release is only three months out (!). I’m still not sure what the metrics are for me to consider the release a success; I guess if folks other than my parents read it, I’ll be happy. I want to try to go to some conventions next year to try to sell it, but we’ll have to see if that’s feasible or not.
In other news, I’ve started another short story set in the Hazzard universe, only this one is told from the perspective of his always-capable assistant, Ellen Typewell. I’m pretty excited about it, even if I don’t have the thing fully plotted just yet. I guess we’ll see where it goes.