Sorry it's been so long since I did one of these, or even a blog post. I've been fighting off bronchitis for the past couple weeks and trying to finish up some other side projects (writing, or otherwise). So far, I'm really digging this book. I'm getting to the half-way point and it's been 90% action. After all, there's a war going, of course there's a lot of action! There's a good, thick, lining of mythology weaved into the story as well. If you have the inclination, look up Hathor from ancient Egyptian mythology and that'll give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Don't worry, it's not a spoiler.
The writing the past few days has slowed down a bit because I'm at a point where I'm giving myself breathing room for future books past this story arch. It's not so much that I'm having a hard time with it, as much as it is that I'm trying to get, what will be, the backstory the way I want it. If you haven't noticed by now, these books get a little complicated at times. Working it out ahead of time is how I keep it comprehendable. For example, the whole time-travel/many worlds theory I'm working with in this series took me several months to not only work out all the kinks, but to get it down to something that I could explain in a few sentences. No one wants a thesis in the middle of a fantasy book. Keep it quick, clean and entertaining.
After an extremely bumpy week, I was able to get through all the editoral changes and send it back to my editor. Still no word on the cover and as that has been the sole reason this wasn't published 7-8 months ago, I'm more than a little frustrated. Not to say it's the current artist's fault, but the whole situation makes me wish I could draw. I hate relying on others for this very reason. The editor, on the other hand, is very prompt and open with her schedule. If she has space for it on such and such a date, then she does and she will begin work that day. It's nice to be partnered up with at least one professional.
At the moment I'm working on a side project that is so short that I need to just get it over with and get it out there. I suspect I'm about halfway done with it and if I get it together and do so without distraction, I might push out the first draft today.
I've had the editor's first run through back in my (digital) hands for a couple days now and have been sifting through it. So far, so good. She made me realize something that I had forgotten to mention to her and to probably everyone outside the voices in my head.
For those of you unaware, America is one of a few countries NOT using the metric system. To me this is a pretty stupid move. The scientific community here, as well as the hospitals are on metric, but for the most part we are using US Standard (feet/inches).
What I had planned on doing with the main series was slowly converting over to metric as time passes within the series. The Five Man Midget Death Squad book is written about 200 years into the future, where I suspect the entire world will be far more unified in, among other things, measurement.
A last thought, and one I know I've stressed a couple times in the past, is the layout of this book. It's written 200 years in the future. Written as a brief historical piece on the Tungri Clan, a dwarven city-nation who currently lives in the Scottish mountains somewhere. 1/2 of the book is about how they ended up in Scotland and the events that shaped their lives and the other 1/2 is about the Death Squad, a five dwarf team who ended up shaping the entire world. It is tied into the main CoM series, but much like Hitori it is a standalone book. No background information required.
Here we are again!
So far, so good. The writing is coming along at the speed of awesome and I think it'll be a great addition to the series. Thus far there's been a ton of action with some of the usual silliness and mythology as the rest of the series - I doubt anyone reading the series will complain. I have added a few pictures on Pinterest to hint at what's to come, so check it out if you get a chance.
Mr. Yarbrough is finishing up Radiation Day #2 (a comic book series - there's a link in artist's corner) and SHOULD be really digging into the cover for Death Squad soon. Mrs. Stephanie Dagg (editor) is cranking away at the draft I sent her so that should be coming back to me shortly.
Didn't realize it had been two weeks since I did one of these. My mistake. I'm a little over 19k words into this book now and so far, so good. There's not a lot going on in terms of non-spoiler details this time around. I'm not experimenting with the writing style anymore than I mentioned in a previous posting.
I'm still working through the assault on Osiris, so to say this book is action-packed would be dead on. Based on that, I suspect I'll be about 1/2 way done with this book before this subplot is done with. Not to say that it's so much action that it's to the point of being boring, but there's a blend of backstory being placedin smaller chapters throughout the battles and the war itself is being shown from 2-3 different perspectives. So, with the jumping between characters and the backstory, I think it remains entertaining while still fully realizing the entirety of this section.
To me, often times in war movies you forget that it's even a war. Sure, they show how destroyed (insert city) is, and how its people are desperate and near death, but generally all you ever see is the perspective of a single team of people. When the focus is entirely on a single group, remembering that this is a war and there are thousands of people involved is simply not going to happen.
A (very) strange example of this would be a Where's Waldo picture. The amount of people drawn on one of those pages, the amount of work and time it took to set up this single, or double page is completely forgotten about in the split second the great Waldo hunt begins. I'm trying to avoid this, even if it's only for a moment.
Didn't realize it had been so long since I did an update. Whoops! It's not for a lack of things to talk about, it's just that time got away from me. My apologies to the people who read this, and also my thanks for taking the time.
Where to begin... Five Man Midget Death Squad was sent off to the editor last weekend. Based on prior experience, I should see a first round copy in a couple weeks, go through the changes and send it back to her for a second round. The cover artist still has another project in front of mine, but he believes he should have time to get a sketch to me of the actual cover.
Book 5 is coming along nicely, I haven't been immersed/obsessed in the process like I have been in the past. Mostly, because it's summer and I have a lot of misc house projects to deal with (painting a ceiling, replacing tiles in my kitchen, yadda yadda yadda). I also have a super secret project I'm working on that's completely unrelated to book writing that may/may not require patenting. I'm talking to a lawyer about it tomorrow...hopefully.
I'm not going off the reservation with the style of this book. It should be pretty similar to book 4, with more of it being narrated by M, rather than Thomas. There's several reasons for this and none of which I wish to detail (spoilers). At the moment it looks like the big war with the UHD and Osiris will probably take up 1/2 of the book. Meaning, there's a TON of action in this book. Don't worry, there's some spliting of it. Action is like everything else worthwhile in this world. A little is fine, more is better, but too much can lead to boredom.
With the rewrite completed and Five Man Midget Death Squad lying in wait, I am back in full swing with Book 5. I'm at 10k words written, with about half of it having a 1st round of edits done. So, a good start to a long process. I suspect this book will take a bit longer than usual, simply because of everything else going on these days. By longer I mean ~6 months instead of 4.
Here soon (possibly in a few minutes) I'll be adding some more "hints" on pinterest of things to come in this book. If you aren't following on pinterest, you should! I have 2 pages on there: one for the books and one for silly things I find on there. You can either click the link above (looks like the P for pinterest) or you can be super lazy and click this link:
The revision of book 1 is complete. Nothing in terms of the story was changed. Only the writing of a certian Samuel Horn had any extensive changes. I also added a prologue that foreshadows and illustrates the time travel aspect of the books, as well as the potential direction the series will go in. In no way does this effect the first book, other than to point out that it is NOT a zombie book. There are a couple of reviews on Amazon who have made mention of it being one, which seems a bit strange given that 2 of the 8 chapters (in the first edition) even mention the idea of zombies. There's also magic, supernatural craziness, a sociopathic superhero, a car chase, some hoodlums and a bank robbery. Yet, the reviews focus zombies. *shrug*
The smashwords version is updated, which means itunes, barnes and noble and whatever else smashwords distributes to should be updating soon. Amazon has the revision showing up on their site as the preview, but for some reason I cannot find a way to update the book on my kindle phone app, nor my computer. I can sync all the files, delete the original book from my storage and upload it again, only to still have the original copy. I suspect that Amazon is a little slow on the take when it comes to the updates.
Okay, Death Squad time. Chris Yarbrough sent me another picture to show off. This one is of Lorna, the quiet, thoughtful member of the Death Squad. Her weapon of choice: a sniper rifle, or a rocket launcher. Chris is finishing up another book cover and then he will get to a sketch of what is to come. I know what the plan is and I won't spoil it for you. I will say, it's a wrap around. At any rate, heres the sketch of Lorna.
Here are a few (3) sketches my friend, and artist Chris Yarbrough sent over to me this past week. Personally, I prefer Aeneas #2. I like the militarized look of the Death Squad and it seems very fitting for what they do. As more sketches come in, I'll post them. We still have Wynda and Lorna to finish out the Death Squad, as well as some sketches of goblins. These sketches only represent the idea of the characters and not the overall design of the book cover, which will be a wrap around.
I'm about 1/2 way done with the rewrite of book 1. It should go a lot faster from here, because it was mostly the beginning that needed the changes. Once the meat of this book begins, it becomes a lot more descriptive and stylized, especially in the non-Samuel chapters. I plan to go ahead and look them over, but I expect they won't be wildly changed.
On a side note: I forgot how awesome Dixie was/is/whatever.