A Dispatch from the Hinterlands

Lots of red pen use on this one.... #editing #amwriting #overalls

Hey, everybody! Yes, it’s been a long time without a posting in this space. But not without cause! Here’s what’s going on!

1. I finished my second round of edits on The Wisdomfold Path (The Song of Forgotten Stars, Book II), and I am now having the book proofread. Progress is moving along nicely toward the book’s November 10, 2015 release date. And I cannot wait to see how readers respond to the continuation of the adventures of our Princesses (and their navigator) In SPACE!!!

2. Meanwhile, I am finally working again on a project that has been on the back burner for far too long: my supernatural thriller GhostCop (not the actual title), whose first draft I completed in November 2013, and which I have not touched since. Why did it fall off the radar? Mainly because of ongoing work on the Forgotten Stars series. Lots of 2014 was taken up by prepping Stardancer for release, and then I had to get the first draft of Forgotten Stars III: The Search for Spock (not the actual title) done. This was followed by the edits on Wisdomfold Path, because that series is top priority up until Book III’s November 2016 release date. I simply wasn’t able to find time until now to get back to work on GhostCop. But now I am.

And really, I’m not sure that I regret the long layover here. I am a firm believer in waiting a chunk of time — several months, at the very very least — between passes through a draft of a book. It can be less time than that when you’re proofing and gearing up for publication, but I firmly believe that a first draft should not be even looked at until a hard minimum of three months has passed. Distance helps make the parts of the book that aren’t very good stand out, and the longer it’s been, I find the less prone I am to seeing what I meant in the book and seeing what I actually wrote. In some cases, I can’t even remember what I meant, and when that’s the case, that means it’s time to cut. The result was that the manuscript ended up with a lot of red ink.

I enjoy this part of the process. #editing #amwriting #redpen

That’s not a bad thing! The book will be better for it, actually. I totally believe this. Every time I see a writer friend online saying that they’ve just finished a draft and are going to start editing immediately, I scream, “NOOOOOO!“, and throw myself across the room in slow-motion at them, as if I’m trying to knock the poisoned wine cup from their hands before they sip. (Yes, it’s dramatic. Sue me.) But really, the longer a first draft sits, the better.

As I worked through this one, I found passages I had no memory of writing, and I found other passages that seem to contain possible seeds for sequels. This excites me greatly, as GhostCop is intended to be the first book in a series. Unlike The Song of Forgotten Stars, this series will be intended as open-ended, and I’m hoping to work on a first draft to a second book sometime this coming fall or winter.

(Also, I’m not actually being coy about referring to this book as GhostCop. I literally do not have a title for it yet. I tend to just wait for titles to show up. One always does, so why worry about it? And if you’re wondering, I’m looking at sometime next summer for a release on GhostCop, so there’s that. It’s significantly shorter than the Forgotten Stars books, too, with a more ‘hard-boiled’ prose style.)

3. Finally, I’ll have more details as I get going, but I’m planning on releasing Stardancer on Smashwords sometime in late August, which means that it will be available for more formats. This also means that it will no longer be a Kindle exclusive title, and I will be removing it from Kindle Unlimited on August 15, when its current Kindle Select term ends. If you’re reading it via KU, make sure you finish by that date. (Although I’m actually not sure how that works, come to think of it — do KU books vanish from Kindles when their terms end? Hmmmmm.)

So that’s where we stand currently on things. So much time! So little to do! (Wait…scratch that, reverse it.)

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