It seems like such a long time ago – but only December 2019 – that I announced a National Novel Writing Month “win” with Widows of the Empire, the second book in the Unari Empire Trilogy. Under normal circumstances, that might have meant the book would have been finished and released in 2020.
Yet, if anything, 2020 could hardly be described as “normal.”
For whatever, be it pandemic fatigue/ennui or just the fact that this book has been kind of a bear, the progress on Widows has been slower than I’d hoped. Still, it’s with beta readers and I’m ready to do a final edit when I hear back from them. Until then, I wanted to provide a little proof that this book is a real thing, not just residing in my noggin.
Some people create covers, or have the commissioned, before they even start writing a book. I don’t know how they pulled that off. I suppose it’s easy enough to change things if you have the talent to do your own covers (I really do not), but I can’t imagine at least having a first draft complete and knowing how everything winds up before getting to work on a cover.
So, while Widows of the Empire is not yet in its final final form, I can at least go ahead and share this with you:
Given the title, it’s no surprise to find Lady Belwyn on the cover of this one (Aton, the finder of lost things and other main character for the trilogy, is on the first one).
As usual, this is the work of the fine folks at Deranged Doctor Designs. Coming soon to a shelf near you!
This year I’m again taking part in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. As it happens, this week is when I have to write my first story, so nothing substantive for the blog. If you like, you can check out the two stories I wrote for the competition last year.
Back in a bit!
Hey, gang. Guess what time of year it is?
I mean, yeah, there’s an election that’s probably not going to be over with for a while, but beyond that, it’s November which means . . .
It’s National Novel Writing Month!
That’s when folks, including yours truly, take the month of November to focus on writing the first draft of a novel – well, at least 50,000 words of it. I’ve done this several times and it’s a great way to jump start a new project. So, this year, I’m going to be writing the third book in the Unari Empire trilogy, Heroes of the Empire (yes, yes, I know, Widows of the Empire isn’t out yet – it’s with beta readers, so it is coming), thus bringing the whole thing to a thrilling (?) conclusion.
Which means – it’s blog silence for me for the rest of the month (at the least). Stay safe and I’ll see you on the other side.
Hi, folks! Did you miss me?
As promised, my hiatus was pleasantly productive. I finished up the third draft of Widows of the Empire while I was away. I’m just about to dive into draft four, which will be the final one before it goes off to beta readers and an editor. What that means for you, dear reader, is that I should be able to get Widows out into the world sometime in early 2021!
I’ve already got another great cover from Deranged Doctor Design. Here’s a taste:
More to come, maybe before the year is out!
Holy hell, is it July already? I suppose pandemic time really has done a number on us. Anyway, I’ve been busy on Widows of the Empire, just about to finish the third draft. Just one more and . . . well, y’all get to read it. So, I’m giving myself a bit of a break and stepping away from the blog for the rest of the month. I’ll see you in August.
Until then, I’ll leave these two in charge.
Zaria already looks very skeptical, doesn’t she?
Next month, Marshall University in Huntington is hosting its (second?) annual pop culture convention, HerdCon! On March 14 the Marshall Student Center will be taken over with all kinds of vendors, presenters, and other folks.
And, yes, I’ll be one of the vendors! I’ll be there with books, of course, but there’s also folks there with art, collectibles, and other neat stuff. In addition, there’s a day full of panels on a variety of pop culture topics, one of which is being done by my writer niece and her professor boyfriend (and two other people I don’t know) on “Loss of Body, Mind, and Spirit: Cultural, Familial, and Political Trauma in Japanese Manga and Anime.” I have no idea what that really means, but I suspect I’ll find out!
Come by and check it all out.
Hey, everybody. How was November? Everybody awakened from their turkey coma?
As I said earlier, I spent last month taking part in National Novel Writing Month, working on the sequel to my first novel, Moore Hollow. I’m pleased to say it was a very productive month:
Of course, in this case “winner” means “reach the 50,000-word threshold,” not have a complete manuscript in a month. Still, I made a very good start and should finish up this first draft in the next few weeks. More importantly, this book now has a title! The second installment of what I’m going to call the Appalachian Paranormal series is The Triplets of Tennerton. I’m super excited to share it with you (in a while).
All in all, 2019 will have been a pretty productive writing year for me. I finished and published Gods of the Empire, first of my new Unari Empire trilogy. I also wrote a first draft of its sequel, Widows of the Empire. Now I’m about to wrap up a first draft of The Triplets of Tennerton. Not too shabby.
What of next year? My main focus will be on finishing Widows and writing the final book in that trilogy, Heroes of the Empire. Will Widows see the light of day in 2020? Too early to say, but it’s definitely a possibility. All I know is that I’m going to keep grinding at this thing called writing.
It’s November, which means it’s time for National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo!
I sat out NaNo last year while I worked on revising Gods of the Empire. The year before that although I “won” in the sense that I made the 50,000-word goal for the month, the book I was working on ultimately cratered (I still like the idea and plan to return to it in a different setting).
So I kind of feel like I have unfinished business this year. To help me get back in the swing of things, I’m returning to an old haunt, so to speak:
Moore Hollow is my first novel and ever since it’s been loosed upon the world I’ve had people asking about a sequel. I never intended it to have one, to be honest. I thought I’d told the entire story. However, I’ve come to realize that I like Ben Potter, the book’s main character, and the idea of this Englishman with West Virginia ties coming back to the state. So I’m writing a sequel which will, if successful, turn this into an ongoing series (tentatively) called Paranormal Appalachia.
As you can tell from that title, Ben will get involved with various weird things happening in West Virginia (mostly – he’ll travel a bit). He’s going to hook up some with the main character from my first NaNo book, which now lives in the back of my closet. That guy’s a lawyer who specializes in handling “odd” cases and is developing kind of a reputation.
I’m excited to see where this all leads. I’ve got several stories in mind for Ben and I’m hoping they flesh out into full-fledged, engaging novels. I guess we’ll find out!
See you in December!
Now that Gods of the Empire has been loosed upon the world, it’s time for me to loose myself (that sounded better in my head). Over the next month or so I’ll have a pair of local appearances where you can stop by, say “hi,” and get a signed paperback copy of Gods of the Empire.
First up is the annual the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston on Friday October 4 and Saturday October 5.
I’ll be in the marketplace both days along with lots of other terrific authors with books catering to just about every kind of reader. In addition there are workshops and talks by other authors, including this year’s big name, James Patterson.
Then the next month I’ll be in South Charleston for the Mountain State Pop Expo on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10.
I was last there a couple of years ago and it’s certain to be filled with lots of interesting stuff and people, with lots of different activities throughout both days.
See you there!
Today’s the day! My latest novel, Gods of the Empire, first book of the Unari Empire Trilogy, is now available!
For the next few days it will be available for just 99 cents at these fine purveyors of eBooks:
It’s also available in paperback. In addition, I’ll have a couple of upcoming appearances where you can get a copy directly from me (signed, if you wish). Details tomorrow.