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.
I’m a little excited.
Very happy to announce that my new book, Gods of the Empire, will be available everywhere fine eBooks are sold on October 1!
What’s this one about? Glad you asked:
Aton Askins finds things and people that don’t want to be found, but is barely making a living. Now if he takes a new mission for a mysterious, wealthy patron, to find lost artifacts of the gods who left Oiwa centuries ago, he could make a life for himself and his sick daughter.
Lady Belwyn lost much in the Port Ambs bombing seven years ago – her husband, her right leg, and her confidence. Fitted with a new mechanical leg and taking her first steps back into society, she begins to ask questions about Port Ambs and why the perpetrators have never been caught – questions others don’t want to be answered.
While the Unari Empire begins to pull itself apart, two people will search for their own truths and learn things about their world that will change their lives forever.
For links where you can preorder the eBook edition, click here.
As you can see from the cover (another stunner from the folks at Deranged Doctor Designs), this is the first book in the Unari Empire Trilogy. The first draft of book two is almost done!
If you’re interested in paperback versions, you can get signed copies (at very reasonable prices) at my two upcoming appearances. One is next month at the West Virginia Book Festival, the other is in November at the West Virginia Pop Expo. More details about those in the coming weeks.
I’m breaking cover from working on Widows of the Empire (it’s progressing nicely, thanks for asking), to let you know about an upcoming appearance. Not only will I be selling books, I’ll be speaking words to people!
I’ve been part of the bookstore at the Lewisburg Literary Festival the past few years. This year, I’m really excited to be doing one of the workshops that will be going on during the Festival. A workshop on what, you ask?
I promise this is not just a chance for a lawyer to yell at laypeople about how messed up Law & Order was (although it does come up). It’s one of those “just as easy to get right as wrong” things that I think is helpful for writers to be familiar with. I hope it’s kind of amusing, too.
Like it says, I’ll be speaking on Saturday morning, August 3. I’ll also be in the bookstore the rest of that day and on Friday August 2. There’s lots of other great stuff to check out during the Festival, too (Sarah Vowell! Tobias Wolff!), and it’s all free. Get off your ass and get down there!
It’s been a while since I did a writing update post, so this seemed as good a time as any.
The good/great news – Gods of the Empire, the first book in my new Unari Trilogy is (for all intents and purposes) done! There’s a few little things left to do with the text and Derange Doctor Design is hard at work whipping up a great cover, but I can say with confidence that it will be released this fall. The target is to be ready for the 2019 West Virginia Book Festival.
The bad news, for you blog readers, is that means that I’m now knee deep in Widows of the Empire, the second book in the trilogy. As a result, blogging is going to be light to nonexistent for the next little bit.
Yessir. If all goes well I’ll have a first draft done by the end of the summer.
So, until then (barring something I just can’t hold in), take care of yourselves and have some fun!
Over the weekend I reached a milestone on Gods of the Empire.
That’s right – I finally have a complete, full, and edited draft of this book! It’s now time to print out a hard copy (I do my own editing electronically) and let my beta reader have a crack at it. It felt really good to put the finishing touches on it, since this is the first book in a “new” universe I’ve finished since The Water Road back in October of 2015.
So what’s next for this project? Obviously, my beta reader gets to bleed all over it with that there red pen, so I’ll have to see what’s left after that. Probably another edit from me, then it’s off to figure out how to let loose this book upon the world. I might shop it around a bit or go directly to the DIY route like I’ve done in the past.
As for me? I’m taking the week off from worrying about words and world building and all that jazz.
After that, I’m not quite sure. I don’t want to dive right into the next book in this trilogy, Widows of the Empire, but I may plot it out and leave the actual writing for later this year. I’ve also got some stand-alone novel ideas I might work up, as well as the sequel to Moore Hollow. Finally, I’ve got some short story ideas kicking around that I might focus on.
Regardless, Gods of the Empire is well on its way to being finished!