Book 5 Update: July Redux!

I hate having to type that title.  It means it’s been a year since my previous Book 5 July update.  But…that’s just how it is.

Yet again, this is a brief ‘things continue to progress, like snails’ post.  The Book 5 cover has moved forward a smidge, but there’s been another technical snag for the artist, which hopefully will be resolved in August.  Then we can steam forward?!?!

The Book 6 rough draft continues on schedule.  I’ve started Chapter 12 (of still probably 27) and am pleased with how everything is shaking out.

In related (?) news, I did finish a paperdoll I started prooooobably a year ago, of Magus Revek Voorkei, our lovable if tusk-garbled Gejaran spy-slash-ally-slash-scryer’s-first-boyfriend.  Seen below modeling Gejara’s typical ‘we like colors and patterns and we don’t care about your eyes!’ casual garb under a light spring coat.


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Book 5 Update: March

Just a brief update, since I don’t have the news that any of you readers really want to hear.  I’ve finished the final draft of Book 5, The Bloodied Army, and am awaiting further notes and/or tweaks from my editor.  The cover is, unfortunately, still in the wind; my artist has been having a rough time lately.

However, I plan to take ~a week’s break, then edit a short story (unrelated to the series, but which I’ll post here), then start on Book 6.  Hopefully we’ll encounter a block of time in which we can get both the 5 and 6 covers done — since I have the concept for 6 as well.  Doesn’t matter too much to me if the two final books come right on each other’s heels.  I just wish I could get them out to you all ASAP.

See below, my shabby author’s composite concept of the Book 5 cover, which alas is all I can show at the moment.

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Book 5 Update: December

So.  Book 5’s main draft is done.

Looking at my timeline for this book is pretty embarrassing.  According to my notes, I started the rough draft on 11/1/16, finished it on 3/7/18, then immediately started this draft.  Which I have just now finished, nine months later.

So much for speeding up my production cycle!

Some data:

The rough draft clocked in at 439 pages (in my preferred page/font size), which came out to 317k words.  Whereas the main draft, this one, ended up as….338 pages and 246k words.  I fricking gutted this book.

More comparisons:

Book 1’s final final version is 186k words.  B2 is 238k words.  B3 is 336k words, and B4 is 288k.  So if this one stays around this size, I am indeed making a bell-curve of book sizes, which is something I weirdly kind of want?  Remains to be seen if B6 will follow that trend or expand into something very different.

I now have to wait for my beta readers to go over the last bit of b5 I’m shipping them, then go through the final draft (possibly chapter by chapter on googledocs with my alpha) and deal with all the new notes this draft generated, then format everything.  Also, of course, I need a cover.  Cover Artist has been having a rough time recently, so Book 5 might not roll out til mid-late spring at this rate…  But that’s just how it is.  I’m on no timeline but my own — though I do hate to keep people waiting.

Anyway, thanks for your patience.  I’ll try to post more while I have some brain-space available (aka while the betas are doing their thing), but it being holiday time, who knows if I’ll succeed?

Regardless, more…soonish.

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Book 5 Update: July

So.  Hi there.  You might not believe it, but I’m alive.

I am also about as useless as a flattened, desiccated gecko.

It has taken what feels like a majillion years to finish editing the second of the three threads that go into Book 5, but finally, that is done.  Starting tomorrow, I move onto the main thread.

This is still just the main draft edit — it will have to go through beta readers once I’ve done it all, and then go through me again for the final edit (if not more).  At this point, and with my dried-out-dead-thing pacing, Book 5 will most likely be a 2019 release.

But the work goes on, tortoise-like as it may be.

Until I finish the draft, I’ll probably remain quiet.  Just wanted to say hi!

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Titles, Book 4

Hey look, it’s me again!  What?  I’ve been silent for a month?  Nooo, shhhh, you saw nothing.  (Uh…literally.)

I am just now getting around to some of the standard post-book-release info discussions that I used to do immediately.  Guess I’ve been in a blogging slump.  Book 5 editing continues apace, so consider this a mini-update on that, but as for the Book 4 titles…

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Book 5 Update: March

Just a quick update here, since I’m about to head off to the Day Job:

The Book 5 Rough Draft is now complete!  At 439 pages (in the text file) — comparing it to Book 4’s rough, which was 447 pages, I’m pretty well on target.  I want to shrink it down shorter than Book 4 in the final draft, and I feel there’s plenty of space to trim — but I also have to add a few things, as I feel I’ve given short shrift to some story aspects that should have been more important.  We’ll see.

Anyway, I’ll be taking a long weekend from the book, but then jumping back in to start editing it.

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Book 5 Update: January

(Or: The Tale of My Hellspawn Computer.)

Now that my various computer issues seem to be over (knock on wood), it’s a good time for a project update!

I am currently still working on the rough draft of Book 5, which I started more than a year ago (sheesh) but put off in order to do the big ol’ re-edits of Books 1-3 as well as polishing up and publishing 4. I picked up Book 5 again around when Book 4 went live in November, but started having computer troubles soon after.

Like…right before an already-scheduled free promo. Son of a butt…

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Best Reads 2017

Hey all!  It’s time again for my rundown of my favorite reads of the year.  As always, these aren’t books that were necessarily published within the calendar year; a couple of them are twenty years old or more, and I only wish I’d read them while they were coming out!  I missed some great stuff because of my early blind spots.

This year I found myself reading (and enjoying) a lot of sci-fi, particularly some fascinating series by female SF writers.  I had only ever dabbled in sci-fi before; for most of my life I read pulp fantasy almost exclusively.  I just wasn’t in the mindset for SF, I guess.  But boy, was I missing a lot.  Last year was the year of CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner series (which I infected my co-conspirator Erica Dakin with).  This year, I read:

The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold.

I really wish I’d started reading this back when it was first being written.  I would have learned a lot about writing great female protagonists.  Not that the series follows female protags much, it being mainly about the exploits of Miles Naismith/Vorkosigan, but the highlight of every book she showed up in was Miles’ mother Cordelia.  Just…CORDELIA, you magnificent matriarch.  Everything to do with Cordelia’s story is fabulous, from the very first book (Shards of Honor) where she meets Miles’ eventual father Aral Vorkosigan (who is just my type for a tragic-hero-romance-target, hi Aral!) to her exploits in the most recently published novel.  Oh Cordelia, you’re fantastic.

And I guess you’re pretty good too, Miles, all told.

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Realm Pages

Just a heads-up for anyone interested in more world-building content!

I’ve started making pages for the various realms of the War of Memory world (aka Halci).  Right now I have a master page up that explains the divisions and concepts, and I’ve also done an extensive writeup on the Shadow Realm (though I plan to add more pictures eventually, like a Culture Composite).  I did previously write up the Shadow Lord and the Shadow Folk separately, but it’s been a while, and it’s an important enough place to have a page of its own.

Also, I was bored and made a .gif of the book 1 art being colorized.  Here, have it!

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Print Books and Mailing List

Hey!  Just a quick update!

Book 4 print version is fully available!  It’s a hefty tome, just 40 pages shorter than the colossal Book 3.  Book 5 will be shorter, I swear!  (I can contain myself!  I really can!)

Also, I’ve finally set up a mailing list, which I should have done 2+ years ago.  The link is also up there in the corner, above the column of books.  I’ll probably only use it 2-3 times a year, for book releases or other vital updates — but it’s an important thing to have.

More culture, metaphysics and other content posting should be coming soon.

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