May 10th we released FM3 to the world (or at least the internet, which is frankly better than the world) and it has so far received universal praise as being the best in the series . Which means...I'm doing something right. But I need to keep doing it right, so here's where we're at and where we're going.
When is the next King Henry book, FM4, coming out?
Not this year! I know you fans want it yesterday, but I have to write it first and writing King Henry actually takes a good amount of time. Some of this is from me having to "wear" the character while I write--this is a ton more difficult than just writing something in 3rd Person POV, especially with a character as complex and difficult as King Henry.
The rest of it is that as an Indie writer without the whole team behind me, I have two modes. I have Writing Mode and I have Editing Mode. One is hopeful and creative, one is extremely cynical and so so happy to tear down dreams. When I go into Editing Mode to get a book out to you fans the instant after the first draft is done (relatively speaking), it really hurts my productivity for three to even four months.
So even if I could write FM4 in a flash and have it out to you lot in December, I'm not going to. I want to be in Writer Mode for awhile, disappear into the laboratory, and then I'll come back with a bunch of awesome stuff when it's ALL (or mostly) done.
What's the Awesome Stuff then?
FM4, FM5, and the Steampunk novel I've been calling "Rockets" but which will have another title eventually revealed. The goal, and I might fail but I'm trying not to, is to have all three out next year (2014).
Why do it like this for FM4 and FM5?
FM4 and FM5 were originally the other way around in the series order when I first outlined the whole thing, but early in working on FM3 I switched them when I realized it would make Val and King Henry's relationship be less chaotic if some things happened the other way around. What I haven't decided about the switch yet, is whether the School Timeline should switch with them.
So what I'm thinking about doing is writing the Shop Timeline for FM4 and FM5 and THEN going back and doing the School Timeline for each book once I have a feel for how the stories interconnect.
In case you're wondering, this is why authors don't write complicated multi-timeline stuff and instead just pump out half-naked vampire boytoy and bastard boy with a sword stuff for you. Woe is me!
I'm not sure I care about "Rockets" yet, but you're going to tell me about "Rockets" so just tell me about it.
"Rockets" is about half done now. It's set in a completely new secondary fantasy world I've created. It's a Steampunk variant called Dieselpunk with WW1/WW2 tech levels. There's a magic in the world called The Path. There's automation soldiers called Clockers. There's skyships and landships and interceptors and so many fun toys.
"Rockets" itself is a very small focus action-adventure/war novel but the world will likely be one I return to in the future (5 possible books so far). The world itself is influenced by Star Wars, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica, but of course, Steampunk instead of SciFi, and with my own twists on everything.
I'm really happy with the chapters I have so far and think it's a pretty good roller coaster ride. It will probably be coming out between FM4 and FM5.
Speaking of FM4 and FM5, can a fanatic get a hint?
While I first think of THE KING HENRY TAPES as one big story split up 12 times to make publication easier, the first half of the series does work well as two trilogies. But not in the way you think as one trilogy and then a sequel trilogy but as a trilogy connected to a trilogy of sequels (say that 10 times fast for bonus points, also I haven't had coffee this morning, give me a break). I don't really view FM2 as FM1's sequel. Instead, it works better if you think of FM1, FM2, and FM3 all as the beginning book to their own storyline that just happens to have many of the same characters and the same world. FM4 is FM1's sequel. FM5 is FM2's sequel. And FM6 is FM3's sequel.
This isn't to say they're contained. The stories mix and mash more this time around. And FM7 to FM12 will just be a big jumble of Crazy Awesomeness I promise, or Awesome Crazyness, whatever you prefer.
But yeah, FM4 will bring back the vampires...with a revengence.
I'm going to be writing for the rest of the year, not editing. FM4, FM5, and "Rockets" are all in the pipe and should be good for 2014. I'll try to update you guys at least once more this year on my progress (or lack of it).
Thanks for the Reviews
Also, a special thanks to everyone who has reviewed my books! It really helps out with spreading the word and I thank you for the support and for your time and thoughts. We actually just hit 100 reviews on Amazon spread across all the King Henry books and shorts, believe it or not.
Cool. Cool cool cool.
Main Focus: Gush (Fantasy Action/Adventure) Novel, First Draft = 21k out of 100k estimate (21%)
Side Focus #1: Assault on Dread Fortress Paine (Post FM6 Novella) = 25k out of 40k estimate (62%)
Side Focus #2: The Glassbreaker Goes Home (Post FM6 Novella) = 26k out of 40k estimate (65%)
Back Burner #1: FM7 School Story = 0k out of 80k estimate (0%)
Back Burner #2: Super Secret Awesome Project
Other Stuff I Need to Get To: FM3-FM6 concordance updates