So, FM5 is out, everyone at the very least enjoyed it, if not was ecstatic about it, and now we move into the Next Novel phase of the writer-fan-please-stop-threatening-me relationship. Only, that novel isn't going to be FM6. At least not right away.
For three reasons.
REASON ONE FOR YOUR PAIN
As the most self-published of Indie authors on the planet, I'm the only guy who really works on this stuff and I've been letting the writing part of that job push everything else to the side. It's paid off. My sales doubled last year. They look like they might double this year too, or at least come close. But, there have been problems and "chores" if you will that I've kept pushing off to the side.
"New material, new material, forget about everything else" has created a backlog of writer garbage if you will, that fans really don't think about much. I've got my own files for all the information in the series and they haven't been updated since FM2. So I need to take the time to work my way through FM3-FM5 and update them. This way I can look at the information files, instead of trying to skim through every book trying to remember what the damn name of the European mancer school is or if Catherine Hayes had blue or green eyes or just millions of little continuity questions that pop up as you're writing.
It has also meant that everything I've written is still only digital because I've never taken the time to go through the Createspace process of making Print-on-Demand versions of the KHT. So that's also on the list.
Third, I've been asked quite a few times to take all the King Henry Shorts and combine them together in a single anthology. Especially now with "Meet the Bonnies" I have about 60k words in shorts and feel now is a good time to do so. So formatting and editing KING HENRY SHORT PACK ONE and making some kind of cover of course is on the radar as well, probably August/September.
Chores: Update Concordance Info, Format and Edit Short Pack One, and at least start the process of getting print-on-demand versions of the books done.
REASON TWO FOR YOUR PAIN
I'm fucking exhausted after FM5.
I always knew it was a bridge novel to get us to FM6, always knew it was the novel to move King Henry from college kid to actual adult, but I didn't expect it would take so much out of me or that it would be such a large book. FM6 I know is going to be insane, knew from when I started the series was going to be insane, but if any novel in the series was going to be accused of being "filler" (aka: character stuff and not explosions) it would be FM5. For some reason, in my head I connected "bridge" with "short" and...nope, not at all. Was SO MUCH to get done and set up and resolve.
So the King Henry Price part of my brain is just wasted at the moment. So wasted I had to take a break to write "Meet the Bonnies" WHILE WRITING FM5 or instead of finishing when I did I would currently be running naked through the streets screaming about shapeshifters. So wasted that the King Henry Price part of my brain needs even more of a break.
Which is why the plan isn't to start in with FM6 right away, but to pick up on my other projects. GUSH which I've already talked about, another shortish Fantasy/Spec-Fic novel called WHERE DO DREAMERS GO TO DIE? which is also set in the "Prisoners Cycle" overworld but just like GUSH and SKY-ISLAND will be stand-alone, and KING HENRY SHORT PACK TWO. No more shorts by themselves. Not sure how many short packs I'll be doing, but I'm going to do this one for sure.
It's kind of FM5.5 and all three novellas in it will be taking place on the same day, two weeks after events in FM5. One will be a T-Bone story called "Driving Miss Vicky" (that's racist!) about T-Bone and Vicky visiting the Coyote Compound. "Shadow Running" will involve Evelyn Strange and the Lady performing some high level stuff to bring Eva out of the coma, complete with flashbacks to the night in question. Last, a novella I'm currently calling "No Man's Land" from King Henry's third person view like "Griefing" was, it will be about him visiting the Asylum and particularly with Plutarch, but maybe with some other people too.
I don't have A PLAN for which of these three books I'm putting priority on, probably GUSH if I was forced to pick one. But mostly picking one would defeat the "take a working break" thing I'm trying to do here. In fact, outside of SHORT PACK TWO coming out sometime before FM6, I have no expectations on any of these novels. It's not a "write these three THEN get to FM6" scenario, so don't freak out that you're three or four or so years from FM6. It's a "take four or five months to work on this stuff and recharge" scenario.
Because I'm going to need to be recharged. FM6. Man. Need to be 110% percent for that one. Probably start writing it in November or December. Looking to get it out to your guys late 2016, very early 2017 (it's called the Long Wait, not the Non-Existent Wait!)
REASON THREE FOR YOUR PAIN
Jury Duty in July. Booo!
I hope you're all understanding on why I need to clear out the chores and also need recharged after three years of constant writing and ya know...blame the judicial system too. Maybe I'll get a case about a guy having sex with a barnyard animal? Here's hoping!
Trust me, the Long Wait for FM6 will be worth...the wait.
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) = 20k out of 35k estimate (57%)
Side Focus #2: The Glassbreaker Goes Home (Post FM6 Novella) = 21k out of 40k estimate (52%)
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