Status Updates

Status Updates

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?) = 40k out of 50k estimate (80%)

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Update, Plus FM5.5 Q&A Session

Just did my taxes, so I probably need a night or two to recover from the emotional trauma.  That means you get my brief attention as I escape the full on Mad Scientist Mode I've been working under for the last three or four weeks.  No, I don't know how long it lasted.  Mad Scientist Mode gets a little weird after the first week and you start forgetting about what day of the week it is, much less how many weeks have gone by.  It's very foggy.  Foggier than Fresno, especially this year, since we've barely had any.

Needless to say, lots of writing has been done.  It's over 100k and almost 400 pages so far.  I always knew this one would be the BIG ONE, both in size and scope.  Unlike with FM5 which had a lot of emotional baggage to clear up before we could get to the CRAZY, FM6 hits the nitro at page 1 and doesn't stop.  Its twists are taken hard, with metal grinding the wall and wheels spinning for traction.  Just about every question readers could have regarding the world have been at least partially filled in.  Val's in it.  So's Ceinwyn.  And a billion others.  Some new Artificers join the fray and old ones are expanded, including Guild Master Massey.

Yup...and to think I'm not even at the halfway point yet.  King Henry won't enjoy the halfway point...

School Story...I'd say it's the second best school story after the one in FM3.  Someone already kicked the bucket and there will be more to follow.  It won't be surprising to anyone who has paid attention to hints that have been given in the Mainline but it will be memorable.

Usually I downplay this stuff.  Try to not get your hopes up, but...it's a fucking insane book.  The only question is if I can do it all justice.  So far, so good, I think, but you'll be the final arbiter as always.  If you survive reading it, that is; given all the mind explosions you'll be undertaking, some of you might not.  I fully expect some of you to even spike your Kindle into the ground once you finish it.  Not from frustration, but from a giant "hell yeah!"

That.  Fucking.  Good.

How fucking good?

Too early to tease?
Ceinwyn closed her eyes, the first person to recognize the magnitude of what I had done.  In the moment they opened, they had never seemed more all knowing, more ageless, or more omnipotent.  “I greet you, Glassbreaker.”
That.  Fucking.  Good.

And not even halfway done.

But writing fast, so don't worry.  I keep up this pace and an end of the year release is very doable.

Of course we can't forget the latest member of the family, FM5.5.  A runt, but everyone who has read it seems to have enjoyed it.  So I'm glad for that at least.  Admit it:  more happened than you thought was going to, didn't it?  Go ahead and consider this post a Q&A for FM5.5 and for the series as a whole, I might "read and find out" you, but trying doesn't hurt.

I also have a question for you, one I'm as yet undecided on:  would you like more intermediate novels like "King Henry and the Three Little Trips"?

Financially it's in a very odd place.  It sold, it made money, which my short stories never really did, but it also had an impact FAR below the last novel.  As a writer I do like spending time expanding the world away from King Henry, but growing the fanbase really is everything, and FM5.5 only marginally did so.  The real test might be to see how many fans on buying FM6 end up going back and grabbing FM5.5 once they realize they missed out.

Not that I'm thinking of writing ANOTHER intermediate novel between FM5 and FM6, but FM6.5 is possible.  Even telling you the name would be spoiling well beyond the tease above, but "Boomworm" might be in the title.  As well as another T-Bone story and something else from a POV that I think will have you screaming "holy fuckballs!".  Less interconnected than FM5.5, but even more oomph on the Mainline.  We'll see, and please give your opinions, since this will be happening well after FM6 is finished.  Months and months and months away.

FM6 has my almost total devotion at the moment.  Though I did have a short affair with Gush and finish a chapter in that book.  I love that book.  I love Ullie and Merr.  I can't wait for you to meet them.  I'll probably have another occasional affair with it going forward.  Don't think "Sky-Island 1827-E" when you think Gush.  Sky-Island was written as 300 pages of misery.  You were supposed to feel like shit by the time you finished it.  From the ratings it receives, I very much succeeded in my mission!

Gush is totally standalone, totally different world.  It's FUN.  It's an adventure.  It's a fantasy.  It's got a really cool magic system called Reservism, that's kind of something Sanderson-esqe meets the Law of Equivalent Exchange.  It's awesome, trust me!  Yes, I kicked you in the nethers with Sky-Island, but we'll have fun this time, I swear!

Well, I feel better now and pumped up for tackling another chunk of FM6 in the month ahead.  So...please ask away!

March 18th edit:  I'm going back in!  So it might be a week or two before I get back for answers.  Still ask by all means, just need to get back to King Henry and his latest perdiciment...may or may not be a ravaging horde involved!

There will also probably be some binge watching of Daredevil and maybe a trip to see Batman kick Superman's ass.  Other than that, Mad Scientist Mode activiate!

18 comments:

  1. How do you stay fresh? I mean as a rabid fan I enjoy the fast pace of book releases, but I don't want you to poop out on me from exhaustion!

    As far as FM 5.5 went I have mixed feelings. Parts of it were awesome and there was lots of great information in there that helped to flesh out the world and answer some questions, but that said, I would rather have a full book continuing the series.

    I thought Sky-Island was great, it was a tight and well paced story that totally blind sided me with the twists.

    I just read an article that misery uses the same kind of reward circuits in the brain as pleasure. So people should be ecstatically miserable after reading it.

    I always enjoy an update but I do think it is a bit evil of you to get us excited about the book when release is still so far away...

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    1. Well, I did take a 3 month break last year, so I'm pretty fresh. Also, while I'm living the poor ass starving artist life, I'm also doing what I love and that helps motivate you. Especially concerning FM6, these are scenes I've wanted to write since I came up with the series, so they go a bit quicker. I find that it's always the little moments in the story that you can get trapped in, especially naming new characters. There's a scene in FM6, for example, where I introduce 7 new Artificers that took longer to write than anything around it.

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  2. I too prefer full novels, but I understand that taking some time away from the main thrust can be good. And fleshing out the world can be fun! (I love T-Bone stories)

    I confess, I never finished Sky Island - it was just too miserable for my tastes. If you're going to be destroying people and the world, I prefer it to be done with humor, a la Deadpool.

    I know you won't answer this, but since I have finally convinced my brother that Miranda is who KHP marries, I'd like a bit of confirmation...

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    1. There's certainly evidence for your belief in Miranda, assuming the author isn't trying to lead you astray, which of course I would never ever do. I mean, two kids who fight in school ironically ending up together, such a classic writer move, isn't it?

      MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

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  3. I'm still keeping my options open when it comes to KHP's children's mother. I loved FM 5.5--it was long enough to keep me happy. I'm still waiting to hear of Isabel's last week at school, even though she annoys the hell out of me.

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    1. Then you should find FM6's School Story very interesting!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I've read your King Henry Tapes. They're amazing. Your writing is exactly what I need. I have an opportunity available, and I'd like to contact you. I can see from your blog that you're busy, but the conditions for the project are amenable. At least hear me out. Do you have an email, or some other more traditional means of contact? Phone? Anything? Hit me up at Ekhan15.sg@gmail.com. Also, apparently blogger doesn't work with Google plus accounts, so I went ahead and included my facebook so you can see I'm not a total creep. The above deleted message was mine, trying to link my particulars, by the way.

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    1. I try not to plaster my email addy around to keep the spam at somewhat controllable levels, but you should find it on the copyright pages for my books. Fair warning, as you said, I have a very full plate and am not really interested in or able to undertake projects beside my own at the moment.

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  6. You do seem to do a very good job of keeping your particulars locked down tight on the web, which I know can be a full-time job in itself--not related to FM, but will your fans ever see a picture of you to match face to literary genius?

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    1. Probably, it's not like it's top secret. I'm a big, fat, happy German/Irish boy with some serious curling afro on top of my head if I let the hair get long. It's just that I'm also not some gregarious extrovert selfiephile and have never really been interested in what authors look like much, so I've never thrown myself in front of a camera to take one. Also...lazy about the non-writing part of the job. Think we all realize that now. What print on demand copies? Shhhh!

      Plus I do not own a leather jacket, use glasses, or have a ponytail, and I don't think it's allowed for an author to not have at least one of those in their portrait.

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  7. Yeah, I am of the it's Miranda group. But with serious complications. With Miranda and Val so close the fallout is going to be ugly. How could Val not be in the wedding party? Thinking of some of the ways to skirt this has made me even more nervous. The easy one, Val Dying. The total mind fuck one is of course the marriage of Val to Welf. Momma Welf's head would explode especially after Vicki. The overall fallout with the council trying to grasp control of something they lost control of anyways is going to be a mess. So a lot of fun for us!!!!

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    1. Just theoretically, no one read too much into this please!

      Don't think Moira Welf would have any problems with Val marrying Welf. She's first tier ultra, graduated first in her class, from a rich if not mega Welf wealthy family, her sister is also a first tier ultra proving Val's not a one off mancer, and she's lined up to be Head of Recruiting one day. Although Moira probably wouldn't like the fact she couldn't control Val, or the control Val would have over Welf. Again THEORETICALLY.

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  8. +1 for 6.5. I like the alternate POVs and I-am-an-addict when it comes to getting more backstory about everyone else.

    No, it can't be Miranda. Too classic, too on-the-nose.

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    1. Will probably ask you fans again after FM6 about if you want FM6.5, have a feeling a lot more people will be interested once they know the hole that it could fill in the FM6 story.

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  9. I don't see KH ending up with the ginger nemesis, I actually see him with Val's sister. Miranda is far too formulaic and predictable. Separately, I reckon King Henry's older sister has been captured by Obadiah and is being used as a living battery. It'll be interesting to see if I'm right.

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  10. I vote for as many .5 stories as you want to write. I enjoy them immensely, and even if I've never written anything of worth myself, I can completely understand the need to take a bit of a break here and there. It also gives you an opportunity to flesh out a few great ideas or funny moments you have that wouldn't necessary fit into the narrative of the main books without seeming awkward. Also, you had me at "Boomworm!"

    Since we're having Q&A, and it relates to the general future-wife speculation going on, can vampires reproduce in your world? You might have discussed it in the first book but I can't remember, and am too lazy to go look right now. Because while I love Val, and wouldn't be upset in the least if that's who King Henry ends up with, it just feels a little too expected and convenient. From my impression of the female characters, Annie B is the one that "gets" KH best, and even went way above and beyond for him recently, which is totally out of character for her normally. I don't think we've fully seen how much that means to KH yet.

    Not to mention, their names are KING HENRY and ANNE BOLEYN for chrissakes!! Duh!

    Mystery solved, you can all thank me later.

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