Switching Gears

I’ve been writing Across the Blue Line for a few months now and although progress is being made, it’s been slow. The outline of the story I want to tell is firm and I love it, but the actual writing feels like I’m not fully taking advantage of what should be an awesome tale. There are some very strong parts to the book to be sure but there are also areas that need to be punched up.

I get this feeling at some point with nearly every novel I write but I’m encountering more uncertainty with this one for some reason. I’m worried that I’m not giving enough of the spotlight to some main characters while attempting to develop others. The Chetellx, for instance, are not coming together the way I had envisioned. I want them to be in the story but there just doesn’t seem to be room with a cast that’s already quite large. Aoife Covington (a personal favorite) feels like she’s been pushed aside and I refuse to let that happen.

All of these feelings combine to form a dread that I am leaving something on the table. There is quite a bit of tension in this novel and I’m worried that I’m not bringing it out like I should be.

The only book release schedule I follow is the one I announce on this blog. Although I do feel a strong commitment to my readers when I set a date, I also realize the deadline is ultimately my own.  I know the book should be absolutely fantastic if I can just get the words out, but it’s time to pivot.

I am taking a step back and tabling Across the Blue Line. I feel like I’m pushing it too hard and I don’t want to see the story suffer because of that. For the next couple weeks, I am going to start a different story set in the same TCOTU galaxy but with a different cast of characters. Where Across the Blue Line is such an incredibly “high-stakes” novel, this new story will be much more humble.  Eventually my readers get both.

In a couple of weeks, I will reassess and decide which novel will be the better product for 2017. My main goal is to tell a great story every time, not to push out a series that I struggle to write and people struggle to read. Where’s the fun in that?

For fans excited about Across the Blue Line, please trust me when I say that you’ll be reading it either this year or next. The finale of The Parasite Initiative series (that is, the third book) will follow the year after Across the Blue Line is released. Please also believe me that when you read it, you’ll know that I’ve given it my best effort and didn’t compromise the quality of the story because of a deadline.

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2017 Schedule

Welcome to 2017, everyone. After taking a nice break with my wife, I’m back to the grindstone and working hard on Across the Blue Line. I’m only about 20% complete but hope to finish the rough draft by late Spring, setting me up for a late Summer/early Fall release (as usual).

As much as I would like to write a second novel this year, either a sequel to Scorched or something different, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to fit it in. Certainly Across the Blue Line is my priority. However, writing Scorched was a nice breath of fresh air and I enjoyed Kat and Sadler’s exploits. Scorched happened more or less “by accident” so we’ll see what happens during the dog days of Summer while I am waiting on my beta readers to go over ATBL.

I will try to write more consistently on the blog now that the holidays are over. I’ll tease some of the major characters in the new book and the interactions between them. Plus, I’ll discuss some absolutely new characters that enter the stage that have been a long time coming. It’s funny how many seeds I planted in my very first book, This Corner of the Universe, not knowing if they would ever come to fruition. It’s very satisfying when one does. A good example is a one sentence acknowledgement of corporate systems in TCOTU that established their existence. They certainly became major players later in the series.

For now, I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. Here’s to all of us having a great 2017!

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Across The Blue Line – Outlined

It took quite some time but the outline for Across the Blue Line is complete. I’m having a planning session today or tomorrow with a beta reader or two to get some first impressions but I suspect I’ll start actually putting words on paper (figuratively) next week. I’d actually written the prologue last summer but it will need some rewriting given the changes in my outline.

I don’t think this book will be the mammoth tome that Hero of the Republic was, but it will be longer than the novels of the first series. I’m shooting for 120-130k words (Hero topped 160k). The Parasite Initiative series is a trilogy, so the new book has to be compact but still give full due to all of the characters in the story. It’ll take me months to write this and I’m hoping to hand it off to my beta readers in the early summer next year (as I did with Hero this year).

I’m setting a VERY tentative publish date of Sept/Oct 2017 for Across the Blue Line. It will be available for pre-order ahead of release, as that process seemed to work well with Scorched.

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