Writing Update

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so allow me to enlighten you all. As most of you know, I’m now up to four projects in various stages of completion that are all post-VODNIK. First is TARNHELM, a YA noir fantasy which has been out on the desks of editors for over 18 months now. We’ve heard back from around 40% of them. You heard that right. 40%. I’ve asked my agents if that’s par for the course–if some editors just never get back to you at all, agented or not. And it sounds like the bitter truth. There are a few editors we’re still holding out for, but at some point this is a book I’ll have to decide to either publish myself or just set it in a drawer for a while. Sad but true.

Next is GET CUPID, a YA heist fantasy which I’ve just started the fourth draft of. I’m in the midst of re-reading the third draft, and it’s an interesting read. My agent didn’t like the second at all, and so I did a huge revision (that he’s still yet to see–I never sent it to him) and set it aside for a long while in order to let myself be able to read it fresh and see what was working and what wasn’t. The good news is that I feel like the characters and conflict and magic system are all working great. The bad news is that the plot is still an absolute mess, even three drafts into it. The book was trying to be too  many things at once. My third draft helped streamline it some and bring it to more of a focus, but that focus (i’m discovering as I re-read it) is still far too blurry. But to return to good news, I have quite a few good ideas about how to change the book and make it work, plot-wise. It’ll be a hefty revision, but I think it’s doable. That’s what’s keeping me busy on a day to day level at the moment.

My other book is THE MEMORY THIEF, a middle-grade contemporary fantasy that I just finished the third draft of. My agent is reading it over now, but it’s looking good so far. I’m fairly confident we’re not too far off from having it on the desks of editors. TARNHELM is a strange book and one that could be hard to find an audience for. (Not too many teens reading noir at the moment, and even fewer clamoring for a hefty dose of fantasy with that noir, ya know?) MEMORY THIEF is much more main-stream and easy to sell (I hope). It also helps that I haven’t read anything really like it, though it fits comfortably in the same genre as other books. But we’ll see what editors think when they get it.

Finally, I’ve started another book that’s still unnamed. I got about 10,000 words of it written before I set it aside for MEMORY THIEF and GET CUPID. It’s nice to know I’ve got a project lined up to return to when I’m done with my revisions, and I actually think the time away from the project will once again help me approach it fresh and see how well it’s working.

I’ve been focused a lot on improving my ability to plot lately. I feel like my prose and voice is solid, but my plots have a tendency to meander around quite a bit. We’ll see how well it works in practice, as I try to wrangle GET CUPID into fighting form.

People always ask me, “Are you working on anything new?” And I’m always surprised they don’t know that I’m *always* working on something new. I just don’t have anything to show for it that you can read in print just yet. It makes me sad, but it is what it is. Hopefully I can buck that trend in the near future.

Anyway. Thanks for reading, and thanks as always for the support you all give me. It’s much appreciated!

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