Writing Update: May 2019

It’s been a while since I updated you all on where I am with my writing these days. Maybe I should do that more often, judging by how often I’m asked in person if I’m still writing. (The answer is always the same: I am always writing.)

Right now I’m 68,000 words into my eighteenth novel (codenamed SILVERADO for now, as I continue to search for a good title). Ultimately I’d guess it’ll be around 85,000 words for this draft, so that means I have a month or so worth of writing to go before it’s finished, but I’m well past the tricky parts now, so there’s no question of whether or not I’ll finish it. (I have started and not finished 7 novels for a variety of reasons. Typically it’s that I run out of enthusiasm for the book before I’m a third of the way into it. If I can’t maintain excitement for a project through the early stages, it’s pretty much doomed.) SILVERADO is a steampunk western with a splash of horror. There’s some cool world building I’ve done in it, but I know I’m going to have to go back and revise it to bring all that world building to the surface. That’s okay. I’m getting the structure in place now, and I’ll enhance it in later drafts.

MURDER CASTLE (my YA historical mystery) is out with editors right now. It would be lovely if I had great news to share about it, but I don’t. Yet.

DIE HARD ON THE POLAR EXPRESS (my fluke picture book) came oh-so-close to getting published, but fell just short of the finish line. I’m a little hopeful we give it another shot in October or November before I totally close the door on it, but it’s still long odds.

MAGIC AT 30,000 FEET (my YA action fantasy) is almost going out to editors for a long-awaited second round. The first time we sent it out, we had a lot of near misses, many of them noting a conflict in it where it felt Middle Grade at times and Young Adult at others. It took me way too long to figure out a fix for this, but with some steady nudging from my agent, I finally got there. He’s given the revision the green light, and we’ll see if the switches do the trick.

MEMORY THIEF PART 2 is still with my publisher. Still waiting for movement on the film adaptation of MEMORY THIEF. It’s pretty much finished and ready whenever that happens, but it’s out of my hands for now, as frustrating as that is to admit. I continue to hope, but it was supposed to be published in August 2018, which clearly didn’t happen. I have no new news to share, other than to say it’s all still in development.

UTOPIA is mostly finished. Still waiting to hear back from my agent on final edits before we send it out, but I’m not in a huge rush, since I’ve got other things that are going out already. I’m hoping this one goes out over the summer sometime. YA dystopian with one of the strangest, strongest voices I’ve written.

Other than that, the only other books I’ve finished are ones that are in hibernation mode for now. TARNHELM would likely need a serious revision to ever see the light of day, as it’s got some problematic #metoo elements in it that read very differently eight years after I wrote it. OUR LADY OF QUESTIONABLE MORALS I still feel bad about. I love this book. Maybe I can bring it back at some point for another shot? I’m just not sure what I’d do to it.

Of course, you can read the completed books I already have published: VODNIK, THE MEMORY THIEF, and CAVERN OF BABEL. (You can read CAVERN right now by joining my Patreon for a grand total of $1. You can also check out the full text of my unpublished novel, ICHABOD, and I’m now putting up the entirety of PAWN OF THE DEAD there as well.)

What will I work on next? After UTOPIA is out the door and I’m letting SILVERADO simmer, I’m kicking around the idea for something much more complex. It’s still in the very early stages, but I’d like to try something a bit grander in scale than what I’ve done so far. I’m always trying to keep things fresh, and the idea is really appealing. We’ll see where it leads.

Anyway, thanks for reading and for your support. Here’s hoping there’s some more great news to share at some point later on in 2019.


Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

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