Vee Hertz is a new kid in a new school where nobody knows him and no one seems to share his love (okay–obsession) of film noir. But then a cheerleader walks into his noir club, and she’s got a case for him to crack. Nothing is as it seems in this YA fantasy noir.


Currently on the desk of various editors. Cross your fingers, folks.

Behind the Scenes

Check out my blog posts for some nuts and bolts action of what’s gone into Tarnhelm.

Path from Idea to Publication

This is a chart I’ve been making for all of my latest books, keeping track of how fast I’m writing the book, when I revise it, how long I set it aside before reworking it–that sort of thing. If you’re interested in the nitty gritty of how I personally write books and the path they take to get published, here’s some in-depth data for you to digest.
[chartboot version= ‘2.3’ code= ‘CF33’ border= ‘1’ width= ‘850’ height= ‘325’ attribution= ‘0’ jsondesc= ‘{“containerId”:”visualizationCF33″,”dataTable”:{“cols”:^{“id”:””,”label”:”Dates ”,”pattern”:””,”type”:”date”},{“id”:””,”label”:”Words”,”pattern”:””,”type”:”number”},{“id”:””,”label”:”Annotation”,”pattern”:””,”type”:”string”}|,”rows”:^{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2010, 7, 9)”,”f”:null},{“v”:0,”f”:null},{“v”:”Plotting begins. Ixxx02xxxd had the idea to make a noir book set in a high school or middle school for quite some time. Finally decided to get to it.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2010, 8, 7)”,”f”:null},{“v”:3791,”f”:null},{“v”:”After briefly flirting with writing the book in third person, I settled into first person and stuck there.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2010, 11, 28)”,”f”:null},{“v”:10359,”f”:null},{“v”:”Two revisions for VODNIK popped up out of the blue, and I got a book deal and an agent. TARNHELM had to wait patiently for that dust to settle before I could resume work on it.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 0, 18)”,”f”:null},{“v”:26842,”f”:null},{“v”:”Progress picked up, though I kept expecting more revisions on VODNIK to appear any moment.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 1, 5)”,”f”:null},{“v”:35291,”f”:null},{“v”:”Those VODNIK revisions rolled in, so I had to set this book aside again. Sent it to my agents to get a feel for whether it was worth pursuing”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 3, 28)”,”f”:null},{“v”:38620,”f”:null},{“v”:”I made my way through the VODNIK revisions, replotted the second half of TARNHELM, and resumed writing.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 4, 10)”,”f”:null},{“v”:44278,”f”:null},{“v”:””,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 4, 11)”,”f”:null},{“v”:0,”f”:null},{“v”:”Joshua (my agent) got in touch with me about his thoughts on the first half of TARNHELM. He had some serious, valid concerns about the book, and asked that I try redrafting what Ixxx02xxxd written to see if they could be solved. Much soul-searching ensued.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 5, 10)”,”f”:null},{“v”:18233,”f”:null},{“v”:”Retooled the book from the beginning, dialing down the noir a fair bit and changing several characters and scenes around. Sent it off to Joshua for a thumbs up/thumbs down vote.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 5, 29)”,”f”:null},{“v”:32941,”f”:null},{“v”:”Heard back from Joshua with a green light. Ixxx02xxxd kept revising in the meantime, being the optimistic person I am.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 6, 29)”,”f”:null},{“v”:50193,”f”:null},{“v”:”A trip to Europe and more VODNIK revisions, but I still made some progress.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 7, 6)”,”f”:null},{“v”:69275,”f”:null},{“v”:”First (well first-and-a-half) draft of the book is complete. The last bit of the book just flowed great. Wonderful writing experience.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 8, 26)”,”f”:null},{“v”:69275,”f”:null},{“v”:””,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 8, 27)”,”f”:null},{“v”:0,”f”:null},{“v”:”Started the second draft. Some big changes to make (still working on getting the noir balance right, and the ending is just plain off).”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 9, 25)”,”f”:null},{“v”:45832,”f”:null},{“v”:”Plugging along steadily. Just nose to the grindstone stuff.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 10, 30)”,”f”:null},{“v”:77179,”f”:null},{“v”:”Second draft is complete.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 11, 20)”,”f”:null},{“v”:77179,”f”:null},{“v”:””,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2011, 11, 21)”,”f”:null},{“v”:0,”f”:null},{“v”:”Heard back from Joshua again. Still some issues with the book, though he was very pleased with the changes. Probably about 80% of the way there.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2012, 1, 10)”,”f”:null},{“v”:79307,”f”:null},{“v”:”And itxxx02xxxs done. Cut out a bunch, added more. Pretty smooth revision.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2012, 1, 27)”,”f”:null},{“v”:79307,”f”:null},{“v”:””,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2012, 1, 28)”,”f”:null},{“v”:0,”f”:null},{“v”:”Joshua still had some issues. Ixxx02xxxd beefed up the end, but now it was so awesome, the beginning needed to be stronger. Good problem to have.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2012, 2, 17)”,”f”:null},{“v”:82622,”f”:null},{“v”:”Fourth draft done. And Joshua says it really sings. There is much rejoicing!”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2012, 5, 17)”,”f”:null},{“v”:82622,”f”:null},{“v”:”After tooling the pitch letter and making plans for a sequel, TARNHELM goes to editors.”,”f”:null}|},{“c”:^{“v”:”Date(2013, 5, 13)”,”f”:null},{“v”:82622,”f”:null},{“v”:”And now it goes to more editors, although wexxx02xxxd only heard back from about 5 of the original batch of 15-20. The wheels of publishing move at a glacial pace.”,”f”:null}|}|,”p”:null},”options”:{“legend”:”right”,”wmode”:”opaque”,”booleanRole”:”certainty”,”displayAnnotations”:true,”vAxes”:^{“viewWindow”:{“max”:null,”min”:null},”minValue”:null,”maxValue”:null,”useFormatFromData”:true},{“viewWindow”:{“max”:null,”min”:null},”minValue”:null,”maxValue”:null,”useFormatFromData”:true}|,”hAxis”:{“viewWindow”:{“max”:null,”min”:null},”minValue”:null,”maxValue”:null,”useFormatFromData”:true},”fill”:25,”thickness”:”2″},”state”:{},”isDefaultVisualization”:true,”chartType”:”AnnotatedTimeLine”}’ ]