Well, I’ve been hinting at this for a while, but I finally managed to create a story that I thought was suited to the serial style of Royal Road. It’s called Stone-Cold God and a link to it can be found below (first six chapters are already up, with another 5 coming next week).
I know some of you may be wondering, “Why start another story when you haven’t finished the two you’ve got already?” and in answer to that question… never you mind. I’ll find a way to manage all three. Somehow.
Sadly, this isn’t the announcement I wanted to be making. A month or so back when I dropped that teaser image, I was expecting to be providing a pre-order link to Dervish: Third Book of the Ascendant shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, that simply wasn’t meant to be.
At some point while preparing the book, I must have made a mistake. I accidentally used the title of the second book Conduit instead of Dervish. Still not sure how that happened, but when I went to correct it, therein ensued a month-long battle with Amazon. Because apparently changing the title of your book after publication is a big NO-NO. They wanted me to delist it and resubmit as a new book.
Which was a problem, because another rule says that if I canceled a pre-order, they wouldn’t let me do another one for a full year.
And I kind of like doing pre-orders. It lets me provide a set date for the books release, lets me have a bit of stability to the whole process. I went back and forth with support, trying to get one issue resolved, then the next. I tried to explain it wasn’t an actual title change, just a simple mistake. Over and over again, I kept hitting a wall. It was no fun. Then I kept getting conflicting information, with one person telling me I wouldn’t be penalized with no pre-orders for a year, the next saying whoops, that wasn’t actually true.
FWIW, I don’t blame Amazon for any of this trouble. I brought it about myself in the first place by not checking everything over before submitting. And for an organization as massive as Amazon to try and process as many new books as they do on a daily basis, there has to be a certain level of automation, which means that sometimes an author will fall afoul of the system, whether accidental or intentional. That’s just the nature of the beast.
Anyway, to make a long story short, this weekend I decided to throw in the towel. I had been planning to release my book on the 15th of December, but now I’d have to tell readers that it might be out slightly before, slightly after, since there’s a 72-hour window once I hit the publishing button and you never know exactly when your book will appear on the marketplace.
But then, I thought to myself, why should my readers suffer for my own bad mistakes? Why sit on this book that I’ve had done for months now when I could just release it right away? Why not get it out there to the few hands that might be interested?
So that’s what I did. Shortly before publishing this post, I hit the submit button and sent Dervish on its way (triple-checked this time!). You should be seeing it hit the Amazon store sometime in the next few days, and of course I’ll be posting a follow-up link as soon as its out.
But that’s only the first piece of news I have! There is also a new series announcement, one that I am (hopefully, pending approval and any other potential issues) launching on Royal Road in early January. I’ve been wanting to post a story to RR for a while, and I’ve almost got a sufficient number of chapters built up that I feel comfortable now doing so.
The story will be much in the same vein of Fatedancer, but far more stat-focused, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Have no fear, however, it won’t just be a bunch of number crunching, there will also be plenty of story, and cool characters, and an awesome new world I’m looking forward to sharing with all of you. In particular, I wanted to develop an MC that was different from my other works. Someone who doesn’t have Temperance’s maudlin attitude, or Luf’s rigid morality. I think this will be one of my more interesting creations, once it’s all said and done, but if not, I’m sure readers on RR will let me know quick enough.
The story’s name is still pending, but check out the cover image below!
(Before anyone asks, no, that is not AI generated. I actually commissioned this back shortly before AI art became a thing.)
Finally, I know there are at least a couple people waiting to hear about the next Bulletproof Witch book. I am not unaware that this one has been too long in coming. For reasons both related and unrelated to book six I’ve been delaying a long as I can. However! The time for waiting is almost at an end! I have recently begun my re-read of the last five books to refamiliarize myself with the story prior to writing the next one.
Book six, which will be title The Forgotten City, will probably be somewhere around 80k in length (so between the size of book 2 and 3) based on my initial plot outline, so I’m hoping to have it done sometime early in 2023. Obviously, I’ve been getting more and more off in my estimates lately, but I feel reasonably confident I can meet this goal. So, stay tuned, and hopefully I have more information to share soon.
I have learned several important facts about myself this last month. Most of them revolve the fact that I apparently have lost my ability to gauge how many words a particular story idea will take to manifest. This, in turn, leads to several announcements. They are, in no particular order:
Do you recall a month ago when I said that it would take a week to finish Dervish, if I hustled? I did not hustle.
Do you recall me saying that the story would likely be less than 150k words at completion? That also turned out to be a lie. The final draft sits at just over 165k, not counting appendix and other auxiliary items.
Some of this was out of my control, as I once again found myself sick and in bed for the last several weeks, struggling to find the energy to handle my day job and children, let alone write after all my other work is done. This, unfortunately, is a problem that will persist until such time as a medical professional can determine what, if anything, is wrong with me. Given the difficulty in accessing medical services at the moment, I don’t expect this problem to resolve itself any time soon, so future projects may be delayed as a result.
Most importantly of all, however, to the point it bears repeating, DERVISH IS DONE. It’s far longer and more complex than I anticipated, but I absolutely love how this book turned out. It has a little bit of everything: aerial battles, high-speed car chases, giant gladatorial battles, and plus lots of crazy new monsters, puzzles, and magic items.
So that’s where everything stands at the moment. I’m intending to take a few more days of rest before I start in on my read-through of the book, and around the end of July it’ll be handed off to beta readers, with a likely publishing date of sometime in the early fall. Not ideal, but considering I’ve been working on this book since last October, when it was split off from Conduit, I guess I should just be glad that this project will be completed at all.
I’m sure some of you are wondering about the state of Bulletproof Witch, what with so much of my focus on Luf and co. recently. Rest assured, book six is my next project, sort of. I do have something new I’ll be launching on Royal Road in the fall as well, but that is already half done as it is, and I should be able to work on Temperance’s story simultaneously. Ideally I’d like to get the first draft done by the end of 2022, with an early 2023 release. Fingers crossed I can actually hold to that, the way life has been lately.
On a side note, it’s been a while since I posted an update on the SPFBO reading project, but I haven’t forgotten it entirely. I’ve managed three more of the books since May, as noted below.
Dervish is now at 122,481 words. While this definitely isn’t going to be done at 130k, it’s not looking like it’ll be quite 150k, either. Somewhere in-between. Meaning if I really push, I could have this story done in a week. That’s a rather heady feeling. Probably will take a little longer, but I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now. Won’t be much longer until I’m out and on to the next project.
Today there is a book sale going on to benefit the victims of the Uvalde shooting. Every penny earned by the authors participating is going to be contributed, so please consider checking it out, or making a donation directly.
Just another wordcount update today, afraid there’s not much else to report. The weather at my place has been a weird mix of rain-sun-rain all month, emphasis on the rain. Good for getting writing done, bad for my garden.
I haven’t posted an update about my progress through the SPFBO books for a while, which admittedly did get sidelined for a while in favor of reading a bunch of RR stuff. Now that I’ve burned through most of the stories I started on there, I’m back to trying to at least finish the first two years (if not three) by the end of 2022.
In writing news, I’m 101,902 words into Dervish now, with probably another 30k to go to finish (feeling cute, might make it as long as 150k, I dunno). Really feeling good about this book. It probably has more action and adventure in it than the first two combined!