Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mary of Cosmos

Well, I've finished all the revisions of Children of the Mechanism, and I've sent the manuscript off to publishers. I've decided to attempt a traditional publisher this time rather than self-publishing. We'll see what sort of response I get. It is a rather strange book, but I like how it turned out.

In the meantime, I've gone back to work on the final volume of the Mary Lanham saga. Mary of Cosmos will wrap up the whole story in epic, world-shattering fashion. And, oh, people, the first chapter is a doozy. Of course, I daren't say anything about it at this point, but just you wait and see. It's a chapter that was a lot of fun to write. I'll leave it at that.

The story is already worked out in my head, so the book shouldn't take too long to write. The sooner I get it to the publisher, the sooner it comes out. Typically, it is exactly one year from the contract date to the publication date. So what we're looking at now is Mary of Shadows in August of this year, Mary of Starlight in April of 2014 and the concluding volume, Mary of Cosmos, sometime probably in the early Fall of 2014. Then Mary's story will be fully told.

In other news, Mary of the Aether has been included on the booklist for a regional workshop called "So Many Books, So Little Time." You can see the full list here. Basically, these are books that are being recommended to thousands of teachers this summer, so Mary of the Aether should be getting a good amount of publicity in time for the sequel. We'll see how it goes.

As a final bit of news, I have an idea for another YA urban fantasy series I want to write next. It will be set in a trailer park in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Now, what could be more compelling than that? Anywho, sarcasm aside, it will be based on characters and ideas that I invented when I was a wee lad. Much like Cakey, these are characters who have lived in my brain a long time. It will be nice to get them down on paper and let other people get to know them. The first volume, The Figment Tree, will be the next thing I write.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lots O' Mary

Well, the first draft of Children of the Mechanism is complete. It's got some revision left to be done, and after that I have to decide what I'm going to do with it. I don't know if I want to self-publish this particular novel, or if I want to go the traditional publisher route. Decisions, decisions.

In the meantime, however, that book is on hold, because I just received the edits for Mary of Shadows, and I need to get all of that done as soon as possible, so I can get it back to my publisher. There don't seem to be many big problem to fix, just a few little grammatical things here and there. I always scan through the first time, looking for all the red text from the editor, and there's not too much. Anyway, the book seems on track to come out in early August, so be looking for it.

Wandering off into the ominous forest, Mary? Whatever for?

There is potentially some really big news on the horizon about Mary of the Aether, but I'm not sure I can share it just yet. Suffice it to say, if things work out, it's going to be getting a whole lot of publicity over the course of the summer *fingers crossed*. That would be perfect timing for the release of the sequel, so we'll see how things play out. Hopefully, I'll have some more concrete information to give in the next few weeks.

All of this makes me want to get to work on the fourth and final book of the series (currently called Mary of Cosmos). I've only written about half of the first chapter, and it starts off with a pretty big event. Just you wait and see, people. Just you wait and see.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mary of Shadows

Well, we're finally in the editing phase of Mary of Shadows. The cover art turned out better than I expected. I mean, I knew it would be good. Gemini Judson did such a good job on Mary of the Aether. But it really looks fantastic. I wanted an ominous view of the forest with Mary wandering off into the shadows, and that's what I got. Check it out:

Click the picture to go read the back cover blurb.

Anywho, in other news, I am working on the rewrite for Children of the Mechanism. It's such a bleak, strange book, I hope people like it. If readers will trudge through the bleakness, they will find their way to hope and beauty. That's all I can say. Of course, that's true of a number of my novels.

Shadows of Tockland got a glowing review on a website called The Brass Rag. Here's the link if you want to read it. I like that she referred to Cakey as "a demented poet."

I am the Fantasy Writer of the Day on the /Fantasy subreddit of Reddit tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that. It'll be right here when it appears.  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Mechanism is Complete

Okay, I finally finished the first draft of Children of the Mechanism. It wound up being a little longer than I thought it would be (by about 10,000 words). Some quick stats, in case you happen to care. The novel is 102,980 words (roughly the same length as Mary of the Aether), comprised of ten parts (each of which has three chapters). The titles of the parts are as follows:

1 – Stick Boys
2 – Bugs on the Mechanism
3 – The Master’s Shadow
4 – Feeding the Grong
5 – Mice in the Corridors
6 – Breakers on the Move
7 – Strange Doors
8 – Monsters with Fat Stomachs
9- The Bottom of the World

10 – A New Light

There you go. More importantly, what is it about? It's about slaves living and working in the bowels of a massive and mysterious factory, watched over my cruel robots. We are introduced to four different slaves whose destinies will slowly converge as strange things begin to happen in the factory.

This is a story and these are characters who have been with me a long time. Remember, the original short story, "Stick Boys," goes all the way back to 1994. It's a world I have wanted to fully explore for a long time, and I hope it works. Time will tell, as the long process of rewriting begins.

Just you wait for parts four, eight and nine. Oh my goodness. If you thought Shadows of Tockland was too mild, you'll really like this one. It has no clowns, of course, but it does have the Grong. Oh, that Grong. He doesn't do much, but he's a lovely little thing. Just you wait and see.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Images and Mechanisms

Well, progress has slowed somewhat with my latest novel, Children of the Mechanism, in the last couple of weeks as I was in the middle of relocating to a new city and involved in job hunting and such. However, I am but three chapters from the end now. I just wrote what has to be one of the most personally troubling scenes I've ever written. It was a scene drawn very much from nightmare images in my own head, and I hope it is as effective for readers as it is for me. Whenever you get the chance to read the book, and you come to "Part Nine: The Bottom of the World," you'll know what scene I'm talking about.

Bear in the mind, though this book is filled with some troubling images, it is meant to be a hopeful story. I am no fatalist. If I had to summarize the theme of the novel, I would say it is about transcending the world we are born into. And when you read it, perhaps you'll understand what I mean by that.

In other news, Shadows of Tockland, my post-apocalyptic adventure (which is also about transcending the world we are born into), was featured on the Kindle Boards Book Discovery Day for May 31, so do me a gentle favor and go check that out right here.