In the works for 2012 and 2013
Posted on October 13, 2012 (Subscribe to Blog)
I just spent a week in Florida, with four days at Daytona Beach, and I think the coastal wind blew away the cobwebs and revived my inspiration. Or it might have been author Brian Clopper's staggering enthusiasm that did it. More on him in a minute!
Want to win a book?
I need to step up my writing pace. Island of Fog Book 6 is underway (I'm a fifth of the way through the first draft) and I aim to complete that first draft by Christmas, take a short break, then start editing in the New Year. Expected release date for Book 6 is April 24th, 2013. Why April 24th specifically? This is where you get a chance to win a book. The first reader to post the answer below will win a printed or electronic copy of any title in the Fog series.
Other books in the works
I've mentioned Quincy's Curse in the past, a middle-grade fantasy about a boy cursed with terrible luck. This novel is complete but needs another edit, and I plan to get to that within the next few months. It'll be my first published non-Fog book.
I had another book in the works, Caleb's World (formerly The Impossible World) but have decided to drop it for now. It's just not "there" yet. A writer needs to accept that not all novels work out the way he hopes, and this is one of those that starts off great and has some really nice ideas but ultimately lacks something. I'll look at it again one day.
Throughout 2013 I'll be releasing a few short novels under the banner "Unearthly Tales." These will be around 40,000 words, less than half the length of the Fog books. Actually, 40,000 words is considered fairly average for a middle-grade (9-12) audience; my Fog books are really way too long! Anyway, these standalone tales will be a mixture of fantasy, science fiction, and creepy-weird.
I also have a zombie novel I'd like to try. I think the idea is fairly unique, and for that reason I'm not giving it away here!
Then of course there's the Island of Fog prequel. This features 14-year-old Chase who, during the summer holidays, has to help out at a small private school located on thousands of acres of property that his father owns. But he's not bored for long when he finds out what's going on with these 8-year-old children. A young Simone, Charlie, Orson, Riley, and others start to transform one by one. Chase will also make an appearance in Fog Book 6, so you'll get to meet him soon.
Last but not least, I have a complete short novel called Flying Saucer in the Woods in which Russ sees a weird light in the sky and follows it into the woods where he finds, not surprisingly, a flying saucer. He and a friend end up "borrowing" the alien craft. This novel is just 30,000 words and is the first in an open-ended series of adventures involving these two boys and their stolen saucer. It's based on an idea that a friend and I used to write and draw comic strips around, and is probably what many nerdy young lads dream of – owning a spaceship! This is a series I'd like to launch soon, but as usual I have a bit of editing to do first.
More writing inspiration
Now take a stroll over to Brian Clopper's blog. There you'll discover an author who has so much enthusiasm and inspiration that he can barely contain himself. He's reviving stories he wrote nearly ten years ago as well as writing brand new ones, and the result is a deluge of excellent novels that are worth a try if you like highly imaginative fantasy and science fiction. And note the mention of a "secret collaboration project with another stellar author." [smiles knowingly]
Truthfully, I think the two of us feed off each other's ideas and enthusiasm. Writing can be a lonely business – which is great when you're actually writing because the last thing you want is to be interrupted! But it's nice to talk to other authors and bounce ideas off one another, and also to beta-read and edit each other's work. There's no competition; we're not fighting to churn out the most amount of books in a short time. Still, it's hard not to be inspired when you see all these new books being released. It makes me want to buckle down and finish things that I started years ago, and write the various ideas that have been knocking around in my head.
I wonder if can manage ten new books by this time next year?
Well, if anyone could manage to crank out that many books it'd be you (and Brian, judging by the list on his site). I've always been impressed by your output, not only because of the works/time ratio but also because you manage to maintain the highest level of quality. I've got my copy of "Roads" and am very much looking forward to reading it.
2013-04-24 will be the four-year anniversary of when Island of Fog first went on sale. Time flies!
I try, Roger, I try. :-)
Ralph, you got the right answer! Island of Fog was indeed published on April 24th, 2009. I thought it would be fitting in some anal-retentive way to have Book 6 launched on the same date exactly four years later. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know which book you'd like, in which format, and where you'd like it sent (mailing address or email address).