Lake of Spirits first draft is FINISHED!

Posted on June 17, 2011 (Subscribe to Blog)

It's been just over a month since I last posted and it feels like a lifetime! But I have an excuse: I was in England for two and a half weeks from May 22nd to June 8th, and had a great time visiting family and friends, and also eating good old British food. Oddly, despite having plenty of spare time on my hands while I was away, I didn't feel inclined to write. Why was that? Because it seems I need to be completely alone (with no distractions whatsoever) and in the knowledge that I have at least two or three hours ahead of me to get anything worthwhile done. I decided to just wait until I got home again, so I didn't write a single word while I was away.

But over the last few days I've blown the dust off and finished the first draft. There are a number of things I want to alter, such as deleting a large section early on that now seems completely irrelevant, plus adding bits and pieces here and there, and of course general editing. All this will take another month, so it'll be mid-July before I'm ready to send it out to proofreaders. Then it'll be a further 3-4 weeks of waiting and probably more editing... so we're looking at around end-August or early-September for a final release. Or maybe earlier if I set my clones to work.

I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides recently and was a little goggle-eyed at the mermaids. They were almost exactly as I imagine mermaids should be, and the miengu in Lake of Spirits are similar (being mermaid-related). But while my own mermaids are nothing more than mischievous, the miengu are sinister and deadly.

It's funny how things work out. I fully intended for Hal and Abigail to get separated at the end of this fourth book (by circumstances beyond their control) to add to the angst in the fifth... but somehow, when I got to the last page, I realized that Abigail was still there by Hal's side. She had sidestepped my plan, the crafty thing! Well, no matter. The fifth book is going to have plenty of angst regardless.

Meanwhile, I had a great message from a reader in Atlanta about Island of Fog. Kara said:

Holy smokes. Thank you so, so, so much. That was just amazing! You do that wonderful, effortless-looking stylistic thing where a person gets so engrossed in the story that it's only on the second read it becomes clear how very good the writing is. And I did finish it, and immediately turned around and started it right over again. Eeeeeeeee, what a wonderful book you've done. Can't wait to go shopping for the rest of them.

Kara has now bought the other two books, and the story should still be fresh in her mind when Lake of Spirits becomes available in a few months from now. And the same can be said of all those who are buying the books on Kindle and Nook these days! I often wish I could obtain details of every reader to see how old they are, whether they're male or female, etc... but alas, unless books are bought directly from me, book sales are very much anonymous, just a bunch of numbers.

Anyway, stay tuned for updates. :-)

Comment by STEVEN M on Saturday, June 18, 2011...

What have your sales actually been like? From your blog posts, your readership appears to be steadily increasing, which is all the most interesting because of the nature of self-publishing and self-promotion etc.

Good work anyway! Keep it up!

Comment by ANONYMOUS on Sunday, June 19, 2011...

I love England. I got the chance to visit a couple of time when my sister was stationed there in the Air Force. Normally I don't like overly populated areas, but London was great. It seemed to have a much more laid back attitude, with less people rushing around like their heads are on fire. Anyway, looking forward to Lake of Spirits! Can't wait to see what Hal and the gang get into next.

Comment by JESSE CONRAD on Monday, June 27, 2011...

I found your website by reading a comment you left on Scott Nicholson's blog. After reading multiple posts on your blog, I found your writing very clear and the wordings flowing smoothly, especially to one like me whose first language isn't English. I was intrigued about your books. So, a moment ago, I just went ahead and bought "Island of Fog" for my Kindle. I'm very much looking forward to reading it and I'll let you know what I think! I wish you the best of luck with your continued success on writing.

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Monday, June 27, 2011...

Steven, I've been pondering whether to disclose sales figures or not. I'm still thinking about it! But in general, I suppose I've done well enough for a "typical" Indie author but not well at all compared to some others I've read about. So I suppose it depends on what a reader thinks is considered "good" or "poor" sales. I'll think some more on this subject.

Thanks, Anonymous, whoever you are. :-) We had a lot of fun in England and I'm still stuffed from all that good food.

Jesse, thanks — and I hope you enjoy the book. I'd definitely like to know what you think. And it's great to know how you found me. Information like that is vital, and I'm already thinking I need to post on Scott's site again!

Comment by JOSEPH on Thursday, June 30, 2011...

Oh! Just realized I didn't have my name on there. Hah, sorry. I was the anonymous one above.

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