What's going on (and not)

Posted on December 7, 2013 (Subscribe to Blog)

Some of you have asked, "Where the heck is Quincy's Curse?" I had intended to get this published in October, but time ran away from me and I decided to put it off until December. It just needs a little fine-tuning here and there and should be ready later this month.

I did, however, get Valley of Monsters published in November as planned. Hurrah!

So what else is going on? My agent, Whitt Brantley, asked me to complete the Island of Fog screenplay I had started a long time ago. I forget why I didn't finish it back then, but anyway, Whitt suggested I finish it off because a screenplay will probably "speak" to TV and movie producers more than a novel will. I should be done with that by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, I've been plotting Island of Fog Books 8 and 9 for next year's double-whammy release. It's one big story in two distinct halves, but rather than end the first half with a huge cliffhanger and keep everyone waiting, I decided to write and edit both together and release them within a month of each other.

This story will mark the end of the Island of Fog series. Ha! I've said that before, haven't I? It's become an in-joke. Anyway, I suppose I should say that this marks the end of the series for the foreseeable future. That said, there are various spin-offs I'd like to do, so the Island of Fog world will still exist no matter what. We just might be following the adventures of other characters instead of Hal.

So, what's on my To-Do list?

2013 (ie, this month):

  • Finish my Island of Fog screenplay
  • Publish Quincy's Curse

Also this month, look out for Wonderstorms: A Fantasy Anthology featuring my short story "The Cosmic Ark" (among others). See below.

2014

  • Unearthly Tales #1: Sleep Writer
  • Island of Fog Books 8 and 9
  • Possibly Unearthly Tales #2: Robot Blood

Brian Clopper and I had planned to write Fractured Part 2 as well, but while we're both interested it getting stuck in, we've decided to wait until the first one takes off a bit more first. There's no sense in pouring a lot of effort into a sequel when other books are "more important" to us right now.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that I mentioned "The Cosmic Ark" above. This is a short story written for Brian Clopper's Wonderstorms anthology. I'm one of five contributing authors, and my story is actually a "pilot" for my upcoming Unearthly Tales series that will be starting in 2014. The 11,000-word story was neat to write and really helped me with my world building for the new series. By the time I start writing Sleep Writer, the characters will be all fleshed out and ready to go. So look out for this anthology in December.

Oh, and did I mention it will be FREE? At least it will be free on Apple and Kobo, and $0.99 on Amazon to start with until they price-match it to $0.00. As usual, it will be priced on Barnes & Noble because they don't price-match nothin' (cuz they're party poopers).

Finally, just a quick word about the Island of Fog series again. Recently I altered a few keywords, trying to place my books in a perhaps more suitable category. When you really get down to it, there are only a few to choose from:

Kindle eBooks
  > Children's eBooks
    > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories
      > Fantasy & Magic
            Coming of Age
            Mystery & Detective
            Paranormal & Urban
            Sword & Sorcery

I was already in Swords & Sorcery though not placed very high. Why that category, though? Well, specific keywords get a book placed in specific categories. I use both "dragons" and "magic," and these keywords automatically place a book in Swords & Sorcery. That's not great since my books feature neither swords nor sorcery, but two of the alternatives are worse.

However, Coming of Age is appropriate for my books. I went ahead and added a keyword that would place me there – "preteen" – and lo and behold, my books showed up there right away. Because this category is not so saturated, my books are currently placing fairly high (as I write this):

You can see Island of Fog at #2, Valley of Monsters at #4, and Chamber of Ghosts at #6. Also, not seen here are Roads of Madness at #14 and Lake of Spirits at #15. Not sure where the others are! Click here if you're interested, although it will quickly be out of date.

Anyway, that's all for now. Got a brand new fantasy adventure called Quincy's Curse to edit and a couple of Fog books to plot.:-)

Comment by HEATHER on Saturday, December 7, 2013...

I am saddened that you are putting off writing book two of Fractured ... that book is actually what led me to read your Island of Fog series! I am keeping my fingers crossed that you and Brian Clopper surprise us by releasing it early spring ... Oh, yes, I know, wishful thinking, but I am EXTREMELY hopeful. Thank you so much for inviting me to beta read book seven of your IoF series, that was a great first time treat for myself and my son. Can't wait for books eight and nine!

Comment by BRIAN B. on Saturday, December 7, 2013...

Continued congratulations Keith! Not so long ago since you started this whole journey. Very best wishes for even more success.

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Saturday, December 7, 2013...

Ha! Heather, positive feedback like that might force Brian and I to get stuck into Fractured 2 after all. Anything is possible. We just haven't heard a whole lot from many readers. Then again, it's being downloaded a lot... This just goes to prove how valuable feedback is. Thank you!

Brian B, I still remember the thrill of publishing Book 1 - and the dread about how it would be received. Thanks for sticking with me this whole time. :-)

Comment by MELISSA BANIAN on Saturday, December 7, 2013...

I am so very disappointed to hear that Fractured 2 is on back burner! Seriously, I have been waiting and was considering asking you when in 2014 it would be release. Please, pretty please, (yes with cherries on top) ease my suffering and bring it forward in your To Do pile!

Comment by BRIAN CLOPPER on Sunday, December 8, 2013...

Great to hear two comments about Fractured. Truthfully, we are both very excited to write it. What made us push it back on the schedule is we expected more reviews and attention to the book. I was also hoping that having it free would point people in the direction of trying my other books. While my numbers on my other books are consistent, I haven't seen a jump that I can attribute to offering Fractured as free.

Now if Fractured takes off and more fuss is made of it, Keith and I will certainly jump into it. Right now, I think we both envision getting back to it in January of 2015.

Comment by HEATHER on Sunday, December 8, 2013...

I sure hope I survive until 2015!! Lol ... I will try and find more people to review Fractured so maybe we can see book 2 sooner ... I will definitely try your other books, Brian Clopper,if that is an incentive to write book 2 ;)
And Keith Robinson, my son was asking me to ask you about looking into turning your IoF series into a playable game, if you have ever played RPGs such as the Final Fantasy series, I think your books would make a fun game :) [Oh yes, I love RPGs!]
Ok, off to read more books ... don't give up hope yet on writing!

Comment by NICOLA on Sunday, December 8, 2013...

Hi Keith, I love the way you're so open about your whole writing and promoting process....and the inevitable adjustments a serious writer must make to his/her schedule, especially when juggling multiple projects. You're an inspiration! Looking forward to reading the final version of Quincy's Curse - had such fun beta-reading this. I'm currently reading 'These Broken Stars' by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner...for slightly older readers. I'm intrigued by this current phenomenon of pairs of writers producing a work of fiction together. Have you written about this somewhere in your blogs? Best of wishes for 2014 writing & publishing.

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Sunday, December 8, 2013...

Thanks muchly, Heather and Melissa, for your interest in Fractured. As Brian says, if it suddenly starts jumping in the ranks and reviews start popping up demanding more, then we'd certainly consider adjusting our schedules again. Nothing is set in stone. We each have our own pipelines to attend to, but if we had a deluge of readers clamoring for more Fractured, we'd probably go with the flow and sail off down an alternative river. (Or something like that! Not sure where all these water references are coming from. Makes me want to go and pee.)

Nicola, being open about all this stuff is all I know. :-) I did write something about our collaboration on Fractured. See my collaborative novel writing post. It was definitely an interesting experience, and pleasant enough that I'm willing to do it again!

Comment by JORDAN on Friday, December 13, 2013...

I am writing a book called the blizzard I hope that it turns out as good as I plan.You inspired me to write a book. Keep up true good work can't wait. :-)

Comment by MARIE on Monday, December 16, 2013...

I just finished the new island of fog and whatever i said in my last review, I am so pleased, that it's not over yet!
it was/is AWESOME !

Also I really like the idea of publishing the last two books close to each other.

While reading some "question" came up and I don't believe it belongs into my review for the new book, so i just write it down here: Am I the only one who thinks it a tiny bit "weird" that the kids didn't have their birthday yet? I mean SO much has happened and not even a year has passed?

Other than that I am looking forward to the final version of Quincy and i just bought Fractured. I see this book didn't get as much attention as expected. Here is what i can contribute to that issue:

To be honest I only bought it because you wrote it and therefore I hope it's as good as your other books. The premise sounds interesting enough though not quite as gripping and intriguing as island of fog did, maybe it seems to give too much away- at least that is what i feel, like after reading the premise i already know the story.

The existing reviews are good, so I was interested enough to put it on my wishlist, but not really excited to read it right away.

Sorry - but i hope I will enjoy it just as much as your other books. Maybe the summery can be adjusted to make it sound more intriguing. Maybe ask your other readers who havn't picked that one up yet, what kept them from doing so.

Best luck and an have a nice Christmas time !

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Monday, December 16, 2013...

Thanks for your feedback, Marie!

With regards the timeline, if you follow the Fog series chronology closely, you'll see that all seven current books take place over no more than three months. So it's not really that weird that they haven't yet had any birthdays, although they're probably due soon. What's weird (to me, anyway) is when long-running series talk about summer, then winter, then summer again, then winter, and yet the ages of the characters never advance. I've been very careful to go from late October through winter (although the seasons differ slightly between the worlds). One of these days I'm going to write up a complete day-by-day timeline, which I think might surprise a few readers. :-)

As for Fractured... Thanks for your honesty! This may be a case where the subject matter just doesn't suit your tastes, which is fine. It's a different kind of story. We made a conscious decision not to try and surprise readers with the whole "dual world and crossover" plotline because, frankly, it's obvious from the start what's going to happen. So the focus is on that journey of adventure rather than any great mystery surrounding it. It's a mystery to the characters but not so much the readers. I hope you read Fractured soon. Even knowing roughly what's going to happen, HOW it happens is still pretty darned exciting. :-)

Comment by BRIAN CLOPPER on Tuesday, December 17, 2013...

Marie, I do appreciate your feedback on Fractured and your idea that the summary may give too much away. One aspect of the book that I think was a real treat for Keith and me was how we went about weaving our stories together to create a world that is richer for two heads concocting it. I think it stands out because of the unique narrative path we took and how we split the tasks of writing the two journeys. I agree with Keith that it's the journey and how everything unfolds that makes Fractured more than the sum of its parts.

I do hope you will try it soon as well.

Comment by MARIE on Sunday, December 22, 2013...

Hey Keith and Brian,

Thanks for your answers on my comment, it's a real treat to have actual contact to the writers of the books I enjoy so much. Of course that also means you are still not famous enough to be too busy for the fans - but we are working on that and hope to change it soon :)

@ Island of Fog — mh maybe i haven't looked closely enough to the points which give away the time that passes. It's just so much stuff that happens, but of course that is said in the books too... the children always say or give hints at how overwhelmingly fast everything is happening to them. YES YES YES, a time line would be absolutely appreciated - guess it can wait until the next two books, but it would be very interesting indeed.

@ Fractured — It was a pleasure of reading from first page of the story to the very last page of your author's explanations. WOW it was SO good. I totally didn't expect that and I am not saying it just to say something nice for christmas - i truly love the book. The premise actually doesn't give anything away really, I mean it does sound like a summery alright, but the story is so much more than i dared to hope for. I have to let it sink in before giving a real review on goodreads yet, but it'll be nothing short of 5 stars!

Some aspects of the story appear to be untold and i might have complaint about it, if it weren't for the fact that Keith never let me down before in the island series and I am sure I will get my answers within the next book/books.

Which leads me to my next and last point: the demand for the next book wasn't high enough yet to continue? —-> well it just been raised at least one person - PLEASE hurry !!!

(I wanted to add * just skip unnecessary personal things like christmas, new years eve, phone calls, shopping, showers or clipping your fingernails - seriously there is so much time which can be better spend on writing and thinking up stories* but wasn't sure if it was funny enough to not come along creepy ;P hope you both have a very nice and relaxing christmas time and a happy new year !)

Comment by BRIAN CLOPPER on Monday, December 23, 2013...

Marie,

I am so glad you liked Fractured. With more reviews like that out and about I can see me pressuring Keith to put Fractured Book 2 back on the schedule earleir than it currently is. Who knows? Maybe we will find ourselves facing more and more of these positive reactions and feel we should get back on it this summer rather than wait until 2015.

Have a great holiday! I'm trying to get out one last novel for 2013! Graham 3 should be published later this week!

Comment by ANONYMOUS on Wednesday, December 25, 2013...

Hey Keith,
Firsy off I LOVE the island of fog series and im really sad its almost over! I was wondering if u had considered writing from Abi's point of view, or even Robbie's?

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Wednesday, December 25, 2013...

Marie — what Brian said. :-)

Anonymous — I actually have considered writing from the points of view of other characters, and will probably do so in short story form (as I've been promising to do for a long time). I also will be writing spin-off novels based on the series, and those characters will likely run across the gang from time to time. So although the story from Hal's point of view will be ending, the Island of Fog world will continue. Think of "An Island of Fog Story" or something like that. The possibilities are endless!

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