Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm Fine. How Are You?

I like blogging. I like running my fingertips about things. I have theories. I enjoy writing essays.

But in looking over the last month or so of blog posts, I realized that there's something I've been seriously neglecting. And it's kind of the most essential part of an author's blog: letting you know what fiction you can expect from me in the near future.

You know, building a bit of hype.

I've got a few different things going. I figure that's one way to get around writers block. Plus, I find it hard to think farther ahead than the next scene, and having different pieces I'm working on allows me to stop and imagine the next scene in one work while still producing the amount of new words I feel I should, spread across multiple pieces.

Blood Tells True
The sequel to Burden Kansas is moving right along. It just surpassed the length of Burden Kansas's 34,000 words, and it's still got a ways to go. I'm guessing it's going to end up somewhere between 50 and 60k, which is my favorite length for a novel.

The title is still a wee bit tentative. It works on two levels. The first is blood, vampires, yada yada. The second is the concept of a person trying to escape their family traits.

My first choice of title was Blood Will Tell, but that's been used about a hundred times.

I think the series name is going to be Vampires of the Plains, though I honestly don't know if I'll write a third book. This one offered me the challenge of writing an entire novel from the perspective of a 17 year-old girl suffering from severe PTSD. I'd need another challenge to work up the interest to write another book.

Butcher & Demon: The Devil's Assassin
This book is also currently about 35k words, and should also end up being between 50 and 60k when done. This is a hardboiled urban fantasy about a young man who accidentally sells his soul to the devil in return for the services of a powerful demon. The young man is a butcher and an ex-pro Muay Thai fighter in the city of Cleveland, which is an amazing place to set a hardboiled novel. It's culturally rich, but also gritty and, in certain areas, really dangerous. As the second Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism video says, "Don't slow down in East Cleveland or you'll die" (First video here).

So this poor dude has to try to get his soul back.

I'm seeing this as a series, too. The problem I'm having right now is that I want to tell the origin story of this character, but it's just not as dark as the series is going to become. Inconsistency like that can be a problem, enough that I was thinking of not releasing this as the first book in the Butcher & Demon series. But I'm really impatient, so I don't see that happening.

I love hardboiled detective novels, so I'm excited to have my own series, even though I don't think the first is reeeeeaaaally that hardboiled, since the Brandon "The Butcher" Carlisle is still bumbling around trying to figure things out.

This Effed Life
I've been writing little flash fictions after I get done with my main writing for the day. Each one is based off of an entry from the first page of F My Life. So they're 1,000 word tales of extreme awkwardness and embarrassment. They've been super fun to write. I don't think I'm going to try to get any published traditionally, so I'll probably release this book once I've got enough of them written. The title is tentative.

Pulling Teeth Volume 2
I'd like to release another collection of 25,000 words of my short fiction near the end of this year. Unlike my flash fiction above, I am trying to sell most of these stories, so the time frame isn't totally in my control. I already have the stories written for this book and Volume 3, but this project is going to proceed at the speed of publishing. Which means slooooooooowly.

Fedor vs. Hendo
And now I'm going to watch this event so that no one can spoil it for me!

So that's what I'm up to.


  1. Naughty me I haven't read your blog lately, but I'm totally going all fan-girl over your urban fantasy series. Sounds FREAKING awesome!

    So, if you want to do an origins story, why not write a separate novella? Since it's an origin, it doesn't have to be in the same tone. Fan-girls ... er... I mean people who like your books will love it.

  2. PS. I, too, prefer a shorter novel. Mine tend to end up between 50k and 70k. And 70 is only if I force it.

  3. I have a fangirl? Awww, thanks Shea!

    There would be issues with unweaving the Devil's Assassin storyline from the origin, one being that I don't know if the origin can stand on its own, the other being that the Devil's Assassin plot is currently quite short, and I'm not sure how much more it can grow naturally. It's a good idea, though, and one I've considered.

    Short novels rock! The Great and Secret Show is currently sapping my will to read. Just too long.

  4. Good god man, you're making me feel lazy and unadventurous.

    I write a story. I write another. Eventually, I put together another collection. Rinse and repeat...

    Basically my life is your Pulling Teeth.

    But looking forward to these.

  5. I've probably (certainly) just got more time than you.

    And I'm writing quickly to burn myself out. I worry that I'm not bitter and jaded enough, and that that optimism is leaking into my writing.

  6. Yeah 'optimistic' is exactly the word I thought when I first started reading one of your books.

    I mean, "The New Words" could almost have been an episode of Glee or something.

  7. I am so excited for your Burden sequel. Like really stupid-silly excited. :)

    Also, I had no idea you were writing an Urban Fantasy. Why did you hide that from us!? For shame!

    I have been having trouble keeping myself on track lately, so I've got about 5 stories going at once and have no idea what to do. I feel a little like one of those octopus carnival rides, my arms all flung out and spinning around in circles until I puke.

  8. Thanks Coral!

    As long as you're writing and eventually finishing things, I think that staying on track can be overrated.

    Feel free to puke, just hit the page and call it splatterpunk!

  9. I am also stupidly excited for the Burden Kansas sequel. You should write it faster.