- THE SEVEN LABORS OF NICK JABLONSKY: YA Contemporary; 75k. Book 1 of THE JABLONSKY CHRONICLES. I described vaguely as a cross between FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and the writing of Lauren Oliver, Eric Devine and Sherman Alexis. I first conceptualized this book way back in the summer of 2013 and started it then. For such a short book it took a long time to finish. As with all of my writing, it turned into something other than what I first imagined. I'm very happy with the end result and think that it's some of the best writing I've done so far. It's very different than my usual writing and I really liked writing it. My agent already did his first read and told me that he's going to read it a second time for notes. A lot of his initial observations were pretty spot on and I think I have some ideas how to make the next draft work even better.
- THE LOST SCION: YA Fantasy. 117k. Book 1 of THE RETURN OF THE FALSE LORDS. A "boy" GRACELING crossed with THE THREE MUSKETEERS by way of THOR: THE DARK WORLD and Bollywood, this was originally called JAIMAN ZARACHEK AND THE SISTERS OF KHODA, then simply THE SISTERS OF KHODA, I decided I needed a new, better title and a slight change of concept. It was intended to be more of a "fantasy adventure" and as I wrote it and rewrote it I came to the realization that it needed to be "more epic," related to my theme of an epic 2015. The rewrite wrapped up in mid-June and it was really just the last third that needed to be ramped up. So I spent some time in my writer's notebook, trying to arc out the whole series. What started as a concept of 8 books was cut down to a trilogy with a few novellas and novelettes thrown in for good measure. I came up with a structure for the books (I have a feeling that I'm going to get to be known as "the structure guy.") and came up with the general idea for the three books. For now, though, SCION is in the trusted hands of my betas (my usuals, plus two new betas) seeing how the book works.
- SPRING'S TEMPEST: YA Epic Fantasy. 131k. Book 2 of SEASONS OF DESTINY. Game of Thrones meets 90210 told from the point of view of those still learning the game of thrones in the tone and style of Tamora Pierce's SONG OF THE LIONESS. (My agent came up with that and it still gives me the chills!) This was the MS that I lost when the operating system crapped the bed on my old work rig and I didn't back it up. (Moron!) The good thing is that I think this is a better draft. I cut some crap that needed to go and made an actually tighter draft. In the HD loss, I also lost an early working draft of Book 3: SUMMER'S GLORY, but I reimagined a very detailed outline (which I'm going to have to do again since finishing the draft) and figure if we get a deal, I can just start chugging away as soon as possible.
Now comes the hard part...what's next. I have a handful projects in mind, all YA and all smaller in scope but definitely sticking with my theme of epic. I've talked about trying Rachel Aaron's 2k to 10k method, but my plan is to really attack writing to get a high volume of writing done. Here's the plan, with teases of the new projects:
- THE PENSIONER'S BROOCH: A novelette project I've been kicking around for a while and I'm going to try and high volume this puppy and get it done in 3-4 days while planning the next few projects.
- FRESH TRACKS: A YA "historical" fiction story that takes place in 1990 focusing on skiing, rivalry, young love and mix tapes. I'm going to try and mimic the epic fantasy, multiple POV style in this and set it up the way I would have set up a mix tape back in the day.
- THE GREAT NORTHPOINTE-SILVER PINES WAR: Another YA "historical" about the escalation of a prank war between two neighborhoods in 1987. Might take place in the same "world" as FRESH TRACKS and will be told in a similar fashion minus the mix tape element.
- THE NEXT TOWN OVER: YA something. I don't want to reveal to much, just think Steven King's THE BODY (STAND BY ME) crossed with THE GOONIES with a twist that I don't want to talk about.
- LITTLE STEVIE POMEROY: YA/MG? horror? I've talked about this before and it's something I want to revisit at some point. Think ET but with more malice and from the deep sea instead of deep space.
Readingwise, I just finished HALF THE WORLD by Joe Abercrombie and it's fantastic. I have an ARC of HALF A WAR and I'll be jumping into that along with a few others, including Lou Anders' NIGHTBORN. I'll be kicking the DRAGONLANCE re-read up again in the next day or so, plus I have a SUPER SECRET reading project I can't reveal (or I don't think I can). I was asked by a very successful writer that I admire greatly to beta read one of his books. I'm positively giddy over it and intimidated at the same time.
So, it looks like my summer is going to be pretty epic. How about you?