The public face of an author is kind of a strange thing. The publishing industry is stranger. Things take time. By the time a book gets to shelves, the author has probably already finished the next one, or is at least deeply stuck in with it. When The Pagan Night was published, it was the culmination of five years of writing, revision, proposals and pitches that took a lot of my creative energy. But during those five years I had also written another book in a different universe, and written proposals for two other projects, neither of which got off the ground. There’s a wide gap between what you see me doing, and what I actually do.
Which brings us to our current state. The Pagan Night is still on shelves, so when I go to conventions or do public posts, that’s what I’m promoting. But the second book, The Iron Hound, is already done and sitting on my editor’s desk. The synopsis for book three is finished as well, awaiting feedback from both editor and agent before I start the actual writing.
Additionally, I have about four proposals in my queue. These are all at various stages of preparedness, and I switch between them at will. For two of them I have three chapters and a synopsis ready to go. One’s a YA adventure story featuring giant mecha, government conspiracies, an alien artifact on a distant outpost, and a good deal of sarcasm. The other is a lovecraftian sword and sorcery novel that’s a little on the edge of comfort for me. It has a lot of the strangeness of the Veridon books about it, and rides that line between horror and adventure that Jacob Burn was very comfortable following.
The third proposal is what I’m working on this morning. It’s actually a revision of that book I wrote in between sessions with The Pagan Night, and incorporates a lot of feedback I got from my agent as well as some impressions I’ve gotten from readers of The Hallowed War series. It’s heartfelt fantasy, but leans more heavily on a single protagonist and his journey. While struggling with multi-character timelines and giving each protagonist the space needed to tell their story, I half-flippantly said that my next book was going to be about a scholar and the dead man bound to his soul. This book is literally that.
Finally, I’m returning to one of my true loves of cyberpunk, while staying true to my fantasy roots. That project is currently called Paragon, and is best described as high fantasy cyberpunk, which is a challenging enough pitch line to keep me occupied for a while. For that one all I have is a notebook full of ideas. I think of it as my vacation project, because it’s the thing I can fall into and kick wild ideas around without being committed to a deadline or character arc or any of that. Just brainstorming in ink.
When will you see any of this? I have no idea. Publishing is slow. Even if I wrote all of these in the next few years, it would be years more before they reached shelves, and by then my idea basket will have grown exponentially. But just so you know, there’s a lot in the pipeline, and more on the way.