Just thought I’d drop a quick update on what I’ve been up to these past few months.
Not a whole lot.
I finished Pieces of Eight, the sequel to Bloodlines, right before the shelter-in-place orders came about in mid-March. Since then, I sent the manuscript off to my editor, and have been waiting impatiently for her feedback ever since. In the interim, I’ve received excellent feedback from my beta readers, some of which I plan to incorporate into the manuscript once I’ve collected all of my beta and editor feedback.
Feedback is always challenging. No one likes receiving hard criticism about their work. We all want praise and adoration heaped on us, especially since a writer’s confidence is fleeting. But the criticism is necessary if I’m to get better, and I need to be better if I’m ever going to break into the industry and enjoy success.
As my creativity has waned during these crazy and turbulent times, I have managed to cobble together some paragraphs for chapter 1 of The Devil’s Share, the working title of Book 3. That story has an outline and a LOT of holes that I’ll need to fill in as I work through it. I’m hoping to explore more of the Vellan culture, as well as flesh out a few odds-and-ends (more odds than ends!) developed throughout Pieces.
But I’m back to reading! Right now, I’m midway through Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist, an allegorical study of self-discovery, truth and finding one’s destiny. It’s a soft read, and quite different from the crime and fantasy novels I usually enjoy, but it does bring me back to my philosophy classes at Brandeis. A welcome and refreshing tale, The Alchemist reminds me that the path to becoming a writer isn’t merely the start-to-finish process of putting a novel together, but one that encompasses the journey as well.
On deck will be the Harvey Duckman Presents collection of short stories (volumes 1-4). I’m excited to catch up with the further adventures of Brennan and Riz about a paranormal investigator and his irascible talking rat as they traipse the English countryside encountering wonderfully-rendered folklore and mysteries. Written by my dear friend and fellow writer Peter James Martin, they are light, fun adventures that I highly recommend.
You can find Peter’s website here: https://tstpjm.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-music-of-writing.html
Another dear friend of mine has invited me to be the guest author at her local book club! I am equal parts excited and intimidated. I’ve never done one of these before, and while I certainly want the exposure of having other people read my work, I’m terrified of their reaction to it. I’ll just have to put on my big boy pants to weather whatever storm might come my way. Besides, I’m allowed to bring wine. Liquoring them up is simply a part of the process, right? I mean, if they’re drunk, how bad could it be?
(I’ll be driving, so no booze for me)
The summer months open up a lot of spare time for me, as my professional life slows to a crawl. I’m hopeful I will pile on the words to Book 3 during that time. Worst case, it’s a lot of jumbled crap with little direction, but at least it’s written down, and I actually enjoy editing. Usually, the kernel of a solid idea can be found between the lines, and I’ll build on those until I have a much more coherent story.
And that’s about it for now.
P.S. I added/changed a couple of small details on the website. You’ll see a new header for Pieces of Eight. It has a teaser snippet on it. Check it out. Please. Don’t make me beg.
Thanks for reading.