Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me through the last 6 months. Especially since March of this year when my ever growing work schedule and other commitments facilitated the need for me to set my writing aside for a time. As much as I didn't want to do it, I have to admit it was a welcome change, despite the long hours every day and so many other things of life getting in the way. The extra hours were nice, as was the overtime, and I would gladly do it again if I had to. However, I'm actually looking forward to a couple of months of quiet once again to begin writing. It's also given me time to think about my books and where I want to go with things. So here's some of my plans, my thoughts, and a few decisions I've made. And, like with anything in life, these are subject to change at any time. But, for now, this is my current direction of thought.
1. Offworld Chronicles 5 (OWC5) - This book is, and has been since March, only 1-2 edits away from being publishing ready. Three at the outside. I don't see myself making my typical August 1st publishing deadline with this, short of my next editing pass through being sufficient, in my eyes, to release the book. So, that being said, I'm hoping to have it released sometime early August, the 31st at the absolute, absolute latest. Realistically, probably no later than the 7th. I'll make a big announcement when I'm ready to release. In order to read it, you'll have to wait the usual 3-5 days for it to propagate out after I upload it, after which it'll be available for purchase. Availability on Amazon, though, eh, that's unknown as they're an absolute headache, and make all my publishing efforts a complete and total nightmare. Now, if I had crazy amounts of cash to throw their way, life would be cake. But, yeah, um, I don't. So the print copies you guys want may be delayed up to a year after release, no thanks to the horrible way Amazon treats my books, and me. I'm hoping for a better solution to all this sometime down the road. But, for now, lacking the cash to wave at the right people (I only write and publish these books as a paid hobby, so until some big name picks me up and publishes my stuff, I'm kinda stuck), my books will have to take the poor man's route to the top. :(
2. Offworld Chronicles 6 and 7 - In regards to the last two books in this series, 6 is fully written and in finished rough draft state, so it just needs to go through the cleanup phase. I wish I'd had the last 4 months to work on it, but alas, I didn't. And, baring some incredible miracle, getting 6 out by deadline is looking kinda iffy. Book 7 hasn't been completed at all yet, even though I have most of it roughed out. The Terifall arc (working title of that arc) is all I have to finish. But, as any good author knows, knitting together that last part is always the hardest. So, with as much work as needs to be done on book 6, and with 7 incomplete, upcoming deadlines are not set in stone like they usually are. Especially with as crazy as life has been lately. That being said, depending entirely on how far along I get with book 6, I may extend the deadlines out to 9 months, or maybe a year. Which, given my previous statements about future deadlines, I'm going to be making all of them soft targets, and not hard release dates as in the past. Mostly to ensure maximum book quality, and to work better around my current work and life schedules. So by making them flexible, I think it'll take some pressure off of me to hurry and get things done, allowing me to focus on, and ensure good quality of the books.
3. Future Projects - Right now I have three future projects on deck as far as new books are concerned. Those are "The Battling Mice of Mouseville", "Weaver's Forge", and "The Specimen". The last two are already written and just need to be cleaned up and polished. The first one, a pre-teen adventure novel (or novelette, as I'm not sure how big the final story will be), still has to be written, and currently in the development stage as the idea is still growing in my mind, but hasn't solidified enough to give me a foundation on which to start, or a destination to aim for. Once I have those two, the story should pretty much write itself, like most others. But, as I get older, it takes longer to build the worlds than it did when I first started. ^_^ Also, I'm not exactly sure when I'll actually be starting on these. Yes, they're on my todo list, and are next in my list of future new books, but I also have other projects that I intend to do first before I touch these. See below for more details.
4. Audiobooks - I know I've talked about these in the past, and I'd still love to do audiobooks of every single one of my novels. However, given the roughly $2500-$3000 price tag per book, I don't have the funds right now to do that. Only my smallest books have gotten that treatment, as that's all I could afford. But, as I get the extra money to work on them, I will try to push for that. If you want to donate money to help me in that effort, please feel free to. As I said, this is a paid hobby for me, and isn't my main source of income right now. I'd eventually like it to be my main income, but for now, it's just burger money. ^_^;;
5. Old Book Cleanup and followup plans - One of the projects I've been wanting to do for a LONG time is a past book cleanup. What is that, you ask? Basically, what I plan to do, and I've talked about this before, is I intend to go back through my old books and, using the skills I've gained along the way, take those books and greatly improve them with grammar, spelling, and even some new content here and there. So why the new content? Well, over the years I've had plenty of my readers ask me to detail certain things in each of the books, or in their respective universes as a whole, that better explains why certain things are as they are in the stories. In newer books I've done my best to prevent those kinds of questions by fully explaining why each thing is as it is, without creating huge info dumps on people. So I will be making small changes and additions to those books to help fill in the gaps wherever I can and better explain each thing, their histories, and whatever other info needs to be provided to make the reading experience better. And for those of you freaking out when I said I would "reboot" my older books in the past, you can breath easier knowing that this is what I meant.
I'm not doing a reboot like Star Trek did where large portions of cannon are rewritten and changed, and the story put on its head. This is more of a cleanup and a fleshing out of what's already there to make things better, not create a change for the worse. Also, I'm looking to begin this project as soon as I publish book 7 of Offworld Chronicles. That's what I meant in item 3 about being unsure of when those books would happen. The reason I don't know is, I don't know how long it'll take to clean up the books I already have. One idea I've considered is to do the 6 books of Earthfleet, then dive into "Weaver's Forge" and "The Specimen" as they're both extended universe novels. Then I would move on to the Land of the Lions series and do that, then follow it up with Cybertaria (working title, but probably not the final book name) which is a stand alone spin off novel that covers the world of LOTL post book 4. From there, I'll probably clean up my Christian pocket guides, then work on "The Giving Spirit", which is the next in that series.
But, as the old saying goes, no idea survives the rough draft, or as the Army says, "No OP survives initial contact." :) So, that being said, these are just "plans" at this point. Real life is likely to throw lots of wrenches into that. But, either way, regardless of how the wind may blow, I at least wanted you guys to know I'm still here, that I'm finally able to get back into writing, and what my plans are at this point in the game. If they change, I'll do another writing update as usual.
6. ToDo Folder - For those of you who know about my "ToDo" folder, you'll know that I have a lot in there. Currently the list is 20 items long, and a few of them are series of at least 3 books or more. So realistically you're looking at around 30 more books to do to completely empty out that folder, and that assumes I write everything that's there, and don't add anything more. Of course, that'd be silly to think that as stuff regularly gets rotated in and out as new ideas spawn, while others grow stale and die, and thus are removed. I think every writer has one of those kinda folders that holds all their ideas, with only the best coming out of there and becoming actual published works. But, anyhow, I merely wanted to mention that because it'll give you an understand that, hobby or not, I'm in this for the long haul.
7. Future Plans - Aside from what I've already written above, my future plans for my stories and novels is to keep writing until I'm 75, or dead, which ever comes first. lol. I don't plan to give up on this for quite some time to come, and I'm 48 right now. So you have me for at least the next 27 more years, barring anything unforseen happening. ;) But yeah, life hiccups or not, I'm not giving up on this, no matter how frustrating it becomes at times. I love writing, and I love sharing my stories with you guys and making enjoyable stories that everyone can love and share with friends and family for years to come. Especially those stories that bring joy and excitement into each of your lives. :)