Category: Work in Progress

The Fractured Empire – Progress Report

I finished the first draft of The Fractured Empire on July 7th and have completed the first re-write.  I do at least three before handing it off to my editors. I have a conference to attend this week, so my time will be limited. I am still aiming for the end of July to publish the last book in The Disinherited Prince Series, but realistically, the release might happen in early August.

The last book is rather large in scope and will be a little longer than the others. There is a lot of stuff that goes on and things to tie up. I didn’t wrap every character’s story up in a bow, but there is no cliffhanger at the ending and Shira behaves herself, mostly.

I like the ending, but then I would, wouldn’t I?

Hang In There Readers

After having been beat up by reviewers for The Emperor’s Pet for the ending, I thought I might give you a bit bigger picture on why Pol gets bludgeoned at the end of this book.

Why did I do such a thing? At the end of The Emperor’s Pet, Pol is extremely powerful as a magician. There is no prison or cell that can hold him with his capabilities. Why is this important? Pol is only going on seventeen years old. He has, generally, had a minder or mentor with him. He can’t get married. He is too young to fit into the Deftnis Monastery system. He is still too young to rule. How do I get Pol to grow as an individual and do more on his own? He needs to be removed as he gets older. He needs some seasoning.

Daera is a continent that Pol has never visited. He doesn’t know much about it and neither do the readers. So I wanted to get Pol on Daera. With the pot stirring in Tishiko, he wouldn’t leave Shira on his own, so he has to go involuntarily. He’s not one to run after he finds out people want to kill him, but when his friends are ‘kidnapped’ and the Scorpions tell him everyone is after him, Pol agrees to a strategic retreat.

So far so good. The Scorpions say that they rescued Pol’s friends. And he is taken to the safe house and sees Fadden and Paki on the floor. He checks to make sure they are all right. He has his mind shielded, but not his skull. So the seventeen-year-old, having evidence that the Scorpions just helped him, trusts that they are working in his interests. He leans over and…Wham!

There were some reviewers that said I cheated. They don’t like cliffhangers and they’ve seen the memory wipe thing done over and over. There is nothing new under the sun. I needed to solve a problem and that was the way I chose to do it. Did I cheat?  I don’t think so. How else can I get Pol to grow?

The Scorpions don’t want Pol to come back and stir things up again, so they, rightly or wrongly (wrongly! shouts some of my readers) block his memories. So Pol is stuck on Daera. He isn’t mindless, but he will need to struggle to figure out who he is and what he can do.

Book Six – The Misplaced Prince will have Pol’s ‘seasoning’ time while he gets a few years on him and it will also feature Shira in parallel in her own struggles for personal independence.  I will say that Pol’s personality helps him to succeed, but his life is not a bed of roses. I will also say that readers will be ready and waiting for the better integrated Pol to return and I won’t disappoint them. He is the main character, after all.  Shira will get growth in as well, so be patient. Good things are headed their way,

New Ending Published for The Emperor’s Pet

After another spate of readers hating the ending of the Emperor’s Pet, I have rewritten the ending.  In the published book, I put in an excerpt from the next book, The Misplaced Prince. After receiving a lot of flack from the ending, I merged the excerpt into the Emperor’s Pet and extended the excerpt scene so the ending is no longer a cliffhanger, but a transition ending that begins Pol’s adventures in the next book. I hope this is a more comfortable ending for those readers who absolutely, positively HATE cliffhangers. To those of you, I yield to your sensitivities, which I actually do share.

A Virulent Hatred of Cliffhangers

Having received a number of two star reviews on The Emperor’s Pet, I have come to the expected conclusion that readers have virulent objection to and hatred of cliffhangers. I knew people didn’t like them particularly having written one in my Power of Poses series, but I didn’t sufficiently learn my lesson. I’ll probably pay for it through lost readers.

I am sorry about that. The losing of Pol’s memories is key to his future growth. I suppose I should have started the next book in the series with that happening, but it’s too late now. I will learn from that mistake. I promise: NO MORE CLIFFHANGERS!

I just finished outlining most of The Misplaced Prince, book six.  I have an overall vision for where the books go and then do a scene outline, but I don’t follow the scenes slavishly. They are more like mileposts along the journey. I often take detours and alternate routes while I write. Having said that, I’m ready to start with book six.

The beginning of the book is written, but its purpose is to position Pol in a village before the story really begins. I’ll be able to begin knowing the direction the story will take and as I write, I’ll let inspiration nudge Pol here and there and I’ll give birth to new characters and new challenges outside of my scene outline.  I can’t promise no cliffhangers between chapters, though.

The Emperor’s Pet is 90% drafted… I’m Still Behind.

My next book is coming along. I suppose I’m about ten days behind. I had the beginning of the baseball season, the Masters (I like watching golf) and a Neil Diamond concert to distract me this weekend. In addition,  my editor is ill, so we will see what happens in the next few days. I should be done with the first draft by the 12th and will immediately head into rewrites.

The story is coming along nicely and I’m at the very end where tension is high. I like writing this part because twists start to pop into my mind. We’ll see how the end goes. I’ve got it mapped out, but sometimes it’s better to write with the flow and ignore parts of my scene outlines.

Writing Status – The Emperor’s Pet

Publishing Demeron’s tale has put my publishing schedule behind a bit. I knew it would. I’m only halfway through The Emperor’s Pet and have been dealing with a reader revolt over my treatment of Pol and Shira’s relationship in The Sleeping God.  My mea culpa is below in another post, but after The Emperor’s Pet is out, I will go back and rewrite The Sleeping God as a second edition with less aggression on the part of Shira.

I’m probably about two weeks behind, so it looks like my next book is targeted for release after the first week in May.  I’ll definitely shoot to have The Emperor’s Pet out before Mother’s Day.

The Sleeping God – Disinherited Prince #4: First Draft Done

I just finished the first draft of The Sleeping God, the 4th book in the Disinherited Prince series.  Now I get to go over the manuscript for reviewing, edit, and publishing. I have a lot going on in February and it’s a short month, so it might be a challenge to get the book out by the end of the month.

This lastest installment features the escapees from Borstall and their adventures on the continent of Volia.

Sip of Magic – Now In Editing

A Sip of Magic has been sent to editing. Pol has a lot of challenges in this story, but he finds new friends amidst the ones he already has.  Here’s the cover blurb:

Expecting to resume his studies after a long absence, Pol Cissert is disappointed when he is drafted by the Emperor’s Seeker to infiltrate into Tesna Monastery. His mission is to verify rumors of a new army being raised by the South Salvan King, a man he perceives as an enemy. Pol will face new challenges, not the least of which will be figuring out the mysterious roommate that arrives not long after he learns about the Tesnan’s plans to take over the world.

And here is the cover!  The release of A Sip of Magic is targeted just before Christmas.

sipcover-med

A Sip of Magic – Now in Draft Mode

The third volume of The Disinherited Prince is in Draft Mode.  Since this is NaNoWriMo, I am dedicated to finishing the draft by the end of the month.  I’m about a third of the way through and my wife is going out of town next week, so I’ll have some great opportunities to tickle the keyboard and make a man out of Pol Cissert.

As always, the process of writing always produces surprises and this draft is no different. Pol gets a new companion that plays an unexpected role in the book. There are reversals of fortune and plenty of surprises along the way.

A big thanks to those of you who have joined Pol in his journeys. The Disinherited Prince series is a record seller for me. Tell your friends and neighbors about the fun you’ve had reading about him. I know that’s a shameless plug, but then this is a website for shameless plugs, I guess. 🙂

The Monk’s Habit – Now Published!

I am happy to announce that The Monk’s Habit, the second book in the Disinherited Prince Series, is now available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback formats.

Now on to the third book in the series, A Sip of Magic.  I’ve started writing it in between edits, so we will be looking at a December introduction.