The Misplaced Prince – Cover Reveal

Book Six is in editing. The draft and a couple of rewrites are finished and now all the technical stuff has to take place. I’m still shooting for an early June release. Update: Planning a release before June 15. The final book in the Disinherited Prince Series, The Fractured Empire is currently being drafted while waiting for Misplaced Prince edits.

The cover is made up of elements in the book. This time a hawk tile is given to Pol. He will head to grasslands at some time during the story, hence the wheat-filled background.

Preliminary Book Blurb:

Pol Cissert can’t remember his name or his origin when washed up on a strange continent. Demeron, his horse, must find a way to get Pol to a magician powerful enough to remove his curse. Without magic, it may take years to find the right person, so until then Pol has become the Misplaced Prince.

 

 

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.

Shira’s Behaviorial Change

As promised, I have just gone through The Sleeping God and given Shira a personality change. Her aggressive tendencies have  been mollified, but not totally eradicated. No more kicks to Pol’s shins, but taps and nudges. She still gets a good poke in from time to time.  I made a few other edits to the manuscript, but none of them affected the story. Hopefully, she won’t appear to be so shrewish as some readers pointed out.

If you’ve read the original version of The Sleeping God, please give Shira the benefit of the doubt in The Emperor’s Pet. She is much better behaved.

Now, on to the next book, The Misplaced Prince.  I hated to make this a cliffhanger, but Pol is embarking on a new chapter in his life and there wasn’t a better place to delineate his Shinkyan experience from his Daeran than showing up on Daera with Demeron as his nursemaid. More excitement to come!

The Emperor’s Pet has just been published on Amazon!

The Emperor’s Pet has just been submitted to Amazon and is now published.  I put in a lot of extra time and changed my post-draft workflow to get it done, and my efforts worked.  I probably saved two weeks in the process and have caught up, despite spending some quality time with Demeron last month. You will note my typical excerpt of the next book in the back of The Emperor’s Pet is a little shorter than usual. That’s so I could get this book out earlier.

The excerpt is for Book Six in the Disinherited Prince series and goes by the title The Misplaced Prince. I’m still pretty much in the planning mode, but I did know enough about where the book was headed to write part of the first chapter for the excerpt. Book Six is scheduled for the end of June.

 

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.

Disinherited Prince Cleanup

After a few reviews and readers pointing out some typos, I decided to put the Disinherited Prince Series under another set of eyes. That’s a gruesome thought if taken literally. It turns out that I read fast and write fast and that technique churns out lots of errors.

One editor was not enough, so all four books plus the Demeron novella have been read again by another editor who takes pride of reading a word at a time. I generally do a markup on a hardcopy proof, but I must have been introducing more mistakes. There were twenty to thirty errors per book, but less for Demeron. Most of those were left out articles (a, an, the). Any words not spelled correctly were the kind not caught by spell checkers (for example, their instead of there)

I am happy to say that the process is over. The books have been corrected. I made no additional writing changes (other than rearranging a few clunky sentences), so I don’t count these as new editions, just cleanup. I did modify the cover titles for A Sip of Magic and The Sleeping God to match the rest of the series.

So, hopefully I’ll turn out better edited books in the future. I always appreciate feedback if readers find errors. I had a review where the reader spotted an abduction that didn’t happen. I reread the book and couldn’t find what they referred to. It’s really hard to spot your own errors, since you generally fix the errors in your mind.

Anyway, I thought you might like to know…