November was an insane month of writing as I attempted NaNoWriMo yet again. This year, I started a new novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST, which has been a lot of fun to write, but once again, I failed to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month. This is the last NaNoWriMo I think I’ll attempt for a while. I wrote a proper blog post about it a couple of nights ago, which you can read here. I did write a good first chunk of the book though—which I’m really loving, by the way—and I’m probably about a quarter of the way through the story now, so it’s no real “loss” by any means.
November Word Counts:
Blog posts: 2052
THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST: 42,311
Total Words for November: 44,463
Total Words for 2017: 164,431
Plans for December:
I plan to continue writing the first draft of THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST, at a somewhat slower pace. As I said above, I’m about a quarter of the way into the story now, so I’m looking at another 100-120,000 words to go before I reach the end. It’s going to be a really long book. That final word count will probably get edited down quite a bit, but the first draft is going to be massive. I’m okay with that. I’m doing a fairy tale retelling (of not just one favorite, but two smashed together), so I’m discovering that this story is more about the journey, more about the telling, than another book might be. Most readers already know how the fairy tales end, so this is my chance to give them something different on the road to that end destination. Stylistically, the book feels a little bit older, like the fantasy novels of the 80s and 90s, with more focus on multiple characters and the winding plots that come with them. This is the first novel I’ve ever written with multiple point-of-view characters, and it’s been interesting switching around to tell a bigger story than just one character can show. This book is different from my usual writing in a lot of ways, and I find I’m enjoying those differences. So, I’ll be working on that this month, and maybe dabbling a bit in DARK LORD IN TRAINING, if the mood strikes.
And Now Some News:
Harper Voyager passed on REBEL ENGINEER and any subsequent books in the Chroniker City series. It’s a bit of a bummer, I will admit, as I really did enjoy working with the team there. My earliest editors—Kelly and Rebecca—helped push my writing to new heights in a very short amount of time, and that experience was invaluable to me. I’m happy to report that no bridges have been burned, so I may work with Harper Voyager again in the future, just not on the remaining books in my steampunk series.
So what does that mean for the rest of the series? I’m not going to let Petra and Emmerich’s story fall by the wayside, if that’s what you’re thinking. No, it looks like I’ll be publishing REBEL ENGINEER and THE CHRONIKER LEGACY myself. I’m hoping to get organized enough to publish Emmerich’s story, REBEL ENGINEER in the early part of next year. And, as time allows, I’ll start working on the final book in the series, THE CHRONIKER LEGACY, to publish in 2019, most likely. That is going to depend on a lot of things—most notably, what happens to THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST in the meantime—but rest assured, I don’t plan to let the series end unfinished. We may just have to wait a little while longer than expected.
And honestly, I’m okay with this. It’s more work for me, and I’m sad not to be publishing more books with Harper Voyager right away (it feels like a giant step backward for my career in a lot of ways), but I’m now freed up to work on what I want, instead of what I feel obligated to write. I’ll need to reevaluate some things, going forward—what my immediate goals are, where I want to be in the next few years of my career, and how to get there—which is scary, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.
I hope you will all stick around to see where I end up.
December 1: Signing at Dog Ear Books in Russellville, AR, from 6:00pm–9:00pm
December 23: Signing at Barnes & Noble in Rogers, AR, from 12:00pm–5:00pm
November was an insane month of writing as I attempted NaNoWriMo yet again. This year, I started a new novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST, which has been a lot of fun to write, but once again, I failed to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month. This is the last...read more
Chroniker City #1
Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. But when Emmerich Goss—handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild—needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she’s been waiting for…
Chroniker City #1.5
Petra Wade’s older brother, Solomon, has always dreamed of being an actor. Instead, he works grueling shifts in the clockwork city’s boiler rooms to help support his large adopted family. When Le Theatre Mecanique holds an open call for their upcoming performance, he decides to audition, but the only role he is suitable to fill is that of the theater’s custodian…
Chroniker City #2
It has been six months since clockwork engineer Petra Wade destroyed an automaton designed for battle, narrowly escaping with her life. But her troubles are far from over. Her partner on the project, Emmerich Goss, has been sent away to France, and his father, Julian, is still determined that a war machine will be built. Forced to create a new device, Petra subtly sabotages the design in the hopes of delaying the war, but sabotage like this isn’t just risky: it’s treason. And with a soldier, Braith, assigned to watch her every move, it may not be long before Julian finds out what she’s done…
When Alden Millard steps before the Seeress of Erilea, waiting to learn his destined profession, he hopes for a future in a less-than-deadly career. Instead, he’s named to Master Phineas Elwyn Wright, the presiding Dark Lord of the Griffinwold, who is looking to train an apprentice before he retires from his life of evil. Bound to a seemingly inevitable fate, Alden must learn how to wrangle the forces of evil and help Phineas orchestrate one last nefarious hurrah against the reigning heroes of good in order to earn himself the title of Dark Lord…
Brooke is a stay-at-home mom, amateur seamstress, RPG enthusiast, and art hobbyist, in addition to all that book writing. As the jack-of-all-trades bard of the family, she adventures through life with her fiercely-bearded paladin of a husband, their daughter the sticky-fingered rogue, and their cowardly wizard of a dog, with only a sleep spell in his spellbook.
They currently reside in Northwest Arkansas, but once they earn enough loot and experience, they’ll build a proper castle somewhere and defend against all manner of dragons and goblins, and whatever else dares take them on.