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
Other: 100

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.

Upcoming Events:

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

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