This is a time of transition. As the three volumes comprising The Last Whisper of the Gods Saga fade in the rearview mirror, I have turned my attention to new stories, new worlds, and new characters. After having spent so long with Sorial, Alicia, Azarak, and Myselene, it isn’t an easy transition, no matter how much I like my new creations: Janelle, Samell, Backus, and the others.
I learned a lot during the writing and publication of The Last Whisper of the Gods Saga - things I hope to put into use when I start publishing The Elusive Strain Chronicles. One thing, for example, is that if I decide to publish the books in paperback format, to do it at the same time as the e-book versions. That was a mistake I made with The Last Whisper of the Gods. Originally, I had intended to wait a year after the e-book publication to release the paperback. However, 11 months later, sales have cratered and there’s no business case.
Second, rushing a book to meet a self-imposed deadline is a bad idea. Lingering Haze (Book One of The Elusive Strain Chronicles) has not been an “easy write.” The primary reason is that, for the first time, I’m writing something from the first person perspective. It took me a while to find my voice (or should I say, “Janelle’s voice”) and that means sections of the first half of the book are going to need rewriting. To accommodate that, I have pushed back the projected publication date of Lingering Haze to February 2017. After that, the books will arrive at nine-month intervals. I would rather slow down the pace than sacrifice quality. The story I have in mind is more ambitious on a number of levels than The Last Whisper of the Gods.
Before I leave behind my first series, however, I want to give it one last promotional push - a chance for those who, for whatever reason, have thus far ignored it to be incentivized to give it a shot. So, for the first anniversary, I’m going to put the whole thing on sale. The trilogy will be available for $2.98. Book One (The Last Whisper of the Gods) will be free. Book Two (The Curse in the Gift) will be $0.99. Book Three (Shadow of the Otherverse) will be $1.99. The fourth book, Stories from Ayberia, will also be free (mainly because I really like the sequel short story and want people to read it without worrying about buying a bunch of other stuff they’re not interested in). This will be a three-day-and-done sale. After that, I have no plans to put this on sale again in the near future. In fact, all my efforts will turn to the new books (although The Last Whisper of the Gods and its sequels will continue to be available, obviously). The exact sales dates are in flux but I’m targeting mid-November, depending on which dates work best for my promotional partners.
Addressing common complaints… The “annoying” pop-ups may return to advertise the sale, but they’ll only be up for the three days when it runs. They will then not return until Lingering Haze is available for pre-sale. As for book content, the new series will be tamer than The Last Whisper of the Gods Saga in a few areas - it’s a switch from “R” rated material to “PG-13”. No sex (at least not of the explicit nature - there will be some romance - even Casablanca has kissing). No swearing. No graphic violence, although death remains a constant companion for the characters. I pay attention to complaints in the amazon.com reviews and, although there’s nothing I can do about the books that are already out there, I have taken these things to heart for future works.
After this post, I will begin providing updates on Lingering Haze. One of my pet peeves with authors I follow is that a lot of them don’t like communicating about progress to their readership and this leads to frustration. I understand that things happen and delays occur. All writers encounter rough patches and real life frequently interferes. My policy is to talk about these bumps in the road. I can’t help but wonder if George R.R. Martin was more transparent whether his readers would be more forgiving.
At any rate, the first draft of Lingering Haze is 2/3 finished. That’s about 67,000 words out of a projected 100,000. It may end up running a little longer but I won’t know for sure until I’m done. I expect to finish the first draft around Thanksgiving (U.S. - that’s late November) then do revisions and re-writes through December and into January (keeping in mind that the flood of end-of-the-year movie releases will relax by mid-December, giving me more time to write). The finished text should be done by January 31. It will then be submitted for publication, a process that takes a few weeks. My current expectation is to make it available in both e-book format and paperback at the same time. Watch this space for more updates.