I don’t want to alarm any of you, but apparently it’s September already. I know; I’m as shocked as you are! Does anyone know what happened to August?
Prophecy is a tough gig but the perks do involve possible stoning, so… that’s something?
As my friends/followers/hopefully loyal minions on social media know, I did not complete One Tin Soldier in August. It was a stunning refutation of the prophecies of the Ancient Ones and it shook our very basic understanding of the laws of reality. Of course, I did say that would be the case in my July post. I guess I have a higher batting average1 than those same Ancient Ones. I’d make a big to-do about it, but then they’d probably curse me, and I’m too young2 to end up in the belly of a primordial beast.
All judgments are final except when they haven’t yet been made.
The good news, as my enemies/rivals/duplicitous double agents on social media also know, is that I did finish One Tin Soldier last week. Actually, let’s go back and hang some quotes on “finish,” because I have a ton of work to do even before it heads out to beta readers. Namely, layering in some of the context and detail I originally missed, addressing continuity issues, fixing at least 30% of the small armada of typos, and possibly abandoning the written word entirely in favor of releasing this book as a musical3.
A handful of alpha readers have already finished reading it, and despite some all-caps expletives coming through in texts, nobody has tarred and feathered me yet. And for those of you who know me in real life, you know it’s definitely not because I’m just that fast. So far, the consensus is that it’s good and ends well4.
As to what I think of the book? Ask me again after twenty more edit passes. Damian’s voice and character have always been a challenge for me, but his slow and violently circuitous path to maturity and responsibility has been fun to chart. I’ve tried to give you all a satisfying conclusion, while also staying true to the character and paying off all the foreshadowing from the first two books. Some of what happens may come as a surprise, some of it may come as a disappointment, but all of it is what I set out to write almost five years ago with See These Bones, and I think that’s pretty neat.
I’ll be sad to finish the series, but I’m also confident this won’t be the last time we see some of its characters. I hope you all enjoy what should be more of a farewell than a final goodbye from the post-Break universe.
I want to finish my first editing pass this week. If I don’t find any significant issues in the process, I’ll send out beta copies soon after. And then, as is my usual pattern, I’ll continue to edit the manuscript even as the beta readers do their thing. Sometime in October, I’ll make a final edit pass that incorporates the beta readers’ suggestions/feedback, and a final-final edit pass that makes sure I didn’t break everything with my edits.
Once all that is done, I’ll format the manuscript for digital release, send the print page count to my cover designer so they can finalize the cover, and hold my breath until the release. Depending on the amount of time between my finalization of the release and the actual release, it is entirely possible–even likely–that I’ll pass out; after all, my personal record at holding my breath is roughly 40 seconds, and I’m not sure anyone has managed multiple days/weeks.
Happily, Joe Vernon will be back to narrate One Tin Soldier, and you can expect the audiobook to drop sometime next year. I can’t wait to hear his take on it!
No, seriously: what’s next?
Oh, you mean after One Tin Soldier? Once that book is released5 and the reviews/criticisms/marriage proposals6 come pouring in, I’ll move on to editing The Italian Screwjob, the fourth book in The Many Travails of John Smith. The current plan7 is to release that book in February, so I have more time to work on [whatever it is I am going to write next year]8.
Somewhere in there, I want to write another post-Break novelette and maybe another Bill short as well. I don’t make money on either, but they’re fun… and sometimes that’s what matters.
Maybe I’ll even make a new banner post for my Facebook page, since the current one is three books, one novelette, and one changed cover out of date.
I’ll see you all next month, when we’ll somehow already be starting the release countdown. If there’s anything you’d like to see as part of that countdown, let me know! I won’t be sharing spoilers, but anything else is fair game!
Until then, stay safe and keep reading!
If you’ve read this far, you’ve got gumption, kid. In fact, you’re just the kind of person that would make an awesome subscriber to my newsletter. Come join the fun!
And by fun, I mean “be alerted when new books are available.” If this site’s blog posts are my monthly, in-depth, fact-heavy shareholders’ reports, the newsletters are my far-less-frequent, carefully crafted pseudo-tweets, skipping all the nitty gritty to tell you what you actually want to know: what’s new and how you can get it.
I promise that I will never spam you… because spamming takes effort, and I am way, way too busy for that.
- If we ignore the preceding few years and also my entire baseball career.
- Stop laughing!
- But there will be no dance numbers. That’s an ironclad rule.
- Naturally, I refuse to believe them.
- November 9th! Pre-order now! Supplies are not at all limited!
- Sorry, gents… I’m taken.
- At this point, maybe I should use ‘hope’ instead?
- No, this is not a placeholder that I just forgot to fill in. I still don’t know what my fall release ’22 will be.