Less Time to Write

One thing is for sure this year.  I have far less time to write.  This is because my day job (teacher) takes up so much more time than it ever has before.  There is far more paperwork involved than any of my previous 17 years.  I have been working through my lunch each day, but I still need to spend time at home planning, grading, writing Student Intervention Plans, and calling parents.  It’s enough to make me glad that retirement is only a few years away.

What Should I Write Next?

Yesterday, I listed my next four projects.  The question is, what then?  I don’t really know.  It depends to a great extent about what I feel like writing when the time comes.  Here are some possibilities.

-The Jungle Girl
I’m about a fourth of the way into this one, though I’ve got some different ideas about how I want to approach it. 

-Knights of Amathar
A lot of people ask for this one and I have started it, but I haven’t felt much of a desire to return to Amathar yet. 

-The Many Adventures of Eaglethorpe Buxton
This will be a four part book: the two existing Eaglethorpe stories and two new ones.  I’ve written a few pages of one.  Since these stories are short, this shouldn’t take too long to do.

-Astrid Maxxim Sequel
I have a whole series planned for this, but how soon I get to it will depend on how successful the first book is.

-His Robot Wife Sequel
I have a title for this book, but I don’t want to give it away just yet.  What I don’t have is a story.  Literally hundreds of people have asked for this book, so I know it will sell.  I just need something for Patience and Mike to do in it.

-New Senta Series
I am planning another 5 1/2 book series that will tell the story of Senta and the Steel Dragon during the next part of their lives.

-Something else
I have several sci-fi stories started, and I might just pick up any one of those and finish it.

What do you think?  Feel free to let me know.

What’s Coming Up Next?

I’m still working on the revision of Blood Trade so I’m still looking at a November release.  What’s coming up after that?

– Astrid Maxxim and her Amazing Hoverbike
This is my first book aimed at younger readers.  Hopefully older readers will enjoy it too.  There is a possibility that this might be done by the end of the year.

– The Young Sorceress
The long awaited book 4 of Senta and the Steel Dragon.  This is a book with a complicated plot, making it difficult to write.  I love the characters and the story though, and can’t wait to get back to it.

-The Two Dragons
The fifth and final book of Senta and the Steel Dragon.  This book has been essentially done for almost four years now.  All it needs is a bit of revision and editing, but it can’t come out till book 4 does.  Look for it about a month after The Young Sorceress.

On the Last Chapter

Yay!  I’m on the last chapter of the draft!  I should have about four more pages to write.  This means, as I predicted that the draft will come in a bit shorter than originally plotted.  93 pages instead of 104.  That is primarily due to some huge rewriting at the end.  Everything originally plotted happens, but not in the same way or the same order that I originally thought it up.

I’ve been kicking myself because I haven’t been able to write the four pages a day that I originally planned.  But today?  Five pages!  Woot Woot!  Okay so that means the publication date is going to be somewhere near September 1.  A couple of weeks for draft number 2.  Three weeks for editing.  Maybe a draft 3.  And then I can forget everything I know about vampires.

Thanks Kindle Users!

I just got my May Amazon royalties and couldn’t be happier.  Thanks to every Kindle owner out there who purchased one of my ebooks.  My Amazon royalties are already quadrupled over what they were last quarter, and this quarter still has another month to go!

As I mentioned before, my primary motivation for writing isn’t the money (but I really appreciate it), but the royalties are real validation of the time and effort put into writing a book.  If I could just ask one more thing, if you’ve read and enjoyed one of my books, please post a positive review, or if that is too much work, just recommend it to someone.

THANKS TO ALL YOU KINDLE OWNERS OUT THERE WHO’VE BOUGHT ONE OF MY BOOKS!  Yes, I’m shouting– that’s why they’re all capitals.

Characters: Patience (The Daffodil Robot)

Of all my characters, none has gone through as much of a change between first draft and published work as has Patience Smith from His Robot Girlfriend.  Originally she was a rather Amazonian figure, physically very imposing, but much more submissive.  Some might argue that Patience is still submissive, but I think she’s not so much.  When I rewrote the short pieces into a long story, she needed to have much more force of personality so that she could advance the storyline of forcing Mike to change.  A college professor once told me the main character is the one in the story who changes the most– and that would be Mike.

When I started rewriting, I just wasn’t happy with her physical description, so I started completely from scratch, using a young woman I knew as a model– so yes, there really is a Patience out there.  I observed her as carefully as possible (without seeming too creepy) so that I could describe her movements and gestures– like when Patience bounces on her tip-toes or incorporates dance moves into everyday movement.  Since then, I’ve tried to find a human being to at least think about when I write my characters.  Yes, I still know the young woman I patterned Patience after, and no, I never told her she was an inspiration.  I still think it’s a little bit creepy.

Characters: Mike Smith

The story that became His Robot Girlfriend consisted originally of some short flash fiction and the characters were not very well developed.  When I decided to turn it into a book, I completely rewrote it, adding an ending.  I had to turn some cardboard people into real characters.  In the case of Mike Smith, I just decided to make him– me.  He was a school teacher, about five years older than me, when I started, and instead of being happily married with two kids, he was a widower with two surviving children.  Personality-wise, language-wise, and description-wise, he’s about as close to me as I could get.  As i neared the end, I started feeling a little uncomfortable that he was so much like me, and I began working in little things that made him at least somewhat different.  In the end, physically at least, Mike changes quite a bit.  Patience really gets him into shape.  I just started at the gym two months ago (though I don’t have a Daffodil pushing me along), so this might be a case of life imitating art.