What I’m Working On Now

A lot of you have posted comments, tweets, and sent me emails over the last few months since I posted my What Should I Write Next post. I figured that it’s past time to follow up and let you know what I’ve been working on and why.

Most of the folks who responded to that post wanted me to work on Mistress Of The Ages next, with many afraid that I wasn’t going to finish off the First Empress saga at all. That was a great affirmation of interest by fans of the series, and it was much appreciated. If you fall into that camp, you may rest assured that I have every intention of finishing the First Empress story (although it may actually take more than a third book to do it), so we can lay that fear to rest right off the bat.

However, after a great deal of thought, I finally decided to temporarily set that project aside and work on something different that wasn’t set in the In Her Name universe. The main reason, despite my underlying concerns on the finance/business angle, was that I came to the firm conclusion that I just needed a break from what I’d been doing. You have to keep in mind that, aside from the novella The Journal Of Avery Moore, the only stories I’ve written in the last six years have been the In Her Name and Harvest books, and my muse needed a bit of a vacation.

So, Mistress Of The Ages is now firmly placed in my queue behind my current project. I suspect that may upset some folks who’ve been waiting, patiently or otherwise, for the next book in the series. But this really will work out for the best in the long run, because when I sit down to write the next part of Keel-Tath’s tale, my mind and muse will be ready and it will be a far better story than it might have been otherwise. There’s nothing worse (at least when it comes to writing books) than trying to force out words you don’t feel.

Of course, now you probably want to know what I’m working on. I can tell you that, something akin to the Harvest books, it’s a blend of science fiction and horror, is set in Nazi Germany during World War Two, has some very nasty bad guys, a portal that is literally a gate to Hell, and a hero and heroine fighting against impossible odds to save the world. The working title is The Black Gate, and I hope to have it out in not too terribly long. I hope, of course, that you’ll enjoy it!

THE LAST DAYS: Six Great Post-Apocalyptic Thrillers In One Boxed Set

The Last DaysIf you’ve enjoyed my HARVEST series, you’re going to absolutely love THE LAST DAYS, a boxed set containing more than 450,000 words of thrilling post-apocalyptic fiction from six bestselling authors, all in one low-priced ($0.99) box set.

This incredible deal includes the complete text of:

  • Bitter Harvest (Season of the Harvest #2) by yours truly – While investigating the grisly murder of a fellow agent, FBI agent Jack Dawson discovers the dark secret behind the creation of genetically modified organisms, bringing a terrifying new meaning to the old saying that you are what you eat…
  • Infected (Slow Burn #2) by Bobby Adair – In a late Texas summer with a virus burning through an unprepared population, an over-educated underachiever fights for his life against the atavistic brutality of the contagion’s survivors.
  • Origins (The Wasteland Chronicles #2) by Kyle West – 2060: the meteor Ragnarok has turned the world into a wasteland, and now a horrific virus is infecting the world – will Alex and his friends survive long enough to thwart the next apocalypse?
  • The Shock (After #1) by Scott Nicholson – A massive solar storm wipes out the technological infrastructure and kills billions, and then the survivors discover that some among them have…changed.
  • The Onset (Contamination #1) by T.W. Piperbrook – A band of survivors struggles to outlast an infection that has consumed the American southwest
  • Melt Down (Breakers #2) by Edward W. Robertson – Humanity faces not one apocalypse, but two: first a lethal pandemic, then a war against those who made the virus.

This is a great opportunity to check out some other fantastic authors at a nearly-free price. You’ll also notice that four of the six novels are the second in a series. Why did we include the second rather than the first? Because you can grab the first books in the series for free! How can you beat that?

So, get your copy today and expand your horizons (and help us starving authors)!

Where To Buy (eBook format only):

In Her Name: Legend Of The Sword – On Sale For $0.99

Legend Of The SwordIf you nabbed a free copy of In Her Name: First Contact, now’s your chance to get the second book of the trilogy, Legend Of The Sword, at a great discount price of only $0.99!

The book is on sale in ebook format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

But don’t wait: this sale is only on for a few days before the book goes back to its regular price!

Thanks To My Readers For A Great Year

With the end of 2013 fast approaching,  I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you, dear reader, for what’s been a really great year, reflect a little on a few things, and make a few pie in the sky prognostications for next year.

To start off, here’s my publishing scorecard for the year:

  • Forged In Flame
  • Reaping The Harvest
  • Special illustrated edition of First Contact
  • Chinese language edition of First Contact
  • Season Of The Harvest audiobook
  • Bitter Harvest audiobook

Now, I can’t really claim to have done all that much work for the audiobooks or the two editions of First Contact that were published, as other folks put in a lot of hours to make those a reality. But they went out the door with my name on them, so I guess I have to claim them!

I also have to confess that I’m a bit disappointed in myself, as I was hoping to have three novels out this year. And before you get worried about the quantity versus quality thing, let me just say that when I actually just sit my butt down and write consistently, as I have been since kicking Reaping The Harvest out the door and starting my latest (still secret) project, I can get a lot done. It all boils down to being disciplined and filtering out the many distractions that crop up while working from home. It’s a tough life, I know.

But that’s my first goal for 2014: getting three books out on the street by writing consistently.

My second goal is to get at least three audiobooks published. While I had a professional narrator do Season Of The Harvest and Reaping The Harvest, I’m afraid you’re probably going to be stuck with me doing the other books. I’m going to make a profit from the audiobooks in the long run, but with the sales at the level they are now, having the other books done professionally is pretty much out of the question. However, I know there’s a market for them, so I’ll keep kicking them out there. The next one I plan to release is The Journal of Avery Moore, mainly because it’s a novella that I can get through fairly fast, and also because I’m curious to see if there’s more of an audiobook fan base amongst horror fans. Regardless, as Mike Wazowski would say in the movie Monsters, Inc., “follow the sultry sound of my voice…”

How about sales? What’s the story with that? Well, dear reader, thanks to you and a ton of other people, I’m very happy to report that total Kindle book downloads will  top 300,000 copies this year, with over 80,000 of them paid sales. My emphasis on Kindle sales is only because Amazon produces stats that are really easy to compile, but since sales from all the other retailers and print copies came to about 20% of my royalties this year (which I believe is a record), I think we can safely add another 15,000 or so paid sales to the pile and a few tens of thousands more free copies.

That’s a whole lotta books! And I want to thank you for your support, because without your patronage I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing: writing to entertain you!

As for what you can look forward to in the coming year, you’ll be seeing more of the In Her Name series, along with some stories that are totally new that I hope you’ll enjoy. Hints? Spoilers? Projected release dates? No way! Well, maybe later…

Finally, if you don’t hear from me between now and then, I hope you have a great New Year!

Announcing A Special Illustrated Version of First Contact (The Last War Trilogy, Book 1)

In a bit of an unexpected twist that just happens to coincide with the upcoming holidays, I’ve secured the rights to use the illustrations originally intended for use in the Chinese version of First Contact for a special illustrated English edition of the book (note: this will be in addition to the existing text-only edition).

Now, there’s a bit of bad news to go along with the good. The Chinese publisher had planned to publish the book with one illustration per chapter, which unfortunately proved to be an overwhelming task for the illustrator, so we don’t have as many illustrations as we’d hoped. Also, some of them were in a draft phase when the illustration idea was dropped from the project, but I plan to include those in the English version. Even though they’re not complete, they still convey a great “feel” for the scenes and I hate to see them go to waste.

The book will be available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Books, and will be flagged with “special illustrated version” in the title. I don’t have any immediate plans to publish a print version unless I can get higher resolution copies of the images. I’m going to work on getting the ebook version formatted today, so it should be available for purchase within the next week.

Before you ask if there will be illustrated versions of the others books (especially those featuring Reza and Esah-Zhurah!), the honest answer is that I don’t know. I would love to have illustrated editions of all the books, including the Harvest series, but that’s a huge undertaking under the best of circumstances. So, we’ll see.

In the meantime, for those who want to get a little bit of eye candy of the In Her Name universe, keep your eyes out for the new edition of First Contact!

Aurora Being Boarded

Kreelan warriors boarding the starship Aurora