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!

18 thoughts on “What I’m Working On Now

  1. Josephine Wake

    I am glad to know that the In Her Name series will be finished – eventually. Trouble is at my age, eventually may never arrive. I a afraid I didn’t much like the Harvester series, not after the other stories which I thought were wonderful.

    Reply
    • Michael Hicks Post author

      Well, the similarities to the Harvest books are very superficial – The Black Gate is its own story. And Mistress Of The Ages is only the next book (last or not) of the story of the First Empress. There are more In Her Name books to come after that. :-)

      Reply
  2. Kevin Boucher

    Ok, So I am not a fan of the waiting part (Mistress of the Ages) but am a big fan of “Harvest-like” stories (The Black gate)!

    The Black gate sounds like it will be great! will it be a trilogy or a stand alone story?

    Reply
  3. Kat

    I do understand that writing is your livelihood and I will remain a loyal reader. I’m looking forward to reading your next publication. That said, I am also disappointed. When an author publishes the beginnings of a trilogy, we the readers purchase and read the books on the basis of the promise of a final chapter being made available. Again, I am very much a fan of your work and I’m glad you’ve branched out. But I can’t help being disappointed about having to wait for you to decide the final book to the Empress series will have to wait – whatever the reason, I feel like you made a promise and have decided not to keep it. In future, I will wait until you put out all the books before beginning a trilogy again. I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I’m just giving you honest feed-back.

    Reply
    • Michael Hicks Post author

      I don’t blame you for being disappointed! However, as I said, it’s much better that I write the story as best I’m able, rather than slapping something together to keep to an arbitrary schedule. Many traditionally published authors have a series of books that start out great, but become mediocre (or worse) as time goes on because the contract with the publisher requires the author to pump out a certain number of books in a certain amount of time. I’ve stopped reading a number of my once-favorite authors because the book series that I initially loved got old and stale or simply turned to garbage.

      Remember, writing a book isn’t a production line process, at least not for me. If I’m sitting in front of my laptop and the story isn’t spooling in my head like a movie (I write what I “see” when this happens), there’s nothing I can do to force it. There’s no guide book, no A + B = C formula for the plot. That was the case with Mistress Of The Ages. Right after I finished Reaping The Harvest, I sat down and tried to get the mental video player going, but it wasn’t happening. However, in the time that I’ve been working on The Black Gate, I’ve been getting flashes of things and writing notes about Keel-Tath’s next installment, and I believe the mental projector will be primed and ready when the time comes to start writing the book.

      So, my promise to you is not that I’ll deliver a certain book on a given date, it’s that I’ll deliver the best writing, the best story, of which I’m capable as often as I can. Mistress Of The Ages may be delayed, but it will be a better story because of it (and since the final chapter *will* be available, I haven’t really broken any promises, have I?) :-)

      Reply
      • Kat

        I understand your point of view. I remain a loyal reader. I am an editor, so I understand writer’s block. And more power to an independent because producing a manuscript with no editor hovering a nagging is quite an accomplishment. But I disagree with your analogy about the implied promise when the first in a series is released. Readers assume you have fleshed out the entire series. There-in, I think, lies the rub.

        Reply
        • Michael Hicks Post author

          Unfortunately, I don’t script out the entire plot arc of a series, book, or even a chapter. I wish I could, but that’s just not the way my writing brain works. Other than a few major milestones that pop into my head, I generally have no idea where things are going to go: that’s largely determined by the characters as the plot evolves from the opening. I wish I could plot everything out from start to finish, as that would make things much more efficient!

          Reply
  4. Tom Stronach

    Just stop blethering on wee Mickey and get on with it Sheesh, some of us are on the clock …….

    You write it we read it, that’s the deal, or haven’t you been paying attention oh wait, no, too much time on the pool deck hoping the missus will keep feeding you grape and wine …….

    Reply
      • thegeekmom

        Grape Wine..? Pshaw, how about on the beach, with drinks that have those little umbrellas sticking out, and sunshine, and palm fronds swaying in the breeze. Aloha from Hawaii, and yes, we are eagerly awaiting your next series ;)

        Reply
  5. Theresa Snyder

    So pleased to hear about the new project. I am currently reading your second in the In Her Name series. Really enjoying getting to know more on the background of the Kreela. Fascinating stuff. Just met the beasties on the hunting planet. Whew! That was a wild read. I totally understand your need for a break. I recently broke from my two series to write a paranormal novella and it was so much fun. I know yours will be just as enthralling as the rest of your work. Keep up the great job!

    Reply
  6. Mark

    awesome! cant wait to read it! now stop playing with your cats and what not and get back to the type writes :P

    Reply
  7. LisaVBr

    I hope this is related to the snippet you shared with your fans awhile back. If so, I’ve been waiting on it ever since then. So YAY!!!

    Reply
  8. Peter Wilson

    Glad to hear that Mistress of the Ages is in the pipeline can’t wait . I am assuming it will be carrying on with Keel-That going in search of the rest of the seven crystals before taking on the Dark Queen

    Reply
  9. Kay timbreza

    Really really enjoy in her name books, not the harvest…not my style but am really looking forward to the black gate!!! Hope it is soon. I have been reading science fiction/ fantasy since the “70”s and your work stands in with my all time favorites! Thank you so much for many hours of enjoyment. Kt

    Reply
    • Michael Hicks Post author

      Kay – Awesome, thanks for the kind words! I’m hoping to have it out by early/mid-summer, which shouldn’t be too far off, as I hope to get it off to the editors by the end of May. And it’ll definitely be different! LOL!

      Reply

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