Monday, April 12, 2021

unlocking potential

Writing is a puzzle, as I posted on my MeWe page. You don't usually have the pieces in the right order, but once sections begin to take form, it gets easier to put the rest of the remaining pieces together.

That happens with every single story. Each has its own spirit, based on the events that take place, which are due sometimes to outside forces but, more often than not, the character's thoughts and actions. The author is the transcriptionist.

More often than not, we will stew on a conundrum or piece that isn't fitting right, and not until we look from a different angle do we see the hidden picture, like a stereogram.

Can you see it?

That's how writing is sometimes. You don't always see the picture right away, but there are details that come up and then the picture jumps out at you.

I was thinking today about one of the characters in my Forgotten Worlds series. When he landed into IN DARKNESS, LIGHT, L'Ni was that key that made the whole picture of the series jump out at me. If anyone wonders why he became so prominent, it's because he was the missing piece that brought it all together. Up to that point, which was still early in my series, I still hadn't figured out how some things were going to fit together. Then he appeared and, in the process of learning about his character, I realized he was the answer to a lot of things, but his appearance also changed some plotlines I had outlined and added a LOT. 

So, I have been dropping hints of his potential along the way but do plan to reveal his full background in either book 12 or 13. Sorry for those who want it sooner, but it has to fit in the right place in the series. L'Ni is tight-lipped and stubborn and hasn't been cooperating, so I'm going to force him to reveal his secrets.

I am still planning at least 24 books, although that could expand a little.

I am almost done with Book 11 right now and just had another piece come to me while laying in bed before having to get up for work today. I had felt like something was missing and that I wasn't challenging the characters enough. Then I realized what it needed and am inserting that this afternoon.

These pieces don't always come together in order or when we would like them to fall into our laps as writers, but when they do, it's like manna from heaven for the creative spirit.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Writing status

 I have been making good progress on Forgotten Worlds Book 11. As of this post, the first draft is currently about two-thirds finished. It's a little shorter than I would like, but that's all right. I expect this one to be around 35,000 words (novella length), the shortest of the books to date. If my current writing pace can hold up, I could easily finish this before the end of April. But something always seems to come up, so no promises. That's why I'm not doing pre-orders.

I also have a tentative title but could change it. At the moment, the working title is simply THE CAVE. After a hasty escape from Paxons with damage to the hyperdrive of the Cartegos, Nya and her friends learn that there's more damage than Vel and Shen can repair from the inside. They need to get outside to fix it properly. That means a planet with an atmosphere--Shen doesn't do spacewalks and Vel would like to avoid it if he can. Nya finds a world with a Starfire shard that is uninhabited by intelligent life and uses her power to create a portal there. While she and L'Ni track down the shard inside a labyrinth of a cave system, Vel and Shen get to work. But they soon discover that the world is a dangerous place full of wild animals that would just as soon maul them or gore them. They'll have to make some decisions about how to proceed with repairs, while Nya and L'Ni make some discoveries inside the cave and have their own troubles. The Starfire shard won't be as easy to reach as Nya had hoped.

That's not the official description but it is a start. After I finish this, I'll return to Book 9--FERIOUS--to finish edits and publish that. I know I need a description for DRAGON AND FURY (Book 10) as well. I'll work on that after I finish edits on FERIOUS. 

I hope you're enjoying the series so far. I have it outlined and planned out. I still end up with some surprises--L'Ni was a surprise arrival that became a link for a lot of things I had planned early on but wasn't sure how they would fit together until I met him. There is so much that I can't wait to reveal! Read carefully, because I do drop hints along the way.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading.

For more frequent updates, you can follow my author page on Amazon or join my MeWe page, my only social media location.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

FW Book 11 update

I haven't posted for a few weeks, but I had some health issues that made writing a bit of a slog most of that time. Nevertheless, Book 11 of Forgotten Worlds is making progress, especially since I figured out what I needed to regain my concentration. I've had enough health issues that I've researched since hitting middle age that I have an extensive enough knowledge to pretty much pinpoint what I need. Once again, I hit that, although it took a tiny bit of experimenting with supplements to hit on the right one. After a period of going off supplements that work, I start forgetting things, like what works. After a few trials of off and on with consistent results, I can pretty much say without lots of expensive medical tests that I likely have a second autoimmune disease. 😔

Despite all that, I have managed some good writing on Book 11. I had started out with a first chapter that was more in the line of getting back into writing and getting some thoughts out of the way that really didn't need to be there. It was helpful, however, to have written them out. And it was easy to remove that first chapter, although it shaved off half my word count at the time, since I had two chapters done. The book starts out into the real story now.

After all that and continuing to write, I have the word count over 10,000 words presently and, as usual with this series, my aim is to reach 40,000, the minimum to be considered novel length. Therefore, it is about a quarter done of the expected length, although that can vary a little.

Now that I've set up the story, I hope to pick up the pace. I can't promise any time frame, but that's why I no longer set these up for pre-order. My life can get a bit complex, and I don't want to miss any deadlines or sacrifice editing to my satisfaction.

Once I finish this book, I will finish edits on Book 9, FERIOUS, and publish that when it's ready. I expect it to be around early June, just in time for summer reading.

The series is about a third published for what I have planned. Thanks for sticking with it. I have some surprises coming--some hinted along the way and some out of the blue. One event in Book 10 even took me by surprise, a little. It wasn't totally unexpected, but I hadn't fully committed to what took place until it was written.

Anyway, that's all I can say without giving too much away. You'll just have to keep watching for Book 9 to come when it's ready this spring. I will expect to release book 10 in the fall, after writing Book 12. The adventure continues!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

If you like a book...

When you enjoy a good book, a simple rating or even a review are appreciated by the author as much as your continued reading. This is a simple way of showing your appreciation for the entertainment that the writer provided. Doing so helps promote the author's work to other readers. It's simple to click the stars. We all strive for 5, but we know we can't please everyone.

Adding a review is a bonus. Reviews can provide your thoughts on what worked in a story or what didn't. They can be one sentence or several paragraphs, although it is considered a courtesy to include a big SPOILER ALERT heading if you giveaway key details that readers may not want to know in advance. Many readers know this, but there are always new readers reviewing their first books in their enthusiasm who may not.

I enjoy product reviews for my own evaluations before buying, but in books, I don't like to know too much. And when it comes to stories, what one person finds distasteful may be candy to another. I look for certain details in stories, just as others do. Some details are helpful, but you have to use your best judgment of what to tell potential readers.

Please consider a rating (and possibly reviewing) after finishing a book, especially one that you enjoyed. Other readers appreciate this, and so do authors. It's a simple way to say "Thank you!"

Sunday, February 21, 2021

AVAILABLE NOW! Racing the Orast Belt

This is a fun piece of writing, if I say so myself; but I enjoy each of these books.

After all that Nya has endured since taking on the Starfire's mission, seeing the famous Orast Belt space racing up close is exactly the break she needs. Unfortunately, trouble is never far away. When a criminal organization decides to take the chance on collecting a bounty, not even L'Ni can stop them from taking her. What Nya's captors don't anticipate, however, are her flying skills and the persistence of her friends. The race is on, and there can be only one winner.

Available now for $2.99 from the following ebook retailers and others:

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Forgotten Worlds Book 8... coming VERY soon!

If you've given up on me, don't. I'm still here. I've been working very hard to put the final touches on RACING THE ORAST BELT. 

I'm glad I didn't list this as a pre-order. As I've learned, I sometimes need more editing than anticipated. The books will never be perfect, but I do my best to keep things consistent and to clean them up to be smooth reads.

It's pretty close to completion, and once it's done to my satisfaction, it will be available for purchase. I expect to publish it this upcoming week, so stay tuned for that update. I'll post when I have most of the purchase links, which takes a few days once I upload the manuscript.

I probably won't be doing any more pre-orders. The crunch can get to be too tight if life gets in the way. I write every book myself, which is the reason for the long wait between each book. I do not use ghost writers. I love my characters and my worlds and am doing this for the love of the creative process above all else.

I have finished Book 10, DRAGON AND FURY, and already have an outline for Book 11. Book 9, FERIOUS, is on deck waiting for its polishing rounds. I hope to publish that in late spring.

Stay with me. I am going to see this series to the end, and it's not halfway done yet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Dragon and Fury

I haven't been posting much here and have had some distractions, but I have finished the rough draft of Book 10 of Forgotten Worlds. Right now, I have a title but no cover. I have not found the right image for this one and am hoping to work with an artist to create the right image to suit this.

If you go back to the end scene of Book 5, you'll see mention of the Hormaki Battle Games. Well, this is just one of the many tournaments of Battle Games in this series. Ann is a fan, so I'll just say it was fun to "watch" it unfold. The Battle Games are little American Gladiator and a little UFC with weapons and only two rules really--no killing and no outside weapons allowed. It's a gladiator sport without the intentional killing, although broken bones, cuts, falls, etc. can happen and some fighters have died. It's brutal but there are also some areas of the arena with obstacles, and different weapons are available. This is what I would like to have on the cover, but since it's pretty specific, I can't find a stock image to match.

Now that I'm giving it a run-through post finish, it's fun to watch that whole part of the book unfold. I say watch because I can sit back and enjoy the show. It doesn't feel like reading but like I'm in the arena watching the exciting fight. I'm done with the first round of writing but am rewriting anything that stands out. The purpose in this is to get an idea of how it flows to determine what major rewrites may be needed. I will then go on to editing book 8, RACING THE ORAST BELT, after this round on book 10 and set up the pre-order for that. I'll return to book 10 again before moving on. I am still developing the story line for book 11.

And, as the subject line of this post states, the title of Forgotten Worlds #10 is DRAGON AND FURY.

Ann's plan to escape from her Paxon responsibilities presents some difficulties. And there are risks that endanger the intrepid group of friends helping Nik to finally meet the woman of his dreams.

If you are interested in the series, you can find more information on this blog under the "Forgotten Worlds" tab or visit your preferred ebook retailer online and search for M.A. Nilles.

1/28/21 edit: I have found an image that is suitable for this, although not what I would prefer with custom art to really capture the idea behind this. It is hard to find the right artist and my usual go-to cover artist is busy.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Update on Forgotten Worlds

I just have a little writing update for today, the 2nd of January, 2021. I can't believe it's 2021. It will take some time to get used to that. I saw online a meme that said something like "I can't believe that after 2020, we move onto saying 2020 won." Not quite the full meme, but you get the gist of it.

Anyway, starting out the new year, the writing is going well. I have a title for Forgotten Worlds Book 10--DRAGON AND FURY. As of today, it has passed 33,000 words, so very close to the finish since these books range from 40K-50K words, and I expect this to not be much past the minimum 40K word length. So far, so good for writing. I hope it keeps up this well so I can finish sooner than later. (I don't want to jinx myself again by getting overly optimistic.) Once I finish the first draft, I'll figure out a publication date for Book 8, RACING THE ORAST BELT, and post the pre-order availability on that. Fingers crossed I can set that date by mid-February.

The first 7 books of this series are available now. The current books available are listed in order below:








You can find more on the Forgotten Worlds tab of this blog or on my website at For more frequent updates, join my page at MeWe at

Friday, January 1, 2021

Welcome 2021!

It could get worse than 2020 but I'm an optimist and look forward to a 2021 that will be better than the past year.

I woke up to heavy fog this morning, which has, as of these pictures at 11 am, lightened enough to see more than a few feet away.

The crystalline glow of hoarfrost is always a beautiful remnant of winter fog. Once the fog lifts, that hoarfrost will sparkle and glisten, creating a magical surrealism over the world... until it melts off. It's a beautiful start to the new year!

I'm also glad we finally have snow on the ground. The second half of 2020 was drought for my area. Water tables have lowered and water dugouts for livestock are nearly depleted.  We finally received this snow a few days ago. While it's not enough, we'll take it. It was enough for the kids to have some sledding fun.

And inside, I have been growing this over the past month:

Two tomato plants starting to bud.

I had to put plastic around it because one of our kitties took to chewing off the leaves and killed one sprout and nearly two others. Those two, with regular watering quickly shot up to over three feet tall from the soil surface to the top and continues. I think these tomatoes love their mini-greenhouse made of that heavy-duty plastic. At least, they love not having a cat chew on them, and so do I.

Tomato greens can be toxic to cats, but Jack, being Jack, never showed signs of discomfort that we could see. He's our dog-cat. He eats everything, so we have to be careful. We did plant some kitty grass for him in a little potter after he went after the young tomato plants, and he LOVED that! Unfortunately, he also pooped out grass, which doesn't digest and caused him to have poop hanging from his butt. 🙁

Jack with his special cat grass (wheat, rye, barley mix)

Such is life here. We should have fresh tomatoes by the end of the month and will soon start some more indoor veggies. I hope Jack doesn't chew on those... cauliflower, radishes, and spearmint. I may even plant a head or two of lettuce if I have enough room in front of the the deck doors.

So, we're keeping an indoor garden. In one of the pictures above, you can see our regular garden plot. We've been taking out food waste to compost this spring. We have a pail under the sink to dump egg shells, banana peels, and other plant waste to take out and dump to add to our compost, although it appears that something is coming around to eat on some of that, which is fine too. We have wildlife in our rural neighborhood.

As I get older, I appreciate growing my own food more and more. It's a hobby with fruitful results. 😉