Saturday, September 25, 2021

Cover reveal - Book 12

Since finishing Book 12 of Forgotten Worlds, I have been debating on the title. My mind has been a pendulum of swinging between the title I had or coming up with something else. My original title idea was MESSAGES, but I realized there are many different aspects of this book. It covers such a wide swath of characters, giving greater "screen time" to minor characters than I have in other books.

It centers around a derelict slave ship with a horror on board killing the crew and prisoners. The slavers are a nasty species that serve the Issan. In fact, they sell the many species they capture to work as slaves on Issan projects. But they found something that they don't understand, and it destroys them and damages their vessel. Only after they answer the distress call and start rescuing prisoners does Nya's team discover the dark threat on board. There's a bit of a horror element to this with a twist appropriate to the series.

So, I considered all the angles of the story thinking of other title possibilities. In the end, I think my original title is best--MESSAGES.

I had the cover image long ago, so I adapted the alien ship description to the image. I've had writer friends find pre-made covers that inspired them to write stories to fit those covers. It makes things easier in some ways, especially when it can be hard to find the right cover to an existing story (character, setting, starships, etc.). In writing to fit the image, I didn't have to try to describe to an artist what I imagined. Instead, I could adapt my description to what an artist has already imagined. I did that also with a couple of past books in this series. This was too gorgeous of an image not to use, so I made sure I had a description that matched.

So, until I can announce the publication of Book 10, here is the cover reveal of Book 12:

I expect this to be published sometime after the new year, probably around spring 2022.

Now, I'm finishing up edits of Book 10, DRAGON AND FURY, which I hope to announce with purchase links before next weekend.



Saturday, September 11, 2021

the bane of a long series

I just realized the addiction that all sff writers must have, which I am calling MSUAIG (Making Stuff Up As I Go, although the "S" could be a certain 4-letter word). I have spent this morning checking through the previous 9 books of the Forgotten Worlds series and realizing how much I didn't add to my series wiki (aka series bible) that I should have in there for when I have questions. I have also realized that I need to break it into some new categories because it has grown to be too much for simple alphabetizing. I knew this would happen but not to this degree.

Fictional worlds with your own made up stuff can get tangled with details of other fictional worlds we've enjoyed, and keeping that straight is like untangling delicate necklaces that were thrown into a box and shook up. (If you've ever experienced that, you know what a frustration it is to untangle.) It's also why I can't read much of other books or watch much television other than news/nonfiction when I'm in a project like this. I can only do that when I'm taking a break or it gets jumbled.

At some point, the MSUAIG catches up and I have too much stuff to manage easily. I need to make the time to organize it better now that it's grown so enormous. I only have half this series written and it's already a monster to manage. I hope that I can keep everything consistent, which was why I was checking through the past books. There are some small formatting inconsistencies, but nothing major, at least nothing major that jumped out at me. That's also why I make notes about certain details that don't fit neatly into any category.

Nevertheless, I am doing my best to stay on top of those details. I am a stickler for it, but I am nowhere near perfect. I would need a photographic memory to keep track of everything perfectly all the time. Since I don't have a perfect memory, I'll just have to keep making time to skim back over the series before I finish new books. This is partly why each new book is taking longer to finish...because I worry about details.

I am constantly worrying about names of people and places and numbers--did I already mention Nik's siblings besides Tatiana (Tia)? Did I mention previously how long Ann was captain or how long Simms was her first officer? I also worry about uniforms and descriptions and sayings--What expression would a Paxon use for frustration? (that I can remember pretty easily--Cursed Issan!)... and that's just a drop in the bucket of details I worry about.

You get the idea. Details like these are difficult to keep on track, but there are many minor details that worry me, perhaps even more so because they more easily slip by.

I am working hard on the final edits of Book 10 in the hopes of publishing later this month. This is but a small part of the editing process, and usually after I've managed the major factors of the story. However, it is very important to me to the point that, if you find any inconsistencies, please contact me. There may be a logical reason for something seeming to be inconsistent, but it could also be that no one else caught the mistake.

Coming soon!