Awaiting Dates

Awaiting Dates

Nasty Leftovers is in proofreading. I’m on pins and needles.

Then, yesterday, a review of Sudden Mission from Peter Younghusband, Australia, came out. The excitement is building. Here is the link to that review:

Booktrope (parent of my publisher Vox Dei) approved the cover concept. And, Scott Deyett, who did such a bang-up job on Sudden Mission, is hard at work getting the art for the Nasty Leftovers cover ready. This’ll be great!

Due to holidays and schedules, we’ll likely push the publication date from the original March 22 (proposed way back last fall), to early April. I’m waiting to get confirmation on that date. I have a few events to schedule around that.

I’m also working on a concept for the book trailer.

I also need to get writing on the third installment.

And, I have some granddaughters I must totally spoil for Valentine’s Day.

Looks like a busy next couple of months.

Here’s a little taste of Nasty Leftovers, just to whet your reading appetite.

“Hello, William,” Paul said. “I’m …”

“Paul,” William said. “And she is Amy. I know.”

Something felt unsettling to Paul. William was far more clear-headed than any of the other survivors they had brought in, but he was off-putting in voice and manner, and his face was hard.

“I see,” Paul said. “May we ask you a few questions?”

The man smiled, a cold, confident smile that chilled Paul’s blood. “You can ask me whatever you like.”

“How do you know who we are? Did someone here tell you?”

“No, I know who you are because he told me,” William said.

“He?” Paul said. “He, who?”

“The magnificent ruler of this place, his highness.”

“Do you know his name?”

“Yes.”

Paul waited. William just looked at him, then gave another contemptuous smile. “Do you actually expect me to give it to you? Really, Paul, you are such a child.”

Paul felt like a child. He felt small and weak and hopelessly outclassed.

“Do you—do you remember when we found you and brought you here a few days ago?” Amy asked. Her voice sounded uncertain and Paul suspected she’d spoken just to change the subject.

“Of course,” William said. “I was deliberately taken to a location where you would find me and bring me in.”

Paul suspected as much, but hearing the words made him uneasy. The demon wanted William to be here. It was all part of his plan.

“Yes, Paul. It is his plan. You should have stayed in your little community with your gardens, your solar power, and your church and friends. This mission was just a supreme waste of lives, fuel, and time. You have no hope of clearing this city. It belongs to my master and will stay that way.”

Keep writing.

 

 

Nasty Leftovers

Nasty Leftovers

The sequel to Sudden Mission, Nasty Leftovers, is “edit complete.” It is off to the proofreader and on its way to publication. The planned release date is later in March. I will post the firm date when we get it.

Nasty Leftovers is no longer a working title, so we’re going with it. The story follows Paul Shannon and Amy Grossman as they go Ina mission to clean up Washington, D.C. It gets a bit grittier than Sudden Mission, and Paul and Amy face new and dangerous challenges.

Here is a short excerpt:

“This demon, the one you called your master here, had a very tight hold on you,” Paul said. “We need to know the name of this demon.”

“I guessed you would be back to ask that.”

“So, do you remember the name?” Amy asked.

“Yes,” William said. “Do you really understand what you ask? That name, that is just the beginning.”

“Yes,” Paul said, “we’re prepared.”

“I very much doubt it. He rules here. He has hellhounds, and imps, and he plans to use those hounds to drag you two to hell.”

“Kicking and screaming, I’m sure,” Paul said, smiling at Amy.

“Don’t get cute, Paul,” William pointed his finger at Paul’s chest. “This is serious. Once you and Amy are in hell, my master will possess more and expand his rule on Earth. He plans to earn great favor from Satan for taking you two.”

Things get intense. Nasty Leftovers is part dystopian SF&F, action/adventure, thriller, and spiritual warfare. Of course, there is a strong Christian theme throughout. It is categorized as young adult, but is suitable for most younger readers. The language is clean, but parents may want to preview the content for some younger readers.

If you read Sudden Mission, Nasty Leftovers should flow seamlessly. If you haven’t, Nasty Leftovers stands alone with references to Sudden Mission that provide clarity without giving too much away.

The world–or possible future–I created in Sudden Mission continues to play out in Nasty Leftovers. Thing are getting worse and the prognosis is that it will continue to get worse before it gets better.

In the third installment, which is in the planning stages, the infrastructure finally collapses. The government is still struggling to restore some semblance of order in the Capitol, but its influence doesn’t reach beyond the Beltway. Even the gangs and bandit bands are dwindling as the resources in and around larger cities are used up. Paul and Amy are blessed to be part of a robust, cooperative, Christian community.

That is, until a visitor arrives with horrible news. And, aliens return.

I’m having entirely too much fun.

Keep writing.

 

Revisions

Revisions

My editor, Brandi, and I are most of the way through the edits and revisions of my draft of Nasty Leftovers (sequel to Sudden Mission).  The working title seems to have stuck and the team hasn’t come up with another title. Oh, well.

So we are on track and may even be ahead a little. I’m thankful for my editor. She has a unique view on my work and brings the hard edge of critique to her edits and suggestions. In all cases, her work has made my work sharper, cleaner, more exciting, and stronger.

We’re in the second novel working together and she now will often just provide a comment at a point in the manuscript where she thinks we should do something different, add a character, add some emotional language. Then she turns me loose to make the changes or additions as I see fit and we smooth things out from there.

I hope and pray that I get to keep Brandi for the third volume, and any other projects I submit to Booktrope and Vox Dei.

As I dreamed of being a published author all those years before, I had no idea what it would be like to work with an editor. During the early revisions of Sudden Mission, I was almost terrified what the editor would think of my approach to some of the changes she suggested. I discovered that an editor is the most important person for an author in a writing project. Sudden Mission became a stronger, more powerful story thanks to her efforts.

Now, when I bring revisions and rewrites to Brandi, I make an effort to use the Oxford Comma, allow my characters to feel and express more, and shake off some of my old lazy-writer habits. I think she makes me a better writer. That’s a good thing.

If you are an aspiring author–still unpublished–this is a relationship to look forward to. You do have to kick your ego to the side and let the editor bring his or her ideas forward. You will be glad you did.

Keep writing.

P.S. I’m still undisciplined and a procrastinator. But, I’m working on that.