Wednesday, May 31, 2017


As you can tell by the progress bar to the right, I've finished the first draft of Book Three of the Chaos Queen Quintet, Blood Requiem!

I'm quite happy about this--not only because finishing a draft of a novel is always a pretty awesome feeling, but also because this one realized itself much more smoothly than Dark Immolation. DI took me, all things considered, more than two years of writing time--about a year for that first draft, and more than a year for subsequent revisions. Two plus years was far more than I'd intended to spend on that draft, but, well, life happened, and turns out my first sequel was a pretty beastly undertaking.

That said, as difficult as DI was to write, it was a pretty phenomenal learning experience, and BR would not have  been nearly as smooth without that. That's life in a nutshell I guess, huh? Anyway, the process went so well that I've more than made up for how far DI put me behind schedule. A revised draft of the book is due to my editor in August, and two months is more than enough time to make that happen (and might just mean I'll have time to work on a different project or two before I start work on Book 4).

So, I usually do a little rundown of my process and the production itself when I finish a book (check out the one for Duskfall--the first thing I ever posted to this blog!--and the one for Dark Immolation), and of course I'll do the same with BR!

  • Title: Blood Requiem. I'm quite happy with this title, actually, and for how it ties into the events and themes of the novel. Can't say much more than that at the moment, obviously, but suffice it to say I think it's a solid title!
  • Version: 1.0, which means this is the first full complete draft. I'm trying something a little different with my process this time, which is to send version 1.0 to my agent and get some preliminary feedback (the first version of Duskfall my agent saw, for reference, was, like, 3.4 or something, and the first full version of DI he saw was 2.4). My preference is to do one pass on the novel myself before letting anyone read it, but that's what I tried to do with DI, and that's part of what got me into the hole I was in for so long with that book--I wanted to make it perfect, more or less, before anyone else read it, which was and is a complete impossibility, especially when only going at it with my own brain. Turns out, with the sort of release schedule I'm on for the Chaos Queen Quintet, I simply don't have time to do that. I'm okay with that now, however. While BR 1.0 is certainly rough around the edges, I think the story is pretty much all there, and I know a lot of what I need to do to trim, polish, and beef it up where necessary. Things are looking good, folks.
  • Total Word Count: 127,091 words, as you can see in my Scrivener screenshot above. This is an interesting one. 127k is by far the shortest draft of a novel I've ever written. The first draft of DF was 184k, and the first draft of DI was a whopping 265k--twice the length of the BR first draft! I attribute this mostly to the fact that I did much more outlining for BR than I ever have in the past, and in doing so cut out a lot of the tangents I'd often pursue when left to my own novel-writing devices. In fact, I know of numerous things that I'm going to expand and others I'm going to add when I start the revision of BR. I'll usually expand a few things when revising a novel, but most of the time I cut far more than I insert, and I don't think that will be the case here. In fact, I'd estimate that when I turn in a revised draft to my editor in August, it'll be closer to 145k--roughly the same size as the final drafts of both DF and DI.
  • Chapters: 48, not including a Prologue, an Interlude, and an Epilogue.
  • Viewpoint Characters: 9 major points of view, with another four or five minor. Yikes. I'm going up by about two major viewpoints for each book--we'll see if that trend continues. (I sort of doubt it will, at least not at that pace, as 13 viewpoints for Book 5 just sound ridiculous...but we'll see!)
  • Start Date: This one depends. I started pre-writing in November of 2016, but took December and January off to do the final revision of DI. I did some more prewriting in February, and technically started writing some of the novel in February, but ended up scrapping much of what I'd written towards the end of March and more or less starting from scratch. So, depending on how you look at it, I either started in November 2016, February 2017, or late March 2017. I personally prefer the latter of the three, as that most accurately represents the time I spent writing more or less uninterrupted prose for the novel, from beginning to end.
  • End Date: 30 May 2017, and two days before the deadline I'd set for myself! I'm pretty happy about that. I'm also happy about the fact that I basically wrote an entire novel in two months, especially considering the first draft of DF took me about six months, and the first draft of DI took me more than a year.
And, well, that's the gist of it. Long story short, I'm happy to be done with a draft of Blood Requiem, and feel very good about the story at this point in time as well as where I think it will go in revisions.

Stay tuned for some stuff on the two writing retreats I participated in that helped me plow through Book 3 in so short a time, as well as information on the Dark Immolation book launch, and more!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Morningstar Award Short List!

Duskfall has officially made it as a finalist on the David Gemmell Morningstar Award ballot!

That means Duskfall is considered by many to be one of the best debuts of 2016, and it's in great company--overall pretty stellar stuff, if you ask me. I'm flattered and very happy that the book has gone this far.

If you're interested in helping it go a little bit further, go vote for it now! Before the end of the month!

The winner will be announced on Saturday, 15 July at Edge-Lit 6 in Derby, UK. I will, of course, keep you posted on how that goes.

Thank you to all of you who have voted, and who will vote in the near future! I'm grateful so many people are enjoying the book, and I can't wait for all of you to get your hands on book two in just a few weeks.


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Authorpalooza at Orem Barnes & Noble

Hey Utah folk!

I'll be at the Orem Barnes & Noble THIS SATURDAY from 2-5 PM for their Authorpalooza event. Come get signed books and other swag from myself and my ilk (if I can call awesome authors like Jessica Day George, Dan Wells, and Christopher Paolini my ilk...which I shall...). I'll be on a panel at 3:30 on "Adult Genre Writing," and will otherwise be hanging around signing books! It's gonna be great, so come check it out.