Over the last year or so, readers have asked me if I'm going to finish the Age of Steam steampunk series. As it stands now, there are three novels and one short story in the series, um...in this order: 1.DEAD IRON 1.5. HANG FIRE (short story, Kindle only at this point) 2. TIN SWIFT 3. COLD COPPER If you've read these novels, you know there is an almost-guaranteed plot for 7 books, what with all the bits of that pesky world-destroying device our heroes need to find. At the end of Cold Copper, things really take a turn toward the interesting. There is certainly more story to tell. So where is book #4? When I pitched DEAD IRON, I was contracted for two books, releasing on a once-a-year schedule. At that time, I was also writing two-books-a-year in the Allie Beckstrom series. The Age of Steam books take a bit of research, and I prefer a little slower writing pace when I'm putting them together. Nonetheless, I happily wrote these books in between the Allie books with a love and passion that I hope shows on the page. These characters are important to me. Fun to be around. Ornery. I love them like the dickens. But by the time we were negotiating the single-book contract for book #3, the market for steampunk had shifted fairly drastically, and sales were not climbing. My editor and publisher still believed in the series, and so did I, so we found a way to get Cold Copper into the hands of readers. My publisher didn't cancel the series. As a matter of fact, they have dibs on seeing the next book in the series when I write it. That's right: when. There are four more books in this series. I plan to write them. Some of you have gone out of your way to tell me how much you've enjoyed the trouble Cedar, Mae, Hink, Rose, Wil and those wily Madder brothers get themselves into. I can't tell you how much those comments have meant to me. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have the best readers in the world! The "how" of writing another steampunk book is another question. Right now, I'm writing book #3 in the House Immortal series--a new trilogy with books coming out this September, next March, then September again. I am also finishing off proofs for book #1, and have revisions for book #2 right around the corner. Then there will be revisions for book #3, copy edits for books #2 & #3, more proofs, etc., etc.. So this year is out for writing another book. My hope (and at this point, it's a hope not a promise) is that I can write the next steampunk in 2015. Where it will be published, how it will be published, and when it will be published is very much up in the air. But I will keep all of you in the loop as the adventure unfolds.
Here's how 2013 shook out for me:
WritingBooks written: 3 -- Hell Bent, Stone Cold, House Immortal Short stories written: 2 -- Life Between Dreams, The Lost The Found Books revised: 2 -- Hell Bent, Stone Cold Books copy edited: 3 -- Cold Copper, Hell Bent, Stone Cold Books proofed: 5 --Dead Iron (mmpb release), Cold Copper, Hell Bent, Tin Swift (mmpb release), Stone Cold Other books worked on: 2 I also tried my first self epublishing and released a Kindle edition of my short story, HANG FIRE, which takes place between Dead Iron and Tin Swift in the Age of Steam series. I hope to put it out in more formats soon. Oh! And my short story collection, A Cup of Normal is now available in eformat! Covers of the books I worked on this year. Because: pretty! Short stories I worked on: This wasn't exactly how I expected my year to unfold, and while I wish I would have fit a few other projects in that schedule, I know I was doing the best I could at the time. Speaking of time, I took 33 days off last year. If you work a normal 5 day a week job, you average about 104 days off in a year. To put this another way, I got a day (or days) off in every month except January, August, September, October. The fallout of having no days off for a three month run near the end of a busy year (Aug-Sept-Oct.) was tricky. By the time November was over (I only took 2 days off in November--Thanksgiving & the day after) I was pretty worn out, writing-wise. Luckily, December's work was a couple of sets of proofs, a revision letter to muddle over/brainstorm through, a short story to write, and a newsletter to design/launch. I did all that and took 8 days off in December over the holidays. Whew!
Newsletters and KnittingI launched my first newsletter in December, and intend to make it a quarterly thing. Thank you everyone who signed up for it! If you'd like to sign up, you can click on the link there in the sidebar of my blog. The newsletter will have excerpts, free stories, knitting patterns, news and more. As for this year's knitting, I think this was the year of the silly hats. I'll let these pictures tell the tale. Cloud light pull (not a hat!) Knight hat for nephew Plants vs. Zombies hat for me Patchwork wizard's hat for son Viking hat for nephew I also knit a pretty slouch hat for a gift, but didn't get a picture of that one before I sent it. This is a pretty long post, so I think I'd better wrap it up. Next post, I'll gaze into the future of 2014 and share news on that new book series I have coming out!
This:In case you missed it on Twitter and Facebook, I just finished my first felting project! I used stash wool, but some of the yarn wasn't 100% wool so not everything felted. Oops! However, I still kind of adore this patchwork Wizard's hat: Specifics: I used Anne Carroll Glimour's "The Enchanting and Magical Witch Hat" pattern, on size US 11 needles with worsted weight yarn. I knit the adult non-slouchy hat, but added an extra row after each decrease.
That:I just turned in proofs for TIN SWIFT, book #2 of the Age of Steam series. What's that, you say? You thought TIN SWIFT came out a couple years ago? You are correct, it did! However, my awesome publisher is releasing it in paperback format (smaller, cheaper!) and I had a chance to fix a couple typos. Yay! You should see TIN SWIFT in paperback format this June, which means you will be able to get both DEAD IRON (book #1) and TIN SWIFT (book #2) in paperback. Next up on my writing plate is to go through proofs for STONE COLD. These are due back on the New Year, which means STONE COLD will be out in stores on April 1st 2014. Proofs, by the way, are the last chance I get to see the book and to catch typos, extra spaces, and etc.. At this stage I'm not allowed to revise or rewrite anything. It's just a last pass where I (and a second proofreader) attempt to comb out those rascally extra periods and typos.
Other Things:1. My newsletter will be going out this weekend! This first newsletter has an exclusive excerpt from STONE COLD, a free Shame and Terric short story, a knitting thing, a new book announcement, and other fun stuff. Subscription button is on the side bar of my web page. 2. I am hand making some gifts this holiday season. I'd love to show you what I'm working on, but can't share the projects until after I give them since I know a couple of my gift-receivers read this. (I see you hiding over there behind that fake mustache). 3. I also hope to squeeze in some relaxing holiday reading before the new year but haven't decided what to read yet. Decisions, decisions. Anyone else snuggling up with a good book? What are you reading that you're loving on?
DEAD IRON is now officially out in mass market paperback! That means it is now available in the same size as the Allie Beckstrom books, and the same (cheaper) price too! I am so excited about this! I LOVE paperback format (okay, I love Trade format too, but I was raised on paperbacks and still love them best) and I have to say DEAD IRON looks pretty darn cunning in this compact format. So if you missed the series when it came out in Trade a couple years ago, now might be a great time to jump in! P.S. Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. I'm working hard on STONE COLD, book #2 in the Broken Magic series (Shame and Terric). Hopefully in the next week or so, I'll surface and be a normal person again. Well, when I say "normal"..... 😉