Things are chugging along.
The Next Book
Well, the beta reading phase took longer than planned, and there were complications. One beta reader had to drop out for personal reasons. Another finally finished a week later than expected.
The end result, however, was two thumbs up. As I type this out, I've finished a couple of rounds of revisions and reworked the ending. I have one more revision pass, and its off to the editor.
I've commissioned cover art with the title you, the readers, selected. I'll reveal both cover and title later in September. Normally, I'd be tempted to stay with the same style as THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB. However, since I am writing more books on Halsedric, future books for this character will have the same cover art style and concept as THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB. Thus, I wanted Odo's book to be a departure from that. I hope you like it.
Keep a sharp eye out for that cover and title reveal.
Release Date for the Next Book
After some serious consideration, I am pushing off the release of my Odo book until early March 2023. There are several factors that went into this decision.
The release of THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB was a scattershot affair. Everything was new, and I didn't know what I was doing. The decision to release an audiobook was an afterthought. Now that I've had a little bit of experience with these things, I'm formulating a "release plan," putting everything in order before the book hits the bookshelves. That means having all of my formats - eBook, paperback, and audiobook - ready to go. Plus - and this is important - it saves money on advertising. I don't have to do separate campaigns on the print and audio versions like I did with THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB.
The second reason I have to delay the release has to do with the audiobook narrator. In order to fit in with Steve Fortune's schedule (he's an actor and has to make a living, after all), I needed to have everything buttoned down by mid-September. While I'm on track to get the book to the editor by the beginning of September, there is no way for me to get in two edit passes and another full read-through by that time. Secondly, given my experience with THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB, the schedule for recording and editing would be exceptionally tight, in my opinion. I'd rather push this off until after Steve's tour, which would easily give us a couple of months to bash out the audiobook.
By the way - unless something dramatic happens between now and then - Steve Fortune, the voice of THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB, will be narrating this book as well.
Part of the reason why time is tight later in 2022 is partly because of the beta reader schedule, and revisions / rewrites that I've done. When I gave the book to the beta readers, I knew WELL in advance that I needed to rewrite the ending. That rewrite took weeks to finish, mainly because none of my initial ideas fit. I could have pushed out a book that I knew had some serious flaws just to roll it into production, but then I'd be pushing out a product I new - in some ways - sucked. I'd rather delay the release then just throw out any old thing. In fact, revisions and rewrites have been the biggest stumbling block thus far. Part of this was because I stopped writing the book midway through, then restarted it months later. While I came back with some solid ideas, it required a bit of massaging to make everything line up. And, there are things in it that I'm still "on the fence" over.
Another minor issue was that the beta read process went a week beyond it's scheduled time. Overall, it was more of an annoyance than a serious issue. People have lives they need to live, and my book is a secondary concern. I get that. No harm, no foul.
I'm setting a drop-dead-ish date of March 3rd, 2023 for an actual release. The run-up for this release will start not long after the first of the year, 2023.
The Next Halsedric Book
This is going slower than anticipated. I have, roughly, 12 chapters that are either half-written, or fully written. I suspect that the final book will be 25+ chapters long, so I'm probably a third of the way in.
Getting the Odo book prepped is consuming a lot of my writing time. When I'm done with the editing phase - I suspect by the end of this month - I should have more time to dedicate to the next Halsedric Story.
Right now I'm laying out a bunch of scattered ideas that I intend to consolidate into a final story. I suspect that this book will start slow, especially given that the readers are already familiar with Halsedric. I will also expose a little more about some of the aspects of his new life, and his communion with the Divine. There is also a glimpse into the relationship between Halsedric and Herodaini and some hints of the motivations of the Elanni huntress.
And, as I mentioned previously, pay attention to the prologue of this book. It has deeper roots in some of the stuff I have planned for later release.
Both this book and the Odo book tie into a character named Merrith. Odo meets Merrith at the end his story. Merrith has ties to my Frankie Falawell saga. Everything I'm writing, in one form or another, is connected.
As previously mentioned, I will be at BasedCon, September 9th - 11th. I will be on a panel that discusses religion in Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as one about creating audiobooks.
I'll be working on a couple of videos soon. I stopped doing videos to concentrate on the next book. Now that I'm past some of the major hurdles, I have a little more time on my hand.
So that's it for now.