No author I ever heard of has ever gotten offended by readers wanting ‘moar’, and I’m no exception. The explosion of the “Fire From the Sky” series left me stunned, though in a happy way, and readers clamoring for more is what every author dreams of. Again, I am no exception.
Let me pause here to say “thank you!” to everyone of you, too. It is an honor to be ranked so high on Amazon’s author list, and I owe every bit of that to those of you who have read my books. I am beyond words to describe how exciting it is, or how much it tickles me to hear that you have enjoyed the fruits of my labor.
And it’s perhaps the ultimate compliment for readers to immediately demand more. I simply don’t know what could be better than that.
In the last few weeks I’ve had questions about Parno, Stormcrow and of course “Fire”, and when they could expect the next of whichever series they were interested in. Why this book was first, or second, or wherever it fell in the order.
First of all, I usually work on more than one project at a time, which is why I sometimes have books of different series released so close together. When I am stuck on one I just move over to another and keep going and so forth, back and forth until they’re finished. So I’m always working on something unless I’m taking a break, (which I do about three times a year for no more than one week, mostly to recharge my batteries if you will).
Fire From the Sky and its follow on novels run about 70-100k at the moment. They have clearly drawn lines and the characters are generally a straightforward group at this point which eases the dialogue challenge a little. As the story grows I expect that to change, with complexity rising as it does, and the length of the books as well, in all likelihood.
Stormcrow novels run anywhere from 90-130k words, give or take, and while those novels are complicated and tangled, the main cast of characters, complex though they are, is small and pretty manageable. Dialogue and movement isn’t terribly complicated to put together once I’ve gotten the plot and scenes sketched out.
Parno has become a monster in both scope, size, number of characters and the complexity of those characters. The story has grown from an original three books to now a minimum of five and more likely six or seven. I still have no idea how that happened other than the story wouldn’t do what I told it. That sounds ludicrous I know but. . .it’s amazing what characters you invent decide to do once you start writing. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve had something planned or how well, once you start putting it down, it’s almost guaranteed to change.
And Parno novels at a minimum weigh in at 150k words and every time I end one I know I could have kept going. At some point though I have to start thinking about what the print version will be like and stop.
And this is why some books are faster than others, at least for me. I’m not really familiar with how anyone else does their planning so I may be the odd one out, or I may just be doing the same thing as everyone else in this line of work, I don’t know. My point though is that in the time it takes me to write the next Parno novel, I may very well have been able to write two ‘Fire’ novels and a Stormcrow novel as well. Parno novels are vastly more complicated and have way more moving parts, which slows me down. I like to think it’s worth it and that it makes the Parno series better for it, but it still takes time to put that many wheels into one gear box.
In the time it takes to write the next Stormcrow novel, I still might hammer out two “Fire” novels, again just because the tangled plot of Stormcrow takes longer to work.
So no, I don’t favor one series over the other. I write wherever the inspiration is for that day. Every book has an outline (more like a map, really) so I can pick up where I left off with little to no problem. And I usually write a little bit every day on everything I’m working on at the moment, unless I’m really on a hot streak with one in which case I’ll ride that streak out until I collapse from exhaustion, 😀
So the order of books being finished isn’t a result of my liking one series over another, but simply the fact that each one is so different. They each have their challenges, their advantages, and their drawbacks. Some are easier, some are harder, some are a mix of both.
For those waiting on the next installment of Parno, I’m looking at a Spring release, which I managed to do this year with “Gambit”. One a year in that series is about what I’m going to average I think, and I doubt that would go faster even if it was all I worked on. I would still have times when I couldn’t move the plot along and instead of letting that be idle time, I just work on something else.
For Stormcrow, it may or may not precede the next Parno (tentatively entitled ‘Parno’s Peril’, btw) but I also hope to have it released by Spring, if not sooner.
The next ‘Fire’ novel may well be released around Christmas time.
Remember that all of this is assuming the Lord wills I live so long to get all this done. I do hope that he does of course, but I never take the Lord for granted. He will do as He will.
I hope this helps explain what I know seems to be a complicated system. And it’s just as rough on the proof readers too. Imagine you’re editing the next ‘Stormcrow’ and you suddenly read how Parno is working on the engine of the Celia. Or in ‘Peril’ you read that Clayton has decided to lead a cavalry charge against the Imperial Army. Or Galen working to protect his family farm.
Yeah, that happens. 😀
Let me throw in a special thanks to my wife, as well as Creative Text, my publishers, for all the editing and proofing they do. The thing is, I actually spell really well. What I don’t always do well is type. And I am terrible at catching mistakes. I suffer from a malady that affects many readers in that if I’m already expecting to find something in print, (say because I wrote it, perhaps 😉 ), then I’ll read it whether it’s there or not. That doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen enough that I miss many errors.
So thank you honey (da wife) and Dan (da publisher) for the great work you do cleaning up my messes.
And thank all of you again for helping me make it to ‘bestseller’ status on Amazon. I will do my utmost to continue measuring up to your expectations, and showing my appreciation for your patronage and your support, as well as your encouragement!