Well, another year has come and gone. Hope everyone had a good one.
With 2018 upon us, I’d thought I’d write up some updates on my writing and plans for the future.
The big news of my 2017 was the release of The Jinxed Pirate back in February. It got some very good reviews, which I’m happy about. A lot of work went into Pirate, and I do think it’s the stronger of my two books.
Unfortunately, those reviews haven’t translated into great sales thus far. I suppose the fact it’s a sequel is a hindrance. Even though I took care to ensure Pirate could be read as a stand-alone—something reviewers have commended me for—I can see most readers reluctant to check out the sequel to a book they likely didn’t read.
I guess those are the breaks with indie publishing. The best thing to do is just keep writing and keep publishing.
This past year I’ve been trying to improve my self-promotion game. I’ve put together a few advertising graphics that I’ve been posting all over Facebook and other places:
I don’t know how much they’re working, but I suppose it’s more eye-catching than merely posting an Amazon link everywhere and repeating “Buy my book!”
Not that I haven’t been doing that, too.
I’ve also recently started looking into Pinterest. I’ve been told if you know how to use it, it can be a very effective marketing tool. As of now, I’m still in the “figuring out how to use it” phase, so we’ll see if anything comes of it.
I’ve written a pair of creator commentaries on Katrina Lamont and Krutch Leeroy. I’ll probably write up another on Lily, and I’m tempted to do commentaries on some of my short stories and novels.
I don’t know if anyone cares about this sort of thing, but it’s good to have new content for the website.
Aside from that I’ve been working on some new short stories. Once I get a few more done—assuming I can’t sell them—I’m thinking of putting them all (including the stories already posted on this site) in a collection and self-publishing it for Kindle.
I wouldn’t charge much, but it would be nice to have another book making the rounds until my next proper novel is complete.
Don’t count on this anytime soon though. I want to get at least two or three more stories finished and the submission process can take months.
Which finally brings me to the status of Graylands.
I have plenty of notes and something resembling an outline, but thus far haven’t started writing the next volume—likely to be titled, The Gray Kings. But, without getting into it, I can’t devote as much time as I would like to another full-length novel right now.
I do want to at least start now that it’s a new year, but I don’t know how fast or consistent my progress will be. It will get written—I’m stubborn like that—but I couldn’t say when it will be completed. Definitely not this year, I’m sure of that much.
In the meantime, I thought I’d reveal some of my ideas on what to expect …
The overarching story will be the coming war for control of Graylands. Vincent Dune, with his personal army, is steamrolling across the country in an effort to unify it under his rule.
This will bring him into conflict with Trayze Kilnerova—a new character mentioned in The Jinxed Pirate. He is an Eldér who rules his own private territory in the western part of Graylands. I won’t spoil anything regarding his backstory, but he is very old, very powerful, and a mean son of a bitch.
He doesn’t so much wish to rule Graylands—pretty content with what he has—but he doesn’t approve of Dune’s growing power and certainly doesn’t want the country unified. At least not by anyone who isn’t himself.
So the inevitable war between these two factions will serve as the backdrop our heroes find themselves caught in.
Katrina is at a crossroads. She took a big step in The Jinxed Pirate, but she still has a long way to go before she’s truly “better.” We’ll catch up to her healed up from the beating she took in Pirate and working as something of a mercenary or hero-for-hire. She’s openly using her real name and defending the innocent where she encounters them … though not for free.
Having taken the first step in getting over what happened to Vigor, she now must decide what she intends to do with herself and what her new life is going to be.
For the time being, until she figures that out, she decides she’s going to hunt down Trayze Kilnerova and kill him. And it’s this quest that will draw her into the bigger picture of the story.
Krutch, meanwhile, is at a similar crossroads. After his experiences in The Ghost Princess and The Jinxed Pirate, he’s gained a better understanding of what he isn’t, but he’s still unsure of what he is … or if he should even care.
By this point, he’s become kind of indifferent to how people perceive him due to his curse.
In the meantime, like Katrina, he focuses his attention on a relatively simple and personal goal: finding Lily. One thing he realized in Pirate was he really does care about her, so he sets out looking for her in the hope of a relationship.
But, however simple this goal might appear, it too will drag him into the larger story, as it turns out Lily is in big trouble.
Without spoiling my plans, Lily is going to find herself a target of Trayze Kilnerova and, by extension, a critical part of the coming war for Graylands. So, naturally, everyone’s going to be after her.
Obviously this will be a huge problem because all she wants is to keep a low profile and not be exposed. But Lily is noble at heart, and despite her better instincts, she will try to rise to the occasion and foil Trayze’s schemes. The big question will be whether she’ll be rewarded and praised for her efforts despite what she is.
There’s also the matter of the Elder Demon the Jackal unleashed at the end of Pirate which has been tearing its way across the countryside and might take an interest in Lily’s travels.
We’ll catch up with Lock heading south to what’s left of Seba. He’s healed up and wants to find out what became of Deck and Cassie. He’s training harder than ever, feeling if he’d only been stronger things might have turned out differently in Pirate, and we may see the beginning of a greater journey for him.
One that might put him at odds with Dune and in the battle for Graylands’ future.
Cassie is still alive. I don’t consider that a spoiler even though she was in pretty bad shape when we last saw her in Pirate. Her survival isn’t going to be played as a surprise, and she’ll be a POV character pretty much from the start of this book.
Anyway, she was found in Seba and taken somewhere to get patched up. I won’t spoil who saved her and why, but it won’t be for altruistic reasons. Suffice to say, things are going to be pretty tough for Cassie going forward.
But she might find unlikely help from a certain scar-faced serial killer roaming the area.
That’ll be all for now. As said, I’d like to at least get started on a first draft this month. Hopefully things will go smoothly and we’ll see The Gray Kings sometime next year.
Until then, have a happy new year and, if you haven’t already, give my books a read. If you enjoy them, a good rating or review on Amazon and/or Goodreads would be appreciated.