Monday, August 15, 2011

Prithee, Inform Me: What Are You Writing?

It occurs to me, lords and ladies, that I have not asked you about what you're writing in over a year. A year! So, without further ado:

What are you writing? If you responded the last time I asked, have you finished that project? Have you secured representation, self-published, given up on that MS, started a new one? What genre, what's it about, what's going well, what are you struggling with? How many projects are you juggling at once?

To the comments!


  1. I recently self published my book, THE MAN IN THE CINDER CLOUDS


    It's a MG novel, but it's suited for anyone who has ever believed in Santa. The reviews are good so far, but I need more of them! Here's the description:

    The freezing temperature is the only thing cool about Jason’s trip to the North Pole, but things heat up when his father discovers a book buried deep in the ice. This is no ordinary book, mind you. For starters, it was written by an Elf. And if that’s not enough, the book proves the existence of Kris Kringle—you know, Santa Claus.

    Born human but abandoned as a baby, Kris is rescued by Elfs and grows up among them…but he doesn’t really fit in. Kris embarks on a quest to find his true family among the humans by delivering presents on Christmas day. But there’s a catch: the High Council of Elfs is convinced humans are wicked at heart, and Kris can’t return to his Elfin home unless he can prove otherwise.

    His journey takes him all the way to the legendary Great Northern Glen, and from there to the town of Oldenton, where he finds two orphans who are about to lose everything they have to a greedy uncle. With only days before Christmas, Kris must try to help the kids, deliver his presents, find his family, and prove that human virtue does exist…even in the most unexpected of human hearts.

  2. I finished the project I mentioned last time, another original after that, and rewrote an earlier work. I've just started on a middle grade fantasy that I'm absolutely loving. 15k words in and things are cruising along.

  3. I'm revising what I call a modern faerie story and what publishers will probably call urban fantasy. I wrote it back in 2003 and it's been through a couple of drafts, but this is the one, and I'm planning to begin submission in September or October.

  4. Good morning, Eric.

    I spend much of my time in the trenches with a book I "finished" writing a year or two ago. It's a modern look at religious mythology, re-told as urban fantasy. I'm currently querying agents for representation, but it's not going as well as I like and, of course, the longer it sits on my desktop, the longer I feel the urge to tweak, rewrite, and revise. I suppose that's not a bad thing.

    That's still my main project, but I'm juggling a few others. Two science-fiction pieces, one about the multi-verse, and one a more grounded piece similar to the tone of "The Time Traveler's Wife", but dealing more with chaos theory than time travel. I'm also working on a comic-book, myriad short stories, and a sequel to my primary project. Basically, I'm throwing a lot of ideas into a pool and seeing which one floats to the top first.

    I'm keeping at it, though the goings are grim.

  5. I am doing final edits on my upmarket fiction that, earlier this year obtained representation. As soon as I've completed those edits, I'll get back to work on the manuscript I re-started -after I had about 80 pages of it written.

  6. I'm working on book 3 in my Pine Hills Police series. My hope is that the publisher will finally grant me the reversion rights for the first two, and I'll make those available.

    I'm also tackling CreateSpace for book 4 in my Blackthorne, Inc. series. I've already got the e-version done, but there are still a few folks who want print, so I'll try to accommodate them.

    And, I'm waiting to see the mystery anthology, Deception, which the publisher promises will be released this month. I have a short story in it.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  7. I'm querying my Literary novel, The Tiger and the Sparrow. Potentially I will self-publish.

  8. I'm writing a paranormal romance called A LION'S HEART. I'm in my fourth round of revisions. I hope to find a few beta readers that read a lot in that genre. I've got a tagline, blurb and a rough draft of a synopsis. I'm eager to submit, but I'm making myself be patient and work the manuscript into the best story it can be.

  9. I'm writing an SF Comedy with the working title of 'A Stitch In Time'. It has three main characters, who have never met, but want to become a family.

    In their way is a desiny-obsessed man who has sent them all through time and space and created the daughter. Also in the way is a career-climbing Dagon called Furteen who doesn't mind starting a war as long as she gets promoted.

    In the mix is a rusty robot called Igor and a security robot who thinks he should be a general.

    So far, I've got 32K words, 6 chapters and enough humour to cause a friend to laugh out loud in the middle of a cafe.

    Chapter 6 ends with the line, "Got a bucket of cold water?" The rest I shall leave to your imagination.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. p.s. I've also collected some previously published short stories into a kindle book on Amazon and am working with some friends to set an ebook publishing house: well it's more a cupbaord really.

  12. I'm writing the sequel to the sci-fi I was shopping this time last year. I've since sold it to Dragon Moon Press and it'll be released this spring.

  13. I'm currently sending out queries for a YA Paranormal (because there just aren't enough of those out there), and am writing first draft of a YA Thriller with a "pre-dystopian" slant.

  14. I'm in the final edits of my second Suburban Noir novel, BURIED BY DEBT, and my second Madison Keith Psychological Suspense Novella, SHALLOW WATER. Both for self-publication.

    DEBT is about a young couple desperately trying to hide their skyrocketing debt from their wealthy friends. When a childhood friend confronts them about the money they owe, jealousy and secrets erupt in violence.

    Also in the works for this fall, I'm creating an ebook titled REDUCTION IN FORCE -- two short stories that were previously published in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine for which I now have the e-rights.

    Everything is going well at this point, except the pesky day job.

    Thanks for asking!

    Suburban Noir

  15. Since you asked the last time, I've published "The Liturgist" a crime thriller that some have said pushes the envelope in crime thrillers further than it's been pushed before.

    Meanwhile, I am at 75k words in my next crime thriller, "Heavy Traffick" and I have 8 chapters left to write. Of course, with dull scene cuts and excess word cuts it will end up within the trending word counts for novels.

    Here's a mock blurb:
    Life has become surreal for Ammi O’Shea, a Chicago area addiction counselor, when she gets shuffled into an underground world. Ammi finds out everything changes in the underworld, from the way she sees the city to the way she sees herself.

    Her husband Joshua is at his wits end when he discovers his wife is missing and will not answer his calls. Joshua pulls some strings and gets Chicago’s missing persons department on the case right away.

    Hodge, Sugar, Murphy and Moore make up the squad of special investigators on the Ammi O’shea case. They chase after hot leads that quickly go cold and nothing new turning up. The search goes international, with the help of Interpol, ICE and the Mexican Federali’s in hopes of reeling their last person of interest in.

    Hearts and minds race as Ammi's world is flipped upside down in ‘Heavy Traffick’; a thriller of unrelenting psychological proportions."

    Both books and author can be found on facebook

  16. I'm editing the novel I was working on last year (I guess you could call it literary for lack of a better moniker); writing a new one (historical fiction); and writing and submitting short stories.

  17. A novel about a teacher who writes a book blog and posts instructions on how to install an adjustable hook in an apartment building. You know—the kind of hook on which someone might want to hang in handcuffs. Complications ensue.

    It's a bit like Tom Perrotta's Election and Anita Shreve's Testimony, and rereading those books caused the linked post.

    I also saw the positive New York Times review of Helen Schulman's This Beautiful Life, which worried me some until I read the book.

  18. I just finished a science fiction novel and am ang-ang-angsting over my query letter (which is normal and expected.)

    And I'm now dangling in that weird place where I feel a nagging, reflexive get-to-work-dammit, write-your-novel-you-slacker impulse except..there is no novel.

    I'm done. I have to start a new one. Wowsers. Sparkling relief and crushing dread, all at once. I love it, therefore I must be crazy.

    Scratch that--I must be a writer.

  19. I have been querying a literary fiction novel that takes place in the Central Valley of California. No representation yet, but have gotten some strong interest and MS requests (and very close to representation on one). We shall see.

    I've recently started a YA novel with a female protaganist in an adventure/treasure hunt/revenge plot set in an ultra rich high school.

  20. I'm writing urban fantasy. I have an agent and almost exactly one year ago today she got me a 2-book deal with Harlequin Luna. Since then, i've completed the 2nd book in the series and am now working on the 3rd. The first book, KNIGHT'S CURSE, will hit store shelves on August 23, 2011. Yep, that's next Monday! Eeeeek! A lot has happened to me in one year.

  21. Slowly(and I mean really really slowly) plugging away at the first book in a fantasy series. Lately I seem to spend more time drawing the characters than writing it, but I get nice ideas while I'm doodling so it works out.

    Just need to get to work <3

  22. I finished CEMETERY TREES, and am 100+ pages into THE MISSING GIRL. TMG is a follow up to my upcoming release PICTURE OF LIES due out in October. I'm adding a bit of international intrigue to TMG, an expansion of a subplot in POL. Notice I'm using acronyms - that's related to a quote by my main character in TMG. She says, "CIA, FBI, NSA, DOD. An impressive language that excludes outsiders, and empowers and insulates governmental bureaucracies, especially secret ones." And yes, that's what my book is about. Very exciting to write.

    We all soooo love to talk about our work, don't we?

  23. I'm working on a vampire novel. I am probably doing this because you said they were on the way out the other day. But mine is equal parts vampire and cola, so is made of awesome. Obviously.

  24. My WIP is a YA novel about a farm boy who develops super powers. I am calling it, "Small Town Hero." I am planning on a trilogy. The whole superhero thing is way overdone in Hollywood, but I keep telling myself my story is different.

  25. Revamping a short short story for the Writer on the Sound conference in October, to the competition theme of "Remnants".

    Working towards picking up my manuscript again after several months of recuperation following same time span of querying following 2 1/2 years of obsessive writing. Received enough interest to think I might be on to something, but clearly am not quite there yet - there is more rewriting to be done. Feeling equal parts excited and exhausted at the prospect.

  26. Well, it's been a tumultuous year for me as far as my writing goes. It took me awhile to come to the decision, but I finally gave up on submitting my first manuscript for now. I'm toying with the idea of self-publishing it, but for now I'm focusing on another novel.

    It's a straight up mystery, nothing fantastical about it (except the writing, I HOPE! ;o) and is going fairly well so far.

    I haven't updated my blog recently either, but at least I am writing on a fairly regular basis. I discovered that a two hour drive to the doctor is good for banging out several thousand words at a time, at least! ;o)

  27. Juggling like mad! One novel, THE JOKE'S ON ME, just out. Another being edited. And a cool new project I'll be self-pubbing.

  28. Truthfully? A couple of things. But I'm currently focusing on a chick-lit/romance novel that's turning out to be a LOT of fun to write. My only worry is that there just isn't a market for these kinds of books anymore. But that's a hurdle I'll jump when I come to the Finished Manuscript Trying To Get It Published phase.

  29. I'm currently shopping my latest,Line 21 to the various small and medium presses that are out there simply because the subject matter (adult movies) is something that no one will realistically touch.

    Also been working on a few short stories as that particular bug has bit me now.

  30. I'm hoping that when you ask in another year's time, I'll have a new answer, but as of now, I'm still searching for an agent for a spiritual memoir and in the meantime have begun working on another book. My blog, Spritual Crossroads on wordpress gets more and more traffic, which is very cool, but right now, I'm taking a break and gathering poems for a chapbook and writing the memories to go with the photos for a Blurb book about our trip to Paris TWO years ago! i.e. I need to get it done. Small projects at the moment that will give me a sense of .... well, something.

  31. Eric,

    Just finished "Operation Downfall" a thriller. If nothing unusual happens it will be out this year according to the publisher.

  32. Querying MURDER ON MUSIC ROW, a cozy mystery, while developing others in that series. My current WIP is a thriller based on the amazing life of a woman I met at IHOP. You just never know where you'll find that next piece of magic!

  33. Just typed the last revisions (+25) of my first MS, contemporary fiction, about a newly single forty-some Latina with a flair for eyeliner, big purses and high heels. It's a story peopled with multicultural characters.

    After Lili Rivera's 18 year marriage ends, she creates a 'vision board' for a new life, look, and love. But her ‘vision’ slams into an abrupt detour, when arrested for drunk driving, she must reckon with an ex-husband who’s a cop, his fiancé a Deputy District Attorney, and her best friend whose husband was killed by a drunk driver. Relationships are tested, secrets unfold, and Lili faces a full custody battle for her twin sons.

    Now I'm going back to my second MS about a 17 year old mother who is in prison for allegedly killing her husband.

  34. I'm still working on my YA series, busy releasing a new novella every month. Have a few novels simmering in the old brainpot, one horror, one high fantasy and one general fiction :)

    YA: Cheat, Liar, Coward, Thief, Thug
    Adult: Shackled

  35. Just sold books #2 and #3 to Kensington. Woo hoo. Book #2, Where You Are, is about a gay high school teacher who crosses the line of propriety with a male student four months before graduation. Releases Fall 2012.

    About to start something new. Don't want to say too much, but I'm very excited about this one too.

    Congrats to all of you who are accomplishing so much! Keep writing. (I'm logging in with my google acct. Don't know why it says Pokemon).

  36. I recently self-published a novel-sized space opera, WAR GAMES. (Turned down a (print) small press contract for the same novel due to heinous contract clauses.)

    My first urban fantasy, under a different name, is going Round Two with my DevEd (THE CHECK YOUR LUCK AGENCY). Ding ding!

    I'm finishing off the first draft of another space opera, QUINTEN'S STORY, and outlining another one and the sequel to CHECK YOUR LUCK, called RETURN OF THE HANTU ("Hantu" means "ghost" in Malay) all for self-pubbing in 2012. And there's a little non-fiction humour piece kicking around in my head too.

  37. A gritty, Age of Sail fantasy that I realized was embedded in the background of the first novel I finished, last year.

    I set the project aside to write some unrelated short stories and a novella, but now I'm diving into that background novel, working out the storyline and character relationships (while tweaking the original as needed) so that it feels more like a stand-alone series opener than a prequel.

  38. Mostly I'm writing queries for my YA novel, "Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter," but I'm also working on a mystery with my wife, set in the Caribbean where we live, and have started another YA pirate yarn, "Scurvy Dogs."

  39. My first novel. Bunderlin, was published nine months ago and I'm now about a third of the way into my second. This new one is a very different project because I' taking the basic story of an earlier unpublished novel and recasting it in a different location with the same core characters but other different and additional characters. The two main finders-out-of-what's-been-going-on are new and the old story is embedded into theirs. Working title: The Girls from Snig's Foot

  40. I'm almost finished with the second draft of a novella about vampires living beneath Seattle!

  41. Revising a science fantasy book right now! About 2/3 of the way through the second draft. The challenge is balancing continuity, especially when I changed what the MC knows halfway through. Now that I'm hacking it up even more, I'm definitely going to need betas to tell me if the narrative progression makes sense!

  42. Polishing up my fourth book in prep for pitching. I have an agent interested, but no contract yet. Also, my third book PLAY IT AGAIN is in production - currently going through the second galley proof...

  43. I've given up on submitting my YA thriller romance for now.

    Now I'm writing a YA fantasy called Ghost Walker about two best friends and one big secret. Soule is part of a race supposedly wiped off the face of the planet by her best friend's father.

    Hopefully when I get further along, I can come up with a better description.

  44. I just broke ground on a brand new novel and finished the first chapter today. It'll be my fourth book. It seems that with each book I have to try a different genre - Novel #1 was futuristic/dystopian, Novel #2 was a literary philosophical quest type thingie, and my recently finished Novel #3 was historical fiction with magical realist elements.

    This time I want to write a comic novel in a contemporary setting. There will be evil twins, professional golddigging women, starving artists, high-ranking Mormon Church authorities, dashing French spies, and sinister international cabals whose plots threaten The American Way of Life. It is going to be a really absurd and silly book and a lot of fun to write.

    I'm also getting beta reader responses in on Novel #3 and thinking hard about revisions. I already sent one round of queries out but heard crickets, so am planning to revise and try another round.

    It's fun to read about everyone's projects!

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. My noir Lust Demented just hit Kindle on Amazon. It's about the death of print publishing.

  47. Just finished up a short romantic sci-fi. That should go out the door tomorrow morning. Now it's onto the final revision of a paranormal romance.

  48. I'm chipping away at my first revision of a debut 80k word urban fantasy.

    In short,

    Sam, a Seattle barista chick faces off against a Mesopotamian demon, with the help of her best friends, a vampire and a witch.

    I've promised myself an iPad when I finish this revision, so hopefully I'll make it through this pass soon.

  49. I'm working on two YA novels, one with a crime slant and the other with a western horseback riding slant. (Not exactly a genre, but the best way I can describe it) My primary focus is on the crime story. It has sort of a CSI/Sherlock Holmes feel to it, while simultaneously exploring the complicated relationships in a rural community. I was hoping to have it finished by now, but at least it gives me something to work on for my senior seminar project.

  50. No one will likely read this at the bottom of the comments, but I'll never turn down an opportunity to talk about my WIP! :)

    It's my first try at writing Steampunk. All summer I've been plotting, character and world building, in preparation for NaNoWriMo. I hope that all this planning will lead to super fast word counts and an enjoyable story.

    This is also the first story I've written that's totally for myself. It's ridiculous. But I don't care. :D

  51. Last year, I talked about Spoil of War: An Arthurian Saga, which I've since self-pubbed, and SECTOR C, a medical mystery/ecothriller, which will be hitting the e-stores next month.

    I edited and published a multi-author, themed anthology of 19 stories, Extinct Doesn't Mean Forever.

    My latest WIP is a collection of vignettes from my time as a veterinary technician. I'm publishing them first as a weekly series in my Confessions of an Animal Junkie blog, and will collect them into ebooks of 20 vignettes each to be published out over the next year.

    Thank you for asking!

  52. What am I writing? Uh. Okay.
    I'm on the verge of self-publishing one YA urban fantasy/paranormal non-romance, working on the final revision of another of the same genre, ready to begin the final revision of the sequel to the first, slogging through the first draft of yet another, and jotting down ideas for a YA religious dystopian steampunk thing that may never even make it to first draft stage.
    If you really want specifics, it's all on my blog.

  53. Thanks for asking, I just frequently write blogposts on my blog(s), posts about Blogging and about writing.

    On my Blog you can also find a special
    page with Short Stories in Developement, and recently I discovered in a Writing Forum that some people actually tried to write Comments on my blog but couldn't since I had some of my settings wrong,

    So now I changed this, it's now possible for
    - Everybody - to write their comments
    on my blogposts.

  54. Besides the blogs I write, e.g., Life By Chocolate blog, which contains recipes and other helps and tips for creating both sweet and savory dishes as well as up and coming chocolates from my company, Life By Chocolate, I've finished my second novel. It is my first science fiction and fantasy novel.

    In short, the novel is a blending of physics and fantasy. There is also a strong adventure element as well as a murder mystery sub plot. Add a sprinkling of sex and violence and all I can say is I had a great time writing it and and even better time reading/editing it. I'm now looking at finding a publisher or a good agent.

    Suggestions are welcome.

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