Hmm, can’t give too much away, but I would like to talk about my writing efforts, particularly in the medium that I enjoy the most.
The core of my writing at the moment, and certainly over the last few years, has been The Chronicles of Evyntyde. Stories set in the world where that island kingdom exists. It is so unique and expansive, and there has been so much work put into it, that it just oozes plot lines and characters. I suspect I will be writing Evyntyde short stories and novels until the day I die. Having said this, I am not limited to this series, and I have just made a strategic decision where I am placing all of my major writing effort into a YA novel (see below).
The Sceptre and the Orb
This novel (200k) is my first, and it is done and dusted, in terms of readiness to be picked up by an agent and/or publisher. It has been polished so much I can see my face reflected in it, and I figure any further changes would be as a result of professional editing assistance. I will post another log on this work, as it deserves its own discussion.
Before I finished the final polish of The Sceptre and the Orb, I planned and then began drafting Crystal Peak. This work is about two-thirds complete (120k written, and it will probably resolve to about 160k). This is a fun story to write, although my day job has caused a major slow-down in production. I enjoy having characters from my first novel play roles in this story, but also introducing new ones, and in particular a female astrologer who is one of the main characters. All good.
Guardians of the Sky Realms
This novel has an interesting history. I wrote a short story, inspired by a painting (via a writers’ challenge), called The painting. It is one of my best stories and I wrote it deliberately for the younger set – to be specific, females aged 13 to 18 (although not inclusive). As soon as I wrote it I knew it had immense possibilities, and about a month later I plotted out an outline for a YA (or perhaps slightly younger age group) novel, and I also wrote the next chapter. I deliberately left it in hibernation, as I really wanted to progress Crystal Peak, and so it was left uncooked for quite some time.
Two things caused me to rearrange my priorities. Firstly, Text Publishing (a small Press here in Melbourne) announced the winner of it’s second annual YA novel award – the prize was getting the novel published the next year and $10,000 advance on royalties – which seemed a really good target for my YA effort for next year’s awards – so I have until about July next year to get it written. The second reason why Guardians could be given higher priority was the simple fact that I have come to the conclusion that it is simply a more marketable work while I am still unpublished and have zero street cred. So, I have decided to swap the priorities between Crystal Peak and Guardians of the Sky Realms, and make a BIG push to getting the YA novel completed as soon as possible.
This is a wonderful baby for me – it just reeks of being a publishable, marketable work, and possibly even more. My decision to emphasize my YA novel is the right one.
It is always dangerous to forecast far into the future, and to describe things that are, by their nature, subject to change. So dear reader, take this with a grain of salt, and forgive me for being deliberately general, as I don’t want to give away trade secrets ;-).
I have a third Evyntyde Book in mind, whose working title is The Crimson Pirate. Evyntyde is a seafaring nation and an enjoyable part of Crystal Peak is the sea based chapters (of which there are many). I thought it would be very enjoyable indeed to have a novel largely devoted to the topic.
Ah, my secret project. When I was in my late teens I was a passenger on a long country drive in inland New South Wales, Australia, and I saw a bleak landscape and an idea sprung in my mind. A pretty much complete storyline entered my head in the space of about ten minutes. Periodically, I thought about the story, and then forgot it (hibernation again), and about two years ago it made it’s timely return, and I started to put pen to paper. I genuinely believe it is a very good story, and I consider it a jewel that I need to work on in the next few years. What makes it interesting for me, aside from it’s conception, is that it isn’t a fantasy, YA, or even conventional Scifi. My best description would be to say it is a Michael Crichton style novel, set primarily in Australia and Antarctica. It’s working title is Bitter Springs. This is likely to be the final title.
I have other ideas, but they are not worthy of mention at this stage. I am a contented soul when it comes to creativity, as I have about a couple of years’ worth of work lined up, if I was a full time writer.
As an aside, I am putting together an Evyntyde Short Story Anthology, which, I suppose, can be considered a large piece of work, rather than short stories, per se.