This is the sister website to Ian Wood's Novellum (my book review blog where I recently posted my three thousandth book review!), and is the place to come for updates on my novels, for rambling about writing them, for sneak peaks and sample chapters, and for free downloads - when I get organized that is - and that's taking a while. My New Year's resolution was to improve on that. It's long overdue, and I'm sorry, but I'm all about writing while I can write! When I'm on a roll I just want to write (or in the case of the children's Little Rattuses™ series, create), and the hell with anything else. That's what it's all about after all, isn't it?
My books are no longer on Amazon. I've ceased all publication there, and withdrawn all of my books from that website because frankly they're jerks, and Amazon is way too big and powerful. They've now admitted to spying on people's private conversations in their own home, using Alexa, and without warning or permission under the bullshit excuse that they're improving the system. Amazon is scum as far as I'm concerned.
The last book I submitted there for publication had my name as the author changed by Amazon without any consultation with me, and for no other reason than that the people in charge there are quite evidently morons. I wrote and complained, but my complaint was ignored. Barnes and Noble is equally unresponsive, but at least they don't mangle your novel when they convert it!
That was the end of the relationship for me, and I don't care if it does cost me sales, Amazon can go to hell. I will never offer another book for sale on Amazon, and I sincerely hope my estate when I am gone will respect these wishes. The middle-grade, young adult, and adult-oriented novels are available on Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Kobo Books, with The Little Rattuses™ series to follow as soon as I can get them prepped properly.
I have many novels in progress at one lowly stage or another at the moment (for certain constrained definitions of 'in progress' and 'at the moment'...and 'lowly stage'). The most advanced (for certain constrained definitions of 'advanced') of the upcoming books are these:
- I had this weird-ass dream over Memorial Day weekend which gave me an idea for a middle-grade novel featuring aliens. Like I said, it's just a dream, but I'm excited about it, so this might have me reshuffling other stories around. It was a bit weird because it involved an airplane crash and then a movie I saw the next day - also about an alien - featured an airplane crash. Strange but true! LOL! My idea has nothing to do with the movie I saw though, so I'm good!
- The Little Rattuses™ is the only series I will ever write, and the tenth volume: The Very Jeweled Rattuses, is now available on Barnes and Noble and Kobo. Its topic is crystals and how they form. There's no new-age nonsense here, though. It's science and offers some educational material as well as the usual ratty observations on life. The next Rat book will be a bit different from anything I've tried before, and so may take longer to create, but I know the topic and I'm ready to go on it as soon as I get time.
- I've been working on and off, more off than on recently, on a collection of short stories, but having completed three of them, I put that on the back burner to work on a brand new novel. The Cinderella project is all new stuff, but it's rooted in original folk tales. Maoglee Putara Wizard of the Jungle is rooted in some of Kipling's Jungle Book. stories and the Insanity War project was a parody of The Avengers Infinity War and Endgame movies, so I felt I needed to get back to something completely original for a while before diving back into Cinderella territory. I needed to get that 'derivation patina' off of me! So I decided to create this book of short stories over a longer time period, writing one or two of them in between other projects. I don't know when it will be published - possibly later this year.
- The new novel features a romance between a woman with a handicap and a guy who is slightly going to seed. Neither of them have been in a relationship for a while due to a bad history with a previous significant other, so they're not looking for anything, but when they meet by accident under some really embarrassing circumstances, they start falling for one another. There will be a companion novel, too, which I haven't started yet, but which will take up the story of some people this couple meet on a cruise. The novel I have worked on is now topping 65,000 words so it's getting there. I'm feeling really good about it, and I hope to have that done before June is out, but we'll see how it goes and whether I want to hold it until the companion is written, or release it first.
- In other areas, I envision at least two more novels in the Terrene World™ collection, in which Cloud Fighters and Seahorses are both set. The third story will feature largely middle-grade boys for a change and will be set in the Middle East, and I had a great idea to include in that just recently. The next one after that - the fourth book - will for the first time, be set in the USA and feature both genders. Yes! This world is evolving and expanding, just like real life! I have nothing put together on these new stories yet except a general idea of what they will involve. They will, I promise you, strongly argue for the environment, as all these novels do. Because these two are just in the concept stage, I can't even guess when they might be out. I'll write them when I feel them, but I can promise you that you will see the news here first!
- I also have an idea for a more mature novel featuring two characters from Seahorses when they go off to uni! It will not be the same as the middle grade novels, be warned. It will have adult (and young adult!) themes. I'm excited about it, but that's some way down the pike (or is it a keyboard?) at the moment.
- I'm still aiming to do an updated version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped re-written for the modern age, but I have no' yet put doon anything on paper, Ladies and Laddies! I do have a good story idea though.
- I'm still planning a variation on Jane Austen's First Impressions (yes, you have to be an Austen buff to know which novel that refers to!). I was thinking that both this and the Kidnapped stories would get done in 2018, but it didn't happen, so maybe this year, maybe not. Too many ideas, too little time!
- Another such plan is my wish to bring up-to-date an old first draft of a novel set in England about a serial killer that I wrote years ago. Work on this one has begun with some seven chapters in hand in first draft form. This will be released in 2019.
- I have this idea for writing a novel about novel writing! How convoluted is that? This is now on the cards for at least starting this year (2019), but has been nudged back a little as other projects have stepped up. I gotta write where my inspiration takes me!
- I was thinking about an original Christmas novel for 2019, and there's no better time to write one of those than in winter, but that's long gone now, so I haven't done any work on that. The theme of this is going to be environmental too, because there is nothing more important facing any of us if we care about Earth and our children and theirs.
- I had this great idea for a novel about Ancient Egyptian Queen and Pharaoh, Nefertiti. After writing Cleoprankster, I can't get Egypt out of my head! Actually, while we can blame Cleo for a lot, we can't blame her for that! It was there before Cleo. It was in my mind when I wrote Tears in Time. I do know it won't get started in the next few months because I have too much else going on right now. I'm still thinking about it lots though, which is a bad sign. I really miss Cleo and Istnofret!
- There is a pair of novels I have in mind, closely-connected, about a detective and her twin sister. I have begun work on the opening chapters of both of these, but done little with them recently, so again, 2019 or later! Probably later.
- I also have a pair of novels I have in mind, closely-connected, about Magic. I have a bit written for one of them and a good idea for the other, but that's not a priority right now.
- A whole host (yes, because anything less would be a ho-ho) of other projects which may or may not ever come to fruition including a Jane Austen-flavored story I've been thinking about, based on the youngest Bennet child (that ought to be an easier clue to solve), I may or may not do this, but it's looking more likely the more I think about it. Probably 2020 or later for that one.
- One more thing I've been half-way planning is a third novel set in Temmeland™, the locale for Femarine and Nature of the Beast. I've been thinking about this on and off too, and I'm becoming enamored of it because I'm falling in love with the main two characters, and that's where it starts, right? Love 'em or leave 'em! Nothing is written yet, but I have the basic opening portion mapped out in my mind, which will be about a third of the novel. After that, I shall wing-it, as I typically do, and let the characters tell me where to go rather than the other way around, but I have a general plot laid out. It's more fun for me to work way and it certainly makes for a better novel. Besides, my characters resent me if I try to run their lives. I know the beginning very well, and I know the ending I want, so it's just a matter of getting from hey to been there, done that! It'll be a fun journey. I'll try to get this done in 2019, but no promises.
- I have an embryonic idea for a fourth Temmeland™ novel, this one female-centric involving a character mentioned in Nature of the Beast, but there's nothing moving on that yet. It has to move me before I can start moving it!
- I also have an idea for a novel which will be a bit like a parody of chick lit, but not quite and certainly not like my other parodies; it will be more like Rumped!: a satire rather than a parody, but it will also be written in a more serious vein - because that's where my ink comes from: right out of my veins! Maybe I will aim this one at Xmas 2019. 2019 is sure going to be busy isn't it? But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Now I have to get back to writing! Writing! Writing! Keep your pencil up!