I’m getting close to the end of the third novel in the Maxwell Saga. This one will be called ‘Adapt And Overcome’, and will see Steve Maxwell in all sorts of trouble, having to cope with professional complications, pirates and the opposite sex. It’s been a lot of fun writing it.
I’ve just passed 100,000 words, with another 10,000 or so to go before wrapping it up. I hope to have the draft out to beta readers this weekend, and to get it back from them within six or seven days. While they’ve got it, I’ll work on the cover and set up the formatting templates. A week or two of corrections and updates based on their feedback, and it’ll be time to prepare it for uploading to Amazon.com and CreateSpace. My target launch date is Monday, December 2nd for both print and e-book editions, God willing and all other things being equal.
That’ll make it four books and 380,000-odd words published since my first book came out in mid-May this year. I was very optimistic (and very silly!) to have decided to produce four books in such a short time, even though the first three were largely written already, needing only a final draft. I won’t tackle so much in so short a time again, I can tell you! Next year I hope to publish at least three books, possibly four, but I suspect it’ll be closer to three, since they all have to be written from scratch.
I’m considering what to do about my future writing. I’m quite happy to push the Maxwell Saga further ahead – I have a dozen books planned in outline, with perhaps more if readers want that – but I don’t want to get ‘typecast’ (you should pardon the expression) as an author. I might also consider another non-fiction book like my prison memoir, but that hasn’t sold nearly as well as I’d hoped – admittedly, the subject and genre aren’t nearly as popular as SF among readers – so I’m not sure about that.
I’m considering a fantasy series, not massive tomes like the volumes in ‘Song of Ice and Fire‘ or ‘Wheel Of Time‘ or ‘Sword Of Truth‘, that drag on forever without coming to a climax, but something shorter, simpler and more direct. I’d try to have each book self-contained, rather than ending in a cliff-hanger that isn’t resolved until the next book – only to have another one jump out at you when you get there. I’d try to base the series at least partly on events I’ve experienced, as I’ve done with the Maxwell Saga, meaning there’d be less emphasis on magic and more on practical, workable developments. (I know it’s a cliché to use Tolkien as an example, but think Tolkien without the elves, dwarves and hobbits. I’ll have to invent some races to replace them. Kilts will be optional.)
Another option (one that I’ve already sketched in outline) is a medieval-style fantasy about a soldier in a city guard. I think I could do a lot with this one. Think urban fantasy without magicians – or, if there are magicians, my protagonist will regard them with profound suspicion!
What say you, readers? Would you be interested in one or more series such as those I’ve described, or should I focus more on SF? Please let me know in Comments. Obviously, I want to write what you want to read, or you won’t buy my books! That still leaves me plenty of room to be creative.
(How about a fantasy series set in prison? With a sexy female high priestess chaplainette?)