Archive for the ‘What I’m Working On’ Category

It’s been a minute since an update. Blogging is always something I mean to do, and it’s probably something I should do a lot more. Yet it’s one of those things I let slip through the cracks when really I need to do it.

Space Fantasy Series: I’m nearing the end of Book 2. I’m probably a couple of scenes shy before finishing it off and starting edits, before going back to change Book 1 based off things I added in Book 2. By the time Book 2 is done, it should be as much as 100,000 words, which makes it significantly longer than Book 1 as it stands.

What I can say is, I found myself lost a lot while writing it. But then the answer sort of came to me today – I’ve found the crux, the call to action that will inspire the rest of the series. I’m afraid it’s not terribly original, but at the same time, I hope to put my own spin on an idea that’s been done to death.

Needless to say, because I’ve found this spark, I’m pretty excited about how the rest of this series to come. It should be a grand adventure, and not your typical “good vs. evil” story even if that is the main theme in the end. Or maybe I’m just overselling it.

Either way, I cannot wait until this is done and out, as it’s been too long since I’ve released something.

Another Prequel? The madman! I’ve been toying with a new idea. A novella focusing on Anna’s early life, from her humble origins in Last Town, to her survival in the Wasteland, followed by her becoming Char’s bodyguard in Raider Bluff. If this is done, it will not be as long as Lost Angel – I just don’t think the content is there, and I want to keep the characters fewer – but I think it will make for a nice novella length piece of perhaps 30,000 words. That means it would feel quite short, but hopefully it would be exciting.

Other news: As I’m sure a lot of you know, I live in Florida. Have lived here since June 2017. It’s a bit amazing to me that it’s been three whole years here in the Sunshine State, because it has literally passed in a flash. My wife and I have had lots of adventures in that time – from getting engaged, to getting married, multiple trips to Disney, and now, having a baby boy (still trying to convince the Missus that Alexander Keener West is the most superior name). He’s due in late September.

Life has been pretty busy trying to prepare for him. The main wall of our living room has become a mountain of boxes ordered from Amazon for all the baby stuff. Much to the consternation of our two cats, we went through most of those boxes by now.

The prospect of becoming a father is a bit scary, especially in such uncertain times when the last thing a lot of people want to read is a post-apocalyptic series (I guess the subject hits too close to home). All the same, I’m excited to get a brand new series up and running which should hopefully help with all the diapers and such.

Anyway, I rarely share stuff from my personal life on here, and rarely share on here at all in fact, but it’s something I want to rectify and that only starts by me actually writing something on here (funny how that works). Hopefully the next update does not take as long.

Progress Report

Posted: May 16, 2020 in What I'm Working On

It’s been a while since an update. Things have been pretty busy in house West. Besides my writing adventures, which have seen me halfway done with the first draft of Book 2 of my new space fantasy series, my wife and are I really excited about the fact that we have a baby boy on the way!

I guess what that means, besides all the usual preparations that come with that, is that I’m going to have to start writing a lot faster, because I’ve been told babies are expensive.

The word count of the series has reached 120,000 so far. Not quite Aberration levels, but my goal is to keep my book sizes more manageable in the future. I love a good long book like a lot of people, but it can be pretty mentally draining to be working on the same thing for months on end. That, and just about everything takes twice as long, which makes sense if you think about.

So, that’s where we are. At this moment, I’m sticking with my plan of finishing all three books first before releasing the first one. There’s other stuff that needs to be ironed out, too. I keep going back and forth on whether to write from third person or first person. Right now, it’s in first person, but my gut is telling me to change it to third. So, that will take time, too.

Basically, if my current writing rate is to be a benchmark, the first book should drop sometime later this year. That really wasn’t my goal, but at least for me, these things always take longer than you expect. I should have learned by now, but what can I say, I’m ever the optimist.

Well, that’s where we are. I don’t really have any new story details to share, but I wrote about them a bit in my last post. I’ll share more when my thoughts crystallize a bit. Being a new series, the world and characters are still establishing themselves in my head, and sometimes it’s hard to keep everything straight. That will fix itself as time goes on.

Luke Atkinson and I (mostly Luke) are working very hard  to bring you, dear readers, a physical copy of Apocalypse, which will available directly from Amazon soon!

This should all be set and ready to go within a month’s time (as in…available in a month or less). I’m not sure on costs yet, but I’d expect something in the range of $6.99-9.99 (plus shipping).

Besides being able to have a physical copy in your hands, I’m also excited about doing giveaways! I’ll be doing several first edition SIGNED book giveaways on Goodreads whenever I have the first copies in my hands. Wowza!

It’s a very cool feeling. But the real star of show here is Luke and his absolutely mindblowingly good cover. Check it out:

ImageLeft: Back cover. Right: Front cover: Black middle=spine (too thin for text, alas…it is a novella after all).

I’m very excited about this print copy. I can’t wait until everything in the series is done, so they can all be collected in one giant book, something that I would expect to be anywhere from 120,000 words (on the low end) to 175,000 words on the high end (wowza indeed!).

I’m already starting to outline book two, so hopefully that can be done in no more than two months. Kewl!

I am glad to be home and doing what I like to do – sitting in front of a computer, and happily plotting and outlining my next story.

This one seems a bit interesting. It is a dark fantasy (not horror, but dealing with some darker elements and moods), with a female protagonist. That in itself might prove to be a challenge, but I like a challenge.

I always like stories and books with darker themes, so I guess that’s what I like to write.

This one will be a novella as well – 30,000-40,000 words is my goal. I enjoy writing novellas. Not as long, not as much pressure, and still enough space to craft a compelling yarn. Well, hopefully compelling.

What I want in this book:

-flawed, complex characters (at least the main ones)

-dark themes

-moral ambiguity

-a rich, vibrant world that feels very real to the reader; NOT medievally, NOT European/Celtic/English. I’m thinking perhaps a slightly Byzantine air (yes, I know that’s European), with a dash of something else that is its own. I imagine a populous, advanced city, like Constantinople. There is also plenty of magic, though its use is rare and controlled by a powerful religion that permeates all of society. Magic is very dangerous, and can easily get out of control, which is why it is regulated as much as possible. There is also a party (maybe political) that wants to restrict its use even further, and some who even want all magic-users dead.

-a maritime setting; I envision a city set on the sea at the north of a wild, fantastical, and almost prehistoric continent (in an alternate universe – no Earthlings here, though the characters will be human). Also, two moons. Because why not.

-there is magic; but only a few people have it, and it costs them dearly to use it. The main character has magic, but she cannot control it, and it causes her to kill people unintentionally (oh noes!). Her magic is unleashed whenever she loses control of her emotions, namely in high stress situations, or situations that have a very powerful impact on her. Sort of like Carrie, in a way, though she can’t really direct her power.

That’s all I have for now. All of that is subject to change. I kinda envision two or three books in this series. It will be a challenge, to find out what it is and put it to page. But that’s the fun part of first drafting.

Also, reading this for inspiration…Jemisin rocks.