And now it’s 2022

A little late, but Happy New Year, all. I hope 2022 hasn’t already destroyed the spark of hope that can come with the change in year.

So, 2021 happened, and I finally managed to publish The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II.

On that note:

UK folks, The Theatre of Shadows will be available for £1.99 on Kindle until 12am 20 January GMT – you can find it here.

US folks, it’s currently $2.99 on Kindle until 12am 20 January PST – you can find it here.

So, what’s coming up for me this year?…Who knows. But here’s what I’m currently working on.

I’m 75k words into writing The Vasini Chronicles III, which means I’m hopefully past half way done on the first draft.

Beasts of the Wildlands – Tales From Vasini II – will soon be taken out of the draw for another edit and after that I should know how much work is left before it can go out into the world.

I’ve managed a first edit of Tales From Vasini III, but it will likely be sitting in the virtual draw until Beasts of the Wildlands is close to publication.

As a bit of a break from all the Vasini-related stuff, I’ve also been looking at my supernatural noir that has been sitting in the draw for the past few years. Still like it (very much), still (very much) want to see it published one day, still not quite sure how.

A short pause

Back in August I posted about editing Tales From Vasini II: Beasts of the Wildlands.

I recently finished another draft and this one is now with someone to have a little look at.

While I wait to hear what they think, I’m having a look at Tales From Vasini III – the first time since I finished the first draft.

So, what can I tell you about it apart from it involving some murders around the Vasini docklands (and its working title is Murders in the Docklands)?

Well:

  • It’ll consist of three interconnected novellas
  • The current draft is 74,120 words
  • It will tie up a loose end from The Theatre of Shadows

And that’s about all I should tell you for now. After all, there’s a whole Tales From Vasini to come before it.

What’s next?

The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II has been out three weeks now, so what’s next?

Well, there’s a couple of things in various stages of development at the moment.

Tales From Vasini II — I’m deep into editing this. It’s going by the working title of Beasts of the Wildlands and will contain two novellas — tentatively entitled ‘The Hunters’ and ‘In the Ruins of the Deities’. This should be the next thing to come out, but I’m not going to commit just yet to when precisely that will be. The stories are set a little bit before and a little bit after the events of The Theatre of Shadows.

Tales From Vasini III — A first draft exists. It should consist of three interconnected novellas and will come out before The Vasini Chronicles III. The stories are set over the summer after the events of The Theatre of Shadows.

The Vasini Chronicles III — I’m about 30,000 words into writing the first draft of this. That’s hopefully about a quarter of the way through.

After The Vasini Chronicles III is written, I currently plan on writing something non-Vasini related as a little refresher before plunging back in with what will likely be Tales From Vasini IV. But all of that is some way in the future so could very well change.

Anyway, keep safe until next time. I’ll try to remember to let you know how things are going.

And if you haven’t already done so, feel free to pick up a copy of The Theatre of Shadows

UK

US

Canada

Australia

France

Germany

Netherlands

Out now and coming soon(ish – hopefully)

The Cities Beyond the Signal is out now on Apple Books

My portal fantasy novella, The Cities Beyond the Signal, is now available on Apple Books. You can find it here if you’re in the UK or on your local Apple Books store.

Have a read and, maybe, if the urge takes you, leave a review on Apple Books or Goodreads (or both).

And coming soon

…ish – hopefully.

The proofreading of The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II is underway. It will take a little time and, until its complete, I’m not going to risk saying when ToS will actually be out in the world, but we’re in the final stretch. Finally.

And coming later…I finished writing the first draft of the third novella for Tales From Vasini III. There’s a lot of work to do on it, which will have to wait until The Theatre of Shadows is wrapped up and I’ve done some editing on the stories for Tales From Vasini II. Next on the list of things to write is The Vasini Chronicles III. And then, after that, maybe something non-Vasini related.

Theatres, beasts and city treats

Work on The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II is going well. I finished the most recent draft last week, getting it that much closer to being out in the world.

With the latest draft on The Theatre of Shadows done and The Cities Beyond the Signal now out in the world (more on that below), I’ve finally had the chance to start editing Tales From Vasini II, currently with a working title of Beasts of the Wildlands. This is an odd one for the Vasini books as the two novellas that it will contain are completely set outside of the city’s walls, dealing in part (as the name suggests) with the twisted beasts found in the Wildlands between the city-states. This will be their first edit after sitting on my laptop since I completed the first draft nearly two years ago (on 21 December 2018 to be precise). This has mainly been down to me concentrating on editing The Theatre of Shadows,

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As an aside, I’m currently making good headway on the first draft of the second novella for Tales From Vasini III. Fingers crossed I can keep up this pace.

For those looking for a deal, my novella The Cities Beyond the Signal is currently 99p on Kindle in the UK and $1.99 on Kindle in the US. Both deals end at 12am (GMT/PST) on 30 November, so go get them now before the deals end.

You can find The Cities Beyond the Signal here in the UK and here in the US.

How long has it been?

Hello, all. I hope you’re keeping well.

I started writing a post back in April, but for several reasons never got to post it. I tried again in July, but it still didn’t happen. So now, in September, I’ve salvaged some of what I originally wrote and put together a short update on where I’m at with a couple of things.

When I was writing the original post back in April, it was our seventh(?) week of being housebound. In many ways, not much changed. My day job means that I work from home on a regular basis. Tackling childcare while working proved a challenge, but rather than deal with the stress and put my daughter through the nonsense of her parents working while she wanted our attention, thankfully we were in a position where I could take some parental leave which made things easier.

Of course, tackling all of this, living in a situation so disrupted from the norm did mean that other aspects of life were getting disrupted. There was less time to read. At times, less inclination to write as my mind was full of processing what was (and still is) going on and working out how best to get our next load of shopping. But things moved along, just more slowly. Sometimes very slowly. Yet, with any situation you acclimatise to the new norm. Things started to speed up. I found the gaps in my day that allowed me to read a bit more and, as you’ll see later, I’ve even managed to write and, more importantly, edit.

It’s been great to be able to have my family around me more though. So much time can be lost not just to work, but to getting to and from work. And there are a couple of things that the disruption has let me do thanks to my daughter settling down earlier at night and not having to get everyone up at 5am in the morning so they can get out of the house in time to head to work and nursery. The main one was getting the chance to play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time in a decade.

Yes, I could probably have written more, but, truth be told, my mind, for the first few months, wasn’t in a place where it could concentrate for that long, too many distractions in the real world. One shot D&D games though were just plain fun. Limited thinking required, just focused on enjoying some time with friends and acquaintances with no pressure. To be honest with you, the release from what was going on probably allowed me to go on and do the writing I did do.

The Cities Beyond the Signal

I’m getting close to putting the finishing touches to the novella I’ve been working on under the title of The Signal (now called The Cities Beyond the Signal), the sequel to the novelette The City Between the Books.

That means I should, fingers crossed, have some news soonish about when it will actually appear in the world.

The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II

Although The Cities Beyond the Signal will be released before the next Vasini Chronicles book, much of what time I’ve managed to get to write over the past few months has actually been spent on The Theatre of Shadows. Things are progressing well, there’s still work to be done, but it’s getting closer and closer to being ready.

Tales From Vasini III

I’ve actually managed to finish the first draft of one of the novellas that will make up Tales From Vasini III.

It needs work, and I still have the two other novellas that I need to write to go with it, but it’s a start.

Reading

I’ve already hit my Goodreads goal for the year of reading 48 books. It was mainly thanks to having bought the entire main series of The Walking Dead graphic novels via Humble Bundle. I managed to get through the two-thirds of the series I had yet to read thanks to not being able to concentrate on anything too text heavy.

Blogging

With the release The Cities Beyond the Signal on the horizon, expect me to start blogging a little more frequently over the coming weeks. Whether it will turn into a more frequent think in the longer term remains to be seen.

Anyway, keep safe and well. Wash your hands (do you remember when the advice was just wash your hands properly?), wear a mask, keep two meters apart and stay inside as much as you can.

Outlines and Edits II: More Outlines, More Edits

Phew. I managed to blog this time. It was kind of inevitable that I was going to miss a blog after setting myself a blogging schedule, but I’d hoped it wouldn’t be so early in the year and only after four posts.

Oh dear.

Anyway…where was I…

Ah, yes…I was editing a supernatural noir and outlining The Vasini Chronicles III and Tales From Vasini III. 

I still am, although very close to finishing both.

On the supernatural noir side, I should finish editing the latest draft in the next week or two. I had thought I was a lot further in to the edit, but in the past couple of days, I’ve admitted to myself that I really need to cut back one character’s presence in the story. It’s going to be painful. I really like the character and in many ways they bring a great additional perspective on the story. The problem is they’re not who the story is about and as interesting as that perspective can be, it isn’t essential and just gets in the way at a vital part of the story. They won’t disappear completely, but they won’t be playing quite as prominent role in the later stages of the novel. Once I’ve recovered from that I’ll be switching my attention to editing The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II. 

The rough outlines for all three of the Tales From Vasini III novellas and The Vasini Chronicles III are done. I’m mostly finished with the more in-depth outlining of the first novella in an attempt to avoid any notes that just say ‘They find a clue’. Once that’s done, I’ll start writing. The outlines for the other novellas and The Vasini Chronicles III will get a little more work on them as I write and get a better grasp on the first novella.

Until next time.

The steps so far

It’s 31 January, the date by which if I’d made resolutions they’d have fallen by the wayside and if I’d made plans I’d already be down on myself for failing to reach some arbitrary deadline. Instead, as stated here, I’m trying to think more in terms of a direction of travel, giving myself the opportunity to celebrate what I’ve achieved rather than berating myself for what’s been left undone.

And, though I may not be far along (after all, we’re less than 9% of the way through the year), there has been progress:

  • Goodreads tells me, I’ve read seven books so far (and am four books ahead of schedule, assuming I’m to read 48 books this year). Although they are all books I started off reading last year or graphic novels.
  • I’m well into outlining The Vasini Chronciles III and Tales From Vasini III. The initial phase is putting together a broad outline on index cards (completed for Tales From Vasini III and about half way there for The Vasini Chronicles III) and then I’ll move on to fleshing out those notes and then onto writing an actual draft.
  • I’m a little over half way through editing a long supernatural noir novel.
  • I’ve had some feedback on The Theatre of Shadows (The Vasini Chronciles II) and will start editing it again once the current draft of the supernatural noir is complete.
  • And, so far, I’ve kept up with my attempts to blog more.

All in all, a reasonable start to the year.

Outlines and edits

Woo’hoo. I remembered to blog before the automatic “I didn’t get round to blogging” message went up.

Outlining on The Vasini Chronicles III and Tales From Vasini III continues, as does editing the supernatural noir novel. It’s kind of relaxing not working on a first draft at the moment, having some time away from the daily press to fill white space with coherent sentences. Instead I’m collecting together and structuring random thoughts and working with words that have already been written.

At the moment, outlining consists of getting all of my initial thoughts and all the scenes and random bits I know I want to do in the story down onto index cards and then working out how they all link together. After that it will be structuring it properly and fleshing it out. Hopefully, this time I’ll remember not to stick future me with the oh-so helpful note of “They find a clue”. Seriously, past me can be annoying. What clue are they supposed to find? Tell me past, Chris. Tell me.

I’m not a slavish outliner, I like to be able to explore the characters and story as I write and see what comes from it. But it is useful to have a rough outline as a prompt for that exploration, to make sure I know in which direction I’m ultimately heading and in what the next step in that direction is should I get lost.

On the editing side, as I’ve said before, I’m enjoying being back in the world of my supernatural noir and with its characters so much. It feels comfortable and although I know the story so well now, I still get excited by it.

Anyway, let’s see if I manage to beat the automatic “I didn’t get round to blogging” message on 31 January.