First off, The Pied Piper of the Undead 2 had a solid release and feedback was great. Reviews started coming in immediately and everyone seemed to like where the story of Peter was heading. If you still have yet to pick up a copy, just click here. I want to talk a little about some of the things I struggled with when writing it so if you have not read it yet, skip this next spoiler section.
When I first looked at the sequel to Piper, I knew right off that Peter would not be leaving the town quite yet. Even with the strength he showed starting the theater fire and killing numerous zombies, it would be a huge leap for him to leave his home. I mean, he's still a kid. Hell, he couldn't even leave the tower yet. But he was close. Very close to making that jump into adulthood.
Enter: Debbie and her kids.
Right away here is an adult who immediately takes up that role that Peter was fighting so hard against. This takes a lot of pressure off him, especially when he has to deal with the pressure of not being alone anymore and with the young girl who is stirring up all kinds of feelings and desires he never really had to face.
I knew he would end up killing Kelly. It would be the big tragedy of the story. Peter would have to destroy something he loved. And I wanted this to be the moment he really moves into adulthood.
Which is why he makes the sacrifice in the end and accepts that he will never leave Rockville.
Now I am going to warn you: Part 3 is nothing like the first two. But I think (and hope) it will work. And it is definitely the last book about Peter. I will have said all I have to say about this character and will move on. Not that I do not like the Pied Piper series. It is far and away my most successful work to date, but I feel with the third book, Peter's journey will have come to its end.
November saw me undertake NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, with the goal of completing 50,000 words towards a novel in the month's 30 days. This marked the first time I had ever competed, and what a challenge. I was set to finish WORLDBREAKER and release my 1st full stand-alone novel. But a few things happened to get in the way.
I decided to bring together some of the students at the school I work at to complete their own small NaNo competition. The response was great, and coupled with another student I was tutoring at the time, was a huge time sink. But we have a few middle school minds with completed 10,000 word stories that we will begin workshopping together. The finale: We will compile the finished stories into an anthology and produce an ebook and paperback that can be used for fundraising.
I also agreed to write my own short for the anthology, another time sink, which took away from the main competition some more.
But I am pleasantly happy with this story and will probably release it as a stand-alone too, or have it exclusively in the anthology to help boost some sales for the kiddos. It's called Belle is Dying and is very different from anything else I have released to date. Details on when the anthology will hit, but look for it 1Q 2015.
I also spent a lot of the month hammering at ELDER, my chtulhu inspired homage to all things Lovecraftian. It is almost done and should see release by the end of December/beginning of January. This was a lot of fun to write and I hope you enjoy it too.
Where does that leave WORLDBREAKER? Well for one, as I worked on it, I realized it was going to be a lot bigger than I initially thought. We're talking in the 100,000 word count or somewhere around it. It is also a very difficult thing to write since it is about the passing of my son, Sam. I have reached a scene in which he makes a cameo and kind of just stopped there. I'm still thinking about how it will go, just not ready to put the words down yet. But I am still working on it and really like what we have so far.
So the new year approaches and the goals for 2015 are:
-Black Rain 3- I know where it goes, I know what happens, I know how it ends. Just have to clear the schedule to begin work.
-Providence 2 and 3- Both are shorter than the first, but will continue the storylines introduced in book 1. These will be filler on the writing schedule as they are pretty easy to write.
-WORLDBREAKER- keep writing, keep working, until we type the last sentence.
-The Pied Piper of the Undead 3- Will hit around the same time of the year as 2 did this year. And then will be followed up with a collected version, containing all 3 parts and a bonus story, in a nice paperback edition just in time for the holidays.
One other thing about NaNoWriMo, I was pleasantly surprised by the support shown by the large group of writers in the Shenandoah Valley. Had no clue there were this many annual participants. Big ups to my pal, Chris Dawson, for finishing his novel and working on the editing process as we speak. Cannot wait to see what he has come up.
Go see Interstellar. What a great movie.
Go read Murakami's two new books. Good stuff as always.
I'll be back in a few with the cover reveal for ELDER and story synopsis and maybe some news on where the BANDWIDTH audiobook stands.
Peace and Merry Christmas,