Until next time.
I started out with a short novel that focused on four of my meddling kids. (Duffy really isn’t good story fodder, but since he left Amargosa with JT in Second Wave, I’m kinda stuck with him.) Then I realized the whole Leitman/Germanicus thing needs to be wrapped up. And so does Douglas Best’s. Now you might be saying, “Why should I care? Wasn’t he only in The Marilynists? Yes, but the novellas yet to be released feature some major movement in the Compact Universe. Unless an opportunity presents itself where I can pick this up again, I have to leave three of these characters at some place of closure.
Which turned by 63,000-word manuscript into a 114,000-word one. Yes, there will be cutting. Probably the political stuff, even though I enjoyed writing it. It will be rearranged.
I’m thinking with all the new material that I write this like a ten-episode arc for something like Netflix. I’m not releasing a bunch of novellas. That really didn’t pan out, and after this, I think Clayborn Press would prefer I focus more on marketing these things. Easier with a completed trilogy and companion novellas.
Now I have to pivot. I’m doing a short story for an anthology, then diving into the first Nick Kepler novel I’ve written in 13 years. And yes, it’s as Jim Winter. Meanwhile, I have revisions to do, including to No Marigolds in the Promised Land. I’d like to give new newsletter subscribers something other than a first draft. So two betas, one new, one regular, have given me some good notes. I also have to clean up Broken Skies, Warped, and Tishla, along with Second Wave for Clayborn.
The new novellas will be The Amortals, The Exile, and Flight Blade. Those will precede Storming.
And then I’m done.
Not really. I have a planned novel that describes the accidental discovery of Jefivah and wormholes. So long before that planet became “the Appalachia of the Stars” famous for its cult to Marilyn Monroe, it was humanity’s first interstellar outpost. So the novel I plan to shop around to agents is going to be about how that all happened.
But I’m also relieved I don’t have to spin up anymore original work for this series for the foreseeable future. And I’m going to stick with a saner pace. My wife would like to spend time with me, and my stepsons would, too. Hard to do when I’m holed up in my office with Tom Petty blaring while I make up stuff.