I ended my Christmas evening writing session within a chapter of getting this mother done. Looks like it will check in at or below 16,000 words, making it a novellette.
In other words, it won’t surprise me later by becoming a novel behind my back like No Marigolds in the Promised Land.
In some ways, this is bittersweet. It will be the last Compact Universe story for a while to go into the can. Of course, revisions are coming. I’m revising Marigolds, adding new material to Storming, with a clean up of Broken Skies (Way too many Oops moments for my liking in that one), and needing to get The Exile and Flight Blade back on the keyboard for cleanup.
Among Wolves (or is it “Among Wolves,” since it’s officially a novellette. I hate that term.) introduces Chapaan, a new identity for an old character. She takes her name from a Gelt goddess who, according to legend, devours those who would harm her children. If she really doesn’t like the poor soul who gets on her bad side, she swallows them whole so they burn for eternity in the fires of her belly without actually burning up. Hey, I read a lot of Stephen King. Makes it easy to come up with this stuff. Chapaan is human, but like Tishla, she has to weld human, Gelt, and a new species we kinda saw in Second Wave, but we never really met officially. She has no clue what happened to any of our meddling kids, and it’s only when a group of Gelt Warriors defect to her cause that she learns the fate of both Laral Umish, the overlord of Amargosa, and the Gelt Sovereign, who’s already lost patience with the Larals as depicted in both The Roots of War and Tishla. She knows her return among humans will be difficult, particularly since most of her new resistance is not human. Moreover, much has happened both on and off world that will make her a wildcard.
Once I’m done, I’m going to have to create a wiki for this series. For starters, if and when I restart it (Mid-2019. I’m doing a prequel to introduce how humans found wormholes. And Jefivah. And maybe a cult to Marilyn Monroe.), I’ll need to stay consistent with the existing work. But it will be bittersweet to close the books on this one. It’s the end of an era for me, a five year experiment that saw me go indie only to start the long, hard slog back to trad. Sorry, but the promises made by those touting indie as the way to go did not pan out. Time to get back in the saddle again.