August Progress Report

I’ve literally been buried alive by the constant barrage of questions about the books, that I haven’t been able to do a progress report until now! Honest! The sheer outrageous demand for answers has been overwhelming. Piles and piles of emails and letters, probably as many as four people just hammering away, wanting to know this and that and so on, that getting to my keyboard to answer any of them has been utterly impossible!

Questions like, when’s the next one coming out? What’s it called? What’s it about? How long is it? How wide is it? Can I have a lolly? Can I go to the toilet? Are the books going to be better than the HBO mini-series? Who will Kit Harrington play? And on and on.

So, what has been happening recently? Editing, that’s what. I know I said, months ago, that I’d almost finished and that a publishing date will be announced (I like to say stuff like that as it makes it sound like I’m a big-shot author who actually gets published, when in fact that’s completely untrue), and that the book will be super awesome and everybody will probably think it’s not bad, and boom, I’ll be fending Jerry Bruckheimer and Michal Bay off left right and centre, but the truth is…once my edits were done, that was just the beginning…

I uploaded the manuscript to Kindle and when I began reading, I came to a horrible realisation. There’s more atrocities in here than the whole history of US foreign policy! The horror! MS Word spellcheck can only do so much, after all. I came across mistake after mistake, and knew something drastic had to be done. I needed somebody with real skills who could copy-edit the manuscript, pick it apart, strip it down to its barest components and build it back up better than ever before. Like what Mark Walberg didn’t do in Transformers 4: The Age of Product Placement.

Graham Pedersen, a venerable wizard with Word track-changes, has been hard at work since last November going through each line with a fine-toothed comb (no combs were involved, but I’m sure if he was delousing some kid’s head that’s what he would have used), and picking out all the inconsistencies and errors, of which there were many. It’s been a slow process, matched only by the reward of seeing the quality rise with each page edited.

In the meantime, I’ve been busy working on rewrites for the second book, entitled The Adventurer’s Daughter: Annahenata and the Seventh Scroll, while almost simultaneously working on the first draft of the third, called The Adventurer’s Daughter: Annahenata and the Jewel of the West.  Planning for that one has been a bit mish-mash, so hopefully I’ll have a broad canvas at the end to work with, and with any luck, it’ll all come together in post-production. Meaning re-writes and edits. In the last few weeks I’ve also been focusing on the fourth and final book, which is as yet untitled. Currently its working title (a fancy way of saying that something doesn’t have a name yet), is Annahenata and the End of the World. Subject to change…

Each book is split into two halves, released separately just to annoy people, while the fourth book will be split into three. I’ve read tons of fantasy trilogies but this is the first time I’ve had a stab at trying to plot one myself. It’s rather like attempting a really large and elaborate puzzle, especially since I’ve got to tie the first three books together and somehow make a satisfactory ending to the entire storyline. Each separate part must have a great beginning, a storyline independent of, but still linked to, the main thrust, and have a good cliffhanger type ending that holds just enough unanswered questions back to entice a reader into wanting to find out what happens. As I’ve worked through it all, there have been a whole raft of seemingly small elements or points that I’ve needed to go back in and seed through the other three books. It’s been fun piecing it all together, and finally, I’m beginning to have a clear picture of what the fourth part will look like, and how the whole thing will run.

That’s a long way off however, so for now I’ll return to what’s directly before me. What’s left to do before The Adventurer’s Daughter (Part One) is released? A cover image would be nice…So that’s the next mission, and hopefully soon, real soon, we’ll have something awesome to show to the world. Tell your friends, tell your cat! Exciting things are happening at Hogwarts! Oh wait that’s the wrong story. Terrible things are happening at Winterfell! No, that’s not right either…