My editor has begun her review of No Remorse (Decker’s War Book 6) and I should see the first round of comments within days. I think it’s safe to say it’ll be published this month, hopefully before the contractor starts work our our downstairs bathroom and I find my environment less conductive to the authorly arts. I’ve now been instructed to take a day or two of rest, so I can recover from an intense week of 10-12 hour days revising the novel. We’ll see. I’m not very skilled at the fine of doing nothing. Which I suppose is reflected by my decreased time watching the boob tube in favor of reading, although Netflix is being annoying and putting up further shows I want to watch, especially Scandinavian noir cop series, or further seasons of shows I’ve been watching. But soon enough, I’ll be turning my attention back to the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore installment. I’d like to see it out by early summer, as do her fans, I daresay.
Tag Archives: progress
I’m pleased to announce that I just finished writing the last words of No Remorse (Decker’s War Book 6). Yep, I’m done. Now for a few weeks worth of editorial massaging and proofreading, but there you have it: Eric Thomson’s eleventh novel. It came in at about the same length as the others, meaning a slice above 400 pages, or just short of 110,000 words. Decker fans will learn a bit more about our fun-loving, hard-fighting Marine’s past, and perhaps even get a hint about his future, or at least a possible future. The story picks up several months after the fallout from Black Sword, but it is self-contained even though some familiar names and faces from the previous installment make a return visit, because as will become apparent to those who read No Remorse, fighting Decker’s War is growing beyond the ability of one man and his partner, no matter how skilled and determined they may be. And that’s as much of a teaser as you’ll get for now.
As they say in the ad world – look for it at your favorite retailer in late March.
Just a quick word to let you know I’m busy finishing No Remorse (Decker’s War Book 6), so there won’t be a regular blog post this week. I’ve reached the 95% mark, meaning the first draft will be completed within the next two or three days. Then it goes through the rounds of editing and proofing, but I’m still optimistic for a late March publication date, since my editor has confirmed she will clear full week for me the moment it’s ready.
As a novelist, I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, meaning I make the story up as I go along — within general plot parameters, let it be said — rather than outline, develop the outline into chapters, etc., etc. I tried it once with the help of some nifty software to keep things disciplined and bored myself to tears. That novel was Victory’s Bright Dawn, by the way. When I attempted a repeat with Black Sword, I gave up early on and returned to my usual seat of the pants writing, which can be both a blessing and a curse. The curse part surfaces when I’ve either written myself into a blind corner, or I can’t come up with what happens next and spend a lot of time staring out the window. The blessing comes when new characters suddenly appear unplanned, or when characters do or say something unexpected, spinning the tale in new and exciting directions. I suffered from both in recent days. A new, mysterious, and interesting character unexpectedly crossed Zack Decker’s path, but in my desire to make something of this character right away, instead of letting it percolate through the story, I cursed myself into a blind alley and lost a day’s worth of work. Then, the next day another character, this one planned, had a fascinating and lengthy discussion with Zack Decker, changing some of my plans. Although this happens with every story I write, whenever my characters take over, it’s always an interesting if not downright enjoyable experience and the cast of No Remorse (Decker’s War Book 6) is making me live through that again. What I find really pleasant in such cases is that I make a lot of progress because the words seem to fall on the page by themselves. When I go down a blind alley, and my characters no longer cooperate, productivity becomes painful and slow. And we all know how stubborn a guy like Zack Decker can be, right?
As regular readers of this blog might remember, since leaving the demented bureaucracy for the genteel life of a writer at large, I’ve been alternating periods in front of the keyboard with work on our more than forty-year-old house. I had a plan of sorts too — focus on a specific aspect each year, be it for work I’d do myself or work I intended on handing to a contractor. Of course, the moment you inform life you have a plan, life’s response will be: hold my beer, and watch this!
The other day, just as she was leaving for work, Mrs. Thomson called me to witness a growing water puddle in the downstairs bathroom. Turns out Old Man Winter froze a sink drainpipe running inside an outer wall shut. And that latest water damage in the same space, which hasn’t seen an upgrade other than cosmetic since the house was built back when I was still in grade school, means we need to move up the bathroom rebuild by a year or two. So much for my 2018 renovation plans, but there’s no real choice, not with the danger of mold growing thanks to this last soaking. And since this is work for a contractor, not a do it yourselfer like me, I must see what I can do at minimal cost with my own hands elsewhere on the property. Thankfully, we were able to hire the same excellent company that worked on our kitchen and other bathroom in years past. I suppose the price tag is an added incentive to publish more good stories.
No Remorse (Decker’s War Book 6) is fast approaching the halfway completion mark, and as you may have noticed, its cover now features alongside the rest of them on this blog. After a brief moment of writer’s block the day before yesterday, the floodgates opened during my daily stint at the gym, and I can finally see precisely how all parts of the story will unfold, which always helps increase my productivity. At this rate, you can expect it to hit the bookshelves sometime in March!
It’s been a week of endings around here, some good, some sad. The city’s contractors have laid down the first coat of asphalt on our street, meaning no more mud and dust, and they’ve begun preparing front yards and driveways for rehabilitation. Whether they’ll manage to complete everything before winter remains open to question. I’m also almost done revising The Warrior’s Knife. After a few intense discussions with my editor two weeks ago, I’m making a number of changes to improve the story and kick it up a notch. As the first of a new series, we’re both anxious that I get it absolutely right. Of course, that means publication is delayed until November, or even possibly early December.
However, our lingering summer is finally over. The furnace came on this week for the first time since spring; the days are getting noticeably shorter and the breeze downright cold. And yesterday, we found out that Gord Downie, the lead singer and lyricist for the quintessentially Canadian band The Tragically Hip passed away at age 53, his brain cancer finally claiming victory. Like millions of Canadians, I was glued to the TV for The Hip’s final concert in Kingston last year, knowing that once the last note faded away, they would never appear on stage together again. Rest in Peace, Gord.
The third Siobhan Dunmoore adventure Like Stars in Heaven has been published in audiobook format. You can get it here:
Will further adventures come out in audiobook? I don’t know. When I signed the audiobook publication contract with Tantor Media, only the first three Dunmoore novels had been published in ebook & paperback formats. I’d like to see the latest installment, Victory’s Bright Dawn and the next books in that series eventually turn into audiobooks, as well as the entire Decker’s War compendium, but we shall have to wait and see.
In the meantime, our rainy summer that wasn’t quite a summer is delivering another deluge from the skies this morning, turning our construction zone street into a muddy quagmire. There’s no longer any drainage and there won’t be until they put in the new storm drains and repave. I’m glad I managed to walk the dog before the heavens opened up — again! Here’s the view from my office window.
If you haven’t yet picked up your copy of Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5), here’s a bit from a kind reviewer:
Absolutely excellent!! […] An adventure that will keep you up all night to find out what happens.
My second audiobook, The Path of Duty (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 2) will be released tomorrow, joining the audiobook of Dunmoore’s inaugural adventure on the shelves of Amazon, Audible, iTunes and more. And that means the audiobook of Like Stars in Heaven (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 3) will soon be available for pre-order, as I expect an August 20th release for it.
In the meantime, my editor has indicated I might get her comments on Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) by early next week. Figure on a mid-August release for it. All in all, 2017 is turning out to be a good year for this author. And yes, I’m also working on the plot for the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure, tentatively titled Without Mercy, though it might not be published before 2018.
As I mentioned before, music is an important part of my inspiration to write, my muse if you like, and a great motivator when I’m procrastinating. I try to give each of my books a theme song, sometimes more than one, when I stumble across pieces appropriate for various parts of the story. It’s hard to predict what will trigger the muse, or what will crop up that meshes well with my writing. Case in point, the theme song for Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) has turned out to be a 1982 hit by the band Golden Earring, called Twilight Zone. Once you read the book (it will be out later this summer), you’ll see why I chose it. As far as musical pairings go, this one is the best so far.
I’m currently more than halfway through the revision of Black Sword. With the greater part of this year’s home reno project done, I’ll be able to give it a sprint, so I figure my editor might see it in a week or so.
Mother Nature’s a fickle one, even at the best of times. Last week, it was cold, rainy, with plenty of Spring flooding in my part of the country. For the last two days, it’s essentially been mid-July, where the temperature, sunshine and humidity are concerned, yet the leaves haven’t fully erupted from their buds yet. But, starting tomorrow, and at least into June, temperatures will be several degrees below the average for this time of year. Go figure. I love the heat. Mrs Thomson, not so much, which means she won’t complain at the cooler temperatures. Now if it could only stop being so windy! The May rains have ensured a bumper crop of dandelions and other weeds, but spraying or burning them in anything more than a light breeze is asking for trouble.
I suppose I should start thinking about where we’ll take our first hike of the year this coming long weekend. Mrs Thomson will probably want a reasonably flat trail, but it’ll have to be on higher ground. Many, if not most of the good ones meander around ponds, bogs and outright swamps, and water levels are still high, meaning they might not even be open. If all else fails, a long walk through the neighbourhood will have to do. At least that kind of an urban hike allows us to gaze in wonder at the massive single family homes around here, most of them very tastefully designed.
Progress on Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) has been steady – I’m past the 25% mark – although I’ve stopped writing seven days a week, reserving Saturday and Sunday for home renos, to give my fingers and brain a break. I’ve also visualized a good opening scene for the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure, but have nothing more than a very high level idea of what the story will be. Hopefully, I’ll get a starship-sized burst of inspiration at some point.