So Much Going On… But There Is News On The 1st Book

Good day one and all. It’s been a while since my last post, but there has been SOOOOO much going on.

First off, there is of course the pandemic. Here in California, I work for the county and am alternating between being a week in the office dealing with the public, and then spending the next week working from the safety of my home. So, my free time has gotten kind all… um…  Here, let me get the 10th Doctor to explain it to you all…

Okay, maybe he didn’t do a better job of explaining it, but you get the general idea. It’s been REALLY hectic lately.

Besides the pandemic and work, you’ve probably heard about the massive heatwave followed by raging forest fires that have been hitting California left and right. This meant, some power outtages, being on standby to possibly evacuate, and dealing with smoke-filled air (which for both me and my wife Helen is murder on our lungs, since we both suffer severe asthma – which can also be triggered by excessive heat). At this point, I’m presuming a lot of you are getting the picture of how life has been anything but normal for the past month or so.

So, what little time I have some days is usually divided up between any of the following:

  • Write
  • Edit
  • Record another audiobook (bet you didn’t know I’m a voice talent)
  • Work on a book cover (I’m also an artist, too)
  • Spending time with my better half
  • Simply trying to recuperate from everyday chaos
  • Taking care of everyday life business, pay bills, get the car repaired/maintained
  • Grocery or other shopping, etc

Now writing can consist of either a blog entry, actually writing a book, or a short story. I can usually do one of those, but not too much in a single day. Besides asthma, I have Fibromyalgia which means I have only so many spoons to use throughout the day before I’m totally exhausted.

With all that said, in spite of the most recent chaos, I have been making steady progress on the 2nd draft of the first book in “The Pass” saga. Currently, the 1st draft came in at around 61,000+ words. With the 2nd draft that will probably grow and shrink. Although, it’s mostly going to grow and probably come in around 65,000 words.

You see the biggest difference between 1st and 2nd drafts is adding, deleting, or even moving entire sections of the story from one spot to another. Why, you may be asking? Well, it depends on the author(s). For both me and Rich, the 1st draft is all about getting the entire idea down in a story format. Now some people, like my wife Helen, are the kind of authors who can really work an entire scene and even each sentence just right in her head, before she commits it to the computer. She may take a little longer to complete a 1st draft, but that sucker is going to be cleaner and more ready to print than most.  She usually only needs to do a bit of correcting and then send her stuff off to beta-readers. After she gets their input, she’ll put together a 2nd draft and is ready to publish.

Now in my case, I have a loose outline I’m working with which I use to guide the scenes as I’m creating each one. I also have a pretty good idea of the overall story and how it begins and ends, with a fair amount of the middle already planned. But I never have all of it planned out. I wind up listening to the characters as they come to life from the beginning, I get to know them better (and Rich has been finding this to be true as well) so some of what we planned doesn’t always make it into the story. Some characters can be very temperamental and have firm ideas of their own. In my case, a number of those ideas are better than what I had planned and I find myself scrapping mine and going with their suggestions.

So, like I said before, for me (and I believe Rich as well) a 1st draft is just getting the entire idea down period. It may not look pretty or always read all that well, but the story is there. The 2nd draft is where the next big of ‘magic’ occurs for me. Since it takes me some time to get a first draft completed, when I re-read it I find I’ve repeated the same idea/concept in more than one place. So here is where that deleting I mentioned earlier comes in. But now I have to decide where to leave the idea. Was it better in the first place I mentioned it, or in one of the later spots. Then there’s times where an entire scene would work better in another area of the book, so I’ll copy and move that scene to the new location. After which I’ll have to ‘stitch-up’ the area where I removed it, so that section flows properly. And of course, there are scenes that no longer make any sense at all and have to be removed entirely.

However, it’s also during the 2nd draft that I (or Rich) will come up with something new that would fit just right in the story, so then we’ll have to place it just right and possibly rework the scenes just before or after it to make things read smoother for the audience.

I know there are some folks who feel a 1st draft is all that’s needed and then go straight to publishing (especially if they self-publish). Some of them, like Helen are so good at writing they can pull it off and give you a great product. I am I one of those people?

Gee thanks Doctor, go ahead and spoil the surprise. I knew I shouldn’t have invited him into this conversation, he’s so opinionated.

Anyway, when all is said and done, we should have a completed 2nd draft ready for beta-readers before this year is out. After we hear back from those beta-readers and get an editor looking over it as well, then the real fun begins… Draft #3.

Yeah, the fun never ends when it comes to writing, but if you want to put out a good product, you take the time and get it done right. At this point we are looking at a possible September release, or possibly sooner around summer, you never know. But we’re not making any promises about an earlier release. We want this book to be the best and most exciting read for you all, so please be patient. Snippets from the book will be showing up on the main website, as well as on FB and we’ll keep you informed of when that happens.

In more good news, the 1st draft of the 2nd book is mostly complete at this time and will be getting the 2nd draft treatment early next year, which means you won’t have to wait too long between books. And as I mentioned earlier, there is talk of audiobooks already in the works. I’ve already narrated one of my wife Helen’s books (which involves a detective and vampires in 1940’s New York) which is now available over on Audible at this link:

“Forever’s Too Long” – Audible

You can sample my narration there and get a taste of what’s to come. Mind you, I won’t be narrating “The Pass” all by myself. Oh no, Rich, possibly our illustrator Gabrielle Callan, and a few others will hopefully be lending their voices to bring the story to Audible.

So as you can see, there’s a lot coming your way. But as with any project it takes time. But I hope this entry has helped give you all a better idea of what’s going on in the background for Rich, Gabrielle, and myself.  But rest assured, you will all be getting a chance to take you first steps into “The Pass” within the next twelve months.

Until next time, stay safe and happy reading everyone.


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