The Shifters & Mages series has gone through many changes as I’ve worked on it, but I think I’ve finally gotten a handle on it. In a past update claimed it would be four books and that the first would publish in March.
Well… It’s not. It won’t be ready for publication by March. The whole series won’t be ready. I want to do this series justice, and I want to release them quickly so that the voracious readers will have something to munch on fairly quickly. I’ll have drafts completed and done. Right now I only have three re-writes and a draft to finish, but that’s not the point. What’s hurting me now is making sure I’m able to get them edited and covers made in time to release them. I can do one, but not both.
I do plan on having covers in the process starting in January. I have a cover designer and we have discussed the series (although not in great detail) so we have a plan of action. I plan on attempting to get one or two covers a month until I have all six.
Yes. You heard that right. Six.
While editing Jenna’s Story, it occurred to me that since separating the two narratives and changing some other things, that a lot of what worked in the original draft of the novel no longer worked. I ended up cutting a lot of it. It was around 52K just taking out the second narrative, but I shortened it even further, finally bringing it down to about 30K with this final re-write.
And that gave me an idea. I’d like to get this series to be mostly novellas. It already was anyway.
Original Series Layout
Puck’s Choice – 72K
Jenna’s Story – 72K
Untitled Novella Collection – 75K (Warren’s Rage, Hunters’ Betrayal, and Scott’s Investigation)
Mages’ Sacrifice – 72K
New Series Layout
Hunters’ Betrayal – 25-30K (after re-write)
Puck’s Choice – 72K
Warren’s Rage – 25-30K (after re-write)
Scott’s Investigation -25-30K (after re-write)
Jenna’s Story – 30K
Mages’ Sacrifice – 70-80K (after first draft)
Because of the number and the length of the novellas, I no longer feel comfortable releasing them as one collection. I will probably still make an ebook omnibus for them in the future, but I’ll be releasing them individually as well, so that they can be read in order of occurrence.
Another thing I’d like to do is write a few short stories (this is a far future project AFTER the rest of the series releases) from some of the other characters’ POVs – Myles, Jay, Gem, etc. I have some vague ideas for those, and they’ll probably be here on my site for free until I have enough to create an entire collection, at which point, I’ll create an anthology. This is still a far future plan and may change though depending on what readers decide they want – or if I’m willing to dive back into the world after I finally leave it… Because, let’s face it. I’ve been in this world nearly ten years (off and on since 2009 when I wrote the first draft of Puck’s Choice), and I’m ready for something different to be honest.
My plan is to finish the re-write of Hunters’ Betrayal this month, and get it to my editor sometime early February after I’ve had another edit of it. I’ll have a cover by that time too, and hope to do a cover reveal then.
After Hunters’ Betrayal is complete, I’ll focus on Warren’s Rage, which will need a series edit/re-write. I was in a hurry when I wrote it, and in my mind right now it’s complete and utter crap. I have decided that I don’t like writing villians. I have a bias of hate for Warren and can’t relate to him enough to write his story correctly, but I will suffer through it because his story connects some of the dots and answers some of the questions I’ve been asked about Puck’s Choice. I hope to have a cover for Puck’s Choice in March (while Warren’s Rage is being edited) and Warren’s Rage in April.
The last re-write I need to do is Scott’s Investigation, which I don’t like the title of… still… I’ll need to come up with something better before I get a cover for it in May. Editing for this one will also probably take place in May as my editor is also a writer, and I’m not certain if she plans on taking part in Camp NaNo or not. It’s not something we’ve discussed yet.
I still have to finish the first draft of Mages’ Sacrifice and when I start working on this again, I’ll be comfortable enough to come up with a new release schedule. The one I’ve mentioned in the past will no longer work, as I won’t have the books ready. I was hoping to. Seriously hoping to, but if I’m realistic, I won’t. There’s too many factors out of my control on the matter. They will all get published next year (2018). I do know that. I just don’t have any exact dates yet and won’t give any until I’m comfortable with where the books are with covers and editing in order to talk about it further than that.
For those of you patiently awaiting this series, I applaud and appreciate you. You are amazing, and I hope you love it. I sincerely do. We’re almost there. I can feel it.
Previously on Shifters & Mages Updates: Update # 8