Sunday, December 24, 2023

A Writer's Week #127: Feeling Grateful

 Unbelievably it is Christmas Eve once again. It seems like just yesterday that it was Christmas 2022. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone this year! 

I am blown away by what I have been able to accomplish in 2023. I was able to find a fantastic illustrator in Emily Hurst Pritchett. She came up with new art and maps for the three books in the Deliverers Series. Then, I was able to arrange book signings and had great feedback on the books and the artwork. Finally, I was able to complete book 4 of the series and it will be published early in 2024. Completing the final book in the series means that Eric and company will finally have some closure.

It might never have happened if I had not had a talk with my dad on Christmas day. He wondered why I hadn't continued writing. I gave a couple lame excuses, but he would have none of it. I realized that I had been missing writing and feeling like I had some unfinished business.

My dad also suggested doing something that I had been struggling with. He said he thought I should get some new artwork to refresh the look. I had contemplated that several times over the past couple of years. After all, it had been 12 years since the first book had been released, and even Harry Potter had new art.

The next day, I began my search for a new artist. I also reread the manuscript for book 4. It was only 16,000 words at that point. The concept was good, but there were some plot issues. I did not know if I had a plot for one book or two. It took me several months to figure that out. In the meantime, Emily was working away on artwork for the first three books.

So, it's been a really great year on the writing front. Things have exceeded my expectations. Emily is currently working on the artwork for book 4. I've seen the sketches and I'm really excited by them. I'll share everything with you when they are complete.

Looking forward to 2024, I've got some new projects on the horizon. After the final book in the Deliverers Series is published, I am going to publish a collection of inspirational short stories. They are a little like fairy tales and should appeal to young and old alike.

After that, I am kicking around an idea for a book set in the Dragon Islands centuries before Eric and his friends visit. I'm starting to get excited about it. The Dragon Islands have a long history and several things were hinted at in The Golden Dragon of Ang that I am looking forward to exploring in more depth. 

I'm thinking of calling the series Tales of the Dragon Islands or maybe come up with a title and use the tagline A Dragon Islands Tale. Either way, I'm looking forward to exploring that world in more depth.

Stay tuned.