I should begin with some apologies; I had meant to post several times last month, and none of them ended up happening. ‘Cage of Gold’ turned out to be an order of magnitude harder to write than I had been expecting, the original plot torn into fragments and cast aside, taking twenty thousand words with it - though a few elements did survive into the finished book. This isn’t the first time this has happened, the last notable example being ‘Ghost Ship’, and like that book, this has ended up as a four-POV book (Marshall, Orlova, Cooper, Salazar.) Late last night, I finally finished the draft, and the editing process has begun - so the good news at least is that the book will be out on schedule.
That will close out Alamo for this year, but I still have another Alamo to write, ‘Malware Blues’. I’ll be starting that around the end of November for a January release. One unforeseen side-effect of the changes to ‘Cage of Gold’ means that there is scope for a sequel in the near-future, to be titled ‘Triple-Edged Sword’, and that is currently scheduled for a March release. That’s going to launch a long arc, similar to the one that began in ‘Not One Step Back’ and ended with ‘Ghost Ship’, and I can’t wait to send Alamo off on its next big mission.
In the meanwhile, work on the fantasy series continues apace. I know a lot more about it than I did a few weeks ago, though I’m nowhere near starting work on it yet. I’ve got a couple of shelves to work through in preparation for it. I have pretty much decided that, epic fantasy or no, I’m going to be writing at around Alamo-length, seventy to eighty thousand words, with a release schedule paralleling Alamo. One key difference will be that this is intended as a single contained story, probably seven novels in total - at least, that’s how I’m plotting it out at the moment. (Tolkien is the model here - if you count the Hobbit, that’s pretty much how Lord of the Rings was structured - seven books at the seventy-thousand-word mark.)
I won’t pretend that all of this isn’t a little daunting as a concept! I’m going to the roots, re-reading Beowulf, the Nibelungenlied and the Mabinogion, as well as taking a long look at the theories of a Soviet-era mythologist named Vladimir Propp; I’m keeping away from the monomyth, but there are lot of other narrative theories that I want to explore with this one. My current plan - pencilled in at best - is to write the first of the books in February for an April release; I want to get back to a two-month buffer!