Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Big Mug and Meralda News!

The author, upon being served decaff.

Here we are, slap-dab in the middle of October, and I haven't posted a single 'Things That Go Bump' blog entry yet.

Truth is, it's been an extremely busy October. I've barely had time to deal with the living, much less the dead. My Tesla radio sits inactive. My new parabolic mic hasn't been used since that hot day in August when we drew curious looks from the Oxford Police Department. And I'm still not done with the new ghost hunting device, which I hope will measure truly minute changes in local magnetic fields.

But I have accomplished one thing, in the last few weeks.

Drumroll, please....

The last re-write of the new Mug and Meralda book, All the Turns of Light, is DONE.

I have an ending I'm happy with. And a beginning, and yes, a middle. The book is complete. The tale is told. 

Of course there is still proofreading to be done, and the mechanical process of turning a manuscript into a book is yet to be complete. But these tasks are small compared to the Herculean task wrestling this book into shape turned out to be.

So, for all of you who have waited so patiently for the continued adventures of Mug and Meralda, your wait is nearly over.

There was another decision to be made, when the book was finished. Should I shop it around? Try to get an agent?

After much internal debate, I've decided to remain a so-called hybrid author, and publish this one myself. Hey, if Samhain (the house which publishes The Markhat Files series, and does a darned fine job of it) handled light fantasy, I'd send Turns their way in an instant -- but that's not really their cup of proverbial tea. 

So I'll handle this one myself. 

I've paid to have it edited, by seasoned professionals, who by the way were literally invaluable in shaping the book's final form. I also commissioned an original cover, one created by the same fabulously talented artist who created the covers for Brown River Queen, The Five Faces, and now The Darker Carnival. You haven't seen Kanaxa's cover for All the Turns of Light yet, but I'm looking at it now, and it's beautiful. 

Why am I going the self-published route with this new book?

Time. Let's say I decided to start shopping Turns around -- heck, I believe it would sell, but I also believe the back-and-forth demanded by the markets would add eight months or a year to the process of getting the book out there for sale.

Now, if I was a complete and utter unknown -- just for the record, I rate myself as 'mostly unknown' -- I'd take the year, and like it, because a publisher brings with them marketing and placement and promotion I simply cannot achieve on my own.

But All the Paths of Shadow has had a pretty good run, sales-wise, and that means there's a small but eager audience out there already. 

Thus my decision to go it alone, this time.

So get ready. I plan to maintain my hard push, and get this book out in a month, no more. I'll be pricing it at $2.99, which I think is still a bargain.

Turns isn't a novella, either. Final word count is 85,000 words, give or take a dozen. 

As soon as Turns is out, I will be diving back into a new Markhat. It's tentatively entitled Way Out West, and it sees Markhat, Darla, and Cornbread hopping Rannit's new steam locomotive for a trip out to the western frontier.

Does Markhat strap on a six-shooter and don a Stetson?

<Insert John Wayne drawl>

You better believe it, pilgrim.

So, wish me luck and speed as I try to make up for lost time and get this book out there at last!

Oh, and happy October to you all!


  1. This is AWESOME - really looking forward to this next book! You should do a pre-order option on Amazon!

  2. Yay. Out of curiosity and because I can't remember, how was the first one published?

  3. Is it here yet? ;) I'm ready.


  4. Black Cat, the first book, All the Paths of Shadow, was published by Cool Well Press. When Cool Well ceased to be, they gave me back the rights and the files, so I self-published it.

  5. Debi, not quite, but we're talking very very soon. Weeks, not months.