Due Dates

My big news for this week is that the masterpiece is done. Late in the day on Thursday, I finished rewrites on the first draft of The Dragonprince’s Heir (The Dragonprince Trilogy, #3).

It’s a good thing I did, because Thursday was my due date for that one. I emailed a copy of it to the three professors on my Master’s Defense Committee: Deborah Chester, J. Madison Davis, and Mel Odom.

Among them, they’ve got hundreds of published novels. They’re going to spend the next ten days reading through it, then on May 3 I’ll complete my Master’s degree by standing in defense of the manuscript. I’ll have to explain the storytelling choices I made, characterization, my publishing plan, all of it.

I’m taking it pretty seriously (I’ve got a lot invested in this program), but I’m not too concerned. I know my stuff, and I’ve really done a good job with this novel. The nice thing about it is that I’ll be getting three hours of detailed feedback from a panel of experts.

I’ll have a month to incorporate their feedback and get a couple rounds of edits from my publishing team before I release it in June.

For those of you just visiting the site to find out where Book Three comes out: That’s good news. We’ve got a complete manuscript a month in advance, so we can definitely get the book out in June.

I’m also excited to have a finished draft so early, because it gives me the chance to offer some Advance Reading Copies again! I’ve had people asking about those at my Facebook page, so I know there’s real interest.

My goal there is to wait until after my defense, process the feedback from my processors (which won’t take more than a week or two), and then send out ARCs in mid-May. Once I’m ready to do that, I’ll announce it pretty loudly here, at Facebook, on Twitter…anywhere you might be listening.

In the meantime, I’ve got another due date pending. The day before my Master’s Defense, I have to turn in 40,000 words for my Writing the Novel class, and I currently have about 15,000 done. The good news: That’ll get me half finished with the Ghost Targets book I was already planning to release in August.

Ah, who am I kidding? It’s all good news. Everything is wonderful. I love being me.


My day job is killing me.

I’m not complaining! My day job is a dream come true. It’s also a frantic sprint from the moment I wake up until I collapse every night.

Writing is not exactly the leisurely, contemplative life I imagined as a kid.


I think last time I posted I was panicking about a deadline for the first third of Faith (Ghost Targets, #5). I made the deadline. It was a close-run thing, but I managed 12,000 words in three days while out of state celebrating my in-laws’ anniversary.

When I got home, I turned in my pages to the professor and then immediately started panicking about my next deadline. That’s the one you all care about, I’m sure.

The Dragonprince’s Heir

I’m attempting to complete The Dragonprince’s Heir (The Dragonprince Trilogy, #3) as the final project for my Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Oklahoma. In April I’ll submit a finished manuscript to a panel of three much-published authors (Deborah Chester, J. Madison Davis, and Mel Odom), and then a couple weeks later I’ll have to go before them and defend it as a publishable work.

If they approve it, I’ll receive my Master’s degree. If they don’t, I won’t. Simple as that. This is my masterpiece, in the original sense. It’s fitting that it’s also the culmination of the series that made me famous.

But given the importance of that project, I hate that I’m having to rush it as much as I am. The book is about 2/3 done at 60,000 words, and I have the rest plotted and outlined, but I’m rapidly running out of school year.

In short, I need to write 30,000-40,000 words (approximately 120-150 pages) in the next three weeks.That will leave me just one week to revise the whole thing up to a standard my judges will consider “publishable.”

The good news is that it’ll leave me seven weeks to publish it. That’s longer than any of our projects has ever had to process through Consortium Books. Again, given the importance of the project, I love that we’ll be able to take it slow.

Into the Flames

And with all this hanging over me, I had to interrupt my writing time last weekend because of a critical deadline at my day job. My other day job, I guess I should say.

This week we published Jessie Sanders’s debut novel, Into the Flames, which is a young-adult urban fantasy with some incredibly engaging characters. I read it as a partial manuscript over a year ago, approved it as a rough draft, and spent the last year waiting anxiously to find out what it became.

That finally happened last weekend. Two days before we took it to press, I finally cleared my schedule and curled up with my Kindle to read the final draft.

It was phenomenal (of course). Halfway through the afternoon Saturday, I looked up at the end of a particularly exciting scene and said, “Is this really my job?”

I love it. I love the writing, and I love the publishing, too. Every bit of it makes me better at my craft and brings better works to the reading public. That’s a rewarding feeling.

Auric and the Wolf

Meanwhile, I’m working on other projects of my own, too. I’m helping develop a new digital book production company, I’m preparing some Dragonswarm short stories for the Consortium of Worlds collections, and I’m publishing the short stories I co-created in the world of Oberon’s Dreams.

Notes from a Thief” is already out (with a recently redesigned cover that’s just stunning). And in the last week I did a big rewrite on “Auric and the Wolf,” in which I made the kid actually fight the wolf. Much more exciting that way.

That one should be out in a couple weeks. I’ll let you know when it’s available.

Live Life

I was also contacted out of the blue by someone from the University of Wisconsin who’s putting together an anthology called Live Life. They asked me to contribute a work (or works), with all proceeds going to The American Cancer Society.

And I just happen to have a perfect piece: the literary story “Building Plans” I wrote for Advanced Fiction Writing last fall. It’s about a single mother who’s widowed young and trying to find some way to make her life go on working. Seems pretty fitting, really.

I spent today mostly getting caught up on chores, but tomorrow I’m back to writing on the Dragonprince. Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.