I’ve been putting this off because I hated to break the news, but I’m going to have to delay publishing Stalked by Flames. A few too many things in my personal life came up this month that severely delayed my getting through revisions. Family troubles, illness, round after round of thunderstorms and massive flooding in my state–a lot of things. As soon as I’d think I could get back to work something else would come along to throw me off my game.
In addition to that, I’ve just been taking longer to get the story how I want it. One of the great things about this stage in my writing career is I’ve learned a lot through publishing the Sensor Series. I’ve been taking all those lessons and applying them so that this new series can start off with a bang, but it has meant revisions have gone slower. Plus a good deal of research and fact checking has gone into Stalked by Flames. Not that I don’t have a lot with my other books, but this story has some major elements I haven’t had to deal with before.
I’m rather amazed the guy at the water treatment plant in the town where this book takes place didn’t hang up on me the other day. I needed to know how the long water would keep running if dragons invaded and knocked out the power grid. A reasonable question, right? Of course, I did introduce myself as an author and gave him a brief summary of the story first. Still, it was a little awkward to ask. I must say I’m grateful there are sci-fi/fantasy lovers everywhere and he understood my need for information. We had a nice fifteen minute chat on all the possible scenarios so I could be sure I got it right in my book. I’ve had other phone calls like that where people were just as cooperative. And no federal agents have showed up on my doorstep wondering what I’m up to, so that’s a bonus.
I’ve just about got the first quarter of the book where I want it. That is always the hardest part for me and takes the longest to get through because all the groundwork is laid there. It had been a while since I’d started a new series and I’d forgotten how complicated world building, character introductions, plot, etc. could be when you don’t have previous books to rely on. This is an all-new cast with dynamics that are rather different from my other books.
Needless to say I’m estimating it will take a few more weeks to get through revisions on the rest of the book and bounce the manuscript back and forth with my editors. My hope is to have the book out by July 25th. If anyone would be interested in doing a beta read of the early chapters (about 20k words) let me know by Sunday, June 28th. Please only respond if you’re serious about looking them over and can have them back to me in a few days. For those who email through the contact page or comment here, I’ll get the file to you on Sunday for you to look over.
Thanks to everyone for their patience. I am very excited about this novel and hope to have it out soon. For those who haven’t signed up for my book release alerts and want to be sure you don’t miss Stalked by Flames when it comes out, click here. You’ll only receive emails when I publish new books, nothing else.
I really imagined your phone call introduction and had to laugh. 🙂
I’d really like to beta read and you need to know that up to now I’ve only done beta read German books. However I usually read English books so it should not be a problem.
I just sent you the chapters, Angie. I’d appreciate feedback from readers in Germany as well!
I think it’s totally necessary that the major utilities have a protocol in place in case of attack by dragons. I’m glad the guy from the water treatment plant was able to share the overview with you.
Kudos for research!
I’m happy to beta read the first quarter.
Take your time. Get it right.
I completely agree with you Mark. It would be remiss of the utility companies to not have emergency procedures in place for dragons because…you never know! Thanks for the beta read offer. I just sent you the chapters.
I really want to beta read… but I’m in the middle of wheat harvest (custom combining crew) and my time off is not a guarantee. It rained last night and I have some time this morning to catch up on things… Would still love to read it if I can. 🙂
I just sent you the chapters, Julie. If you can get to them great, but if work gets in the way I understand.
I’d love the chance to beta read. Sorry to hear that so many problems are hitting you at once; I hope they’re resolved soon.
Thanks, Abra. So far so good on the home front over the last few days. I just sent you the chapters. Thanks for the offer to look them over.
Can’t wait to begin reading your new series. Hope everything is ok with you and your family
Thanks, Ch’kara. I had a productive weekend with few interruptions, which was nice!
I hope you got enough people to proofread etc on you first few chapters. Would love to do it but I’m not skilled as a proofreader at all
I’m just a lover of your work! 😉
Hey, Charlene. Beta reading is actually a lot more about catching weaknesses in the manuscript such as poorly constructed sentences, overused words, plot holes, character inconsistencies, etc. These are things that are hard for the author to see because they’re so close to the story. It’s nice when someone does catch typos, but I do have a couple editors to help with that. I think the drawback to beta reading is you see the author’s raw manuscript, which obviously isn’t as good as the final, and you don’t get to enjoy the story as much because you’re having to pay attention to any problems.
I’m grateful to those willing to help out, but I also appreciate every reader who simply takes the time to read what I publish. It’s always nice to hear when people enjoy my books!
Susan, take your time. I know all about stuff coming up. It happens. It’s life. I’m just looking forward to your next book.