Writers don’t get summer vacations

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Checking in | 0 comments

I seem to remember, a long time ago, that school started in the first week of September, shortly after Labor Day. It feels like it’s gotten earlier, slipping into August. Since it’s been an increasingly-distressing amount of time since I was last in school, I no longer participate in that annual ritual, I’ve developed my own late-summer tradition: staying cool and writing.

I know it doesn’t sound like much, and let’s be honest, it really isn’t. But, hey, none of you are reading this because I regale you with tales of places I’ve gone or things I’ve actually done. You’ve stuck around because of the words I make up and arrange into fiction.

So, without further ado…

What I’m currently writing:

My current Work in Progress (WIP) is Black Ocean: Passage of Time, Mission 2, whose title is still a little nebulous at the moment. Fun Fact: about 25% of Black Ocean missions don’t have a final title by the time I start writing them. For mission 1, Tempus Fugitive, as soon as that one occurred to me, I mentioned it to my wife, Kristin, who loved it. That one was a done deal early on. For the second mission, I’ve yet to have anything click. I’m probably three quarters of the way through it.

While I can’t talk much about the plot without getting ahead of all the people who haven’t read mission 1 (i.e. everyone but me, Kristin, and our wonderful editor), I will say that I’m enjoying the hell out of the POV characters in this one. In addition to the main new cast, we’ve seen:

  • Politician/Mom Esper
  • Jimmy “I go by James now that I’m not technically a gangster” Rucker
  • Acquisitions Librarian Tiffany (yes, that’s a euphemism, in case anyone was wondering)

What I just released:

My most recent release is still Black Ocean: Mirth and Mayhem Mission Pack 2. Unless of course you want to get technical (who doesn’t?). In that case, my most recent release would be the audio versions of Armored Souls under my Xavier P. Hunter pen name, recorded and produced by your favorite narrator, Mikael Naramore.

General news/thoughts:

If the previous section wasn’t enough of a hint, I just wanted to give a little insight into the lull between books. Generally speaking, people hate waiting for things. As a person myself, I can attest to this. However, since even from a young age, people can read faster than I can write, some kind of gaps are unavoidable.

About halfway through writing Galaxy Outlaws, I gained enough confidence in the series to start writing multi-book arcs. For instance, Missions 9-12 were the syndicate arc, and 13-16 were about Carl realizing the kind of person he wanted to be. Subsequent series have all followed a four-book pattern, contained within mission packs, that followed an overall arc.

The breaks between those arcs are where I chose to leave my lulls. So, once a mission pack or series ends, I’m already working on the next. But before they come out, we let me get a little bit of a head start, so that once they come out, no one’s waiting too long between missions. Ideally, when a new Black Ocean mission comes out, people aren’t scratching their heads trying to remember what happened.

So, once Passage of Time starts coming out, you should hopefully see a brisk pace for the rest of the mission pack.

Cheers, and Happy Waiting-for-more-books!


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