Still Working

Current status: still writing.
Alex Verus #7 word count: 105,000-ish.
Completion status: still not done.
ETA of first draft: hopefully soon.
Amount of spare time: low.
Amount of spare energy: also low.

Shooting for next week for the finished manuscript.  We’ll see if I make it.

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Podcast is Up

Anton Strout has just put up the interview that I did with him last week for the Once and Future Podcast.  You can find it here!

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Podcast Interview

Just did an audio interview with Anton Strout, on the Once and Future Podcast.  It should be going up sometime soon – I’ll post the link once it’s online!

Alex Verus #7 is still inching towards the finish line.  Passed the 100,000 words mark, still not done.  More news when I have it.

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Post-Easter and Other News

So, Eastercon’s come and gone.  As things turned out, instead of the detectives panel (which I do know something about), I ended up on a panel about faeries (which I really don’t). Still, I did my best, and hopefully didn’t embarrass myself too much.

Other than the panel, one of the two main highlights was the Kaffeeklatsch.  I was worried that no-one was going to show up, so it was very nice to have a full table of people.  Thanks to all of you who signed up and came along;  I had a very enjoyable hour and I loved talking to all of you!

The other big highlight for me was getting to meet Jim Butcher.  It’s the weirdest feeling to finally get to meet someone whose books you’ve been reading for years and years.  Jim was both immensely friendly and very nice, especially given how busy he was (he was the Guest of Honour and being shuttled around from one event to another, but still found the time to chat).

Other than that, I’m still working away on Alex Verus #7 – it’s still progressing, if slower than I’d like, and it’s definitely going to be significantly longer than the previous books.  Current word count is heading towards 100,000, and I suspect it’ll be over that by the time it finishes.  Don’t know exactly when that’ll be, but I hope it’ll be soon.

Well, back to work.  Just a little bit more . . .

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Eastercon this Monday!

I’m going to be at Eastercon three days from now, on Monday 6th!

The timetable’s been changing around a lot at the last minute.  At the moment it looks as though I should be on a panel at 11.15 am, followed by one of the Kaffeeklatsches afterwards.  I haven’t had it finally confirmed, though, so if you’re going to be there and want to find me, I recommend checking the programme to see where I’ll be.  (I’ll be doing the same thing.)

In the meantime, I’m still doing my best to finish Alex Verus #7.  Busy busy!

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Home Stretch

The first draft of Alex Verus #7 has just nudged up over 87,000 words.  Normally this would mean the book’s only a few thousand words or so from completion . . . except that I’ve got the feeling that this one’s going to be a little longer than usual.

On the plus side, that means you guys get a longer book.  On the minus side, there’s really no realistic chance that I’m going to hit my March 31st deadline (I’ve been a week or two behind schedule for months now, and while I haven’t gotten any further behind, I haven’t managed to close the gap either).  The book will definitely be done some time in April, but I don’t know exactly when.  But since the deadline was primarily a self-imposed one, it’s not really a huge deal.  I’ll just do what I can to get it done, hopefully by mid-April or so.  For now, I just need to work my way through the climax.

I’m looking forward to seeing the reactions when this one comes out.  It’s really quite different from the past ones.  Let’s hope you guys like it!

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Eastercon 3rd-6th April

I’m going to be going to the London Eastercon this year!  It’s on from 3-6 April at the Park Inn at Heathrow.  Schedules aren’t finalised but I should be on the ‘Watching the Detectives’ panel on the Monday 6th – everything else is up in the air.  Will post more when I have the details.

Jim Butcher’s also going to be there (and on the same panel), so I’m hopefully going to get to meet him for the first time, which is pretty exciting.  Other than that I’ll be wandering around on the Monday, so if you want to meet up, send me a message!

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Ask Luna #46

From: John D.

Dear Luna,

I know that Ariadne made your staff for dueling, but with your curse the way it is, do you have the ability to make a focus item for it (or Chance Magic in general)? Or is magical item design only for mages (as in, you need to be a full mage to have the ability to craft something)? For that matter, what kind of power does it take to make an Imbued Item? Obviously, again, Ariadne seems to have something in that range, but can any mage do it if they’re dedicated enough, is it dependent on power (or skill), or do Imbued Items from mages require something more to make real (i.e. a sacrifice)?

Thank you!

I dunno. Alex used to push me to try making one-shots, but I never really liked the idea. My new teacher seems to think I could do it, though. According to her it’s just a matter of practice.

But something like that focus whip that Arachne made would be a totally different story. That doesn’t just focus my curse – it adds a whole new ability. I think there are some mages who can do similar stuff, but from what I’ve been learning, Arachne’s kind of in a class by herself as far as that goes.

And yes, I’ve heard the same stories about needing sacrifices to make imbued items, but Arachne says that’s mostly rubbish.

From: A

So Luna,

I herd u liek mudkips.

Is it true?

Hey, 2008 called. They want their meme back.

From: jean martin

Hi luna,

heen reading your column since it started. I would like to know what type of mage Richard is

Yeah, so would we.

From: Zan

Hello Luna,

I hope your training is continuing without any serious mishap. Though, considering chance children have spectacularly bad days, it wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve had a few more than the average apprentice. My question is actually for Mage Verus, he’s a bit harder to get a hold of than yourself, so if you could pass it on, I’d be grateful. A few years ago, he had a run in with a particularly powerful entity during his… dealings with Mage Belthas. I was wondering if Verus had found out the entity’s name or any other information about her.

Wishing you luck,

Good question. I asked Alex about it once and he’s got . . . well, a theory. Or a name, anyway. He hasn’t told anyone, partly because it’d only cause trouble, partly because he doesn’t think anyone would believe him. I did wonder if he was right or not. If he is . . . well, it’s a strange feeling. Makes you feel very small.

Arachne would know, one way or another, but if Alex is right, it’d be a really personal question. He hasn’t asked, and so far I haven’t either.

And it’s nice of you to say, but I don’t need anyone to wish me luck. That’s one thing I’m never short of!

From: Alex

Hi Luna.

I was thinkng about Alex’s powers and I realised that his ability pool is really quite limited compared to other mages. Is this normal for some magic catagories? I ask because it really seems quite unfair for Alex to only have one trick, also wouldn’t this make diviners a lot more like time adepts than full blown mages?

Yeah, you’re not the first to think that. Or the second, or the third, or the thirtieth.

And you’re right, it’s not fair. Some mages get a whole slate of powers. Some adepts get just one ability that’s useful, or kind of useful, or maybe not useful at all. Some people only get the ability to sense magic. Some people don’t even get that. It’s just life, and it is what it is. You don’t get to pick the hand you’re dealt. All you can choose is how you play it.

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Alex Verus #7 – Release Date

I had been going to do an Ask Luna for this week, but I just got a bit of news that I decided I’d rather share instead.  We’ve got a tentative but probable release date for the as-yet-unfinished seventh book in the Alex Verus series – the current plan is that it’ll be released in the US and the UK in April 2016.

(Yes, that’s right, this is two books in the future.  The next Alex Verus book is Alex Verus #6, Veiled, and it’s coming out this August.  You plan a long way ahead in the publication business.  On the plus side, this is actually slightly earlier than I was expecting, which is good news from my point of view – means I’m more likely to get my edits faster, which means you guys will get the following book sooner, too!)

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Third Anniversary

FatedUSCover100As of today, it’ll have been almost exactly three years since the release of Fated.  For the last two years, I’ve done a post on or around March 1st looking back in retrospect, and I think I’m going to make it a regular tradition.  So, it’s now been three years since the Alex Verus series was released – how are things going?

Obviously, from the point of view of you guys, the most significant news is the part involving new books.  As far as that goes, 2014-2015 was much like the previous year.  Between March 1st 2014 and March 1st 2015, I released Hidden, finished, edited, and copyedited Veiled, and got most of the way through the as-yet-untitled first draft of Alex Verus #7.  (Which is currently 75% complete, and coming along nicely.  It should be done by early April, if all goes according to plan.)  So one book released, one finished, and another nearly finished.  The main difference between this year and the last has been that I’ve stepped up my production speed slightly.  This time last year, I was only about 30% of the way through Veiled.

But that’s really all just progress reports.  The big question is always: are the books doing well?  And are they doing well enough that there’ll be more of them?

As far as that goes, the real news for the past year has been my sales reports.  I did a post on this last year analysing my sales numbers, and they were good – in fact, very good.  Since then I’ve had another royalty statement which has continued the trend.  If you’re curious about how the advance-and-royalty model works, you can find a post I wrote on it here, but the short version is that I’m now getting a steady amount of income from the back sales of Fated, Cursed, and Taken.  Since I also get paid for the contracts for the new Alex Verus books that I sell to my publishers, this effectively means I’m getting two income streams instead of one.  It’s not enough to make me rich, but it’s enough for me to live on and continue to write full-time.  More importantly from a reader’s perspective, it means that the publishers are making a profit.  Which means that they’re going to be keen on buying more Alex Verus books, which means that I can keep on writing them and selling them, which means that you guys can keep reading them.

This year’s also been the year where I’ve worked out a fairly definite plan for the long-term story arc of the series.  I know what’s going to happen in the rest of Book #7, and I also have pretty clear plans for what’ll happen in Books #8 and #9.  From that point on it gets vague, but I know who the final antagonists are going to be, and I know what the endgame is going to look like.  I’m still guessing around 12ish books for the whole series, though don’t quote me on that.

So, as the year timer ticks around once again, things look good!  The new books are going well, the old books are selling well, and the future of the series looks rosy.  Let’s hope it stays that way!

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