Bookish Bits: planning ahead for the next launch -

Bookish Bits: planning ahead for the next launch

Bookish Bits

Time for some book news. If you’re not familiar with Bookish Bits, this is where I talk about what I’ve been reading and writing or other news of a bookish nature. So pull up a chair, pour a nice cup of tea and let’s talk pages.

Reading short

If you’ve been following me over on Goodreads, you’ll know that I’ve been reading lots of shorter works this year. I finished read-reading The Chronicles of Narnia earlier this year. Of course those stories never grow old and that was a pure delight.

I also re-read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and enjoyed it even more the second time around as well. Good books truly do get better with age.

One exception to the short books was The Silmarillion.This was the third time I’ve read it, and even more than than others, that book gets better with each read. It may lack the conventional structure of a novel, but it rewards the effort to mine its depths. To those who do not appreciate it, I have nothing but pity. You don’t know what you’re missing.

cs lewis - cup of tea & long books

New lands to discover

I recently finished the rest of The Chronicles of Prydain (books 2-5 specifically). I enjoyed them, but I can’t help but feel that it might have been better as a single novel. The pacing is just far too quick within each book. And the ending was a bit disappointing. The whole Summer Isle thing seemed to come out of the blue. And the final confrontation with the villain was not as epic as I was hoping. Still, I enjoyed the stories on the whole. It is highly unique and the world has a very authentic feel to it. And some of the characters are quite endearing. Gurgi and Doli were perhaps my favorites.

Unbelievably, though I’ve read almost every other C.S. Lewis book I know of, I had yet to read The Four Loves until this year. But, oh, my, was it worth the wait. My response to that book upon finishing was that I instantly wished to pick it back up and read it again. I think I underlined about half the book, so when I do go back and re-read it, I’ll probably end up underlining the other half. This might actually be my favorite Lewis book ever, and that’s saying something.

dragon slave cover by Cela DayI also picked up Fahrenheit 451 for the first time. While it was impressive in terms of the poetic language and the concept, it felt half realized and the profanity was gratuitous and detracted from the impact. Also, why are there two h’s in Fahrenheit? English is such a hopeless mess.

By far my favorite new fiction I’ve read this year is Dragon Slave, which I’ve already written a review for. It was such a surprise. Hardly anyone is brave enough to write allegory these days, but after reading it, I was sad not more people make the attempt. Because it’s so beautiful when done right. But this story is not actually traditional allegory since there is overlap between our world and the allegorical one. It’s hard to describe. You’ll just have to read it to see what I mean. I just hope the sequel gets written soon!

New lands to create

After finishing the first draft to my upcoming fantasy release (going under the working title Lay of the Glaives) I got some great feedback from beta-readers and I was really hopeful for a fall release.

But since then things have stalled. Based on the feedback I decided to cut a few scenes and that meant I needed to go back and cut out references to those events. I currently have around ten more chapters to edit, but I hope to finish them by the end of the month.

I’ve been thinking and planning ahead for the launch of the book and I’ve decided two things need to happen before the launch.

  1. I need to write a short story or novella to give away ahead of the launch
  2. I need to write the first draft of book two in the series

Sometimes the long road is the best road

The reason for #1 is to spread awareness about the series pre-launch. I plan on giving away the story to people who join or are already signed up for my newsletter. I may even wait until the newsletter grows to a certain size before launching the book.

The reason for #2 is so that I can release book two fairly quickly after book one. When you read book one you’ll understand why. It’s not exactly a cliffhanger, but it is very obvious that the main characters have unfinished business. And I’d rather not have to make readers wait a year to find out what happens next.

All that to say that a 2019 release date is not likely, unless I can write the short story in a month or so. It took me about four months to write book one and that was pushing pretty hard. And with the year half over, I’m thinking launching in the first half of 2020 is more realistic.

sunset or sunrise on the road to planning ahead

A few last bits

During the editing phase I’ve made a few changes to the names of cities, months, and minor characters. One poor messenger who is only in one scene has had his name changed three times. You’d think I wouldn’t fret about such things, but I am a stickler for stuff like that.

Fun fact for readers of The Chronotrace Sequence: Adan’s original name was Juan and he was supposed to be hispanic. You see how being a name stickler pays off? Also, what was I thinking? Ah…rough drafts.

Finally, for those wondering when the real title for the book will ever be revealed, it will be after I’ve found a cover designer. That’s been on the back burner lately, but I’m hopeful I’ll have one lined up by the end of August. After the edits are over, that will be my top priority, even before writing the short story.

So how about you? what have you been reading or writing? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


3 thoughts on “Bookish Bits: planning ahead for the next launch”

  1. Always enjoy your Bookish Bits and hearing what you’ve been up to in reading and writing!

    While I am eager for book 1 of Lay of the Glaives to be released to the world, I completely understand the desire to want more of the series to be ready to go first. (As evidenced by my current plan to rapid-release Turrim Archive once the books are all finished). As an indie-author, I think this is a good way to go.

    If you are interested in growing your newsletter more quickly, I have enjoyed the results I’ve had with the giveaways I’ve joined through Silver Empire… I can direct you to the fb group for more info if you want. I was skeptical at first – and sure, rather a lot of them unsubscribe immediately – but I have been impressed by how many of my new subscribers from those giveaways actually open my newsletters, click the links, and a few even send me notes in response! #floored

    You know I love the Prydain Chronicles. They are some of my favorites. Of course, my dad read them to me when I was about 11, so… my experience with them was necessarily different from yours. 🙂 And Chronicles of Narnia, of course, and the Silmarillion.

    I’ve heard of The Four Loves, but haven’t read it yet. I’ll have to look it up. I have a friend who owns every Lewis book ever written. I’ll have to see if I can borrow it from him.

    I had to read Fahrenheit 451 for summer reading in high school and found it… interesting. Personally, I prefer the movie Equilibrium for that sort of dystopian bleak future outlook. But I enjoyed the bits about him and others memorizing whole books of the Bible… about the only thing I remember well from the book. (Based on this and our conversation about Jane Austen… contrary to what it might seem like, USUALLY I do think the book is better!!!! I promise!) haha

    Love your comment about changing a poor secondary character’s name 3 times. I have an idea for a humorous story bumping around in my head in which characters get together and commiserate over all the things their authors put them through BEFORE the book is published! Not sure how I’d turn it into an actual story… right now I just have bits of conversation figured out.

    “You think having your name changed three times is bad? Remember what happened to poor Joe? He was an important side character and then POOF! Author cut him out of the book completely! Just like that, vanished from the story. Not from existence, though… oh no, that would be too kind. He’s still hanging around… that’s him over in the corner. I think he’s hoping to be recycled as the main character of her next book…. Ah… poor bloke.”

    1. Yes, I really admire you for writing your series “Tolkien style” and going through the whole gambit before releasing book 1. It shows how committed you are to the series. From what you’ve shared about it already, I think it will be worth the wait. I absolutely love the concept.

      I saw one of your guest posters mention the Silver Empire and I gave it a quick glance and will definitely look into it in more detail ASAP. I think I need to have a series starter to give away though and since Into the Vast is sci-fi, it probably wouldn’t work as I’m trying to attract fantasy readers.

      And yes, you should seriously borrow the Four Loves as soon as you can. It is so full of wisdom and it’s put together in such a brilliant way that it truly is a masterpiece.

      I’ve heard you mention Equilibrium before. I really should check it out one of these days. I don’t even remember it being at the box office, but I’ve seen the trailer for it and it certainly looks intriguing. I think sci-fi is one of the few genres were movies can give books a run for their money. As good as the Han Solo book was that you recommended, it doesn’t hold up to the movies (at least the original three, it’s way better than anything put out recently). But perhaps it’s not fair to include books that were inspired by movies.

      And, yes, please finish your “existential character dilemmas” story. It would be hilarious! I loved that little snippet you whipped up!

      Whew, thanks for the nice juicy comment! It was so fun to read.

      1. Equilibrium is rated R. Head’s up. Mainly because: much violence… some swears, though not as much as one would expect in a more modern R-rated movie. No sex/nudity. (It’s similar in tone to The Matrix, which I believe deserved its R-rating for violence/trippy themes, in spite of the lack of gore/language). It was a B movie that I don’t think ever went to the box office, but I liked it more than the more popular Matrix – as I felt its story was better. Also… Sean Bean + Christian Bale = awesomer than Keanu Reeves (and I actually like Keanu Reeves okay… but…)

        The Han Solo trilogy books are some of my favorites 🙂 but if you want “better” quality Star Wars books, then I’d recommend checking out any of Timothy Zahn’s… he is pretty much the golden standard when it comes to the Star Wars EU books. 🙂

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