I’ve completed the first draft of K’nat Trap a novella that follows Starstrikers, Book 4 of the Star Trilogy. This was a fun book to get me back in touch with several Special Forces characters from my very first Space Opera novel – Starstrikers. It stars Kiloe and Tamia from that first novel and it sets up events that will happen in my next WIP, Book 5 of the Star Saga – XiniX. I’m now moving rapidly into finalizing the outline for that book. XiniX will be a full length novel and it will take us to places the reader might have never thought possible. Should be a blast to write, once I get going on it.
I’ve been updating my Pinterest boards for the Star Saga novels this week. You’ll find boards for K’nat Trap and even XiniX. Pinterest is a great site to let fans know the visual inspirations that helped you write your novels. We all have images that we collect while writing our novels and sometimes it’s fun for readers to see what inspired us. If you don’t already use Pinterest you might look into it. Here are the boards for K’nat Trap and XiniX. There are also boards for The Blood Empress and some characters from the Starforgers Trilogy.
Below is a screenshot of the first two paragraphs from K’nat Trap. After I complete the first draft of a book I export it from Plume Creator to LibreOffice for editing. The manuscript stays in an Open Document standard for all edits up until the proof edits. So for the next two drafts I’m working in LibreOffice. Once the final edits are completed, I import it into epub format. That’s where all my final proofing is done. The final product resides in epub until it’s used again to make the paperbacks.
The reason I use LibreOffice is because that program has proper editing features like comments. Sometimes I will take the second draft into GoogleDocs to let Beta Readers read it and comment on it. But the original stays in LibreOffice until it’s finished.
XiniX is now being outlined and for that I usually use Plume Creator, but this book is proving to be unwieldy for me. I have two outlines in plain text form and merging them into one master outline has been challenging. So I’ve exported the Plume Creator outline to a spreadsheet and uploaded it to GoogleDocs. This lets me access it anywhere. No idea how I’m going to get it back into Plume. Most likely I’ll be cutting and pasting it back in from the GoogleDocs.
I would show a screenshot of the XiniX outline, but it gives too much away. Maybe later I can crop it or something so it’s not so revealing.
I usually let a first draft sit for a month before coming back to it for the second draft. This is to clear my buffers and come at the story clean. In that time away from it, I’ll be working on the outline for the next book. In other book related news, I’m about to get the edits for The Rising. The cover for The Rising is just about complete. As soon as my proofing finishes for that book, it will become available on Amazon. Look for it in March. The next big release is going to be Book 3, Counterattack. That could come some time in April.
As 2015 winds down I thought I’d update you all on my writing adventures. 2014 and 2015 saw me producing two novels and two novellas. The novellas (Devon’s Blade and The Blood Empress) have been published as ebooks on Kindle, but the novels are still being edited. I hope to release them in January or February of 2016. The first one out will be The Rising, Book 2 of the Star Saga and the second one will be Counterattack, Book 3 of the Star Saga.
Currently both are being edited and both are waiting for cover art to be completed. Since I have to rely on others to provide me with both editing and cover art, I can only move as fast as my partners. In the mean time, I’m currently writing a novella that takes place between Starstrikers, Book 4 of the Star Saga and XiniX, Book 5. The novella is called K’nat Trap and if focuses on Kiloe and Tamia, two Starstrikers Special Forces personnel on a mission to steal a new Votainion starfighter. I’m having fun with this one which is a bit like Devon’s Blade in that it focuses on starfighters and those who pilot them. It’s just set in the middle of the Great War and takes place a year or so after Starstrikers.
After I finish that novella, I’ll be diving into XiniX which takes place a few years after Starstrikers and will star all four Alpha Team members and various other characters introduced in Starstrikers. Unlike last time, I’ll make an effort to get both K’nat Trap and XiniX out in ebook format before the end of the year.
I recently switched laptops from an aging Dell XPS 13 to a new System 76 Lemur. I’m loving the Lemur and of course, still using Ubuntu Linux as my operating system and Plume Creator as my first draft tool of choice. I’ve started transitioning away from Sigil and over to Calibre for my primary ebook editor. Sigil is no longer supported on Linux so that’s why I’m moving to Calibre. I’m still using LibreOffice 5 for my editing software.
I just got the edits for the Devon’s Blade novella back and I’m already deep into them. There seem to be fewer issues with this one than previous books I’ve written. If I can get this one corrected and proofed in the next few weeks, it could be the first to market as the cover is already finished.
I’m using a plugin for LibreOffice that lets me export my manuscript to epub format. Then I simply open it in Sigil and add the pages and styles that make it a GB Press ebook. I’m standardizing all my novels with a new format that is cleaner than the old one.
In other writing news, I’m still outlining the next trilogy of the Star Saga. This time I’ll have a pretty good set of outlines, one for each book, before I start writing them. Hopefully I can knock out one novel and one novella per year for the next two years. Faster if I can manage it. All of this work is being done in Plume Creator, still the best program for series writing available on Linux.
I’m also teaming up with my brother, Byron, to map out a stand alone SF novel. We’re using a new web based app called Novelize to write it. If you haven’t heard of Novelize you should go and sign up for the free version to check it out. Sort of like a simplified Plume Creator or Scrivener as a web application. It’s still in active development but you can definitely start using it right away. I’ll have an in depth review in a few weeks.
The current publishing plan is to release all the Starforgers Trilogy books after the first of next year. Probably one after the other every couple of weeks, to build momentum. Starforgers will get the new cover and interior updates, then I’ll drop Devon’s Blade followed by The Rising, The Blood Empress and finally, Counterattack. That’s five books hitting the digital shelves within a month or two. Hopefully that will make a splash and gain some sales momentum.
Well, I’d better get back to my edits.