Weekly Update – April 12, 2022

In the interest of avoiding yet another “nothing happened” post, I’m going to answer a few questions that have come up regarding the next Action Figures book, which is still very much in the first draft. Here we go…

What’s it called?

I’m leaning toward Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Zero Day, but that’s not 100 percent settled.

Is this going to be a big book?

Oh, yes. It’s currently clocking in at 110K words, which surpasses all other Action Figures books by 20K pages or so, and I still have quite a ways to go. The revision process will knock the word count down a bit, but it will still be a chonky book.

Why such a large book? Why not split it into two books?

Basically because it feels like a disservice to my readers. It means giving them a cliffhanger, making them wait several months before releasing the next book, and then asking them to buy a second book. Doing the story as a single novel means they get the whole story at once, and I can charge less for one big book than for two smaller books.

Is this the last book in the series?

Short answer: yes.

Longer answer: this will be the last book in the core series. I had a specific story to tell with Lightstorm and the Hero Squad and that story is coming to an end. Dragging it out for the sake of fan service or to keep the sales going — Action Figures is by far my best-selling series — isn’t creatively honest for me. I love the characters, but eventually the stories would become repetitive, hokey, ridiculous, and/or just plain boring to write for me and boring to read for you. I want the characters and the series to go out on a high note.

However!

That doesn’t mean we’ll never see those characters again. I have a spinoff/sequel story in mind featuring new characters in the same universe. In fact, the working plan is for the new novel to pick up immediately after the events of Zero Day and explore the fallout of that book through the eyes of two new protagonists. Whether it becomes a new series or is simply a stand-alone story is TBD.

There’s a second potential spinoff/sequel tale in my head featuring an established character, but again, I have to work out some particulars before I commit to that.

So what do I do once Action Figures ends?

Well, there are plenty of other indie authors out there to discover. You could always give them the same chance you gave me and maybe find a new series to love.

More selfishly, you could give The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot a try if you want more lighthearted action from me. And then there’s Well-Behaved Women for something more mature.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

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