Like everyone else, my life this year has been upended by the coronavirus, and I’ve been working from home since late March. One of the things about WFH is that it allows you more flexibility in arranging your day, as well as saving time on commutes. That also means more flexibility in writing.
During the last period I was writing regularly, from about 2014–2016, I was working from home. But I changed jobs in 2017, and with it went realistic time for writing. That’s (partly) why haven’t followed up with the Twin Magic and Dark Web series (more on that below).
But in early July, I got bitten by the writing bug again, and I’ve been feverishly working on a new series. This series I’m not going to publish until it’s done, so I won’t be leaving people hanging like I’ve done in the past.
What is it? Very generally, it’s an alien/sci-fi harem adventure that I’m calling The Makalang. The first book is called The Scarlet Cavern, and it follows some familiar tropes in the harem genre, starting with “the main character is transported to a world full of horny women.” But I’ve been working hard to put a fresh spin on things. If you’re familiar with my past work, you probably have an idea of what’s in store. There’s some explicit sex, but it’s not erotica.
I’ve not been shy in the past about calling out failings in the various genres I’ve written in, and Harem-lit has its share of failings. In particular, I’ve spent quite a bit of time and effort on the world-building here, because too many works in this genre don’t really think through all the implications of their worlds. If you’ve got a setting that’s 99% female (as this one is), that is a society that is not going to operate like the one we live in. That’s a change that’s going to affect almost everything, including a lot of things that the tropes in the genre depend on. There’s a lot more. Whether I succeeded here, I’ll leave to my readers.
The good news is that I have completed drafts of Book 1, as well as Book 2, The Black Sky, and Book 3, The Golden Staff. The fourth and (I think) last book I’m still sketching out, and I don’t have a title for it yet. Each book so far is about 50,000 words. I’m going to be posting some excerpts from The Crystal Cave over the next few weeks.
I’ve commissioned cover art for the series from the awesome Kenshjn Park, and I’m really excited to see what he comes up with. I’ll post sketches and the covers as they come in.
When is it coming? I’m hoping to release The Crystal Cave some time in late September, and the other books about 2-3 months apart. That’s going to depend on what the beta readers think, as well as getting Book 4 done first, since again, I’m not releasing anything it until it’s all finished.
So, about Twin Magic. I realized with the third installment that I’d bitten off way too much with this series. I’ve written about 25,000 words, but I’ve had to conclude that there’s no realistic chance I’m going to finish it in the near future. The narrative got stuck in a place I can’t really get myself out of because of what Book 3 is about. And there’s so much left to write that I haven’t been able to get myself into it again.
The Dark Web series is probably dead as well. I was disappointed in the sales for Spider, and though I started the sequel, Scorpion, I have considerably less of it done and even less of an idea of where it might go.
So if you’ve been waiting patiently for either or both of these, I apologize for abandoning them. It’s just a thing that happens with writing.