We’re flying to the next book in the Chronicles of Reztap series – Reztap and the Quest for the Insane Moth! See what I did there – flying? OK, bad joke. The Quest manuscript and cover are completed while the editing has just started. It feels like I did this just a few months ago with Book One – oh, that’s because I did just do this a few months ago!
The manuscript for Quest was done faster than the manuscript for Book One (Adventures), which technically had it’s infancy in the 1980s. Given that time frame, Adventures took roughly 30 years to complete! Really, though, I was maturing as a writer during that time, with countless revisions, writing group critiques and some writing workshops thrown in there the last ten years. The previous twenty was more of a life happens delay, with sporadic writing occurring here and there including two Star Trek: The Next Generation scripts – which sadly never saw or had a chance at production.
Book Two took about eight months. The lightning round began in June when I figured full time writing would be a fine career transition, and that’s when I really put the steam and brought the final manuscript to my soon to be publisher, Chart House Press, in August. That included a great deal of part-time writing, but it really paled in comparison to writing the prequel, Mishaps and Mayhem – A Primer to The Adventures of Reztap. I wrote that 100-page set of three short stories in three weeks (the bulk of which was roughly 80 – pages in the last six days before I sent it in.) That was a real eye opener to my writing abilities – I clocked over 5,000 words one day. To put it bluntly, that’s insane, but it worked. I was in the groove so to speak.
If you managed to get out to see me at the Houston’s Authors Bash 2015, AggieCon 46 or the MenilFest last weekend, you would have seen the cover art for Quest. I know I have many fans who are not able to make it in person out to see me, but I’m not quite at liberty to the cover at this time. Quest is a darker book by far than Adventures and that is reflected in the cover art. It’s dark and populated with zombies! It does play a bit on the zombie tropes out there – I hope my Adventures blurb writer, Joe McKinney, continues to have a healthy sense of humor as I’m traipsing a bit on his territory being one of the foremost in the zombie field (see his Dead City book series for some great, fast-paced zombie action!)
Jerrica Law did a fantastic job on the art of the Quest book cover. She’s really nailed the vision I had for the covers and delivered great cover art. Book Zero (Mishaps) was actually a quick revision of a sketch she originally did for the Adventures book cover which I rejected since Adventures didn’t involve a shipwreck. Mishaps did and that helped her get the cover out quick for the quick to write, quick to press prequel. She’s currently hard at work on the book cover for the third book in the series. I won’t reveal the name just yet for a few reasons – I like suspense and I’m not under contract with my publisher for it yet, so the delivery date and publication are nowhere close to set in stone. I’ve only just barely begun to write it as well. Marketing and coordination for the first two books (and the prequel) have kept my attention away from the important task of writing the book. After Quest comes out, we’ll see where we are with Chart House Press and find out if they’re ready for the next set of books or not.
Then we have editing! This was my down with the first edition – not getting a professional editor. Second edition of Adventures is fully edited and is so immeasurably better than first edition that I shudder to open the fist edition to take a peek. The manuscript transition from third person to first person introduced so many writing mistakes that I overlooked on three personal editing passes that I knew it had to have the keen eye of a top notch editor to give it any hope of survival. Happily, Chart House Press connected me with Erika Wisdom, a fine editor and fan of science fiction. It’s good to get an editor who is not only sharp, but also “gets it” when a humorous novel poking fun at science fiction tropes comes across her desk.
Erika will also be editing Quest! I’m very excited to continue what I consider a successful partnership with such a fine editor. She quite properly dissected Adventures, providing a bevy of corrections and suggestions, putting the manuscript in excellent shape. After I completed my run-through of incorporating everything she had exhaustively done, I then had to go back and look at my own changes with a fine tooth comb to make sure I hadn’t introduced further errors with my own revisions. I think I nailed it, although a last minute grammar check revealed a few things I’d overlooked. Still, it was a much better experience than I thought it would be – I’m very happy with the final product and look forward to the same experience with Quest.
Stay tuned for a revelation of the book cover for Quest – coming soon!