Normally the last few chapters in a book that I’m writing take me a long time to write. Parasomnia took me four months to write up to the last three chapters and then another four months to finish. A Study in Aether took four weeks to write all but that last 10k words and then another year to finish.
It’s not that I think endings are hard. I just don’t like leaving the worlds of my books. I don’t like ending things. (Probably why I keep adding books to series)
Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers has been a quick ride. Three months of planning and three months of writing. It’s been exhausting and exiting and really awesome. I’m now on the last chapter and I don’t want it to end. Is this why some authors never finish their novels?
Hopefully I’ll take less time to finish this chapter than I have other novels.
I’m extremely lucky to have found a partner who I can spend lots of time with, who I can talk with until ridiculous o’clock in the morning, and who I can work with efficiently and happily.
Of course we have our problems and our disagreements, but I think we’re handling them okay. At least I hope we are.
Ten-ish years ago I ran a D20 modern game that was effectively my spin on Stargate. Jen played a character who was both awesome and badass. At one point I introduced a mafia/pizza restaurant owning superhero. He was supposed to be a one time character but the group kept bringing him back and Jen’s character developed a relationship with him.
When the game ended, we talked about their story and then it slowly faded into my subconscious.
Fast forward to five years ago and a very sleep deprived me. I was doing NaNoWriMo and felt like I needed two alien hunting characters. I used the ones from our game as a stand in.
A year ago, I mentioned it to Jen and we started talking about it. The more we talked, the more we planned, until finally I said we should write a book about them. We discussed it for over four months as I was trying (and failing) to finish other novels.
January 1st we started. As of today we have roughly 78,000 words and 21 of 26 chapters written in Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. Jen has been so excited that we also have 3 short stories and the basic plot of the next 2 books discussed.
(That’s approximately 1100 words a day or 2.3 chapters per week.)
I’ve never written at this pace and not gotten burned out or stuck in my writing. Splitting the writing and Jen’s abundant enthusiasm has me writing so much better. Also having someone as, or more, obsessed with the story has made it much easier.
It’s stressful, because I’m constantly feeling like I’m slowing her down, but overall it’s been a great experience. One I hope she’ll be willing to repeat in the future.
All that to say I’m extremely lucky and thankful for my wonderful partner.
Here’s some exciting news. Jen and Eric have started working on a book together. This is the first time either of us have co-authored a work of fiction.
The book is an Urban Fantasy Romance, with a superhero and robots.
Here’s the synopsis:
When Kennedy, a recent graduate trying to find her purpose in life or at least a job in her field, saves Jason, the leader of a secret community of supernatural people called Aetherborn, from an attempted assassination, they embark on a whirlwind epic romance and adventure.
For Kennedy to help Jason discover why people are disappearing in time to save her friends, they’ll have to navigate teleporting assassins, grumpy wizards, gossiping hags, mafia robots, and secret military groups all in the city of Westmeath, Ontario, which has more secrets than residents.
We’re currently 1/3 of the way through writing and have planned out most of the book. Accounting for us slowing down a little, we should have the book ready for beta readers in Fall at the latest.
So what do you think? Hope you are at least a tenth as excited as we are.
4. Ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs (Succeeding)
There was a major change in this year’s lineup but we’re doing well. Hopefully we have enough TARDIS pictures to last until we can get more.
5. Design and Produce 2 new coffee flavours (Succeeding)
We released Crowley’s Temptation and I think we’re going to maybe release something in the Fall, but I’m not sure.
6. Print, Package, and Sell Oneshot – The Simplest RPG (No Movement)
I’m probably going to push this one back. I wanted something for Ottawa Comic Con but I doubt that’s happening and I’m not comfortable investing the time or money into this for this year.
Editing and Marketing
7. Finish Playtesting the higher levels of Fadds (Succeeding )
We finished a high level campaign and I’m pretty happy with how it went. It needs a little more work but we’ll get there. I’m going to continue to beta-test various parts, but for now I’m not rushing anything.
8. Figure out how to market my books better (No Movement)
This is a great goal and a great idea… I put my books up on our coffee site and sold a few but I don’t think I’m going to spend much energy on this one this year.
9. Read 20 books (Failing)
I’m at 4 of twenty and I’m reading slowly. Between Pegasus waking a lot, pandemic stress, and no bus to work I’ve found it hard to find time to read.
10. Don’t Burnout (Succeeding)
I’ll be honest, I constantly feel on the brink of a breakdown. I’m trying really hard to not let that happen. 2020 isn’t an easy time for this resolution.
11. Be More Patient (Trying)
My daughter is in a licking/biting phase (again) and my son is trying really hard to learn how to talk which means he just screams like a horror movie vixen. It’s hard to keep my cool, but other than a few times I’ve used “Angry Dad” voice instead of “Losing Control and Likely to punch a wall” voice so I’ll say that’s a win.
12. Play Some Video games with Dragon (Succeeding)
We’ve played a few times and she’s really improving. Hopefully we’ll do more soon.
13. Play Some Board Games with Dragon (Succeeding)
We’ve had 2 board game nights so far and they went well. She’s not grasping the strategy of the games, but she is getting the mechanics which is good. Our current favourite is The Mysterious Forest. It’s a co-op memory game with a little resource management. She mostly loves being in charge of the stuff.
That’s not as bad as I expected. So far I’m succeeding at 7, Trying with 1, No Movement on 3, and outright Failing on 2. I expected much worse.
I’m not adding or changing anything this year. Who knows what 2020 still has in store for us. Hopefully I can continue at this pace.
This weekend I did a thing… I participated in a virtual convention. It was wonderfully run and a lot of fun. Super proud of the organizers and how awesome they are. The panellists were fantastic and despite my hate for Discord, the conversation there was impressive.
I look forward to the next one and I hope they are happy with how it went.
I was on two panels, which is fair since I’m not an expert in most of the topics. I know a little about a lot. One was my book launch with some other fantastic authors. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on my book, I only wrote it. My wife read it three times so she’s more of an expert.
The one thing I know very well is layout. I ran a workshop on Saturday evening that was all about layout for authors. I’ve noticed dealing with authors that there are some large gaps in their knowledge of word processing and I wanted to make their lives easier.
I’m hoping to write a series of blogposts about it but I’ve been really low on energy lately and I have a novel to finish by September.
If you are reading this and want more information about formatting, here’s a short list of resources from me.
Elizabeth Coderre loves mysteries. She’s faced down deranged Hags, killer kittens, wiley Artificers, and evil Genies, all with the help of her two best friends. Now she’s stuck in summer 1985, Jackie is in a coma, and Angela is quarantined. Can Elizabeth cope with her inner demons, the 80’s, and a new voice in her head? Can Angela save Jackie and the entire Bytown Memorial Hospital? This is going to be the least relaxing March break, but can they solve the mystery… in time?
Here’s the book trailer:
I’m ridiculously proud of this one. I love time travel and I love classic horror stories and this combines the two, I hope, in a fun and exciting way. Plus there’s poutine in it. (The story; the physical book does not contain any poutine or other food substances.)
I’ll let you know when the Ottawa book launch is scheduled.
4. Ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs
We’ve missed this once in six years and I don’t want to miss it again.
5. Design and Produce 2 new coffee flavours
I have already tested and have 4-6 flavours ready. I just need names and designs.
6. Print, Package, and Sell Oneshot – The Simplest RPG
I just need to figure out how to put it all together and sell it.
Editing and Marketing
7. Finish Playtesting the higher levels of Fadds
I’ve done a lot of work on this system over the past 10 years and it’s close to done I need to playtest the higher levels and then I can start some cleanup of the wording and other basic editing.
8. Figure out how to market my books better
Renaissance Press is a fantastic publisher but, as with any other publisher, a lot of work still needs to be done by the author. I need to figure out how to get my books into the hands of people who will enjoy them.
9. Read 20 books
Last year I barely made this goal so I’m hoping I can surpass it this time.
10. Don’t Burnout
Two years ago I burned-out pretty bad. I was just doing too much. After being on parental leave for 9 months, going back to work is going to be hard. I have to be careful not to fall into over-doing it again.
11. Be More Patient
I love my family, kids, and friends but sometimes I just want to scream at them… unfortunately I sometimes do.
I’m working on it. Let’s hope I can continue to improve.
12. Play Some Video games with Dragon
I really enjoy playing with her and I think she does too. It’s a great stress relief.
13. Play Some Board Games with Dragon
She’s still young, but I think she can figure out some of the simpler games we have. We’ll try it out and see.