It’s all done except the crying.. uhm editing

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The Mystery of the Dancing Lights is done. Now comes my least favourite part of writing, editing. Yuck.

Thankfully my awesome Weditor has been through the book and I’ll hopefully be able to apply her edits by the end of the week.

That means if all goes well by end of the week, I’ll be able to submit my book to my publisher.

I made a promise at last years Renaissance Con to shave my beard when I finished this book. It’s gotten a little unwieldy, so I’m looking forward to that. Expect some before and after pictures soon.

That’s about it.

Off to the editing mines for me.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Almost Done

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

When I returned to work after Dragon was born, I tried to finish a novel and gave myself until December 2017 to finish it. I failed and put that novel away for future writing.

In January 2018, I started writing The Mystery of the Dancing Lights, my fourth Elizabeth novel. I worked hard on it and it changed from a simple summer camp story to a time loop novel. I’ve re-written my outline for this book a dozen times.

I decided I needed to dig deep and finish it after Jen and I finished Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. Somehow I managed to get this far.

I’m now writing the last chapter and hope to be done the writing of the novel by the end of the weekend or next week.

I’m hoping to submit it to my publisher by the end of the month and get it in for 2023 with my publisher.

Okay well, I suppose I should get back to it.

Thank you for all your support!

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Process of writing

Kennedy and Jason, in their first iterations, appeared in our D&D game in 2010. Kennedy Fairfield was Kennedy Lake, and she was a kindergarten teacher who had an affinity for guns. Jason Johnson was Giles Momoa, and he was a Mafia leader that the player characters had to interrogate. Kennedy rolled a natural 20 and did something fancy, getting his attention, and they flirted and eventually became romantically involved. The other players liked him too, and he kept coming back into the game. When that game ended, we played a superhero game, and Jen played Giles’s niece, a 6 year old water creator named Chelsea who couldn’t control her creation. She appears in our book as Brooke, Jason’s niece. After that game ended, that was it; we put them all aside.

Fast forward ten years, and we didn’t really remember the storylines from the game, but the characters really stuck in our heads (although we had forgotten most of their names, other than Kennedy’s first name). And then we started discussing potentially writing a book about them, together.

We started off by talking about it A LOT in Fall 2020. Then on Jan 1, 2021, we sat down and wrote jot notes for the first Act. We split the book between us by main character and alternated chapters (minus a couple places in Act 2). When we finished the first Act, we made jot notes for the second. And again for the third.

We have a separate document for the cast of characters and important locations, with descriptions about each so we could stay consistent.

We wrote in Google docs. After each chapter, the other person edited, and then Jen read it aloud to Keladry (4.5yo). She picked up on a lot of repetitive words and typos that way…

It worked really well for us, but we understand why it wouldn’t work for everyone.

We finished the first draft on March 14, 2021.

More than half of the words Jen wrote were written on her phone while nursing Adrien (18-20mo) to sleep!

Lots of writing late at night happened. Éric would bring his laptop to bed and write while Jen was nursing Adrien (when it was his turn to write). Occasionally, we’d get a nice chunk of time in the middle of the day when the kids were playing well together, and we could write.

One memorable occasion, Jen wrote 4k words during our daughter’s virtual school day while she (Dragon) was paying attention to the teachers. :O

11 Years?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Yesterday was the 11 year anniversary of me finishing my first ever novel. Viridian Skies was poorly plotted, filled with contradictions, and the only thing more cringy than the sex scene are the fight scenes. Its very much written like a D&D game and not like a proper novel.

I’d like to revisit the core concept of the story someday, but for now it’s locked in my writing folder.

I have to give the novel credit though, it taught me a lot about how to write and helped me start to develop my style. It also taught me to avoid three-chapter fight scenes.

Most importantly it taught me that I was able to to finish a novel and that gave me the push I needed to do NaNoWriMo and write a novel called The Mitten Wizard (Available now from your favourite bookstore as A Study in Aether.)

Since 2010, I’ve finished another 6 novels on my own and co-wrote two.

One Wednesday, I reached a milestone of 2/3rd done in my current writing project. I started it in 2018 and I’m so close I can taste it. I’m hoping to have it done by mid-September to submit to my publisher for a spot in their 2023 catalogue.

So if all goes well, I should have another 2 novels completed by the end of the year. (Jen and I are writing the sequel to Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers in October and the last one took us 2 & 1/2 months.)

The world might be shit right now and I’m feeling like crap (I hate ragweed season), but I’m proud of the writing I’ve done this year.

I hope your creative endeavours go as well or better than mine have.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Publishing, Co-writing, and Life

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

As you may have read in yesterday’s post, the book Jen and I wrote in winter 2021 has been accepted by a publisher. Renaissance Press is growing fast, lots of amazing authors, anthologies, and books. I wasn’t sure they’d have room for us.

This is going to be my 7th book (Book six Coffee Shop Between the ‘Verses comes out on September 15th.) and I’m always nervous about submitting. This is the first novel that I’ve submitted only to Renaissance, normally I go through the motions of sending them to agents, editors, and contests. I submitted Everdome to a dozen agents and twice as many companies. I received two nice rejections and a lot of silence. I realize that’s what it’s like to be an author. So glad Renaissance accepted this book and that we didn’t need to try to get it out to other, less open, publishers.

One of the joys of this book is the enthusiasm and excitement of my co-author. Her enthusiasm keeps me on track and excited while her excellent writing forces me to up my game. We each have strengths that compliment each other.

I assumed it would be very easy to tell who wrote what parts, but our styles must mesh well because most of our beta readers couldn’t tell which sections were mine and which were hers. I think that’s really cool and I look forward to writing more with her.

Now that this book has a contract we’re hoping to start work on the sequel soon. I’d like to get a little further into Elizabeth 4, which is taking me forever. So I’m hoping mid September or early October. Meanwhile, Jen has started a spin-off novel and we’ve written a short story collection.

Things are about to get really hectic here. Dragon and Jen have decided that it’s best for the kid to go to digital school full time in the Fall. That means a complete change in bedtime schedule for both kids. I foresee a lot of meltdowns and lack of sleep in late August and early September and that’s just for me.

Hopefully we’ll all be vaccinated by Christmas and Dragon can do her last semester of Kindergarten in person.

Stay Safe and be kind,

Éric

The Last Three Books of Everdome

Hello Everdome Historians,

All my novels are connected. One of the threads that connects them is the fictitious books called The Everdome Series.

In canon, the characters only know about the first ten books.

  1. The Skies of Everdome
  2. The Children of Everdome
  3. The Heroes of Everdome
  4. Demetrius of Everdome
  5. The War of Everdome
  6. The Eagles of Everdome
  7. The Thirteen Gods of Everdome
  8. The Wilds of Everdome
  9. The Beasts of Everdome
  10. The Fate of Everdome

These are Jason’s favourite books.

Everdome is available as an Ebook or Hardcover at Renaissance Press’s Website. It’s Also available as an ebook at AmazonIndigo/Chapters, and Kobo.

In my novel, Everdome, it’s discovered that there are 3 more novels:

  1. The Shame of Everdome (unpublished in World)
  2. The Lost Dome (unpublished in World)
  3. Everdome (unpublished in World)

Now before you ask, yes, I do have plots and synopses for all of the other books. I hope to someday turn them into shared universe multi-author books. I also plan on writing a campaign setting for my RPG FADDS set during the time of the books.

For now, however, you can read more about the world of Everdome at your favourite bookstore.

Thank you,

Éric

Mid-Year review of Éric’s 2021 New Year’s Resolutions

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s a good thing that my wife reminded me I made these cause I had completely forgotten. The past sixish months have been a roller coaster of emotion and a study in lack of sleep.

Here are my resolutions for this year.

Let’s get right into this and see how I did.

Writing

1. Write a Monthly Serial Story (Succeeding)

I’m pretty proud of this year’s story and impressed with how easy it is to write. Check out Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist now.

2. Start and write half of SUPER MYSTERY BOOK PROJECT Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. (Success)

Oh my. This went so much better than I could have hoped. We managed 100k words and Jen went a step further and wrote most of a short story collection to go with it. We submitted the book to Renaissance Press in May and are planning on writing the sequel in the Fall.

3. Write Another Hal Story (Failing)

I haven’t written another Sun Speaker universe story, unfortunately. However, I have written over 20,000 words in short stories for the short story collection that follows Assassins. That counts for something right?

JenEric Designs and Coffee

4. Ensure 5+ days of updates (Succeeding)

So far so good. What I’m most struggling with is the movie reviews. Not writing, but watching. We’re watching too much television and not enough movies.

Editing and Marketing

5. Start Editing Dinosaur Road Trip (Fail)

I’m going to call this now. I don’t have the motivation to do this. As much as I love the story, there are other stories to work on.

6. Keep Working on FADDS (Succeeding)

I’ve reworked tables into accessible columns and added a whole new power section to the rules. My playtesters are fantastic and things are going well.

Personal

7. Read 15 Books (Failing)

I was reading at night before bed, but since writing Assassins at that time worked so well, I’ve been doing it for Elizabeth 4 and short stories. That means I’ve barely finished 2 books this year. I doubt I’m making this.

8. Play more games with the kids (Succeeding)

We haven’t done enough board games, but that’s mostly because the 2 year old can’t follow. We bought a Nintendo Switch and both kids play Mario Kart and I’ve been playing Yoshi Craft World with Dragon. I’ve also been playing Link’s Awakening, which both kids love to watch.

9. Be More Patient (Unsure)

I still yell a little too much and I’m a little too stressed. I need to chill. I’m doing a little better but I still need to work on it.

10. Keep pressing my doctor to find out what those attacks were in November (Fail)

In November I had some serious health issues. I had massive cramping in my lower left abdomen, fever, weakness, nausea, and fatigue. It happened twice in November and both times faded away.

So I haven’t pressed on this. I probably won’t. It hasn’t happened again and when I started to feel something similar I made sure to de-stress and relax a little and it helped. I don’t know what happened, but at this point I’ll see if it happens again.


Results

Well it’s not great but it’s not bad either. I’ll call that roughly 50%. I’m not going to add anything to this since I already have my hands full trying to improve this score.

  • 1 Success
  • 4 Succeeding
  • 2 Fail
  • 2 Failing
  • 1 Unsure

What do you think? How are your resolutions going?

Éric

Ending of a book

Hello,

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.

Anyways, I should head back to writing.

Wish me luck!

Stay safe and stay kind,

Éric

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! AKA working with your partner.

Hello people,

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.

Jen and I on our first Christmas as a couple back in 2005.
Look at those baby faces.

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.

Happy Birthday Jen and thank you!

Éric

Took two days off

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Taking time off while in lockdown is odd. I took two days off cause I was feeling a little frayed and poor work paid for it. Came back to 50+ emails. Poor boss that had to cover for me.

My days consist of watching Adrien while working and doing house stuff. On breaks, I’ll try to write or edit. It’s exhausting.

My two days off were pretty much a writing marathon trying to get chapter 15 of The Untitled Mystery Book Project finished. It was in my head and I needed to get it out.

Unfortunately, I also crashed physically. Full migraine, nausea, aches, and weakness. It’s like I just needed to get that chapter out and then my body said, “You’re not going to rest unless I force you.” So the weekend was painful. I hate migraines, I lost all peripheral vision on my left side for two days and every time the kids shrieked, I just saw red-ish static.

I’m feeling better today and the time off was restful, but taking time off with the kids home and lockdown going on is hard. At least I didn’t have a full social calendar.

It’s also why I forgot to prepare a post for today until just now.

All said and done, what you should take from this is that with me finishing chapter 15 and Jen finishing 16 we’re at 16/26, which is 2 chapters away from the end of the second act and that means we’re 2/3’s done. YAY.

Writing with Jen has been awesome, but that’s another post.

Be safe and be kind,

Éric