Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jumping Genres, Lengthy Fantasy Series, and New Begins...

Well, hello everybody!!

I'm very sorry it's been so long.  Things have been busy in my personal and professional life and, to be honest, after missing a month of writing on this blog, it became very easy to miss two more.

At any rate, a good bit has happened regarding my writing "career."  First, the third book in my Riddle in Stone series (BLOOD IN SNOW) is being edited and should be released sometime around March.  Fingers crossed.  To be honest, it's my favorite.  I really love this one!

Unfortunately, BLOOD IN SNOW will probably be the last of the Riddle in Stone books.  I was actually writing a fourth book...a story about Kravel and the goblins...but my publisher, Diversion Books, isn't interested in publishing any more of the series. 

From what I understand, trilogies sell well; however, once you get more than three or four books, readership tends to fall off.  Few people want to commit so much time to finding out "what happens." 

I can actually dig that.  Whenever I see a book in long series, I am reluctant to read it because I don't want to get two or three books in only to realize there are another ten books that I have to read before I get to the conclusion. 

Still, it's a bit sad that Edmund, Pond, Abby, and Becky won't live on.  I've really enjoyed creating them. Some people have encouraged me to write KRAVEL and to self-publish it...which I may do at some point. But for now, I'd like to keep going down the publishing route.  This leads me to what to write about next.

If you recall, I was going to write a farce about higher education. Being a university professor, I certainly have plenty of material. However, my agent doesn't believe that would be a wise move. After all, most of you read my book because you're interested in fantasy.  You probably wouldn't read my books if they were in a different genre.   So my agent is encouraging me to write a new fantasy series.

The problem with writing a new fantasy series is that it is very difficult to develop a set of characters and storyline that aren't clich√©.  I keep writing down brilliant (BRILLIANT!) ideas for the new book only to realize... Wait! So-and-so basically did that!  Which puts me back to square one.

*Sigh* It seems every main character in fantasy is a "deadly assassin," or the "lovable orphan", or the "misunderstood troublemaker," or the "unlikely hero-type." 

I have started writing something new, but I'm the first to admit that it isn't terribly original.  I think my best bet is to give a new spin on the old standards...lovable troublemaker becomes a deadly assassin and turns into an unlikely hero.

At any rate, that's what's happening with me.  I hope all of you are well and keeping warm (it's freezing here in northern Ohio)!

I'll try to write more as things progress.  If you have time, please help spread the word about Riddle in Stone!  Reviews and posts are always welcome.

Until next time! Thanks for supporting indie writers:)


  1. So glad to see a new post from you! It's a shame you can't switch genres right? But there's always a pseudonym (shhhh! You didn't hear it from me!)

    Well done though on completing that trilogy. Wish I could write as fast as you...

    1. Hey Shay. Yeah, I thought about writing under a different name; however, I'd like to be successful. Part of that is writing something worth reading, but part of it is also having wonderful readers like yourself who are willing to spread the word about the book. Starting over with a pseudonym would mean having to redevelop all the marketing crap... I don't know. Sounds like a lot of work. I think self-publishing might be the easiest route. Of course, I need to come up with a decent story first!

  2. The idea of being stuck with one genre bothers me. I want to write about what I want to write about! I don't even want to sign multi-book deals because of this. I've written an epic fantasy and a sci-fi thriller, so this is something that really worries me.

    1. Yeah, it kind of bothers me as well. However, I understand what my agent is saying. It's all about readers and I need to gather a good readership before I can start jumping around to different genres.

      But I would really like to write something other than fantasy. I started a horror story that I think has real potential. Oh well, first things first... make a million dollars, then break all the rules. :)

  3. Hey, Robert - it's awesome to hear from you again!

    Really a shame that they don't want your next book, though. I get why they don't want one series going off into infinity, but would KRAVEL ever work on its own? I think standalone books in a shared universe can work really well, because every one is its own entry point into the world - not requiring any prior knowledge, but inviting readers who enjoyed the one to check out the others as well.

    Also! I agree that fantasy suffers from a serious case of stock protagonists. What about taking inspiration from your own real life, or real world scenarios?

    Like, what about an empty-nesting single mom who gets suspicious about personality changes in her son now that he's gone off to wizard college, or the janitor at said college who's involved in a lab accident, or a successful weaponsmith who's so devastated by the death of his child that he loses his job, his wife, and his home, and belatedly realizes that the bum he's drinking under the bridge with is actually a bereaved shapeshifted dragon trying to liquor himself up enough to obliterate the city?

    Anyway, you get the idea. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you are SO GOOD at writing the almost-regular joe, the endearing person in difficulty whose biggest challenge is their own small and irregular life, and I would love for you to keep using that gift to bring to the fantasy shelf people we HAVEN'T seen a million times before. I know that whatever you write will be quality - but that will be the part I most look forward to!