A Road Map (Six Months Forward, Six Months Back pt. 2)

So as of the beginning of April, Heat Wave has been running for six months. Last week I mentioned some of the complications that fact is already causing me, some of the decisions that I’ll have to make sooner or later, and asked for some feedback in how you might like me to handle them.

This week let’s look forward past the end of Heat Wave. I’m not 100% sure, of this writing, when that will be, but I suspect it will be sometime in May or early June. What comes after Heat Wave?

Well, for starters I have the seed of a second Project Sumter novel in the works. Circuit and Helix haven’t really been working at cross-purposes in Heat Wave, they just don’t like each other very much (mutual respect aside). Also, Heat Wave is going to leave some major plot threads hanging that I don’t want to leave unresolved for too long. However, seven or eight months of one story is a long time. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and I know I’ve enjoyed writing it, but I also have a lot of other ideas percolating on the back burner and I’d like to share them with you.

So, for a month or two after Heat Wave is finished I intend to post several short stories on Monday, instead of novel chapters. Some of these short stories may be too long for a single week (leaning more towards 6,000-8,000 words instead of the usual 2,000-4,000 words I aim for in the usual novel “chapter) and I’ll probably wind up splitting those into two weeks of content. I’m not sure exactly how many of these there will be, but I promise not to spend more than two months on them.

At least one, possibly two or three of these stories will be set in Project Sumter’s world and will explore what some of the characters are doing in the time after Heat Wave or the early chapters of the next book. A new character or two may make a first appearance in these stories as well. The others short stories, however many there winds up being, will be stories with new characters set in new worlds. Hopefully you’ll find those stories, characters and worlds just as interesting as Project Sumter has been for you. Unless you found that to be boring so far. In which case, nothing personal but why are you still here?

Why spend two months dividing my message? Why introduce a whole bunch of new concepts before going back to the tried and true?

Well, for one thing, I want to tell these stories. The drive to write is one of the most important aspects of a writer’s life and I’d be stupid not to go where it takes me. Another is, while I have plenty ideas for short stories, ideas suited to full length novels are a little more sparse on the ground – and not all of them are Sumter stories. In fact, a minority of them are.

I want to keep telling stories long after I run out of ideas for Circuit, Helix and their merry bands. I hope you’ll come along for the ride, and to do that there’s nothing better than whetting people’s interests ahead of time.

At the same time, I do want you to stick around and see how the second book turns out. So, after finishing with the short stories I’ll take one week to do a brief introduction, as I did with Heat Wave, and we’ll start with Water Fall sometime in late July or early August. It’s been six months of hard work, but I’ve enjoyed it. I hope you have, too.

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