Hammering Out a Second Edition part 13: The End

It’s been about a month and a half since I posted a blog for this series. But I am happy to say the second edition of Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs (book 1) has gone through its final polish, and its final read.

It’s been sent off to my editor. Ahead of schedule. In November, it heads to formatting and gets brand new cover art. (Side note: The Phoenix Embryo will be getting a new cover sometime in 2016.)

So, huzzah!

This has been a wonderful, yet frustrating experience. But I’ve grown and learned so much more about writing while toiling away on the second editions of TRAMM, and also The Phoenix Embryo. I’ve learned to trust myself, and to have fun. To write the story the way it’s meant to be written, and in my own style. Now I can move forward and tackle new projects. A clean slate is so freeing.

What am I working on now?

Well, I figured I should actually get to finishing the two series I’ve already created. And I will. That’s how you bring in readers. However, there is another project that’s already more than half done. It’s quite different from my dark fantasy dramas, and it’s not a door stopper like my dark fantasies.  I’m having a blast writing it.

And authors, that’s what your novels should be. Stories and characters you want to spend time with.

I’ll be mapping out the storyboard for Through Rain and Marauding Centaurs (book 2) this month. This Elemental Rain series is a trilogy, and I already know how it’s going to end. The last title is quite the spoiler, so I’ll smile when I say you’ll just have to read the books and stop by later to find out what it is.




Hammering Out a Second Edition part 6

A gritty dark fantasy. GLBTQ elements.
A gritty dark fantasy with dark romantic elements.

A few days ago, I got awesome feedback on the entire first edition of Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs (TRAMM) from one of my (new) critique partners. This is something I never was able to achieve all those years ago.

So, I’m about fourteen chapters into my first round of edits for this second edition. I’ve decided to rewind and skim over the content, because of this wonderful feedback. This is to see if anything needs to be marked for a discrepancy. I’m not cutting anything out of this first round of edits just yet because things might change by the time I get to the end.

I’m also resetting my counter if you’ve been watching that in the side bar. 33K back down to 12K. I don’t consider this a step back, because I’ll catch up pretty quickly. I just want to make sure this first run-through contains the same vibe, or mindset throughout the story. It will make the next drafts easier and quicker if I get most of the bumps out as early as possible.

What have I been doing? Romantic elements have been ramped up. Mardyth’s character is fleshed out a bit, but still mysterious and questionable in his motives.

I am wrestling with the old, additional content I cut from the first edition. Much of it explains plot, or gives better insight into minor characters. Yet, I’m unsure if it should be returned to the manuscript at this time, because there is a chance I may be juggling or omitting minor characters. We’ll find out soon. While I’m not obsessing on word count like I was in the past, I don’t think I want this to turn into an unweildly beast. I’m trying not to let myself worry about, or check total word count until I actually get done ironing out this first go-around.

Because of my backtracking, there will not be a new chapter released this week. Instead, here is some background information about the main character. As you can see, I can’t really drop many details or it would spoil the series.

Character Introduction

Name: Horsemeat
Known aliases: Pony, Pony Girl
Affiliation: The realm (country) of Nura (A dark fantasy universe).
Birth name: Unknown
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Age: 20
Gender: Female
Race: Centaur/human
Body/Shape: A human’s body. Thin with wide hips. (A runner’s frame).
Height: The average height of a human man.
Other Physical Traits: A light coat of brown horsehair from mid-thighs to ankles. Scar tissue takes up most of her mid-lower back. A centaur’s tail grows from her lower back. The tail is kept hidden by braiding it and wrapping it around her waist like a belt. Her toenails are also thicker, and striped like a horse’s hooves. Her centaur’s crest is often concealed within a topknot.
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Brown
Hairstyle: Long and straight (with a centaur’s crest).
Languages: Nuran
Clothing Style: Whatever can be used, found, scavenged, or borrowed.
Occupation: Mail courier
Enemies: Just about everyone
Allies: Nicholas Holly
Father: Unknown
Mother: Unknown
Siblings: Unknown
Lover/First Love: Mardyth
Marital Status: Single
Children: None

Hammering Out a Second Edition part 5

Pandering cat picture. When eyebrows attack.

I’m trying to work while a squirming cat takes over the keyboard. I think she partnered up with my demon wizard Calico Winghorse to distract me from (TRAMM) Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs. And I’m not above posting a cat picture to lure in readers.

So. Between the cat over there, and Calico pestering me for the last few days, I need to figure out where in TRAMM I can have his cameo. For Calico, not the cat 🙂 And I have yet to reach a point in my rewrites/edits for that. When I do get to that point, I will post the snippet. It will begin your journey into my current obsession with this demon-wizard character.

Some may recall Calico is the main character of an urban fantasy series that takes place on our Earth. The fantasy locales in my books may differ, but the settings are in the same ‘universal timelime’. Calico was born and raised in the world TRAMM takes place in. His background will be explored in his own series.

Back On Topic

At the time of writing this blog post, I’ve finished revising what appears to be chapter 10. It still has to run the gambit of my most awesome crit partners though. I’ve also queued up six more chapters and put them into Scrivener to edit.

I’ve also found the notes for TRAMM’s book two and three. I’m desperately trying not to reveal any spoilers, but I will say stakes are risen. There’s a high level of tension and danger throughout as the crew turns to face the head villain in their own unique ways.

There is also another very special cameo, not by Calico, but by someone else of extreme importance in my overall universe–I’ll call this one Character X. And no, it is not Acanthus Breese from Phoenix Embryo.  I’m also unsure if Character X will show up in just book 2, or also in book 3.

By book three in the TRAMM trilogy (tentatively titled the Elemental Rain trilogy), I can hope the reader will be slumped in their chair, happily exhausted and saying “Fuck, that was awesome. About damn time!!”

I just realized I’m what, five or six posts into this thread, and I haven’t yet introduced my main character, Pony. However, I think that deserves a post all on its own. So look for it next week.

Future Scene Sneak Peek

Pony skipped her morning run to forage for breakfast.

The back alley garbage cans near Lightfoot yielded less bounty, but she didn’t have the will right now to fend off competitors. She had to eat, even if she didn’t feel like it. She found two half-eaten rolls and most of a browned apple. Pony flicked off the dirt and maggots.

The clock tower rang five. It was time to punch in. She hugged her smelly work tunic before she drew it on.

Lightfoot employees loitering around the courtyard grumbled when she arrived, but no one confronted her.

Ruskin and Stom were on their way out into the wilds. Ruskin, being the brat-toad he was, flashed a rude gesture and yanked on her tail as he passed. Without much thought, Pony spun, slamming her boot into his ass. Knocked off his feet, Ruskin plowed into a mouthful of gravel. Stom pointed and laughed.

Pony continued on her way without another thought or backward glance, because it had been the brat-toad.

She knew Conner was either out back by the stables getting whipped or sitting in the box for the day. Knowing Upshaw, Conner was probably suffering both.

Opportunity was on its knees, begging.

Pony entered Upshaw’s office and pulled out the small envelope Nicholas had given her. As usual, Upshaw’s coffee and sandwich sat on the corner of his desk, nearly buried under paperwork. She emptied the packet into his coffee and gave it a stir with her finger.

She made sure the office door shut behind her. Strolling through the locker room to the assembly hall, no one paid her any mind. As usual. However, it wasn’t like Upshaw wouldn’t know exactly who the culprit was when the powder made its way into his system. Walking outside, she settled into the old chair under the courtyard’s dogwood tree.

And waited.

Fingers laced together at the back of her head, and elbows out, Pony smiled, noticing how cheery the wildflowers looked this morning.

End Future Scene.

Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs chapter 2 can be read here.

If you’re liking what you’re reading so far, be sure to opt into my mailing list and be one of the first to know when Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs is released in ebook and print copy.

Seasons of the Phoenix Update February 2015

Acanthus Breese by M. Mercury.
Acanthus Breese by M. Mercury. Thank you!

At a minor crossroads of frustration and indecision, (I’m supposed to be working on my second edition of TRAMM) I swept together the scattered fragments of The Phoenix Hatchling.

The Phoenix Hatchling  is book two of my Seasons of the Phoenix saga. The gathered material above is just over 200k. This consists of scenes removed from The Phoenix Embryo that didn’t work, or ran the main plot into a different direction.

Maybe about 30% of this is material for Idris’s book, and a bit for The Phoenix egg. A small combination of this also includes scene-repeats from Embryo that need culling.

Hatchling may be told in a two-part structure within its pages. I have yet to sort through the material.

Idris’s story, The Phoenix Reflection is already written in a rough first draft format. It’s been sitting around for a while, and at this point, it appears to be a Male/Male action or drama romance. Again, at this point I am unsure if Reflection needs to be split into two separate books–but I am leaning toward that. There might be two strong plots that need equal attention. I won’t know for sure until I tackle said project. Idris’s adventures will not be under the umbrella of Acanthus’s SOTP series title, but the stories are related.

A simpler breakdown:

Seasons of the Phoenix
(Acanthus Breese)

Idris Wynn Breese
(Series Title Pending)

The Phoenix Egg (pending) The Phoenix Reflection
The Phoenix Embryo now available (click for details) X
The Phoenix Hatchling (work in progress) X

I will probably have to work on Phoenix Hatchling, and Phoenix Reflection side by side, because of the related content. Some of the story in Reflection may overlap Embryo. Again, time will tell if I need to split Idris’s story into two separate books!