What Book Seven looks and sounds like in my head

Book Seven is still months away from being published, but that doesn’t mean my head isn’t swimming with images of Oz and the gang.  In fact, this video demonstrates what I see and hear every time I turn my attention to the last book in the Oz Chronicles.

Books to come

The Biltmore on a dark and stormy night

I finished my first read through of The Banshee Worm King: Book Five of the Oz Chronicles over the holiday break, and I’m happy to say I didn’t hate it. This is probably the most action packed installment of Oz’s journey, so I’m anxious to get it edited and on the shelves as soon as possible. The ending still needs a lot of work, so I’ll be tackling that particular stretch of the story over the next couple of weeks.  I did have a dream about the giant worms in the book after the first read through, and it was horrifying.  I can’t remember if I’ve ever dreamed about one of my books after reading it, so I’m taking it as a good sign… as terrifying as it was.

In the mean time, I vacationed in lovely Ashville, NC over the Christmas break with my even lovelier wife, and had a great time. In the paraphrased words of Liz Lemon, I want to move to there. I toured the Biltmore mansion which is the setting for Book Four of the Oz Chronicles. I described the mansion in the book based on photos and descriptions available on various online sources. I got some of it right and some of it wrong. The main hiccup in my depiction is the scale of some of the rooms. Some were much smaller than I imagined while others were much larger. The property itself is immense, and I missed a lot of opportunities to take the story even further. Oh well. That’s what other books are for.

Speaking of other books, I came up with an idea for another possible series for young adults while in Ashville. Apparently, vacations are good for my writer brain. Last vacation while in Vegas, I came up with the idea for The Man Who Saved Two Notch. At any rate, the new series has to do with aliens and transdimensional beings. It is tentatively titled Field Trip. That most likely will change because I’ve noticed a few books with field trip in the title.

I have an ambitious plan to write five books and one screenplay in 2012. I’m also going to be working on a teacher’s edition of The Takers. As always, I’ll keep you posted on it all right here. Happy New Year!

Current word count of next book project: Field Trip

Early feedback on The Man Who Saved Two Notch leads to Preface (Sample Posted)

When the world ends, the lawless old West will rise again!

I have four or five early readers for my new book, The Man Who Saved Two Notch. A couple have gotten back to me with some invaluable feedback.  I actually wrote a preface for the book that I otherwise wouldn’t have written without their input.  That’s why I use early readers.  They can help you make a book better.

I went through four versions of the preface and the last one is completely different from the first.  Here’s the preface as it reads now.  Remember, this is not a young adult novel like my others, so if you’re offended by graphic situations and language, look away… now!

Preface

I was there.  I seen him die.  The whore and him faced down nearly ten men.  The sun was buried deep under the curve of the earth by the time the first shot was fired.  Clouds smothered the tiny white slit of a moon.  The flashes popping out of the muzzles of their guns lit up the night.  The crack of the gunshots echoed through the emptiness of the world around us.  If you listened hard enough, you could pick up the sounds of dying men fighting for their last breaths.  But I didn’t care to listen for that sort of thing.

When the dust settled and I was sure it was over, I approached him.  His feet was still moving, flexing up and down.  Blood was pouring from all his wounds, old and new.  His eyes were darting left and right.  Words were coming out of his mouth, but I couldn’t make heads or tails out of what he was saying.

I knelt down and turned my ear towards his mouth.

“There’s a lot of ‘em.”  That’s what I could make out anyway.  It came out in a pile of mumbling.  I looked where his darting eyes was scanning and noticed the clouds had give way.  He was lying under a star-speckled sky.

“Yes, sir,” I said.

He reached up and grabbed hold of the back of my head.  “Feel bad about the little ones.”

“Sir?” I struggled to work myself free, but his grip was strong as granite.

“Henry?”

“Yes, sir?”

“I’ve gotta answer for the little ones.” He chuckled.  “I ain’t sure they all deserved it.”

That’s when I knew he wasn’t talking about the stars.  I didn’t know what to say, so I just said, “S’pose that’ll be worked out soon enough.”

He smiled.  “That’s what I’m afraid of.”

A couple of minutes later he spoke his last words.  The bouncing of his eyes come to a stop and he fixed them on me.  “Don’t let that fucking bear eat me.”

I was calling this an Apocalyptic Western, but it turns out the industry is really into the term “mashup,” so now I’m calling this an Apocalyptic Western Mashup.  That’s way cooler… I guess.