Blown Deadlines

As you’ve no doubt guessed, the craziness of the past few weeks has wreaked havoc on my schedule. So while Dan and Chris’ story still is coming, it’s not coming April 29. Breaking news, a generally high level of work insanity and a nasty cold have all combined to throw my writing schedule completely off track. I’m hoping to have an update by mid-week with a new release date.

We Are ExeterIt’s been so busy, in fact, that I never formally announced the latest Exeter release, the ebook-only “We Are Exeter.” It’s a collection of short profiles of all the characters, drawn from the pages of the Exeter Ledger. (That means, of course, no profile of Exeter Ledger editor CJ Jenkins. But he’s got a few comments at the beginning. If you like reading tea leaves, you might get some clues about future Exeter stories from him.)

A few of the profiles have been posted here at various points in the Exeter Ledger section of the site, but most are new to this book. You’ll learn more about characters you’ve met and discover some characters that haven’t yet appeared in the books.

If you’ve read it, please let me know which character you most enjoyed reading about, and which one you would love to know more about (if you had to pick just one).


Coming Soon: We Are Exeter

That mystery March release I mentioned the other day? As newsletter readers know, it’s We Are Exeter, a collection of profiles of the characters in Exeter, written by Exeter Ledger editor CJ Jenkins.

Some of these character profiles you might have seen: they’re in the Exeter Ledger section of this site. And you’ve met many of the characters in either Thrown Out, even though their profiles haven’t been available anywhere. But you’ll also get a chance to meet other characters who haven’t yet appeared in any published Exeter works. Yet, obviously, is the key word. If you like reading tea leaves — or devouring spoilers for your favorite shows — you’ll find some intriguing bits of information to speculate upon in many of these profiles. More details and the cover reveal will be coming soon. For now, I’m focusing on polishing off the last of the profiles.

Which Exeter characters are you looking forward to learning more about?

Keeping the Author Honest

I did some blog housekeeping today, and one of the things I’ve added is a progress meter for my various Exeter projects over in the right sidebar. You’ll notice the March one is deliberately vague — newsletter subscribers will find out the details Tuesday. Everybody else will find out in about 10 days. You’ll be able to buy it starting March 31.

The April story, though, is one I’ve already mentioned, so no secrets there. If you’ve been wondering exactly how Dan and Chris met, you’ll get your answer April 29. The biggest question mark on that one is the length. I put my best guess down there, but the last time I predicted a story would be 15,000 words, it was my first NCIS fanfic which ended up being novel-length. So we’ll see…

As I start digging into more projects, I’ll add more tickers so you can see how much progress I’m making. Heckling and nagging are always welcome. Now, off to the coffee shop to get some new words down on paper…

New Faces Coming to Exeter

I wrote about 3,000 words today on an Exeter project that should be available at the end of the month (ebook only). I knew this was going to involve a couple of characters who had only been referenced in unpublished pieces up to this point, and they weren’t much more than names. One of them just came to life as I was working on that section! So much so, in fact, that I’m pretty sure she’s going to end up taking a main role in a story at some point.

I’m digging back into the project now, and I’ll have more details about it coming in a week or two.

The deleted 1991 scenes I mentioned the other day will start going out this week, so if you’re not already on the mailing list, please take a minute and sign up. It’s the only way you’re going to get to read these “missing” All That Is Necessary scenes.

Also, while my fiction schedule is always subject to the demands of the paper — between state basketball playoffs and a rare March snowstorm, this was a particularly crazy news week — I have the next four Exeter releases scheduled, one per month in March, April, May and June. Newsletter subscribers will get a sneak peek at the March one with this week’s deleted scene. Everybody else will find out closer to the release date. (Yes, there are benefits to subscribing to the newsletter.)

Digging Into Exeter’s Past

Thanks to a kick in the pants from James Scott Bell in today’s Kill Zone, I went back through some of my Exeter short stories in progress and realized I was a lot further along than I thought with a short story/novella about Dan and Chris when they first meet. I added another 2,500+ words today to the story, and I’m hoping to have a rough draft done by Wednesday for Kyrie and Maggie to look at. (For new readers, Kyrie’s my editor and Maggie’s the other half of my critique group.) My goal is to release the story as an ebook only within the next month. If you prefer paperback, you’ll get your chance down the line. Both shorts I’m working on this month eventually will appear in the next Stories From Exeter collection: The Way We Were.

If you’ve finished All That Is Necessary and cursed the ending (I’ve heard from a few of you already, obviously), you’ll be glad to know that my travel time to Indy this week was mostly spent brainstorming how the various threads of the plots will fit together. I even surprised myself by finding out a piece of information about one character I had only partially known. 🙂 Whether you’ll find out that information in Book 2  or not is still an open question. It’s either a Book 2 or a Book 4 reveal, depending on where it has the most impact.

A couple of characters from the first Stories From Exeter collection who skipped All That Is Necessary reappear in Book 2, and we’ll get more information about that reveal at the end of ATIN as the story plays out. (If you were surprised by the revelation at the end the first time you read ATIN, keep an eye out for the hints you missed when you re-read. You might even pick up on some clues about  what could be coming in the next book.

Just a reminder: I’ll be signing books and hopefully meeting lots of new Exeter readers at Sacred Circle in downtown Staunton on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon. If you live close enough to the Valley to make the trip, please come by. Carey has a wonderful store and we’ll have plenty of both of my books available. If you need extra incentive, Historic Staunton Foundation has its Winter Wine Festival just around the corner in the Stonewall Jackson Hotel from noon to 6 p.m. for just $20 ($15 in advance).


Author Interview: I’m At Unexpected Paths

unexpected pathsAuthor Maggie Duncan is hosting me over at her blog for an interview about All That Is Necessary and the Exeter series in general. As befitting a former editor, she asks tough questions.

Duncan is the author of Spy Flash, a collection of Rory’s Story Cube Challenge entries, as well as Fences and Blood Vengeance. All three are short-story collections.