Project Three Begins

Waitaminute, buster. Didn’t you just tell us you were starting Project Two a year ago? Didn’t your first book take four years to write?! Is this one of those flighty writer things, where you get distracted by a new project?

There’s more to it than that, which I’ll get to in a moment. Project Two has continued to move over the course of the last year, though 2020 was rather disruptive to my writing schedule and I haven’t made the progress I wanted. I’m still discovering the characters and I’m not as invested in them as I need to be, especially when compared to Tildy and co., with whom I spent four years. Admittedly, we’re still in early draft territory and there’s lots to uncover.

Here’s why I’m not worried that this will become an abandoned project that I’ll find in a dusty hard drive ten years from now. The Lost Royals series is a tale of two siblings. Project One is the completed Tildy Silverleaf and the Starfall Omen. Project Two follows her brother Samor on a similar but separate path a continent away. Project Three returns to Tildy.

That’s a lot of words to say, “Mike is writing two separate books series concurrently with a conjoined ending. It’s probably a stupidly ambitious endeavor fraught with complexity and peril.” Way to sell it, buddy!

Anyway….the intent is to allow Readers to choose how they want to experience the series. They could only read Tildy’s storyline, read Samor’s, or to go back and forth between them. As such, I don’t need to know everything that happens in Project Two before beginning number Three.

Back to the original question about this shift in focus being a ‘flighty writer thing’, yeah, there’s a bit of that. A lot of us are distracted by shiny new projects, which results in piles of unfinished manuscripts. I have a few of those myself.

It means I’m hedging my bets a little. You see, despite being a fledgling author, I do understand that stupidly ambitious endeavors projects that break norms, such as alternating books from character to character, are rare and harder to sell to agents, publishers, and readers (e.g. if JK Rowling had decided to write a book about Harry, then Hermione, and back to Harry). Novelty in a novel can be good…to a point. It’s quite possible my series won’t find life in the order I’ve envisioned. So three years ago, I started the outline for Tildy’s second book, and I’ve been adding bits as I worked on the other projects.

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.


Today, rather than struggling through my few precious writing hours, I decided to tap into Tildy’s energy to see where it might take me. I’m pleased to share the first-draft opening to Tildy Silverleaf and the Dungeon of the Dreadwyrm.

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Writing Update: November 13, 2016

This post is about 250 words. 

It’s been a few months since I published an update like this, but with back-to-school, Boy Scouts, the election, and the release of Gears of War 4, it’s been a busy Autumn.

Oh yeah, and I’ve been doing  massive amounts of editing.

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I haven’t been idle, even if this blog has been a bit quiet. To remedy that, I’ve uploaded excerpts to the site.

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Excerpt – June 6, 2016

This post is approximately 600 words. A newer version of this section lives here: Spring in Dappledown.

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I’ve had several requests to start sharing some passages from the book. This is flattering, yet somewhat terrifying due to the personal nature of the work. This might seem counter-intuitive, I mean, isn’t the point of writing a novel to have it published?

Well, yeah.

But since I’m working on the first draft, there’s the challenge of sharing something that’s not quite ready for eyes other than my own. To be clear, the following excerpt needs some polish and additional detail. Many artists, myself included, want to give you a specific experience, something an unfinished work doesn’t necessarily do. Also, if the draft passage sucks (technical term), you might be under-presenting your abilities. Hopefully.

I think that’s enough caveats and deprecation for now. Here is the introduction of the main character, Tildy, the girl who lost her family, her kingdom, and even her name.

Spring in Dappledown

Tildy sat upright so quickly, her head swam. Eyes blinking slowly in the dim morning light, her fuzzy brain struggled to comprehend where she was. Trying to calm her heaving breaths, she closed her eyes. She was in bed. In her room on the second floor of the cottage.

She was glad to be awake. It was the dream again—that shadow in the tall tower. It thrilled and terrified her in a way that meant it was not an unwelcome recurrence. But she always woke up exhausted, as though it were less dream and more reality. She focused on the last image in her mind: had there been a crying baby? As usual, the details scattered like butterflies in a storm. Continue reading