I just received this email from a school librarian in Saskatchewan, located fairly close to where I grew up.
I was so excited to read your email and to find out the third book in your series is finally available! I have had students read and re-read the first two books, and at least one student a week has asked about the third in the series.
I'm scheduled to hit the road again at the end of January, staring in Saskatchewan. If you're interested in bringing me to your school, use the contact page on this website to reach me.
Now that The Water War has gone out into the world, I'll be spending the next several months marketing it, conducting writing workshops at various schools and conferences across Western Canada, and otherwise getting the word out.
Meanwhile, I'm also hard at work on book 4, The Great Grain Elevator Incident. Think of it as my homage to a disappearing way of life. Here's a brief synopsis:
When Milligan Creek’s iconic grain elevators are slated for
I've already outlined the book and am now doing research in preparation for writing. I anticipate having it ready to release by late summer or early fall 2019. As part of my research, I came across this short video of grain elevator demolitions, which I thought fellow prairie people might enjoy.
You've no doubt heard about "back of the envelope ideas." Well, that's exactly how the cover concept for The Water War came about. This past August, I was in an airport somewhere in the American Midwest in production on my latest documentary when I decided it was time to get Kierston going on the cover. So, as my son and I were eating lunch, I quickly sketched up the following.
I sent it off to Kierston, along with a brief description of the scene, and she was off to the races. Her ability to interpret such horrid drawings is just one of the many reasons I enjoy working with her so much.
To see more of her work, check out her website. To see the finished version of the cover, visit my store--and pre-order a copy!
Here's a quick summary: When a beautiful new girl moves to Milligan Creek, everyone in town is so smitten that her mere presence threatens to ruin the perfect summer that Matt has planned for him, his brother, Chad, and their best friends, Andrew and Dean. So, the boys come up with what seems like the perfect distraction: a water war. It’s the ultimate game of survival, where every player is both hunter and prey. But when Matt's buddies invite the new girl to join in, the game that was supposed to unite them against the interloper threatens to tear their close friendship apart.
The book will be available in mid-November, but you can pre-order it now!
After completing the first draft last Monday, I've done a couple of rounds of revisions and now have my beta readers doing a second read-through. Once that's done, I will do the final revisions, and then it's off to the printer! After working on this book on and off over the past year, it's so exciting to finally see it so close to the finish line. And wait until you see the cover Kierston has created!
One of the funnest parts of writing is not knowing what will happen next. That applies to stories as well as life. Case in point: this morning, I got up at 6 a.m., as usual, planning to write my regular 2,000 words on The Water War before I began my other work for the day. Instead, I kept at it for the next eight hours, and now, at a little after 3 p.m., my first draft of the novel is complete! I can't tell you how elated I feel to know this long-awaited (at least in my mind) book is one huge step closer to being published. Now I'm going to walk away from the manuscript for a couple of days to let the story percolate in my brain and then dive back in to start revisions.
I FINALLY managed to clear my plate enough to bang out over 6,000 words on the book over the past three days. I'm having so much fun watching this adventure unfold that it's hard to stop writing and turn back to my other work.
In terms of a schedule, my goal is to have a solid first draft in place by the time Canadian Thanksgiving rolls around. Then I plan to spend the next month editing and revising, with the goal of having a finished book ready to release by the end of November. Stay tuned!
I had hoped to have this novel out by the end of August, but last May, I signed on to write, direct, and produce a feature-length documentary, which kept me on the road and away from my desk for much of the summer. However, now that the bulk of filming is complete, I can settle back at home into more of a regular schedule, which means getting up early and continuing work on The Water War.
This novel is more complex than the previous two books in the series, because, at a certain point in the story, the main plot branches into a series of sub-plots that come together again toward the end of the book. So, that has required a lot of planning and outlining to make sure everything weaves together. However, I should complete that process this week. And considering that the first half of the book is already written (including a couple of revision passes), I believe I'm still on track to get the book out later this fall.
In the meantime, here's a quick look at part of the thumbnail sketch for the cover which is being created as we speak.
I've been hard at work on a documentary this summer so, unfortunately, work on Meth #3 and the third book in the Milligan Creek series, "The Water War," has been on hold. But that will change come September. Meanwhile, here is a review of Meth #2. A brief taste:
I love how Meth: The Immortal finds a good balance between silly jokes and a war-torn landscape. Politics aside, being subjected to a violent and unstable environment can have horrible side-effects and consequences. The characters in Meth: The Immortal have fun and humorous personalities which plays well against the dark backdrop.
Brief thoughts and updates on writing, publishing, and life