Spoiler alert: The Great Grain Elevator Incident, book 4 in the Milligan Creek Series, involves a tornado. Lo and behold, yesterday a tornado touched down right near my home town of Foam Lake, after which I modeled the town of Milligan Creek. Here are a few photos snapped by various folks. To the best of my knowledge, a tornado has never been sighted in that area before.
As I wait for my beta readers to finish their review of Brooms (I'm getting positive feedback so far!), I've begun laying the groundwork for book 7 in the Milligan Creek Series, LARPers, which I hope to release before the end of the year. In case you don't know, LARP stands for "live action role playing." It's where people who normally play role-playing games (RPGs) like Dungeons & Dragons move their adventures from the gaming table to the real world. See the Marvel TV series Hawkeye for an example of LARPers in action (although I had the idea for this book long before that show, seeing as I actually engaged in LARPing when I was in my early teens).
Now that I'm seven books into the Milligan Creek series, I thought it would be fairly easy to write this novel, seeing as I don't have to create a whole new cast, fantasy backstory, and so forth as I have to do with each book in the Uncanny Icons Series. Wrong.
Little did I realize when I signed onto this project that before I can write the actual story of what happens (which I've already pretty much mapped out), I have to come up an entire fantasy story that forms the background of the campaign that the RPG characters will play out. Not only that, I have to flesh out each RPG character, including their backstory and how they became part of the campaign. I also have to work out the real-world identities for three new characters that I'm introducing to the Milligan Creek world.
All that to say, far more groundwork is required than I anticipated. The good news is, a couple of years ago I spent some time developing a character named Thurgil Bloodguard as part of an online D&D campaign. I bailed out after the first phase of that adventure, but I decided to use Thurgil as the centerpiece of this new story. Over the past week or so, I've spent more time fleshing out his backstory, and that unlocked pretty much all of the other characters as well. I'm excited to say that all of the main pieces are now in place, so I can finally get back to the "real" story. My goal is to start the first draft in July.
I'll admit it: trying to come up with a way to make curling seem spooky was tough, but leave it to my talented artist, Hannah Doerksen, to pull it off. I think this book is going to look fantastic on the shelf right next to Pumpkins. Without further ado, here is the cover for Brooms, along with the book jacket blurb. Release date to be announced soon!
Fifteen-year-old Maggie Addison is a goon. At least that’s what she’s branded after she starts an epic hockey brawl following her team’s disappointing loss in the playoffs. Kicked out of the league for a year, her parents decide that Maggie’s best option is to lie low for a while. And what better place to do that than in a remote northern community on the shore of one of the largest lakes in Saskatchewan?
But this is not just any lake. It’s Reindeer Lake, supposedly home to the fabled Deep Bay Monster. Maggie has no time for such nonsense, preferring to keep herself rooted in the real world. However, the more time she spends up north, the stranger her “real” world becomes, to the point that she begins to wonder if it’s time to broaden her perspective, even if that means playing a sport that is the bane of her existence . . . curling.
Draft 1 of Brooms is complete! Not only is it the strangest novel I've ever written--way stranger than Pumpkins--it's also the longest, coming in at 74,248 words. Now that I've finally gotten that off my chest, I have just one more thing to say: "Let the editing begin!"
Brief thoughts and updates on writing, publishing, and life