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.
Brief thoughts and updates on writing, publishing, and life