Here's a brief quote:
There’s something about Kevin Miller’s middle-grade books that bring a giant grin to my face. It might be the nostalgia, the comedy, or the delightful Canadian read, but regardless these books are a hoot. It’s sometimes hard to believe we are seven books deep in this series, but they only continue to get more fun and better! The hijinks of this small Canadian town and its residents are absolutely hilarious and pretty relatable. Adults and kids alike will enjoy this book (and series!), which is packed with friendship, comedy, and adventures.
You can read the rest of it here.
Seeing as LARPers is about some geeky kids who are rather obsessive about tabletop RPGs (role-playing games), it seemed only natural that some of them had invented their own language to go along with their characters. To help me come up with that language, I turned to my oldest daughter, Gretchen, who just completed her third year of linguistics at UBC. She invented a language from scratch, and we had a lot of fun implementing it in the book. It comes complete with a glossary at the back, so you can put it to good use.
Incidentally, this is actually the second Milligan Creek book to feature a made-up language. See Snowbound for the other language, although I can't take any credit for making that one up.
At long last, LARPers, book 7 in the Milligan Creek Series is finally here! Here's a brief synopsis:
Epic fantasy meets real-life adventure! When Matt Taylor accidentally causes the untimely death of his friend Andrew Loewen’s beloved Mages & Monsters character, he attempts to make it up to him by launching a live-action role-playing (LARP) version of the game. While the players set out on an epic campaign to free Milligan Creek from a fictional curse, fantasy and reality come crashing together as outside forces become involved. Little do the kids realize it, but their little adventure could change the face of their small town forever!
Needless to say, after a five-month delay due to cancer treatment, I'm super excited to finally get this book out into the world. Like all the other Milligan Creek books, I had a blast writing it, and I can't wait to share it with fans of the series. Here's a look at the final version of the cover, illustrated by Hannah Doerksen.
Now that this book is done, I'm already 75 pages into a new non-fiction book on writing called No G.U.T.S., No Story. It's an adaptation of a screenwriting workshop I've been teaching for the past 16 years or so. I'm hoping to have that out by June. Then it's on to another book in the Uncanny Icons series before returning to Milligan Creek for another installment.
More cover progress for LARPers
Here's the sketch I sent to Hannah Doersksen, my talented artist, along with some instructions.
Here is her initial sketch.
Followed by another sketch with color.
We're still in the very early stages, but I'm already excited by what I'm seeing. Meanwhile, I'm about 20% into my edit, and I like what I'm seeing there too. A relief after not reading that part of the book for several weeks. Stay tuned!
And it's a whopping 68,822 words! To put that in perspective, Up the Creek, book 1 in the Milligan Creek Series, is just shy of 32,000 words. I don't know what went wrong--or right--about this book, but the story just kept growing and growing. However, I will point out that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books kept getting longer and longer too, so maybe I'm on the right track.
At any rate, I love how things turned out. This is always an exciting moment, a time to celebrate. Then it's back to the grindstone as I go back through the manuscript and edit. In truth, I've already done that a couple of times for a good chunk of the book, so it's only the last third that needs a thorough going over. I already have the uber-talented Hannah Doerksen working on the cover, so with any luck, the book will be available in March.
I've also been simultaneously working on another book, a non-fiction one this time, which I plan to release later on in the first half of this year as well. Stay tuned for more updates!
I'm deep into the throes of writing LARPers, book 7 in the Milligan Creek Series, which is about live action role-playing. Therefore, I'm deep into Dungeons & Dragons lore and resources. The purple thing to the left is the original D&D campaign I got when I was about thirteen years old. Then I also have the Player's Handbook and the Monster Manual open. I'm having so much fun with this!
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