I'm super excited about this book, which combines Milligan Creek with one of my other passions--filmmaking! Here's a quick summary of the book.
To celebrate their purchase of the old movie theater in Milligan Creek, the new owners launch a short film contest, complete with a chance to have the winning films screened at the theater’s grand reopening. When word leaks out that a real Hollywood movie will be filming nearby, Matt and Chad Taylor and their best friends, Andrew and Dean, concoct an outrageous plan to make their short film the most spectacular of all by secretly taking advantage of everything the big-budget movie production has to offer, but only if they can pull it off without getting caught!
I just came across this on Amazon.
I have been reading all 5 of these books to my grandsons via FaceTime. They live many states away and this is our connection. The boys are 6 and 9 and both of them identify with the charecters in the books and all of the creative trouble they get themselves into. No matter where we are in the books they are sad when I say....we must end. I often read for 2 hours at a time while they play with legos. I must admit that I am enjoying the books right along with them and we all end up making comments like " Oh man, now what!?" or" Oh no! There is going to be trouble!" What really works for these books is that there is an age span of the charecters so the the youngest in the story will ask his older brother to explain something thus explaining it to the reader at the same time so no one is confused. So it is great for both my grandsons. We are sad that we are on the final book. I reccommend reading them in sequence.
I gave myself 20 days to do it, and I managed to complete it in 7. What a good feeling! The manuscript came in at 60,744 words, which makes it the longest book in the Milligan Creek Series to date by about 5,000 words. (Snowbound! was the longest book before this.) That word count is certain to change as I begin the revision process, though which direction it will go won't be clear until I have a chance to read the entire manuscript through from start to finish, which I plan to do tomorrow. That'll show me where it's running long, where I haven't explained things thoroughly enough, and so on. However, I'm hoping that when all is said and done, it'll come in about 1,000 words shorter than it is right now.
Meanwhile, it's time to step away from the computer and celebrate this milestone--starting by showering and eating lunch (I'm still in my pajamas because I didn't want to break my momentum). I like to joke that being an author involves days and nights of misery punctuated by brief moments of despair--and then something really bad happens. So, as difficult as writing is, when something good happens, such as completing a draft, celebrating is not an option. This is my seventh novel in the last five years, which feels like an amazing achievement considering I mostly write these books in my spare time. Hopefully it inspires other aspiring writers out there to go for it. You don't know what you're capable of until you try.
It's been a LONG summer dominated by a seemingly endless stream of editing projects. Unfortunately, that meant I had to put Quiet On Set!, book 6 in the Milligan Creek Series, on hold since mid-June. It's the longest I've gone without writing for years. It's my fault for booking myself so heavily, but I've finally managed to eke out 20 days of writing time, during which I plan to finish the novel, with hopes of releasing it by early November, just in time for Christmas. I'll keep you updated here. I've already managed to complete just over 30,000 words, and with a target word count of about 50,000 words, it seems like a short bridge to cross. But these are the hardest 20,000 words, seeing as I now have to pay off everything I've set up--and there are a LOT of plages spinning in this story--but I'm excited to finally return to the boys and their shenanigans.
Meanwhile, over the sumer I've done a lot of thinking about Brooms and Teeth, books 2 and 3 in the Uncanny Icons Series, so as soon as I complete Quiet on Set!, I'll be back into another spooky supernatural tale.
For the record, I have one more book planned for the Milligan Creek Series, putting the total number of books at 7. I also have another idea for a book that will act as a postscript to the series, taking place many years later once Matt, Chad, Andrew, and Dean are all grown up, with most of them returning to Milligan Creek after a lengthy absence to pull off one last caper. If I happen to come up with an idea for another book prior to this time jump, I will gladly get moving on that. I never want to say goodbye to this world, but I also want to make sure every idea merits a stand-alone story.
At any rate, I'm already procrastinating! Time to get to it.
That's right, folks, you can now listen to Up the Creek, Unlimited, and The Water War, all of them narrated by Kimberley, BC's own Tanner De Bruyne. The audiobook versions are available on Amazon, Audible, ACX, and Apple Books. You can listen to the first chapter of The Water War for free here. They'll make for great listening on that end-of-summer road trip!
As mentioned in a previous post, I'm in the process of having the first three books i the Milligan Creek Series converted to audio, narrated by Tanner De Bruyne. He's doing a great job. I just listened to chapter 1 of Unlimited and thought I'd share it here. It was one of my favorite chapters to write, and it's one that I've read aloud hundreds of times at writing workshops, so I was interested Tanner's take. It's so much fun. You can listen to it here. If you want to buy the audiobook for Up the Creek, it's available here.
I'm super excited to announce that Up the Creek is now available as an audiobook on Audible and Amazon and soon to be available on iTunes. If you already have an Audible account, you can listen to it for free. Otherwise, you can purchase it for the seemingly arbitrary price of $13.08 (Audible sets the price, not me). Anyway, Tanner De Bruyne did an excellent job of narrating it, and he's already working on Unlimited, which will be made available on audio this summer, followed by The Water War. You can listen to the first chapter for free below.
Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, I thought skateboarding was the coolest thing ever, but there was literally nowhere to do it where I lived, and there was no skateboard culture anywhere near me.
Then, at age 40, I bought a rental house that happened to come with a really good skateboard that the previous owners inexplicably left behind. I took it as a sign from the universe that it was finally time to "hit the deck," so to speak.
Dozens of skinned knees and elbows and one broken thumb later, I became pretty good at riding the bowl, my favorite aspect of skateboarding. Then at a garage sale I came across a cool vintage Landyachtz longboard (which is now mounted on the wall of my home office, image below).
Once again, I took it as a sign to take my boarding career in a different direction. We happened to be living in a community with lots of paved trails on hills, and our town even has an annual longboarding competition, so it seemed perfect.
The first time I took out the board, I started too high on the hill and had to bail out on a tight corner because I was going too fast. The result was a sprained ankle, a cracked rib, and pretty severe road rash on both elbows (scars I still bear to this day). Believe it or not, while still in shock, I took the board back up the hill (starting a little lower this time), and did it again. This time I made the corner. Then I limped home through the forest, leaving a blood trail behind me that, thankfully, no wild animal chose to follow.
I've since upgraded my board to a Landyachtz Hollowtech board, similar to the one below, a technology designed right here in Kimberley, BC, where I live.
After miles and miles of boarding (mostly in the golf course next door during the off season), I've only sustained one sprained ankle.
What is the point of all this, you ask?
While doing research for my new Milligan Creek novel, Quiet on Set!, which involves a film shoot about a guy named Wind Wagon Smith, I came across an article on Wikipedia about, you guessed it, land yachts. Turns out land sailing has been a thing since about AD 552! And here I thought Landyachtz the company was doing something new.
That's one of the coolest things about writing. You never know what you'll have to learn next and how it might connect to something you already know--and love.
Brief thoughts and updates on writing, publishing, and life