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!
The Kindle version the Milligan Creek Series: Volume 1 will be featured in a free book promotion this weekend, starting on Friday. You can sign up at www.hellobooks.com to receive the link, not just to my book but to many others as well.
A fun way to procrastinate
Using AI-generated artwork to create cover mock-ups for a time-travel sci-fi series I plan to write.
If one Milligan Creek book isn't enough for you, I've just bundled books 4 and 5 into a second volume, now available on Amazon and everywhere else you buy books. You can also buy books 1-3 as a single volume as well.
Years ago while traveling to do writing workshops, I was listening to an episode of CBC's excellent Under the Influence podcast, which is about the world of advertising, when the host, Terry O'Reilly, did an episode about advertisers who did one thing different that set them apart from the competition. One of the examples he mentioned was the Hathaway shirt eye patch campaign, in which having the model where a five-cent black eye patch led to one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history, lasing for thirty years. Oddly enough, a version of that eye patch idea has found its way into LARPers, book 7 in the Milligan Creek series, and I'll hope you agree it really helps set this story apart as well!
Too cute to work
I was trying to do some research for LARPers, book 7 in the Milligan Creek Series, yesterday on the couch, but our yorkie, Karl, decided enough was enough.
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!
Since 2016, it's been my tradition to release a new book in the Milligan Creek series every fall. Unfortunately, this year I ran into a bit of a snag: cancer. That's right, the big C.
I was diagnosed in mid-August, had my preliminary appointments from Sept. 3-12 and then entered treatment on Sept. 20, which lasted until Nov. 10. As you can imagine, not only the shock of the diagnosis but also the treatment itself rocked my world. I tried to write during treatment, but treatment was so difficult that I only managed to get out a chapter or two. I need to be in a positive, excited, happy headspace to write these books, and that's not at all how I would describe the process of undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
Post treatment, I've had several difficult weeks of recovery during which eating, drinking, and sleeping have been difficult, but I'm finally back into a headspace and a place of physical health that I'm feeling the creative juices flowing again.
The good news is, not only has writing resumed on LARPers, book 7 in the series, my cancer prognosis is quite positive. The type of cancer I have has a 95% cure rate, and so far things are looking great. That means (hopefully), there'll be many more Milligan Creek books and other books in the years ahead. Stay tuned for updates!
Brief thoughts and updates on writing, publishing, and life