So I promised a much broader update, rather than the brief one we did in (late) February. As usual, I’m late because life (and in this case, work and illness) got in the way. Apologies, but here’s where we are with everything.

System Apocalypse

Lots going on. Firstly, the System Apocalypse Short Story Anthology 2 ebook is out. We also have the paperbacks and hardcovers arriving this week (hopefully) so everyone who is a patron who is supposed to get a copy and all Kickstarter backers will get their shipments going out this weekend. Assuming everything arrives, obviously.

The audiobook is in production. We have most of the shorts recorded, just waiting on a couple last ones that need to be recorded and mastered and then we’ll be able to release that too.

Craig continues to plug away at book 3 of the System Apocalypse: Relentless. KT is finishing up the work she has to do for Yonder, the webserial app and is putting together the document / plotline for the next 3 books too. Plan is for her to start writing end of this month, so we’ll have books out later.

I have one other co-author who has finished the first draft in a SA universe (one of the authors who write into the anthology) book. Others are plugging away at it, though those might take a little longer to finish. I’ll do more official announcements closer to when we have the books finished. 

As for myself… well… I have no (current) plans to get back into directly writing SA just yet other than a single short story that I owe someone. I need to get that finished, though life has been distracting me significantly. I do know what I’d write, but currently have too many other projects to contemplate it. Sorry!

The Hidden Universe

Our next upcoming project is within the Hidden Universe (Hidden Wishes, Hidden Dishes) world. Specifically, the Nameless Restaurant Kickstarter that launches tomorrow. It’s a novella, so extremely short (20k+ words) but it’s set in the same universe as the Hidden Wishes.

If you’ve ever enjoyed (or salivated) over my cooking / food scenes… well, this book is pretty much just that. 😛

A Thousand Li

Well, as many of you know (probably all!), the eight book of A Thousand Li, the Third  Realm was released last month on Amazon. It’s done incredibly well and I’m, as always, grateful to all my readers.

But most of you are wondering about the new books in the series. So, here’s the update:

The Sundering Blade has finished with the second draft. That’s now on the schedule with my editor, but that won’t be complete until later this year due to other, more pressing work. Anyway, the only way to get the Sundering Blade is via the Action Fantasy Book Club this year. You’ll get it free, but you got to give up your e-mail address for when we release it in August. 

General release will be in 2024 otherwise. 

A Thousand Li: the Third Cut is being released to all patrons right now. The book itself is finished in the draft stage and I am on chapter 5 of the edit process (out of a total of 44 so far and 118k words). I expect there to be some changes (I’ve already added like 2k words and there are a few scenes I know I have to add); so I expect this to be a bigger work. 

First round of editing is scheduled middle of April, then I’ve got to finish the edit notes, get that to proofing, etc. Actual release is scheduled for August 1, 2023 on the website.

Once I’m done with editing the Third Cut, I’m going to start writing the Fourth Stage, which as usual will go out to patrons first. There should be minimal interruption in terms of patron releases of chapters.

Climbing the Ranks

As many of you know, I’m releasing Climbing the Ranks for free on Starlit Publishing. You can also read ahead by subscribing, but that’s not required. We’re now at Chapter 36 with releases 3 times a week. I have book 1 completely edited and written, I’m working on book 2 right now whilst editing. 

These are literally the biggest books I’ve worked on (book 1 is like 180k words, book 2 might be as large). We have 3 books planned (at least) and there will be audiobooks of all this. 

For those who hate reading in serial format, the actual book itself will release towards the end of the year sometime (exact timing to be determined). Probably Q4.

Yes, it’ll be a very busy Q3/Q4.

Other Projects

Let’s see. I finished novellete 3 in the Power, Masks and Capes universe. That’ll release sometime later this year, when we finish up editing and getting a cover sorted and all that other jazz.

I have 2 LitRPG(ish) projects in the work. One is just a concept I’ve played with forever that I really want to tackle, but have to find the time to do. Unfortunately as my other books all get longer, finding time to write the projects are becoming more and more difficult.

The other is part of a bigger plan so while I’ve gotten a bunch done, it’ll be a bit before I can release it. It’s likely a 2024 or mid-2024 release schedule for all that, at the rate I’m working.

We’re also looking at some rather exciting new projects if we can find the right person to help us with it. Special editions for our books (including maps, graphics, pretty hardcovers, etc.), series encyclopedis and more. More to be announced as things get moving.

And just the way things are

On a more personal note, writing has slowed down significantly this year. I’m hitting around 1.5k on average and expect to slow down even more as a bunch of conferences and workshops and personal holidays come up. It’s why I’m prioritising work like A Thousand Li that has significant fan bases, while other smaller projects that aren’t released yet are being pushed back till I have more works finished so that people aren’t waiting forever.

The slowdown is a mixture of personal stresses, the usual chronic pain issues that has been extra tough for the last few months and a lot more editing (with co-authors and older work I wrote but didn’t edit yet) adding up. Add in new conferences and workshops and it’ll likely continue to be relatively slow for the year, but I’m hoping to try to break out actual writing time more soon.

We shall see.

Feel free to drop any questions you might have below. Tah for now.