With fall break on the horizon, just a few updates for my readers.
1. The Legend of Kimberly: Journey's End will be in editor hands by the end of this month, which means that Kimberly's story will come to an end in the next few months.
2. The rough draft of a whole new story is already completed. Once TLOK 4 is off to the editor, I will be working on having a brand new tale. I will be exploring my horror roots in a tale of the supernatural involving shadow people and spirits.
3. Tired of waiting for updates? I actually post quite frequently on my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JrLeckman. My iPad does not work very well with the Weebly app, and I typically only have free time as I am either a) laying in bed before sleeping or b) laying in bed after sleeping. So give it a like if you want to keep up to date.
4. You are awesome.
Fear not, ye faithful fans, for I bring good tidings.
Since I am on Spring Break from the real world, I have spent some time tallying up my works that our near completion, and have realized something.
I have at least three books near completion.
That is not counting the Legend of Kimberly, Journey's End (which was a working title, but I kind of like it). This doesn't mean that I will magically pop out four books by years end, but it does mean that once Journey's End releases, it is likely that you will see a couple of quick releases from me once those works have been properly vetted and edited.
Phantom Valley is likely next on the docket, an unofficial sequel to The Quick and the Undead. While I often regret how silly the title to that little gem is, it is easily one of my darker tales. I will be flexing my horror muscles on that one, so buyer beware.
Angel Heart (working title) will be coming in hot after a massive rewrite. Book three doesn't have a title yet, but is slated for release after Angel Heart, and I officially have another secret project in the works. It's not Otherside, but it will be exciting to announce nonetheless.
Keep the faith, and always keep moving forward.
Life is a storm of things, bits if detritus whirling wildly through the aether, only to touch down in parts unknown.
Since my last post, I have lost a child before it was born. Unfortunately, this is not the first time it has happened, and it was everything I could do just to wake up in the morning. It was a journey I had to do alone, because the pathways of the mind only have room for one set of footprints.
However, much like a deep wound, my flesh has grown anew, and everything is back in full swing. So let us speak a little bit about the end of the road.
The Legend of Kimberly, Book Four, will end the Inheritance cycle for our young hero.
I choose those words carefully because I know that Kimberly will have more adventures. Even if only a tenth of the ideas I have for her tucked away are actually written, there will be a few more books. However, her journey of growth, discovery, and loss shall come to an end.
Editing has been scheduled for October, and the first rough manuscript is almost done, which means I will be doing revisions this summer. Upon releasing that particular beast into the wild, I will turn my attention to one of my secret projects, which I hope to be able to announce around the same time.
How does a rabbit eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I have been taking little bites of my back burner projects over the years, exploring different POVs and narrative styles, stretching my literary wings so to speak. It finally came to my attention the other day that more than one of these projects is actually coming close to completion.
I hope to see you at the end of this journey, and once more at the start of the next one.
I often marvel at the stars
and the places I can never be
I can sit and dream, but tarry not,
lest I sink beneath the writer's sea
I often picture writing like sitting beneath a tree that is shedding its leaves during a windstorm. Every leaf is worthy of my attention, but their numbers all together are overwhelming. Thoughts and ideas circulate inside my head as a storm of words, pressing ever outward until I want to explode. The only antidote is to place these words on paper, hopefully in a comprehensive order, and do the best I can.
These words will soon become faces and places, events and settings by which a story can finally be told. These building blocks, as they spill forth, form into a large pile from which I can draw, stacking my little cubes in a room of white with no walls. As I build my story towers, I occasionally will find a block that does not fit.
Perhaps the block is flawed, or poorly made. This block will be recycled, tossed into the chipper and put through the process again. However, sometimes I find a block so unique that I simply can't bear to part with it. I stack this one off to the side. As time passes, I find another block that somehow fits with that odd block out, and before long, I am building a different tower.
The process repeats, my infinite room filling with various structures, entire worlds being created and abandoned as I move from tower to tower, discovering odd blocks that have no place or meaning. As the palace of my mind fills with such structures, it suddenly occurs to me that the odd blocks from before have built something that conveniently fits with those original building blocks, and entire worlds merge with one another. It could be as simple as a character merging with a story, or an entire world being consumed by a law of nature.
I find it interesting to create things with no known direction, only to discover that they fit together later. It is one of my favorite things to experience as an author.
The Uphill Grind
The past few weeks have been a blur of activity on the writing front. As I hunker down and hash out the details in TLOK 4, I have found myself constantly going back to my earlier novels to make certain that the details within are carried forward.
Now, considering I have written each of these, you would think it wouldn't be this hard. Just like the rules of quantum mechanics, every decision had another possible outcome. Unfortunately for me, my brain will often confuse which outcome I chose, and I have to be certain that I am still writing in the current Auviarran universe.
Now, the down side. Reading your own work. A human being can grow quite a bit in a year, and even more so in three. Looking back at all three of my prior novels, I have noticed that I have lost some of the tone of the first book, and I am not exceptionally proud of some of my passages. To that end, I took three days to go over what I had already written and fix it. I think a lot of authors go through the stress of "It's not good enough," and I have even met a few who have told me that their "Super Awesome Story" will have to wait until they write a few books first and get enough experience to tell the story they want to tell. Naturally, these specific people have published ZERO novels to date, because of the fear of that first step.
Do I regret putting Kimberly's story out in the world? Hell no. Do I regret some of the writing crimes I have spotted in my books? Yes and no. I think that, naturally, human beings want their work to be flawless. For instance, in book three, the space between two words was accidentally eliminated. That was most likely an error born of formatting, but I am the one who approved the proof, so that one is on me. That time I didn't Show, but Told instead? Yeah, wish I hadn't done that. Did I under describe some places or people? Yep.
Each of these mistakes is a lesson. Refusing to learn from these mistakes is the mark of a bad writer, as is refusing to learn from the mistakes of others. As I write my next novel, I am making notes to myself about my own mistakes, and am trying to be more vigilant. I am working to bring back some of the tone of my earlier works as I continue to learn and explore the ins and outs. This is still what I hope to do someday, full time, and until I get to that point, I will keep working that Uphill Grind.
The disgustingly long dry spell of writing and social media is officially over. My personal life took a few good hits this year, which resulted in a (quiet) declaration of war on the year 2015. I am trying out the whole Twitter idea just to get things rolling while I begin putting together what I need for the next few books I am writing. Until then, tell your friends, and always keep the fan mail coming. I almost always respond (I have to say almost, because some people like to send me spam that has been thinly-veiled as fan mail).
New works in progress
Just checking in. I realized today that I haven't posted since March. While that seems negligent on my part (and it kinda is), I wanted to keep you posted on a few new updates.
1. My real world job was busier than ever. For those in the know, I am actually a teacher, which means once the school year starts, I am a ghost. Gone, vanished. Not just from the public view, but from the family scene as well. I've lost several good friendships over this fact, because people don't seem to get that a teacher easily loses track of time, like I have.
2. Due to the issues I suffer from in #1, my spare time can be quite limited. Rest assured that every day I could have posted here, I was in the process of writing instead. If you look at my earlier blog posts, I complained about people who talk about writing, but don't seem to do it. So, there you go. Instead of talking about it, I've been doing it.
3. Currently, I've got a new work in progress that does not involve Kimberly or Auviarra proper. My newest tale is about a young girl who receives a new heart before her junior year of high school. Of course, in true Leckman fashion, the heart actually came from an angel, which results in paranormal shenanigans all around. If you are curious about progress on this story, I will tell you that book one is about half complete and book two is 80 percent complete. That's right. I've been writing two books at the same time. You can follow my progress on Wattpad. The title is the WIP title, so it will likely be changed.
4. Of course, not all my time has been devoted to a paranormal romance. I have also been making notes on TLOK 4 (which promises to be much longer than its three predecessors). The dreaded Phantom Valley, a stand alone horror novel, has also been slowly shaping up in the rafters. Harvesters has been moved from back burner to middle burner (you can find the first unedited chapter on wattpad). And, of course, Otherside. My beloved Otherside. That story, which has been back burnered for the last few years, is officially dead.
Just kidding. While I will be the first to admit that my writing still needs to improve, I am waiting until I am adequately ready to tell that story. Otherside isn't just about the characters. It is also about the land of Otherside itself. Every story I tell is a practice in the art of story telling. One of my weakest areas right now, in my opinion, is world building and landscape description. Otherside promises to be three parts Alice in Wonderland, six parts LOTR/GOT (the death count is rather high), and nine parts mythology from various parts of the world. It will be a large story, and I want to be able to give it the best chance of success by telling it right.
Today is Thanksgiving. Be thankful for all you have, and I will see you in my worlds.
Guardians Official Release
The Legend is back!
Kimberly officially returns for her third adventure. This time, she will face off against some of the gods of Auviarra in an attempt to restore the Heart of Loris, a powerful artifact capable of summoning storms. There will be airships, giants, angry gods, and plenty of adventure!
To celebrate, I have knocked the price of Pursuit (e-edition) down to a buck on Amazon. If you have a friend who you think would enjoy the series, by all means, get them hooked today.
Just popping in to share the great news!
1. I am not dead. After a failed Kickstarter campaign, I decided to wait on releasing TLOK 3 by spreading my costs out over several months. That, and the new job has been super busy, but in a good way.
2. TLOK 3 is at the formatters. Once that job is done, I will literally push a few buttons on the internet, and it will be uploaded to Amazon first, then Smashwords, and everywhere else in a couple of weeks.
That being said, prepare to return to Auviarra.
So, in short, life is busy. I don't come update this blog as much as I probably should, but I'm a teacher who has a hundred plus kids who do need to come first.
That being said, Book 3 is in the final edits, the cover art is nearly done, and once I get ahold of some formatters and finish my edits, TLOK 3 will be coming to your ebook very, very soon!
Now, let's discuss the paperback edition. I have people tell me all the time that they would far prefer a paperback. Well, I sell so little of the paperback's currently that (largely due to the Kickstarter failing) I will have to put off developing those for a bit. You see, the paperback edition by itself costs a couple hundred to get formatted correctly (both cover and interior), and if I have to make cuts, that is the first place I will make them. Sure, the paperback will arrive eventually, but it will be some time after the ebook is released.
So, the question is what next? The series is slowly building steam: Kimberly and friends will be back in about a year I imagine. In some ways, I want to keep writing her tales. In another, I want to take a chance on a different book in the hopes that it will stick a bit better with the reading crowd. The only factor other than time that slows me down is cost: I am not breaking even on my books. If I was, publishing the books would happen quite a bit faster. As always, if you enjoy my books, tell your friends, or like my face book page. Do what you can to support the series; in return, I will keep pumping out books for my readers. Otherwise, there will come a time to hang up the series and walk away from it. Sad to say, but maybe it just isn't good enough.
The latest news and my opinions.