Can Die Now

A couple of May’s ago, I had double bypass surgery. Came completely out of the blue, like, I guess it does for anyone. I mean, it’s not like you get up one morning and say, “Hey, I think I’ll have double bypass surgery this afternoon.” It’s not normally how one plans to spend a summer.

Point is, there I was, all trussed up with duct tape and staples and getting hypodermic-ed every fifteen minutes or so when it occurred to me that I had some unfinished business. Not only was the last book of the Partholon trilogy, Col’m, hanging fire, but so were the second and third books of the Frank Vaughn trilogy, which I had started about seven years ago. Should the marvelous medical care I was receiving somehow not suffice, I’d leave this vale of tears with untold stories.

So, since then, I’ve been jobbing it. Haven’t been going to conventions or spending a lot of time promoting or doing blogs or Facebook; instead, I’ve been writing. And writing, And writing. And the result?:

a. Col’m is now with Genghis Jayne, the much beloved and quite murderous editor of Rebel E Publishers, the second set of edits and rewrites completed, the finishing touches being added while Eege does his formatting magic. The first drafts of the cover are under review and a tentative release date of September 11 (yes, that’s deliberate) set and…ta daa, the Partholon trilogy is finished. Well, the FIRST Partholon trilogy is finished which is, yes, a gigantic and obvious indication that a second Partholon trilogy is in the works;

b. Yesterday, I finished the last book of the Frank Vaughn trilogy. Called Looking for Don, it’s set in 1974-ish south Jersey and, while it is the third book, it is actually the interim story between the first book, called Frank Vaughn Killed by his Mom, and the second, called Southern Gothic. Wha? The first book is about a ten-year-old’s bizarre trip across the south in 1965 with his psychotic dad…and the spirit of a murdered classmate. The second book covers the same characters forty years later. The third book is how they got from there to here. Trust me, it works.

Col’m and the Frank Vaughn trilogy were the must-do’s, the books I absolutely had to write before kicking off. They’re bucket list. Anything I write from this point forward is gravy, by the grace of God. It is the grace of God that I finished the must-do’s.

Not that I don’t have anything else cooking. I’ve got a YA book called The Cryman, which is probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever written, sitting in a first draft. Thing is so blasted scary I’m not sure YA’s could handle it, even though the characters are 12 and 13 years old. The second Partholon trilogy, which may actually need to be a fourpology to do it justice, has already been mentioned, and I’m also planning a series of novellas to resolve the loose ends of The Ship to Look for God trilogy. That’ll be Tales of the 1st Ranger Battalion, or something like that. I’m also playing with an idea that would end up being the most racist novel ever written, just because of the fun it’ll cause, and another which would be one of the most brutal scifi stories ever written, far more brutal than Partholon.  And it’s not like the Frank Vaughn trilogy is reader-friendly right now. All three books are in serious need of re-write after re-write and then editing before they are presentable. So, I’ve got stuff to do.

But, at least the stories I needed to do are done. So I can go, should my name be called. Inshallah.

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