The only update that really matters…
So, yes — I figured out what in my brain was going wrong with The Blacksmith. So I’m mostly unblocked and will start working on it again very soon (probably starting in July, but I am going to take it one part at a time — there are six parts in this serial) and expect that it will take me the better part of a year, simply because that is what happens with the Iron Seas. But that means you’ll probably see it in 2017 instead of some unidentified time in the future.
What am I working on now?
Vengeance, a Milla Vane barbarian novella. I expect that will be out in June or July, depending on how long it ends up being.
What else are you doing?
Uh, not much since my superhero-inspired workout for writers. I’ve read a few books and posted brief reviews on Goodreads (no romance, really) — heck, I guess I can just post them here? Yay for embeddable stuff.
HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Really enjoyed this though I was somewhat disappointed by the rushed ending, shown to us through one POV. It was sufficiently nightmarishly described (almost like a Hieronymus Bosch painting) but we don’t actually know what happened to several key characters in the story and why they ended up where they ultimately did. We’re given hints, but considering that every step up to that point was shown to us, to have it all skipped over and simply given a confusing scene felt like a letdown.
Aside from that, though, the witch was creepy and the unraveling of the town really well done.
The Fireman by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The concept of the Dragonscale was super interesting (and I couldn’t help thinking of The Girl with All the Gifts while I was reading it — similar infections, totally different directions). It’s always hard not to compare Hill to King, partially because there are so many King Easter Eggs thrown in that his books invite that comparison, so I don’t think it’s unfair to say: whoo, this is The Stand Lite. Which isn’t to dismiss it, because who has time to read The Stand again? And of course The Fireman stands on its own perfectly (really didn’t intend that pun, but now that it’s there, it’ll stay) but if you’re looking for the complex interwoven narrative of that older book, it’s not here.
It’s actually simple and focused, and that might be part of the reason it wasn’t a knockout for me. It’s called The Fireman but the titular character kind of spends a lot of time lying around with something broken. Instead we see everything through the eyes of a Mary Poppins-loving nurse (whose character I enjoyed very much, especially through the scenes with the rock) and that was fine, but I always felt very kind of … distant from the narrative, even though she was right in it and had a lot to lose when things went sideways. It’s a long book, so maybe I just spent too much time in her head and I needed a wider perspective. I don’t know.
So I enjoyed this, but more in the vein of admiring the idea and the storyline and having a good time, but without ever having a visceral “God I love this book” feeling. I probably won’t read it again. (But it does kind of make me want to re-read The Stand.)
I made a few covers — although, actually, I guess that I made them long ago. It’s just that they were recently revealed and stuff. I like these both a lot.
And I guess that’s it for updates for now.