Since getting The Well of Moments out, I’ve been wondering what to do next in terms of book releases. I basically have three books sitting in the can right now: Gray Area, and the first two volumes of Merchantman Halflight. I’m still in a bit of a stuck spot on the third Halflight book, and I’m also trying to get a good Latin translation for something in the first book and getting conflicting replies, but the main thing is I haven’t really had any beta reader feedback on any of those yet.
One thing I badly need to do is to get better organized in terms of seeking out beta readers. Relying on friends and family really isn’t enough. To be honest, my friend circle is simply too small to handle the job. So I think I need to find out how other writers handle this.
A while back my sister did start reading Gray Area, only she had some problems with the character. I recently took another look back through that, and although I made a couple of tweaks in there, I’m not sure I really see it. I think the character may actually be fine, but the book just goes to some dark places.
This is another thing that concerns me. I’m still trying to get better established, and Gray Area could be a very, very polarizing sort of book. It digs some philosophically deep holes and strikes blood. I could see some readers having a problem with it; whereas others might be genuinely intrigued by the questions it poses and, I would hope in a good way, find something striking and memorable about it. The protagonist goes to the dark side in a big way, but for well-articulated reasons—and whether those reasons are ultimately valid, or rationalizations, is an open question for the reader.
On the other hand we have pretty upbeat space comedy. Not profound, but I’m proud of the overall story and I’ve been dying for people to enjoy it in some form or another for about 17 years now. I have enough comic scripts written to cover four or five books, and I’m currently in the midst of the third. Adapting the material to a novel format is hard, but what I’ve got so far is, I think, good.
Oh, and I basically have a cover already for Gray Area, albeit not a full wraparound, but I likely have the files in a state where that isn’t a serious problem. Getting covers for the Halflight series will be a lot harder, since I’ll want to secure a real artist again and I’ll want someone who is both affordable and available for future books. With two books ready to go in that series, that’s kind of a big hurdle.