May Update

Sheesh, is this month almost over already?

I’m well overdue for a blog post.

I started a new job with a new company. It’s going very well, I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s been stressful and by the time I get home, my brain feels pretty fried from trying to absorb so much new knowledge. Not going to lie, it’s really killing my writing productivity. But there is still progress happening, as you’ll see below.

Our new dog swallowed an entire glove. Yes, a glove. She’s like a hungry hippo for socks and apparently that includes small cloth kid gloves as well. Which lead to a thousand dollar vet trip to have her stomach and intestines cut open and the glove removed. Then she was forced to wear a cone for a week and eat rice/boiled chicken the entire time. Her habitual ‘hungry hippoing’ is so bad, that we were told by the Vet to get a basket muzzle for her until we can train her out of it. But we are thrilled she’s still alive.

The sequel… so… I changed the title. I had this bright idea a long time ago to go with the directional book titles, “West of Prehistoric”, “East of Prehistoric”, and the third book I’m working on now was going to be “North of Prehistoric”… but after getting the cover back and thinking about it – I decided it would creatively box me in and I didn’t think the directional ‘directions’ of the books were obvious enough. Basically, I had a plan, but I didn’t think anyone would understand the naming except myself. So, after conferring with the publisher, we renamed the book ‘Enter Prehistoric’, which makes much more sense.

Also, I’ve got the sequel back from the editor with changes. I took yesterday off for some appointments and managed to get about 60% of the way through. This step basically involves me reading the entire book, sentence by sentence, looking at errors the editor may have found, or anything that simply bothers me and needs fixing. It’s pretty much my last chance to make any changes before it gets formatted/printed. I’m anxious to get this sucker turned around and in people’s hands. It’s awesome. You’re gonna love it.

Lastly, I dug my ’01 Jeep Wrangler TJ out of the garage. I’ve had this Jeep since 2005 and for many years it was my money put. (When I had any spare money that is.) Then I got married, got a family, got a career, etc and basically money and time was always in short supply. Now, it’s simply time that’s in VERY short supply. To show you how much of a back burner this Jeep has been on, I bought a new $650 set of catalytic convertors over a year ago to have installed. Then I bought a set of Savvy Offroad aluminum rocker guards(very sexy)… they also have yet to be installed. In the last four years, I’ve probably put 15 miles on it. That includes moving it from the old house to the new house. BUT, the work begins on Monday. I’m having the converters installed and the inspection(always fingers crossed when it comes to that). After that, it’s time to pay the devil their dues, and by that I mean a couple years of back taxes on it, then I’m going to start driving it again. But, alas, this is not a Jeep blog, and this paragraph has gone on for far too long.

So, summed up.

Book Two almost in print. Expect by July.

My Sequel, East of Prehistoric, is green-lit.

“Hither came Jedidiah Huckleberry Smith, the Outlaw, black-haired, sullen-eyed, dual Colt Peacemakers in hand, a cowboy, a revenger, an apeslayer, with gigantic justices and gigantic amusement, to tread the forbidden lands of a lost world underneath his booted feet.” – Robert E Howard, paraphrased from Conan The Barbarian.

Yes, that’s right. Jedidiah Huckleberry Smith is back! The contract has been signed and returned. Woop, woop!

I’m pretty danged excited.

The first book, West of Prehistoric, seems to have been a pretty big hit for a newbie author. I’m sitting at 4.8/5 on Amazon with 44 reviews, and 4.7/5 on Goodreads with 19 reviews. That’s spectacular feedback.

I REALLY hope to replicate that with the sequel as I expand on the lost world I’ve created and the characters that are in it.

As I’ve said before, I think, I plan on four books in this series. West, East, North, and then South. I’ve even managed to make the directional titles work within the books. “First book takes place in the West, second book takes place to the East inside of the Lost World, and so on…”

And I’m really excited as I work on the third one. I’m elevating a couple secondary characters from the first book to main characters, and that’s gonna make things fun. Also, introducing another lost world civilizations is gonna be awesome. I can’t say much more than that without giving away anything. It’s gonna be fantastic. More characters, more revenge, more adventure, more love, more excitement!

So, East of Prehistoric should be out by June. And I’m hoping, if I bust my rear end, that I can get the third book, North of Prehistoric, out by December. That’s a pretty good goal I think.

So far, the fourth book, South of Prehistoric, exists only in a few pages of notes of awesome stuff that needs to happen. And the follow up series that takes place 25-30 years later exists only in my head. But I plan on taking a break and writing some other stuff before I work on the second series for this lost world.

Oh yes, and here is the art that is going into the inside cover of the Sequel. A huge thank you to Adam Mathison-Sward for putting this together for me.

And of course, here is the planned Back Cover script for East of Prehistoric:

After retiring from outlawing, Jedidiah Huckleberry Smith just wanted to be left alone in Wyoming with his guns and regrets.

But then he discovered an entrance to a lost world, a place full of grand adventure, as well as spectacular dangers from both prehistoric dinosaurs and a race of savage apes intent on conquest.

Now, a new fort has been established on the other side, and a strange civilization of humans and dinosaurs have been located. The people are descendants from another time, long trapped in prehistory, and with them a fragile alliance is created.

But will it be enough as Jed faces vengeance from enemies both new and old?

Will his savagery and cunning keep him and his love alive?

Or will they die, on a mountain of fired brass, amidst the guttural bellows of barbaric apes and roars of monstrous dinosaurs?

Jed doesn’t know, but he’s always willing to shoot first and figure out the rest afterwards.

Back Book Cover Text for the Sequel.

In order to get all my ducks in a row for the publisher to pick up my sequel, I wrote the Back Book Cover Text.

This is always hard for me to do, because you essentially need to boil down a 100,000+ word novel into a sub-250 word narrative that will intrigue a potential buyer without revealing too much information. It’s a delicate balance. If the front cover gets you to pick up the book, the back cover seals the deal.

But, I think this one turned out better than the first.

***

After retiring from outlawing, Jedidiah Huckleberry Smith just wanted to be left alone in Wyoming with his guns and regrets.

But then he discovered an entrance to a lost world, a place full of grand adventure, as well as spectacular dangers from both prehistoric dinosaurs and a race of savage apes intent on conquest.

Now, a new fort has been established on the other side, and a strange civilization of humans and dinosaurs have been located. The people are descendants from another time, long trapped in prehistory, and with them a fragile alliance is created.

But will it be enough as Jed faces vengeance from enemies both new and old?

Will his savagery and cunning keep him and his love alive?

Or will they die, on a mountain of fired brass, amidst the guttural bellows of barbaric apes and roars of monstrous dinosaurs?

Jed doesn’t know, but he’s always willing to shoot first and figure out the rest afterwards.

***

Sequel is finished!

Whew.

My first sequel finished, and my first feedback is that it’s as good as the first.

I’ll take that as two huge wins.

How does it feel? Pretty darn good. I managed to knock out the sequel in almost exactly a year. My goal was to have it finished by Dec which would have been about a half year, but for personal mental health reasons, that didn’t happen. But a year… while working a full time job and being a full time father and husband? That’s pretty sweet. In comparison, the first book took me almost two years… but to be fair to myself – there was a massive learning curve I had to overcome.

But now I’ve proven I can do it. I can write. Repeatedly. And churn out good entertaining work. That’s awesome. Am I a writer yet? I think so!

Anyways, I’m pretty stoked.

And now it’s time to start on the third one.

Gotta strike while the irons hot!

But, first – A song of Victory must be had. Oh yes… Victory!