04 Feb

What I’m working on right now: Hurricane Fever

As a result of the news announced over the last two days, people are asking what I’m working on right now and what is coming out when.

The YA novel I just sold to Tor is The Island in the Sky, and it is already written. Of course, I imagine Patrick Nielsen Hayden will have edit notes for me, so those will arrive at some point. The tentative pub date for The Island in the Sky is late 2014.

Right now I’m writing a novel called Hurricane Fever.

In some interviews (and according to Wikipedia), I’d said my next novel was The Infringement. I have a large block of that written, but Year Zero came out and covered a great deal of the same material I wanted to cover in The Infringement. Alien overlords arrive and enforce a form of copyright that is even more radical than the current WTO system. After seeing Year Zero both get (well deserved) attention, and the fact that it was widely read, and is good, the energy for trying to write The Infringement just wasn’t there.

If I were a more stable individual, I would have just pushed through and been done with the book. But… as silly as this might be to some, I think I have to believe in a project to write it. If I wasn’t doing this to explore things that excited me, I could be pushing paper and making a lot more money doing something else I didn’t love.

Some I’m working on a sequel to Arctic Rising called Hurricane Fever.

For all of you who wrote fan mail asking to see more of Roo, this book is about Roo. I liked Roo while writing Arctic Rising, so he gets Hurricane Fever.

The book is set in the US Virgin Islands, then moves through a small portion of the Caribbean, set during a future where super storms and hurricanes constantly batter at the islands and the US’s East Coast.

I’m about 25% of the way through and hoping to have a solid first draft in two to three months. It’s a fast one, for me, but I’ve been writing faster for the past year after doing some intense self-analysis and habit retraining. I also spent two months outlining the novel and researching it to prep everything as much as possible so I didn’t slow myself down. My goal is to finish a solid draft of the book in March.

If all goes well, it should be out sometime in early 2014.

What happens after I write Hurricane Fever? That’s up in the air. With the successful sale of The Island in the Sky, I now owe a sequel; Against the Fall of Stars. However, I’ve been planning a Kickstarter for the final Xenowealth book in the event that sales of The Apocalypse Ocean continue to hold as good as they are.

The question is, do I write Against the Fall of Night over the middle part of the year after Hurricane Fever, and then try to Kickstart and write the final Xenowealth book in the later part of the year? There are benefits to that, as I would get turn-in money for Fall that’s better than a Kickstarter. And I would secure that book’s place in the cycle of Tor’s publishing line up.

Or do I Kickstart and write the Xenowealth book, and get it out there so that the whole series is wrapped up for readers and I move on to some other projects.

If I wait a bit on the last Xenowealth book, I can give The Apocalypse Ocean time to find more readers, and build demand. I can also see how much better sales are by giving it time. I can also spend more time building up plans for rewards, and even commissioning and paying for some slowly over the months ahead. That way I won’t be working on the fly as much.

Either of these two plans are fraught with complications, as they involve me writing almost three books in a year. I more or less did that last year, but I’m a little bit more constrained this year with an extra freelance gig.

It’s hard to say what I’ll do, but the sure thing is… I’m working on Hurricane Fever to make it the best book I can and that is mostly all I’m thinking about. I can’t really make a decision until I’m finished there. That book that matters most is the one currently in production.

So now you know what I’m focused on for the next twelve months…