Long-Overdue Update

Oh, my! Has it really been that long? 5 months?

I had intended to still blog in the course of the fall, despite a hectic work schedule. Honestly, everything really came down to one decision: Do I use my limited remaining energy to blog or to work on one of my stories?

That question was often moot, since I’ve been very bad about writing the past few months.

Sure, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but only made half my word count goals for the month. Still, I’m quite content at the progress I made in my multicultural Mars murder mystery.

My Mars story is the first one I’ve written where I’ve needed to do extensive research. I have been learning bits of other languages, discovering idiosyncrasies of different cultures, and studying some of the most barbaric crimes people can commit. Needless to say, this was an exhaustive project that I really need a break from. I’ll resume writing it as soon as I’ve recovered some of the emotional heartache I endured during the research process.(Check in again in a few years to see if I ever actually finish this story…)

So the big question is: What is Amy writing now?

Well, if you don’t care, you should just skip reading this post. I don’t mind…

This summer, I had taken all my stories off of Kindle in an attempt to revise them and re-release them with second editions. A few weeks ago, I commissioned my friend, Zybrena Crawford Porter, to design a new cover for my novella, “Undoing Life.” Seeing as how she is a beautiful artist and a talented graphic designer, I knew she’d create a much better cover than I had originally.

So let’s compare. Here’s the cover I made 2 1/2 years ago when I first release “Undoing Life”:

And here is what Zybrena created:

Oh, it’s so stunning that I cried when I first saw it. I’m so happy with it and can’t wait to release the second edition on January 1st, 2018.

I have no yet decided if I’m going to re-release “Iris” or “Reps and Royals” next. Heck, I might just go for the first edition of “Mended by Ashes.” No one has had the chance to read it yet–save for my beta readers–and I’m anxious to see what people think of it. However, I think I need to revise it a bit more before it’s ready for an audience.

On top of all this, I’ve got several short stories in the works. I’m almost done with the first draft of a social commentary on friend-making. I’ve also been dabbling in fantasy with a story set during an Egyptian-themed magic show where the ancient gods are not at all amused at the blasphemous conjurers. At the moment, I’m stuck in the middle of a draft about the taboos and misconceptions about addiction in society. That’s been fun, but I’m not sure what to write next in it. With all these ideas turning around in my brain, I also have the first draft of a sci-fi western set in an anarchist culture with mercenaries and dying robots.

As if that’s not enough to keep me busy for awhile, I also want to revise the sequel to “Iris”: “Alteration.” Plus, I plan on a total of nine books in that series. And I want to write more books set in The World in “Reps and Royals,” and I want to continue Colonel Arbeck’s story in a sequel to “Undoing Life.”

But all these must wait. Sadly, I’m not yet to the point of being able to write full time. Perhaps in a couple of years. In the meantime, I’ll have to discipline myself better in order to write more efficiently throughout the work week.

Do you have a mountain of ideas you’re working on conquering? I’d love to hear what you’re writing. Feel free to pass along any writing tips as well in the comments, or ask me any questions you have about writing. Thanks for reading! Have a blessed day!

–Amy Engle