Archive | November 2013

Wild Card progress

It’s Remembrance Sunday, and we have the most glorious, rare sunny day in Britain. This morning, I captured the sun flare effect I want for the cover of Wild Card, and watched raptors circling in a wispy cloud that twisted and floated up almost as quickly as they did.


So much for the distractions. I am on a 2,000 words per day drive to complete Wild Card before the end of November, and I’m on course, even with the editing tasks and capturing elements for the cover.

I’ve spoken before about the structure of novels, analyzing the novel into 4 quarters. The word count so far is :

Quarter 1: 42k
Quarter 2: 44k
Quarter 3: 54k

And Quarter 4 looks to be about 30-35k. Whether the disparity in sizes makes the novel feel unbalanced, I’ll wait to hear from my editor, Lauren Sweet. She has the 3 completed quarters and has fed back on the first 2. All that remains of the editing tasks she’s recommended in the first half is a re-write of Chapter 7. (She did make me rewrite David’s trial in HT 4 times!).

At 170+k words, Wild Card will be a fair bit longer than Hidden Trump (135k) and Sleight of Hand (120k). It is also more complex, in that the Were and Adepts have their plots unfolding in parallel, whereas it was mainly Athanate with a touch of Were before. There are developments in the Athanate world. There’s a rogue Were on the loose. The remnants of Matlal’s House remain in Denver. There are also the FBI, former army colleagues, Amber’s own Athanate House, her family, her PI company, her mental state, her paranormal progress, her commitments and relationships. And some really cool cars.

I’ve had some times when I’ve felt uncertain on this novel; more so than on SoH, HT and RD. The way Q3 just grew and grew in October worried me. Now, I’m on the downhill slope and picking up confidence again.


I’ve had some requests dating back to the release of SoH suggesting I should organize Audiobook versions, and Harper from Germany just gave me a nudge on the website last week. I know Debra Dunbar has just started this process for her Imp series, so I have someone I can question!

Yup, once Wild Card is out, I will start the process. The biggest hurdle is the voice. I want someone who sounds a bit like Amber sounds in my head. She has a mid-western accent. Her voice is pitched low contralto. Her timbre could be described as rough or slightly breathy – it doesn’t take long as a Sergeant yelling at soldiers to give you that slightly hoarse sound. I’m open to suggestions, and I’ll organize some links to voice actors that I think might be okay. I’ll expect voting on this!


Bian’s Tale, book 1. This series’ books will be much shorter than Amber’s. When I first thought of Bian’s Tale, I was worried that it doesn’t fall into the Urban Fantasy guidelines, at least not at the start. I guess it’s more horror, since it is neither urban, nor contemporary. I now think this might be a marketing advantage, and may attract people from other genres…

I will update you again when I have Lauren’s response on Part 3, so in a week or so.