Progress report for Cool Hand and other projects

Cool Hand

Okay. The first half went to my editor, Lauren Sweet, and came back with a sort of B+. She liked most of the major scenes, the general setup and she thought the twists were cool. There are three scenes she really didn’t like and I’m going to have to make them rock before I pass the first half to the wider readership of beta reader reaction.

While Lauren’s been doing that, I’ve been working on the second half. I have five major scenes which are done, five that are pretty much done and the remainder are in better than skeleton form. There are some thoughts I’ve had about another little twist or two and I have a character who leaped out onto the page while I wasn’t concentrating—do I keep her?

All in all, the whole book should be in final draft form during November, and the first half will have been mostly copy-edited. With that situation, I am reasonably sure that Cool Hand will be published by Christmas. It’ll be closer to Sleight of Hand in size than the others. I’m estimating 120k words.

I did promise myself last year that I wouldn’t be working with Lauren right up until the morning she got on her flight for her vacation. I hope I keep to that.

The book does wrap up some long running loose ends and set some new ones scampering off…  🙂

The Biting Cold

I also committed to doing a short story for an Urban Fantasy anthology to be released at Christmas. My story is called The Biting Cold. This is in its final draft and with Lauren (who likes it). I’m just waiting for a detailed report before sharing it with my co-authors.

What’s the deal on the anthology? There are six of us:

Jennifer Bock (JT Bock)
Debra Dunbar
Susan Illene
JC Mells
Connie Suttle
And me

We are each writing a short story to be included. The anthology will be published in time for Christmas and is (very loosely) Christmas themed. The only way you get to read the anthology is to send any one of us an email request, and we’ll send the ebook back to you.

Of course we then have your email, and of course we will not abuse it, or sell it to others or market it in any way like that. We will send you an email alert when any of us has a release. 🙂

I wouldn’t have joined this group if I didn’t believe all of us are worthwhile indie writers with the sort of books I think you’d all enjoy. I highly recommend them and I know many of you are already fans of theirs.

What’s my short story about?

Detroit in winter.
A city in the grip of decay.
A legal system struggling to deliver justice.
An amnesiac woman who is dying.
Psychiatrist Dr. Amanda Lloyd is focused on living long enough to give her expert testimony in court and put a vicious criminal away. The defense are fighting for a postponement she can’t allow, and questioning her memory problems in an effort to discredit her.
She can’t spare the time for the patient who claims to be a vampire.
Unless what he offers her is exactly what she needs…

And it’s as close as I’m ever going to get to PNR! Lol.

The lines are open folks.

Hidden Trump in German

This is due out this month! I will post separately about this.

Sleight of Hand in audio

This is also due out this month! Also, another post to cover this.


I’ve got the main image for the cover of Cool Hand. I just need to pick a background that depicts (little spoiler) New Mexico.

My daughter and son are going to rework all the covers for Bite Back. Expect something very different next year.

Sales are okay…

The only ‘marketing’ I’ve done is to keep Die verborgene Hand down at 0.99 Euros to try and make the release of book 2 that much more of a splash.

My Seville trip post. I know, I know, I’ve been so busy. However… the fanatic watchers have now published a slew of photographs, and since I was there, some of them are of me! I will put this together with an anecdote or two when I next take a bit of a writing break and I’ll post it here.

Those writing breaks… Yeah, guys, I’m like everyone else; I have to do tax returns and challenge crazy insurance quotes and all the other drek that comes along. The rest of the time, every day, I get somewhere between 1k and 4k words down into the book.

Recommendations for reading: Another post. Christmas time (ish). I hope.

Bian’s Tale. Looks like I’ll pick it up next year now. I have read some more out-of-print books with fascinating detail about Saigon in that time, but the main thing I’ll be working on when I get back to it is getting that story sharper.

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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at

16 responses to “Progress report for Cool Hand and other projects”

  1. Sarah L says :

    Very exciting projects coming up! I am very much looking forward to your releases, especially the Christmas anthology. I heard about this from Susan Illene and think both your stories sound amazing. Just wondering is your story set in Amber’s world or is it totally different? Good luck with the editing!

  2. Harper Andree says :

    Great, can’t wait for the audio release! And the anthology … knew Susan Ilene already and start reading the others to be up to date

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Harper. It’s my first audio, so I’m a bit nervous about it – everything from the schedule to the way it all hangs together.
      When I write I write for the reader. I read passages aloud to myself to check the sounds and the ‘beat’, but everything is in context from the page – I know who’s talking and I know when Amber is actually speaking vs when she’s thinking in a conversational way (the ‘mode’). Kimberly has done a tremendous amount to make sure that there are audible hints as to who’s speaking and what mode the text is in.
      Difficult to explain, but I’ll be eager to hear feedback when it comes out.

  3. janine orlando says :


    I would like to request a copy of your Christmas anthology PLEASE???? I truly enjoy your books and this may help with the withdrawal until CH is out. Thank you so much.

    Janine Orlando

  4. Bernd says :

    Love to have the anthology. E pub if posable for iBooks otherwise will need to figure out how to side load the kindle app. Know how to in iBooks. Sounds great on the CH stuff. If you want me to beta read great but it would be my first time. Have had ARC books but this would be much earlier in than anything I have read.

  5. Mark Henwick says :

    Bernd raises a good point – please state your preferred reading device. Our default will be Kindle, but we can supply in ePub for iBooks.

    Cool Hand first half is back and edits are mainly done and a few fine-tunes are needed and I’m about half way through the second half and and and I’ll post separately soon. 🙂

    It still looks good for Cool Hand to be out by Christmas.

    Thanks Leiah!

  6. Harper Andree says :

    Ooops, think I’ve forgotten to add that I’d like to request a copy too (Kindle. What else?) and I’ve got a further question about the audio: will it be an audible audiobooks release, including whispersync?

  7. Paul Goodrich says :


    Would like a copy as well. Kindle is fine, thanks.

  8. Richard says :

    like everyone else, I’d like to pre-order my copy as well. also I don’t usually go in for audible novels, but I’m really curious as to how its going to turn out so I will probable give it a shot as well.

    kindle or pdf

  9. Mark Henwick says :

    Hi Harper, Paul, Richard

    Thank you, and you’re all in the anthology list now.

    Wispersync – I haven’t had much time to check this out. It’s my current understanding that as long as the audio is the full and unabridged version of the book, (it is) that ACX can automatically link them, so it should be possible.

    I’m reviewing the audio this week.

  10. Mark says :

    FictFact says Cool Hand is out!?!?! I got VERY excited, then figured it was a mistake somewhere after I could not find it…………………………………….?

  11. vauils says :

    I love your stuff, Mark! It stands out in the midst of all the “standard” vampire/werewolf slush, due to the unique approach you took to it, and reads a lot like a John Ringo novel. I’m trying to wait patiently for the next novel, but it’s rough. 🙂

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Christopher! Working as hard as I can on Cool Hand. Had a slight setback this week when the editor pointed out three key scenes which were too weak. Will post again this weekend, but I’m still aiming for Christmas release.

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