Way Out West

Attractive young people break out into spontaneous, unstaged celebrations upon hearing about the new Markhat book.   

Attractive young people break out into spontaneous, unstaged celebrations upon hearing about the new Markhat book.   

Editor's Note: To read this entry in a large print Easy on the Eyes edition, click here.

WAY OUT WEST, the new Markhat book, has been accepted by Samhain Publishing, and will see release in early 2017 (there's a small chance that date may change to an earlier one). 

 Which means the Markhat Files series is now ten titles strong. Eleven, if you count the print-only compilation of the three novellas (The Markhat Files). 

Either way, it's a milestone. 

I've spent a lot of time with Markhat and Darla and the gang over the last several years. I've watched the characters and their world change. 

WAY OUT WEST will present the biggest changes to the series thus far. I've already revealed that the book is set on a steam locomotive, but that's all I'm saying right now.

I'd like to say thanks to everyone who's kept the Markhat series alive by buying the books. Ultimately, there is no better way to support any art than by buying it. Markhat would have died long ago had you people not clicked BUY, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

So what's next, now that WAY OUT WEST has found a home?

I plan to finish two novels this year. The new Mug and Meralda, of course, which has a working title of EVERY WIND OF CHANGE. And I've already started a new Markhat, entitled THE DEVIL'S HORN. 

Which sounds ambitious until you realize that just by churning out a thousand words a day, one can finish a rough draft of a full novel in about 80 days. Of course there's still a lot of work to be done even when the draft is complete, but even if you need three months of editing and honing, it's still entirely possible to write a book in six months.

The trick, of course, is to write a good book in six months.  

As I chug along with the Markhat books, I do keep wondering when I'll jump the shark. More importantly, I wonder if I'll realize what I've done before an editor has to spell out my failure in brutal, gruesome detail. 

Of course there have been authors who managed to write tens on books in a particular series without a fatal misstep. Rex Stout did it with -- what? 70 titles? -- in his brilliant Nero Wolfe series. Roger Zelazny's Amber books never hit rock bottom. I did get a bit bogged down at one point with Glen Cook's Black Company series, but he recovered in the next book and the end was one of those rare times when you can't even stand up for a while after reading the last page of the final book. 

So I have hope. And I'll keep turning books out. That little voice that whispers, the one that seeks to sow the seeds of doubt, that's one voice you've got to ignore.

So it's back to work for me. Take care, all, see you next week!