The new Mug and Meralda book is done.
This one will be called Every Wind of Change. It clocks in at 86,000 words, and I hope to release it in a month or two.
I'll be honest -- I wasn't sure I'd ever finish this book.
2017 was a horrific year on so many levels. There were times I just stared at the screen, unable to muster up a single word. Other times, I'd realize the words I had written were the wrong words, and my work for the evening consisted of nothing more than deleting the last thirty pages while cussing.
I abandoned the book a half dozen times, striking out on new tangents. But I always came back to it, because leaving Meralda and Mug stranded in limbo just felt wrong.
Slowly, the real story the book wanted to tell emerged. I'll tell you this much -- yes, it's an adventure story, set in place of wonders and terrors a quarter of a million miles from Meralda's beloved Royal Laboratory. But it's also the story of Meralda and her mother. A reader once asked me where Meralda's family was, and why they were never mentioned. Well, now you'll see.
It's still a light-hearted adventure, at least compared to the Markhat series. I hope young people will like it. But it's for adults too -- maybe adults who, like me, are weary of the shouting and the violence and the fear that confronts us daily.
So, after a few rounds of edits and the attendant hair-pulling and muttered cursing, I'll have a new book out shortly. Then it's back to Markhat. I have an ambitious plan to work on The Devil's Horn and the new Darla novel simultaneously. Regardless of how that works out, I should be releasing one of the Markhat books around Halloween.
The picture at the top of this post is the best image of Meralda I could create. She's everything I'm not, at times -- determined, undaunted, brave.
She's the hero I needed.
I'll keep everyone posted about release dates and such here. But for now, know that the gang is back together, and the fate of Tirlin once again hangs in the balance.
Thanks for your patience. Now it's back to work!