Now that the new Mug and Meralda book is out, I've been looking at other projects.
First up is completing the new Markhat book, The Devil's Horn. I'm 25 thousand words into it, so that's the obvious choice for top of the 'finish me' pile.
Then there's the Darla novel, A Gun For Sorcerer. Ever wonder what Darla gets up to while Markhat is out on his cases? Sure, she designs clothes and keeps the books at her dress shop. She also runs a marina right off the Brown River, and occasionally shoots bad guys in the face without warning. But that's hardly all she does, because if you've been reading the books, you know she isn't a stranger to magic herself. Too, she's not the only member of the Markhat household keeping secrets...
I've also written the first chapter of a book I'll call Ghost Queen. In this book, a ghost escapes her magical bottle just as her prison burns. She has no memory of who she was, and no knowledge of how to be a ghost. Accompanied by a sarcastic kitchen imp named Pickles, who gleefully confesses she started the fire, the ghost sets out to discover her past. Pickles and the ghost quickly learn that they've been locked away in the tower for a long time. The world they knew is ashes and dust -- but it's never too late for a bit of vengeance, is it?
And of course there's the fourth Mug and Meralda book. I won't give any clues as to what it's about yet. But there are some hints in the end of the new book, Every Wind of Change.
So I'll be busy. As a way to relax but also stay plugged into the writing, I'm planning on showing some Darla and Markhat images in the next few weeks, using the same digital modeling software that brought Meralda to life.
OBLIGATORY BEGGING FOR REVIEWS SECTION
If you've bought Every Wind of Change, thank you! I do hope you enjoyed it. If you did (or even if you didn't), might I drop to my knees and beg for a quick review on Amazon?
Even a quick "I liked it" helps. To those of you who left a review, thanks! Amazon promotes books based in part on the number of reviews. I know it's a bit of a pain, but I'm also not above asking, obviously.
Same thing goes for the Markhat Files books. I lost quite a few reviews after Samhain shut down and the books were re-issued. The ways of Amazon are mysterious, and not always in a good way.
Pestering mode off.
EQUALLY OBLIGATORY MERALDA IMAGE
Here's a (very rough) image of Meralda working in the new Void Corps laboratory. Smudges are hard to do; that's grease on her face, although it looks a bit like she's smoking a cigar.
I think perhaps Meralda's willingness to get dirty is why people identify with her character. She's a bit of an unlikely heroine, in that she doesn't carve enemies up with swords or blast away with spells. She's more Doctor (from Doctor Who) than action hero. All she really wants is to be left alone to tinker in her laboratory. Saving the world just gets in the way of her work.
She still wants to thank you all for joining her on her adventures. There are more to come!