Now that the crazy-busy swirl of activity surrounding the release of The Curse Servant has subsided (a little bit), I wanted to check in and update you on the progress of things in general.
First of all, my latest manuscript, Yea Though I Walk, is now on submission. We shall see how that goes. I’m hoping it goes well, because I’m very proud of that novel. It’s my most ambitious yet!
In the meantime, I’m up to my elbows in Book 3 of the Dark Choir series, The Curse Mandate. Due to some unexpected cowboy axe-hacking, I’m back down to 35,000 words. But things are progressing well, and it’s causing me to ruminate.
Some of the early reviews from The Curse Servant have echoed the following desires:
– to see more magical system at work… theory, rules, etc.
– to learn more about the Presidium… its history, its daily workings, etc.
– to watch Dorian delve deeper into the dark underbelly of his world.
After reviewing the past 35K words of the current manuscript, I’m happy to report that each of these line items has already been covered! We’re digging into the real mechanics of the magical system Dorian operates, well, more or less outside of. And for the Presidium/Illuminati/Trilateral Commission fans, this book is ALL about the Presidium!
The Dark Choir series is intended to be a six-book series comprised of two “trilogies”: The Curse Trilogy outlining Dorian Lake’s descent into darkness, with the Dark Trilogy following his struggle to claw his way back into the light. Thus, as The Curse Mandate marks his arrival to the low point of the series, the tone is growing darker and darker. Also, the snarky tone Dorian so exemplified during the first two books, I’ve noticed, has begun to mature. That’s to be expected, of course, when a character demonstrates long-term development. When all six books are wrapped up, I’m hoping the reader will look back on Curse Merchant and say “Aw, remember when Dorian used to shoot his mouth off like that?”
The Curse Mandate is much broader in scope… lots more world building (such as it is in urban fantasy), with the lens focused out to a wider geography. Also, it’s proving to share a bit of DNA with the likes of Brad Meltzer and his American histori-spiracy subgenre.
In real life, I’m in the middle of two book signing events in Washington, DC. I’m hoping to add another in the Frederick, MD area shortly afterwards. In August I’ll be appearing on two panels during the Mid-Atlantic Fiction Writer’s Institute Conference in Hagerstown. And, of course, this year’s Frederick Beer Week frivolity will absorb a tremendous amount of my attention when it hits the ground. For the record, I’ll be brewing a Ginger Lime Wheat beer for the closing festival at Stillpoint Farm. That could go very well, or very… the other direction.
I hope to see one or two hundred of you at one of my signings soon… keep reading!
Hello, just finished “Curse Servant” and so have read the two books in 3 days. I enjoyed the “world” you built and look forward to my exploration of that world in future books. After reading your “post”, I confess to NOT seeing Dorian’s travails as getting “darker” but he seems to be looking out for his karma. However, I’m a reader more for the action as opposed to motivating factors behind the characters actions.
Thanks for reading, Steve! It’s easy for me to “read into” some of the nods I’m giving currently to books yet to come. I felt that Curse Servant had more straight horror convention to it, as opposed to Merchant which walked the line with “noir”, and Mandate (the upcoming book 3) which is more of a Brad Meltzer political thriller.