On starting new adventures . . .

I’m full.

Like, still full. There are still leftovers in my fridge, and I’m desperate to scarf them down before they go bad.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was hard to go back to work today, but I’m still basking in that family time and the opportunity to reflect on things I’m grateful for: my first year of unclehood, my career, my health, my family, and all of you who have taken part of my storyteller journey!

It’s hard to believe I first signed with Blaze Publishing almost two years ago. THE HUMMINGBIRD is hovering in those terrifying proofing stages that scream “Last chance to find typos!” It’s always a little scary, because I’m reaching that point of no return where I’ll have a full trilogy in the world and there will be no more revisions! My thoughts are a beautiful jumble right now, but I’ll share more with you when February 20 gets closer 🙂

Because this post isn’t about THE HUMMINGBIRD. This is about the infamous question heard by every high school senior, soon-to-be college grad, and author who is about to release the last book of his trilogy and graduate to new waters: “What’s next?”

I can’t tell you for certain what I’m going to publish next or when it’s going to happen, but I can tell you that I recently finished a middle grade project and will start hacking away at it in December to make it readable for my trusted beta team!!!

“WHAT?” you say. “Tell me MORE!”

Mkay.

So for over a year I’ve referred to this only as “the dragon project,” teasing it on social media and barrel-rolling away with no further explanation of what this project entailed. I can tell you that I put the first bricks down just a little before NaNoWriMo 2016, walked away for a bit, then spent the past year straying on and off the path while I worked on HUMMINGBIRD. There were weeks where I was on fire and wrote ALL the words every single day. There were months at a time where I didn’t even look at it, but I kept a storyboard on my desk and printed some artwork that inspired me. I thought of it often, but I was afraid to stray from my comfortable desk in Enzo’s mind, where I sat for three years. But no matter how much time I spent away from the dragons, something always called me back and begged me to finish. After working hard during NaNo 2017, I finally have all the framework down! Or, to use my metaphor from my last post, all the sand is in my box now. Soon I can start shaping the castle!

I hesitate to say too much because there are so many factors that can change when I start revising, and then again when I submit it for publication, but I’ll give you this:

  • There will be echoes of THE ORDER OF THE BELL. I promise you won’t feel left out or in the dark if you haven’t read the trilogy, but if you have, you might see a couple names you recognize. Like my beloved MCU, these books share a universe!
  • The main characters will be brand new: a brother and sister, and their uncle!
  • The weirdest question I had to Google for this project was, “Do krakens have tonsils?”
  • I got to draw (very loosely) from my Italian Studies degree again! The events in this story follow a legend that exists in the background of this particular world . . . a kind of bedtime story they share in Florindale. (I know, right? Bed time stories for fairy tale characters?) That mythical figure is mentioned in THE ORDER OF THE BELL at least once per book, but you probably never thought twice about it! (Hint: Leaf through a tarot deck!)

I should confess that the title changes about once a month . . . for a while it was THE FINCH IN THE DRAGON’S DEN. Then I decided I wanted it to be THE MONSTERS OF KESTERFALL, but I was like, nah. Then it was FLAME AND FORTUNE, FIRE AND FORTUNE, and so many other variations of the phrase. But when I decided that I wanted this to be MG, and when I nailed down my characters, things fell into place. Disclaimer: It could always change again, but until the powers that be deem that necessary, I’m so excited to let you in on the working title:

IMG_3449

So what do you think?!

There isn’t much more to say right now, but I look forward to taking the red pen to my manuscript and going to work! It’s not even beta-able or halfway readable yet, but I look forward to sharing it with my circle and giving you all updates from time to time. *claps hands with glee*

In the meantime, I hope you’re getting excited about THE HUMMINGBIRD. It’ll be here soon! Keep your eyes on the skies!

Enjoy your holiday season, and stay warm out there.

-Jacob

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