In the spirit of Brandon Sanderson, I’ve decided to do a yearly “what happened this last year and what are my plans for the future” post on my birthday. It will cover the projects that were published that preceding year and what I’m planning on doing moving forward. Now, Sanderson has the advantage of having some fun alliteration in his “State of the Sanderson” title. I’m not as lucky, so I’m going to call it “What’s Next for Nielsen.” Which is funny. At least to me. As this is the inaugural year, it will cover from July 2015 – September 2016, though the future will be from September to September.
July 2015 – September 2016
Number of published – 4 – Sands, Storms, Skies, & Resurgent Shadows
Number of total words written in either completed or partial drafts – 652,400
Number of contracts signed – 6
My first year as a published author was pretty intense. I wrote a lot (average of 1500 words a day, every day), did a lot of events, and pretty much worked myself into the ground. I’ve learned a lot about both the craft and the business side of writing, though I’ll always have more to learn. I’ve given presentations and taught classes, visited schools, and received fan mail. Some of it is still all pretty surreal.
Sept 2016 – Sept 2017
Upcoming works (already under contract):
• Twins – this is short story that’s part of the fully funded Kickstarter project. Expect to see it soon if you backed the project. The story is based in the world of Sands
• Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (The Official Movie Novelization) – this is a new thing for me, translating a visual medium into written form. It’s been fun. I’m deep in the revision process with my editor. In keeping with the origins of the movie franchise itself, there will be a Kickstarter for this project later this year. Watch for it
Upcoming Works (Not under contract, but slated for this next year):
• Wings for Christmas – A short story I’m going to submit to a Christmas anthology. “A fairy hunter learns the secret to catching fairies at Christmas time, but has to decide if its worth it or not.”
• Schrödinger’s Prodigy – A short story for an anthology of LDS authors. “Multiples universes collide and a 17-year-old prodigy is arrested for murder – or suicide. Can you really get charged for killing a copy of yourself?”
• Dristan’s War – YA Contemporary novel – first of a new trilogy. “Dristan Cole thinks he’s finally gotten in with the girl of his dreams when she invites – no begs – him to run away with her. Two weeks later, he finds himself in a world of ordinary superheroes he calls Phenoms, with powers ranging from being their own autonomous wifi signal, to having a hyper sensitive sense of taste. The girl he thought he knew can see the future, at least in part, and knows they can never be together, because she knows she’s going to die, but Dristan is determined to do whatever he can to prevent that, regardless of the consequences.
• Alloran (or “Of Moon and Earth”) – The title is a work in progress. Standalone Epic Fantasy novel (think doorstop size). “In a world where the governance of the land is divided by whether or not it’s night or day, Alloran learns he has been blessed of the moons to be one of the Lumenaria, the holy men who worship the three moons, rule the night, and control the only access to magic in the land. After being sold for a pittance to passing merchant, Alloran is discovered by the Lumenaria and starts a journey that will lead the country to both war and salvation, faith and despair, and change the very fabric of the magic that weaves lives together in his world.”
• Sisters (Sharani Series 4) – YA Fantasy series – This one will pick up where Skies left off, but after a 6 month time lapse. You’ll get to see the truth behind the religion and dig deep into Lhaurel’s past and the history of the nation as a whole. However, I’d like to finish either Alloran or Dristan’s War prior to getting to this one. Why? Well, I’ll talk about that later. Stay tuned.
Other Works (later than the next year but with no definitive timeframe)
• Successive Harmony Series Books 2-4 – I’ll get back to these once sales pick up a little. My publisher is loathe to sign a sequel with the sales being where they are. This is my favorite series and I really want it to do well. I’d love to come back to it, so spread the word, please.
• Flowered Addiction (really bad working title – I know) – Epic Fantasy Trilogy – Magic is contained within flowers in a society based loosely off ancient India. The consumption of the flowers is a double edged sword – it grants you magical abilities, but will eventually kill you.
• Killian’s Flight – Middle Grade Fantasy Series – a young boy is captured by pirates and learns about the magic of the world by accident. The pirates accept a commission to hunt down and stop another ship who is determined to destroy the only magic in the world, little glass orbs that contain the souls of baby dragons.
• Souls (Sharani Series Book 5) – this will happen after book 4. Sometime.
Several other things could happen during this timeframe, though this is my rough idea for the novel writing slate. I’m trying to slow down a little on the writing front since I’ve been pretty much going non-stop, sometimes juggling two or three projects at once, while also managing a day job. It’s possible – if the first Mythica novelization does well – I’ll be writing the other 4 in that movie series as well, though I’m not entirely sure at this point.
Why am I bouncing between projects when I have a two current series that are unfinished? Well, it goes back to how I think and the way I write novels. The fun part of writing – for me – is in developing new worlds, exploring new cultures, and peeling back the layers on new people (characters). That’s what keeps me entertained by the process. Writing sequels is fun because you can unveil more and more about both the world and the characters BUT the rush of new discovery is lessened in sequels. To keep myself sane and to sort of “cleanse my writing palate” I switch to new projects from time to time. It keeps me from getting bored with what I’m doing. So, I’m sorry I’m not working on the world or storyline you most prefer if I’m currently not doing so, but I promise you, when I do return to that series or storyline, it will be far better for me having spent time doing something else.
That’s it for the “What’s Next for Nielsen” this year. Year 1 was amazing. Here’s to an even better Year 2!