Now that the virtual ink on Dragon Red is dry, I’m working on outlining the next book in the series, Dragon Green. I’ve seen some blog/forum posts warning about burning out, but I honestly feel like I need to keep up this pace if I’m going to have any kind of success. And I also feel like this is not a ridiculous pace. I’m basically writing 3,000 words/day for about three to four weeks, not including weekends. Next is a few days of editing. Then I take a few days to decompress and handle some of the release/marketing issues surrounding the book. That gives me a 50K novel every 5-6 weeks, which is a nice turnaround, and so far I’m not feeling spent. That’s after 3 books. We’ll see how I’m doing after 10 or 20.
Anyway, I’m feeling much better in the planning stages of this book than I was with Dragon Red. All I knew in that book was that I wanted to start out with my hero wandering the desert with amnesia, and that I wanted the romance to be one of forbidden love, two shifters of very different types who had to work together to accomplish their goals and ended up falling in love because of it. The details were very murky, and the writing didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked.
But the planning for Dragon Green is going much better. I introduced the hero, Vander Tanglevine, in the last book. He’s a very laid-back type living in and ruling his remote jungle paradise. But in the first chapter he’s going to get his call to action when a merfolk oracle tells him he needs to get off his butt, retrieve an ancient weapon hidden away on Earth, and get ready to fight the strongest enemy he could imagine. The heroine is going to be Brynn, an archaeologist from Earth whose professional and social life are in shambles. She’s obsessed with finding hard evidence for an alternate world full of shapeshifters. She’s gathered bits and pieces, but not enough to convince anyone, and her colleagues think she’s a loon. Her boyfriend even thinks she might be crazy and when we first meet her, he dumps her.
The first act is basically going to involve Vander’s journey to earth and meeting Brynn. She’s going to need to decide whether she wants to help him or finally get the proof she needs to legitimate her claims. Oh, and of course they’re going to start falling for each other. But Vander is going to have to return to Xandakar. He’s supposed to marry Nevra Nightshadow, after all. And apparently there’s a dark scourge looming on the horizon. So he leaves Brynn behind.
Act II is going to involve Vander being seduced and imprisoned by a powerful siren. Brynn will then travel to Xandakar, and she’ll be the only one who can try to save him. Meanwhile, there are going to be dolphin shifters, telepathic jewelry, and all sorts of other stuff. I’m still working out the rough details. The fine ones will come with writing. But I’m feeling good.
I’m trying to temper my expectations of the Dragon Red release. I’ve got more ARC readers and a growing mailing list. I also have a much firmer grasp of which promos I want to use. But I still don’t want to get my hopes too high. My modest goal at this point is just to exceed the results of those with Dragon Blue. Once I have at least two more books in the series done, I’m going to look into making the first book permafree. I’m probably also going to revamp all the covers so there’s a branded, consistent look.
I feel like things are moving along nicely. Time will tell.