progress report

The Year Gone, The Year Ahead

2015 is dead. Long live 2015!

From a writing perspective, I’ll remember it most as the year I put the finishing touches on The Dreambetween Symphony with the publication of the novels Exile Ballad and Requiem as well as the companion volume Preludes & Elegies. (Note: there is one final bow to tie on the series, but you’ll have to read on to find out what that might be…)

My other big project was the overhaul of the interior formatting and covers for my entire catalog. This meant brand new covers for all four titles in the Symphony and for my NuLo books, Seven and Quinboy (the latter being a novelette also on the list of stories published this year), as well as some gentle tweaking of the covers for The Singles Collection short story bundles.

 

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The covers for Seven, before and after...

 
 

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During the editing process for the final installments of the Symphony, I got a surprise that altered my production schedule for the rest of the year (and beyond!). Several threads merged into what I thought was the seed of a short story or novelette, which I duly banged out to the tune of 12,000 words or so. But the story always felt bigger, so I played with expanding what I had, and suddenly found myself with a new novel on my hands. Two months later, I put the finishing touches on the first draft of The Pike, a near-future, dystopian-ish, cyberpunk novel. Given how genre-distinct this book is from my existing “worlds” of the Dreambetween and NuLo, I’m not sure if I’ll publish it under a pen name or keep it in the quiver until I have a more established author brand. Of course, as is my wont, I’ve already got a rough idea for a sequel that’s begging for attention…

And that brings us to the project that closed out my writing year. November 9 was my version of NaNoWriMo, wherein I tossed all the story ideas that would have distracted me during the drafting of The Pike into a folder and used November to put the nine most interesting ideas into story form. Written, edited, and published during that month, the nine stories cover a range of genres and (...predictably, I hear you say...) caused yet another round of adjustments to my 2016 production schedule.

How so? Well, If you enjoyed the final story in that collection, a weird western entitled Lamia’s Daughter, you’ll be pleased to know that I’m in the process of expanding that setting to encompass and entire series. Tentatively titled Gunmage, the series will follow the adventures of a young man in an alternate-Earth version of the Wild West, replete with eldritch guns, fey magic, and demons. While I have several characters and storylines I’d like to explore, I’m still not sure if the series will be published as novellas or full novels. I’ll have a better idea once I begin drafting the thing in the next few months.

But before I get there I need to put the icing The Dreambetween Symphony cake. This final flourish will take the form of an omnibus ebook edition of the series that includes all three novels and the companion volume. That’s the entirety of the Symphony in one digital bundle that will be less expensive than buying the individual books. But I’m going to offer an even better deal to my mailing list (sign up here) in the form of a special launch sale. I’ll just tease that here at the end of the post and trust you to do the right (and obvious) thing…

I look forward to delivering more words to you soon!

Back to Work

St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork

June was always going to be slow. The combination of the opening stages of the World Cup and taking part in a school trip to Ireland meant that I intentionally kept my production schedule light for June. 

That said, I haven't left things entirely fallow. At the beginning of the month, I wrapped up the beta draft of Song of the Severed Lord, the first novel in my forthcoming series, The Dreambetween Symphony (more news about this series soon), and sent it out to my beta readers.

(Want to be part of my Beta Brigade? Inquire within!)

And while I was in Ireland, I did some developmental editing work on the next of my short story Singles, A Fragile Circle & Other Tales, which will feature five horror/dark fantasy stories. I'm in the final stages of editing and proofing now, so that should be headed out to my proofreaders in the next week and should hit the digital shelves late this month or in the first week of August. As always, I'll be previewing cover designs and letting readers vote on the winner over on my Facebook page.

Now that our bags have finally arrived from Ireland after a baggage-sorting failure in London (only a week late, British Airways -- cheers!), it's time to get back to cranking out the words in earnest. 

Stay tuned...

All Aboard the April Express

March was a bit quiet around here. Between the weather, illness, and other unforeseen circumstances, some delays were inevitably tossed into the production schedule. Disappointing, to say the least, but it does make for a busy April as I try to get caught back up.

So what does that mean to you, dear reader? Well...

New Short Stories

I promised the second of my short story/novella collections by the end of the month, but illnesses and over-bookings on the editorial front put the kibosh on that plan. That said, I'm happy to announce that it looks like The Rune Painter & Other Tales will hit Amazon by this weekend. 

"Just Amazon?" I hear you grumble...

Next Up: World Domination

Don't fret! I've got some irons in the expansion fire as well. Seven is Amazon-exclusive until April 7, but I will roll out to Kobo, Nook, and iBooks (as well as other, smaller booksellers though Smashwords) when that deal expires. Expanded availability will probably come in fits and starts as some of the vendors are easier to work with and format for than others, so keep checking this site or my Facebook page (you do follow me there, right?) for updates.

Hark! What's that? A muttering from the wings about print?

Print is In Progress

I'm in the process of wending my way through the complexities of CreateSpace in order to have Seven available in trade paperback. I can't yet guarantee when the process will be complete as I'm not sure how many rounds of corrections I'll need to go through, but as I receive and examine proof copies, I'll be sure to post updates (and perhaps some pictures and video...if you're nice!).

"But what about new words?"

Bit demanding, aren't you? Anyway...

Last Verse of Song

I'm in the home stretch on the first draft of my second novel, tentatively titled Song of the Severed Lord. This will be the first book of a trilogy about the Dreambetween, a consensual dream-space shared by the members of an extended family and spanning centuries, perhaps millennia, of that family's sordid history. I'll still need to do a few rounds of revisions and get the manuscript in the hands of beta readers and editors before I'm ready to publish, but I'm planning on a late summer release at this point.

"Anything else?"

Well, now that you mention it, this site will be undergoing a bit of a facelift and some significant rejiggering beneath the hood in the weeks ahead. Some links might be broken in the process, but I hope to have a more useable, useful, and interesting site on the other side. Or at least that's the plan.

So stay tuned. Fingers crossed that the April Express chugs along as planned rather than jumping the tracks, plunging down a ravine, and exploding into fiery bits of broken ambition.

Either way, it should prove entertaining...

Progress Report & Sneak Peaks

Two months and two releases into the grand, self-pub adventure, let's take stock of where things stand and what's coming next in the world(s) of M.S. Hund...

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This is a long game. That's what everybody's who's been in this boat and lived to tell the tale has to say about it. And it's what I tell myself. I'm pleased with how things have been going both in reader response and in sales thus far, but the real thrill of wider exposure that I'm banking on is probably years away.

And won't get here if I don't keep plugging away.

So I'm pleased to announce first that I'm 20,000 words into the first draft of my second novel, tentatively titled Song of the Severed Lord. I'm expecting this one to be longer than Seven, though not by much. Trust me, the grand epics are on the horizon, but the stories take as long as they take to tell, and this one feels like taking around 80-90,000 words.

Again, this is tentative, but I've worked out a rough draft of the blurb for the novel as well...

Lily Hammond is a sickly child who has never been allowed to dream. Her father, a physician and sleep researcher, has not only prevented her dreaming, but has discouraged her every instinct towards fantasy and imagination, especially when they concern her missing mother.

She’s about to find out why.

Following a mysterious and compelling song into the depths of her subconscious, Lily is plunged into a tale that spans over 200 years across the worlds of both Waking and Dreaming, in the process unveiling not only the dark history of the man who would rule the Dreaming realm but what he had to do with the disappearance of her mother.

And what he plans to do with her…

Thoughts?

Coming soon to a Kindle app/device near you!

Coming soon to a Kindle app/device near you!

I'm also happy to share the final version of the cover for the forthcoming The Rune Painter & Other Tales, the second installment of short stories in my Singles Collection. It was a close-run thing, but in the end, your votes picked cover #6 as the winner, and the more refined version is shown here.

The Rune Painter & Other Tales will feature three short stories of dark fantasy, featuring mist-dwelling energy demons, witches, hooded and veiled huntsmen, murders both intentional and accidental, and boats blessed with the blood and souls of the departed. It will launch at 99¢ in the next couple of weeks, so watch this space, my Facebook page, or sign up for my mailing list if any of that piques your interest and you don't want to miss the release.

Finally, I wanted to remind readers that Seven: The Haunted Girl of NuLo is still on sale through Amazon's Countdown Deals program. You've still got the rest of today to save 50% and the next two days to save 25% before it returns to full price on Thursday.

Thank you to everybody who has bought the book to this point or who is helping to spread the word, and I promise to have new words (and new worlds!) for you soon...