What's Next: My Current Works in Progress

Deciding what I'm going to work on next is always hard. It's difficult to know which project I will become passionate about, and as I start on this new career path, I don't have any idea which of my many ideas might be 'the one' to vault me to certain commercial success. 

But here's my current slate of projects.

Space Opera based on The Tempest, tentatively entitled Seed of Sycorax
Status: Beta Draft
Estimated publication date: Fall 2016 (if I go the independent route)

Years ago I attended the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah, with my wife's family. I'd never been a Shakespeare fan, probably due to poor teaching of his plays in high school. Since then, I've become a huge fan. As I watched an excellent production of The Tempest, the story, themes and characters grabbed my imagination. That night I imagined a space opera re-telling of the story.

I finished a draft of this early this year and sent it to readers, but it needed a lot of work. I stayed too close to Shakespeare's plot, and I needed to make it my own. My current manuscript focuses on three characters: Caliban, Ariel and Claribel (who's only mentioned in passing in the play). The plot is very different, and besides Caliban, I've changed the characters in ways to make them almost unrecognizable.

But what has remained are the themes of the play and the basic setting and outline. Fans of the play will recognize a few scenes and themes, but reading the play won't be necessary to enjoy the story. It takes place over several decades on three different planets. It's a story about family, learning about oneself, and the moral choices which can erode our souls.

My Immortal, a short story
Status: Currently crafting the Alpha draft
Estimated publication date: No idea. If I like the finished product, I may try to sell it in 2016

I have not written any short fiction since college so I thought I'd take a break between novel drafts (Seed of Sycorax and the sequel to Peak Crosser). This story came from one of my favorite songs, My Immortal by the band Evanescence. Set in a world much like our own, my main character is a woman psychiatrist and the host of a popular, syndicated self-help TV show. She must come to grips when the orderly word she thought she knew is replaced by a supernatural one where death does not mean what she thinks it does. 

The sequel to my upcoming novel Peak Crosser, the second in an epic fantasy trilogy
Status: Alpha draft outline complete. Next step is a first draft
Estimated publication date: Hard to say. I hope to have it published sometime in 2017. The first book will be published in March 2016.

I recently finished the outline for this book and I'm excited to dive into. I've worked on three different manuscripts over the past four years, but this will be my first sequel. A sequel is exciting and scary. I can't wait to share a broader view of this world with readers. 

A young adult sci-fi thriller tentatively entitled Moments Before
Status: New rewrite outline complete after deciding to rework the manuscript.
Estimated publication date: No idea

I've put this project on the shelf for the time being. I wrote a first draft last fall while attending The Writing Excuses Retreat, but readers gave very mixed feedback, so I've created a new outline to address concerns with the plot and character development. I'm not sure when I will return to this one. If Peak Crosser and Seed of Sycorax are successful, I may get pulled into sequels. The story is about a girl named Holly who moves to Southwestern Kansas and is abducted to a war-torn 2087 where the United States she knows is barely recognizable after years of war, disease and disaster. After being pulled from a life she hates, she wants nothing more than to return to its familiarity.