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National Novel Writing Month – Spectral Iron

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“Everyone’s favorite skeptical witch is back for her fourth foray in SPECTRAL IRON!”

Sheesh. I do find it hard to write marketing copy. I just had to stop, right there.

SO ANYWAY, National Novel Writing Month, 2012. My one, two, three, four, five, six … seventh, SEVENTH time writing 50,000 words of a new novel in the month of November. It’s quite the challenge, but it’s the second best thing I’ve ever done for my writing other than join the Write to the End group – more writing comes out of Nano than (almost) anything else.

How much writing, you ask? (Or maybe you don’t, but hey, it’s my blog post). Nano itself six times would be only three hundred thousand words, but it was the seed for seven hundred thousand words of text and four completed novels. The Nano’s I’ve done so far were:

  • DELIVERANCE – 2002 – 150K words – IN PROGRESS
    Seven hundred years after the Fall of Humanity, a rag-tag crew of a human spacecraft at the Frontier of space encounters a distress call from a ship owned by the aliens that took the Earth – and encounters one of the humans they left behind, who doesn’t seem to think Humanity fell after all … even though she barely looks human.
    Didn’t finish this one, even though I eventually got 150,000 words into it. Hope to get back to it someday. My story “Stranded” in the anthology of the same name is set in the same universe, with a YA version of the same setup – the protagonist of “Stranded” is actually the granddaughter of one of the protagonists of DELIVERANCE.
  • FROST MOON – 2007 – 100K words – DONE
    Dakota Frost, a magical tattoo artist who can bring her tattoos to life, is asked by the police to track a serial killer preying on the magically tattooed around the time of the full moon – and then she encounters a werewolf who wants a tattoo done before the full moon to control his impulses. Has she found the killer … or the next victim?
    Finished this one in 2009, published in 2010.
  • BLOOD ROCK – 2008 – 150K words – DONE
    Magical tattoo artist Dakota Frost returns, now fighting a plague of killer graffiti that is attacking vampires, werewolves and humans alike. As Dakota struggles with this new plague, she finds that fighting it threatens her relationship with her friends, custody over her new daughter—and ultimately, her life.
    Finished this one in 2010, published in 2011.
  • LIQUID FIRE – 2009 – 120K words – DONE
    Magical tattoo artist Dakota Frost returns, now struggling to keep her head above water in a magical world which threatens to consume her. A chance meeting on a plane leads her to befriend the beautiful fireweaver Jewel Graceling – but as Jewel increasingly comes under attack, can even Dakota save her?
    Finished this one in 2012, hope it to come out in 2013.
    There’s no better defender of the Liberated Territories of Victoriana than Jeremiah Willstone, and she’ll tell you that herself! But when her rich and powerful uncle calls down a monster from another world and escapes with it in a time machine, is even the stoutest defender of Liberation up to the challenge?
    Finished this one in 2012, hope it to come out in 2013.
  • HEX CODE – 2011 – 55K words – IN PROGRESS
    Cinnamon Frost is a street cat turned domestic – where by cat, we mean weretiger, and by domestic, we mean adopted. But can someone who grew up running the streets really learn to settle down in class? Even if they have her favorite thing in the world, math, there’s always English class – and if that’s not enough, someone may be trying to kill her.
    Still working on this one. Hope to finish it in 2013, have it come out in 2014.

Now it’s on to SPECTRAL IRON, book 4 in the Dakota Frost series. Pictured above are some of the books I’m reading to “feed my head” for the plot of the book, which involves magical tattoos, piercing, the fae, ghosts, three kinds of zombies, television, and the appropriate relationship of science to skepticism. From the site, here’s my blurb:

Dakota Frost is the best magical tattooist in the Southeast – but she’s not in the South anymore. Her new role on the Magical Security Council has taken her to the underbelly of San Francisco, and she’s got a camera crew dogging her every step as she’s trying to map the magical Edgeworld. But when she runs foul of the fae, and is forced to do them a favor, even one of the world’s most skilled skindancer may be in trouble.

Because if you don’t know how to kill a ghost, how can you track down his murderer?

You need to write 1666 words a day to succeed at Nano, and so far, so good. Halfway through my day, and more than halfway through today’s progress. I should easily catch up to where I should be (missed ~300 words yesterday because me and my wife decided to take a long walk and then crash after that, rather than me getting my late night writing run in).


But most of the day is ahead of me. Alright, enough procrastinating. Back to work!

-the Centaur