Beyond the GyreBeyond the Gyre will be out in paperback on July 28th.  This is the fourth and final book in the Song of the Arkafina series.  I’m pretty proud of the little stack of books I have on my bookshelf now.  Hopefully Wintermoon Ice and Summermoon Fire will join them some day.

short storiesI’ve never been much of a short fiction fan, either to read or write.  Usually I find short stories frustrating, because if an author does a good job with the writing I invariably want to read more.  And if the material isn’t strong enough for a longer work, well then why bother to write it in the first place?  So I’ve turned out very few short stories myself, and I’ve never investigated the techniques behind creating good ones.

Yet here I am, trying to write one that I can put on Manybooks.  The rationale behind this is to create an expanded market for my published works by giving away a series of short works.  These will be prequels, mostly.  I think.

So far I am enjoying the process.  I finished the first chapter today.  My biggest problem is trying to strike a balance between action and detail in this reduced format, because usually I like to do lots of scene-setting and description.  No time for that with only 20-25k words though.  But I have to admit, it’s pretty cool watching the word counter slide over so quickly!

Erotic shorts are the fastest-growing segment of the publishing industry today, so who knows what I might end up writing if I find I enjoy short stories after all…  🙂

Down to the last three chapters, and this is the build-up to the finish.  Only I’m having doubts now, that my exciting action chapter is exciting enough.  It seemed so, when I was writng the chapter synopsis, like five months ago.  But now I am not so sure.  So I have to sit down and reevaluate the arc of the story, and maybe add in another battle…

I hate it when this happens.

Not  helped by the fact I’ve had the flu all week, and haven’t been able to do much of anything other than try to keep warm through some truly horrible weather.  Now in New Zealand, at least the part I live in, there is no such thing as central heating, so staying warm isn’t as trivial as it sounds.

At least it isn’t going to snow today…

ist2_2831963-punch-cardThe progress bar for Summermoon Fire continues to inch over, and I finished chapter fourteen last night.  Unfortunately I didn’t get quite to the end of the allotted amount of story, so I might have to add a chapter to the end.  I’m aiming for 90-95k words.  My present publisher, Mushroom Ebooks, is evaluating the first book in this series, Wintermoon Ice, right now, but I don’t know if they will pick it up or not.

So the end is in sight, and I am really not sure where I am going after that.  Part of me says I have finished (or mostly finished) six books in the last four years, and maybe I should be taking a break?  I’d like to go back to school for awhile, and study a foreign language, or possibly update my job skills.  I have a minor in computer science, from the days when you input programs by punch cards.  I’d have to do practically a whole new degree to get up to speed on that, but it would be challenging.


I could start a new book, perhaps in a different genre.  I’m not tired of fantasy, exactly, but sometimes I think it’s too easy to get caught in the same old storyline ruts.  I’m wondering about doing a sweeping historical fiction, a la Leon Uris, about some heretofore unvisited portion of human events.  Doing the research would be a lot of fun.


I also like the idea of writing geographical fiction, where the setting becomes the main character and people come and go across the landscape.  I don’t know if anyone has ever done such a book, and if they haven’t, I can guess why.  Most people would probably want to read a satisfying story arc about other people, not a mountain or river.  But still, I find the idea appealing, maybe because I have a degree in geography.

I’d have to publish either of the other two books under a different name, so as not to confuse the people who associate Suzanne Francis (which isn’t my real name, BTW) with fantasy.

Decisions, decisions…

The paperback!

My book, Heart of Hythea, is up on Amazon in the paperback edition!   🙂

If any of you lovely people have read it, or even if you haven’t and want to be nice, could you visit the page and leave a review?  I’ll be ever so grateful…

I have just finished some site renovations, and added a couple of new tabs.  Rather than having all the books of Song of the Arkafina listed, I have grouped their pages under a new tab.  I have also added a short information page “about me” and added a new picture, of me playing my hurdy gurdy.

I haven’t had this instrument out of the box in awhile, and hopefully this picture will encourage me to do so.  It is  difficult to play, and quite rare, so I haven’t been able to find anyone here to give me lessons.  The sound is unique, and seems to elicit strong emotion–you either love it or hate it!

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank