Writing goal for the day: Add another 1000 words to The Third Floor 2.

Writing total: 1008 words, bringing the book to 3020 words in the first 3 days.

Not bad. My goal for the first week is to get the prologue written. That’s what I’m still in the middle of, but I will definitely finish it this week and when I get back to the book in three weeks, I’ll be starting chapter one and the main part of the plot. But first I have to finish the prologue.

No worries, everything is on track.

Also, yesterday I had to do research, image searching “guest room décor.”

Today’s writing goal: hit 2000 words on The Third Floor 2.

Final total: 2012 words. Goal met.

I had trouble getting these words out, and honestly considered quitting for the day when I was only halfway there. When I went down to get a new cup of coffee, the kitchen floor was soaked. I had the tap running at a slow drizzle because it’s supposed to get down to 4 degrees in the next 24 hours and I didn’t want the pipes to freeze, and somehow all the water backed up into the dishwasher and started leaking out. No idea how or why, but I turned on the dishwasher and it all drained away immediately, so that’s good?

But this roadblock almost made me pack it in for the day and do something else. But I was halfway there and am I really the kind of writer, or do I want to be the kind of writer, who lets a stupid thing like that keep me from reaching my daily writing goal?

Of course not. So I finished the days words and added another 12 with 2 minutes to spare before my lunch is ready.

Today’s writing goal: Start writing The Third Floor 2 (at least 1000 words).

Finished count for the day: 1028 words.

I met my goal, so that’s a good day of writing.

And I like the opening, which I was nervous about because I feel like the legacy of this book looms larger than it should. When I wrote the first book, I just wanted to capture some of the creepy stuff that had happened to me when I used to live in that house. I didn’t know when I wrote it, or when I self published it, that it was going to sell quite as well at it did. Of course I hoped for it, but we hope for it with every title we publish, and I have a LOT of titles out there now, and none have even come close to what The Third Floor sold.

So, yeah, it feels like there’s just a LITTLE bit of pressure on this one to do a great job, more pressure than if I were writing a follow up to anything else.

And I think today I started it right. It’s a solid opening and gives me many directions I could go while also laying the groundwork for the direction it’s GOING to go, which I already knew when I started today. So it all worked out.

WHOLE lot of writing-related work going on here the past two weeks. I made a ton of notes on the plot for The Witches of Green Lake last week, and this week I switched over to the adaptation of the second movie in Caleb Straus’s It’s Over trilogy, “The Storybook”. Mostly this week was spent re-familiarizing myself with the story, first reading the script, then watching the movie. Next time I rotate back to this project, I’ll start the actual adapting of the script to prose.

But first, next week. Next week I start the WRITING, not the plotting, not the note-taking or character-sketching, but the writing of The Third Floor 2: The Lonely Man.

I’m excited, anxious and terrified all at once. I love the story for this one, I love the characters and the world, and I think this could be my best horror novel. If I don’t mess it up. But no pressure, right?

Fingers crossed.

Today marks day one of work on The Witches of Green Lake.  Technically I guess it would be day two, since I wrote the opening scene months ago.

For now I’m just making notes on the plot, figuring out where the characters are in their lives, where in the timeline things are taking place.  The transition from Werewolves of Green Lake to Vampires of Green Lake was the next day (or maybe that same day, I actually can’t remember), but the transition to this one is going to be a bit more time.  I think six months have passed. Maybe more, maybe less, but it’s definitely not the next day.

I’m expanding the character base with this one, as I did in the last one, too, going from focusing strictly on David in book one to David and his cousin in book two.  This book will have even more main characters, or at least the secondary characters will have more spotlight time.

Plus, I’m also figuring out how to incorporate what few details I had about The Ghosts of Green Lake, which was originally going to be the third book before I decided I needed to do Witches instead and just mix what little bit of plot I had from Ghosts in with it.  It’s going to work out better this way in the end.

But I digress.  Today’s focus was on plotting The Witches of Green Lake.  Tomorrow I’ll do some more plotting and by this weekend I expect to have the entire plot sorted and ready for me to start the writing … on February 11th.

For the past good long while, my Saturdays have been spent not doing a lot of specific work.  Maybe catching up on emails or edits when I needed to, but I never felt really productive on Saturdays.  Now, I don’t get every Saturday off–not many of them, in fact–but for this year I’m making a new Saturday plan.  If I have it off, I’ll do a movie review and a blog post for the Midwest Creativity Coaching website.  If I have to work on Saturday, I’ll just do the blog post.  Sunday is still set aside for my newsletter and plans with my kids.

It’s late Saturday night as I write this, so the newsletter is still to come, but I did get my review and blog post done today.  And you can read them here:

Movie review: MOTHER’S DAY MASSACRE

Blog post: WHEN SETTING YOUR GOALS, REMEMBER TO BE SPECIFIC

Next week I start work on the next Monsters of Green Lake book: THE WITCHES OF GREEN LAKE.

Today was a very productive writing day. No new WORDS, necessarily, but forward progress on TWO projects.

First I did some work on the bonus material for the upcoming INVASION AGENTS YEAR ONE OMNIBUS, completing two pages of never-before-seen stuff. Then I did some research into Sufism for the Band of Gypsies sequel, BOLD AS LOVE.

For the first Band of Gypsies book, Dave and I just swapped back and forth on the first draft, adding to the story until we couldn’t think of anything else, then we sent what we had to the other and they added some until they were stuck and sent it back.

For the second book we’re trying a different approach. The plot is Dave’s, he wrote the outline a few years ago, and I’ll be taking that outline and writing the first draft. Once I’m done with that, I’ll send it to Dave to edit and rewrite as necessary.

Yesterday I had a good call with members of the former Paranormal St. Joe group, Jeannie and her sister Tracy. I took a lot of notes and I think I’ve got a solid enough base to start putting together the characters for the book that is going to require a paranormal investigation group. You’ll see. So thanks so much to Jeannie and Tracy. I will definitely be coming back with more questions as I get into the writing of that book.

 

If you find yourself with some downtime in a waiting room or getting your oil changed or something, try a Horror Single to pass the time (just click on a cover for more info):

   

Today I set aside the Third Floor 2 plot and picked up another. Today is day one of work on the next book in the Band of Gypsies series of novellas, originally titled “God of Thunder”, but I think, given the themes inside, will eventually be called, “Bold as Love.” Also, it keeps with the Jimi Hendrix theme.

In fact, I’d like to come up with a new title for the first book, just called BAND OF GYPSIES, as I’d like to make BoG the series title, like STAR WARS. But there’s time for the rebranding and whatnot later. We don’t even have a second book written yet.

Anyway, so today I read through the beats, refreshing myself on them and putting myself into the headspace of this is what I’m writing now, as opposed to several years ago when I first got them and this was still a project in the distant future.

Today I broke the synopsis up into sections and right now I have 10. So 10 scenes. That should make a decent-sized novella.

Tomorrow I’ll have to let it rest, though, as I have a phone interview with a local paranormal investigation group to do research on a different story. Then I’ll get back to Gypsies on Wednesday.

Today I start reading:

 

WhiteSpace: Season One

by DAVID W. WRIGHT & SEAN PLATT

 

SOMETHING IS WRONG IN HAMILTON ISLAND

The Puget Sound bedroom community seems like the perfect place — beautiful homes with white picket fences, a thriving tech sector, and one of the best school systems in the state.

On September 1, everything changes when a teacher walks into his classroom and does the unthinkable.

YOU ARE BEING WATCHED

An addict attempts to raise her dead sister’s daughter, but how can she raise a child when her sanity seems to be slipping away? And what secrets does her own childhood hold about events happening now?

The wife of a killer cannot imagine why her husband snapped — until she finds something her husband hid in their house. And that discovery could cost her everything.

A student tries to recover from the loss of his friends when someone reaches out to him promising answers. Then he finds the things under his skin. Things that make him question everything.

An actor returns home to find out that his powerful family has been lying to him. A family with dark secrets and darker pasts. When someone close to him goes missing, he brings in an outsider, an outsider haunted by tragedy that might just be repeating itself.

NOTHING IS WHAT IT SEEMS

As the survivors of September 1 attempt to put their lives back together, a dark conspiracy unfolds of missing people, dark experiments, voices in static, and something that nobody will see coming.

TRUST NOBODY

WhiteSpace is a character-driven, mysterious, creepy, paranoid, sci-fi thriller that would be right at home with such TV greats like LOST, The X-Files, and Fringe.

The Caterpillar (Horror Singles Book 4)

It was only supposed to be temporary, a place to stay when he returned home, just until he got back on his feet. Then he woke up to find his cousin and her husband gone, vanished in the night. But that was only the start. What they left behind was so much worse.

On the B-Side, in “Blue Moon Story”, one cop is still trying to find the man who murdered his wife. He’s about to learn the truth of what really tore his wife to pieces that night might be closer than he ever thought.

Maybe my least favorite part of writing is research. And yet it’s a part that is so important and necessary when the book you’re about to start writing contains things you know nothing about. Like paranormal investigation. I don’t know anything about it, other than what I’ve seen on shows like “Paranormal State”, and I’m not entirely convinced those things are as legit as they claim.

So today I had to do some research on paranormal investigators, including emailing these guys in hopes of finding someone I can ask a bunch of questions. It says the team was started in 2008, but I have no idea if it’s still around; I emailed them because they’re local to my area. With any luck, they are still around and I can ask them anything I need to know and, hopefully, their answers may even open new avenues of the novel’s plot, new twists and possibilities I wouldn’t have thought of before.

We’ll see.

While it didn’t feel like I got a lot done today, I think I did anyway because it was all important stuff.

First I spent some time compiling and formatting the file for the Invasion Agents Year One Omnibus, including some extras that haven’t appeared in any of the issues before. Then I did some research for The Third Floor 2. I can’t say what kind of research just yet, I don’t want to give anything away 2 days into plotting the book, but it’s all going to be necessary to help flesh out the characters and make the writing of the book easier.

Tomorrow will be more of the same. I’ll do some more work on those extra pages for the Omnibus, then get back to the research.

Meanwhile, I’m currently reading, or going to be reading:

   

   

 

First day of 2019 and I’m two days into plotting out the next novel, a sequel to The Third Floor. Finally. Back in 2013 when the book was selling, people said I needed to write a sequel, but at the time I didn’t have a story for what happened next. Since then I’ve written two short stories, “In the Presence of Loneliness” which is a newsletter exclusive you can get for free HERE by signing up for my free weekly newsletter, and “Problems and Bigger Ones”.

With those stories in place as a base, I’ve come up with what I think is an excellent follow up and for the first time in years I’m excited to write a sequel to this book.

I only have 569 words of the plot written, and it’s mostly me talking to myself, sorting out details and the direction and tone of the story, but I’m glad I decided to try to iron out some of the details beforehand as opposed to just writing and hoping I got somewhere interesting. I have faith I could have written a good book that way too, but I’m much happier with the direction the plot is going when I give myself time to talk it out with myself.

Taking all these threads from the original novel and the two short stories and tying them together into one larger whole is an amazing experience and just reminds me to have faith in the process, because when I sat down yesterday to start plotting, I wanted to do anything else BUT start plotting this book. I’d worked up the idea of it so much in my head, I feared anything I wrote was going to be a disaster. And I don’t think it’s too much to say there’s a bit of pressure on this one to be good. At last count, I probably sold over 50,000 copies of The Third Floor, so yes I want this one to do as well, or close to. So a substandard follow up won’t do.

But then I did get started and the words and the ideas came and I feel very confident now that The Third Floor 2 is going to be a great fucking horror novel.

Deadly Class Deluxe Edition Volume 1: Noise Noise Noise

Collecting the first three arcs of RICK REMENDER and WES CRAIG’s dark, violent and twistedly humorous story of a group of damaged teens enrolled in a secret high school, training to become the world’s greatest assassins. Bursting at the seams with sketches, concept art and other extras, this oversized 8×12” hardcover is the ultimate way to experience the 1980s underground.

Collecting DEADLY CLASS #1-16.

Invasion Agents Annual: Resurrection and Faith

You think you know the Invasion Agents? So far we’ve only seen one corner of their world. There’s more to this universe than simple Capital City, Missouri. The Invasion Agents Annual #1 tells a story located in another part of the world, not far away, in Black Foot, Kansas.

What appears to be a simple case of arson leads to demon possession and mass murder in the span of a few hours, and that’s only the beginning.

There’s a new hero in town, one with a familiar name, and he’s on a mission. First, how can he learn to control his situation in the wake of a whole new revelation in time to be of assistance?

It’s chaos in Kansas as demons destroy, atrocities abound, and the fate of the world lies in the hands of one hero who has no idea what he’s doing.

Saga Book Two: Deluxe Edition

At long last, it’s finally time for the second hardcover collection of SAGA, the New York Times best-selling series praised by everyone from Alan Moore to Lin-Manuel Miranda! Created by the multiple Eisner Award-winning team of artist FIONA STAPLES (Mystery Society, North 40, Archie Comics) and writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (THE PRIVATE EYE, PAPER GIRLS, WE STAND ON GUARD), SAGA BOOK TWO continues the action-packed education of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war. Collecting 18 issues of the smash-hit comic, this massive edition features a striking original cover from Fiona Staples, as well as a brand-new gallery of exclusive, never-before-seen SAGA artwork from legendary creators including CLIFF CHIANG, PIA GUERRA, FAITH ERIN HICKS, KARL KERSCHL, JASON LATOUR, SEAN GORDON MURPHY, STEVE SKROCE, and MORE!

Rat Queens Vol. 4: High Fantasies

currThe Queens are back! Palisade is still a rat-infested hell hole, and Violet, Hannah, Dee, Betty, and the brand-new Queen, Braga are the only hope of saving it! It’s been a long time since they’ve done a good slaughter, so join them as they get back to the basics of killing monsters and drinking away the profits! This is a fresh, hilarious new take on the RAT QUEENS with new artist OWEN GIENI! Collects RAT QUEENS, VOL. 2 #1-5

Rat Queens Vol. 2: Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth

This booze-soaked second volume of RAT QUEENS reveals a growing menace within the very walls of Palisade. And while Dee may have run from her past, the bloated, blood-feasting sky god N’rygoth never really lets his children stray too far. 

Collects RAT QUEENS #6-10.

Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery

Collects RAT QUEENS #1-5

Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit. It’s also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!