Harbingers Cover Reveal And Progress Report

EllisMorning_Harbingers_cover

You guys! Sword and Starship Book 2: Harbingers is making progress toward being a thing you can read! :D

This beautiful cover, just like the last one, was done for me by Chris Howard. Here’s the full-wrap version that will be used to make the paperback cover:

EllisMorning_Harbingers_fullwrap

And here’s the current draft of the back cover blurb, something I’ll  continue to chisel at right up until publication:

The Quest Continues To Stop A Killer “Curse!”

Dame Jessamine is a woman of science in a galaxy rife with superstition. The knight errant with a spaceship for a steed continues her mission for truth within the barony of Nidaros!

A mysterious crop-withering blight spreads through the barony’s soil. The court magicians have blamed two siblings of spawning the crisis through witchcraft. Convinced of their innocence, Jessamine has rescued and now secretly harbors Verahl Naustvik aboard her spaceship. Meanwhile, his sister Thordia flees to the Harbinger, a crashed space station from the distant and more enlightened past.

Approaching the Harbinger is an act punishable by death, but Jessamine won’t let that stand in the way of a second rescue. Thordia, and the Harbinger’s surviving technological secrets, may be Nidaros’ only hope against the blight. Jessamine prepares to embark—only to be betrayed and set upon by vengeful court magicians.

Now, one wrong word or gesture will lead to deadly charges of witchcraft. Jessamine must protect the Naustviks and brave the Harbinger, all while striking a balance between ritual and reason. If she can’t maintain the peace long enough to discover a cure for the blight, the entire barony will starve—unless its far-off masters decide to “restore order” with military action first!

The book is still a draft right now, but it’s a complete draft of about 136K words, which is 50% longer than the final draft of Blood’s Force. Yeah, a lot happens in this one!

As of this week, I’ve submitted the draft to my editor. In the next few weeks and months, she’ll do her final read-through and provide comments for improvement. I’ll then need a couple of months to make one or two more editing passes on my own, both for incorporating her comments and applying some spit-polish. Once that’s done, I’ll be ready to publish! My goal is to finish before the end of 2016, but that’s not a hard deadline. If it takes a little longer to put forth the best version of the book possible, then so be it.

I’ll continue to keep you posted as things happen! Trust me, I’m as excited for this release as you are! :)


The Grand Experiment: What I’ve Learned From 2 Years of Self-Employment

amesjump

Two years? Really? Wow, that flew.

Thanks to hedonic adaptation, everything becomes mundane after a while, even kicking the 9-5 rat race routine to the curb. But this is still the best mundane ever. No regrets. I haven’t spent a weekend in fear of Monday morning for two whole years now! I love what I do, even when I get temporarily sick of certain tasks (editing, barf).

What’s New

My husband and I recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, which is also a “Whoa, already?” sort of experience. We’re quite pleased with how far we’ve progressed in a decade. Transitioning to self-employment has been a welcome part of that progress.

When there haven’t been holidays, birthdays, and weddings to attend, I’ve had my head down working on Book 2 of the Sword and Starship series, entitled Harbingers. I’m very close to handing the manuscript to my editor for her final read, and very excited over that fact!

While she does her review, I’ll work on outlining Book 3. Unlike Harbingers, which was a mostly mature draft when it broke off to be its own thing, Book 3 will have to be built up from nothing. I hope to leverage all I’ve learned about novel writing to get from start to finish in a reasonable amount of time.

Also, a local book club is going to read my book later this year, and wants me to attend their discussion meeting! This’ll be the first time I speak about Blood’s Force in a public forum, which makes me a little nervous, but it’s exciting, too. Since I have Harbingers on the brain, I hope I don’t give away any spoilers by accident!

What Hasn’t Changed

Setting realistic deadlines, accepting setbacks, and treating myself with compassion. I had a bad bout with the flu a few months ago, and had to accept the fact that I was no good for anything for a solid 2+ weeks. Several projects got derailed. I feared I’d never get my brain back, but sure enough, it returned. And I’m still right around where I hoped I’d be regarding my progress on Harbingers.

Still, every now and then, I run into a novel situation where the old nagging voice inside my head takes over. “You should’ve done better, you idiot!” All I can do is recognize when it happens, and remind myself to be at least as kind and understanding with myself as I would be toward someone else in the same position.

Income Breakdown

Again, just for the hell of it. Money was never the goal of this transition.

  • The Daily WTF. I still make about $300-400/month as an editor.
  • Royalties. Hey, I got a published book now! Let’s watch the money roll in …! Or not? ;) I’ve earned a little over $250 total from all sources since Blood’s Force came out in September last year. Sales were higher when the book came out, and when I did things like giveaways and the blog tour. Now, about 1 ebook a month is where things stand. I expect it to jump again when Harbingers comes out, and I’m back to active promotion.

Hope you’ve been doing well in all your endeavors! And I hope to blog more often as interesting stuff happens! :)