Mages in Manhattan – Progress Report

by | Dec 29, 2016 | Posts by Phil

I have been busy with the latest novel set in the Tokyo Supernatural universe. From my expected 80,000 words, the novel expanded to 110,000 words. During multiple edits, I found several sections that required background details. There is an art to adding these details and avoiding the infamous ‘data dump;’ pages of exposition that explain background.

I had wanted to publish before Christmas this year. However, a bout of pneumonia knocked my schedule back by two weeks. Unfortunately, this caused me to miss the pre-Christmas book buying rush.

To keep interest in the series, and at the request of my beta reader, I wrote a short story for Christmas on the Tokyo Supernatural website. Due to Amazon’s Kindle rules about duplicate content, I won’t be able to publish the story as a stand-alone. I will probably add it as a bonus chapter to the new Mages novel, or as a prequel to the next novel.

One of the issues with Urban Fantasy novels is that the author has to give a credible explanation as to why, if magic exists, it hasn’t taken over the world. My explanation is that different factions are continuously vying for power, effectively keeping each other at the same influence level. Therefore, even immensely powerful magicians can be taken down by a witches’ coven; or a werewolf pack can be defeated by a sufficiently powerful magician.

Then there’s the fact that, in my universe, mundane humans tend to re-arrange their memories when confronted with magic. If you have ever read ‘eye witness’ accounts you know that this is a real phenomenon.

Finally, I make a point of the fact that immensely powerful entities on the demi-god level (the kitsune queen, the Spirit of Liberty, etc.) like the world the way it is and work to keep the status quo.

These factors ensure that my world remains hidden to all but a select few.

Since I had missed my self-imposed deadline, I took a step back and looked for ways to make my book even better. I decided it was time to get professional editing. I checked recommendations on the Kboards Writer’s Café forum and selected two editors that were highly recommended. Both of these editors offered sample edits, so I gave them some samples of work I had published online. In both cases, they found numerous errors. Damn. I was happy that my copy was noted to be relatively clean, but disheartened to see the number of errors. At least the errors were in the areas of consistency, and not from a poor grasp of grammar and spelling.

Why two editors? No, I’m not going to pay twice for editing the same material. I picked two editors because good editors are booked out months ahead. So one editor is booked for early January to revise my Mages novel. The second editor is booked for the end of January to revise a Paranormal Romance I am writing under a different pen name. I find that booking an editor gives an extra push to get the damn thing written.

As noted in my post on the Tokyo Supernatural website, I have two more Tokyo Supernatural novels plotted out and partially written. Add in one more and I should get four novels published in 2017. Compared to some of the more productive writers, four novels a year is a slow schedule. So I will be doing more novels under other pen names. Only time will tell if I can keep up this aggressive schedule.

As this is my last post of 2016, I want to make some resolutions for 2017:

  • Publish four Tokyo Supernatural books
  • Publish four Paranormal Romance books
  • Track all expenses and income from my ebook sales and report on them here

By December, 2017, we’ll see how well I did with my resolutions.