I've been asked by a reader (thanks, George!) to provide an update on my various writing projects, and how things look over the coming year or so. Let me begin by quoting from an article I wrote over at Mad Genius Club last week.
Last November , I suffered a heart attack (my second). It was relatively mild compared to my first, back in 2009, but it was still disconcerting (to put it mildly!) I was put on additional medications, on top of the multiple prescriptions I already take each day to deal with the consequences of a permanently disabling spinal injury I suffered in 2004. The combination of old and new medications did a number on my ability to write creatively. I could write bits and pieces, but I simply couldn’t wrap my mind about novel-length creativity. Since I’m dependent on book income to help make ends meet, that wasn’t a good place to be.
I managed to produce a couple of short stories, and started three or four novels, but couldn’t get anything really productive done. However, this month my medications went “back to normal” (for various and sundry definitions of normal). That’s unleashed my mental creativity again – and brought with it some new problems. I can now write at my formerly accustomed pace once more, but my mind is so full of ideas and concepts that I can’t get them all down at once. I find myself writing one book, and simultaneously getting frustrated because I’m not working on the three other book ideas in my head!
I suppose I should be grateful I’m able to write again, and leave it at that. Right now, I have half a dozen partly finished projects that are demanding my attention. I’m concentrating on one, in the hope of getting it out soon. My hopes for 2021 (God, health and US politics permitting) include up to 5 novels and 2 short stories, plus an omnibus edition of three earlier books, lightly revised to improve style and grammar. It’ll be a very tall order to get all of them out, but I’ll do my best.
There's more at the link.
I've got a big slate of projects to tackle, and I'm figuring out the best way to do it right now. In no particular order, here are the books I'm working on, and their current completion level. The reason there are so many is because, as explained above, I found I couldn't cudgel my brain to actually complete a project. I therefore tackled anything that came to mind, held on to it for as long as I could maintain focus, then moved to something else. Now that I'm no longer plagued by too many medications, I hope to concentrate on each in turn and finish them all, one by one.
- A military science fiction novel, as yet untitled, set in a different universe to my Maxwell, Cochrane and Laredo series. I asked myself what space combat might be like in a universe with no faster-than-light travel, no artificial gravity, and planets colonized using sub-light-speed spaceships, brain downloads and suspended animation. Colonized planets would have no contact with Earth or other colonies except through laser messaging that might take decades or centuries to reach its destination, and just as long for a reply to be received. (30% complete.)
- The sixth volume in my Maxwell series, working title "Venom Strike". Steve Maxwell teams up with a retired Warrant Officer from the Bureau of Security, now operating as a private detective, to recover pirate loot from a distant star. (30% complete.)
- A Viking fantasy saga, of which I've already published three excerpts on this blog (see here, here and here). It describes a young man who comes of age as a warrior, only to find himself recruited into a secret society that tries to keep an ancient evil under control and protect humanity from it. (55% complete.)
- The third and final volume of the Laredo War trilogy, titled "Knife to the Hilt". It's long overdue, but I simply wasn't able to figure out where it would go and how it would conclude the series. I've been working out plot alternatives and structure, and I think I've got the outline worked out. (0% complete in manuscript, but ready to start work.)
- The fifth volume in my Western series, the Ames Archives. It doesn't have a title yet. It will describe how Walt's land higher up the Wet Mountain Valley in Colorado is tied into the silver mines at Rosita, and conflict between him and those who want to take it over. He'll become embroiled in the growing railroad war in Colorado between the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Denver & Rio Grande lines. His horse ranch will expand into Eastern markets, and some of his friends will develop their own ventures. There'll be lots happening, and interesting developments. (40% complete.)
- I've lightly revised the first three volumes of the Maxwell series, "Take the Star Road, "Ride the Rising Tide" and "Adapt and Overcome", with a view to publishing them in an omnibus edition. The plots haven't changed at all - I've just cleaned up the use of too many exclamation marks, tightened a few sentences here and there, and generally refined them. They were my first books, and my inexperience showed. I'll reissue them as individual books in a revised edition: those who already own the e-books will get updated versions from Amazon. I'll add a new short story to the omnibus edition, as a bonus feature. (Those of you who are Kindle Unlimited subscribers will be able to read it for free - just borrow the omnibus edition on KU.) (80% complete.)
- I'm working on at least one more short story, about which I'll have more to say during the course of 2021.
I'll need your help to get the word out there to prospective readers that Peter Grant's books are back. It's hard to bounce back in the market when your visibility has been lowered by inactivity. If you can mention my books on your own blogs or social media accounts, I'll be very grateful to you all. That'll help me make up for the loss of income during a too-quiet 2020, and keep bread and butter on the table next year.
Thanks for your patience while I fought my health battles. Here's to a more prolific 2021!