May is here! Where’s my next book?

It’s coming, it’s coming!

Last time we checked in, a month ago, I’d just finished chapters I to VI of The Shortcut, although the name is still under consideration. The Long Way Home appeals to me as a name too, as it is also the title of one of my favourite songs by Faithless, which has never failed to inspire me.

Part 1 of the story, chapters I to VI, totalled 19,394 words. I’m done with part 2 now (chapters VII to XII), and as I guessed it was not as big – 12,267 words, not a great showing for a month’s work (adding in a few thousand words of book reviews makes it a bit more respectable), for a running total of 36,147 words for this “short story”.

Next up I’ll get to work on chapters XIII to XVIII that will make up part 3 like I said before, and the epilogue, chapter XIX, will be part 4. I’ve still got a lot of text before we get to The First Feast levels of word count (49,000 words), so it won’t be too giant.

Even more exciting, though, is that a new idea has just impressed itself on me for the fourth story in the up-coming collection. Courtesy of Mrs. Hatboy. It’s going to be a fun one. Not sure which, if any, parts I will post on the blog. I’m quite pleased with these chapters VII to XII, so maybe I’ll post them.

Lots of other stuff going on. Mostly work and family stuff, which is all very interesting but not much to build a blog post on. Everyone’s well. We’re about to sit down to a Vappu (May Day / Labour Day) dinner and a weekend of relaxing and drinking sima (mead). Next week includes Doctor Strange 2 and a movie-and-hot-wings night. Gonna be grand.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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13 Responses to May is here! Where’s my next book?

  1. Damon Holston says:

    But how many pages is it?

    • Hatboy says:

      Heh, good to see you again! And this is an interesting question because there’s a divide between writers (who operate with all sorts of formats and media and use the word count because pages are untrustworthy) and readers (who want to know what sort of a block of paper they’re gonna be dealing with). Apparently e-books haven’t bridged this divide yet, but for the SPSFC I’ve taken more and more to dealing with word counts because I have all the books on Calibre and arranged by word count.

      I don’t even know how many pages this will be because my drafts and my finals are in completely different templates, fonts and sizes. And furthermore I don’t combine the four stories into one document until final draft either. But Eejit, my smallest novel, is about 70,000 words. So, so far, this one story in the four-story collection is about half the size of Eejit all on its own. In the draft doc, I think it’s about 80 or 90 pages?

      Or this was a facetious question and I completely deadpanned it.

  2. Damon Holston says:

    You nailed it at the end!I
    I have been following along in my spare time, but have not commented much because I want to do more than say ” Hey I read it, thanks”. Starting Wednesday I have been home with my first bout of the Rona and have had more time to spend on following up. The Nair interview was quite good, I have really liked the first two books and look forward to checking out the third. I
    Hope your Vappu is/was good.

    • Hatboy says:

      Hah! Well played.

      You’re ahead of me on Nair’s books, I’m ashamed to say. I still haven’t had time to get past the first one, although I did read a few pages of the second and was immediately hooked. I had to switch to another book for semi-professional reasons but I’ll be back.

      Shit, sucks about the ‘rona. Hope you get a mild one. Hearing a lot of cases over in Australia too. Here in Finland it seems like we’re well and truly moved to “living with it”. Masks are no longer mandatory and severity seems to have tailed off.

      • Damon Holston says:

        Like I said, I have been following along and saw the meme you put in the comments about word count v. pages.

        In regards to the ‘rona, it has been frustratingly mild (and by that I mean that I had a mild fever for part of a night and no symptoms since then, but I am still testing positive as of this morning and can’t go anywhere even though it has been five days with no issues). It is worse for my wife who was supposed to go visit her uncle in Portland this weekend, but now can’t due to the stupid virus. I feel comfortable enough to at least get outside for walks or bike rides though and plan on doing some of that until 10 days of isolation is up and I can actually go into public indoor spaces without fear of infecting others. Cases are up somewhat here, but they seem to be of the milder variety as you say. While I knew I was likely to get ‘rona eventually it is still annoying that I was able to make it this long without getting it.

        In the meantime I am going to watch the last two episodes of Moonknight, finish the second D&D book and start on something else, maybe reread some Faulkner.


      • Hatboy says:

        Ahhh yes.

        That had completely vanished from my memory! It’s been a long spring.

        Real bummer about the cancelled trips and all, glad your case was mild though!

  3. casparvanemdeboas says:

    Well said! You are a productive fellow. I salute you!

    Enjoy your holidays!

  4. dreameling says:

    When’s your next book launch party at BÄ? is what I want to know.

    Also, you’re orders of magnitude more prolific than, say, Martin or Rothfuss, so no worries there. (Not that I’m at all complaining about either; I’m happy to wait for the former, and I haven’t even started the latter.)

    • Hatboy says:

      I appreciate people still reminding me of this, and (the Targaryen history book notwithstanding) the fact that the entirety of my publishing career has taken place in the gap between A Song of Ice and Fire books.

      Next release party will be just after I finish the fourth story in this collection, although I really would like to do the second Always Night book at the same time it just isn’t happening right now. So after the summer if I had to guess, but after the summer we are full steam ahead on Mrs. Hatboy’s long delayed 40th Birthday Party so I don’t know how much energy and funds we will have for any other parties before the late autumn. Who knows.

      • dreameling says:

        40th FTW! Obviously that supercedes other parties.

        Huh. Our wives are getting kinda old, aren’t they? (Mine turned 40 last year.)

        And they don’t read these comments, do they?

      • Hatboy says:

        Oh, Mrs. Hatboy has turned 40 at least twice now, but the pandemic canned the party.

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