A year ago, I published the fourth book of The Year of the Dragon, “The Rising Tide“, with a solemn promise to myself and my readers that the book five would be released “soon“.
“Soon” is a relative term. On one hand, some authors churn out novels every other quarter. On the other, GRRM takes five years to finish one of his door-stoppers 😉 Writing and publishing a book is never a fast and easy job, especially since I had to start writing Chrysanthemum Seal from scratch. Still, I didn’t expect it to take a full year, so I feel like I should explain exactly what took us at the Flying Squid so long to get things done.
May 2013 – we spent most of it preparing the Bundle Edition of the first four books, as well as the paperbacks.
June-October 2013 – The long awaited Great Round-Britain Journey in our little blue campervan, Orca! The plan was for me to start writing Book Five on the journey, but the reality got the better of us. There was simply too much to do, between driving around, sight-seeing and writing the blog. By the time we got back, all I had were just a few pages of the very rough draft and some plot ideas.
October-December 2013 – The first really intensive period of writing, including a try at NaNoWriMo in November. I got up to some sixty thousand words by December, at which point I started burning out a bit. The cover was ready in December.
February-March 2014 – I go through three more drafts and revisions. The book changes a lot over this period – the end result is hardly recognizable from what I envisaged back in October! I take part in two collaborative processes, the NovoPulp anthology and the Steamlit Extravaganza.
April 2014 – The final (5th) draft is ready for Easter. A week later, it’s proof-read and formatted. As I write this post, the Amazon-ready mobi file is in the final read-through. With a projected upload to KDP on Wednesday, we’re still good for the May 1st release. The paperback will follow soon after.
What next? Well, I’ve already started writing Book Six. I can’t decide on the title yet, it’s going to be either “Sparrow Strike” or something with Fire… the title has to be dynamic, as we’re finally getting to see (spoiler!) some real war in Yamato. The cover is commissioned for late autumn. I do hope this one will be faster, although, once again, we’re planning a big campervan trip this year, starting May…