Book Plans – They Are Ever Changing

One of the questions I get asked most often are what am I working on? Or, a slight variation, what’s coming?

Here’s the latest direction which could of course, change!  Now that I can look back over five years, I can tell you  the “plan” is evolving. When Big Mother 40 was published, I laid out a plan to Fireship Press that included five more books – Cherubs 2, Render Harmless, The Kurile Wedge Incident, Moscow Airlift and Flight of the Pawnee. Along the way, I added Manpads and Forgotten to the Josh Haman series.

The next book to go to a publisher will be Moscow Airlift. A few months ago, I thought the next book would be The Kurile Wedge Incident but I just finished a read through and, to be honest, I’m not happy with it. More about why in another blog.

So what’s changed? First, over the past few months, I’ve decided to pull Manpads out of the Josh Haman series and I’m debating as to whether or not to do the same with Flight of the Pawnee. Why? As it is currently written, the The Kurile Wedge Incident has the a perfect ending to the series. At the moment, I don’t think I’ll change the book’s end. Both Manpads and Flight of the Pawnee could, with a little rework, become a new series with a new set of characters.

Then, there are the other manuscripts that I’ve written or at least thought through the plots – Retribution, Hannenkam, The Assam Draggin’ and Strawberry 9. The first draft of Retribution is done, Hannenkam is sort of outlined and I’ve written what I call the “kernels” for the other two. Kernels are one or two paragraphs that describe the plot. Think of a kernel as the first pass at the back cover blurb.

What’s driving this thought process is that the plot lines for Flight of the Pawnee, Manpads, The Assam Draggin’ and Strawberry 9 could fit together in a nice new series. It would take a little work to take Josh Haman out of the two that are written, but the other two are ‘clean sheets of paper.’ Right now, Retribution is a stand-alone book and I love it, but am not sure what I am going to do with it at the moment.

Where am I headed? In the short term, the most likely route is sending Moscow Airlift to a publisher and, assuming that it is accepted, dive into Manpads with an eye on turning it into the first book in a new series. If it works, great, if not it stays as a Josh Haman book.

Then, I take another run at The Kurile Wedge Incident with the idea that it either the last or next to last Josh Haman book. If it is next to last book, great!  If I decide it will be the last, I’m also good with that. Once I figure that out, I’ll have some direction for Flight of the Pawnee. The others will have to wait! So, that’s where we are.

Marc Liebman

April, 2017

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