I spent about twelve hours yesterday finishing the Family of Fang and Claw.
For some value of “Finished.” It’s more accurate to call it “Done ‘Ish.” All the stories are drafted, most have already gone through several revisions, and I know the order they go in and what needs to be fixed for continuity now that I have all the details of the ending. I’ve tried to balance the silly, the surreal, and the scream-worthy in a way that will enhance your reading experience. If it were a sculpture, it would be at the point where it is very clear exactly what it is supposed to be, but there are a few extra bits that need to be chiseled off and a couple of spots to polish to bring it to life.
I have a little under three weeks to get that work done.
It’s just shy of 100,000 words, but with front-matter and end-matter inserted it will probably be a hair over that. For those who live by pages rather than word count, if it were a paper-back novel (and I will probably make it one next year when I have the time) it would be over 400 pages. That’s big enough that this happens if you try to load it all in google docs using the wi-fi in my local coffee shop:
It will be available to those who pledge $3/mos on my Patreon, probably a few days before the Amazon release which should still be October 13th and the plan is still to price it for $6.66.
I’m also planning to give away copies on NoSleep and to different reviewers.
Stories which will be significantly modified, and which will confuse you if you try to skip ahead based on an old version, include: Reunion and The Chooser.
It’s been a blast to write it. I used up some vacation time and I finished this last stretch over the last five days in my local coffee shop. At times, and when I was really writing something evil, I felt like if someone read over my shoulder that I’d be asked to leave. At least two of the stories are equal or above the Pancake Family, and also read a bit straighter with less surreal humor.
I think this is a pattern that works well for me, as I’ve always been (like everyone probably is, to be honest) good with preserving and shaping momentum and it’s hard to get much done in two days stretches here and there. So this is definitely something I plan on doing again in the future.
Next up? Well, I’m going to take about two to three weeks and just read other people’s work. My brain needs to undo the top button of my brain’s jeans and relax a little bit. You’ll see some reviews here during that period. Then? I’m going to move onto more Age of Fusion for a few months. I feel like I owe people another chunk of those stories. I have a lot of them clattering about in my head and bits and pieces of them written down here and there.
Plus, woudn’t it be cool if my space-father Elon Musk became a fan?
I’m going to try to take a significant chunk of time off next year to finish a Tide-World novel. Might squeeze out a novella before the end of the year, too. Both should go quick as I already have one about halfway written that’s been calling to me the last few years. The Family of Fang and Claw isn’t quite a novel, but the stories all connect, and I’m now satisfied I’m at a point where I can do something this big in a cohesive and meaningful way.
The secret as always is just to get it down no matter how much it sucks and fix it in editing.
The Family of Fang and Claw will be best read in Autumnal months, underneath a blanket with a Coca-Cola near at hand, in sight of a window overlooking a wet and dreary landscape. The ending should draw you in like a lover’s kiss, and then leave you bleeding from a knife to the heart.