Tag Archives: miranda lorensen

One. At. A. Time…

Wait… whatever happened to the first draft of that science fiction novel that was in progress between 2016 and 2017? Heh, well ya know…
 
Thinking back, when I wrote my first two novels between 2007 and 2013, those were the only writing projects I was focused on at the time. No short stories, no editing anthologies. Just the novels. Testing the Prisoner then By Your Side
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One. At. A. Time.
 
Among the excitement of having my new Miranda Lorensen novella accepted by my publisher back in June—and a finishing the outline to her next full length novel earlier today—I don’t want to lose sight of the science fiction novel that I outlined in 2015, started writing in 2016, lost traction after four chapters, picked up again at the beginning of 2017, then lost traction again after four more chapters. To say that was frustrating as HELL would be putting it mildly.
 
That has never happened to me before. I typically stay with a project until it’s finished. So what the frack happened?
Well, in 2012, I pitched an idea for a speculative fiction anthology to my publisher (Firebringer Press). I became the editor and project manager on the book, as well as a contributor, and Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity was released two years later. That led to last year’s Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity and now, Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity is in progress. 
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On top of that, I finished three home renovations over the past year and a half, a violent storm collapsed part of the roof at my workplace this past July which meant weeks of recovering our IT systems (working around the clock early on), and I completed several short stories for various contests and anthologies, which was a blast.
 
While I’m proud of every anthology and short story as much as every finished home project, now it’s time to prioritize and get the science fiction novel back on track. I believe everything happens for a reason and perhaps time away from the novel will provide a fresh perspective when I sit down this week and read the first eight chapters and review the outline.
 
However, focusing on these next two novels will also mean declining any new short story work in 2018 (with one exception to which I’ve already committed). Fortunately, I wrote several short stories in 2016 and 2017 that are ready for submission to a few anthologies in the coming year. I also stepped down as editor of the Middle of Eternity series after volume three is released. 
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It’s time to get back to novels.
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One. At. A. Time. 
 

A New Miranda Lorensen Adventure…

Some of my readers have asked about the next adventure of my psychic medium single mom, Miranda Lorensen. After all, it has been almost five years since my last novel, By Your Side.

The wait is nearly over. Like Mother, Like Daughters, a novella starring Miranda and her daughter, Andrea, is coming soon from Firebringer Press.

After Andrea Lorensen’s closest friend, Wendy, is found murdered during a paranormal investigation, Andrea is determined to find the killer—with some help from Wendy’s ghost. Meanwhile, Miranda is invited to speak at a paranormal conference in Salem, Massachusetts. While there, she reunites with a gentle spirit she has not seen in over thirty years. This time, however, the encounter reveals an astonishing truth about Miranda’s past life—a truth that could kill her. 

Below is the preliminary cover, subject to some tweaking. The image was created by the incredible Laura Inglis who also created the cover art for my first two novels (Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side), while credit for the title font goes to Chris Winner who also created the titles for By Your Side, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, and Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

To say I’m excited about it would be an understatement.  What’s more, Like Mother, Like Daughters will be paired up with a vampire novella by Steven H. Wilson and the entire book will be formatted exactly as the old ACE double books. Read one story, flip it over to read the other. I grew up reading those so the fact that Firebringer intends to release such a book has me over the moon!

Look for more updates in the near future!

Like Mother, Like Daughters Cover

Getting Back on Track

So I recently finished a short story about a young man who buys a haunted Camaro—and inadvertently destroys the life of a paroled car thief. The story is now in the hands of critique partners and happens to be the only writing project that I actually finished this year. If you followed any of my previous updates, you’ll know that 2017 has kicked the shit out of me and in doing so, caused my writing output to plummet. 
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Going into 2017, I promised myself not to write any more short stories this year so I could focus on the first draft of the SF novel I started writing last year. Four chapters into the first draft by April 2016 and the novel ended up on the back burner for a home renovation, a Kickstarter to fund a new anthology, the release of said anthology, and writing six new short stories for contests and anthologies.
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As productive as that was and as proud as I am of those stories, the SF novel languished. Then came 2017 and I set my sights on finishing the first draft by December. Four more chapters were written between January and May… and the novel was again sidelined while I edited submissions to a new anthology, finished a month-long home renovation, then watched my summer collapse along with the roof at my workplace as a result of a severe storm. I want my summer back, damn it!
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So, to get my writing chops back in shape, I cranked out the aforementioned short story about the haunted car—just so I could feel good about finishing something this year.  I thought I would then return to the SF novel…
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Instead, I’ve spent the past week crafting the plot synopsis for my next full-length Miranda Lorensen novel. Almost there. I spent more time working on it in my sunroom this evening—and peeking up every so often to watch a tiny bunny roam around my neighbor’s shed. Who can resist bunnies?
If all goes as planned, this novel will tie directly to the novella that my publisher accepted back in June. The novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters, addresses some aspects of Miranda’s life mentioned in my novels Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side
 
I jotted down a quick jacket blurb for the novella recently. It needs work, but…
 
Psychic-medium Miranda Lorensen and her daughter Andrea set out for a “girls night of ghost hunting” at the home of Andrea’s closest friend, Wendy. When Andrea Lorensen stumbles over Wendy’s dead body in the woods, the shock triggers Andrea’s own latent abilities as a medium. Against her mother’s wishes, Andrea decides to ensnare Wendy’s killer with help from the other side.
Meanwhile, Miranda travels to Salem, Massachusetts to speak at a paranormal investigators conference. When she is invited to participate in a local ghost hunt, Miranda encounters a spirit that leads her to the truth about her past life.
Like Mother Like Daughters title
Now, hopefully, the novella will be released next year with the novel to follow a year or so later. My concern is that as of 2018, it will have been FIVE years since my last novel. Yikes!  
 
During that time, I’ve been focused on short stories and editing anthologies, which has proved fruitful. My publisher and I have released two volumes of the Middle of Eternity speculative fiction series, my work has placed high in a few local contests, and I’ve been published in a handful of other wonderful collections such as the ReDeus mythology series and Beach Nights. I firmly believe that short stories and novellas are nutritious parts of a well-balanced writing career. 
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As much fun as those projects have been, a few solo publications are definitely needed within the next year. While Miranda has earned a modest fan following–and several readers have contacted me to ask when to expect her next adventure–people have short memories these days so I hope all of this works out as planned! 

Further Adventures of Miranda Lorensen Coming Soon!

For those enthusiastic readers who have enjoyed Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side and have asked for the next story featuring my psychic-medium single mom Miranda Lorensen, my publisher has finished reading my novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters and called it “an excellent piece.”

Miranda Lorensen’s latest adventure begins with a simple night of ghost hunting at the home of Andrea’s closest friend, Wendy. However, it quickly turns into a murder investigation that triggers Andrea’s own latent abilities as a medium. Against her mother’s wishes, Andrea decides to ensnare Wendy’s killer with help from the other side.

Meanwhile, Miranda travels to Salem, Massachusetts to speak at a paranormal investigators conference. When she is invited to participate in a local ghost hunt, Miranda encounters a spirit that leads her to the truth about her past life.

Stay tuned for more info.

Like_Mother_Like_Daughters Title

 

What? No more cons for the rest of 2017?!

Sorry for the delay since my last post.  Once spring arrives, my workload around house and yard often becomes all-consuming. I was also a writer guest at the Great Philadelphia Comic Con for two days and had a great time with writer pals Bob Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, Peter David, Russ Colchamiro, and new friend, Heather Hutsell.

Phil's Table at Great Philly Comic Con

Crazy 8 Press at Great Philly Comic Con

It was great to see some excellent celebrity guests as well including Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5, TRON, and more) and Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more). There were many others, but those were the only two gents from whom I sought autographs. I had met Mr. Boxleitner about 15 years ago at Shore Leave where I had a Babylon 5 photo signed, but this time around, I wanted to get a few TRON items autographed.  As an Indiana Jones fan, it was fantastic to meet the gracious and genial Paul Freeman (Belloq).

Bruce Boxleitner (TRON, Babylon 5) Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

One lesson I learned at this con is that I’ve reached a point where I’m starting to run out of room to display all of my books. I know, that’s a good problem for a writer to have!  So, the display is going vertical, ladies and gents. I ordered a six-shelf book rack, which just arrived today.

Book Rack

Although I’ll rearrange the books for better visibility. I was just toying with ideas when I set up the above picture.

Even though I’m not doing any more cons for the remainder of 2017, I do have three or four single-day library events and book fairs lined up where I can use this and of course, when I’m back on the con scene next year.

My reasons for taking a hiatus from the convention scene are many. First, I’m doing two fairly expensive home renovations this summer. Secondly, the sheer number and complexity of upcoming projects at my full-time job are daunting and will require some weekend and after-hours work. Thirdly, my writing time has been significantly drained by the editing work on the third volume in the Middle of Eternity series. Finally, I’m just burned out and I simply cannot do everything and be everywhere.

The first draft of my science fiction novel was supposed to be completed last year, but again, home projects and prepping the second anthology for publication consumed the first half of 2016. I managed to complete only the first four chapters in the novel. Disappointing.

Even after Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity was released in July 2016, I ended up spending a large portion of my writing time recording two of my three stories from that book on audio for podcast, which turned out to be an utter waste of about three weeks since a decision was made not to podcast anything unless ALL of the stories would be recorded. Well, most of the other writers either had no time, no interest, or no resources to record their stories. Thus, the podcast was cancelled.

I did manage to complete four short stories for various publications and contests between August and December. Then, as now, my novel saw only a modicum of progress, but two more chapters have since been finished. Still, the paltry progress is frustrating.

On the bright side, I shall be stepping down as editor of the Middle of Eternity series after book three is submitted to the publisher, which should permit me to fully focus on the SF novel.

What else have I been up to in my writing life? Well, one of those four short stories that I wrote in the latter half of 2016, “Once More, With Feeling,” was just published in a mixed genre anthology titled, The Write Connections, published by the Greater Lehigh Valley Publishing Group.

Two more of those stories have each been submitted to separate contests, the first (“So Hungry…”) to the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable paranormal fiction contest, and the second (“The Celestials”) to the annual Rehoboth Beach Reads short story contest sponsored by Delaware publisher, Cat & Mouse Press. I took second place in the 2016 Rehoboth contest and my story was published in the anthology, Beach Nights. Even if I don’t win one of the top three monetary awards this time around, I hope to at least see my story published in this year’s anthology, Beach Life.

The fourth story (“The Forest for the Trees”) will be included in the upcoming Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, tentatively slated for release in July 2018. That tale is an 11,000-word fantasy piece set in late 17th century Finland. So much research was involved in the great famine of the time as well as Finnish mythology.

Speaking of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, I am off to edit a few more submissions this evening. The good news is that I have a three-day weekend ahead of me and maybe—just maybe—I can make some time to write…

Lastly, there is a good chance that my paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters (written and submitted to the publisher in 2014), will finally be released in October as an ebook and audio book! Many of my readers have asked when the next story starring psychic-medium Miranda Lorensen will be released. Well, this is it, folks! It’s Miranda’s origin story and also involves her daughter, Andrea, who has a paranormal adventure of her own. Catch more of Miranda in my first two novels, Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side.