Sunday 29 August 2021

Burn this City - ARC stage

I've spent the past few weeks working through the various drafts of Burn this City - all thanks go to the beta crew and my editors who've really done most of the heavy lifting. Rhis book is now as good as I can make it. I hope to fit in a final proofreading pass reading it on a tablet on a ereader, just so that the text appears "new" to my eyes, but ultimately, we're there.

I'd call this the ARC stage, except I'm not organized enough to do ARCs. This is roughly the stage I feel comfortable with handing out if people want to read review copies; except I don't really do review copies - we're two weeks from release, so it's way too late for those anyway.

At 104k words, it's a beast, and, from a writer's point of view, I never again want to write something his long because the editing hurts. But the boys wanted and deserved that much - enemies to lovers needs space - they spend 50% of the book being enemies and the rest of the book they become lovers. So yes, it's slow burn, probably he slowest burn I've ever written. Basically, you'll need to trust me a lot that I'm going to fulfil the various promises - this isn't a fast book or even a very simple one. It'll take work to read.

Below the cover, I'm going to talk about the "warnings" ("content words"), so stop reading before the cover if you don't to see the "warnings".

First though, if you liked Silvio Spadaro from Dark Soul, he's making an appearance, killing people, having fun and looking great doing it.

I consider this my m/m swansong, so that's the standards I've applied - I've worked through themes and characters and dynamics that attracted me to the genre in the first place. There's lots of plot and back story, there's a few nods to other books (a couple Easter eggs). I feel it's a great closing bracket to Dark Soul, which kind of started my journey in the genre in earnest. 

I've deleted some rambling about what I plan to do next, but that should really be its own entry, so I'll publish that next week. For the moment, I'm happy it's done, and I'm exhausted, too. 

The content words are: suicidal ideation, organized crime, threats of sexual violence, dubcon, mental health (depression), minor character death (past, off-page), murder (mostly off-page), grief, bereaved spouse, drug use (voluntary and involuntary), corruption, domestic violence (off-page), bisexual rep, demisexual/graysexual rep

If you react strongly to any of those, chances are, this won't be for you. Personally, I think it's one of the lighter "dark romances" out there. It starts kind of dark but lightens up a lot as the guys find their stride with each other. 

But then, my perception might be completely skewed. What's mild for me, might be triggering to others, so fair warning, all of that plays that role and I'm not adding these lightly. I think that's the first time I have actually provided content words like that - one of my friends in the space recently suffered the loss of a spouse and since Sal in the book is lingering quite a bit on his grief, the last I wanted to do was to toss people into emotions that they can't or don't want to deal right now. But again, it's a HEA in my head and at the very least a HFN on the page. 

Friday 6 August 2021

Burn this City - cover reveal

 Just popping in to reveal the cover for Burn this City - as usual by the amazing Tiferet Design.

The book can be pre-ordered here and will be released on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited on 13 September. I'm still working on some edits to polish the text. This is most likely going to be my final M/M book (I might wrap up some manuscripts that are half-written, but there are no deadlines attached to that and I might just publish them on my A03 account when the time comes) before I embark on a new journey in historical fantasy. I'm really quite proud of it and think it'll be a great swansong. In any case, I hope you'll enjoy it. 

Monday 2 August 2021

Burn This City - it's a big book

The official second draft of Burn This City is weighing in at 106,531 words. It's been pretty intense "self-edits" - really a misnomer because those were both my edits and I've also gathered feedback from the betas, and some of the feedback had a major impact on what is now the second draft. 

The first draft had about 101k words, and I know for a fact I've cut short scenes and multiple paragraphs to the tune of 7-8k, but ended up with a longer book, so I've probably written around 10-15k new words, and this is before the editors have even touched it. I'm expecting a cover concept in the next few days too. 

I'm still laughing when I think that this  was meant to be a "simple dark romance, no more than 50-60k because I don't really have much plot". You'd think I'd know how this will go by now. 

With the book sent of to the editors, I'll now focus on some translation work and research for my mainstream fantasy trilogy and the WWII book I've been meaning to write for far too many years, but those won't be 2021 news - just the WWII book alone will next probably 6-8 more months, and the trilogy could easily take longer than that. 

Mostly, it'll be good to clear the mafia research books and notes from my desk and think about/work on something different. This pass has been really intense because the first draft was in a very poor state (not going to work like that again), and keeping 106k in my head at the same times is really quite tough. 

But, in any case, it's done and I think it's shaping up to be a good book, and that is what counts.