How many novels will be in the Madison Fox series?
Right now, I can guarantee three. Everyone knows every great series at least begins with a trilogy.
When will the next Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer novel be released?
Here is the release schedule:
A Fistful of Evil (available)
A Fistful of Fire (available)
A Fistful of Frost (Spring 2017)
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Will there be a sequel to Magic of the Gargoyles?
Happily, yes! I wrote Magic of the Gargoyles as a stand-alone fantasy novella, but I fell in love with Mika, Kylie, and their world. Thanks to reader demand, I got to spend more time in Mika's world, and her adventures continue in Curse of the Gargoyles and Secret of the Gargoyles. You can read an excerpt of Curse of the Gargoyles here.
What about a sequel to Tiny Glitches?
At this time, I have no plans for a second book in Eva's adventures. I put her through a lot in Tiny Glitches, so it's only fair that she gets to enjoy her happily ever after.
Are you writing any novels outside these series?
Not yet. Are there any other series in my five-year plan? You betcha!
How many novels did you write before you knew you were ready to publish?
One. Then I realized that while I was ready to publish, my writing was not. So I sat back down and wrote four more novels, two partial novels, and a novella. I also took creative writing classes, read books on the craft of writing, and received lots of feedback from writers I trusted. And I read a lot. I read for pleasure, and I reread the best books to dissect them to figure out what worked so well and why.
What I learned: There’s a lot more to creating a novel than having an interesting main character or a sizzling plot or beautiful prose—it’s an amalgamation of all the above, plus tone, style, pacing, dialog, word count, and more. Most of these lessons I learned the hard way. I wrote a thousand-page novel that should have been two hundred pages long. I wrote two books without third acts. I wrote a five hundred page novel that didn’t have a cohesive voice and really started about two hundred pages in. I wrote three hundred pages into a novel before realizing I didn’t like the story and abandoned it. But I might just be a slow learner.
What is your writing schedule?
After being woken by soft sunlight on my face, eating a nutritious breakfast and green juice prepared by my live-in chef, and doing a little yoga and meditation, I write, stopping only to eat a gourmet lunch. When I reach my daily word-count goal of 8,000 words (usually by midafternoon), I spend the rest of my day swimming and daydreaming of new plot ideas.
I write fantasy, remember.
In the real world, I write until I reach my daily word-count goal (usually 3,000 words). Sometimes this happens before lunch, sometimes not until after dinner. If I finish early, I do research or prep for the next project in the pipeline, and there's always business details to take care of. When I'm editing instead of writing, it's the same process, but with a page-count goal instead of a word-count goal.
How do you write? What’s your method?
There are two types of writers: those who plot it out, and those who don’t. I’ve tried not plotting a novel in advance. I ended up with over a thousand pages of meandering plot lines, mishmashed character motivations, and horrible pacing. Ever since, I plot.
With each book, I’ve changed and refined my process. The current and favored method can be found described in detail in this three-part series: part 1, part 2, and part 3. In short, I collect all the ideas I have for a novel and arrange them in an exciting plot outline. I save all the unused ideas for another book. Before I ever begin to write, I make sure that (1) the plot is complete, and (2) I’m excited about writing every piece of the book, and if I’m not, I rework those ideas now rather than later. I also do character work-ups to get familiar with my main characters. Then I write. I follow my outline, but when a new idea pops up in the middle of writing, I don’t ignore it. If it works, I adjust my outline. If it doesn’t, into the idea file it goes. Then editing commences, and that's its own special process.
Where do you get your ideas?
I get my ideas the same place as most writers, artists, and inventors: while loading the dishwasher. And driving. And brushing my teeth. There’s a certain quality of thought (or lack thereof) during these rote tasks that encourages the brain to escape to somewhere more exciting and diverting. By the same token, these mundane tasks require just enough concentration to prevent you from thinking serious thoughts, and they enable snippets of facts and ideas and what-ifs to meld together until you realize you’ve been standing with the same dirty plate in your hand for minutes, lost in another world entirely.
If you were looking for a more specific answer, check my blog. Occasionally I can pinpoint the moment an idea grabs hold of my imagination. If you were hoping my answer would open new realms in your own imagination, I would suggest you start researching any and everything that interests you, all at once, and never stop. The more things you learn, the more possibilities are unlocked in your imagination.
Why do you write fantasy?
I write fantasy for the same reason I read fantasy: I love it. It's where my imagination always goes. But if you want a few more reason, check out the 5 Reasons I Write Fantasy post I wrote in answer to this question.
I’ve got a great idea for a novel/short story/memoir/screenplay, etc. Can you write it for me?
The ideas are the easy part. Writing is the time-consuming, far more difficult (and rewarding) part. More important, you're the only one who can write your story. It exists in your imagination. You know it intimately. Do your story justice by giving it the attention it deserves: your attention.
Oookay. Then how do I write my story? Any advice?
I have the same advice as every other author out there: read a lot and write a lot. Even better, take some writing classes, critique other people's writing and have them critique yours, and get comfortable with editing. And rewriting. And editing some more. For some helpful books that will strengthen your writing and ability to see your story's flaws, check out this blog post.