And the winner is. . .

Well, I’ve made a decision. I now know what the first book to be published this year will be. It’s not necessarily the decision my heart wants to make but it is the one the business-side of my brain knows needs to be made. Why? Because the book is basically finished. I’ll be sending it to my final beta reader for his input after it comes back from the editor (I know, this isn’t the way a lot of folks do it but it is what works for me because he catches things the editor misses sometimes.) I’ve also decided, tentatively at least, the other two titles I’m making a hard commitment for and one more that I want to try to get out this year.

Surtr's FuryThe first book coming out is Surtr’s Fury. This will be the first of a two, possibly three, book series. I’ve excerpted a couple of chapters previously. Those chapters have seen some editing, especially the first chapter. I’ll repost the first chapter, in an edited form, either later today or tomorrow. The family is celebrating a late Christmas today, so it will probably be tomorrow.

So, here’s the plan. Surtr’s Fury will come out the end of this month, the beginning of next. I need to look at the calendar, get with my final reader, and then I’ll be able to pin it down some more. Following that will be Warborn Legacy. My goal for it will be May 2024. The third book will be Designation: Frejya. I want to be able to write the next Eerie Side of the Tracks novel. I’ll be honest, my subconscious is rebelling because I know where that book goes and it will be difficult to write on a personal level.

I also don’t want to over-promise. This past year or so has taught me that real life can and will kick me in the teeth when it comes to my schedule. Because of that, I’d prefer under-promising than having to delay another book.

I also wanted to address one more issue, one that is becoming a serious concern for writers and readers alike: AI.

I use AI–for artwork.

That artwork is more for placeholders for covers and for inspiration. I also use it for featured images here on WP. Will I use it for final covers? The answer is maybe. If I do, I will be manipulating it, making it more what I want for a cover. Rest assured, that it will be only as a last choice when I haven’t been able to secure a cover I want for a reasonable price. It will also be noted in the book and here on the blog if I do so.

I do NOT use AI to write the actual prose of a book or story. I will use it to help develop titles (which I suck at). I also do it to help get an idea about settings, etc. But the writing is all me. The closest an AI comes to my actual prose is when I use programs like ProWritingAid to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. I may run a story through AutoCrit to make sure I haven’t left poor George hanging off a cliff, never to return.

But that is it.

(In case you’re wondering, I wanted to make this clear after seeing several articles where writers–and I use that term loosely–brag about using AI to put out tens and even hundreds of books in a year. I also saw a conversation about another author who didn’t admit to using AI and readers calling them out in their reviews. The way I look at it, you are paying to read MY work. So that’s what you’re going to get.)

Now I need to get to work.

Until later!

(Featured Image and book cover created in whole or in part by using Midjourney AI.)

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