It’s time for a writing update! I assume you’re subscribed to my Substack because you like my writing, because otherwise, oh boy, are you in the wrong place.
So Superego: Betrayal (known colloquially as Superego 3) is currently being edited, and once again, Allison Barrows and Romas Kukalis (midsizemedia.com) are working on the cover. So it’s coming soon, and it’s going to be awesome. As some of you beta readers know, this one is a bit different than the previous and was a bit more complicated to finalize, but I think it turned out great, and I’m really excited for you all to get to see it (and for me to get your sweet, sweet book money). So expect it in ebook and paperback sometime between now and the holidays and the audio version soon after. And make sure you’ve read the first two.
As a palate cleanser between the third and fourth Superego (which will conclude the Superego… whatever is one more than a trilogy), I decided to tackle something lighter and write a sequel to Hellbender, currently titled Hellbender 2: Double Hockey Sticks. I’m cruising through this one and am almost done with the first draft. It will be a bit shorter than the first, though, but I was hoping to start writing shorter novels and get them out more often. Stories are whatever length they are, though — but for some reason for me, that’s always meant 100,000 words, give or take 10,000.
Now, my first drafts are usually pretty unreadable to anyone other than me, but since it’s so annoying to have to wait months and months until anyone can read anything I wrote, here’s an excerpt from the new Hellbender:
Charlene took out a pair of purple wool mittens from her knitting bag and handed them to Lulu. “These are for your hands.”
Lulu put on the mittens. “I’d think being able to use my fingers is more tactically important than keeping my hands warm, but I’ve never read Sun Tzu.”
“There’s no excuse for that,” Charlene said. “Sun Tzu’s Art of War is a very short book.”
“There is an excuse: Reading is for nerds.” Lulu raised her mittened hands. “And I am a woman of action!”
There was an alarm at the van’s console.
“Ah! Something requiring action!” Lulu announced. She went to the console and then looked at her hands. “Except I can’t press the buttons.” She looked out the windshield. “But there seems to be a large vehicle flying next to us. And it has guns on it like they could shoot us at any moment.” She looked at the console screen. “They sent us a message: Please land so we can talk to you.”
Charlene grabbed a rifle off the gun rack in the van’s rear. “They sound hostile.”
“They did say ‘please,’” Bryce pointed out. “That’s not hostile.”
“We should talk to them,” Lulu said. “They could be our new friends!”
“How do we know they’re not the Face Stabbers?” Doug stated.
“You should ask them,” Lulu said.
Doug ran to the console and said aloud as he typed, “‘Are you the Face Stabbers?’” He waited a moment as new text appeared. “They responded: ‘We are not the Face Stabbers.’”
Lulu smiled. “Nothing to worry about!”
Doug was not so certain. “Would the Face Stabbers lie about being the Face Stabbers, though?”
Lulu nodded thoughtfully. “You should ask them.”
Doug typed. “‘Would the Face Stabbers lie about that?’” He waited until new text appeared. “They said: ‘No. The Face Stabbers are always very honest.’ I guess that’s good to know.” A thought struck Doug. “Wait. Whoever these people are, they might lie about whether the Face Stabbers are honest.” He typed again. “‘Would you lie about the Face Stabbers being honest?’” The response soon came. “They say: ‘Yes, we would lie about that sort of thing.’” Doug’s eyes grew wide. “They’re liars! We can’t trust anything they say!” He thought a second. “But they’re not very good liars if they told me they’re liars... Now I’m really confused.”
Charlene chambered a round in her rifle. “Let’s just land and have weapons ready.” She looked at Bryce. “We really need a gun on our vehicle to give us more options in this sort of situation.”
Bryce took a pistol off the wall and put it in his waistband. “Do you think you just go to Home Depot and get a self-install turret package?”
Lulu was trying unsuccessfully to pick up a shotgun with her mittens. “You can also try Lowe’s.”
Bryce sighed. “That’s sounding like a whole weekend.”
That’s all I have for now. Hopefully, there will be more books for you to buy soon.