A couple weeks ago, I attended a writing summit in Austin (I wrote about it on my creative-work site here, here and here). It was fantastic. Amazing. I got to help make up the rules and history of the world of The Dream Engine and start to plan my first books in that world.
Right now I am working on book one of my series set in this world. My goal is to have the first draft done by the end of October, have it ready for beta-readers by the end of December and ready to publish by March 1, 2015 at the latest. And then book 2 out as soon as possible after that.
My young adult series will take place ~20 years prior to The Dream Engine and it is about a boarding school training future employees of the Ministry of Decorum. Totally cliche YA, which I love. You’ve got the recognizable elements of fish-out-of-water main character, but with all the specific details to Alterra. I actually think hanging my story on such a common structure will help bring in more readers who may not love The Dream Engine for various reasons, but can get behind the world as a whole.
Right now it is tentatively 5 books long, and inspired by books like Etiquette & Espionage, Little Women, Lemony Snicket and movies like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sherlock Holmes, The Princess Diaries, even a TED talk and others. Just little pieces and themes and flavors from a variety of sources.
Over the 2 weeks since the Summit, I have been ‘location scouting,’ collecting inspiration for fashion and other details for the school on a (currently private) Pinterest board. I have been researching the coast of Wales, natural remedies for mental illness and steam cars. I have been thinking about the overall series conflict, and my book 1 conflict, and I have started writing already. It’s amazing what you can discover just by starting.
I have a rough idea of what happens in all the books (more so in books 4 and 5), and am about ~17,000 words into the first draft of the first book. Once I get farther I will know what questions I need to clarify with Johnny and Sean. Once I get to the end of book 1 I will have a better idea for books 2 and 3.
I have been loving writing in this pseudo-British world. It is my first attempt at something more adventurey than just straight contemporary or literary fiction. I can’t wait to see where this book and the whole series goes!
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