I finished The Rock today. The total word count came in just shy of 300,000. If there are any number crunchers out there, that's almost twice the size of The Island. Editing is nearly complete on the first third of the book. So the remainder of that process begins now. I expect the story will shrink and expand during the editing, but wouldn't be surprised if it's still close to 300k once everything is complete.
Alright folks, I'm exactly 2 chapters and an epilogue from sticking The End! on the bottom of a page. The Rock looks like it will come in about 50 percent larger than The Island. I imagine a couple of months of editing and this thing will be heading for prime time. At least, I hope it will, grin. I packed maybe 8 people off the survivor's list into a scene in the story. I liked the selection, a good variety of folks from different places with different skills and pretty much, a good representation of what might be left after such fever-induced destruction. It's taking about a week per chapter so maybe in the next 2-3 weeks I'll have the bulk of the writing done.
I wanted to give a couple more updates to let you all know where things stand and what should be coming down the pike soon.
The Rock has officially eclipsed The Island in terms of sheer size. The writing is moving along at a good clip. This part of the story is big though. I have a destination I need to reach and a good many things that need to happen along the way. A lot of those are already on paper. I just finished a lengthy battle scene that contains a nod to a reader who thought a confrontation with a dragon should have more invested in it than a single shot from a deer rifle.
Well, maybe this bit from The Rock will clear up William's impressions.
The little woman tugged at my arm, insistently like a child trying to get a parent’s attention. “William, you killed a dragon once before, didn’t you?”
I finally shook my head. “Elsie needs to reconsider her story. I’m not sure what I killed. But, this thing? Now this is a dragon.”
Now, in terms of what's to come, The Island will undergo another release to pull all the separate parts into one volume. I need to do that for the audio version. (Let's me sign one contract instead of five.) The final writing on the Rock should occur sometime this summer. Don't expect anything until fall though. I expect it will take at least two months of editing to get the book ready for an editor. From there, easily another 4 to 6 weeks before it undergoes a final read.
Keep in mind, writing is the sideline for me, not the day job. I still rise at 5am and write until 7 or so. Beyond that, I may get in a few words late at night. So, this book, like the previous, is emerging in predawn hours.
And finally, The Rock will be unique in a way - at least I think so. Several of the characters involved are real people. I wanted to include impressions from different parts of the world - particularly the UK since I've had so many readers on that side of the Atlantic. A couple of people have graciously offered to translate my decidedly southern Appalachian voice into something that sounds like it actually originated across the pond instead of a tiny office in East Tennessee. Those folks will get a nod in the acknowledgments where I can express my gratitude.
A few other real people will get an email soon to confirm a few facts. About 20 people guessed the location of the Rock. Steven Robinson landed the top spot. He'll be joined by a handful of "survivors." I need permission from those folks to include their names.
So, hang in there, it's coming.
Alright folks, a couple of things. First, I'm going to be adding my middle initial to my books. Seems another Michael Stark appeared and we write decidedly different things. So, shortly, you'll find Michael R. Stark on the covers.
In the meantime, if you're confused about which books belong to whom, check the sidebar below. Those are mine.
Second, a lot of people are asking about The Rock. The story is moving, but it may be a while before I put any online. I think... I have an agent. Grin. What that means is about everything is on hold until I find out for sure. I'm not what you'd call a real writer. The stories hit paper usually between 5am and 7am in the morning. Beyond that, the day holds little free time. In trying to find a publisher for The Fallen Earth series (The Island, The Rock, and a final volume not yet named) the idea is to take some of the hectic out of life and make more time to write.
So hang in there.
Part 5 is out! The Final Chapters are available on Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes and Noble Online
With that said, welcome to The Island.
Storms ravaged the power grids. Relief efforts died before they ever started. Entire countries collapsed.
Like the rest of the world, the people stranded on Portsmouth Island could only wait and hope. When it came, the disease struck hard, killing one and sending another into a violent rage.
Hounded by an evil he didn't understand, William Hill struggled to survive.
The evil had other plans. It wanted his blood.
This time, it had a face. This time, it offered a deal
Parts 1, 2, and 3 are now available on multiple sites, including Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble Online, and Ibooks. The first three parts are free and hopefully, will always remain so. If you happen to read them and want to make a comment, you can email me at Michael Stark
Also, if you're reading and enjoying The Island, please remember to rate it. I'm trying to build my name and those stars are a tremendous help.
Finally, check out the two new pages - Where The Rock isn't, and Survivors.
Want to become a Survivor? Send me your guess as to the name and location of The Rock. If you're right, I'll add you to the list of survivors. If you're wrong, I'll add your guess to the list of where the rock isn't. Congratulations to Steve Robinson, the first person to correctly identify the name and location of The Rock. He earns a bit part in the upcoming book and I already have the scene in mind for him.
In order to join the list of Survivors and have your guesses recorded, send me email at Michael Stark. You can talk about it on the Facebook page, but I won't be recording entries from there. You have to email me to get on the list.
Hope you enjoy the stories.