Serials are fun and a mess in a dress

This is the conclusion I’ve come to as a result of (re?)starting the process of working on fixing books 3-7 of the Awakenings series. Of course, it’s a serial, the story predates the serial, and it’s all very complicated and crazy and fun.

It’s a story that I wanted to tell but it was a story that I dove into with barely half a plan which sometimes works out great and sometimes doesn’t. Sometimes writing to a deadline, while it forces you to continue to stretch creative muscles, doesn’t do you many favors.
There’s a lot that needs fixing, needs updating, needs smoothing out—this is true of books 3-7, but also specifically true of some plot and character arcs that turned out to be, in the end, not what they were originally intended to be (I’m looking at you, Matt and Hecate, who took the prize for “biggest surprise” so far—which is not to say other characters didn’t also do this to me because more than a few did). This means I have a lot of material to play with, but there’s also a lot of material that needs tightening up.

Some things will need to be pulled out, new things will be added in. In reviewing the content that ended up being book 3 content (since book 2 and book 3 ended up being mixed around a little bit from how they were originally posted—just to make some things flow better and properly link things together), there’s almost no content with the group that Aoife’s with, which is something that will need to change so their plot arc can be properly tied up in subsequent books. I can’t cut them entirely because a) it wouldn’t make sense to do it given the role some of the characters play later and b) at least one particularly important instance where we see exactly how wild talents and magic can be in the broken world.

In many ways, the books of the Founders Cycle (which comprises the first seven books of the series), is about the survivors learning exactly what they can do—the power they possess—and then stomping down hard on the war that they didn’t start but will play a role in finishing. It’s a fun, interesting arc that takes them through the first few years after the end of everything they knew and one that sets up the Ambrose Cycle that follows—but more on that story sometime to come.

Either way, I’ve got my work cut out for me with all of this.

Awakenings: Book One and War Drums are available where books are sold.

Prompt for September 10, 2014 – Day 253

It’s Wednesday–we’re halfway to the end of our week. Yay!

Here’s an opening line for your inspiration. It happens to be the same opening line I used for today’s Awakenings update.

Prompt Type: Opening line

Prompt: I literally tripped over it—the object of our search, our temporary holy grail.

Got an idea for a prompt? Email me at emklitzke (at) gmail (dot) com.

Prompt for April 2, 2014 – Day 92

It’s Wednesday!  Halfway to the end of the work week.

It’s also day two of CampNaNoWriMo.  Maybe I’ll actually get my Awakenings-themed project rolling today.  In honor of that project, I give you the opening line below to play with–the near-iconic line that was the genesis for the original Awakenings.

Prompt Type: Opening line

Prompt:  “Take a breath and wait to die.”

Got an idea for a prompt?  Email me at emklitzke (at) gmail (dot) com.

Current projects and ramblings

Well, November’s over and we’re now well into December and I’ve been busy the past few months, as I’m sure folks have noticed.  My updates for Ashes to Ashes and Awakenings have been shorter than usual for the past few months, for which I whole-heartedly apologize!  I’ve been spending some time recharging my batteries the past few weeks and prior to that was knee-deep in some plotting with a few friends for some potential collaborations (in a new fantasy universe, the science fiction universe of The General’s Lady, and in the UNSETIC/Lost Angels universe), but now I’m getting back on track with my own work and I’m loving every minute of it.

I spent my November getting deeply reacquainted with my Epsilon universe and of my NaNoWriMo work, folks may be seeing some short works about General Jackson “Longshot” Hunter, JJ Collins, and perhaps a few others that have been mentioned in Broken Stars and Falling Stars only briefly. Stay tuned for updates on that front.

More recently, I have begun to work on edits and reviews for the special edition of War Drums and the (somewhat belated) release of Awakenings book three, Omens and Echoes.  As a result, Phelan O’Credne has decided to take up residence in a warm corner of my brain and is rocking back and forth, hoping I don’t do some of the awful things I’m pondering for the universe going forward (I’m currently writing and posting book four at  More updates on that coming soon.

It’s shaping up to be a fun end of year for me, both as a writer and as a crafter (I got a new sewing machine and have been using it to make wonderful things lately).  The new year promises to bring new goals and a niece for me to spoil rotten.

There will be some changes and new weekly features coming in the next few weeks, so check back often!

Snippet Sunday – Awakenings: Book One

Today’s snippet is an additional piece from Awakenings: Book One previously only available in the print and ebook versions of the serial.

Awakenings: Book OneThe world ended on an August Sunday, in a rain of stones from the sky, like something out of Revelations.  Marin Astoris saw the end of the world well before it happened, and her visions of the future become a guiding force for a small knot of survivors at her Midwestern university.

In the weeks after the end of the world, that knot of thirty students and one professor begin to awaken to supernatural gifts they didn’t expect.  These newfound talents may mean the difference between life and death–for them and the rest of humanity.

Thom Ambrose loves Marin with every fiber of his being, but he can’t accept the prophetic gift they share.  If he does, he’ll lose the only thing that’s important to him: her.  His ignorance comes at a price.

Is it a price he and his friends can afford to pay?

Fiction below the break.

Continue reading “Snippet Sunday – Awakenings: Book One”

Awakenings: War Drums Cover reveal

I’ve gotten opinions on this from a few friends and now it’s time to show it to the world.

Awakenings: War Drums cover

Awakenings: War Drums will actually only be comprised of roughly the first 100,000 words (give or take a few chapters) of the current ongoing segment of Awakenings.  I began to realize once I hit 165,000 words and wasn’t done yet that maybe what I had intended to be book two was perhaps really book two and book three.

To give you an idea of how long the first 100,000 words would be, if you go up through the end of Chapter 19 in the current version as uploaded, that would account for approximately 101,000 words of the book.

The current draft of books two and three combined is over 179,000 words and still climbing.

I will announce more details about book three (length, cover art, title, etc) at a later date.  Book Four of Awakenings also does not have a title yet, but you can expect that to begin posting probably by May or June.

Of course, considering it’s me, plans may change…nothing, after all, is ever certain.

Awakenings: Book One is available where books are sold.

Catch up on the current ongoing story at

Goals update – March

It’s been a busy year so far, both for me as a writer and at my day job!  January and February brought a major project which resulted in thirteen hour days at the office.

Sufficient to say, I did little beyond working and sleeping on weekdays (and keeping up with Awakenings and Legacies of the Lost Earth).  Things are starting to change now, slowly but surely, but a new month means a reassessment of goals.

Let’s start with the old goals:

  • When All’s Said and Done completed by mid-year, published by end of year
  • Legacies of the Lost Earth: The Last Colony edited and published by end of February
  • Epsilon: Redeemer completed by mid-year, published by end of year
  • UNSETIC Files: In the Beginning – at least two collection stories completed by end of January and published as ebooks by end of March.
  • Awakenings:  War Drums available as ebook and in print by end of June.

A few of these things happened.  A few totally aren’t going to, and a few are still goals within reach.

Fulfilled goals:

UNSETIC Files: In the Beginning – at least two collection stories completed by end of January and published as ebooks by end of March.

Goals within reach: **

When All’s Said and Done completed by mid-year, published by end of year.

Awakenings:  War Drums available as ebook and in print by end of June.

Epsilon: Redeemer completed by mid-year, published by end of year.

** I probably will only be able to do two of the three if I manage all three.  Awakenings: War Drums is actually going to be only about half as many posts from the serial as I thought it was going to be…but that’s because the thing is already monstrous at this point and I’m still not done yet.  So what I thought was Book Two is actually going to be Book Two and Book Three.

lastcolony-2-10001500…yeah, no:

Legacies of the Lost Earth: The Last Colony edited and published by end of February.

  • I just ran out of time on this one, in part thanks to the thirteen days of thirteen hour days over the course of three weeks at the office.  I’ll probably be able to get this together sometime in the near future, though.

And now for some neat indie author news…

So last week (March 3-9), Smashwords ran a promotion where authors could offer their books with site-wide coupons for 25, 50, 75% off and free.  I listed What Angels Fear and Bering Songs and Silence each for free and Epsilon: Broken Stars, Awakenings: Book One, and Between Fang and Claw at 50% off.  While I only sold one copy of the 50% off ebooks (Awakenings: Book One), I did sell nine copies of What Angels Fear and sixteen of Bering Songs and Silence.

Why is this so cool?

Both are series openers in the same universe.  That’s why it’s wicked cool.

We’ll see if the giveaway of those stories leads to future sales down the road.  We can only hope.


Stay tuned next week to learn from my experiences as an indie author.  New snippet on Sunday!