It's been two months since any releases and some of you may be wondering what's been in the works. I have been working hard on several new stories and yes, more math sections as well. Here's the plan for the next month or so, along with any comments about each project.
"The Warrior's Way"
A novella exploring how the hume god known as the Warrior feels about being left out from the War of the Ages, and what she does once she finds out. If you thought The Throne of Ao didn't have enough over-the-top action in it, then wait until you see battles between the hume gods and the demons of the Nether Realms.
This is a sort-of "prequel" story to The Throne of Ao, and provides insight into some of the background and at least one character introduced in The Throne of Ao that will be featured in Book 2. It's been delayed twice now as I fine-tune it more and more. I'm dedicated to releasing only the best quality material, so please know that any delays are due to wanting to release the best. I am hopeful of having it done and shipped in the next few weeks (Kindle exclusive for 3 months for $2.99).
Zero Angel's Mathematics #2: "Algebra" (Working Title)
The third release in ZAM (after #0 and #1) focuses on algebra and algorithms and what it all means and is used for. Algebra is really where a lot of teachers drop the ball of mathematics and is where we lose the most would-be mathematicians or math-enthusiasts. Working from understanding concepts and ideas instead of rote memorization of rules, it is planned for students to be able to understand algebra in ways they may never have before.
The math sections have been a pain in the rear end to write and format, and I'm sorry to say they're only available on Kindle as other formats are too bulky to fight with. It's possible an epub edition may be released eventually, but there are no plans for it. Originally, I gave myself until June to finish #2, but I am optimistic about releasing it in May for $2.99.
Zero Angel's Mathematics Collection #1 — Understanding Mathematics (Contains Sections 0 - 3 of ZAM)
I have been shopping around the print rights of a collection to some literary agents (if you're a literary agent or know someone who you think might be interested, please let me know). If it doesn't work out, then I will release a print-on-demand edition of the collection along with a Kindle edition. The Kindle version may include #4 depending on length of #2 and #3, and will be $1 or two cheaper than if you bought each section separately. The print edition will be more due to the size and nature of it (300-500 page book with equations and diagrams throughout).
The Kindle collection will be put together at the conclusion of #3 (or #4), so will not be sooner than August, but I am shooting for an August release to coincide with the beginning of school across the country.
I've been revamping the Apocalypse Designs website to be more earnest and complete, and have finally started working on the WotA Wiki again (thanks in no small part to the interest shown in my Making Undead blogs). Check back frequently to see the changes as they occur! There's no deadline for these, and the WotA Wiki will no doubt continue to expand as long as I can continue to write for the rest of my life.
Making Undead and World-Building
Speaking of Making Undead, there has been some interest in more formalized techniques and a "how-to" book, for now, I'm content to continue the series of posts in my blog (still taking requests on what race you would like to see next) and will continue to do so for quite a while. I'll also post new creatures and finished creatures as they're created with talks about what went into making them. This isn't a "new" focus of the blog, but it's something I've had feedback on that I enjoy sharing, so it's definitely taking a larger role in the blog. I also am not opposed to a collected ebook once we build up the backlog.
Visual Novels: "Change of the Zombie" and "The Haunted House" (tentative title)
I've been developing beta versions of visual novels for my "Change of the Zombie" story and an original story exclusive to the format called "The Haunted House". I say "beta" versions not because they'll be buggy, but because there is no money to put into commissioning art for them. I'll do all of the original artwork in black and white pen to release to the world and start Kickstarters to hopefully fund through donations a final version with artists that know what the heck they're doing around a computer. The final visual novel versions will have the option to play through with either the original art or the new art and be playable on PC (and if stretch goals are met, Android).
For those of you that don't know, visual novels are to the 2000s what choose-your-own-adventure books were to the 80s/90s. They're "novels" that you "play". I'm hoping to have the beta of "Change" out by August, with the beta of "House" out by Christmas (ideally, Halloween!).
Serials: "Of Faeries and Demons" and "Cross Adventures" (tentative title)
I've been working on a few different serials. "Of Faeries and Demons" takes place in the WotA-verse and is a series of standalone shorts where each story has a different monster of the month. I've already written two or three of these, but I want to finalize them and have more to offer so I can easily release them on at least a monthly basis. I'm hoping to release the first in June, which will feature WotA gremlins (a demon that uses technology to cross the Aegis of the multiverse) as the monster of the month, followed with July's release featuring Wisps (a faerie that tricks you into chasing it or distracts you while you're driving).
In "Cross Adventures", although they are standalone adventures, they are urban fantasy set in the WotA-verse version of a near future for us and follow a Guardian of the Seal, Vera Cross. The first adventure will be a two-parter released December-January of this year, with hopefully monthly installments after. These stories are more novellas than shorts (novellettes probably). Each entry will be $0.99-$1.99
WotA Prequels and Transitions
I have been working on several shorts to show you what different characters (both major and minor) were up to leading into Book 1 — The Throne of Ao, and I've also been doing a few for the loyal fans of Book 1 to lead into Book 2. There should be at least 3 prequels published by July featuring characters of Book 1 (not counting "The Warrior's Way" which does not feature any characters of Book 1). I am also planning one or two "non-spoiler" transition stories which feature new characters making their appearance in Book 2. Some of the transition stories will be out by August. As long as these stay in the short-story range, they will be offered for $0.99. I want to avoid the $2.99 price point for anything shorter than a novella.
Outside the WotA-verse original speculative fiction
I have been writing one original speculative fiction story, tentatively titled "The Forest", which I am really quite fond of. I cannot imagine it taking much longer than May to release, although it is varying in different drafts between a short story and a novellette. I would like to donate some of the proceeds for this one to charity if it turns out the way I want it to.
Other non-WotA fiction is a children's novel I'd like to release in November. I'm keeping the title and plot under wraps for now, and it will be released without the "Zero Angel" penname so children don't stumble upon my more mature fare.
War of the Ages: Book 2: The Towers of Aeruen and Book 3
I've been working on Book 2 quite a lot and am planning on having gone through a few revisions of it by the end of 2013. After getting editors and cover artists involved, I'm hoping to release Book 2 in 2014. With the nature of WotA, I've been writing further along in the timeline as well, and I already have a nice amount of material for Book 3, so after the release of Book 2, I would like to continue releasing entries in the main series of War of the Ages every year-and-a-half.
Well, that's what I've been up to lately. Here's a summary with deadlines I am shooting for (but not official release dates):
May '13: WotA: "The Warrior's Way"
May '13: "Zero Angel's Mathematics #2"
May '13: "Zero Angel's The Forest"
Jun '13: Of Faeries and Demons: "Gremlins"
Jul '13: Of Faeries and Demons: "Wisps"
Jul '13: 3 WotA Prequels
Aug '13: "Zero Angel's Mathematics #3"
Aug '13: "Zero Angel's Mathematics Collection #1" (continuing yearly)
Aug '13: 2 WotA Transitions
Aug '13: Of Faeries and Demons #3
Aug '13: "Zero Angel's Change of the Zombie Visual Novel Edition"
Sep '13: Of Faeries and Demons #4
Sep '13: Zero Angel's Mathematics #4
Oct '13: Of Faeries and Demons #5
Nov '13: Untitled Children's Novel
Nov '13: "Zero Angel's The Haunted House Visual Novel"
Nov '13: Of Faeries and Demons #6
Dec '13: Cross Adventures: "A Cross at the End of Days"
Dec '13: Of Faeries and Demons #7
Dec '13: Zero Angel's Mathematics #5 (continuing quarterly)
Jan '14: Cross Adventures: "Untitled" (continuing monthly)
Jan '14: Of Faeries and Demons #8 (continuing monthly)
2014 Early Third Quarter: Book 2: The Towers of Aeruen
2015 Late Fourth Quarter: Book 3 (continuing every ~18 months)
That's the plan anyway. Thanks for reading!