How My Roll Was Slowed

I am presently 67K words into The Blood Contract, book four of the Only Human On The Block series, and sequel to The Four-Year-Old Guardian, Bravado/Dramatique,  and Together Alone.  My best guess is that’s just over the halfway mark, though I don’t know for sure because I never finished my rough draft back in the day.  My last date recorded on the rough draft was October 13th, 2010.  Since then, I’ve been mentally going over how it will end, along with the final book of the series, Afterlife, but all of my efforts have been focused on getting the finished books into print (along with my other books).

As I work on getting this draft from the page to the screen, I find I’m running into some of the same issues I had when I originally wrote it.  Namely, it’s going a lot slower than I thought it would.  To put it in context, I hand wrote The Four-Year-Old Guardian in about the span of a month, and Bravado/Dramatique in roughly two months.  Together Alone took me about five months from start to finish, which seemed fair given it was longer and more complex in scope than the previous two volumes.  At this rate, The Blood Contract will be the longest book yet in the series, but it’s also proven to be the most daunting.  I first put pen to paper on it on September 4th, 2008, and as I stated above, I stopped writing it on October 13th, 2010, over two years later, or nearly three times as long as it took me to write the first three.

Why the huge discrepancy?  Well, several things factored into it.  The scope of my work environment changed, offering me far less stand-by time in which to work on writing.  Also, as the scope of the series expanded, things became more complicated.  I knew from the beginning where it’s all headed, but as the character roster grew and I approached the end, I realized I needed to back fill some of the mythology (especially as it becomes more important in the next few books).  Also, early 2011 is when I first found out about self-publishing, and I switched gears from finishing The Blood Contract to editing and producing Ascension.  Since then I’ve been plugging away at releasing new books, attempting to move forward while whittling away my past writing.

And now, I’m almost caught up.

After all these years, I’m looking forward to seeing how the end of this series will come together.  At the same time, it’s a bit daunting, hoping I can bring it all to a satisfactory conclusion.  Of course, if I don’t speed things up a bit, it’s gonna be a long time before I see the end.  At this rate, I’ll be lucky if I get this book out in time for my projected June release.

It may be slow going, but at least it’s (finally) going.

Thanks for reading,


S.L. Madden


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