Reasons And Excuses

Just giving my (what’s turning into a) monthly update on the progress of all things S.L. Madden.

First off, I offer my apologies to those of you awaiting the release of my next book.  I initially hoped to have it out in June to celebrate my third year anniversary publishing.  Sadly, here we are in the middle of May and I’m still in the middle of writing it.  Though the distance between where I’m at and typing the words THE END grows shorter on a (mostly) daily basis, I am now doubtful I’ll be able to finish the rough draft by next month.  And even if I do, that’s exactly what it’ll be: rough.  After that, I still have to edit, edit, and edit some more, which can be quite a lengthy process by itself.  And then it’ll be time to format

This is the biggest book in this series thus far (not sure how many words the final book is going to be), and it has a lot of moving parts compared to what came before it.  My fear when I stopped working on the story five years ago was it was starting to sag a bit under the weight of it all.  As I work on this rough draft, the same worry is creeping in.  It feels a bit like the wheels are spinning but it’s not going anywhere.  Perhaps it’s the structure of the story itself.  It’s split into two parts, each with a lull, a buildup, then a finale.  Coming off the events that occur at the end of part one, I fear part two reads a bit dry.

Another thing of note is I wrote what I have of The Blood Contract spread out over several months.  Unlike the other three books, the writing process was long and drawn-out, which I believe also contributed to the sense it lacked forward momentum.  Similarly, the critique group I attend, Crunchy Peaches, has been meeting sporadically, due to family emergencies, sickness, and the like.  While I know I should remain focused even in our off weeks, I’ve found myself distracted.  As many of you know, I went through a divorce last year that resulted in my daughter moving to the other side of the state.

I hate to use it as an excuse, but I’d be lying if I said the whole situation hasn’t affected my mental well-being.  There are times I sit down to write, and the words refuse to come.  And some days I know I should focus on trudging ahead, but I spend my free time researching my legal rights (or rather, fretting over the lack of them).

One positive result of all of this is I’ve been inspired to write music for the first time in ten+ years.  I’ve been corroborating with my old band mate, David Landon, together on some tunes, making use of technology that didn’t exist back when we first formed The Dialectics.  These days we’re calling ourselves Mad Lands, and we’ve been hard at work writing tunes.  It’s a good way to blow off some steam (and it’s all for fun), but I do find a lot of my creative juices are flowing in that direction at the moment.

What does all that mean?  Well, I’m going to finish this book as soon as I can.  I expect that will be some time in June, barring any unforeseen delays.  With any luck, I’ll be able to get the edit done and have it all ready to go by August.  Still, in an attempt to be realistic, at this point the best I can hope to promise is it will be out before the end of the year.  I still remain optimistic I can finish up World of Shadows Part I this year as well, but I’m going to focus on one story at a time.

Thanks for your patience and for reading,


S.L. Madden


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