What’s Next?

 The last month and a half have been such fun. I want to thank everyone who read along with all or part of Touched and especially thank those who left comments. Writing is much easier when there are people enjoying the ride.

Over the course of writing this novel, there have been a bunch of people who pointed out some of the more egregious errors. The best one being that I said Toyota made the Accord, when everyone (but me) knew it was Honda. Mom and Dad Meeks have also worked tirelessly to help with the edits, so they deserve a big high five, too.

Today, I entered Touched, in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. On February 13, I’ll find out if I’ve made it to the next round. The contest is limited to 10,000 entries and only 2,000 make it to the quarter finals.

I had intended to enter the YA novel I finished back in November, but it seems that only one entry is allowed. I chose Touched, because Secret Doors is almost ready to publish. The cover art is being worked on as we speak. Not to brag, but it is maybe my favorite thing I’ve ever written, and that is saying something, because I’m a huge fan of my work.

So, the question becomes, as Stephanie Berget put it, “What’s next?”

I like having you all visit and read my stories, so it seems like I should continue with a new project. It only seems fair to get feedback, so here are four ideas.

1) I continue working on a spy thriller I started some time ago, posting the first 10K or so, that I already have and then continuing with it.


2) I’ve always wanted to write a screen play, so I thought I might do that for “Secret Doors”, which is a delightful YA novel I’ll be publishing soon.


3) Begin the 5th book in the Henry Wood Series.


4) I let you all follow along as I write the sequel to Secret Doors. I realize reading the sequel before the first book seems like crazy talk, but I wanted to put it out there, because it is such fun to write.


Here is a description of Secret Doors: The Challenge, <Yes, I just now changed the title. Writing books sometime works that way.

Abby’s parents died two years earlier. She was miserable living with her new family until she met Stevie.

The two of them, both age 12, are about to wander through a tiny little door in the alley behind Mr. Pak’s Grocery Store. This secret door is one of many, but before they can explore this new world, they must survive the 1000th annual challenge.

When the selection begins, Abby and Stevie are still trying to make sense of what has happened to them. The frightening Mr. Pincer reacts poorly when he sees her red hair, and the beginning of the challenge is halted as all eyes turn to our two friends. When they try to leave, a kindly owl, who turns into a man before their eyes, invites Abby and Stevie up to his office. The owl, Chancellor Alphius Omega, is just as startled to see these unscheduled children as they are to be there.

Alphius, who mostly goes by Alphie, decides they must be there for a reason and convinces Abby and Stevie to take part in a little adventure.

Teamed up with the last three children left — as everyone else was picked while they were talking with Alphie — the five children choose the staircase that will lead them to their test. But, what waits for them on the other side is far more of a challenge than anyone, even Alphie, expects.

The novel, at just over 50,400 words, is the first in the Secret Doors series.

(Note: Special thanks to Bruce Lebatte, who did some editing on this piece.)


If you will simply cast your vote with a comment, I’ll be sure to tally up the vote or votes, as the case may be, and then tomorrow we can get to work on a new project. If you have another idea, please feel free to submit it, as I’m always open to suggestions.


I really DO enjoy the read-a-long, even though I did fall behind at times. I'm not sure I would cast a vote, since I don't know enough of your other work yet. But you asked for a vote, so I'll go with #1, the spy thriller.

kweinert like.author.displayName 1 Like

Personally I'd vote for something else entirely.


I realize that I'm definitely in the minority here but I've not enjoyed the serial read-along. It's not your writing, it's just a format that I've never liked. I wait until the end and then read the entire thing at once. Which can be difficult when you're trying to chase down blog posts. :)


Whatever you decide to do, the best of luck to you. I do like your writing and keep up with your other posts and such.

ExtremelyAvg moderator

 @kweinert I appreciate the feedback. The advantage for me, with the serial writing, is that it forces me to produce. I've sort of set it in my mind that I want this to be the year I break out and make a living as a writer. The last month and a half have been some of the most productive days I've had since I began writing in 2010.  I haven't decided what I'll do and hopefully a few other people will cast votes, too.


Thanks again for reading.


 @ExtremelyAvg And it *is* all about you, no doubt about it. I wish you all the luck that hard work and perseverance can bring you. For the little time I've 'known' you I have no doubts that you can succeed at what you put your mind to. If serial writing is what gets you motivated and productive then that's what you should do. 


I *do* like your writing. I think my problem with the serial part is that I'm an extremely fast reader and I like to build and keep the concept in my head as I read along. The serial aspect just chunks it up too much and I don't enjoy the content.


From what I've gathered from reading comments (and your non-serial entries :) there are a lot of people that enjoy their daily dose of Mr EA. I wrote that knowing that I was in the minority. I hope to one day find the motivation that will get me out in the shop on a more regular basis. I'll admit that no heat and 20F days are a discouragement, but there's plenty of other times I should be getting busy out there.


Keep on keeping on.

ExtremelyAvg moderator

 @kweinert  @ExtremelyAvg

 My dad is a super speedy reader, too. He would prefer that I write the Henry Wood series in one night...every night.  hehe..


You know, you have been a loyal reader since back in the old days. If you send me an email to EcocandleRiel@gmail.com, I'll send you Touched in its entirity, so you don't have to dig through all the posts. It is the least I can do.


Also, if you are interested, would you like to be a beta reader for "Secret Doors: The Challenge"? I'd love to send it to you, also.  Basically, if you want anything I've written, including the Henry Woods, just let me know and I'll zip them along.  :-)

Juliabarrett like.author.displayName 1 Like

Oh, and good luck on your Amazon entry!

Juliabarrett like.author.displayName 1 Like

The fans get to vote, eh?  I'm going to leave it up to you because you seem to do quite well when left to your own devices.  All I can say about Touched is - it's been quite a ride!