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We are cranking here at Casa Franks, boys and girls.

I slowed down a bit over the weekend, but right now, until I start work again, I’m able to turn out approximately one pencilled McBlack page a day. I have also been writing. Boy howdy, have I been writing.

My current project is XDA ZAI. For those of you who’ve been following this blog for a while, this a novel about a dimension-hopping assassin whose chief joy in life is in the travel. I sold one of the chapters to the Assassin’s Canon anthology (Utility Fog Press, 2009) but I put the book aside for a while because I felt as if I was too unfocused. Now that I’ve completed the other big projects that were on my plate at the time (Bloody Waters, Faerie Apocalypse, McBlack vol.01 and The Sixsmiths) it’s back at the top of my pile and I picked up where I left off–the middle of chapter 8.

I’ve since then completed chapters 9 and 10 and I’m now working on the eleventh and final part of the book. This one, for some reason, is slower going than the others. Perhaps because I’ve tried to pack triple the number of locations into it (the book is about travel, after all, and I want to go out with a bang… er, so to speak). Perhaps it’s because I enjoy writing these so much and I don’t want to see the end of it.. even though the book is structured in a way that will let me add new adventures any time I feel like it. This was not an accident–most of the chapters function discretely, although there is hopefully a clear arc through all of them.

But of course, this isn’t the end. It’s the end of the first draft I can see bearing down on me. After that the fun is over and it’s time to edit the fucker into submission-readiness. Perhaps it’s that editing slog that I am afraid of–it feels as if I’ve already spent most of the year doing exactly that.

My goal is to have this final chapter ready by the end of the week. Let’s see how it goes…

Hopefully I will have another announcement by then as well.


— JF

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