I promise, this will be the last time I revise my 2018 writing plans. I think.
No, seriously, I promise. I've been doing a lot of brainstorming about my long-term goals for the Afterverse, partly as a response to some issues I've been having with my current writing projects. Not only have I solved those problems, but I've also come up with a lot more story concepts and an expanded “long game” for my shared universe of stories.
Shall we begin? First off, Beaumont and Beasley Volume 1.
This is a “box set” of the first three Beaumont and Beasley stories, combined into one volume. It's available on Kindle for $9.99–meaning that you save money when you buy this release instead of purchasing the three books separately. A paperback edition is also available, for $19.99. (Sorry for the steep price on that, but it's necessary so I can financially justify publishing a print edition in the first place. Plus, you're still saving $10 by buying the single-volume paperback instead of the separate books.)
On to B&B Book 4. Originally, this was supposed to be The Thirty-Nine Thieves. That one is still coming, just a little later than I'd originally intended. Why? Well, after The Stroke of Eleven, I felt the need to give my characters and the Afterlands as a whole a chance to “breathe” and cope with the consequences of the first three books. (Don't worry, I'm not going to spoil any of those if you're not up to speed with the series yet.)
So here's the new Book 4:
As you can see, I'm departing from the usual branding of the series a little with this cover–no B&B logo with the series number at the top. (The number “4” will still be on the spine of the paperback edition, so it won't look out of place on your shelf.) This release will also be in a different format. It's a collection of four short (approximately 15,000-word) stories, set in post-Stroke-of-Eleven Talesend. They will be interlinked, but they won't be as heavily connected to the main series arc as previous books. That's not to say they're “filler episodes,” though. These stories, particularly the last, will have major consequences for the series going forward. Here are the synopses:
The Strange Cases of Beaumont and Beasley
1. The Labyrinth of Beasts
Uncertain times have come to the city of Talesend…and it's all Nick Beasley's fault. Just when he thinks he's got things under control, a bizarre (and embarrassing) curse befalls the city, taxing Nick's newly-reopened private detective agency to the utmost. He and his friends will have to work with an unusual ally if they are to save Talesend–and Nick will have to face the repercussions of his own arrogance.
2. The Geppetto Codex
Wood is coming to life all across Talesend–and it's decidedly unfriendly. The Mythfits aren't worried, though. They see this as a prime opportunity to prove their worth as employees of Beaumont and Beasley, so that Nick will stop treating them like children. Molly Beaumont offers to help them solve the case–but she's hiding something. Will she be able to protect her young friends from this terrifying new threat? Or will she plunge them into even more danger?
3. The Last Prince Charming
Crispin Beasley is tired of being kept in the dark. Nick knows something about his brother's newfound powers, but he's refusing to divulge it. So Crispin decides to strike out on his own and discover the true nature of his abilities. Well, not quite on his own. He has an unwanted mentor in the form of Malcolm Blackfire. And when reality-warping events start plaguing a seemingly ordinary young man, Crispin may not be able to trust his teacher to do the right thing. But with so many secrets surrounding his destiny, can Crispin even trust himself?
Beaumont and Beasley is under attack from a powerful new enemy. Only one person remains to save the day–Lady Cordelia Beaumont. But the situation is even worse than it appears. Nick will be brought to account for past–and future–mistakes. Crispin and Molly will face their demons. No one will escape unscathed…and one member of Beaumont and Beasley will not escape at all.
Yeah. That's as sinister as it sounds. I hesitate to say that a character is going to die, per se…but that is sort of what's happening. “Schism” will change the series forever moving forward, even more than The Stroke of Eleven did. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Also, the “Big Bad” of these four stories should come as an exciting surprise, though there are already some clues to his identity in these titles alone, so you may be able to guess it. (I won't tell you if you do, though.)
Yup, it's finally happening. The oft-delayed The Mirror of Rorrim will be Book 5 in the series. It will return to the main arc and address some of the plot threads I've been building up to this point, while examining my take on Snow White at the same time. It will also include some more Alice in Wonderland stuff, and plenty of humor. (Don't worry, my intention is to never allow things to get too dark.)
Originally, I'd planned to use my newsletter-freebie-short-story “Shadow Boy” as the start of a Peter-Pan-centric spinoff series. While I still intend to do some kind of Peter Pan spinoff eventually, I'm going to use that short as the prologue of a Beaumont and Beasley book set in Neverland first. Expect globe-trotting excitement and surprising takes on familiar characters in this one.
This one you've already seen. It's going to be Book 7 instead of Book 4, and it definitely won't be like any Aladdin retelling you've read before. It will also feature a cliffhanger leading into…
…another trilogy! Yes, there will be three additional Beaumont and Beasley books after Thieves. Altogether, these seven books will wrap up nearly all the storylines introduced in the first three.
I'm not quite ready to announce titles for the last trilogy yet. The one thing I will divulge is that the prequel book I've been working on, The Clawthorn Rose, will now be Beaumont and Beasley Book 9. I'll explain how and why that's going to be the case later this year. To do so now would reveal too many spoilers. Suffice it to say that the story wasn't coming together to my satisfaction as a separate entity–it's too heavily linked to the B&B books to be in a different series. The Tales of the Afterlands stories are still going to happen, but in a different way and with a different title. That, too, will be explained in due time.
And after Book 10? According to my current plan, the B&B series could end with the tenth story. However, it doesn't have to. There are ways I could continue it after that, and assuming people still want the books at that point, I have every intention of writing further stories. Either way, the Afterverse is rife with concepts for spinoffs and sequel series, so I don't intend to stop writing in this world any time soon.
One more thing–instead of releasing the shorter Blackfire books as separate stories, I'll be doing them in one collected volume at a time, Netflix-style.
Not much to say about this release right now, except that if you think you know the story of Malcolm Blackfire and Melody Nightingale, trust me…you don't.
I'll be announcing official synopses for these books as I continue to get them ready for publication. For future releases, I'm eschewing the usual book-launch strategy for a “when it's ready” approach. Given the unpredictability of my work schedule, I think this is the best way to prevent reader disappointment and reduce my stress levels. My intention is to get most, if not all, of these books written before the end of the year. (Crazy, I know, but I think I can do it.) My intention is to release The Strange Cases of Beaumont and Beasley as soon as possible. I'll get back to you on precisely when.
Whoo! That was exhausting. Thanks for reading this very long post! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, and look for more announcements about my expanding author platform in the near future.