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The State of Play

It’s day 103 of Lock-Down, and I thought it was time to take stock of the three projects that are going to be release later this year. In this little article, I’ll go over the three novels and give an update on each one, and a spoiler free synopsis of what each story is about.

We’ll start with Project X. This is the 7th of 9 books in the Earth Saga Series and is titled ‘The Battle for Jupiter’. If you’ve read the previous six books in the series, you know what the title means, and you know what is at stake in this novel. This novel is roughly 75-80% complete and sitting at 77,029 words. Of the three novels being covered in this article, this one will require the most work during the editing process. I’ve tried to keep this novel pretty action heavy, and there is a very good chance that I might add to it during editing. I won’t give any spoilers about the plot, but I will say that this story is critical to everything and could be considered the ‘beginning of the end’ for the Earth Saga Series. That doesn’t mean the final two novels are not going to be important, just that this one will most likely be the last action-heavy story, and the story that puts the rest of the series in motion.


The second book that is going to be released later this year is ‘Murder on Valtameri’. This is Project XI and is a standalone novel without any characters that we’ve see before. A few characters that appear in the Earth Saga Series have appeared in one or two of the standalone books, but this novel has a whole new cast of characters, and has a very different vibe from any of the other books I’ve written. Think Agatha Christie’s Poirot, but in space. Sitting at a light 55,134 words, this novel is waiting on the beta-readers to wrap up their work before I carry on with the next phase of editing. The lead character is someone who I’m tempted to write a follow-on book or two around, but that remains to be seen. Some of the supporting characters are quite interesting, and they might present good material for a spin-off. Time will tell.


The third and final book scheduled to be released this year is ‘A War Beneath the Clouds’. Project XII. This is another standalone project that has all new characters set in the Earth Saga universe and is currently in the final act with 75,114 words complete. This project is an attempt to write a story with a ‘war’ feel to it. Think trench warfare in World War One or the monotony and fear of duty in Vietnam. This novel will be fairly action oriented, like most of my projects, with a tad more violence than the other two on this list. While I’m not going for gore, I certainly think a modicum of violence is required to capture the horror of war, and how it can shape people. I do not anticipate a follow-on from this project. That doesn’t mean that option isn’t available, but I just think that this truly is a standalone without the need to continue anyone’s story once the story is finished.


I anticipate finishing Project X and XII in July, giving myself several months to get all three ready for release some time in the winter. I’ll need a few rounds of edits, and I’ll need to have cover art sourced for all three of these projects. I have a fairly good idea what Project XIII and Project XIV will be, but that is always subject to change. I have several projects planned for the future, and with my increased work-rate, I hope to be able to generate more content each year, all of it under the umbrella of the ‘Earth Saga’, and while these upcoming stories might not involve ‘Earth’ they will be part of that universe, either in the past, present, or future (although we have yet to go here!).

Until next time, stay healthy out there.

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Copyright 2020 Donald B McFarlane