So What’s Next?

Folded newspapers

The first three Kepler novels and Road Rules have been rereleased. In a few weeks, I will need to put together Gypsy’s Kiss with the collection formerly known as The Compleat Kepler for release in November. The non-Kepler collection The Compleat Winter will get an overhaul, and I don’t know where that’s going to land. So what next?

That’s a quandary as I also reach the end, as TS Hottle, of this iteration of The Compact Universe. Here’s what’s in the pipeline that has not been released before.

  • Holland Bay: This “magnum opus” has been making rounds to agents and is being looked at by a trad publisher at the moment. It got a really good look in New York last year, so I’m hopeful it will find a home soon. If the publisher or one of the remaining agent queries hits gold, that will determine what I work on next as a follow-up will become priority.
  • Kepler #5: Untitled as of yet, it checks in at 39,000 words, too short to be a novel. However, a couple of scenes and altering (and prolonging) the antagonist’s fate, plus a few judicious methods of adding text without actually padding it, will bring this into novel territory nicely. Probably a small press or indie offering, but a new Kepler beyond this is not likely in the near future.
  • Loman: I wrote the other day about this supporting character from Road Rules. The trouble is making him relatable, to get readers to come along with him. The guy kills people for a living, and while being legally undead is appealing, the whole murder as an action item on the day’s schedule is a bit dodgy.
  • Sequel to Holland Bay: I started one. Scrapped it when it ran into POV bloat. And I may want to separate the story up a bit. Originally, I wanted to do a story about the sex trade in American cities, but I think the opioid crisis is a bit more pressing. The trouble is these novels take so long to develop that a ripped-from-the-headlines approach is not really feasible.

I may do nothing. The last Compact Universe novel is kicking my ass, requiring yet another (and shorter) rewrite. I may let Holland Bay land and come up with something else when that happens.