Time for a monthly update on how I’m doing with my WIP, Against All Odds, Book 3 of the Crossroads trilogy. I settled on a tagline because I had to order the cover. I think it sums up what is the end of the trilogy:
Based on a true story, the extraordinary saga continues, filled with hardship, family, courage, truth, and survival.
Here’s a quick summary:
A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.
The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.
From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of the People’s long search for freedom, safety, and a new home.
A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!
How’d I do last month
After fighting through distraction, lack of focus, and malaise, here’s what I did this past month:
- finished a rough draft (the fourth) of the book. This was a deep dive into pacing, character development, consistency, and flow. I feel really good that’s done.
- began another round of wordsmithing in AutoCrit–one I aborted over a month ago from boredom. I found a new tool: Crossword dictionaries. These address weak verbs that authors augment with an adverb when they instead should replace them with one strong verb. For example:
My brain quit on me and I could come up with nothing (remember I mentioned distraction and malaise?). Nada. Zilch. Zip. A fortuitous search of a crossword helper came up with:
I then decided which verb fit my story and moved on. This will be a big help until my brain turns back on!
- I ordered my cover! I like my fake cover…
…but it needs the professional’s touch. I’m pretty excited about getting that started. Now I have to wait. I’ve become good at that this past month…
- I did some work on marketing pieces for Against All Odds and the trilogy, Crossroads. I’m doing some work on the trailer (using the slideshow method Diana Peach recommended). I’m collecting ideas and will soon start arranging them sequentially.
- All three of my books in the Man vs. Nature saga were on sale for three days this month. It went good but not great. I tried to market it but I’m definitely not aggressive enough in that area. Still, one of the days was the biggest sales I’ve ever had so that was fun…. I don’t do many sales and the next will probably be when Against All Odds is published. I’m thinking of putting Book 1 in the trilogy, Survival of the Fittest, on sale then, to encourage interest in the trilogy. Anyone with experience in that sort of promotion? Does it work?
- I’ve begun thinking about the next book I’ll write in the Man vs. Nature saga. That will probably be in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy which started with Born in a Treacherous Time. I am curious what has happened to Lucy since she lost her tribe and was driven away by the band of Homo erectus who invaded their territory.
That’s it! How are you doing on your latest WIP? I’d love to hear!
More on How I’m Doing
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Summer 2020.