I just tapped in the final change to the US copyedit of Ascendance. (Dave 3) That still doesn't free me from the first series. There are page proofs to check for both Oz and the US, and the UK series to sign off yet – although the Brits are just buying their copy from Pan Mac in Sydney, so hopefully there's nothing for me to do but drag a large tea chest piled high with gold sovereigns to the bank.
The substantial work is done though. Checking the page proofs just means reading the thing one last time, which is no great imposition. I was still laughing at the jokes as I went through the copyedit. Always a happy sign.
Now, though, I turn to what I'm thinking of as season two of the Dave. More conventionally it's just a second trilogy, to be written in exactly the same way as the first. All at once. And there are some ebooks to be filed too, none from Dave's point of view. It's all about the Scoobies and a character you haven't met yet.
The reason I'm thinking of this as 'season two' is wrapped up in the unusual way the first trilogy was written and – just as importantly – why I did it like that. Book writing long ago eclipsed my income from media work and I want to double down on that. But it just wont happen if I'm grinding out a long trilogy over five or six years. Readers are remarkably indulgent but they deserve better than that. Creditors are less indulgent and demand heaps better than that.
It's a small PoV change in some ways, and one that had to wait until I found a character like Dave; one I was happy to stay with for a long time. Previously I tended to approach a new series like: "Well here's a trilogy and if it works out I'll try another one or some ebooks and that'll keep me busy for a while."
But in fact that form of writing kept me too busy for too long on one project after another. It also made for some difficult scheduling when alternatives presented themselves. So with Hooper, I'm coming at it differently.
I'm looking at each year as a season. Like a TV season. There are three feature length 'movies', and a handful of smaller associated projects. They get all my resourcing and attention for the year and when the season is done I go into hiatus until the following year.
How many seasons of The Dave are there? I have three planned already. But we'll have to wait for the ratings to see whether it goes into syndication.
Below, you find the draft UK artwork for #2.