Stuff adds up. If you’re interested in any details, you can always drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll see what I can do about relaying fractured ideas and fragmented dialogue bits to someone other than my keyboard.
Photo copyright by Marin Rukavina, 2019.
The unnamed Izazov krvi third part.
I’ve laid the basic plot out (a pretty satisfactory process, I might add) in a few days in early March of 2019. This story, in a way, became suddenly relevant the moment I’d realized the first draft of the second novel was almost over. The idea of having a third, full novel in the series to wrap it up with a bow (or a silver bullet) as a trilogy thus became a not so distant, but actually quite manageable idea. This time, we’ve got Snježana, the main character from the first two novels, and Brigitte (from the Tale, above, who also happens to be the one with quite a few POV pages in the second novel), working together against a backdrop of their many differences to stop a broody (but extremely cunning) villain whose reign reached its peak in 1875 Rijeka. Yeah, it’s my hometown – and yeah, this is the first time I’m going back to writing a story set in it after nine years. It’s going to be fun. (Also, apparently, quite a bit darker than I’d have previously guessed. We’ll see how that works out.)
I’m incredibly honoured to note that the novel has been awarded a three months’ literary production grant by my hometown of Rijeka, which has bumped it up on my list quite considerably. I’ve started writing it (after having finished the very first chapter for the grant application) on May 2nd (Sam Winchester’s birthday!) 2019, and… here we go.
STATUS: Idling the Third Werewolf Novel: current wordcount 71371 on March 4th, 2020.
Johnny’s Girls Two, working title Girls in Black
Set in an alternate 1945 Rijeka, quite similar to ours, the novel picks up a few months after Johnny’s Girls has ended. I’ve already got a few
sentencesthousand words in it (mostly because I’m the worst of shippers, who can’t help herself, nor does she want to) even though I ‘should’ be working on the werewolves. I dunno, something about these characters just struck with me, and I don’t see my interest in them lessening any time soon. The only problem I currently have is that I can’t really decide whether do go with the flow and make it lovecraftian, or not. TBD.
STATUS: Idling Girls in Black: current wordcount 3870 on February 22nd, 2020.
The unnamed Izazov krvi sequel.
Set in late 1874 in the small town of Klana (at the time, an Austro-Hungarian municipality). The initial wordcount has surpassed the first novel (43,8k) on March 14th, the principal draft (can we call it wordography?) was done at 9:33 AM on Tuesday, March 26th (A-HA!), and the first revision over on December 5th, 2019. (My publisher’s kinda sorta been wondering whatever happened to it.)
There are still a few details to fix, we’ll see how many my crew manages to catch. Currently I’m mostly interested in making sure that a) the novel manages to connect seamlessly into the Third Werewolf Novel, and b) that the characters translate to the page as complex and interesting as I’ve imagined them to be.
STATUS: First revision done! As of December 5th, 2019. Second revision pending.
Even Mountains (short story)
A tie-in short story set a few hundred years (closer to a thousand, but I’ve always sucked at math) before the events of the unnamed Izazov krvi sequel. As of August, 2019, I’m very pleased to note that the story has been accepted to be published in a Croatian authors’ anthology in English. More info to come!
FF. Following two short stories published in 2014 and 2016. Based on an idea from 2014, which, for some reason, in late 2018 decided to come back and haunt the author. And then I went all like “but you’ve always wanted to do something in dieselpunk”, and “you still cry at the VE-day scene in The First Avenger” [edit May 2019: I still cry at the VE-day scene in The First Avenger] and in late February 2019 I’ve already had three doc files and two excel sheets of plot and character backgrounds and all the ways two people can hurt each other while they’re falling in love in an alternate 1945 Rijeka (while none of them is called Cathy).
And then there was prepping for NaNoWriMo 2019, which apparently made me go all bonkers, and, then I took the plunge and started the novel currently known as Johnny’s Girls on November 1st, 2019. It’s planned as a three-parter, but that won’t hold up in court. You can read a little about it in the thirty days series, although only partially.
Ps. Yeah, it’s a parallel-universe setting inspired by Croatian Baroque painters (and werewolves – although none are planned in this story). Why, did you think it could be anything else?
STATUS: First draft finished at 65,056 words on December 3rd, 2019.
Johnny’s Girls Three, working title Lost Girls
The fact that my S.O. has been swept up in the His Dark Materials drama—one of the initial inspirations for this setting—hasn’t helped. Set in a dystopian alternate Zagreb, probably in early 1946. The concept idea was created during my daily commute on December 19th, 2019.
A MFM tie-in novella for Izazov krvi – in English! Set at the end of 1874 in Rijeka, between Izazov krvi and its sequel. Currently
frozen at a Very Serious Scene waiting to be picked up again after the Scene that Took Two Months to (Not) Write, at 29,500 words. It revolves around a few new characters (some of which appear both in Mrkopalj, below, and the full sized sequel) and it’s a bit problematic. For this one, I went back to my first working style (and still my favourite one) – get some ideas in my head and then write whatever comes next. On hold until I finish the full sequels, though – this story is a sort of a carrot thing for me, so it has to wait until I’ve earned it!
Frostbitten Dark in Mrkopalj
Quite… a working title. A tie-in (prequel) MM novella in Croatian for Izazov krvi, set sometime around 1865 in Mrkopalj, one of the towns in the Gorski kotar region. The main characters are Kuzma from Izazov krvi, and a new one of Mrkopalj origin (who did make their first appearance in the above mentioned longer works, in the end, because I’ve… forgotten all about this story and I’ve been guilt tripping about not writing the actual full-length sequel for almost two years now?). This one is all outlined and I’ve got the first few scenes sketched out. The only thing I’m still really missing is the exact nature of the Big Bad Frosty Adversary lurking in the Matić poljana locale. We’ll cross that field when we get there.
Also, somewhere during the inconspicuous Sunday of February 17th, 2019 (Sundays are the worst), two of the new characters from the Izazov krvi WIP sequel apparently decided they wanted to hijack the author into planning for two other tie-in novellas in English (one FF, one MM), and now they’re kinda sorta bumping around in the back of my brain. Mostly bumping into their prospective romantic interests. One of whom might be related to another character from the second part, but… you know what, just let me get back to the new KJ Charles, thank you very much, ‘kay bye.
Unnamed Werewolf Novel/lla No. 4
1876-ish, Zagreb, finally with completely different main characters (one appearing in the third novel). Also, gaaay. Also also, on May 30th, 2019, I wrote four pages of clean, lean dialogue in this story, so I guess it’s happening, whether I like it or not. I have the first and the last scene, too. Now I just have to find an outside plot strong enough to support what I’ve got in mind, ship-wise.
Since February 2019 I’ve been playing around with ideas for a certain Vojna krajina paranormal historical MM romance/adventure series (*crickets*), based on an old short story idea (yeah, right, aha) about the service of werewolf soldiers in the (16th and 17th century) military defense region between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy. (Wanna guess which country was right at the centre of the region? Yay, Croatia!) The morning of final plotting for the last few scenes of the Izazov krvi sequel (it was March 15th, 2019) I’ve realized that the idea No. 8 might be just what I need to recover from the emotional rollercoaster ride of the last few chapters of said sequel. It has Austrian military officers serving as fort captains a long way from home, werewolf spy/intelligence patrols, border disputes between several warring nations and the colorful background of endless karst fields in the Balkan region way before pesky inventions like electricity and the steam engine. It has, also, zero ex-lovers drama, zero “are you gonna/are you not gonna turn your partner” drama, and, most importantly, zero heartbroken writers. I hope.
The Wolf Rider
A MF novella which could quite possibly feature in the Ranger Paraversum (who am I kidding – it’s right there), written in 2015, and waiting for revision-cum-translation. (Meaning, I get it out every few months and ponder why I ever did think this was a good idea. Oh, and then I remember – muscles.)
The Basement Crew
Every now and then somebody would say “but, when are you going to write something YAish, since you love working with teenagers?” and then I’d sigh and not say “but I’ll never be able to write something YAish which would be deemed ‘appropriate’ by Croatian standards”. The truth is, of course, that I have (had) a dream ever since mid 2010s, about a group of younger people (I have a hunch they’ll end up more new adult than young adult, but we’ll see) with powers (completely unrelated to the X-persons, no-I-am-not-getting-a-Jeannie-tattoo) who are trying to navigate young/new adulthood while their powers keep trying to distract them and/or plain ol’ kill them. (Another inspiration was this novel. Ergo, the basement.) Since I’ve spent several months in a row writing in Croatian in early 2019 and since I’m still in awe how Milena Benini‘s done it wonderfully in her “Ru i oružje” (Ru and Weapons) story, I am, once again, thrilled with the idea of succumbing to the challenge of writing a major character – in a language as heavily gendered as Croatian – who’s a they, i. e., neither a she nor a he. While daydreaming away, I always get stuck on the issue of writing a gender-neutral character in a “regular” modern setting who doesn’t end up being offensive to actual trans people. And I’ve sacked the previous few chapters (written in said mid-2010s) because a) no, b) hell no, c) they were written by hand and d) I don’t even care about most of those concepts anymore. But I still care about the crew. Sigh…