I just finished the first draft of my Djinn sequel to "Foundation for the Lost." The working title has been "Hero of Fire" but two possible more exciting titles are "Redemption of Mata Hari" and "Tears of the Abyss." My working titles are usually pretty mash potato plain and relate to the inspiration. I wrote it because Foundation is my favorite story so far and the main character deserved closure. Hopefully, the sequel will help shine light on my highest rated story (that only sells 15 copies a month). While it's in edit, I'll work with Renee on the cover. Over Thanksgiving week, I'll try to cook up some advertizing for a few books and decide my next project.
Ladies and gentlemen, the next choice will come down to two options: love or money.
The character that's been whispering in my ear loudest for the last four months has been Nick Solace (pronounced Soulless), a fixer for a special branch of the Smithsonian in DC. His degree is in abnormal psych but he's officially a lobbyist--which explains the odd important people he's always meeting with. I have two short stories with Nick that form the core of my first horror novel. My favorite parts are the asides like when the rental car girl asks him if he want to get a hybrid and save the planet. "From what I've seen today, it'll take a lot more than that." There are tangential links to the Foundation universe and Da Vinci art, but this is a new genre for me, which is always a risk. Authors never know what's going to sell. This could be the next Dresden or only a B side that will take two years of sales to pay off. However, it would be a joy to channel Nick for four months and see what trouble he gets into.
The alternative is "Sanctuary", book three in the popular Jezebel's Ladder series--top 100 high tech for the last four months. About a fifth of the reviews and all the Facebook messages ask for the next book where the astronauts go to another world. I don't have as strong a handle on this and it will take a month of brainstorming before I can write. I know the disaster on moonbase that triggers frantic action and the intended destination, but someone violates Earth's new code of ethics on the trip...and the trip is preempted. Instead, to stay in space, the crew has to re-route to another planet and assist a primitive group to keep our new status. This is my wife's favorite series, but her reaction to my sketch was "Nothing is ever easy." This novel would likely boost sales of the other two books, please existing fans, and sell about ten times as much the first month, but it would be the hardest to make live.
So which will it be: love or money?