Last night I wrapped up Draft Zero of my next release, a sequel to my science fiction novella set in Michael Bunker’s world of Pennsylvania, The Girl in the City. It’s called The Girl in the Wilderness. What does Draft Zero mean? Well, it’s what I call the very first version of the novel that tells the story from start to finish. There’s usually chapters and paragraphs I know I need to rewrite, foreshadowing I need to add, and almost certainly plot holes you could drive a truck through. But the key points are there and (probably for the first time) I’ve got a good idea of the whole story. There’s still a lot of work to do before the book gets out to you, but it’s a great feeling nevertheless.
I hadn’t originally planned on writing a sequel to The Girl in the City and it stands alone very well, but a lot of people have been asking if there will be more stories featuring Leah and I had some strong ideas so I decided to turn the book into a trilogy. The third part – The Girl in the Machine – will follow later this year.
I was originally planning on making books two and three novellas that would be roughly 50% bigger than the first book. However, The Girl in the Wilderness already clocks in at 52,002 words and will probably get longer as I finish off the true first draft. That’s about three times bigger than The Girl in the City. As a result, I’ve had to push out the third book so that I can get back to the zombie series I’m working on. Don’t ask me how long that third book will be, I’ve got no idea now.
Because I hadn’t planned more than one book, the original cover to The Girl in the City wasn’t designed as part of a series. It also didn’t really match the content of the trilogy, particular books two and three. So, I decided to get a new design that could be consistent across the whole series and suited the tone of the books better.
I was planning on posting the new cover tomorrow but to celebrate the completion of Draft Zero, I’m posting it today.
So, without further ado, here’s the new cover for The Girl in the City…
A huge thank you to Adam at Around the Pages for the new design. He’s going to be designing the cover for The Girl in the Wilderness as well.
Next, I start working through Draft Zero, fixing all those holes to turn it into a real First Draft.
Incidentally, if you’d like the chance to read The Girl in the Wilderness free of charge, before it’s released, I’ll be providing review copies to anyone who has a) reviewed one of my previous books and b) commits to reviewing The Girl in the Wilderness as close to its release as possible. Either contact me through the website or join the mailing list (and get a year of free short stories) to get your name on the list.
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[The Girl in the Wilderness Draft Zero by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 12th May 2016]