The Willow Sword

Keep It Simple

Otherwise known as the KISS Principle — Keep It Simple, Stupid (or whatever other s-word you want to have there. This is how I learned it). It governs a lot of forward facing properties from set design to costume design to websites. And translated into Liz Speak today, it means that I personally should not have two locations on my website to update the same information, because I will invariably forget that one of them exists.

Brought to you by the fact that I just remembered I had an Appearances page on this website, which hadn’t been updated since early 2021.


It’s fixed now, and the Appearances widget has also been updated. I’m finished with appearances for this year, but there are two on the calendar for 2024 so far, and I’m waiting for more info on a couple of others.

Work is continuing, and I’m still waiting for edits on Morrigan’s Heir. My editor says that they are minimal, however, I don’t know how he defines minimal. Here’s hoping the turnaround will go quickly because this book was advertised for 2023, and I don’t want to let anyone down who was waiting. Once edits on Morrigan’s Heir are finished, I’ll go through Morrigan’s Wrath and make sure everything is consistent, and then send that in.

I’m hoping to have Balance of Power done by the end of the year. I just started chapter 14, and I’m starting to think this will be a shorter book than the others. My projection said 90K words, but I think it’s going to be closer to 65 – 70K. We shall see. And once that’s done, then I’ll go back to The Sea Prince and get that finished. Yes. Finished. This time I MEAN it.

And then? Well, I’m going to start the research for Iron and Silk, because my Pirate Princess is yelling at me. But is she yelling louder than Teren, the Three Day Emperor from Tales from the Arena, who finally told me his story and is just waiting for me to get it on the page? Or maybe, just maybe, I might pull out the bones of The Willow Sword and write that one — it’s started, but something wasn’t right with it, and I think it’s just that I’m not meant to write YA, and this needs to be aged up. Again, we shall see.

I do know that I’m going back to working on one writing project at a time. One in research, one actively writing, one in edits. I don’t seem to be able to balance two writing projects at a time anymore. I think I burned out that portion of my writing brain. But that’s okay. I’m still getting words on the page, and there are still so many books to write.

Works in Progress

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

43409 / 90000 (48.23%)

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

63623 / 120000 (53.02%)


My no longer final promo for the year is THIS FRIDAY, hosted by Stephanie Freeman. You can find more information and sign up here. For that event, you can grab free copies of The Chronicles of John Zebedee!

I’ve also decided to do that First in Series Friday for Black Friday, marking down Written in Water, Hidden Things, Counsel of the Wicked, and The Chronicles of John Zebedee. So keep an eye out for that information — I need to make graphics for it and get some ads set up.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Balance of Power, Cavalcade of Authors, Counsel of the Wicked, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Iron and Silk, John Zebedee, progress, promotions, Rebel Mage, Tales from the Arena, The Iron Virgin, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, The Willow Sword, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, writing, Written in Water, 0 comments

New Beginnings Lead to New Endings.

This is it. I’m starting the last book in the Heir to the Firstborn series this week. I finished my first read-through of Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads (and discovered a couple of places where a Scrivener crash led to changes that I made not making it to the final document! Eek!) The manuscript is now in the hands of Darling Editor, and I’m starting Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home either later today or tomorrow.

It’s a little weird. I’ve been writing this series now for three years, posting it on Patreon one chapter at a time. It’ll probably be four years of writing by the time it wraps.

And then what?

Well, I’ll have six books and a short story to show for it. Two award nominations and one win. I’ve learned a lot. Grown a lot, both as a person and as a writer. Have I changed so much? Not sure, but I’m in the inside. I don’t know if I’d see it.

So where do I go from here?

Might be a little premature to ask that question. I haven’t written the book yet! But once it’s done, and in edits, then I get to decide what I want to do next. Do I keep the Patreon? What do I put there once Heir to the Firstborn is done? I have a couple of options there, I think. At least three projects that would lend themselves to the New Adult model I’ve already established on Patreon (If you’re keeping score, those possible projects are The Willow Sword, The Iron Virgin, and The Mentalist’s Cat.)

Things are currently in a holding pattern with other writing. The things that are out in slush piles remain in slush piles, and I’m waiting… which, in the traditional publishing model, is a lot of what you do. You write… and you wait.

That’s what I do. I write, and wait for things.

(I might need to put that on a shirt…)

The things I’m waiting for?

    • The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir
    • The Ice Raven
    • John Zebedee and the Heir to the Elvenlands
    • John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
    • John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of the Elvenlands
    • Blood Bound (Flesh and Blood, book 1)
    • Bonds of Blood and Steel 

And that’s not even counting Sapphires and Gold, which has been under contract for a while, but things happened and more things got delayed.

Meanwhile, I keep writing. Because that’s what I do.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, except-for-when-it-is, Heir to the Firstborn, Patreon, Planning, progress, publishing, submission tracking, The Iron Virgin, The Mentalist's Cat, The Willow Sword, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Waiting-for-the-other-shoe, writer on writing, 2 comments

Busy Rest of the Year!

I just updated my Appearances widget over there —->.

Starting in July, I have something every month for the rest of the year.

I don’t normally book myself that hard, but… ummm… yeah… I think I overdid it just a bit.

Starting in July, you can find me…

RWA Retreat
Nashville, TN
July 14-17, 2021


Orlando Reads Books
Orlando, FL
August 26 – 29, 2021


Tampa, FL
September 24 – 26th, 2021


Books at the Beach
Clearwater Beach, FL
October 21 – 24th, 2021


RWA National Conference
Going Virtual!
November 18-20th, 2021


Orlando, FL,
December 10-11th, 2021


I think after KeiserSupercon, I’m going to be a puddle.

And in and around all those, I have this book I need to finish…

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

104611 / 150000 (69.74%)

And I have Pen to Paper to work on. I’m learning to do video editing logs, because you never know what you can do until someone puts you in charge, right?

So I think that by the time 2022 rolls around, I’m going to need another retreat. Or a vacation. Or a nap. Or something.

But I have plans for 2022. I’ll be re-covering and re-releasing my dark erotic romance Rebel Mage series in 2022, and the Chronicles of John Zebedee should be out. I’ve got Blood Bound to re-edit and get back into the slush at Circlet, and I’ve got ideas on reworking The Willow Sword so that it actually gets past chapter three this time. (cue Bullwinkle: “This time for sure!”)

There are a lot of things professionally going on. And 2022 is also my 25th wedding anniversary, so there’s going to be SOMETHING going on for that, too. Not sure what yet.

But first… let’s finish this book.


Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, BDSM Vampires, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Blood Bound, conventions, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, promotions, Rebel Mage, The Willow Sword, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments

Writing is a Solitary Profession

Most of the time, we’re alone in our rooms, banging our heads on the keyboard and drinking something caffeinated. Or, if you’re writing later in the day, non-caffeinated. Perhaps alcoholic. Or maybe not. I’m so not judging your choice of libations. Right now? I’m drinking water and writing this blog, and thinking about the next thing that’ll happen in Heir to the Firstborn. (Owyn is in trouble. Again. When is Owyn not in trouble?)

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

100240 / 150000 (66.83%)

Writing is solitary. Except, of course, for when it isn’t. This morning, I spent an hour interviewing the fantastically funny Amy Christine Parker about scene architecture and story structure, and during the interview, this came up in conversation:

Being a writer is fun. You get to do things like interview other writers. You get to go to conferences and meet the people who’ve read and loved your books (or people who haven’t read your work yet, and have just discovered that you exist.) You get to meet the writers whose work you’ve loved, and learn that they’re really cool people (most of the time).

The actual writing part? That can be hard — in 1949, someone asked sports columnist Red Smith if writing a daily column was difficult. His response? “Why, no. You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”  Sometimes, you just really stare at the screen, or at the page, or at the backs of your eyelids, and you wonder where all the voices in your head went (I do hear my characters — that’s how I know I’ve got them figured out.)

I have two partial manuscripts I’d love to finish, but the characters won’t talk to me anymore. There’s something wrong in the outline, and I haven’t been able to figure out what or how to fix it. (I talk about them every so often — The Sea Prince is one. The Willow Sword is the other.) Now, it took me six years to figure out what was broken with Heart’s Master, and finish that one, so I have high hopes that one of these years, you’ll see a book cover with one of those titles, and my name on it. But not until I figure out what’s broken and how to fix it. I’ll be taking another stab at The Willow Sword once I finish Heir to the Firstborn. Maybe this time, I’ll pull a hat out of a rabbit.

No, I don’t have that backwards. Any magician can pull a rabbit out of a hat. Who pulls a hat out of a rabbit? A really GOOD magician.

Or a writer.


Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, except-for-when-it-is, Heart's Master, Heir to the Firstborn, The Sea Prince, The Willow Sword, thinking thinky thoughts, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writer on writing, 0 comments