Updated: Jul 17, 2020
As of yesterday, I finished writing chapter 11, which means there is only one chapter and an epilogue standing in between me and a completed first draft. I of course have months of rewrites and edits ahead of me still--in many ways, the editing process is harder than the initial writing--but I couldn't be happier with the progress I've made over the past year.
I started writing Hidden even before I published Destined in 2015, but I ran out of gas on the first chapter after only a few months. I tried to force the writing, but it just wouldn't happen. Years went by, and I still only had a single chapter written. I told myself it was just life getting in the way, between work and moving and more work and taking command and deploying and moving again and then starting grad school...but those were really just excuses, because I had the same stress levels and free time as I had while writing Destined. Granted, Destined took me ten years to crank out, but that was because I was in undergrad for a good chunk of that time (and then being a platoon leader, and deploying, and working, and getting married...the usual), and would go six months to a year in between writing chapters. It actually took me so long to write Destined that by the time I finished, I had to go back and completely re-write the first three chapters because my writing style (and ability) had changed noticeably. So the fact that Hidden will only have taken me about five years is a huge improvement, especially considering for four of those years, all I had was an outline of the plot and a first chapter.
So in less than a year, I've cranked out an updated (and more detailed) outline, sketched out all the dialogue for the book, wrote 115 pages of narrative that got lost to the ether when the file corrupted during the Great Laptop Crash of July 2019, re-wrote those four lost chapters, and then kept writing and somehow knocked out another seven. If you had asked me a year ago would I make my self-imposed "end of 2020" deadline for publishing Hidden, I would have probably panicked internally and mumbled something about "yeah sure, of course..." while convincing neither of us that it was true. And yet, here I am, so close to the finish line I can taste it. That deadline is no longer scary. I'm actually excited for it, because on 21 December 2020, I can finally share with you all the story that has been my labor of love these past several years (the past several months especially). I hope you enjoy reading Hidden as much as I did writing it.