October Progress Update

Tis the season for pumpkin spice and the over usage of the non-existent word spoopy. It also means that it’s time for another progress update. Like some of these, the description is shorter than the work that has been put in but nevertheless, here’s what has been going on over the past month with me.

From Ashe Vol. 8

As anyone can see from the announcement on this very site, From Ashe Vol. 8 is going to officially launch on Monday, October 9! I’m excited to get From Ashe back on track from a 7-month hiatus and I already have plans to make sure that Volume 9 comes to you much sooner than later.

Alex did a great job getting the artwork done so I can’t thank him enough for pushing through and delivering five brand-new characters and two great scenes along with, what I consider to be, one of the best covers in the series so far… a cover that is symbolic of the brand-new arc that Volume 8 brings to the series that really marks a new beginning for Ashe all while making things still feel connected to everything that I built in the first seven volumes.

Five characters is a lot to debut in one book but I made the decision to front-load the characters for this arc rather than spreading them out. Of course, over the first seven volumes we had our main cast of Ashe, Saraya, Renji, and Minew… then we had the people from In/Source, the writing competition, Jase’s past, and more. As more and more characters got added, it opened up the world and it helped ease the reader into the world of From Ashe by taking it one step at a time.

Here in the second arc, that world already exists. There really is no need to ease people into it. Every great location such as Ashe’s house, In/Source, Alley Katz, the Municipal Auditorium, Lucky Strike, and other key locations is already there. It doesn’t mean there won’t be new locations in the future but there’s an established world so front-loading these characters and then letting their stories unfold seemed like the right way to go for this second arc.

I didn’t unveil all of the new characters as there are still a couple waiting in the wings but the addition of new characters will be significantly less than there was in the first major arc. Nevertheless, I’m really excited for Monday, October 9 for people to check out Vol. 8 of From Ashe as I know fans of the series have been waiting over half a year for this and now they just have to wait just seven more days from the time of this writing!

I don’t think it deserves its own section but just to quickly mention in passing, From Ashe Vol. 9 is loosely planned out from beginning to end. I just have to go in and flesh out what I wanted in each chapter and start writing it but there is something else that I need to take care of before I get there.

My Regularly Scheduled Life

I have finished writing my entry for the J-Novel Contest and it is now in the editing stage. I began to edit it but then tradeshow season struck at work and I’ve been doing a lot of design work that had left me mentally drained. I came to that realization last week when I edited four chapters in one sitting and tried to do another four the next night. I made it through two chapters and my brain just shut down.

So, I took the remainder of the week off just to let things settle down and recharge so now that I’m refreshed, I look to jump back in and get this project finished so I can submit it and place me fate into the hands of the judges over at J-Novel Club and KADOKAWA.

While editing, I will say that I didn’t like how some of the pieces of the story came out and that’s because I decided to shift the story mid-writing. The notes I had weren’t really clicking with me and I found a different way to tell that story so by the time I pivoted, I needed to go back and correct and clean up some of the earlier events that would have seemed a bit out of place. So, that’s going to take a bit to make sure that everything lines up but once I get that part done, I’ll just read through it once again to make sure I didn’t miss anything and wrap it up.

I figure that I should be done with the second draft by this weekend and then I’ll reread it in about two weeks to get my mind back into a fresh state. But, I really like the direction that this story took and I think it’s a great, relatable story for a lot of people. I tried my best to stay away from comedy since rom-com is my go-to genre and it was a bit hard, I slipped a few things in there that could make someone giggle but it’s nothing in-your-face like what Ashe or Amber would say. I think the ending came out great with a nice payoff and I can’t wait for people to read it.

Speaking of, since this contest is being handled out of public view for the first portion of it, I am going to make the story available for people to read. Discord members are going to get exclusive first looks at it. Just another perk of being a part of a great tight-knit community!

Meteora Press

When I thought about what I could do to help brand myself as an author better, I started looking into creating something that tied all my books together. When I read up on trademarks, it seemed like the perfect fit and, thus, after a bit of research to make sure it wasn’t already taken, Meteora Press was created.

As I have stressed, Meteora Press is not a company… it is just a trademark that I am doing business as and an umbrella I am putting my books under. That was phase one.

Phase two is now underway as I went ahead and bought http://www.meteorapress.com.

Right now, I have it forwarding to this website but, once I get things settled on, I am going to make Meteora Press my website.

What does that mean?

Quite simple, the same website I have now with a fresh look but on meteorapress.com rather than joshuajpiedra.com. I really want to make a more professional-looking site that is still easy to navigate and to get the latest information about all of my books.

I know that sounds like I want to be more corporate or more business but, in reality, I just want to be more branded while remaining myself. I still want to give you these personal one-on-one updates, I still want to be open and transparent, but, at the same time, more professional-looking, and I couldn’t think of a better way than to make use of the brand that I have created for myself.

I don’t have an official launch date for the new site just yet but I thought that early 2024 would be a great time to target. There’s no better way to start off a new year than with a refresh of everything.

When it does refresh, this means that A.R. Dragonfly and From Ashe will be under the Meteora Press banner; however, it does not mean new covers, branding, etc. I made a promise not to redo those things to slight fans and readers who have already purchased those books so the books themselves won’t be touched but I just thought it made sense to include them under the banner.

But I am looking forward to the site refresh. It should be new, exciting, and refreshing (to use a pun).

Until Next Time

As I said, this was going to be short on description but there are a lot of great things happening. Again, From Ashe Vol. 8 launches Monday, October 9, My Regularly Scheduled Life is getting editing and will be available to read while it is being judged, From Ashe Vol. 9 is planned and getting primed for writing, and a website refresh is coming!

Plus, looking back, there has already been a lot of great content that has come out. I launched From Ashe Vol. 7 earlier this year, founded Meteora Press, launched My Girlfriend Was Delivered by 2-Day Shipping, converted Final Hope into a web novel, then relaunched the series as a free-to-read ebook, now we’re getting ready to launch From Ashe Vol. 8, getting ready to offer My Regularly Scheduled Life to read, and getting ready to start writing From Ashe Vol. 9!

To say that it has been a very productive year would be an understatement!

Not bad for someone who works 2 jobs (well, 3 if you count being an author).

Next month’s update might be on the light side but we’ll see. In any event, I’ll catch you then!

Ja ne!

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