Obsidian Sky – a work in slow progress

I cannot blame COVID-19 for the incredibly slow progress in updating on this website. The virus has nothing to do with how I blog or write. Look back on the posts here, and you’ll see what I mean.

It’s a good thing I’m not writing fan-fiction with a chapter a week to produce.

Back in January, I was trying to decide what to publish next despite already thinking about Obsidian Sky. This novel is the third and final in the Watching Clouds series, despite the second book ending without any need for this one.

It’ll be the toughest of the three, too, because the themes revolve around death and grief.

The cover

The John Hancock building has been a character in both novels thus far, and remains one in Obsidian Sky. The way it appears on each cover also represents themes in that particular novel.

The building’s not in great shape but that’s not a lightning bolt hitting it; it’s the sun breaking through clouds. (Happy ending???) A work in progress, as much as the novel is, but a good start at protraying what’s ahead for the MC.

First draft design of the cover.

Obsidian stands for a solid black nothingness, a sky far more suffocating than a threatening one.

The realisation

There are so many memes about how writers relish killing off favourite characters. I don’t. Although I have really enjoyed the actual writing of these scenes, the characters are part of my family.

And with Mackerel Sky and Threatening Sky now published, they’re also part of the worldwide family. They have friends and fans outside of me.

The reason why I posted in January about what to publish next, when it should have been ‘this novel and nothing else’, was because of a realisation.

If I published Obsidian Sky, then one of my most beloved characters would be dead. And stay dead. Sure, he’s just a fictional creation, but I love him, my young MC loves him, and readers love him. Once published, he can’t come back from the dead. I’m not writing fantasy, paranormal or supernatural here.

This realisation hit like a brick in the face and stopped me in my tracks. Can I really kill off this character? Can I really put my MC through such heartbreak?

The answer to both of these is ‘Yes’ because I already have.

The true question is: can I publish the novel and make it real?

Threatening Sky – got a cover, still writing the novel

I was all set to publish the sequel to my debut novel on April 5th. However, discussion with a writing coach left me feeling oddly side-swiped. and that date became far too soon.

Changing the date was the best thing to do. Stress rolled away just like that and I could “forget” about the novel for a couple of weeks. I say “forget” with quotes because it took at least three days before the characters quietened down and before I did too. Some of the coach’s suggestions had stupidly annoyed me but through that annoyance my brain was already working out how to action those suggestions. So I had to force myself to shut that down too; I really did need a break.

By this time, the cover creation was already in motion. I wanted to keep going with it because having the cover would hopefully invigorate my enthusiasm. I’d settled on a “threatening” sky (thanks, Mum), and chose a misty image of the John Hancock Building (it’ll always be this to me) on Michigan Ave to go with it. Fog rolling around skyscrapers is an eerie sight. Just the sort of image I wanted.

The cover, by the same wonderful designer of Mackerel Sky‘s cover, is now finalised and I’m really pleased to reveal it here.

This novel is so much darker than Mackerel Sky, and I wanted that reflected in the images just as much as the title. The peace, happiness, and love that Owen and Andrew had found sits on a knife edge this time. They’re going to have to put up a hell of a fight if they want to survive.

Threatening Sky is now due to be published for Kindle on June 27. Print later in the year.