I have only 7 more chapters to edit for The Flames of Prague, plus finish up my notes/bibliography. I’m on schedule to hit my goal of 80,000 words (which gives me wiggle room to cut some during future editing, leaving me with 70,000-75,000).
My goal is to finish my first round of edits on or before the end of January. Then I plan on taking the month of February to do some more research and do a second round of editing and formatting for print.
Then it’s off to the printer for a proof copy for my beta readers. They will need at least the month of March to read it and get back to me–maybe into April. If I notice any problems with the cover, I will make it while they’re reading the book. I will also try to finish up my book trailer during this down time.
April will be for making edits and corrections based on their suggestions. May will be for grammar editing and general proofreading.
I will probably order another proof copy in June because I like looking at multiple formats (computer, print, ebook) when I’m proofreading, because changing up the format helps keep your brain from becoming tired and glossing over the same errors again and again. So, June will be for reading the proof copy and then making any handwritten corrections to the computer copy.
In July, I will format the entire thing for ebook, put it on my Kindle, then proofread it again. (I save this part for last because it means every change I make will have to be made to both the ebook file and the print file.)
Which leaves me ready to publish in August, exactly one year after I published my first book. Mind you, I’m not making any promise that I’ll go to print in August. There’s a lot that could happen between now and then (hopefully a job and a move to Chattanooga). But I should definitely be in the clear to hit my outside goal of fall of 2013.
I’m relieved that I’m back on schedule with this book after feeling like I had been procrastinating with it too much. What’s more, I’m starting to think about making a third book, which would be set during the Hussite Wars.
The Hussite Wars are a very interesting time in Bohemia. People were calling for a reform of the church (this was 100 years before Martin Luther and the Protestant reformation). Jan Hus–who was the founder of the movement and who was executed fairly early into the two-decade civil war–was rumored to have a cordial relationship with Rabbi Avigdor Kara, and some have even said that some of Jan Hus’s ideas for reformation were based on theological conversations he had with the rabbi. (Apparently Rabbi Avigdor was quite the rabbi; he was also rumored to have had theological discussions with the king and other members of the clergy.) Of course this creates an opening for all sorts of political intrigue by my Crypto-Jewish family.
And, finally, you have the Hussite war wagons. I just don’t think I can go through life without describing, in action-packed, gory detail, the use of Hussite war wagons on the battlefield.
From what I have read so far, they effectively broke the back of the chivalry in Bohemia. (The English would do the same to the French knights at Agincourt in 1415 using longbows and light infantry.) The war wagons were defensive, but highly mobile. When a location was chosen for a battle, the wagons would be formed into a circle or square (or whatever shape the terrain demanded) and chained together. If time permitted, additional defensive measures, such as trenching and putting in stakes or caltrops, would be done.
As you can see from the recreation, there were “arrow” slots in the outside face of the wagon, but these were used for hand guns (a whopping 1.00 caliber proto-musket). The charging cavalry had no defense against the bullets and no way to break the line or outflank it. And even if the king’s army disengaged and tried to make a larger outflanking maneuver–to get between the Hussites and their supply line or base of operation or what have you–the entire wagon operation could be on the move within minutes (more like a couple of hours if they wanted to take their stakes and other camp equipment with them).