Well, these long-delayed novels are now in shape to be moved around, enticing agents and publishers wherever they go. Firewatcher is a two-novel set, and should hopefully break the "too long" barrier. My next novel is going to be very short indeed (or at least feel that way writing it).
The strange thing is that I wrote Firewatcher with the idea that 400 pages was about the right length for a novel, and yet agents and editors are all saying 125,oo maximum words is about right -and that's only 250 pages. I still find it odd that 250 pages is seen as the norm, since most of the movels I read today are consistently in the 400+ range, but I understand the publishing game enough to know that inches of shelf space is the measure of a novel's cost for booksellers. It makes me wonder, though, how much this equation will change as brick-and-mortar bookstores succumb to Amazon, print-on-demand, and the newly-viable e-book readers, such as Kindle.
But for now, Firewatcher is a two-volume set, consisting of The Flame Undying and The Light Within.
Now I can start the marketing process for these, while working on a new project. It's strange to move on, after working on one thing for so long.
The painting above is a concept piece I did of the protagonist, Barava. Sketches and paintings are a good way to capture the personalities of the main characters, though it doesn't really impact the writing, I suppose. I'll probably do a couple more Firewatcher character studies, even after I begin my next novel.