First Draft Complete

Happy news today: the first draft of Book Three is complete! We finished the initial composition a few weeks ago, and have been attending to an initial round of revisions. Most of these were small things that changed along the way, so we had to go back and make the beginning of the book consistent with the changes. With these revisions, and a few more additions, we are ready to call it a complete draft.

For perspective: books 1 and 2 were each around 165,000 words in length. In first draft form, book 3 is now over 248,000 words! This will get trimmed down during revisions and edits, but it is definitely a significantly longer volume.

At this point, Buk Tri is headed off to alpha readers. Their initial impressions will shape the direction the book takes, before it moves on to beta readers and rounds of revisions to come. We are excited to jump into this next stage, and soon, to share the story with you!



Camp Eve

Camp NaNoWriMo begins at midnight!

Sam and I have committed to finishing the first draft of “Buk Tri” during Camp. Based on our current estimates, this will entail writing in the neighborhood of 30,000 words. Of course, that’s just a rough estimate, and we’ll just have to see how the prose unfolds! Nevertheless, it feels very doable, and we are excited to jump in.

As a tangent, both of our spouses have decided to join us for Camp NaNoWriMo! I hope I’m not putting words in their mouths by saying that this is not within either Ashley’s or James’s normal comfort zone. But insanity loves company, so I’m excited that they will be participating with us, working on their own projects.

Wish us luck! And if you are participating in Camp also, happy writing trails to you!!


Now Available!!!

The Scourge of Narak is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!Scourge Cover

Currently, only paperback copies are available. Ebook versions will follow in the coming months. We will have a limited number of signed hardcover editions available soon; if you are interested in purchasing one of these hardcover copies when they become available, please contact us directly via email: mechlingstubbs{at}

We will be having a local book signing on Wednesday, December 4th from 7:30-8:30pm at the Orem Public Library. We will have a limited number of copies available for sale at the signing. But if you purchase your copy on Amazon, you can start reading, and we’ll sign it for you on the 4th!

For the most up-to-date information on our books and upcoming events, be sure to like our Facebook page!

Looking at proofs!

I have discussed in the past how much I enjoy looking at proofs of our book(s). It’s almost as exciting as holding the finished copy in my hands. Seeing the polished front and end matter, looking at the beautiful cover…it’s immensely satisfying. So…today is a happy day. :)

We are ramping up toward the November release of The Scourge of Narak! Check back for more updates, as well as some fun giveaways!

Book Two Update!

The Scourge of Narak: Book Two of the Tales of the Seventh Empire is scheduled to be released this fall. We are very excited to share the news!

The next few months will be busy for us, preparing for the release. Right now we’re waiting with baited breath to see drafts of the artwork (cover art and interior maps), which we should see in the next couple of weeks. We are looking forward to watching the artwork progress over the summer. After that will come proof copies for final copyedits. Once those are done, the book goes to print!

Leading up to the book release there will be several giveaways and exciting events. We will keep you posted as we get closer!

Labor Day weekend: a new story

Buk Tu edits have been going well, though slowed by Labor Day weekend. We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from our editor, along with his usual copious edits. Hopefully the pace will pick up, now that we’re past the holiday, and we’ll be able to crank out the final draft in a timely fashion.

I’ll be honest with you, dear reader, that I’ve been taking a bit of a writing break. I never do that on purpose, because I know from past experience how very difficult it is for me to get back into my usual writerly habits. However I’ve also learned how necessary the breaks are for me, particularly after an intense period such as the Buk Tu revisions. The break helps me rejuvenate, so I am able to focus on the next project. Once I get back into the swing of things.

It’s been four weeks since we submitted Buk Tu to our editor. With the exception of edits (which have required very little of my brainpower so far) I haven’t written anything in that time. And I finally feel ready to do so.

This weekend, amidst game playing, nature walking, and s’more roasting, I started brainstorming our next book. Sam and I have discussed several potential ideas, but I have been circling around one in particular. What was interesting, is when I briefly spoke to Sam this evening, he told me he’s been feeling interested in this same idea as well.

Never fear, Buk Tri (“book three”) will not be put off for long. But I feel that working on another project for a little while will actually help make Buk Tri more fun to write–and ultimately, a better read for you. And hopefully you’ll have a chance to enjoy this new story as well. We’re certainly excited about it!

Cool moments + Cover Art concepts

A couple of cool moments from this weekend—

First, while signing books at the mall yesterday, I had the chance to talk with a family who all read fantasy together. Dad reads the books out loud to all the kids, Mom has to stop herself from reading ahead in secret, and the kids all have a certain degree of enthusiasm for the practice. First of all, it made me decide on the spot that I’m going to read fantasy novels aloud to my children. But the really cool thing was when the father asked for our email address. Turns out one of the daughters, who is 12, is an aspiring writer. This was the highlight of my afternoon, because I remember being that girl. My parents, in like manner, tried to connect me with other authors and publishing people when I was that age. I was tickled to be able to turn around and potentially be a mentor to aspiring writers coming up.

Second exciting thing came yesterday evening. Sam and I got to Skype with our editor last night, and go through some of the preliminary edits. Every time this part of the process comes, I forget how intensive it is. But for the most part it was all agreeable, and we had a good discussion. The really cool part was talking with our editor about the cover art, which is in process. He was able to share with us some of the concepts, and we were told that we should be able to see some mockups here shortly.

Cover art is one of my favorite parts of the publishing process. I am not a visual artist by any means (as in, I can barely draw stick figures). I even have difficulty conceptualizing things in a visual manner, I am far more likely to express them in words. Seeing our story–a world and characters that previously existed only in our collective imagination–take shape in a visual form is fascinating. It helps that our cover artist is fantastic! I am ridiculously excited to see what she produces for Buk Tu.