News Post!

Okay guys, it’s time for a news post! Your update on all things Max Florschutz! Regarding writing-related things, anyway.

Okay, first up, the elephant in the room. Or should I say, in the Jungle? Yeah, it’s time we talk about how the Jungle Alpha is coming along.

Quite well, actually. Currently half of the Alpha Readers have already finished it, and I’m on track to move it into Beta in August. Which means … still on track for that early fall release. Unless something wild comes up. There’s still a chance that there could be a wildcard out there somewhere.

But the Alpha has also said good things for Jungle so far. The other day I had the pleasure of waking up to an e-mail in my inbox that basically said ‘AAAAAAHHH! I just hit X plot point and I’m freaking out!’

Obviously that’s not what they said exactly. For starters, the “AAHHH!” was a lot bigger and longer. And the rest of the message would involve major spoilers that you’re just going to have to read to find out.

With the Alpha moving along to, I can also give you guys a much more concrete word count. Even though there is going to be some more trimming here and there, it’s not a large amount. Which means that moving into Beta, Jungle is likely going to be around 450,000 words.

For the record, Colony was 334,000 words. Jungle is a third again as long as Colony. Conversely, Colony is 3/4 the length of Jungle.

How does this stack up against other popular books? Well, Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings was around 387,000 words. The Lord of the Rings (all three books) was about 473,000. A Game of Thrones was 298,000 words.

Yeah, Jungle is thick. But packed. Seriously, this is one ride you’re not going to want to miss.

Speaking of which, while Colony isn’t as long as Jungle is, it’s still a behemoth. Which means if you were waiting for Jungle to get close to pick up Colony and finally start the adventure, now would be a good time to get started! You can grab it here!

Now, on to more news!

The Dusk Guard Saga: Hunter/Hunted is officially being posted. This doesn’t mean much to those of you that aren’t fans from my old fanfic days, but I promised them a series I’d finish, and I mean to keep that promise. So, Hunter/Hunted is now updating Tuesdays and Fridays. If you’re a reader of my fanfiction and have missed that, now’s the time to catch up!

So, if Hunter/Hunted is entirely done, and Jungle is in Alpha … What have I been spending my time on? Why, a new book project of course!

Some of you may remember that I’ve got a story coming out in LTUE’s next anthology collection, A Dragon and Her Girl. That’s the name of the anthology book, not the story I’ve got in it.

Anyway, some of you may also remember that the story that got in was the second story I worked on for it. The first story I started ended up swiftly growing past the 15,000 word limit, heading for novella. Good for the story … but not for a book of shorts. They’re really specific about that.

But I loved the idea. And so, even as I wrote out, submitted, and got in with A Game of Stakes alongside some pretty high-profile authors … I really wanted to come back to the original idea and get that written.

Yeah, if you haven’t guessed where I’m going by now, then I’ll state it. My current writing project is called Axtara: Banking and Finance. Set in the same world as A Game of StakesAxtara sees the titular young dragoness Axtara moving to the far edges of civilization, to the newly founded kingdom of Elnacier, where there are no dragons and the population is lower than most other cities.

Why? To open a bank, of course! The place is abundant with resources, and with the right financial backing, the kingdom could really prosper! And make a bank/financial adviser who got in before anyone else fabulously wealthy.

Of course, it won’t be that easy. But she doesn’t realize that at first.

This one’s definitely a more down-to-earth, slice of life affair. Young Adult, really. I’m not aiming for a lot of complex moral decisions (though they will come up), peril, action, death, or danger present in a lot of my other works. This one’s more about friendship and making a place in the world. Which, as it turns out, is hard to do no matter what species you are or opportunities you have before you.

So that’s the current project. Progress is being tracked on my Projects page. Once that’s done?

Fireteam Freelance.

One of the reasons I started Axtara (aside from wanting it in my schedule and wanting a lighthearted break both) was to give this one a bit more time on the back burner to simmer. I’m still working a few details out.

But it is coming. And will be posted weekly as it’s written, here on Unusual Things. Full pre-Alpha. Full of typos and everything. It’s … and episodic experiment.

It’s also a companion piece to Jungle. That’s right, this is a story set in the same universe as Colony and Jungle, taking place at the same time as Jungle, But starring an entirely different cast of characters.

Why? Again, experiment. Plus, it’ll deliver some asked-for elements the fans have been looking for. Now, that’s all I’ll say.

Okay, second-to-last bit of news: Patreon. This Saturday will see another new post for supporters, aside from the semi-regular Stranded posts. And this one? It’s big.

Above I mentioned I restarted Axtara: Banking and Finance, taking it from a short story (where it wasn’t working) to a novella. Well, this Saturday, you’re getting the incomplete, original short story. Think of it like a storyboard or deleted scene.

Stuff has changed from it. Axtara is younger now, as is Mia. The story starts with Axtara leaving her parents, rather than meeting Mia. There are other changes too.

But it has its moments (especially the meeting with Craglilly). If you’re curious about Axtara at all, and are a Patreon Supporter, then definitely take a look.

So, the last bit of news: I’m thinking of, at long last, leaving Twitter.

To be fair, I never really got it anyway. It was mostly a form of advertisement from back in the days when Twitter truly was a free-for-all. Other than that I hardly ever used it, and judging by the declining number of hits from Twitter (what used to be at least a few hits with each post has now shrunk to one per month) it seems that I’m not the only one that’s true for.

Ultimately, it’s because Twitter now picks and chooses winners. It’s not an open forum, it’s a platform. I realized how true this was (despite Twitter’s constant claims to the contrary) when I actually decided to check my feed only to find nothing from the people I followed. Instead I found my Twitter feed full of … politics? Posts about immigration? A video of a transgender person giving themselves their first shot?

Bear in mind, this is supposed to be my feed. It’s not that this is bad content, or content that isn’t interesting to other . But I have zero interest in seeing any of that. If I was interested, I’d have subscribed, but I didn’t. None of it was from content creators I’d subscribed to. It was all stuff overriding my feed. That had zero relation to the stuff I actually tried to follow (which was gaming, book, and music related). And I had to scroll several pages to actually find something from someone I followed.

That, and I’m constantly reminded by them that unless I pay them to boost my posts, they’re invisible. So yeah, it’s not a forum, and not really worth maintaining anymore.

Why tell you guys? Well, maybe there’s that one reader that still does use twitter who wants me to stay. If so, please let me know, and I’ll keep it open for you. But if not, I’ll likely dismantle it entirely. I don’t use it, and I get more hits in a day than a month of Twitter anymore (who knows, maybe I got censored because I had a title they didn’t like or something).

Either way, unless one of you really wants it to stay, it’s not worth maintaining. Let me know.

EDIT: That one lone reader linking from Twitter? Contacted me within minutes of this post going up, asking me to keep it going. So Twitter stays up.

Read on, brave warrior.

That’s it for the news! And now, I’ve got to get back to work!

WAIT! Not yet!

Really quick, here’s the current review/rating tally: 208. Not quite 400, though it’s a little over halfway there. If you’ve read a few of my works and feel like letting folks know how you found them, hop on over to Goodreads or Amazon and let the world know!

Okay, that really is it! So long for now!

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