Updates … and Two Questions

10 Feb

Good news first, such as it is <grin>.

I had another scan two weeks ago and a doctor’s appointment last week. Most of the lymphoma appears to have cleared up, although I still have aches and pains and they’re sending me for a PET scan this Wednesday as they’re not sure if the remaining cancer is alive or dead. Obviously, I’m hoping that it’s just scarring and not something that merits another round of chemotherapy.

The second piece of good news is that I have a workable plot for The Zero Enigma 6 (or 7), provisionally entitled Kingdom of Ghosts. It will be the last book in the pre-second trilogy set, I think. Now. Two questions …

Would you rather have The King’s Man (young magician joins the Kingsmen) or Kingdom of Ghosts (young sailor takes a cruise to distant Hangchow and discovers a truth she’d rather not about the mysterious empire) next?

Second, would it be wise to have the lead character of Kingdom be another half-caste, like Rebecca of The Alchemist’s Apprentice, or would you rather someone different?


26 Responses to “Updates … and Two Questions”

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 10, 2019 at 5:59 pm #

    Answer for Question One: Either would be nice.

    Answer for Question Two: It might be interesting to see how the Hangchowians would treat a “half-breed”. If they are similar to our Chinese, they might treat a “half-breed” worse than Rebecca was treated.

    It could be argued that Rebecca was “looked down on” more because she was a bastard than because her unknown father was Hangchowian.

    The Chinese traditionally looked down on “foreign-devils” and IIRC a half-Chinese individual would be looked down as well (even if the individual was the product of a marriage).

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 10, 2019 at 6:00 pm #

    By the way, hope things will be going OK with your health.

  3. William Porter February 10, 2019 at 6:22 pm #

    Best of luck with the PET scan.
    In terms of your questions I’d prefer Kingdom of Ghosts as the next storyline as I like stories involving exploration. As to the character type maybe something different? Something involving why she became a sailor?

  4. rwahrens February 10, 2019 at 6:26 pm #

    I agree with William Porter. Good ideas.

  5. Kira February 10, 2019 at 7:28 pm #

    They both sound good, but I’d have to say Kingdom of Ghosts sounds more intriguing. I would LOVE to see more of Rebecca too. She was fun to get to know and I loved her happy “beginning!” So….whens SIM 17 gonna be out? Lol!!! You’re snippet sent me in a whirlwind of wanting to read it! As far as the main character…I am unsure as to what ethnicity she should be. If she finds out something about her family, then her not being hangchowese would be a twist in the plot alone. On the other hand, if she was, then that alone presents problems that could be added throughout the plot for her as well, since they are rare almost everywhere and as such people tend to think differently of them because they stand out. Both would be good. But perhaps if she wasn’t, then there could actually be more of a plot twist as she is not, yet she is venturing there to the country? What do you think to my theories?
    I really hope it’s gone! I am so rooting for you! Good luck! Keep us posted!

    • Kira February 13, 2019 at 2:43 pm #

      Also, I just had a thought to add this insight, in regards to Emily’s story line in schooled in magic, back in the earlier books, there was a part where Emily met with Faeries, and made a deal with them in which they would call a favor from her when the time was right. I have been watching for that unfinished part in the plot to finally play out. Chris, were you going to be bringing that part back so we can finally see what it is the faeries end up asking from Emily?😁🙏

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 13, 2019 at 2:56 pm #

        Kira, Chris hasn’t forgotten Emily’s deal with the Fairies and has a story lined up that tells us what they want Emily to do. 😀

  6. Jacob Reed February 10, 2019 at 10:06 pm #

    Personally, I’d like to see what Hangchow is like, since we’ve never seen it before. Seeing what the Kingsmen are like from the inside, however, is also very tempting. Hngghh…

    Good luck with the scans.

  7. billy mccorkle February 10, 2019 at 10:25 pm #

    Fingers crossed.

    King’s man I have been curious about Hangchou having been mentioned in previous books but you could get more mileage out of it if it remains a mystery, slowly giving some insight in subsequent books.

    Second. Why not Rebecca, an established personality with a now successful business, going to explore her background.

  8. Carole Sullivan February 10, 2019 at 10:35 pm #

    Your scan result sounds promising and it’s good to know your follow up PET scan is just a few days away. Hope you get the best possible result.
    I’d like Kingdom of Ghosts next, and if I could go in real life I think I’d like to see Hangchow. It would be interesting to see how a half-cast female sailor would fare in Hangchow, someone to be shunned or treated as just another half-cast woman from Hangchow making her way in the world. Really looking forward to Zero 6 and Cursed. Take care.

  9. Dan February 10, 2019 at 10:57 pm #

    First question I’d like to see kingdom of ghosts
    Second question hmm I think it would be nice to see things mixed up a little but most of the royalist and nobles you write are all brats to start off with and those aren’t really fun as a main character would be like following joffrey around all the time I feel like. Maybe a son or daughter of a rich merchant family instead?

  10. M W Stewart February 11, 2019 at 12:31 am #

    Your health, clearly, is the most important topic. As with other observers, I am cautiously cheered by your report and now await your next report with hope, and also continuing awe for your strength and focus. As for choices: I like the King’s Men idea better, but again as with other commentators, I was quite taken with Rebecca. Actually, my own view is that it would be somewhat more interesting if you could keep a tighter character focus, and let us see more of Rebecca and Isabella’s development. But, your characters generally, with their reliance on with and courage over magic itself spiced with a little good luck, are interesting. So, I look forward to another good health report, and then to whatever narrative your Muse leads.

  11. David Bennett February 11, 2019 at 12:42 am #

    Kingdom of Ghosts sounds very interesting, a non brat would be good for mc. Your choice though 🙂

  12. ananuri February 11, 2019 at 2:01 am #

    Glad that your lymphoma is retreating, and hope you’ll get good PET scan results. Best wishes with your health!!!

    Concerning the books: the way questions are presented, kingdom of ghosts sounds much more appealing. I hope that this is the last of the intermediary books, and we can go to the grown-up Cat ASAP after that, who is my second favorite character from your books. And I hope to get new book about Emily (with her getting her magic back) quite soon …

  13. George Phillies February 11, 2019 at 5:16 am #

    Kingdom of Ghosts with a merchant’s daughter sounds interesting. She need not be part-Hangchowese.Perhaps someone on the ship because her family sent her to straighten out what is going on.

    May good fortune smile on your PET scan.

  14. Brian February 11, 2019 at 1:08 pm #

    Glad for the good news, I hope your health keeps improving!

  15. Michael Bonkowski February 11, 2019 at 6:07 pm #

    Along with everyone else I wish you the best of health. Hangchow sounds most interesting. Have you considered having the character look so much Hangchowese that they can pass as native.

  16. Bryce February 11, 2019 at 7:50 pm #

    I would like the kingsman one I think it would be good

  17. doug lake sr February 11, 2019 at 9:49 pm #

    Just glad to hear you are doing will. what ever you think will be best.

  18. Christine Amsden February 11, 2019 at 10:12 pm #

    Really glad for your good news. Having read the outline for the Kingsmen, I’d love to see the book, but I know either one will be great. And it might be interesting to mix up the characters, just to stretch yourself and your readers’ expectations a bit. 🙂

  19. yshai February 12, 2019 at 3:59 pm #

    Kingdom of Ghosts

  20. Farwalker February 13, 2019 at 1:46 am #

    If you write it, I will read it. Doesn’t matter to me. The most important thing however is your health. You continue to remain in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes

  21. Barnone February 13, 2019 at 2:35 pm #

    Your good health First, Second and Third.
    Kingsman and different.

  22. ScaryDBA February 18, 2019 at 11:10 am #

    Huzzah for the health improvements and may it all continue to improve.

    My vote is for Kingsman and something other than half-caste.

  23. Stephen Ames Berry February 18, 2019 at 9:27 pm #


    Delighted to read your health is much improved and hope the whole wretched ordeal soon fades to a bad memory.

    Very admiring of your ability to quickly and well craft multiple series and build what’s obviously a very loyal readership. (I never could do that–too much tinkering, iterative construction, seasons slipping by… 🙂 )

    As for your question, I vote for Kingdom of Ghosts and the merchant’s daughter. Will be delighted to read whatever the end result.

    Take care of yourself. You’ve many years left and many more fine books yet to write.

    Stephen Ames Berry

  24. Aleisha February 21, 2019 at 12:19 am #

    I’m happy to hear your health seems to be improving and I hope it continues to do so. As to the Zero Enigma book, boy that’s atough call, they both sound good. I’m leaning more toward the Hangchow storyline, if only because it opens up the world. So far all we’ve really seen is isolated pieces; the school, the city of Shallott, the isolated manor in the middle of no-where in The Family Shame, and some old ruins and a farm in the Zero Curse.
    On the other hand, the Kingsmen sound cool, if nothing else I’d like to see more of Ser Griffons who is actually Thor in disguise. C’mon, he’s got a skinny, smart brother and everything. You thought we wouldn’t notice, but we did.
    I am looking forward to reading the next SIM book. I finally got caught up on my backlog so I’m up to date and ready to read what happens next. Is she going to go and investigate that cursed island that showed up in Fists of Justice?

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