William Doonan

I write books and stories.

Archive for the ‘Process’ Category

Back to the Acid Mines

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The first week of the new semester is now officially over, and I have to say it went pretty great.  Lots of students eager to get into classes.  And of course, I get to talk about all my favorite things, like archaeology and TV.  It’s going to be a busy semester, but I’m determined to get a lot done.

I’m going to write every week.  I’ve started outlining a new mystery series based in Ireland that I’m really excited about.  I’m going to write 3,000 words each week and then see how the project looks come the end of the semester.  I’m also going to whip Grave Indulgence (book three of the Henry Grave series) into shape and into production ASAP.  And then I’m going to spend a great deal of time trying to figure out how the hell to sell books.  Book marketing is a challenge for most writers, and a huge challenge for me.  I have to get a lot better at marketing Mediterranean Grave.  And I have to get ready for American Caliphate, which is still in the final pre-production phases.  I’m hoping it will be under contract any day now.  More on that as the information dribbles in.

Until then, happy writing!  And remember, always cook with at least the second freshest ingredients!


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August 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Summer’s End

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Bye, bye, summer, you’re gone so fast,

But while you lasted, we had a blast.


No more time to sit on ass,

Time’s run out to siphon gas.


Empty the pool, it’s gross and murky,

And there’s nothing left we haven’t dried to make jerky.


Drain the bathtub of homemade gin,

And bid farewell to circus kin.


Bye, bye, summer,

Bye, bye.


It’s been a long and lovely summer here in Sacramento, but it’s ending tomorrow.  Yes, on Monday I go back to the acid mines of academia to start teaching again (which I’m really looking forward to).

I haven’t blogged in ahile but this has been a productive writing summer.  I hammered American Caliphate into some kind of shape, and am now working with my editor on a marketing plan, which is, of course, 90% of the business.  We have a possibility of a December release date, but a few more stars still have to come into line for that to transpire.

I’ve also been working hard on Henry 3 – hammering Grave Indulgence into shape.  It’s almost there.  I have a few chapters that still need punching, but I’m working away.

My plan is then to shift focus a bit and work on a different project, a series set in the Gaeltacht regions of Ireland.  It’s going to be slow-going, as I have lots of classes to teach this Fall, as well as a new book to market (hopefully), but I think I can probably draft it out by the end of January.


Wish me luck.  I’ll be blogging more frequently!

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August 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm

short stories

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We just returned from a fantastic extended weekend trip up to the mountains, to Bolzano, near the Austrian border.  It’s very different from the Tuscan hill towns we’re now accustomed to – lots of German food, lots of German words, and most significantly, mountains!  Mountains everywhere.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  We took a day trip up to the mountain town of Siusi and then a cable car up into the Dolomites where my California babies saw snow for the first time, and made actual snowballs!

Taking the weekend off meant a lot of catch up work, and falling a little behind on my final edits of the next book, but I’m gettting caught up.  Working on novels takes on an interesting cadence – you have to keep moving or you lose sight of all the strings.  But sometimes I miss short stories, so I was happy when the latest issue of Zahir Tales came online – http://www.zahirtales.com/onate_beta.html  Check out my story – Onate beta.

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April 6, 2011 at 11:17 am

Rainy day in Firenze

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Four weeks into our new life, and things are pretty great!  My dad is here visiting, and we spent the day up in Firesole visiting the old monastic cells of the Fransiscan missionary order.  Those monks really didn’t have a whole lot of space!  Will thought it was a haunted house and didn’t want to spend too much time there.

I was thinking that this would be a great week to get some writing done, but I’m not as grounded here as I am at home.  At home I can always just sink into my writing time.  Here it’s a bit of an effort, probably because we don’t have a lot of baselines yet.  But I have to get moving on it.  This is my week to get a whole lot of writing done.  Just check back next week and you’ll see.  I have a book to finish!

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February 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Settling in to life in Italy

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It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here three weeks now, and harder to believe that we’re just getting into a groove.  I’ve learned a great deal about Italian playgrounds, Italian toystores, and Italian ice cream.  I’m hoping at some point soon to learn a bit about art and history as well.  Keeping to a writing schedule is more difficult here than at home.  Everything is so much more fluid, and work is actually a lot harder – different preps, different class lengths, different tests, etc.  But I’m starting to get back on track.  I’m working on the third/fourth draft, depending on how you look at it, of American Caliphate, an archaeological mystery that takes place in coastal Peru, where I spent some time working on excavations.

I’m also thinking about Henry Grave’s next adventures.  Mediterranean Grave is picking up a little steam, but I still need lightning to strike to blow it into the next level of public awareness.  A little help came this week from the good folks at The Sacramento News & Review, one of the finest papers in the land.  Check out their review: http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/bibliolatry/blogs/post?oid=1922550

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February 15, 2011 at 8:29 am