Just a quick announcement that the "polishing" phase of Book 11 in the Tennis Shoes Adventure Series, Sorcerers and Seers, has been completed to the point that last night around 3:00 AM I emailed it electronically to the publisher. I guess technically that would mean I finished it early this morning, preventing my wife from getting any sleep for half the night.
What a ride this project has been! Only as I sat down and read this book from start to finish, making only minor changes and improvements, was I able to appreciate the full spectrum of what has been created. Nothing gives me greater pleasure as an artist than to think I am going to publish something ground-breaking. It's hard to believe, but NO ONE has ever presented in a fictional form anything related to the battle at the Hill Cumorah. No doubt because the issues and millieu surrouding this event are so complex that the very idea is daunting to the point that an artist might prefer taking up residence in a padded room and flicking his fingers against his lips while making a babbling sound.
In addition, I was able to discuss details related to Jerusalem and the last week in the life of Christ which no fiction writer has ever tackled. I also hope I've done a lot to shed light on the historical dynamics related to the Jaredites during the time period of King Omer and Akish. Yes, all this stuff is encapsulated inside an adventure novel that deals with time travel and other fantastical concepts, but the core research and history is all there. And I hope it offers readers some mind-expanding concepts and perspectives about the Gospel and the eternities that no one has ever thought about before. The goal, as always, is to draw people closer to the Savior, the Gospel, and the Book of Mormon. Only my readers can confirm for me if such efforts were successful, but this was certainly my goal.
The publisher has not yet begun the process of editing. (I don't even know if they've begun the process of reading it!) It may be that they send me back to the drawing board on an item or two (as frequently happens with all submitted novels) but as of now the publisher's plan is to release the book this fall--September, if I understood them correctly. Things can change, but as of now, that's the intent.
I still have to write an extensive "Cast of Characters" list for this book that will help readers re-acclimate to the Tennis Shoes world if they haven't read any books in the series for a while. And of course I have to undergo the grueling task of casting narrators and reading the book for release in audio form.
The point is, I like this book. Genuinely. Hey, why would anyone expect the author to say anything different, right? But trust me. I know when something doesn't work. And now and then as I was reading my own story I was honestly entertained and able to mentally "remove myself" from the creation process. I can only do that for short snatches of time, but when I found myself drawn into this, I was thoroughly enthralled and cheering for the characters. Get ready for Hamira. She's a Jaredite warrioress, and one of the fiestiest characters I've ever created.
As I said in my last post, there will be a Volume 12. This latest book does indeed leave many plot elements hanging. But certain long-standing plot points are also neatly resolved. All in all, I hope it's an exciting ride that will leave readers breathless and take them to places--physically, emotionally, and spiritually--that they've never been before.
As soon as everything is completed with Sorcerers and Seers as far as the editing and the audio book, etc., I'll dive right into a sequel to Passage to Zarahemla. I'm not quite sure of the title of that one yet. It will either be Escape from Zarahemla or The Warrior From Zarahemla. The project shouldn't take as long as a regular Tennis Shoes novel. My guess is that by the end of the summer I'll dive back into the world of Jim and Apollus and Meagan and Gidgiddonihah and Harry, etc. NO MORE FIVE YEAR BREAKS!
Also, as soon as I know the price of Sorcerers and Seers, I'll make it possible for people to order autographed copies of the novel, either from Heimerrecords.com or just by contacting me directly. I'll also make people aware of publicity events that my publisher might sponsor and anything else that comes my way.
Again, I feel I should express my deepest, sincerest apologies to fans who have waited SO LONG for this book. As well as my eternal gratitude to those who have done so patiently and who remain just as excited as ever to see where the epic will take them next.
So in conclusion . . . the book is here! It's done! And it will soon be in your hands. Thanks again for your fanship and readership.