So, the rough draft for Paradise Seekers has gone around to the writing group and a few others (I'm currently working on a better draft), but I am very pleased to say the feedback has been really exceptional.
I've had two readers, for example, decide to pick it up super late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, for "one more chapter," than staying up to anywhere around 3-5 am because they had to finish it. Good sign.
Almost everybody has said the same phrase at some point: "Your best story ever," which makes me feel good about myself because I thought it had lots of problems (though, reading through it, it turned out much better than I'd originally anticipated). Most of writing group (and others) seem to agree I should shoot to publish this rather than Where Gods and Mortals Dance first.
And I think I'm starting to agree with them.
As a standalone story, Paradise Seekers works on a lot of fundamental levels with me. It's short (easier to edit, but also means there's less mistakes). I planned most of it before writing (also contributing to the "less mistakes" bit, minus one scene that needs an overhall). The story is catchy, fast paced, and has next to no filler. This also makes it so it's hard to put down. The characters have strong personalities, right off the bat, while WGMD currently requires some warm-up time. It also has a purpose, an underlying meaning (like a fable or parable) that I think is important enough that it'll stick with people. One reader even said the story was "powerful," which isn't something I've heard before.
Plus it's something I don't think anybody has done before, on many levels (meaning it isn't like the freaking Maze Runner! :P).
So, I'm considering doing this basic edit, followed by a second, larger edit, then send it to Alpha readers while I edit WGMD and begin Effulgent Corruption. My only problem is that, if this does end up being my breakthrough novel, I don't have any other YA ideas. Ok, I have one, but to say it's in a planning stage would be an exaggeration. I plan epic fantasy, but I write like a YA author. Oh, the humanity!
Anyway, I'm proud of myself. If you are one of the seven people following this blog who hasn't got a copy, feel free to sign on board. I'm gonna need some alpha readers pretty quick.
Note that this doesn't mean I won't have WGMD edited by the end of June. I'm just going to try and have both. Yes, I do enjoy working myself to death, why?