I am just sitting down to write my next novel. I'm working on the outline as we speak. It will be my first true "monster" novel. Here's the synopsis:
“When Dembe Lutalo was only seven years old he was kidnapped by the Lord’s Revolutionary Militia in Uganda and forced to become a child soldier. For five years he fought and killed, tortured and dismembered at the command of his general until he escaped to America where he was adopted by a former Red Cross volunteer he’d met in Africa named Jonathan Moore.
Four years later, Dembe has a new life, a new father, and the promise of a career as a marathon runner. But when he and his adopted father enter the Miles of Hell ultra-marathon, 135 miles through Death Valley in mid-July, he finds himself in a life and death struggle against vicious humanoid predators, the merciless heat and grueling terrain of the Mojave desert, and the memories of Dembe’s own brutal past which may be his only hope of survival.”
The research on child soldiers has been eye-opening to say the least. The brutality that exists in this world is far more vicious and extreme than anything fiction has yet to approximate. But I'm trying ;)
It will probably take me three or four months to finish this one. I'm guessing I should have it done by late February or early March and then another six to twelve months before it's published. I wouldn't look for it to see print until winter of 2010/2011.