The Troll’s Eye: Novel in Progress

Genre: Upper Middle Grade (Ages 10-14)

Official Sub-Genres: cyberpunk, high fantasy, outdoor adventure fiction

Book #1 Working Story Pitch:

A banished young she-troll warrior and an expelled teenage tech genius have absolutely nothing in common – until they discover they’ve both been set up by a mysterious hacker called the Shadow. Now, the unlikely duo must brave the dangers of a hidden, virtual Norse underworld to uncover the Shadow’s only weakness or risk a new age of digital darkness.

Novel Update: July 15, 2022

Hello everyone!

I’ve been busy researching book #1’s location in beautiful Norway while meeting with local Norwegian bookstore owners and youth on our backpacking adventures in the mountains of Hardangervidda, Europe’s largest national park. They are excited to read this book, too! My twins Kaia and Braeden, age 14, joined me along with my spouse Bradley. They shared lots of good input about how teens might experience and dialogue about traveling through the mountains of Norway. Let’s just say someone almost tossed Kaia’s backpack into a creek, Braeden stepped into a mud puddle up to his knees, and a few stubborn sheep wouldn’t give up the trail!

I am currently outlining my final climax scene revision and just began the complete rewrite of the last 12% of the novel. It’s high speed action and full of big reveals.

My character influencers have given strong feedback that they like the cyberpunk sub-genre woven into the story A LOT so I’m continuing to build on the tech story. I thought I’d be ready to send the second draft to my beta readers by now but am discovering that second draft re-writes can take up to 9 months on average to complete so my original 3 month timeframe appears to have been the naïve dreams of a newbie author.

No worries, though! I am really liking how the story is evolving and hope to get it in your hands by summers end at the latest. I will be attending the San Francisco Writer’s Conference next week and am excited to share with you all I learn in my next blog post.

Novel Update: April 10, 2022

I’m now in the middle of the second draft rewrite phase. This is the crux of novel writing, the toughest phase in many author’s opinions. It is a combination of writing new scenes, rearranging the plot, deleting lines and paragraphs (sometimes pages!) from the first draft, and further developing the characters of the story. The magic happens in this phase, separating the amateurs from the pros. I’m learning to let go of sentences or paragraphs I am fond of (or put it in a parking lot for the time being) and am working on writing to the strengths of the story. Only one week to go before I sent this out to my beloved beta readers for their input and overall impressions! Please email me at to be added to my beta reader list.

Novel Update: January 31, 2022

The Troll’s Eye is currently in progress. I’ve completed the first draft (62,000 words!). First drafts are a lot of work. In the world of novel writers, it is the equivalent of filling the story sandbox with sand. The second draft is where authors take the ideas from the first draft and create a sand castle, or (hopefully), a masterpiece. I am in the editing and re-writing phase of the second draft – the most grueling part of the writing process (so far). Right before the beginning of the third draft re-write phase, (goal – end of March 2022) I will enlist several dozen “beta readers” to read my manuscript draft. Beta readers provide valuable feedback which I will use to complete the third draft revisions. Stay posted to sign up to be a beta reader – sign up link button will be attached soon!

Write on!

-KJ Martin

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