Checklist

Hey there, everybody. Again, it’s been a super long time since I’ve posted on here. Things have been busy, busy, busy. I’m going to get straight to what I have to say, to spare you all the rambling I usually do on here.

As most of you who follow my blog know . . . I have a LOT of different book things going on at once. I unfortunately didn’t realize how overwhelming it would be to have multiple series to work on/get ready. I wouldn’t take back having that many going, but I do wish I would’ve had a better idea of . . . Well, I wish I’d had a better idea about everything. That’s one thing I’ve realized with publishing though – you never have more than a partial clue about anything. You only think you might possibly have one. That’s how it’s been with me, at least.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to get things sorted the last few months so that I’m not living in a constant state of SCRAMBLE (which is going to turn all my hair grey). It’s really an extremely unpleasant state of being, especially when I have such high anxiety anyway.

So, the not-so-great news is: I am taking a break from blogging. This is not a forever thing. This is not me quitting, or not caring. This is just me trying to get things where they need to be in order to utilize time in the long run. Publishing isn’t a sprint. Seems that way sometimes, but it’s really not. I’m not really going anywhere. I just won’t be on here actively for a few more months. (I will be on Twitter though, because it doesn’t take up as much of my time.)

The good news is: Not stressing out about posts and whatnot is going to give me way more time to get things organized and ready. That might not be good for blogging, but it’s good for releasing books. I’ve gotten a lot done the last couple months, and I’m going to be working like crazy to get a handful of things accomplished. Once those are accomplished, I’ll be back on here regularly.

The other thing is: I won’t be COMPLETELY absent from here. What I’m going to do is put a checklist of sorts below for all these things I need to get done. Once I’ve accomplished them, I will come back to this post and cross them off. I know some people actually do check my blog to see if I’ve posted, so this will be a way to let everyone know where I’m at, what I’ve been doing, and a rough estimate of how much longer I’ll be ‘away.’ I will make notes on the list when and where needed, so be on the lookout for that if you want to keep updated. (Such as saying something is in progress or where it’s at in the process.)

I’m thinking this will take a couple months. No, I don’t want to be away that long. I haven’t wanted to be away as long as I have. I just think that in the long run, it’ll be better this way. I’ll update my What’s in the works? page at the beginning of every month (after today), so that’s something to check on if you’re interested, but the checklist will be updated as soon as something is ready to be crossed off. I won’t be posting anything else on here, to keep this up at the top for people to check on.

One more thing before I get to the list. I know I said I’d be releasing my next book last month, but I decided to postpone that for a little while, until I get a bit more feedback on it. (Working on that at the moment, along with several other things.) It will be released during this break I’m taking. If you want to know when it’s released, I won’t be posting that on here (past crossing it off the list). You can follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook page, or add me on GoodReads to hear about/see when that’s out. And/or you can ‘follow’ me on Amazon to get notified of any releases I have. I might even post something on Instagram about it. (This paragraph will either be deleted or crossed off once that book is out. I’m planning on early March and there’s really no reason for being unable to hit this newest projected date.)

On to the checklist! (For any confusion over abbreviations, check my WITW? page. Most of these don’t have actual titles yet, so they get the abbreviations.)

Releases during the break:

  • S4B1 {Unexpected issue with the e-book has arisen. Have to push the release back a few days. Looking at March 12th.}

Cover Stuff:

  • Photo shoot for the rest of the books in the Reave Series (S2) and the spin-off of sorts (SA1)
  • Cover for S2B3
  • Cover for S6B1

Editing/Beta-Reading:

  • S6B1 to editor
  • S2B3 to last beta-reader

Revising (another round of):

  • S2B3, S2B4
  • SA1 (Reave Series spin-off) {Having to fight the temptation to go through it AGAIN because I love it so much. Not the best use of time…}
  • S6 (All three books. Needs to be done before S6B1 can be sent to editor.) [In Progress]

Writing:

  • S8 (I really want to get this finished while I’m away.)

Random/Personal:

  • Talk to/see some of my friends
  • Figure out what to do (if anything) with S1

Top of the list (other than releasing S4B1) despite being at the bottom of the list:

  • Redo the interiors for Reave and Elude, including fixing a few errors in Reave (Goodbye, Typo!) [In Progress] {Updated PRINT version of Reave is available. All others (including Reave e-book) are still the same as of now.}

So, that’s the list. I don’t know if that seems like a lot or not much, but . . . it’s going to be a lot of work and it’s going to take me some time. I know some people are really wanting the next book in the Reave Series, and I’m happy to say that if everything goes as planned, it will be released shortly after I return from this blogging break. I’m looking forward to that. One step closer to the fourth book. 🙂

If you want/need to get in contact with me while I’m away, here isn’t the best place. (I will get to comments and catching up on follows when I return, but likely not before then.) Facebook probably isn’t best either because I won’t be posting on there often. (I don’t get on there often.) I might make a little post on there (FB) to say when I’ve updated this list, so that will be something to watch out for. Anyway, I’ll be most likely to respond to emails in a timely fashion during this break than anything else. So feel free to email me. (Feel free to contact me anywhere, actually. Just know that some means will have a longer wait time.) 🙂

Email address:Email Address

I also just want to say that I miss a lot of you. It gets pretty lonely out here in the shed, especially when I’m buried past my head in work. I hope everyone has been/is doing well. Looking forward to catching up on all I’ve missed!

My Immediate Plans . . . (Including an upcoming release)

It’s about time for things to start getting ridiculously busy for me again. It’s not like things ever stop being busy, considering I have (what feels like) fifty million things to do. Sometimes I stop for a few seconds and sort of take stock on everything I’ve got going on book-wise and it usually results in either me shaking my head at myself or *handface*ing.

Many of you (may) know that I’d completely finished writing two separate series before I started a blog. By the time I released Reave, I’d also finished writing a trilogy on top of that. I’m so glad I did things that way because I now have two different story lines I can release from. (We’re not including the first series I wrote, though I have been putting some major thought into getting that releasable. But I’ll admit I haven’t touched it in a couple years and whether or not I’m even capable of getting it releasable is . . . questionable.) So yeah, I’m glad I did things this way. Things got so hectic after releasing the first book and I just don’t have the time for writing that I used to. (To prove my point, I’m still working on finishing up this new series (8). I started on it in February and this has been the longest length of time it’s taken me to get the first drafts finished of something I work on consistently. Again, I’m not including the first series I wrote because I didn’t have a clue in the world as to what I was doing until it was already done. Whether or not I found a clue after the fact is even debatable.)

It gets a bit (a bit is a major under-exaggeration) overwhelming at times, especially because I function best when focusing on one specific thing until it’s finished before moving on to the next. With so many different things (and ‘projects’) going on at once . . . it gets hard. I’m constantly having my attention jerked from one thing to the other then back again. Almost all of it is due to necessity. I’ll want to work on one thing while needing to work on another. (‘Oh. You want to write? Well, that’s too bad. Don’t you remember that you’re trying to get this released? That means you have to work on this again. And when you’re done with that, you should probably go through the rest of the series one more time. When you’re done with that, you should probably go through this other series. Then there’s cover art, and beta-reading, and making changes, and formatting, etc. etc. etc. When all that is done, you can get back to writing.’ . . . . . ‘That’s going to take months.’ . . . . . ‘Yes, it is.’)

That’s the way it goes . . . roundabout. (Not to mention social stuff.)

Anyway, it’s one of those times again, for the focus-shift.

Book 1 of the trilogy? Well, that’s the focus as of right now. I’d planned on releasing it after the third in the Reave Series. (The plan was: RS1, RS2, RS3, T1, RS4, T2, T3) Plans change. Now, it’s: RS1, RS2, T1, RS3, RS4, T2, T3 . . . That’s also subject to change, but as of now, that’s the plan.

If you keep up with my WITW? page, you might know that releasing T1 (or if you’re going by that, S4, B1) was a priority for me. It’s been in the beta-reading phase for a while now. A few days ago, I contacted my cover artist. (Claudia at Phatpuppyart.) We’re going to start working on the cover here shortly. That’s always so exciting.

I’d planned on having everything ready much sooner than what it is, but as I said about plans . . . Well, they don’t always work out the way you intend. They rarely seem to. So many aspects of publishing are totally out of the author’s control, and that’s something that’s taking me a while to (mentally) grasp hold of. I mean, I have all these books ESSENTIALLY waiting to go, but they still need stuff. Many of them still need to go through the beta-reading phase. I wanted to get ahead of this because scrambling before releases is . . . . . . . . not ideal. I’ve scrambled before both of mine so far and it’s horrible. It’s so stressful. Looks like this is going to be another scrambler.

I’m planning on releasing the first in the trilogy around mid-December. As I said the last time I gave a projected release date . . . please do not hold me to that. That’s when it will be put out if I can manage to get it completely ready by that point. I’m definitely going to need some crossed fingers to manage it, so if you have some fingers to spare and some time to waste by crossing them for me . . . that would be great.

I’ve been asked several times about the next in the Reave Series and when it’s going to be released. I unfortunately don’t have a set enough answer for that to give one. If you read my initial post about the piracy of Reave, then you know a lot of that (it taking a while to release these books that are ready) is due to finances. In order to release that one, there needs to be another photo shoot. I’m planning on having the photo shoots for 2 (possibly 3) covers simultaneously, so it’s going to run on the expensive side. (Books 3 & 4, and a possible stand-alone that I nearly have finished (at least the first draft).) Like certain things with time being out of my hands, having enough funds to cover that is totally out of my hands. I’ve spent quite a while cutting back on as much as I possibly can to manage releasing these books, and there’s really only so much that I can do. I really don’t like saying this sort of stuff on here, but it’s the truth. When it reaches the point that I have a more set answer for this and when the others will be released, this will be the first place I share as much (publicly). I really can’t even tell you how badly I wish I could get that fourth book out. Anyway. I wish I had better news in that regard.

BUT. I am excited about releasing from the trilogy. I’m nervous as all get-out about it, but I really am excited. I might blog more in-depth about this sometime relatively soon, so stay on the lookout for that.

So yeah. I might not be on here too often while I’m trying to get this ready. Not saying I won’t be, only that I might not. It all depends on time and whatever busyness is going on at whichever point in it.

Poor Series 8, getting put on the back burner again. I’ll finish that one up eventually.

My first experience with piracy, thus far. (Part Two)

I’m sitting here a few days after the fact still trying to process this. (If you’re just stopping by and don’t have a clue what I’m talking about – or what I will be talking about – you can read my previous post here.) I’ve gone through a pretty wide range of emotions since learning that Reave is being pirated, everything from outright fury to something I can only describe as down. Since putting word out there that this has happened, I’ve realized . . . it happens A LOT more than one would think. I’m not the sort of person that rationalizes bad things happening by saying, “This happens, and that makes it okay.”

I feel worse. It’s, “This happens way too much and it’s so far from okay.”

When most people are sick, they don’t wish for other people to get sick. (Unless you’re the sort of person that laughs maniacally for getting sick-germs all over a person’s face.) Most people don’t wish that.

How I’m feeling a few days after the fact is: Why does this have to happen? Why do we, as people, have to completely disregard others? Just . . . why? (I could also ask, ‘Why are you insisting on sneezing your sick-germs on my face?’)

We aren’t all like that, and I really would still like to believe that most people – when given the choice – will do the right thing. But there’s all this stuff going on everywhere, all this crazy, absolutely horrible stuff with people disregarding the person standing next to them. Worse, people blindly hating the person standing next to them. And for what? Because they’re different? How are we as a culture not past this by now?

I have my opinions on all that, those questions (and more). I have a lot of opinions, and I pretty much always keep mine to myself. I only share my opinions with a few select people who I know can and will respect them or won’t think differently of me because of them.

I don’t ever get opiniony (non-word) on my blog. I talk about work on my blog. But my work getting essentially stolen from me (still having a hard time grasping that) makes this work-related. Roundabout.

My husband started a new job recently. (That’s the adjustment mentioned several entries ago.) He has to deal with people at this new job. Now, my husband is great with people. He’s seriously the nicest person ever. (Not to mention that he’s extremely nice to look at along with that. It’s a conundrum, I know.) He’s so level-headed and relaxed about everything. (I have no idea how he can tolerate me.) Some of the stuff I’ve listened to him say when coming home is . . . . . . . . Well, it doesn’t give me much hope for the future of the human race, I’ll say that.

So I’ve been hearing that. I’ve been walking past when the TV is on the news (which I’ve always tried to avoid due to it inevitably making me unbearably sad). Then I had this happen to me, with the piracy. So there are quite a few pieces of straw on the camel’s back, if you will.

I’m so . . . disappointed.

To me, there’s a major difference between downloading a free book and being the one who steals someone’s work to make it available for those people to download. There’s a difference in that and being the facilitator (site).

There’s a difference between being the stander-by while your friend is pulling their pants down in front of kids (WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!) and being the one who’s doing it. There’s a difference between that and being the person who *tries* to physically assault someone for just doing their job because you decided to be an ass. (Is that literal enough?) (And by the way? *TRYING to physically assault veterans? Yeah . . . probably not the brightest idea ever.) (Can I ask . . . Who is raising these people to be this way?)

I’m not even going to get into what’s going on in the WORLD. But really?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

I usually write about this sort of stuff in my books – not these acts, thank god, but human nature. As much as I try to keep my distance from people (DO I NEED TO SAY WHY?), human nature is and will always be nothing short of fascinating to me. But let me tell ya . . . I would so much rather write about it.

Needless to say, I’m having a pretty difficult time trying to find the motivation to interact. I really just want to go into hermit-mode until I’m feeling better. I’m just really down right now, to be honest, and I really don’t like interacting when I’m down. That’s more so because I don’t like putting my stuff on other people than a legitimate desire to be away. If I’m down, I don’t want to drag anyone else there with me because that’s not right. And I always worry that if I try interacting while in that sort of mood, someone will be able to tell and might potentially feel bad right along with me. (Even if it’s just for the minute or two they might be reading whatever.)

I’m also sort of struggling with trying to get book 1 of the trilogy ready for release. I was super excited about it, and for right now? Yeah, kind of hard finding the usual energy in the tank for that.

With as much as I’ve heard this happens after telling about it happening to me, I’m wondering why I haven’t heard more about it. Like I’ve said, I’m extremely hesitant to say much of anything on here (about anything), so I’m wondering if that’s it. Nobody wants to make people angry or whatever. And I know there are the people out there who don’t care. (Exposure is exposure?) Or maybe I’m just missing posts about it. That’s possible. I’m pretty bad about that.

But you know, it’s not strictly the feeling of violation I’m going through. I’m worried. What if this illegal copy of my book has somehow been altered? What if it was messed with, these people download it, and it absolutely ruins my reputation? Is that reaching? Maybe. Do I think it’s a legitimate concern? Yes. There’s no way I could know as much because I’m not putting a virus on my computer (WITH ALL MY WORK ON IT) to find out. It’s possible, isn’t it?

It’s so scary thinking that you can put so much work into something and have it all ruined in an instant. It’s terrifying. That’s why I won’t give out information on upcoming books. I don’t want my ideas stolen. And apparently everything is fair game, right? Someone puts in all the effort and someone else messes it up? Right.

Human nature. *sigh*

I’ve warred with myself on posting this, and I’ll admit I warred with myself on leaving the initial post up. Nobody seems to be talking much about this out in the open, so is it taboo or something? But it’s like I said up top. I don’t believe that something happening or being ‘normal’ makes it okay. And I’m sorry (not sorry), but I’m just not okay with this sort of garbage happening.

We should have the right to say where our work goes and how it goes there. If we want our books to be free? They should be free. If we don’t want them free? They shouldn’t be available for free. (And again, I WILL GIVE OUT FREE E-BOOK COPIES.) That’s not wrong, and it’s not difficult.

I’m not angry at the people who downloaded it. I’m angry at whoever made it available. But ah, the joys of being separated by computer screens. Right?

Anyway. I don’t know what I’m going to do as of now. I might bury myself in writing. I might not. I really want to, just to sort of get my headspace readjusted. So if it takes me a while to get back with anyone, please don’t be upset with me. I’m trying to work through this. And to any/everyone else this has happened to? I am so sorry. I am genuinely sorry that anyone has had and will have to go through this. I wouldn’t wish this feeling or experience on anyone. We all work so hard.

I think we should all learn to cover our mouths when coughing/sneezing. Just saying.

 

(I had to go back into the previous post to clear one thing up where I was talking about my email address and spam. I just wanted to make sure I was being clear about it to ensure it wasn’t taken the wrong way.)

My first experience with piracy, thus far.

I’m trying to process my feelings right now, and I’ll admit . . . I’m struggling with it. I’m also trying to figure out whether it’s ironic that only yesterday I read an article about someone’s opinions on the piracy of books and thought, ‘Hey, chick. I’m totally in agreement with you on this.’ Then I disregarded it (mentally) and moved on. (I’d link to the post if I still had it up or remembered whose site I read it on.)

So yeah, if you haven’t guessed by the title of this post, Reave is being pirated. Every so often I do searches for it and I’ve never found anything like this. I altered the search slightly today and that popped right up.

I’m . . . upset. I try to keep my opinions to myself, especially with issues that are bound to get someone all riled up about something or other (which is pretty much anything), but yeah, I’m not going to do that right now. I am genuinely upset, and I’m going to explain why. When I explain why, it’s going to sound rather similar to what I read yesterday. It probably won’t sound as great because I’ll admit that my hands are shaking and being as upset as I am right now is like sticking a screwdriver in the cogs of my brain.

I could get into a massive spiel about how I have not yet made back the money I spent to release one book, let alone both of them. I could get into that. I could get into how unbelievably difficult it is to do this financially, and do it in the way that I feel is right (which is by not putting out crap, which takes a significant amount of money that is not easy to come by). Believe you me, I could get into that thoroughly. I could get into how unbelievably frustrating it is to have all these books essentially waiting to be released, and to be unable to do so DUE TO FINANCES. Let me tell you that one of the most amazing feelings in the world is when someone enjoyed one of your books and wants to read the next one badly enough that they ask you about it. What’s NOT so great is having to say, “I’m sorry. I don’t know when I can get that next one out. I’m trying as hard as I can.”

Yeah. I could get into that. Past what I’ve said just now? I’m not going to.

What I AM going to get into is this:

Did you know I’ll give out free e-books of Reave? Yeah, I’ll do that. I’ll give out free e-books in exchange for a review. Send me a message on GoodReads. Send me a message on Facebook. Send me an email. Comment on my blog. Believe me, I’d be more than happy for you to contact me directly and express genuine interest in my book, then I’ll send it to you so you can read it. You get a free e-book. I potentially get more exposure (which IS most important to me). You leave a review, and other people who might’ve been on the fence about my book(s) might be able to decide one way or another. You might love my book and tell all your friends and family about it. You might love my book and tell me, which is seriously one of the most fantastic things ever. When you’re struggling to follow your dreams and start your career? Yeah, hearing that helps. It keeps you fighting through all the struggles. It gives you validation for what you’re doing, and when you’re constantly struggling to feel like you’re good enough to do what you’re doing? You have no idea how much the one sentence of ‘I loved your book’ can do.

It can do a lot.

I actually wrote up a post about two weeks ago to tell everyone that I had every intention of taking Reave off Smashwords in order to enroll it in Select (on Amazon) SO THAT I COULD DO THE PROMOS TO MAKE IT FREE FOR CERTAIN DAYS. I didn’t end up posting it due to that adjustment I wrote about last week. I was thinking I’d wait a little while. I just got the first book in the trilogy back from the first beta-reader and I needed to get that ready to send off to the next. So I just needed a bit of time to fit it in.

Let me assure you that exposure has been my biggest goal from the get-go with this. I get it, people. I’m a new author. If you haven’t read my books, you might be hesitant to spend the money and take a chance on me. There’s a stigma with self-publishing and you know what? That stigma with self-publishing is often justified. How do you know if I had a professional editor? How do you know whether my book is going to be riddled with errors? YOU DON’T, AND I GET IT. Let me just add here that I did not self-publish due to an inability to land an agentI self-published so that I could keep all rights to my work, and to ensure that what was put out was what I wanted put out. Full stop.

But I’ve seen some self-published books that make me want to pull my hair out. I have. So please believe me when I say that I get it.

My willingness to give away free copies of my book is not because I think it isn’t worth being paid for. It’s because I understand. It’s also because I have the faith that my work can stand on its own feet. Given that I have QUITE A FEW BOOKS to release, I’m more than happy to throw one of them out there. Sure, some people will hate it. That’s inevitable because not everyone likes the same stuff. That’s just preference. But the thing is? If I give out a free copy of Reave, someone might love it. Someone might love it enough that they’ll want to read every book I put out. It’s insane to me, but it’s happened so I know it can happen. Am I losing there by giving out a free book? No, I don’t believe so.

So you might be wondering why this upsets me at all, right? If exposure is most important, if the readers are what matter, why would this upset me?

I’ve put literal blood (cut my hand open on a binder while editing), literal sweat (I write in a shed and an AC in the summer out here doesn’t work as well as one would hope, and that’s not even getting into what it’s like in the winter), and literal tears (I cry while writing/editing quite often) into my work. Just like so many other authors out there. I’ve worked my ass off for years now trying to fortify the foundation of something before starting to build it. My workaholic tendencies (if it/they could be called ‘tendencies’) have damaged more than one relationship in my life. What I’m saying is: The work is most important to me. I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile here, and the goal is to potentially make some sort of difference. I can’t accomplish that if I’m not focused on the work.

So seeing my work on some seedy, backwoods channel that set off the antivirus on my computer? Equate that to seeing your daughter standing on street corner doing I’m sure you can guess what. My books are like children to me. They are, and the street corner thing is how I’m feeling right now. (Along with feeling like there’s a line of people with their middle finger up in the air in my direction sounding off a chorus of, “F*** you, C.”)

Disregarding the ratio of pirated copies to legitimately bought copies . . . All you people who downloaded it?

Yeah, you could’ve just asked me for a copy. Just saying.

And so there’s no confusion?

Here is my Facebook account: C. Miller on Facebook

Here is my GoodReads account: C. Miller on GoodReads

Here is my email address: Email Address (Yes, that is a photo of my email address. Clicking on it will not send me an email. Call me crazy, but I’m just really not feeling like dealing with spam today.)

 

Here’s to hoping I can get this taken down swiftly and that any free copies of my work given out will be my choice, as it should be.

(Yes, I know this sort of thing happens. Knowing it happens does not make my feelings on it happening to me irrational or invalid in any way.)

** I’m coming back to this a bit after the fact to add a few things. (Along with taking out one somewhat passive-aggressive remark.) Some of the anger (and similar emotions) . . . it’s worn off a little. Now I’m mostly upset, like legitimately sad/down-upset. Here are the things I want to add:

  • Please, people, respect the hard work of authors and other artists. Some people put their work up for free on sites, or do free promos, or give out free copies. Some people don’t ever do any of that. Please respect their wishes for their work, whatever those wishes may be. I like to think that most people wouldn’t walk into a store and take something simply because they want it. This is the exact same thing. If someone doesn’t want to give out a free product, that is their decision.
  • This is a smidgen bigger than I initially thought. I’m still trying to figure it all out. Doesn’t help that my antivirus keeps getting set off. But I don’t have a clue what any of this stuff is or anything about any of the sites. Working on it.
  • I’m kind of internally warring with myself on this. (Though don’t get me wrong, that sucker is coming down off the sites if it’s the last thing I do. Because I did not put it there.) I guess some people wanted to read my book, right? And that’s good. It really is good, yeah. And you know what? If this was actually impacting anything in a positive way? I just might have left it where it was despite how gross I feel about it. (Not saying I would, only that I would’ve thought about it.) But the truth is that it isn’t. There hasn’t been an influx of reviews or ratings anywhere. There hasn’t been an influx of sales. I’d be totally happy with ratings/reviews (even a sentence, if that’s all someone had to say) and a bit of word of mouth. So if anyone who downloaded a copy of my book off some random site I didn’t put it on is actually reading this? I genuinely hope you enjoyed it. I do. If you did? Tell your friends/family. When/if you do so, it would be super great if you could direct them to one of the legal avenues of obtaining my book. If you seriously cannot afford to spend the $2.99 (less than an order at Starbucks, just saying) to obtain my book legally? LET ME KNOW.
  • I feel like I have a lot more I could say, but I’m seriously just upset and can’t decide if I want to go inside and get away from all this or bury myself in writing and get away from all this.

(Coming back WELL after the fact to clear one thing up. Looking back at this post now and seeing the bit where I give out my email, I’m realizing that could potentially be taken the wrong way. I wasn’t saying that I don’t want to get emails from actual PEOPLE. I was talking about ACTUAL spam, which is much more likely to happen by just typing my email address out. Just wanted to be clear.)

Going-ons

This isn’t my usual sort of post, so bear with me here. I’d planned on re-blogging several things, but I figured I would put them all in one post and just link to everything so as not to be annoying/overload the ‘Reader’. So, check out the going-ons!

The first link I want to share is for a post on Ben’s Bitter Blog. If you don’t know him, you should. If I’m biased about that, it totally doesn’t matter. And while I AM biased where Bitter Ben is concerned (blogging buddy turned one of my best friends in the entire world, no joke), that has no impact on his funniness. The particular post I wanted to share needed to be shared because he made ‘me’ part of it. It was a long, drawn out conversation that led to me waiting about two months for this post. So, check out: The Bitter Realm Conclusion – The Lost Relics (There are links to the first two in that post.) And check out the rest of his blog while you’re there.

The next I want to share is for Charles Yallowitz. He’s doing a campaign on Thunderclap, which seems to be like Kickstarter sans the money. Basically all you have to do is go click on something to say you support it, and if he gets enough supporters, there will be a blast of support for him and his work (which is awesome). You can check out his post here (you might want to, because I have no idea what I’m talking about), or go directly to the site by clicking here.

The next link for sharing is a review for Reave. I’m so late in providing the link to this, but I’m still trying to get caught up on everything. It was a really unexpected treat to look at GoodReads one day and see it there, and even more unexpected to stumble across it on her blog (which you should follow because she’s super great). So, here that is: CiSu’s review of Reave

The last is for an interview I did with Robert Tozer. He’d asked me to do that several months ago, and I don’t even want to say how long it took me to. (It took me a long time.) He was super awesome about dealing with me, and I have a ridiculous amount of appreciation for that. You can find the interview by going to his site, clicking on ‘Interviews’ down at the bottom, then clicking on ‘Click Here For More Interviews’ up in the top right. Also, he’ll be releasing his first book in October, so be on the lookout for that!

 

That’s basically it for now. I really hope you’ll all check this stuff out!

On releasing a second book . . .

Trying to process how I’m feeling with the release of Elude coming up fast has been a pretty interesting experience. It can be all pure, undiluted excitement for who knows how long, only to be overtaken by stress and the like at a moment’s (unwanted) notice. Me, I’m a stressful being. I’ll be stressed about the sky being too blue if nothing else is going on. (WHERE ARE THE CLOUDS?! THERE SHOULD BE CLOUDS RIGHT NOW!) Clearly that’s an exaggeration (of sorts), but there’s always the ‘expect the worst’ mentality trying to break through any bit of positivity in my head. That’s just me.

I’d been ridiculously stressed trying to get everything done and (as close to) perfect (as I can get) with this. I was still excited despite all that, more of that than anything else. Then, all at once, most of the stress and other negativity was sucked up. I was just excited.

Thus far, preparing to release a second book has been an entirely different ballgame than the first. I know what I’m doing a bit better than I did when it was Reave I was preparing for. (Though, admittedly, I did forget some things this time which was much easier to be remedied than initial learning.) Releasing that first one, I was a giant mass of stress. I’m pretty sure I was putting off so much stress that it could easily be detected by others within a fifty-foot radius of me. (Though it’s rare for people to be in that space.) Obviously there was the pleasantness as well. I was FINALLY going to have a book out there in the world. I was going to push it off the proverbial cliff to see if it could fly. It was terrifying.

It was also exciting.

After several years of writing books and wanting people to enjoy them like I enjoyed them, it was . . . a bit surreal, to be honest. I’d been so over-protective and private with my work until that point, and the thought of any and everyone being capable of reading it just blew my mind. (I’m getting better with the over-protective part, but it’s a process for sure.) It still does blow my mind, when I really think about it in certain ways.

I’ll say my head is much clearer this time around. Rather than, “Is this really happening? Really?” it’s, “This is happening.”

I’m happy. I think a great deal of that is due to just how much I love the rest of this series. If you’ve read Reave, you know it leaves off for things to PICK UP. And pick up they do. I really love this second book. (Though I’ll easily say that the fourth is by far my favorite in the series.)

One of my concerns was that other people wouldn’t agree with me on this, that they wouldn’t enjoy the rest and would be like, “FIRST.” After having several people read Elude and telling me they liked it better, and having the people who have either finished book 3 or are currently reading it saying the same (that they like it even better than the second, which was an even larger concern for me if I’m being honest) . . . I’m feeling good.

I don’t know when it happened exactly, or if it’s only a temporary thing, but I think I’m getting just a smidgen better at putting away the negative thoughts where my work is concerned. They’re still there, of course. But I’m getting a bit better at not letting them dictate so much, or have so much of a say in matters where they don’t actually need to have input at all.

Obviously I’m stressed out, wondering how it will be received, and all that. At the same time, I know it’s better and I can be excited about that.

As of right now, I don’t really know that I’ll be posting another entry on here before the release. Unless I think of something important, this will probably be it. So I have a few things to say to all of you who have actually taken the time to read this and are interested. There will be no mass of stress seeping into the following…

1) I am really looking forward to you reading Elude, if you’re planning on it. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it makes you feel something. I hope you’re satisfied with it.

2) Thank you. I sincerely want to thank any and everyone who has been supportive of my work. These books mean more to me than I can actually get across. (I suppose that’s easy when they pretty much consume your life…) And I’m really not very fantastic at many aspects of this. Getting the word out? Yeah, I’m pretty awful at that. Having confidence in myself? Pretty awful at that as well. So thank you all for either dealing with the latter of those, or helping with the former. More than that, thank you to anyone who has at any point ever thought the characters I write deserve to be not only enjoyed by you, but shown to others. It seriously means more to me than I could ever express.

That’s why I do this.

(Apart from trying to keep my sanity in getting these stories out of my head. 😉 )

– C

Releasing a second book? Yeah, it’s happening.

Be prepared on July 14th. Until then, you can check out Reave, or add Elude on GoodReads. 🙂

Writing and Releasing . . .

I wasn’t actively writing on a different series around the time I released Reave. I honestly can’t remember what I was doing when it came time for me to say, “All right, this is what I’m focusing on and there’s nothing else in the world.” I don’t even think I was editing, but I could be wrong about that when considering all I did work-wise for months and months was EDITEDITEDIT. I honestly don’t know and I’m feeling too lazy to look back through my blog and check. Yes, I am that forgetful, where I would need to go through here to figure out what I was doing at any given time. (I know when I wrote whichever books, but apart from that, everything blurs.)

You see . . . I have a one-track mind. I do one thing until I’m done with it, then I move on. If I try to do something else, I’m constantly thinking about the one thing. That distracts me from doing anything else satisfactorily. Such is life. Anyway, I’ve been trying to get better with that, and there for a while . . . I was. I was doing the time-splitting thing, where I would be on here/Twitter/etc. for half my work hours, then editing (because I wasn’t writing at that time) for the rest. But the honest truth is that it drives me insane. I don’t like to be fixating on something when I’m doing something else. That worked better with editing than it did/does with writing. I get ‘editing-brain’ a few hours in, and everything turns into a haze of WORDS, so cutting the time isn’t a bad idea there. (Obviously it worked better when editing, because I haven’t been on here often since I started writing the new series.)

I’m on the second book of that new series (which—as of now—is comprised of an undetermined number of books), and I’m a pretty decent amount through it at that. It currently rests at about 40k words. That’s approximately halfway through where I typically leave them off when writing. By the time I’m through editing, they usually end up at around 100k. It works for me. I was going to explain about my editing and why it goes the way it does, but that’s a bigger digression than I intended in this so I’m just going to leave it now and save it for a different entry.

My point is that I’m right in the thick of this story. The first book (foundation) is over, and it’s getting bigger, more exciting, etc.

Here is my issue (of sorts, but not really):

New Series will have to be put on the back-burner while I refocus on the Reave Series. I’ll be having to get book 2 ready. After it’s released, I’ll do another edit of books 3 and 4 before anything else. That’s just the way it goes. I work in straight lines.

I’m wondering if that’s been my issue with writing over the past week and a half/two weeks or so. In the back of my mind, I know I’m getting ready to have to turn onto a different road and switch gears. I think I’m already sort of distancing myself from this new one, and yes, that’s all good and whatnot (it’s what I have to do). But it makes me sad. While the writing (so far) isn’t as good as I’ll say the trilogy I wrote between the Reave Series and this one was/is . . . it’s the most fun I’ve had since. At least the most consistent fun. It’s not as stressful as the trilogy was (and still is when editing). I don’t have the knowledge that I will NEVER RELEASE IT in my head like I did with the other trilogy I started between the trilogy I did finish and this. (Sorry, that was a bit confusing.) I’m sad because it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience thus far (apart from when I hit a brick wall at the beginning and spent a month trying to figure out how to get around it).

I guess that doesn’t matter.

The Reave Series gets top priority for now because out of ALL THESE BOOKS Herald (again, laptop) is storing for me . . . it’s the only one that’s RTG. (Or as close to ready-to-go as it currently can be.)

Don’t ask me what I’m going to do when I have the last bit of the Reave series RTG, along with the trilogy AND this new series. Admittedly, the latter probably won’t be at that point until book 4 is out. I say that, but who really knows? That will all depend on time between releases and how much attention I get to focus on it.

I only have one more edit on the trilogy before I’m ready for beta-readers to get their hands on it. I’m not going to do that until after I finish writing this one and do the first run-through of it. I should. I know I should, but still. Not gonna.

Wow, I rambled like crazy in this.

My apologies.

The entire point is that I’m having to switch gears.

Book 2 is already in the hands of a couple beta-readers, and the instant I get the first of those back . . .

I won’t be able to touch this new one for quite a while.

BUT . . . I am SO EXCITED that I’ll be releasing it soon. I like it so much better than the first, and I’m really looking forward to seeing if everyone else does as well. 🙂

End-note: After all the confusion of explaining which series and whatnot . . . I really feel like I should make a new page on here that explains all of them (as much as I will). Like, “Hey, this is what’s in the works, this is what I’ve done, and this is what I’m doing RIGHT NOW.” Then I could consistently update it (as much as I consistently update ANYTHING), and maybe it won’t be as confusing.

Maybe that would make it worse . . .

I don’t know.

Hm. Also thinking about making a FAQ page . . .

 

Sorry. This was all over the place.