Updates, updates, updates . . .

Prepare yourselves . . . this post is going to be chockfull of updates. It’s also (likely) going to run long, but it’s been about a month and a half since my last post so there are all sorts of things to talk about.

I’ve been pretty good about giving warning when I’m disappearing (to take a trip to Writer Land). I didn’t do that this time, unless you count Twitter. I’m going to count it, even though I typically don’t count anything as anything unless I’m talking about it on here. I’ll give the occasional update on Facebook, but usually . . . this is the spot for everything. Anyway, with that being said, I should definitely apologize for not giving warning. Then again, I very well could’ve given warning and it’s just been so long that I forgot about it. (Don’t have the time to check.)

I’ve gotten A LOT done lately, though perhaps not necessarily things I ‘should’ve’ been doing, but all that is subjective. Let’s get to it . . .

Update 1: I unfortunately had to push back the projected release of S4B1 (for reference, you can go to my What’s in the Works? page). If things had gone according to plan, it would be coming out in two days. I can’t tell you how unbelievably sad I am to not be getting the 12/13/14 date. I could’ve (should’ve) updated about that sooner, but I was holding onto the hope that everything would work out. Yeah, didn’t happen.

Update 2: Unless the sky actually does fall, I should be able to get this book out on the secondary projected release date that I’d set in my head. Not giving the exact date until I have it formatted (SOOOOOON), but I will say it’s in early January. Unless I chicken out, that book will be out.

Update 3: I will be having the cover/title/blurb reveal for that book once I’m finished formatting. As (I believe) was previously said in a post, the front cover is done and has been for a while now.

I have been writing my little heart out during this absence. Let’s get to those updates . . .

Update 4: I FINISHED WRITING MY 20th BOOK! That was a massive milestone for me, and one I celebrated for all of a few seconds before getting to work on something else. 🙂

Update 5: That 20th book finished was also me finishing up another series. (S6, B3) I was in a bad mood one day and went through those first two books (because they’re funny and would put me in a good mood, which they did), then ended up writing the rest of the third, completing it. (Completing the first (garbage) drafts of the series, at least.)

Update 6: Since then, I’ve been working on the ‘standalone’ that’s attached to the Reave Series. I’d thought that was going to end up being a short story. Yeeeeeah, no. If I had more time, I could get that finished likely within a week. I can’t at the moment. Anyway, that’s going to end up being over twice the length of the longest book I’ve ever written. I’m thinking about releasing it in three parts. And when people realize which character that centers around (after they’re introduced), I’m guessing they’re for sure going to want to get their hands on it. Unless I’m totally twisted in which characters are my favorites and no one agrees with me on that.

This break has seriously been one of the absolute best, most enjoyable stretches of time I’ve had in . . . . . . a long while. I’ve had so much fun working. My poor husband has hardly seen me at all though. It was definitely needed, all the writing. It’s been so fantastic for my headspace. It’s nice, getting to do what you love to. (Nice is the under-exaggeration of ALL TIME here.)

A lot of you likely know that I’d finished writing two different series before I’d ever started my blog. I’d finished three before I released my first book. I thought doing it that way would ensure I had enough material at different stages of readiness before getting sucked into all the ‘other stuff’ that goes along with this. Yeah, I didn’t really plan for how unbelievably overwhelming it was going to be to have so many things going on at once while trying to do ‘other stuff’. I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning in all this for longer than I care to say. I really need to start getting a ‘leg up’ on it, and a few things need to happen in order for that to happen. Life happens, you know, and I’m finding myself without my pool of beta-readers. I need to figure out what to do about that. So there’s one thing.

Also, if you’ve checked my WITW page, you might have seen me saying on S1 that I’ve contemplated getting that ready to release. I’m really putting a lot of thought into that. As most of you know, fantasy is my usual genre. Whenever (a miracle happens and) I finish S8, that will be the third fantasy series I’ll be releasing from. I want to be releasing what I’ve recently been calling ‘palate cleansers’ with/and/or/whatever between those. My writing style with ‘contemporary’ type books and with the fantasy ones is . . . totally different. So I now have S1 and S6 that I can potentially release from (between), if I get/make the time to work on them and get them good enough.

I’m not sure which of those I’d prefer to release from first. They’re both totally different, and they both have their strong (and weak) points. For one, I don’t think I write non-fantasy well, which would be a weak point all around for both. Then again, I won’t do much (anything) more than call myself ‘passably good’ at any point with anything. (Queen of Self-deprecation, at your service.) S6 is kind of hilarious, if you can tolerate a bit of good-natured filth. S1 is a bit cleaner (and yet also not), and is still sort of funny (at points). S6 is more straightforward, story-wise. S1 is more twisted. S6 is three books. S1 is six. S6 is more sci-fi-esque. S1 is paranormal. So I don’t know. It’s all apples to oranges. I don’t know. I haven’t gone through S1 in so long that I honestly don’t even know what sort of state it’s in. (Not a good one, I know that much by the last time I glanced at it.) S6 would be less work overall, due to it being written more recently. I’ve been doing this long enough that I’ve gotten better (slightly more easily-passing than struggling-passing) at it. S6 is also less books to go through, which would mean less overall time to get it better (and less $$ for printing it out multiple times to edit).

I don’t know. I’ll have to be asking people which they would have more interest in where those two series are concerned. Part of me is wondering why it even really matters if I’ll release them all eventually. (Which I think I very well might do despite being sure I wouldn’t release from either series, but it just seems bad to not when someone out there might potentially enjoy them.) But it matters because I have such little time that I need to make sure I’m using it where and on what it needs to be used on. I’ll get it figured out. And I’ll tell you what . . . I really want to finish writing S8. I love that group of characters more than I can say. I honestly have to say it’s a tie between the S8 characters and the S2 (Reave Series) characters. (That’s me saying they’re my two favorites. Yes. I pick favorites of my own work. It’s impossible to not. At least I can admit it.)

But in the meantime, the things I was waiting for where S4 is concerned are all done. Meaning I got it back from my last beta-reader. That means my writing time is finished (for now *sadface*) and I’ll be editing. I need to go through this one more time before formatting. Then it’s formatting. Then it’s getting the back cover done and getting a couple copies out to advance reviewers. Then waiting for the proof. Then release. It didn’t take me long at all to go through this the last time and the things I was worried about changing were unanimous to not be changed, so I’m sticking with it and just going through for typos and the like. I should be able to get this out when planned. (I should start planning to get all my books out on the secondary projected release date with the way things are going.)

SO . . .

My next book will be released in early January 2015, unless the sky falls. Be on the lookout for that, and for the cover reveal (which will be happening soooooon)!

Hope everyone has been well lately. Please be patient with me while I readapt to non-hermit life (and have little mental fits where I figuratively cry and stomp around about it). 🙂

Also, the next week or so will be really busy for me while I’m working on getting this done, but after that . . .

Well, things will still be busy, but I’ll be working on responding to things and whatnot. I just need to make sure I can get this book out on time, so bear with me for a little while longer.

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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.

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. 🙂

Self-publishing.

Yeah. I’m doing it.

I know, I know. I said I was going to attempt querying and do the whole shebang (get an agent and we all lived happily ever after with a picket fence and 2.4 dogs, er, kids).

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a little while knows I flopped back and forth about it (don’t we all?). I spent so much time weighing the pros and cons of each – carefully and meticulously – until all cons blurred with pros and pros were cons and cons were . . . um . . . what’s going on? That was basically how it went in my head for a very long time, so I told my husband to make a decision on it. I was content with that for about a day or two, and then the mental-flopping began again. I didn’t want to blog about it because I wanted to get it sorted in my head.

I realized, after speaking with so many people, that this was a decision only I could make.

I started looking into cover artists just for curiosities sake and found one that I LOVED.

For about four days, I did nothing but flop around mentally afterward. I mulled over the word author. I’ve said it before that I will NOT call myself one unless the word aspiring is in front of it. Not yet.

One night, I looked up the definition of it. I kind of had a moment. There was no ‘traditionally published’ in the definition, of course. For one of those days, I contemplated over the word – what it meant, what it meant to other people, and what it meant to me.

Rather than focus on pros and cons, I started focusing on why. Why did I want to be published traditionally? What was drawing me to self-publishing despite the stars and rainbows and glitter of the P and the T together?

When thinking about the why . . . it fell into place.

I don’t need a publishing contract to accomplish what I’ve wanted to accomplish with this. All I want is for ONE person out there to love my books – to make an impact on a person the way that some books have impacted me. I don’t need a P and a T together for that. I don’t.

So I made the decision about a week and a half ago and I haven’t looked back since.

There hasn’t been one single flop from me, or even one second of doubting the choice I’ve made.

I don’t like posting things on here unless they’re set in stone. I’m feeling comfortable with sharing now.

I’ve been arranging things with that love-inducing cover artist and the photographer. I love them both. Seriously. Details are being figured out and things are being put in motion.

My editor had to extend the date of finishing my novel, so I won’t have it back until early to mid-October. I’m trying to get everything done that can be done until that point.

As of now, I’m shooting for early December. That’s going to depend on how everything works out, but now . . . I’ll be able to keep you all updated.

It’s so freaking weird having things moving. I spent such a long time feeling like my entire world was at a standstill.

Anyway. No more waiting. It’s time to start letting them go. I’m worried, of course, but . . . I’m feeling good. I’m excited. I never thought I’d be more excited than stressed/nervous, but . . . I am.

Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it.

O.O