Where I live, it’s winter. That means the sun sets early, the days are cold and wet (doesn’t really snow here, but it is the rainy season) and outside fun grinds to a halt. Luckily, I’m a night person, so this works out. No more fighting to get up early enough. No more struggling to maintain a decent schedule. At this time of year, it’s just me and my words.
And, in 2018 I hired not just one assistant, but two. I have people to do the things that I hate. Wonderful, amazing people. Katie and Kitty both dove in to lighten my load. Where one keeps my external stuff – like social media, scheduled engagements, and release hype – moving, the other keeps the internal stuff – plotting, groceries, and locating my head when I set it somewhere and forget – from getting out of hand. Know what this means?
I have one job. I write.
Before I published my first book, I fell in love with writing. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t plan to. I most certainly was not one of those people who spent her life dreaming of being an author. Nope, I fell into it unexpectedly. I just had to vent, and that venting became a rather long series called Rise of the Iliri. And then another idea happened, then another, and then a herd of others. It seems like this is my calling.
But being an author isn’t all about writing. In fact, writing might be the smallest part of it. There’s marketing, engagement, promotion, editing, formatting, covers, contracts, and SO much more. It’s exhausting. I was spending hours every day trying to keep up with this stuff, and the words always got pushed aside.
But something happened this fall. My own personal dream team came together and things CLICKED. A gift from Katie. An off-handed comment from Kitty. A plot book. When those things combined, something happened, and I found myself able to spend a little quality time with my words. Then my husband mentioned that I seemed less stressed, possibly even less intense with the workload. But, I’d just doubled my monthly word count! How was this possible?
And when the time changed, it only got better. I’m lazily writing, taking breaks, spending more time laughing with friends and doing REAL things, and dropping 15,000 words a day. Sometimes only 2,000, but that’s ok. I have TIME to play instead of write. Then, because I had enough time (and someone in my facebook group gave me the idea) I accidentally dropped a complete rough draft in just over 2 weeks. It felt GOOD.
It felt rejuvenating, and I immediately dove into the next book. Then the one after that. I realized that if I finished up a mostly complete trilogy, I could dedicate more time to getting ROTI 9 perfect. A couple of weeks of work, push back ROTI 9 by 2 weeks (maybe 3, can’t recall) and spend some quality time with Sal. As a bonus, while my readers waited, they’d have something that’s been sitting on my hard drive to help pass the time.
I can’t really see the downside. I already had to push ROTI 9 back to March because of other reasons (contractors tend to have holidays). That would mean THREE months without my readers getting a book. Oh, I know y’all will wait for it to be good, but I have this trilogy, and three months… and the numbers are just lining up, and it means I get to be with Sal…..
The little bit of time it’ll take to get it ready would give me a wonderful mental break to relax, refresh, and come back at ROTI with the loyalty it deserves. It gives me the chance to figure out a little hole I accidentally found in the Demons’ Muse series (whoopsie! Don’t worry, it’s already handled) and a set of books I adore would finally get to be seen!
I know some people hate when authors do this. When we release books while another series isn’t finished, it makes them crazy. To me, I know what’s happening on the back side. I know these books are almost done. They will appeal to some people and others will hate them. Also, if I wait to release them until both ROTI and DM are complete, they’ll be sitting here, done, for another year!
So, I’ve decided to bribe my readers for patience by giving them a complete trilogy while I make sure that the next to last book in Rise of the Iliri answers many of the questions you’ve been asking. Not all. No, some of those have to wait for the end, but a lot.
And while I’m at it, I’ve found that joy again. The love of being lost in words, letting worlds and ideas flow through my fingers, ready to be consumed by your eyes. I’ve found my happy place. It’s in the words. These wonderful, amazing words that transport us to different places and times, allowing us to be the hero of our own story. The words that make reality fade to nothing and remind us that it’s ok to feel, that emotions are power (mm, that’s a hint) and that feeling them is nothing short of magic.