I’m only slightly insane.

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Long ago, when I first started releasing books, I did it all wrong.  I didn’t know, and there was no one to teach me, so I made it up as I went along.  According to Google, I was advised to write the first book in a series, just in case the publisher didn’t want to contract the whole set, so I wouldn’t waste my time.  So that’s what I did.

Then, I found that traditional publishing isn’t for me.  I wanted to get paid for my work (yeah, I know, crazy stuff).  I wanted to have control over the representation of my characters.  No white cover models for my black or Hispanic characters.  I wanted to have boundaries be pushed and lines get crossed.  I wanted to write MY stories, not the diluted type expected with mass media.  I don’t do well sitting back and letting someone else make my decisions for me, and work doesn’t scare me.

So, I put out my stand-alone book, One More Day.  It was well received, even if hardly noticed.  Wonderful reviews, but very few of them.  I realized my problem was discoverability, so I wrote another book.  Then another.  The whole time, I was working on more in the background while I saved up enough to publish.  And still, I didn’t think I should finish a series.  I wanted more options.  It never dawned on me that indie publish and trade publishing have such different rules and needs.

Now, I have too many series on the go.  Rise of the Iliri is almost done (Will be finished in Mid 2019).  The Demons’ Muse should be done by the end of 2019.  Gamer girls will end early in 2020.  And, during one of those breaks, I decided to release a trilogy to fill the gap.  It’s done, so why not?

BUT!  And this is a big but.  I will not be making myself insane going forward.  Instead of following the pressure of reader demand, I’m going to write out the entire series and quick release.  I like how this is going with the Dark Orchid series – three books in three months, even though I spent a quiet year writing them in the background.  The readers enjoy the fast releases.  The visibility is good for my sales (and thus keeping my lights on) as well.  It’s like a win-win.

This means that 2019 will have a LOT of books coming out.  It means I will be pushing myself a bit.  It also means that 2020 will be simpler, easier, and cleaner.

To all authors just starting out, learn from my example.  DO NOT release the book when you finish.  Write the entire series.  Give yourself the room to make fixes before you’re on a deadline.  I know it’s thrilling and exciting, and you think this is going to be your big break, but that’s not how it works.  You end up spending most of your time trying to get noticed, and not putting words on the page.  You find that the deadlines you’ve made aren’t long enough.  You get frazzled, feel stressed, and have a greater chance of giving up because of it.

But if you do, push on.  Anything can be fixed.  All mistakes are chances to learn and improve.  If I can clean up the messes **I** have made, then you, too, will be fine.

And 2020 is going to be SO NICE.  I’m really looking forward to a bit less insanity.

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12 thoughts on “I’m only slightly insane.

  1. I am on book 4 of the of Rise of the Iliri and I just can’t seem to get enough! I certainly love the fact that I can read one after another because it is fresh in my mind. When authors take months or even years for the next book, I get lost on what happened before. I can certainly say that I prefer your way the best! In writing my own series, I will take your “mistakes” and do it the right way by finishing the first series in one go. Reading your epic stories, gives me strength to complete my own. Thank you for your excellent storytelling, world building and fabulously written characters! I have fallen in love with each Black Blade and their alliance partners! Keep up the excellence you started and you will have adoring fans for many years to come!

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    1. Well, don’t get too excited. There are still 2 books left in that series, and they DO take a few months to write. With all the twists, turns, and knots, it’s a ton of research to make sure everything lines up. I’m hoping to have it done soon, though! Before the end of the year.

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  2. As a reader and fan I LOVE the quick release idea. I’m waiting on the finish of every one of those series of books – was all excited about the orchid one then was like well shit I have to wait on that too..lol I absolutely love your world-building and character development. I have a voracious appetite when it comes to books and I hate being left hanging..yeah im all about the instant gratification.

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  3. Thank you! that’s actually great advice… Finished book 1 in my series and had the first round of edits done, I’ve planned about 7 other books (the 2nd and 3rd book are maybe a third way done and the other ones have the first chapter and general direction written out) and have been going back and forth on what to do. I really hope to publish this year, but maybe giving myself some extra time to finish at least the 2nd one too…. might be smarter after all reading this!
    Self publishing is absolutely terrifying to me, but hearing this.. might be worth really looking into going that way instead

    I absolutely ADORE your books, having them come out this shortly after each other is amazing!!! Thank you for that as well! ❤

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    1. The only real problem with Self Publishing is that we don’t have anyone to answer questions for us and hold our hand. Instead, we have Google and a community full of helpful authors. Conversely, any mistakes are also a lot more transient. I did a LOT of research between self and trade publishing and found that the only real difference is whether or not you want to have a cut taken from your royalties to pay editors/covers or if you prefer to pay for those yourself and have more say in what you get. Marketing? Unless you are that ONE super special author of the decade, you’re paying for your own marketing, chasing your tail, and trying to be seen in a sea of books.

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  4. I have never written comments to an author before. Really never had a reason. But first let me say I am an avid fan of science fiction, specifically “end of the world scenarios.” Fantasy has not previously been a draw for me. Not a Harry Potter fan if you can believe it. Perhaps my age is an issue, I don’t know. What I do know is your authorship of Blood Lust intrigued me. Curiosity maybe better describes what drew me into the story and hopefully the series.

    The intensity of your story has at times been overwhelming. How do you get so much blood, gore, violence, intrigue, and sex into a relatively few number of pages? And your husband doesn’t know. Can’t help but ask, does the sensuality of your story bleed over into your personal life? But then I do remember you writing that you can compartmentalize things easily. That might explain things better.

    In the world we live in today your themes of prejudice, hatred, loyalty, friendship and companionship really resonate. It is your time Auryn! You are who you are for a reason. A master story teller and a harbinger of the future. THANK YOU 🌝

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    1. My husband knows exactly what I write, and he supports it completely. In fact, he’s my best source for the male mind, simply because he’s sitting across from me at all hours and is willing to answer some REALLY awkward questions.

      And thank you for the compliment. I’ve always loved the idea of magical realism, but the genre is more assumption of truth, and less explanation of the impossible. In my mind, my works are all based on a LOT of science. Ok, a lot of extreme but potentially likely theories of science. It’s fun to look at things from the fantastical point of view. With that said, I also feel that books are a means of exploring our own conflicts. The more intense the story is, the easier our own lives are by comparison. Being called a bad name is nothing when you see an alien beaten to death, as an example.

      I also think that Arthur C. Clarke had a very valid point when he said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. That’s what I keep in mind when I write, and it’s how I form my fantasies – with the idea that long ago, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was an impossible fantasy. Today, a submarine is no big deal.

      And while I span the genres in my writing, I always write about the same thing: strong women fighting meaningful battles. I touch on a lot of heavy subjects, and I’m pretty sure I’ll cross the line for all of my readers at one point or another, but those were the kinds of books I grew up loving. The ones that sometimes forced me out of my own comfort zone.

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  5. I have absolutely loved every book in the Rise of the Iliri series. I have just re-read all of them again after number 8 was released as I often do when one of my favorite series releases a new title in the series. I have loved every minute I have spent reading and re-reading of all of the books. I have laughed, (and been given funny looks by my husband for not being able to contain it,) gotten mad at the stupid bigiotry of the conglomerate, (which has also caused funny looks because I have cussed out book characters out loud while reading) have enjoyed the main characters finding love and acceptance, and cried (full on ugly crying which really made my husband give me funny and concerned looks until he realized that I was upset over a character from the book dying) several times while reading the series. I hate that there is only 2 books left in the series, but I understand that you can only continue with the storyline for so long. I have read many of your other books, and loved them also, because I found this series when you were just releasing the 5th book and fell in love with the Iliri. I can’t wait for the next book to be released and thank you for writing this series.

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    1. Thank you! I love this world so much, and finishing THIS series doesn’t mean I won’t revisit them. I just think it’s better to give them an ending worthy of their struggles.

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  6. On the subject of building new fans, I enjoyed your “Wolf of Oberhame” trilogy and it put you on my authors to be watched list. I’m a Kindle Unlimited fantasy/action adventure reader mostly, which means at best I tolerate the romance/sex books & only crossover to them once in awhile when the writing is especially good. I was dismayed on seeing that the Oberhame books weren’t better received. Mostly, I wanted you to know that you did get some crossover from other genre/new readers (even if the Oberhame series didn’t appeal as much to some of your old readers.) My ‘Authors to be watched list’ means that I will diligently check out your books once a month every month for two years for more books like “When We Were Kings” I understand that you have to write what pays the bills but sometimes its useful to know what readers are thinking and that you did get new reader crossover with Oberhame. Besides my ‘authors to be watched list’ that I check every month, I also almost daily search these keywords on Amazon looking for new authors: military, portal fantasy, litrpg, gamelit, superheroes, action adventure fantasy. About every week I go on Freebooksy. (So you can see what genres I normally frequent.) Hope to see more like the Oberhame trilogy.

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    1. I happen to think that romance and sex is a natural part of the human condition. Just like James Bond and his many girls, or the love between so many superheroes, it adds a little humanity to the story. With that said, all of my characters pick their own level of “steam.” Some, like in the Wolf of Oberhame, aren’t sexy. Others, like the Dark Orchid series (which I suggest you avoid from what you said above!) depend on the taboo of sex magic for the plot to even work. I write monogamy, polyamory, and more.

      I will eventually have more stories with less romance and more action (Sin’s City, coming in 2020, as an example) but you’re right, they don’t sell as well. That doesn’t mean I don’t completely enjoy writing smut, though. It’s a lot like writing combat – very action-packed and emotionally fuelled.

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