It’s January 4 and I’m still on break for the holidays so I’ve been reflecting on the different aspects of my life in 2018. There was a horrible family thing going on that left deep scars in my soul. It definitely distracted me which made it even more amazing that 2018 was a good year for me writing-wise. Maybe I was escaping into the world of Six of One, even though that story is so reflective of my family in many ways. The important thing is I made my goal of releasing two books in one year.
For regular readers of indie authors, that probably sounds like peanuts as so many indies (mostly in the romance genres) release up to ten books a year. That’s lovely for them, but I’m pretty sure those writers don’t have a full-time day job that takes up more than 50 hours a week and I’m also pretty sure those ten books weren’t over 80K words each. I used to have small windows of time during my work day where I could write, but my work load changed last year and those windows were closed. Given the new confines on my time, I was especially proud of being able to get those two books out. I plan to do the same this year—one in spring and one in fall, then one more next spring to complete six in this story (i.e., ‘six of one’). If readers are excited for more after that, I have good ideas for branching off within this universe. For now, though, my plan is to complete the current storyline by the sixth book which will be out in spring of 2020. Books 4 and 5 will come out in those seasonal increments this year, 2019.
Meanwhile, the writing of Book 4 is giving me gas! And headaches. Ugh. All of the books are bumpy in the early stages until the story finds its feet and starts to run, but this part is so frustrating because I’ve been off work for the holidays and had a good stretch of time to write. So I wrote. And everything was terrible! Okay, not everything—but the story has most certainly NOT found its feet yet. I took yesterday off to get some stuff done around my house in hopes that these rambling bits of story will fall into place while I did mundane tasks. We’ll see. I’m hunkering down into the ‘writer cave’ later on today so my fingers are crossed. In case you’re interested in how my ‘cave’ looked for the holidays, here’s a snap from my IG feed:
That's my living room in West Hollywood which is where I write when I'm home in the city. I always burn candles and have music playing in the cave. Since the early part of Book 4 takes place over the holidays, it was helpful to have the decorations around. I took them all down yesterday, which is always sad. January generally depresses me but losing all those warm, pretty lights doesn't help. I wish I could keep them up all year. ;) On the copy stand is my character inspiration collage. That's the same group that have inspired me all along with these characters: Dominic Cooper (Kellan), Eliza Dushku (Kath), Mike Vogel (Evan) and Miranda Otto (Sonya). Blessings to them all for the gifts they've given me even if they didn't know they were doing it.
Now that the books are available at so many retailers other than Amazon, I’m experimenting with different types of ads. For those of you who also follow my FB feed, I appreciate your patience with seeing so much of that. Not sure what’s working really as sales are still very low. There’s always a little boost right after a release (Snow Globe came out on Halloween), but maintaining momentum of sales is obviously the key to making this work as a career. I’m nowhere near that yet. But I learn with every new experiment, so eventually I’ll find the right combination of promotional tools. When I was a kid and my mom would cook spaghetti, she would throw a strand of it at the wall to check for doneness. If it bounced off, it wasn’t done yet; if it stuck, it was ready. As far as the right mix for successful promotion, I’m still throwing spaghetti at the wall.
There are some other not fun things happening with my personal life but I’m trying to be positive about all of them. I find I’m praying a lot more these days. That might have something to do with being in my fifties but who knows. All I know is that life is very precious and I’m resolved to do everything I can to enjoy more of it than I have been so far. Every day I try to do something that I really love, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Every day I want to touch something beautiful and feel something good. That’s harder than it sounds, believe me.
I remain ever grateful for the fine readers who have stayed with me all this time, and for the new readers finding me along the way. Your support means the world to me. I hope to get out and meet some of you this year, but I’m still looking for the right opportunity for that. Most of the conventions are geared toward romance writers so I don’t fit in, even though I’ve got some smokin’ love stories in my books. 😉 I don’t fit neatly into the fantasy / paranormal genres, either, because my stories have strange edges. All these genres have severe rules for what’s acceptable inside their walls. I’ve never been very good at walls and rules. But slowly, the readers are finding me and I welcome each and every one.
Watch this space for updates on new things coming this year, in addition to the books. I’m going to try with all my might to get a newsletter going, even though I’ll need to hire help for that. More money going out—ugh! I’m also going to post more snippets to the ‘understory’ section of this site as folks are starting to ask about it. I’ll keep you all posted here and on all my social outposts (links on home page of this site).
Wishing you all a wonderful, healthy, happy and prosperous 2019. Blessings and light, my friends. ~