January 2020 Update

Sweet dang, I’ve had views on my blog almost every day. Often multiple. Where are you people coming from? Clearly I’m doing something wrong because no one is liking my posts or subscribing to this blog…

First off, Book 3 is written and out with beta readers! I expect to publish it in the latter half of February. I’ll publish a blog post here announcing it once it’s live. It’s my favorite so far! The title is “These Extraordinary Thorns.” It sort of opens up as a gender swapped version of the animated Disney Beauty and the Beast, except the princess accepts the old man’s rose and allows him to take shelter in her castle. And then, of course, the old man transforms into Jadon.

But truth be told, I’m loving the fourth book even more. At the moment I’m only 500 words in, but it’s fantastic. It’s a Red Riding Hood retelling but it’s also gender swapped, and it plays out like an action spy adventure. The main character is trying to figure out what Chidro is really up to, and he meets all the main characters from the previous three books.

Also, I think I’ll like Book 5 even more than Book 4. I’m seriously excited for what this series is doing and where it’s going. These characters are really pulling together to help each other with their depression.

Oh! Another thing I love about Book 4: this character swears. A lot. There are no swear words in the book though! Each one is replaced with [REDACTED]. In fact, the title itself will be “Those [Redacted] (??).” Haven’t quite figured out what that last word will be. But this character is funny. Not funny like any of the characters have been. He’s also depressed. But as per usual, in a different way than the other characters have been. I’ve written books that resemble spy/action/adventure books before, but I never thought of them that way, so this is fun.

I’m planning on publishing Book 4 mid-April, but we’ll see. I *might* actually publish it earlier. Book 5 is the last book and I want to publish it before June.

This is all just a little bit up in the air, though. The writing process for these books has been very unusual for me. I like to outline, a lot. With these books, though, I have to write it intuitively. I literally cannot outline them. It doesn’t work out. It’s not that the characters take over the story, it’s that the story is bigger than I can figure out beforehand. I still don’t know what the main villain is really up to. I don’t know how the last fight will go. I have no clue what his true motives have been this whole time. I won’t know until I write them. Anyway, I hesitate to sit down and write because I don’t know what will happen, even though once I sit down and start typing it all works out. This process scares me.

Not only that, but my life outside of writing is kind of super chaotic right now. I’ll be 34 weeks pregnant tomorrow. I only have approximately 4-6 weeks left of this pregnancy. That’s not a lot. This week I found out I have high blood pressure on top of these episodes that fit the definition of a-fib, so we’re trying to figure that out. In the next week we’ll determine if I have preeclampsia. We haven’t been to a doctor recently, but if I have high protein readings we’ll either schedule something or go into the emergency clinic. The protein sticks arrive today. Still waiting on insurance, so neither neither the doctor nor the clinic are fun prospects. Also, our home is not ready for a baby yet. We don’t have everything we need. Once the car seat gets here next week I guess we’ll have enough to scramble and get everything else in order, but still. On top of all that, my husband and I are working 80-100 hours a week outside of the house, and regardless of whether or not I’m working I’m still a full-time mom to a 2.5 year old.

Did I mention I’m tired? I’m soooo tired. I keep pushing off writing-related stuff because “I’ll do it when I’m not so tired.” I just get more and more tired. When I’m less tired I’m still ridiculously tired. I’m trying to get better at doing things regardless of being so tired, but it’s kind of hard so far. After all, there are all these other things I’m pushing off or constantly reminding myself I can’t do despite feeling like I need to, like dishes, because my pregnancy symptoms kind of make it not safe for one reason or another. And regardless of whether I’m doing things or trying not to do things or wanting to nap instead of write, my 2.5 year old is there, needing me.

But, I am getting things done. Slowly. Even if the third book will be out a week or two later than I’d hoped.

I’m looking into starting a newsletter. Right now I’m reading a book on collaborating with other authors to write a book and I kind of really want to do that. I’m getting ready to take advertising more seriously. I’m actually writing Book 4 before Book 3 is published, which isn’t something I could do with the first two books. I had to wait until those ones were published before I could even think about starting the next one. I’m doing research for a bunch of other things and getting ready to write a bunch more books after this series is out. And slowly, I’m figuring out how to turn my blog and Facebook page into platforms for what I stand for, and I’m hoping to start updating both of them more regularly.

This is kind of stressful, but I feel more capable of all of this now than I have over the last five or six months.

Speaking of stressful, “These Extraordinary Thorns” is about to come out and “This Glass Heart” still has zero ratings or reviews on Amazon (or anywhere, that I know of). If anyone wants to go read that and leave an honest rating and review I would love you forever. And just a reminder, they’re available on KU. I had consistent KU reads for the first three months but for January I’ve had zero. The four paperback purchases that popped up in the middle of the month are one of the very few things that have motivated me to keep writing. This whole process has been hard, and feeling invisible makes it a million times harder.

I have way too much in common with the main characters in this series.

know these books will help people. I know people will take refuge in these books and find solace in the characters’ company. I know people need these books. Knowing that isn’t always enough to pull me out of my own depression to write them. I love these books and I love these characters, but I don’t find solace in them. Everything in these books comes straight from me. I’m writing what I know. I need new stuff to help me, not the same ol’ same ol’.

By the way, after writing “These Extraordinary Thorns”, I have a whole new respect for “This Glass Heart.” And just from the first 500 words of “Those [REDACTED] (??s)”, I’ve started to appreciate it even more. It’s still my least favorite book in the series. But that’s a personal opinion. There’s no reason any of you should go off of that. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book or that everyone else will feel the same way as me. It’s just how I feel.

Anyway, I’m off to change a poopy diaper and maybe take a nap. I can’t tell if I’m coming down with a cold or if this is just a myriad of pregnancy and sleep-deprivation symptoms. But at some point today, I’ll finish writing Chapter 1 of Book 4 and remind beta readers to finish reading Book 3 and send me feedback.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! I really do appreciate it.

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