November update

This is one of those posts I put off writing because I know it’s going to upset people.  Those of you who have followed me for a while know I don’t get into my personal life much on my blog because I generally feel that should be kept separate from my professional one.  Every once in a while, though, it affects my writing. I feel it’s only fair you all get some explanation as to the reason why you might have to wait longer on a book.  Now is one of those times.

My husband and I have been married for over eight years.  We have yet to conceive despite doing nothing to prevent it.  I wasn’t terribly worried about it in the early years of our marriage because it gave us time with each other to build our lives.  Once I started writing, I wanted to focus on that for a while and get a few books out before adding a baby to my daily routine.  Still, I didn’t do anything to keep from getting pregnant either.  This past summer I turned thirty-five.  My husband and I both agreed we couldn’t ignore the issue any longer and that we were more than ready for children.  Clearly, we needed to take further steps to make that happen.

A couple of months ago we went to see a specialist.  Neither of us have anything in our history that stands out as an obvious cause for infertility.  Other than my chronic migraines and my husband having COPD (which he has under control through meds) we don’t have any major health problems.  I’m not going to get into the fine details since not everyone wants to read that, but suffice it to say we are healthy enough that conception shouldn’t be a problem.  Since that first doctor visit we have been undergoing a number of tests which have all come back normal.  I am told that fifteen percent of cases have no identifiable reason for why there is a problem.  We appear to be falling under that category.

We have reached the point now where they are referring me to another specialist to start treatments that should “help” things along.  I am both excited and nervous about this.  The success rate isn’t very high, but when it does happen it could result in multiple births.  It’s a risky move.  Yet I’m running out of time and don’t have a lot of other options.  If this is the only choice I have, then that’s what I’m going to do.

Through all of this, there’s been a part of me that feels like a failure.  It should be such a simple thing to get pregnant.  Millions of women do it every year with no problem at all, but I’ve never managed to do it once.  A lot of stupid things go through your mind when you face this sort of dilemma.  Am I just not good enough to be a parent?  Did I do something in my past and now karma is coming back to bite me? Is it simply my fate to never experience giving birth to my own child?  Yes, there are other options if things don’t work out, but I really want a chance for my husband and I to have a child together.

For the past couple of months these thoughts have been going through my mind.  With every visit to various doctors I’ve grown more frustrated.  None of them are very reassuring and their answers to my questions are often vague or unhelpful.  It’s been rather depressing and has affected other parts of my life.  While I’ve managed to finish writing most of Darkness Wanes, it’s not finished.  I hate to even admit that out loud.  The final chapters are completely plotted out in detail (that was easy because I’ve known how I wanted to the series to end for a long time), but getting those last chapters written has been difficult.  I’m pecking away at it now and finding my “zone” again.  It’s just been a matter of finding a way to push my personal problems aside.  Once they’re done, I’ll go through revisions next and get chapters out to beta readers.  For those of you who have beta read before, expect an email from me soon asking if you’re up for it again.

I can’t give a definite date for when Darkness Wanes will be published.  There are no more doctor’s appointments for the next few weeks as I wait for a referral to go through so at least I won’t have that to distract me.  I’m going to use this time to buckle down and get the novel done.  My hope is to get it finished by early December, but we’ll have to see how it goes. I don’t want to make any more promises I may not be able to keep.

I know this is going to upset some people.  You’ve been waiting for this book for a long time now and I hate that I let my personal problems get in the way.  I have some of the most awesome readers an author can ask for and you all deserve better than that.  Please just be patient with me as I work to get it done.  That’s all I can ask.

If it helps, here’s the cover for Darkness Wanes.  Usually I do a big reveal post, but I’m just going to let you all see it now.

Darkness Wanes medium cover

 

Publishing delay…

I’ve been putting this off because I hated to break the news, but I’m going to have to delay publishing Stalked by Flames.  A few too many things in my personal life came up this month that severely delayed my getting through revisions.  Family troubles, illness, round after round of thunderstorms and massive flooding in my state–a lot of things.  As soon as I’d think I could get back to work something else would come along to throw me off my game.

In addition to that, I’ve just been taking longer to get the story how I want it.  One of the great things about this stage in my writing career is I’ve learned a lot through publishing the Sensor Series.  I’ve been taking all those lessons and applying them so that this new series can start off with a bang, but it has meant revisions have gone slower.  Plus a good deal of research and fact checking has gone into Stalked by Flames.  Not that I don’t have a lot with my other books, but this story has some major elements I haven’t had to deal with before.

I’m rather amazed the guy at the water treatment plant in the town where this book takes place didn’t hang up on me the other day.  I needed to know how the long water would keep running if dragons invaded and knocked out the power grid.  A reasonable question, right?  Of course, I did introduce myself as an author and gave him a brief summary of the story first.  Still, it was a little awkward to ask.  I must say I’m grateful there are sci-fi/fantasy lovers everywhere and he understood my need for information.  We had a nice fifteen minute chat on all the possible scenarios so I could be sure I got it right in my book.  I’ve had other phone calls like that where people were just as cooperative.  And no federal agents have showed up on my doorstep wondering what I’m up to, so that’s a bonus.

I’ve just about got the first quarter of the book where I want it.  That is always the hardest part for me and takes the longest to get through because all the groundwork is laid there.  It had been a while since I’d started a new series and I’d forgotten how complicated world building, character introductions, plot, etc. could be when you don’t have previous books to rely on.  This is an all-new cast with dynamics that are rather different from my other books.

Needless to say I’m estimating it will take a few more weeks to get through revisions on the rest of the book and bounce the manuscript back and forth with my editors.  My hope is to have the book out by July 25th.  If anyone would be interested in doing a beta read of the early chapters (about 20k words) let me know by Sunday, June 28th.  Please only respond if you’re serious about looking them over and can have them back to me in a few days.  For those who email through the contact page or comment here, I’ll get the file to you on Sunday for you to look over.

Thanks to everyone for their patience.  I am very excited about this novel and hope to have it out soon.  For those who haven’t signed up for my book release alerts and want to be sure you don’t miss Stalked by Flames when it comes out, click here.  You’ll only receive emails when I publish new books, nothing else.

Self-publishing and expectations…

Recently I had a visitor to the website who asked several questions about my self-publishing experience. There wasn’t a good way to keep my responses short, though I tried at first. Instead I’m putting my answers in a regular post so that anyone else who is curious can read them as well. Here goes:

“Could you please talk about your experience?”

Publishing is a lot like riding a rollercoaster. Some days I’m on top of the world writing good stuff and hearing back from readers who enjoy my work. Thanks to all those awesome people who commented on my last post! Other days I might have trouble moving forward while working on a scene and/or catch some criticism of one of my books that makes me think I’m the most horrible writer in the world.

There are days I can’t imagine having any other job and that it’s the absolute best. Then I have days where I question why I released my stories for anyone else to read because, obviously, I completely suck. What was I thinking letting anyone see the crazy ideas that come into my head?

Writers have to be deeply in touch with their feelings in order to produce quality work. This is important, but can also make the whole experience more difficult from an emotional standpoint. If a reader is disappointed with your latest book you feel like you let them down though you honestly wrote it the way you believed it had to be written. I thank God for all my encouraging fans. They’re what has kept me releasing the next ones, though I’d probably never stop writing regardless.

“How you went about it. What was the process like? What pit falls did you encounter?”

For how I went about it, you must keep in mind I was writing for a few years before I published and that Darkness Haunts was not my first book. It was simply the first I thought worth sharing with the world. So when I made the big decision to publish I waited nearly a year from the time the first draft was completed before self-publishing it. I queried agents, entered it into ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards), and also learned everything about publishing I could.

I researched cover artists, editors, ebook formatting, paperbacks, and a lot on marketing. Though I refused to change to a genre that might be more salable (people were saying urban fantasy was a dying genre), I did study my market so as to gauge my expectations. I also followed other authors and read about their experiences, soaking up every bit of information I could.  At the end, I even changed the title to something more fitting and catchy than the original.  It wasn’t Darkness Haunts until two months before I released it.

Continue reading

New release date for Darkness Clashes and sale for Darkness Haunts

I’ve been putting this off because I was hoping I wouldn’t have to let you all down, but revisions for Darkness Clashes are taking longer than expected.   It’s my hope to make this the best novel yet and that’s not something that can be rushed.  The new release date is September 14th (just under three weeks from now).  Please don’t shoot me…at least not if you want to get the book eventually!

To make it up to you all, I will be posting the first three chapters by the end of the week to tide you over.  There will also be a chance to get some cool promo items in that post.  Just make sure to check back so you can get the details (I promise it’s easy).

Also, I’ve reduced the price of the first novel in the series, Darkness Haunts, to 99 cents.  This sale only lasts until Friday, August 29th, before it goes back up to $3.99.  If you know anyone who might be interested in trying the book out this would be the time for them to grab a copy.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.  I promise the delay for Darkness Clashes will be worth it 🙂

Darkness Haunts Will Be Releasing Soon!

Books flying around the worldA lot has been going on as I get the first novel of The Sensor Series ready to release. It’s undergoing edits right now and the cover is being done by two amazing designers (one for the art and the other the typography). I can’t wait to reveal what it looks like. I’m also planning tours and looking for reviewers who might be interested (if you are one, let me know). It’s a ton of work, but hopefully the many things I’m doing will help get it noticed by urban fantasy/paranormal readers.

The synopsis is posted here and further details will be forthcoming. I am considering posting at least part of the first chapter so those who are curious can get a taste of what the story is like.  More excerpts will follow, but I’ll probably let the tour hosts get first dibs on them.  It’s only fair since they are helping to promote me.

I’m also going to start working on the next novel in the series, Darkness Taunts, so the wait won’t be too long for it.  Most of the first chapter is already written and it has been fully plotted.  I’m hoping it won’t take more than a few months to write, though I will have times where promotion of the first book slows me down.  The goal is to have the second one release no later than early May, but don’t quote me on it.  Sometimes these things go faster and sometimes they go slower.  I’ll know more as I get further into the writing.

For now, stay tuned for further information on the release of Darkness Haunts.  It will go live on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Nook on January 15th.  The paperback version should be available within a week after that through Createspace.