I don’t want to alarm anyone but there is, in fact, actual news-ish stuff to report. Not firm dates yet, however, there is forward momentum in something.
First, did I write anything this past quarter?
Yes. Yes I did.
What I Wrote
I’d had a very, very rough draft of a book sitting here for a few months, and I finally went in and wrote the last 23K, bumping Frankenovel to 96K words. It’s been to the Beta of Awesome and I’m working on a coherent second draft now that hopefully disguises the fact that I am incompetent and terrible.
I dove, then, into the third book in that series, and that zero draft came in at 97K. Toward the end I realized I was actually going to need a book in between #2 and #3, so perhaps it’s more fair to say I finished the fourth in the series and still have to write the third. (I know, I know, my head hurts too.)
Of course, that concerns no one but me and my betas, as y’all aren’t familiar with those books. Overall, though, this progress is an excellent thing. I’m writing, I’m happy, and after getting roughly 150K on three projects so far this year, I am finally getting back in the game and this bodes well for the other irons I have in the fire (including, eventually, Oblivion).
What I’m Working On
Forward momentum has come, however, with my first published book River, which I am in the process of revising at last.
It was first written in 2003 and released in 2006. For those playing along at home, yes, I was barely twenty-one when I first wrote it. And this is why (in part) I asked for the contract to be terminated last year, I just was not comfortable with book out as-is.
There is something particularly horrific about rereading such an old work. Like I want to print it out and stab it repeatedly and then burn it and pretend it never existed. It’s much different from most of my work now–one hundred percent character driven (I mean, literally, there is no plot) and no explosions–but it does have voice, and the heroine’s utter hatred and contempt of humanity, yes, that is all me.
I’ve been through the first two chapters, and I struggle to balance the core of what the book used to be with something a little more updated. There are times, too, when I rewrite a few paragraphs, and then have to simplify the writing some to remain true to River’s abrupt, uncomplicated voice.
It’s a huge, huge undertaking. But the book still has its fans, so that is why I’ve committed to putting it out there again.
What To Expect
I am looking at re-releasing River in the summer. I won’t be able to do this on my own, not if I want a quality cover (I design them myself but stock isn’t cheap), a thorough copyedit by someone who isn’t the boss’s daughter, and a print edition through LSI (which has set-up fees but would guarantee better distribution), therefore I’ll be setting up an Indiegogo campaign to raise the extra funds to help get it released. I want to have the actual rewrite close to done before I launch it so, if the funding comes, I actually *can* release it in a timely manner, but look for details about that in another month or two.
The cost will be broken up into editing/proofing fees, stock costs, printer fees, campaign/PayPal fees, and the cost of rewards (advanced print copies for example), with stretch goals–one will cover the cost of an online book tour to promote it, and I’m toying with others (like a collector hardcover edition?).
The question for anyone who was a fan of the book is likely going to be, What about the sequel, Wolfe?
At this time, I’m not sure. *snips out whining about not liking the book* If River sells well and can justify the time spent on Wolfe, I will give rehauling the whole thing a shot next year. In the EXTREMELY unlikely chance that the Indiegogo campaign not only reaches the stretch goals but doubles, yes, I will absolutely commit to rewriting and re-releasing Wolfe.
It is also a bit of a test–if the campaign goes okay, I’ll feel a bit more secure about trying something similar for Oblivion.
If it doesn’t–and I am not sure I have a wide enough fanbase for it–it will definitely change how likely I am to release books myself in the future and delay some projects. I refuse to put out a subpar product and then charge money for it, but I absolutely cannot afford to self-publish regularly myself. Of course, I also strongly dislike the current trend of expecting readers to fund book production up front (and don’t get me started on promotion), but it’s this or nothing right now.
Also On My Plate
I really, really have to focus on some for-pay writing projects right now because my god is my bank account hurting, but peripherally ahead of me is both Oblivion and Nairobi Spy Book (not the real title) after I’ve rewritten River. Hopefully there’ll be news about other projects next update in July.
Soulless should conclude around the end of May. I’ll leave it up as-is for a couple of weeks, and then it’ll come down and be a pet-donation-exclusive book again for the foreseeable future. If you’ve read and enjoyed, and haven’t previously tossed pennies in the jar or purchased my other work, please consider doing so.
I am tossing around maybe serializing something in the summer–I still have Zara’s serial to finish, though if that’s not done, I have something else here I’m toying with–but there are a few factors behind the decision, and they all boil down to whether I think it’ll cost more time/money than will be worth it. I’ve always liked doing serials but even a completely finished story requires a lot of work to proof and post, along with added stress.
And I am not the least bit ashamed of my decisions being mercenary-based these days–a bitch has got to get paid.