Well, we made it! Or some of us did. I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt increasingly like a zombie movie where fewer and fewer people haven’t been bit, and I’m not sure if I’m going to be a casualty during the climax or make it in time for the cure. Friends have been sick with covid; friends have lost large numbers of family members to it. I’ve been locked down in isolation since last March and it looks like I’ll be here until the fall later this year.
I don’t think a huge amount is different from the end of the year recap but onward!
I’m so grateful to everyone who bought a new book by me in a totally different genre, and also those who left a kind review. I’m still tremendously proud of it and so glad many of you enjoyed it.
I also continue to be the absolute worst person at evaluating triggers for people, so if you found the domestic violence warning at the start insufficient, I am very sorry. I do hope going on Imogen’s journey provided at least some catharsis and validation for the survivors who read it.
Also new…the Etsy shop is live!
…after Christmas, which certainly bungled some plans to sell signed books, but the pandemic delivery of paperbacks did not come on time.
Still, if you know someone with a birthday coming up–or someone you want to send a gift to just because–I’ve got a few gift packages ready. The gift boxes come with quality handmade goodies in addition to a signed book and packaged ready for giving.
The other thing launched in 2020 will go into the next section…
…because it’s still in progress!
About half of Season of the Bitch is up at Patreon. I’ve still got to get this month’s last few chapters done and posted, then it’ll conclude next month. It’s funny that fifteen years ago I was doing eSerials regularly, often writing by the seat of my pants, and finishing chapters the night before posting them–and it was fine!
Now? JFC I am too old for that shit. I much prefer everything done in advance, but this is my fault for last minute thinking I was going to write a short story that turned into a novella.
You can catch up for $1/month (or sign up for a year in advance with a discount), getting this and other goodies as well as the big archive of other stories in thanks for your support of my writing.
A few months after it’s done and I’ve had a chance to run it through edits, I’ll post it in its entirety for all patrons, and there’ll be an annotated version looking at the differences between the zero draft and the final for those into that kind of thing.
And also, this little thing up for preorder…
So I’m keeping the initial worst-case scenario date of June 1.
Might it be ready sooner? Maybe. If it is, the paperback will release early. But honestly, this book…I’ve been banging not just my head but throwing my entire body against it for months. I had problems I didn’t know how to fix, going in circles, desperately trying to talk it out but Shawn hasn’t been too helpful. Mentally I’ve been, uh, a little taxed these last several months, so not in the best place to figure it out. I finally feel like I’m on the right track but this next revision pass is very, very slow…then it’ll need another pass from me to smooth it out, then the copyeditor gets it, then I do another pass, then I have to proofread…
June 1 seems the best amount of time for me to get this right, and honestly I think anyone put off by that date has likely already abandoned the series, so I can’t worry about it. And even if it’s all polished and ready sooner, that gives me a buffer of time to get more work done on other books before I have to deal with people stealing this one–the violation of piracy always leaves me a wreck for several weeks.
This new one is also set to be at least as long as Emperor’s Tomb (possibly a little longer when all is said and done), so it’s a beast to work with but will give readers a good chunk of distraction to fall into while the pandemic rages on this summer.
Betrayal and sacrifice follow Livi Talbot on her darkest adventure yet.
Still reeling from the ultimate betrayal that has set her entire world off-kilter, the hits keep coming when Livi’s estranged mother—who abandoned the Talbot family twenty years ago—shows up without warning. She’s looking for a pre-Incan stone idol in the ruins of an abandoned Spanish mission that has escaped looters for centuries, and she wants Livi to find it.
Livi wants to be anywhere but home, and a trip with her family to Peru is just what she needs to clear her head—even if it involves reconnecting with her mom. But a heartbroken adventurer is a distracted one, making Livi the perfect target for supernatural guardians in the jungle…and more danger from those closest to her that she might not see until it’s too late.
Although there is no date yet (maybe starting this summer?) 2021 will also bring Elis O’Connor back to Patreon in Witch Hunt.
As previously said, Elis’s series is pretty much dead in the water otherwise. I thought I might’ve been able to alternate it with Livi’s books, but I can’t really spend all the time writing unprofitable things, so I’m going to let some other projects simmer this year and see what else might fit in that space.
(Doesn’t mean I won’t ever continue Elis’s series, but after Witch Hunt it’s on the backburner and will probably be used for Patreon serials when I feel inclined to pick it back up again. Working on a failed series is a little like being kicked over and over again, though, and not exactly conductive to the fun and excitement one needs when writing–especially when I’m already prone to depression, and when I need to use my limited time for things I’ll get paid for.)
What I’m Working On
Um…stuff and things!
Revisions are eating a lot of my brain right now along with freelance work. I’m looking at taking a week off of freelancing every quarter this year just to have a rest and focus on writing so I don’t get too burned out. I’m also waiting to see what other zero drafts are going to bubble to the surface and be ready to be written this year.
I’m doing my annual re-read of one of my favourite series right now prior to the next book’s release, and considering Livi Talbot. I wrote Solomon’s Seal first in 2012, so these books have occupied my brain for nearly a decade. Because I don’t keep notes, everything is jammed in my brain, and I think it’s probably time to build like an actual series bible.
When I’m done this revisions pass on Yampellec, I think I’ll just take a week off from everything and reread the entire Livi series–or at least the main books–and build a proper bible. We’re not quite halfway through the series and this’ll save me going back to flip through things every time I forget something, as well as check all the very early threads I laid out and have been weaving in. (There is also an incredibly stupid factual error in Shiva’s Bow I missed in research that I’ve been meaning to correct, so I might as well do that too.)
Other than that…we’ll see what I get done this year!