Last quarter was pretty busy.
The third Elis O’Connor novel, Soul Spell, released in paperback (grab it at Amazon or at my Etsy shop, which I will reopen when the local heatwave eases) in May and was available to all patrons in June. It’s now for patrons $5+.
And, of course, The Killing Beach released.
I looked back at old sales and preorder numbers for previous books to remind myself not to be totally discouraged, that it takes a long time for a new series to find it’s core group of even 50-100 readers who buy it and are devoted and talk it up. The couple of people who read it upon release enjoyed it and love Waverly, which means a lot to me, and have confirmed that the hardcovers turned out beautifully (still one in my Etsy shop with a gift box, once I reopen after the heatwave).
It’s still her head I most want to be in right now (reasons I dissected a little here), although her fifth book is still on hold for me.
I finished a couple of Patreon shorts. First is Heartbeats, which is Nate POV and set primarily during Soul Spell but also has a flashback to what would’ve been Demons of Oblivion #8, with Zara.
I’m also doing a West two-parter for his Patreon tier–Father’s Day part 1 has posted, and part 2 will be later this month. It’s a tricky one, set in the series’ distant future (well after what will be publicly published) and right before his limited edition pandemic novella I posted a few years ago. I’m not sure who will read it, but hopefully the spoiler-adverse download it and tuck it away for much later.
It helped me a lot to write it–it was an easier way to try to reconnect with the series and reopen that door to it again that I had to firmly close to release the previous book. So I’m glad I did it.
I finished and scheduled Patreon’s next bimonthly short for August and it’s a Gavin POV one set after Watcher but before the final book.
I was kind of surprised at his popularity, but he’s a good guy so I guess I get it. That third book, Stranger in the Halls, is not on my writing agenda yet. I took at look at it the other day and realized I need a far better handle on the premise. I usually write most of my jacket copy–at least a rough draft of it–before I write the actual book. If I can distill the premise down clearly and concisely, then I know the book enough to write it. Stranger is still too vague for me to write, although I do want to get to it (despite Watcher really not doing well enough to justify the time spent on another horror book–but then at this point, nothing is justifying the time I’m spending on it lol).
The second Livi Talbot boxset is out on September 19 (the day before Solomon’s Seal‘s seven-year anniversary!?!).
If you’ve not caught up, that’s on Kobo, Nook, and Apple (and will be at Payhip). Reminder: I don’t do bigger boxsets on Amazon because of their pricing system penalizing books priced over $9.99 (and I don’t sell much there anyway).
The next big release is Waverly Jones #2: A Wild Kind of Darkness.
A startling find has altered Waverly Jones’ whole world and given her a reason to stay in her hometown of Port Milton—which means she needs work to pay some bills. So when she’s asked to look into a sixty-year-old double-homicide cold case, she takes the job, no matter how unlikely it is to be solved.
Behind decades of rumours and theories—most of them scandalous and unsubstantiated—a portrait of an unconventional woman in a very conventional small town takes form, and the murder baffles even Waverly. The evidence and case files are gone, the leads from sixty years ago were dead ends, and while there is no shortage of suspects and motives, it seems impossible any of the witnesses are still alive—let alone the culprit.
On top of that, the mystery disappearance of the detective she’s been in love with since she was seventeen finally has some answers, but has led to even more questions. What actually befell him eleven years ago? What happened to The Crossroads Butcher?
And will her sister’s body ever be found?
The first chapter is currently up for all patrons.
There will be another special hardcover edition with an alternate cover and an interior line art illustration (that’s already done) closer to the release date.
Tentatively, the first Waverly boxset will be out March 2025 and Silent All These Years, Waverly #4, in May 2025.
What I’m Working On
Whew, that’s a weird one.
I’ve got Hell Fire open in front of me right now, trying to get a zero draft done of that so I can get it scheduled at Patreon. I don’t know if I’ll have enough done by August to start, but I’ve reread chunks of Oblivion to remind me of the world and I’ve been through the first five chapters of Hell Fire and written another thousand words today.
I did get a strong draft of A Wild Kind of Darkness sent off for edits, and I did a quick revision on Alone at Night to get it ready for a heavier revision this fall.
I’m in the position I was in two years ago, although slightly better because at least I have two books on preorder and another done for 2025, but I’ve got all these zero drafts in progress sitting at like 10K words. I’ve written a lot of shorter things for Patreon this year but that’s it, and the lack of productivity is wreaking havoc on my self-esteem. Two years ago, I ended up getting a lot done, but at that point I was six months away from a medical appointment and it helped keep me sane. Now I keep having medical appointments and tests, and it’s hard to keep my thoughts on anything else (leading up to some out-patient stuff last week, I literally replayed Unpacking like six times in a row, no exaggeration).
It’ll be Aug 1 at this point before I know if there’ll be a medication change. No dysplasia or malignancy (which I logically knew was unlikely but my anxiety brain had me already planning my funeral), at least, and remission in some things but not others. Also, my liver is being an asshole.
After spending a small fortune on my senior cats (Doombuggy is fine; Rodney has some anemia we’re looking into), I realized I was spending on them twice what a new treadmill was going to cost me. If Shawn needed a treadmill, I’d get him a treadmill. I still have trouble with that for me.
I’m waiting until my next CC billing period starts, and then I’m getting one, and I’ll figure out paying for it (and getting the broken one removed) later. I have to get that activity in again, and it’s too fucking hot to walk (even at night; a few nights ago the humidity was at 80% and I couldn’t breathe).
So that’s where I am. I think if I’m back to walking a couple of hours every morning, it’ll help overall with writing as well. Hell Fire is top of the docket here, then I’ve got at least 3-4 others–Livi, Waverly, and a couple of these horror books–competing. I’ll need something scheduled for release fall 2024, but I haven’t figured that out yet.
For the month of July, Bloodlines is just 99c at Kobo.