I’m very nearly at the end of Hell Fire–think there are maybe two chapters left to write (or three, depending on how long the big climax runs). Generally this is the point where the book has a life of its own and takes off, but I’m still squeezing it in around work and I am so goddamn tired. Having to spend a few weeks focused almost entirely on medical stuff and then forms and tax stuff and that ate up a lot of work hours, but I’m still only about two weeks behind, which isn’t bad considering.
The other issue is that I don’t entirely know how Elis is solving things in the climax in this book. I don’t have physical notes; I keep them in my head and it’s just “BIG FIGHT, ELIS WIN”. More than just a showing of strength, which is boring to me, I like there to be an element in the climax where the protagonist(s) get to be clever and figure something out, based on something they learned earlier (the exception is probably Witch Hunt, but then the entire focus of that was Elis killing people without her magic, then she gets it back and kills more people–the fact that she’d survived until that point was sufficiently clever).
On the other hand, it’s been an entire book of everyone telling Elis to be cautious, that she shouldn’t run her mouth off, that she is way outclassed by those they’re facing, so her saying fuck it and just having a big battle might be enough of a subversion of the rest of the book. It’s a power fantasy series, after all.
I also really sat with the fact that it’s the end of August and I have not finished a single new book this year.
The start of the year, that was fine–I wrote Waverly 4 in December (as rough as it is). Now, though, I’m looking at what’s coming up this fall (again, not going into details, but it’s a lot of personal stuff I’ll be doing, and expenses I’ll have) and the fact that I have to get Waverly 2 and 3 ready for Nov and April respectively, and Hell Fire might well be the only book I finish this year.
I’m still in a pretty good position–again, I’ve got preorders set until April 2024, and Waverly 4 is slotting into April 2025 because it’s in rough shape and needs the extra time. But I really need a release every six months and now there’s a hole in my schedule for fall 2024.
Elis’s books don’t count–no one signs up to Patreon to read them, and the paperbacks…I think I’ve sold two copies of Soul Spell total since it released in May. I sold maybe three of Witch Hunt the year before. The benefit of Elis is to give me something to post regularly at Patreon (I don’t like sharing early drafts of in progress things, as the slightest negative comment can set me back drastically) while I get other stuff written, so I’m still glad to get these books done, but they don’t count as “releases” as far as royalty payments are concerned, which tend to drastically drop off after four to six months post release.
It remains possible I’ll get another standalone horror book or something done in the next several months and that there’ll be time to get in edits but…I have no idea.
I’m just going to keep my head down and work, get through these edits on A Wild Kind of Darkness so I can format for proofing and then tackle a big revision pass on Alone at Night. Hopefully I can pick up Waverly 5 again toward the end of the year and make some progress on that.
At least staring down the worst-case scenario (sales spiraling downward, patrons cancelling, my career is over, blah blah blah–it’s exaggerated but not entirely inaccurate, because this is how finicky the industry is, esp when doing this independently and relying on this income), I can just accept that now and take some of the pressure off myself. There is peace in that. Like drowning!
(Kidding, I’m not thinking about drowning.)
Getting some projects sent off today and tomorrow, then taking the rest of the week off as I’m starting the loading dose of my medication this week–four needles the first day, thinking I’ll do them Wednesday or Thursday, and give myself a few days in case I have any reaction.
I got my “compassionate” supply, eg the “we know you don’t have any money and insurance isn’t covering it yet, but you’re sick and you really gotta start taking this” stuff from the pharmaceutical patient program (which is great, sign up for that if you can), and my care package with the sharps container and other stuff. Can’t put it off.
Wish me luck (and no anaphylaxis). Dina will be on FaceTime with me when I do the shots, so I’m sure she’ll let social media know if I die or something.
The Payhip 50% off sale is on for another week and a bit, Blood Ties and Demons of Oblivion: The Series, btw. Sales page always has the latest.