How long has it been now, a little over a month since my last post? If nobody realized I was MIA, I'm going to be really disappointed. There's been a lot going on, most of it really, really boring--but I do have some new projects making their debut in the next few weeks. It's just a matter of setup now.
As those of you who've been regulars here (thank you, by the way!) know, I've been struggling creatively. Haven't finished a new book since 2009--in writer years, that's a long time. There have been times I haven't even wanted to write. I've been down all the roads already. First, there was traditional publishing--fourteen books, two major publishers. There were definite advantages, like large advances, skilled editors, major promotions. They did all the grunt work: editing, copyediting, proofreading, formatting, advertising, marketing. I didn't pay them. They paid me. That was a good thing. What wasn't a good thing was not getting to do the books I really wanted to write. When my agent told me she wouldn't even send out one of my proposals because it "wasn't glamorous," I knew my goose was cooked.
Then I tried self-publishing. It was great, for a while. I wrote what I wanted to write. No deadlines, no compromises. And my writer life was good--for a while. I hated the grunt work. I hated self-promotion. I know authors who have been so aggressive in their marketing they've been blocked from some Facebook groups. I hated having to ask friends to write reviews--something, I confess, I rarely do myself. I can review a movie, probably because I remember more of what I see and hear up on the screen than I remember of a printed page (wow--that's not going to be a popular confession, coming from an author). Collin handled the formatting and all for a while, but with a full time job and trying to complete his degree, time was an issue--and converting my old (backlist) books to the necessary format for ebooks was a b****.
Did I mention that I now have a virtual cuss jar?
Anyway, Collin and I talked it over and decided that we should find an indie publisher who could handle all that stuff. We went with Creativia because they came highly recommended by a fellow author. They reissued six of my sixteen books. I didn't expect to get rich, or even to make the Amazon bestseller list. I achieved bestseller status years ago, so been there, done that. I just wanted to make the books available to anyone who might not have already read them. And I wanted them on my own Kindles.
After six, I even had second thoughts about reissuing the rest. Why? Long story.
Four of the six reissues have been around since the late '80s-early '90s, and Chasing the Wind and Final Hours were first published in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Again, a long time in book years. So...what could I do? I wasn't sure. I knew I could no longer work on a deadline. Epilepsy has been an issue. There are good days and bad days. On the bad days, I can't even write a grocery list without forgetting something. Last summer, I discovered I'd had a stroke--a pinpoint stroke, but it seems even those can cause permanent problems in the right (wrong?) place.
So...where to go from there? When I first sent Chasing the Wind out to literary agents, one of them, someone I'd known from her days as a publishing executive and trusted, told me, "This is a movie, not a book." I gave some thought to that in the past year. I considered trying my hand at screenwriting--but that's a crapshoot. And again, it involves deadlines. Deadlines I might not be able to keep.
But I still want to write. What options are left?
I decided to blog the as yet unfinished projects. Blogging a book is nothing new. Bestselling author Andy Weir first blogged The Martian before it was a novel and a movie. It's actually a recommended game plan for some nonfiction authors. This, I decided, would be a way I could tell the stories I want to tell in my own time, in my own way, with none of the grunt work. No marketing, no begging for reviews, nothing but writing. I had attempted to do this once before, but I hadn't really thought it through and it didn't work. This time, there's been a lot of advance planning. Collin created the above headers for three of the projects. I'm still trying to decide if they'll be here on Blogger or on Wordpress--Blogger's easier to use, but Wordpress looks more professional and has actual techies as their support team, rather than expecting bloggers to rely on the "community" for answers. Maybe both! I have posts ready to go--not just one or two, but enough to keep the posts consistent throughout my bad days. An Army of Angels will include text from Chasing the Wind and bring back characters from four of my backlist books.
I'll post the links here when they're up and running. I hope you all will check them out!