Apparently, my publisher has been around for eleven years. They sent us an e-mail to tell us to promote a sale they will be having (which will likely expire before anyone reads this) and to encourage us to reminisce about our first book published with them.
That made me think—I totally missed the one year anniversary of my first novel being published and of being published in general in August. It’s definitely something to be proud of, and I am. One thing I wasn’t expecting was the sheer mediocrity of life afterwards. I knew it wasn’t going to be an earth shattering experience—I wasn’t going to get on the best seller by writing a gay werewolf novel. I did expect to feel different, though.
I’m a slacker of a self-promoter, I loathe most social media, and I’m very secretive about my writing. I’ve counted, and only four of my friends know I’ve written anything. Why? We’d be here for some time. But I expected to have this inner glow or something. I’m thrilled, but I think I naively expected some constant, ongoing mental orgasm. It just doesn’t feel like a year yet for many reasons.
And what of the future? I’m working on something new that’s sort of beating my head in, constantly mewling like a needy child with volume control issues. When writing the synopsis, I knew that something was going to happen, but wasn’t exactly sure how, but as I was writing the synopsis, I sort of zoned out. When I finished writing the synopsis scene, I sort of snapped out of this daze, realized that was exactly what I wanted for the ending scene, and that it touched on and linked together all the things I needed it to. It was almost trance-like. I know how lame-bordering-on-pretentious-insanity that sounds, trust me. I’m making myself sick just typing this. But it was like I wasn’t even in the room when it happened. I sort of snapped out of it and realized that I had the ending I needed and wanted. And it was not only infinitely more exciting than what I had planned, but made more sense. But I didn’t see it coming. It’s logical, and when I finish writing it, I’m sure that absolutely nobody will be shocked, but I was unaware.
It’s times like that that I think Stephen King might have something. Maybe stories really are artifacts and we are just the archaeologists. Hopefully, I can assemble this one to be as good as it can be.
As for my wolf series I had a dream/cusp of sleeping thought which basically wrote Taylor’s book or filled out the remaining parts in the back of my mind. It’s a little dark, so I think that some of it will need to be lightened up, but knowing myself, it will likely stay right where it was. Taylor’s book is third (please, he was only 16 years old in the first and will be 18/19 in the second—he’s not ready to handle his mate yet, because...well, anyone who could handle Taylor would be a handful...and he is, trust me), but that did give me more direction with Quinton’s book.
One of the reasons I haven’t started Quinton’s book yet (aside from being distracted by life and working on other stuff), is that I have not liked his mate. I know who his mate is, I know that he’s an interesting character, I know his entire history, but I don’t yet understand him, and consequently I don’t like him all that much. It’s going to take some work to make him not only empathetic but to bring out the story there. Seeing how Taylor responded to Quinton’s mate (his name is Lucian, or “Lucky”, by the way) told me something about not only Taylor (who wants to take over every single scene he’s in. Freekin’ ham), but how he and Lucky react to each other and why. I think they will be hilarious together.
I am mostly over how difficult the publishing and editing process was, so that’s not the reason I haven’t written much. It has been a challenging time in my life, and things are finally evening out. Then…well, for the writers out there, have you ever done all the groundwork for something, researched, did family trees, lineages of magical creatures and their offspring, maps, cultures, religions, character sketches, and were starting to work on the synopsis…only to realize that it just wasn’t time to write it yet? It’s enough to give you an aneurysm! I’m sure the stuff will remain the same, but my enthusiasm wasn’t there, I don’t think I have the experience to pull it off yet, and (aside from being a giant chicken) it just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t in the mind set. I was more doom, gloom, apocalypse, and (apparently) pseudo-steampunk rather than fantasy. So, I put it off and it felt right. I’m not abandoning it…it’s just not time yet.
But mostly, I have been lazy and preoccupied for a year. That has changed. Writing can support life rather than the other way around and it is a valuable lesson I’m still learning.