Monday, August 17, 2015

High hopes and the actualities of being an indie author


When I first started publishing, I had no idea where it was going to go. I just wanted to write my stories and share them with the world. I knew what my first story would be, but I wasn't sure what would be next.

Then I published my first book, Here All Along. It was a short story, but several people fell for Adrian and Hazel and wanted more of them. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to continue their story. It was my intent to make Here We Are (the sequel) my next project, but when the characters weren't speaking to me, I had to move on.

That's when I wrote Resist. I knew when I started the story that it would end on a cliffhanger and require a full-length sequel. When I wrote the sequel, Longing, I thought it would end there. Somehow the idea for Forever (Resist #3) came to me since I didn't want to let go of Allegra and Devlin just yet. Also, while I was writing Longing, a companion novel for Sonya became necessary.

After I started writing Longing, an idea that had been in the back of my head began talking to me. I started writing it because I needed to get it all out before the inspiration went away. In 12 days, I had finished a novella called More Than Words. I thought that the story was complete, until I was driving home from work one night and a continuation for Dana and Landon struck me, and now there will be More Than Anything, book #2.

I had set Unexpected aside more than a year ago to write Resist since something wasn't working for Ryan and Alina's story. I picked it up again and started telling it in dual POV and the gears began turning again. Along the way, we meet Willa, a girl who becomes a friend of Alina's. When I finished Unexpected, I knew that the story was complete. But Willa? She wants me to tell her story now, too.

So... now I have a sequel to write for both Here All Along and More Than Words, plus the third book in the Resist series, plus a companion novel to the Resist series, and very likely a companion novel to Unexpected.

Did I have any idea this would happen?

No. Not even slightly.

I want to write these stories. I really do. They're always on my mind, sitting there in my subconscious, spinning around and being thought about off and on. Not only that, but there are several other stories I haven't told you about bouncing around in there with them.

I'm sure some of you are getting curious. Wondering if you'll ever hear what happens next for Adrian, Hazel, Allegra, Devlin, Dana, Landon, Sonya, and Willa. Am I going to just tease you with the possibility of it forever while writing a bunch of new stories with new characters? Let me be the first to assure you that I have every intention to write them.

I just honestly have no idea when.

I keep having high hopes that I'll be able to get to one of them soon, but then something prevents it. Sometimes it's that the inspiration isn't happening. Sometimes it's a plot conflict that isn't resolving itself. But sometimes? It's life.

As an indie author, I have to do the majority of the work myself. This includes investing the money and contacting reviewers. Some of us pay people to help with covers and formatting (like me). Others make their own covers and do their own formatting. Plus, a lot of us work outside the home and some have responsibilities and/or health issues to contend with. All the above adds up to limited time and resources to getting our books out there.

Frankly, it sucks. Not being an indie author, because I love being an indie author. It's the obstacles that get in the way of writing. If I could hide away in a cabin in the woods with a limitless supply of caffeine, chocolate, and rum, I could write these books in no time! But alas, that's not the case. And it's frustrating to say the least when all I want to do is give you all these books so you can see where all the characters end up. Hell, even I want to know!

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that even though I have all these books I want to write, I've had to become more reasonable in what I expect of myself. I kind of jumped the gun by adding both Here We Are and More Than Anything to Goodreads when I wasn't even started on them. Now they're up there and people are anxiously awaiting the sequels. Plus, I wrote a post on this blog regarding my 2015 book plans...and honestly, with the exception of Unexpected, the majority of that post isn't coming true. I'm currently working on a story that didn't even exist in my head back then.

So, from now on, I'm going to do things a little differently around here. First off, I won't be telling anyone about the title of a book or adding it to Goodreads until I'm at least 10,000 words in. That way I won't be teasing you with books I'm unable to write right away.

Secondly, the books mentioned in this post that haven't been written will slowly get written. I would like to spend the next couple years working on them and getting as many out as I possibly can. I don't want to be one of those people who makes promises they can't keep. I don't want to let you down or get your hopes up.

As of this minute, I'm working on a new book called Can't Stay Away. I put it up on Goodreads after I reached the 10,000 word mark (and am currently at 20,000 words). It will be my next published book that I am hoping to have out by the end of 2015 (fingers crossed). After I finish this book, I'm unsure of which one is next. One of the above sequels/companions is definitely high on the list of "next book" after the current one.

When it comes to these stories? They all will get written. That, my dear friends, is the one thing I can promise you.

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