Finally, A Normal Entry

So, now that I got all that crazy out of my system, my entries should return back to normal. I’m already three chapters into the Stolen redo, though I’ve back tracked to chapter one to add something else. While I’m happier with how it’s looking so far, there still seems to be something missing. I’m resolved to not dwell on it and focus on just integrating the new scenes. Then I’ll go back and try to figure it out. If I still can’t, I’ll annoy people until someone figures it out.

The big plan is to have Stolen, Taken, and Lost all publish ready by the end of the year. That’s writing, betaing, editing, formatting, and covers. While I would love to have it all ready before then, I’d rather plan for later so I don’t try to rush again. Then I’ll rerelease the first two books. Depending on how they do, I’ll release the third book and if it does well I’ll release the last book. If the book don’t do as well as hoped, I’ll just combine the third and fourth book and just make it a three book series. This plan is inspired by one used by Heather Hildenbrand, who is amazing, as well as proven marketing concepts other authors I’ve met recently. Granted, the market is always changing, so this plan could change by the end of the year, but I have to start somewhere, right?

Once the drafts for the L&F series are done and out for betaing and editing, I will restart work on the In the Night series. These will also be publish ready before I even release the first book, unless the marketing techniques have changed. I know, that’s giving a lot of control to marketing, but that’s how books get sold.

Dating My Characters

So, as most of you should know by now (I mean, I wrote enough entries about it, right), I have decided to pretty much restart my writing career. In short, that means rewriting two of my books, completing a third, and then possibly finishing off the series entirely before republishing them, following whatever marketing trend is current. Between those I’ll be trying to get ahead with my next series so it’s ready to go out as soon as either Lost or Found is out.

I’m hoping that by documenting this process, I can help others not make the mistakes I did.

So, to start off the Stolen redo, I had to make peace with the fact that I suck at character development. Then I decided that it was time to get to know Becca all over again. So I made her character sheet based off of dating. Yes, I have been dating my character. Well, characters, cause I’ve now started working on Jayden’s character sheet as well.  As crazy as it sounds, so far I learned that Becca’s an introvert, that she used to be a spoiled brat, but has since reformed, but is used to the finer things, that she actually has life goals, that she keeps a journal…well, you see where this is going.

It’s nice to be excited about this story again. I really think it’s going to be so much better, and the characters a lot more relatable. I’ve reworked the outline with the update details, so  I’m hoping that by the end of the weekend I’ll be ready to start reworking chapter one.

Warning: Super long entry

TL;DR Seeking advice based on entry contents, which options at the end sound good, or is there a better plan.

So, now that things have calmed down since yesterday, it’s time to explain my thinking process.

First, I want to mention that part of the reason I decided to blog was because I had heard that readers love hearing about authors’ lives, so it was a advertising point. The other part is because I wanted to write about my process- my successes, my struggles, my experiences- so that maybe someone could learn from them. Another part is that maybe someone would read one of my struggles and offer advice. And yet another part is to brainstorm and think, and then get advice about my thinking, which is part of the reason for these last couple of entries.

So, on that note, my entries yesterday were partly the result of emotions from my bad review, but honestly it was more than that. If you have read a few entries back, you know my decision about rewriting Stolen was made months ago. Stolen was actually started before Finding Grace, but was put on the back burner when Grace took over. It was almost a year later when I went back to it, and any notes I had written before it had disappeared. But I was in a hurry to get it done and to build a readership, so I forced an idea that seemed similar to what I had originally wanted and ran with it.

Becca was never fully developed. Jayden was never fully developed. Their relationship was never properly developed. Scene transitions were choppy, and what I thought was an “edge of your seat” cliff hanger was…just bad.

That is why, in short, that Stolen needs a redo. Not because of a bad review, but because of bad writing. Taken was done a little better, but I used terms that readers will probably need to look up, and that takes them out of the story. I’m also sure that their relationship could be developed better as well.

Alright, so right my thought process is actually centered around the current marketing trends. The reviewer mentioned how disappointed they were to find Dragon’s Flame’s teaser at the end of Taken instead of a Lost teaser. The reason this was done was because 1. Lost wasn’t even started yet, and 2. Because Dragon’s Flame was going to be the next book coming out before Lost.

I am learning that most new authors these days don’t actually publish their first book until they have at least three others completed, whether they’re a series or not. So it makes me think that maybe instead of putting Dragon’s Flame out, then making readers wait until Stolen and Taken are rereleased and Lost is published before release the second book in the series, which could possibly be a year later, it might be better to just wait on Dragon’s until The Lost and Found series is caught up and maybe even finished, then put out Dragon’s.

Now, some may think that this is extreme, and maybe it is. That’s why I want to hear what others think.

Should I:

1. Go a head, publish Dragon’s Flame as planned, and then rerelease The Lost and Found series, publish Lost and possibly finish the series off, and then release book two of the In The Night series?

2. Go with the original plan and publish Dragon’s, redo Stolen and Taken, do Lost,  then book 2 of ITN, and then finish the L&F series?

3. Publish Dragon’s as planned, redo Stolen and Taken, publish book 2 of ITN, publish Lost, etc.

Overkill?  Probably, but now is the time to experiment and get things worked out before I build a fan base, if I’m gonna have one.

My thoughts on Melissa Haag’s Carlos’ Peace

Carlos' Peace (Judgement of the Six Companion Series Book 5)Carlos’ Peace by Melissa Haag
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know if Ms. Haag is amazing or amazingly cruel. I have to admit, while I didn’t dislike Carlos before this book, he wasn’t a favorite either. After reading this book, I feel more affection for him after FINALLY getting to know him! This is one mysterious man who carries so much! And the teases Ms. Haag puts in here! All I know is that if her next book doesn’t answer all the questions she has cruelly left me with, I’m probably gonna lose it! And that is an indication of what an amazing writer she is.

Well, I got my first bad review today…

Or at least I read it today. They actually left it in January. Now, I know what ya’ll are going to say.  “You should read your reviews”, or “everyone gets bad reviews”, and so forth. While it sucks, and I’m feeling pretty bad, it’s something that I needed to hear, that I wish someone had mentioned a long time ago. Stolen sucks, not because of those involved in helping me, but because I was young and excited and impulsive, and hadn’t really learned about character development and world building, which is one reason Dragon’s Flame is taking so long now. Taken was better, but I’ve learned things now that would help it be a better read as well. As I have mentioned, I’ve already made the decision to rewrite Stolen and touch up Taken, so as much as the review hurts, it will actually help me in the long run.

The problem now is, what do I do next? I mean, do I pull Stolen and Taken off everything? Do I make it free until I can fix it? Do I keep selling it, put it in Kindle select again, and just fight with Amazon to update everyone’s copies? I mean, I still have Finding Grace, cause it’s still a good book in my opinion, and Dragon’s Flames will be heavily read by my editor and betas, so it should be fine to publish if I can ever finish it. And lets be honest, I have a tiny following, if any at all, so if I was to pull them and take time off of publishing to fix them while still getting my life together, not many people, if any, would notice.

And then another part of me wonders if I should cancel the signings I signed up for this year, and wait until more money starts coming in from the books instead of spending so much with a small chance, if any, of making some of it back.

Obviously I know I shouldn’t make any actual decisions right now while I’m emotional, but these are things I need to consider, especially when money is so tight. I mean, heck, if I took a year or two off of publishing and marketing and just wrote, maybe I could get a bit of a back stock that’s been properly dissected and really build a following the proper way.

I guess what I’m really looking for is feedback from any authors who have been in my position, or haven’t been, but know what they would do if they were, and feedback from those who have read my books, how they would feel if Lost came out a little later than they were hoping, but with a stronger series to back it up.

Okay, this isn’t YA, but ya’ll gotta check it out!

 

Superbowl 2017

I know, I suck. I think I’ve lost the small follow I might have had because I suck at posting. Posting more is part of my New Year’s resolution, so I will have to make sure I try better. What should help is that I got my regular laptop back from the repair shop, so I have no excuses now.

I guess the biggest bit of news I have is that Dragon’s Flame probably won’t come out on Feb. 20th. I got it back from the editor about a month ago, and I’m only on chapter four. Plus side, I’ve added a few thousands words to it, and it’s definitely improved, but between work, school, and husband, time to write is scarce.

Once I know when it’s coming out, I will let you know. At minimum, you will know a week a head of time, though I hope to start advertising for it way before then.

Oh, also, all my books have gone wide, so you can get them only any ereader! Links have been changed under the appropriate book heading.