Monday, January 8, 2018

2018 Book Schedule

Hey everyone! I hope your new year is going splendidly! I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted! Anyway, it's that time of year again where I give you all an update on my release schedule! 

Here’s the quick and dirty lineup of books this year (for those of you who want your info straight to the veins):

  • Pestilence (The Four Horsemen #1) ~ February/March 2018
  • Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3) ~ Summer 2018
  • The Disappearing Act (The Vanishing Girl #3) ~ Winter 2018
For a more in-depth breakdown of my schedule, and info on the books that you didn’t see on here, read on!

Pestilence (The Four Horsemen #1)

New series alert! For those of you who’ve enjoyed my other post-apocalyptic books, or are fans of the whole enemies-to-lovers romance, I think you’re going to like this series! It’ll be four books long, and the first book will come out February/March 2018 (depending on how fast I can edit this sucker)!

The book started right as I was in the middle of writing Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3). I was having trouble writing Dark Harmony (*gasp*). I had been in the world of fairies and sirens for a year without break, and I needed a temporary change. Not to mention that for the last two years, my writing schedule has been a line-up of books that need to get finished (versus those that I’m hankering to write), and that takes a toll on an author since writing is inherently a creative art—driven, in my case at least, more by passion and inspiration than by a clean-cut schedule. And so, I hope you’ll all forgive me for giving into my excitement and diverting from last year's schedule.

The idea of the Four Horsemen has been with me for years, but around the end of October/the beginning of November, a renewed excitement for the series slammed into me, and it wouldn’t leave me alone. I decided to jot down a few ideas, thinking that once I did so, that would be enough to satisfy me … but it wasn't. So I decided to start writing the book until my well of ideas runneth dry. I was writing twice as much—sometimes three times as much—in a day on this book as I was on Dark Harmony, and I decided to stay with it until my excitement and productivity petered out (working halftime as I do right now, getting that much work done in a day is nothing short of miraculous—it meant that I could put books out at nearly the same rate I had been when I was working full-time, and more books = happier writer and happier readers). My excitement never petered out, and so, uh, Pestilence is hitting shelves soon! :)

The Four Horsemen will be—suprise, surprise—a four book series, one book per horseman. I’ll give you more information on the first book in the series, Pestilence, in another post (and my email newsletter will get a bonus teaser), so keep a look out for that! In the meantime, you can click here to add Pestilence to your Goodreads “To Read” list! And if you want to join my newsletter, the sign up form is in the top right corner of my website!

Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3)

This book is hitting shelves summer 2018. (I can hear your groans from all the way over here!) I’m so sorry to push this release back. I know there’s a great horde of you readers silently dying inside because the wait is not over, damn it. Promise I’m not doing it to torture you. I’m right in the middle of Des and Callie’s story, but if you read above, you’ll know that writing it was slow going and it was uninspired. And you readers can always tell the difference between which of my books are inspired and which of them are uninspired. I love Des and Callie. The end of their story deserves my A-game and nothing less! It took me three years to complete the first book, five months to write the second book, and it will require just a little more waiting to get the final book in the series to you all.

It’s already partially written, and I’m so freaking excited to finally give you what I personally think is an epic ending! I still need to finish the first draft, and then there’s the editing, which always takes me a month or two. But I promise you, it’s getting done and it will be worth the extra wait!

The Disappearing Act (The Vanishing Girl #3)

Ah, this book. You know, I’ve written so many iterations of an explanation for why the release date for this one keeps getting pushed back, and then I never end up sharing those explanations because they're long and involved and neither fun for me to write nor thrilling for you to read. Here’s the ugly truth:
  1. The Vanishing Girl series is not a popular enough series, financially, to finish.
  2. Traditional publishing burned out my excitement for this series.
  3. My contract for this series prevented me from publishing the last book for two years.
Now, let me explain

1. Unpopular Series

Authors don’t like talking about this subject because it means pulling back the curtain and showing you all the not-so-pretty underbelly of publishing. Basically, authors like me can’t write some books because they don’t make us enough money to pay the bills. Horrible, right? Who wants to tell their readers that? Not me, but there’s enough of you out there who want—no, need—to know why, why, why haven’t I published the third book in this series, that I feel I owe you an honest answer, cringe-y though it is.

I’m a full-time author, and I put out between three and four books a year, though since my daughter was born last year, two is more accurate (that was how many books I released last year). I have a mortgage to pay, a family to feed, and I’m working halftime right now (re: daughter). So I have to make fewer books go farther, financially speaking, and that doesn’t leave me with a whole lot of wiggle room to write a series of mine that isn't all that popular.

2. Writer Burn Out

Back in 2014, I sold the rights of The Vanishing Girl series to Skyscape, Amazon’s YA publishing house, thinking that they could do so much more with the series than I ever could—and they have, in some ways. They’ve translated the books, put them in bookstores where my other titles aren’t available, and promoted them in places that I simply couldn’t. However, part of the contract was that I write book two in approximately two months’ time. Two months' time to create a story, write it, and edit it. Some authors can do this, but I'm really not one of them. (By contrast, it took me five months to write A Strange Hymn, another of my books.) 

It was too much work in too little time, and worst of all, it felt like work. Writing books is hard, and there are always bad days, but overall, writing isn't really something you fall into because it's a job and it'll do. You end up with a career like this because you can't help but write and write and write and get all those ghosts out of your head. It's the kind of job where, on an average day, I curl up on the couch in my office with a mug of coffee and I tuck into my latest story for hours on end. There are far worse fates. But, for The Decaying Empire, I felt like the rigorous deadline Skyscape gave me just sucked the soul right out of the series, which it wouldn’t likely have if I’d written the second book on my own terms.

3. Contract Stipulations

Part of the contract I agreed to with Skyscape was that if I decided to self-publish the third book, I’d have to wait eighteen months after the publication of The Decaying Empire to do so. Essentially, Skyscape bought the first two books of the trilogy, but they didn’t buy the rights to the third book. This is because Skyscape didn’t want to be shackled to this series if it tanked when it hit shelves. I gambled that Skyscape wouldn’t buy the rights to my third book. After all, they hadn’t for some of the author friends who also sold them part of their series. So I decided that it was best for me to assume I was self-publishing the last novel.

That decision made, I had to wait a year and a half to release the third book in the series. Add to that eighteen month wait the additional seven month wait between finishing The Decaying Empire and its actual publication. Altogether, I was essentially told I was going to have to wait two years to finish the series. In the meantime, I had other series I had to finish, and other ideas clamoring to be written. I moved on. By the time those two years came and went, I was in a different place, professionally. But my point is, had my hands not been tied in the first place, I would've written that final book back in 2015, and we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. And that is my bad for making a poor judgment call when it came to selling my rights. I didn't know at the time that it would've ended up like this, and I probably would've made different choices if I had known, but in the end, I didn't, and now we're here. Boo.

Give it to Me Straight
What does this all mean? Well, it means that, first and foremost, I have to look out for the best interests of my family, and that might mean delaying the book’s publication further. I'm not trying to string you all along; I intend to finish this series, but I have to make sure I can pay my bills first. That means the book *could* get pushed back further. I hope it doesn't. I'd love to end this series as well! 

This all being said, I’m going to *try* to finish this book this year. I have an outline written up for the story, so now all that's left is sitting down and banging it out! The story is coming, it just really is a matter of when! 

The Infernari Series (Blood and Sin #2)

This series is set on hold for the time being. I know, I’m really sad about this, and I didn’t make that call. As some of you know, Dan Rix (the co-author) is my husband, and he’s busy working on his own slew of projects and he’s not in a position to co-author it at the moment. This doesn’t mean that it will never be published, but the stars do need to align first. If/when we finish the series, it will be shortened from a trilogy to a duology.

A Final Note

That’s it! I hope you all are excited for the books releasing this coming year! There’s always a chance that I might squeeze in another book, or that the lineup will get reshuffled, but right now that’s fairly unlikely. 

I heart you all so hard, and I can’t wait to share the books headed your way this year! Keep a lookout for another post on the cover, back flap, and description in the coming days! And make sure if you want to read a teaser from Pestilence, you sign up for my newsletter (you can do so here)!

 Hugs and happy reading,
Laura