On the way to my next book lol. I often get readers asking me about when my next book is coming out in any one of the five series I have running at the moment. So I thought I would take the time to explain a bit about my writing process and why sometimes I miss my expected deadlines. Why you have to wait for some books, and others just pop up super quick.
1. My characters don’t believe in lining up.
It’s true. I don’t plan any of my books – they quite literally run from my head, through to my fingers whenever they feel like it. While that is a good thing for me, it can become a problem when I am trying to schedule books. For example, in theory the next book I should be working on is Copping A Lot of Sin which is book two in the Stockton Wolves series. Now, I’ve started it. I have a rough idea where I want the story to go, which is unusual in itself, but…
My characters aren’t talking to me – not from that book, anyway.
It’s true. Sin got in a huff (let’s not forget he’s human). Ben doesn’t know what to do because he’s basically lied to Sin about the whole mating thing, and the bear…yes, there is a bear shifter in this one – well, he just wishes someone will make up their mind. But for now, that book has to be put aside, because the characters are not playing the game. It will get done, but it won’t be my next book published, which was what I had planned.
2. Those who scream the loudest, get the attention
I was happily typing away on No Mate of Mine (which should be out within the next day or so) when these four little twinks with a swing in their step and attitudes far bigger than their body’s should allow, started screaming in my head about the perfect kiss. The perfect kiss? WTF. Did I mention that one of them was an Omega wolf who had a thing for drag and hot cops in uniform?
Clearly another Alpha and Omega book, but why now? I have Sin and Ben to get sorted and Josh (Cloverleah Pack) waiting for me to get his act together and poor Phillip from the B&B series, I don’t even want to mention how long he’s been waiting for a bit of HEA. But these four boys are loud. They are funny, thank goodness, but they are loud and I am not going to get any peace until their story is done. So you can guess what I am working on now.
3. It has to be this way
I count myself really lucky I can write fiction at all. For the longest time I believed that I couldn’t. I love it, I love my characters and I especially love when my readers let me know they have enjoyed what I have written too. But the fact of the matter is, my writing process isn’t so much a process as “sit down at your computer and see what comes out.” I see the scenes for what I am writing in my head – I picture all of them and I write down what I see. Which is fine except…
If my characters don’t want to play the game, or I get interlopers in my head, then I have to go where they take me. Which means storylines don’t come out exactly as I had thought they would, and scheduling books is a thing of…well, fiction.
4. I am learning
I don’t say when a book is coming out anymore – well, nothing definitive anyway. Not until the book is finished and going through the publishing process. I have let too many readers down in the past, when life got in the way of my work. So now, if you ask me when my next ‘such and such’ book is coming out, I will simply say “soon” or “later” unless I actually have the book finished, or am on the final stretch. I really hate letting readers down, but I am learning more about how I write, and how I work with each new book.
5. Life Happens
Because my work is created in my head, when things happen in real life, it makes it really hard for those pictures and scenes that I rely on to write, to come through. I honestly do my best not to let that interfere with my characters too much, but sometimes my head gets filled with other things, which slows the writing process down. Like when my marriage broke up for example, or when I had a friend going through difficulties for a while.
I am warning you now (lol) I have two new grandbabies due this year – one in about four weeks, and another one in November. My daughter is also getting married in January of next year which means months of planning, and somewhere in all of this, I would also like to make some new friends of my own (the tall, hunky snuggly kind that buy me dinner :)). So although I plan to write seven days a week, it doesn’t always happen. After all, I have to have time to get my hair done.
6. I’m still loving it
The process is messy and not exactly reliable, my characters spend far more time in the front of my head than is probably healthy. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have so many books I want to write, and I am not stopping, even if nobody ever reads a word I write again. I honestly love what I do. But timelines, schedules, all those things responsible writers should have…me, not so much. That’s probably why I self-publish lol, no self-respecting publisher or agent would put up with me.
Have fun with your week 🙂