I am always thrilled when I hear from readers, and I do my level best to thank every single person that leaves a comment on my Facebook posts, or emails me, or comments on here. But just recently, I’ve noticed a trend in the communications I’ve been getting – along the lines of “when’s such and such coming out?” Believe it or not, this causes me a bit of a conundrum because a lot of times, the simple answer is, “I don’t know” and the reason why, is because of the way I write.
In a perfect world, a writer doesn’t even write a single word of their manuscript until they’ve done character profiles, written out time lines for each chapter of every book in an entire series, and knows exactly what is going on from the moment they write the first line of the first book. I’m not like that.
In other cases, the writer might not have things as well planned out but they can tell you how many books are going to be in a series, and how the series is going to end. I don’t do that either.
In a lot of cases writers have their publishing schedule for the next year already mapped out. Sorry, that’s not me either, and not simply because I self-publish. In fact, that is a huge reason why I do self-publish; so I can write to my own deadlines.
My writing process is quite simplistic, compared with all that planning – which incidentally I do think is a really good idea, especially if you are new to writing. I have a file on my computer filled with pictures of lovely, lovely men. Some my readers have sent me, and others I’ve found on FB and thought “Oh yes, he has a story to tell.” Needless to say, that file is huge. I see stories everywhere I look. I pick out a couple of men and print off their picture, and after I come up with a couple of names, I start to write. That’s it. I write the words my characters tell me, the scenes that play out in my head, and then after a while I think, “this book should probably end soon,” and my characters scream “Nooooooo,” and they tease a couple of extra chapters out of me, before I type the end.
None of that would be so bad, if I’d stuck to writing just one series at a time. But my mind is fickle. I might read a book, or watch a video on Youtube and think “I wonder what would happen if….” Well, you get the picture. Another book is born. My newest one, Harder in Heels, which is an Alpha and Omega story stemmed from watching a guy in heels dancing on Youtube. I can tell you that book will be out on August 10th because it’s already finished.
I love my series – my packs, the characters I’ve cried and laughed with, I really do. But sometimes my mind rebels and says “I want to write something different.” That’s how the Alpha and Omega series started, the Bound and Bonded series and my wolf/vampire book – The Power of the Bite. I purposefully made the Alpha and Omega series single, standalone books – so I could write something cheesy and fun, with a standard trope and have fun with it. The Power of the Bite, with the Portrain pack and coven – there are at least three more stories that could be written in that series, but I couldn’t tell you when it was going to happen. Stockton Wolves wasn’t even supposed to be a series, but I now know there’s going to be five books with that one, possibly more.
So what does this all boil down too? That a lot of the time, when asked about a specific book, or the next one in a series – the best answer I can manage is “soon.” I can tell you right now that Harder in Heels is finished. I did the cover for that today, and I’ve just got the edits to do. I am writing Sully and Q’s story, AND Adair and Vassago’s story – the next Cloverleah book will definitely be out in September. But as for what comes next? I’m not sure. I want to write Trent’s story from Stockton Wolves. I’m keen to start writing the first book in my new series spin-off from Bound and Bonded with Phillip and Kellen. But lately I’ve been thinking about Angels and Demons and I have some really delicious pictures of possible characters. So yet another series could be in my very near future.
I know this might be frustrating for some readers. I know what it’s like to anticipate something, and I’m thrilled and honored that one of the things you anticipate is a certain book from me. But at my very core, I’m a writer, and I am a slave to my characters. I write the stories of the men who yell the loudest on any given day and the rest have to patiently wait their turn. Then there’s life. It happens and sometimes it interferes with the writing process – like when I moved house, or when my marriage ended. I do my best to stop life from interfering with what I love to do, but it happens.
Ultimately, I have the perfect life. I get up every day and I do something I love to do every day – yep, I even write on weekends. I’ve learned over time that the way for me to write the best book I possibly can, is to relax into my process and just let it happen – oh, and thoroughly appreciate my editor of course, because my books have improved tenfold since she started giving me a hand. My methods are different to some, but they work for me. So if you’re tempted to ask about a book that’s not the next A&O one, or the next CP one, or Sully and Q’s story, the answer you get is “soon”. Then you’ll know as much as I do lol.
Thank you everyone for your amazing support. You are wonderful 🙂