First Monday: June 2016

As I’m writing this, we’re preparing for our first 90 degree day of the year. I can hear all you East Coasters and Southerners snorting with derision, but…hush. Us PNW-ers are not cut out for this.

Game of Vengeance is DONE. Final files turned in. Progress on Game of Lies is moving along at an almost-too rapid pace. I keep telling myself that if I can keep up with it, it’ll be off my plate that much sooner and I can take a week or three off to do nothing. Sultry is also done. Like, off to the formatter done. No pre-order links available yet, but I’ll post them when they go live.

I’m in an odd place – once Game of Lies is turned in for copy edits, I have nothing that needs to be done for months. I’m nearing the end of a first draft of a new story (tentatively called Lie to Me), but it’s not under contract and I’m not (at this point) planning to publish it myself. Aside from the remaining bits of work on Game of Lies, I could, in theory, take the next couple of months off. What’s probably going to happen is I’ll continue working on Lie to Me, but at a much slower pace than I normally go.

I’ve been trying to do a better job of stepping back and taking breaks. It’s not the easiest thing for me to do. Once I set a goal and pick a due date, I feel a constant push to keep working toward that due date, even if it’s just one I’ve set for myself (as opposed to one set by, oh, a publisher). Sometimes life intervenes and makes it so I can’t do anything, and I’m learning to embrace those times as an unexpected but well-earned break. Besides, soon enough I’ll have to start drafting Learning Curve. I’ve also got a few ideas I’m playing with for late 2017 releases. Just need to see how they might fit into my schedule.

The Seattle International Film Festival wraps up this week, and I have to say my experience this year has overall been disappointing. It started with the schedule itself. Normally I end up with between ten and fifteen films I’d like to see, and I have to narrow it down to six (they offer a six-pack of tickets at a discounted price). This year I ended up with tickets to four, and aside from the first one I saw (a documentary called Kedi), they weren’t worth the time I spent on them. Also, I skipped one because it was right after work and I decided I’d rather go home. Sigh. There’s always next year.

I think June’s going to end up being a lazy month. Let’s hear it for laziness!

First Monday: May 2016

Is it really May already? It seems like just yesterday I was still trying to recover from my trip to Ireland.

April was another busy month. Galley proofs for Game of Vengeance have been turned in. We’re a little over two months away to the release of Game of Shadows, and I’ll be sending out review copies to a few select reviewers. Reviewers: if you’re interested in reviewing Game of Shadows, check NetGalley under Kensington. It should go up for reviewers within another week or so. I have a very limited amount of copies I’m allowed to send out on my own, so if you contact me directly for a copy, it’s likely you won’t get one from me.

That just leaves Game of Lies, and we’re at the end of Cass and Nick’s story. I haven’t started edits yet (crossing my fingers that’s happening soon), but it’s been a long, often tiring road. I’m thrilled y’all are going to get to meet Cass. I heart her. I heart her so hard.

Sultry has been sent off for copy edits! The release date for the Nola Naughty Nine is tentatively set for August 15th. Once the cover’s been finalized and pre-order links are available, newsletter subscribers will get the dirt first (which means you should sign up for my newsletter 🙂 )

I’ve been making slow progress on a couple of stories with the hopes one will be finished and polished by about August, when I have to switch over to Learning Curve. Paul and Marie’s story is starting to take shape in my head…well, more than it was. I’ve always had the basic idea of how it would play out, but I’m starting to add in the details at this point. The stumbling block will be, as always, making it interesting for 70,000+ words. Of all the sub-genres I write, contemporary is the most difficult. I can’t just throw a dead body or a car chase or something in there to make things interesting. There’s a possibility (albeit a small one) that Declan may put in a cameo in Learning Curve, but only if it fits with the flow of the story. It may not. I’ll have to see.

With work on the Game of Shadows trilogy coming to an end and the Seattle International Film Festival starting up mid-month, I don’t anticipate getting a lot of work done on other projects this month, and that’s okay. Or I’m working on being okay with that. I stopped work on one project because I’d managed to talk myself into thinking it wasn’t original enough for a publisher to want it, so I switched projects. The new one isn’t flowing as easily as the old one, but I’m still chugging along. If neither are finished by August, I’ll just have to adjust my plans. *tries not to panic*

Enjoy your May, my lovelies, and try not to let the pollen kill you with tiny knives.

First Monday: January 2016

Happy New Year! I trust everyone made it through the festivities without too many problems? The BF and I went on our semi-annual date (we joke that the only times we go out anymore are for our anniversary and New Year’s…except it’s not really a joke because it’s basically true). Dinner at West City Kitchen in West Seattle (if you’re a Seattle-area person, check them out, they’re on California about two blocks south of PCC and absolutely delicious) and then to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Did the movie live up to expectations? Weeellll…it depends on what your expectations are. If you’re looking for better effects than in the prequels, then yes, it absolutely does and is best viewed on the big screen. But the story itself did not live up to the hype, and I’m glad I didn’t fight the crowds to see it opening weekend. Also, BB8 is kind of adorable. Now. Can someone tell me if there will be ewoks in either of the remaining movies? I need me some ewoks. (Shut up. They’re cute.)

December was the culmination of ALL THE STRESS. I am ever so grateful the day job was slow in the final weeks of the year, because if it hadn’t been, I might have decided to drown myself in a bottle of gin. For several weeks, I was working on all three books in the Game of Shadows trilogy: content edits, revisions, and drafting. Books one and two are turned in for their respective checkpoints, leaving me free to work on the first draft of book three. I’ve passed the halfway point – about eight more chapters to go before draft one is done. Then I can squeeze in some time on something new!

Speaking of done, Run is now available! It’s an Amazon exclusive, and you can get it here. If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, it’s free to read. If you’re not, it’s only a buck. You can still read it over on Wattpad, too. I hadn’t been checking in with Wattpad regularly until about a week and a half ago when I discovered that people are actually finding, reading, and liking Run. It’s at about 3.5k reads and growing, slow and steady. In more Wattpad news, Touch: Awakening is a featured story!

When I posted Run to Wattpad, I had hopes that it might garner me some more readers. Eight months later, I don’t think it has, at least not in the paying sense. But I discovered something else…it’s kind of fun. And it’s a great way to try out new and old stories that I love but didn’t know what to do with. There’s something liberating about writing a story or a chapter, doing a round of revisions (or not) and slapping it up there for public consumption. Since I’m not charging anything for these stories, I don’t feel guilty if there are typos or small bits of ridiculousness. I’ll be continuing Lex and Drew’s story over there – I’d originally imagined Touch as a three or four part novella series, and as I have time, I’ll be posting the rest of the parts there. And Not About Love will finally see the light of day! It’s one of my first stories (I think it was the…fifth? Fifth story I ever wrote. Or maybe the fourth. Not sure) and it’s such a fun, snarky story. I have a New Adult story that I may post there, too, if I ever manage to finish it.

I’ve been enjoying some more downtime now that I’ve got some work off my plate. Run is done, I’ve finalized and submitted the formatted print copies of both Hidden Scars and Fracture, and I’m almost done with the formatting for The Perfect Man, releasing at the end of this month. I had time to clean! The house was looking pretty grubby. Now it’s shiny!

I’m hopeful that at least part of January will be slower and less stressful than December. Hope your 2016 started off on the right foot, and even if it didn’t, well, it’s only the 4th. There’s still plenty of time.