Just finished reading Brandon Sanderon’s State of the Sanderson post he does every year at the end of the year. Ever since I started reading his books a few years ago, he’s become an author I’ve looked up to. Seeing this post made me realize exactly how much of a role model he is for me. He has such a long-term view approach to his career, is a very prolific author, and at the same time isn’t afraid to change his goals if things aren’t working out the way he originally intended.
This gives me hope that I can do this writing thing too, despite life happening. Especially as in the last couple of years, I’ve had to revise and edit my original plans as I’ve adjusted to life as a mom–and soon, a mom of two! But I still want to improve at hitting my writing goals and working to make this a sustainable, viable career. Sanderson talks about how he spent his 20s working hard to improve his writing, get published…I’m over halfway through, and while I don’t need to get it ALL done in my 20s, he’s definitely inspired me to buckle down and get moving.
I want to track this in public, to provide accountability and to provide encouragement to the other writers–the young moms, the ones just starting out, the ones who wonder how they can ever get their dreams accomplished in between changing diapers, trying to talk a stubborn toddler into pooping in the potty, cleaning up the latest disaster, and–yes, to add to the insanity–even homeschooling. Maybe this will even provide encouragement to me in coming years. The hardest part is balancing accountability with guilt, trying to stick to my goals without stressing myself out and taking it out on my family. I’m still trying to figure that out. I’ll let you know how that progresses. 😉
In the meantime, here’s what’s been up with my writing:
*The Underworld Mythos. This includes my urban fantasy that was published earlier this year, Forged Steel. Forged Steel is the first in a series (The Crucible). I’m happy to report that, while the sales aren’t absolutely amazing, it has done much better than I ever expected for a first time book. The first two months it was out (July and August), I sold a total of 30 copies, both print and ebook. Since then I’ve had few print sales (2 total, I believe), but the ebook has consistently sold a couple of copies most months, and it’s been borrowed a few times as well. I also just ran a free promo over Christmas that moved 67 copies, and that’s without any advertising besides asking friends to help pass the word along. I’ll have to look at more numbers and maybe do a more in depth post in January.
The second book in The Crucible, Burnt Silver, has about 30K written in it. I really hope to finish this book before Baby 2 makes his appearance. The original plan was to finish it before the end of the year, BUT holidays always have a way of conspiring against me–and the fact that I’m pregnant doesn’t help. I’m convinced my brain is just pretty darn mushy when it comes to writing new material while I’m pregnant. I’m determined, however–I want to be able to ease back into writing after Baby 2 by having things to edit. Burnt Silver is looking like it will be quite a bit longer than Forged Steel, and there’s a lot of front material that happens before we really get to the meat of the story. It’s not necessary for Book 2, but it’s kind of nice to know what led Josh and Eliaster to the point that they get to in the middle of the book. If it’s too long, I’ll either have to rearrange events, or cut some material and make a novella out of it.
So currently, the plan for that looks like: Burnt Silver sometime in the fall or winter (my goal is October, but we’ll see) and, if there ends up being a novella, that will release around mid-year. I know “the experts” advise trying to get a series out as quickly as possible, but this might be the best I can do writing part-time as I am.
Book 3 of the Crucible series is halfway plotted and slated for sometime in 2017. The next two, Book 4 and 5, are sketched out and planned for 2018 and 2019 (of course, all that is subject to change depending on if I get Burnt Silver out next year or not). Depending on how long The Crucible runs (right now it looks between 5-7 books), plus short stories and maybe a companion/follow-up series, I could easily be working on this world for the next ten years. That’s definitely ok with me, because I loved this world and the characters.
*Darkglass. This is a dark fantasy/steampunk I started writing a couple of years ago, and have continued writing between all my work on the Underworld Mythos. Early this year I stalled out on it. Thanks to a wonderful critique/brainstorm meeting with Robert Liparulo at Realm Makers in August, I have a million ideas on how to make this novel the twisty brain-bender that I was hoping it would be. Because I have such high hopes for this novel, I want to take my time working on it, but I hope to have it done by the end of 2016. I also want to pursue traditional publication with this one, just for kicks, so I have no idea or plan on when it will be published.
*Secret Project: This is a special story that I’ve had setting ideas for, but never really had a plot for until a couple of weeks ago. I want to try to keep it under wraps a little more, but I will tell you that it’s a middle grade novel (my first), and that I hope to have it done by the end of 2016 as well. It will probably be my NaNoWriMo novel for next year, if I can leave it alone that long.
*Rewrites. I have three novels (well, technically two and a half, since the third was completely plotted and almost completely written, but I never had it fully fleshed out and expanded like it should have been) that need extensive rewrites, but that I also believe could be awesome. HalfBlood and Nightsword are both set in my primary fantasy world, Absor–a world I developed over a decade ago when I was just getting into writing. Roliwyn is set in my gaslamp fantasy world, Lerem, the world that contained my very first full-length fantasy novel, The Second Crown (which may also be rewritten someday…if I can ever get it out of the trite, cliched little rut it was in), and the world of Darkglass. I hope to get HalfBlood and Roliwyn rewritten sometime in the next couple of years. We’ll say, these three are tentatively slated for 2017, 2018, and 2019.
*Serials. I currently have ideas for three stories that could potentially develop into serials–a vampire comedy, a superhero chick lit, and a Romanesque military fantasy about dragon riders. My plan is to develop and plot at least a season of each of them in 2016, run a couple of test pilots on Wattpad and maybe Kindle, to see what readers want more of, and then start serious work on the serials in 2017-2018.
*Novellas. I have three novellas, two of which need extensive rewriting, and I don’t even know if I like one of them enough to invest that time into it. Regardless, I hope to revise the other, Metalshift, enough to put it out next year as well. Metalshift is also set in the gaslamp fantasy world Lerem.
*Short stories. I currently have a couple of short stories that need some revision, and others halfway written/plotted. My goal is to get more of these out in 2016 to magazines, so I can get my name out to a wider audience. These are mostly stand-alones, though I also have a couple Josh and Eliaster short stories that I hope to find homes for as well.
I will definitely be staying busy! It seems a bit overly ambitious, but I’ve found that I always overplan a little and revise as I go, because I’m never quite certain how life is going to go. I’ll try to remember to update periodically throughout 2016. One thing I can be certain of, at this point in my career my blogging and social media takes a back seat to my writing, though I always generally manage to stay fairly active on Instagram and Twitter, so if you really want to keep up with what’s going on, please sign up for the Wizard Discount newsletter. I promise we’ll only bug you quarterly, and maybe in between with notifications of new releases and sales. 😉