Hi everyone! It’s been some time since I’ve done a blog post. Readers who frequent Facebook probably know that I post quite a bit more to my page there than to my website blog, but I’m going to be changing that. I know it might feel to some of you as though I’ve disappeared, and I’ve answered quite a few emails and private messages about this, but I figured it was time to do a big update here on the blog/website that might be easier for people to find.
- The BIG question I get asked: Am I still writing?
Answer: YES. Yes I am. Look, 2020 sucked, to put it lightly. I had a bunch of health problems that culminated in having a surgery during the Time of Covid – no fun, let me tell you. I pushed the release of Pirate War back several times during this period, and eventually took down the preorder. Once I knew I was having surgery and what recovery would look like, it was obvious I needed to pull back and focus on my health for a period of time. Which I did, and good news: I am all better and really have done some life change stuff around health and fitness that should lead to me being healthy (hopefully) for a long time to come. PIRATE WAR is still coming. I haven’t given up. I haven’t stopped writing. 2020 just sucked big time and now I’m getting back on track, finally, in 2021. PIRATE WAR will be out this summer.
2. SPEAKING of Pirate War…this is obviously what I get asked about the most. So, let me just pull back the curtain a bit and share with you all some realities of author life and the mistakes we, as humans, sometimes make. Back when I first plotted out this series, I envisioned nine total main books, made of three book arcs. Books 1-3 would be one section of the overall arc, 4-6 another, and 7-9 the final. When I first plotted that, I had this grand plan to shift focus from Mercy onto another character (keeping Mercy and her crew as a subplot) for books 4-6. That was the plan, and I was damn well going to stick with it.
This is what they mean in writing when they give you the advice “be prepared to kill your darlings”. Often this can mean ruthlessly cutting a favorite scene that doesn’t actually serve the story. But in this case, I wrote PIRATE WAR and struggled, and struggled, and STRUGGLED to make it work. And it just…didn’t. At all. I axed bits. I rewrote bits. Keep in mind this was all happening while I was experiencing some pretty disruptive health issues. The book just wasn’t working, I was frustrated and could not figure out why, and I kept having to push the preorder…and long story short, after months of unhappiness and talking it over with writer friends, with my husband (my best friend, all around sounding board, and first reader) I STILL didn’t understand why I couldn’t fix this book. I thought I had it several times, only to get into the weeds and realize that no, I didn’t. Well, I had an epiphany finally. I was writing the wrong book. The Telepathic Space Pirates series is Mercy’s story. I have a LOT of characters, sure, and some of them are pretty damn important to that overall plot, but you know what the CORE of this universe is? What the core of the series is? Mercy. And, at heart, the disappearance of her mother and that search for family. So I sucked it up, owned the fact that I’ve wasted a shit ton of time and words, and asked my wonderful cover designer to redo the cover of PIRATE WAR with Mercy right where she belongs. I’ve been rewriting the book, and you guys, it’s going so well. If I was in question at all about whether this was the right choice and direction, I’m not now. This book has never gone even close to this smoothly before. So good news: I’m actually back on track, the book is working, and will be released this summer barring any catastrophic life stuff.
This was a super hard decision to make, but a valuable life lesson as a writer. Note to all of you writers out there: if a book is just a struggle and not working, you might be approaching the story from the wrong direction. I’m updating the website with the new cover and projected release info, but I’ll also post the cover with this post.
3. To that end, I am currently in the city of New Orleans at a writing retreat! ALL. THE. WORDS. It feels great for them to be flowing so well after such a long time of that not happening. We aren’t limited our time to just writing, however. We’re taking in some of NOLA’s tourist offerings as well, including a trip to Cafe Du Monde for beignets, a Ghost Tour, and last night I tried some fried alligator. It really did taste like chicken. I’ll post some pictures as the trip progresses, and maybe even some snippets.
So that pretty much covers what’s been going on. Please feel free to comment with any questions or concerns, I will do my best to answer them!