November Begins – Serious Book Talk :)

We’re getting to November! Silas has been out for a bit. I’m currently working on Love’s Cruel Redemption full on. During my off time, I’ve got a few new stories I’m revising/working on. I hope people will enjoy them while I’m writing on LCR.

I’ve had a few concerning comments that keep coming up, so I thought I’d address a few of them here instead. If you see these comments anywhere, please post this link. 🙂

Are you still working on the Academy series? (In regards to As I Write)

Obviously yes. (See above. :)) As mentioned in the previous blog post, I work on the other stuff while waiting. Sometimes on weekends when I’m taking a break from writing a story, I write about these other things. (Yes, I work weekends. When do I have downtime? Not a lot. :))

As I Write is a little thing between books that allows me to get some of that tinkering out of my system and gives you all a chance to look at something while I’m working.

Why are the books taking so long to come out? They used to come out faster.

I write pretty quickly. In the beginning, I was coming out with about four books a year.

However, my process has changed drastically from the beginning:

  • When readers requested preorders, it added at minimum two weeks of waiting time even after book is finished (this is a time frame set by Amazon, and other vendors, I have to have it loaded two weeks ahead of release date)
  • When readers asked for better editing, I added a new line editor and two new proofreaders
  • When readers asked for more, I tried to increase the book word counts, and larger books take longer to write
  • As readers requested, I had been taking time out for audiobooks (this is off my plate now thanks to Brilliance, but last Feb and March and April were pretty much consumed by audiobook things to help them get started)

This means one book of 120,000-ish words can take me about two months (two and a half months maybe?) to write. (It gets a little slower when I need to go back and make sure of plotting is going the right way and double checking notes.) And I’d rather take time to make a great book that really makes the story come alive.

It can take at least month and a half to go through beta readers, revisions, and editing, but I’m pretty much at the mercy of other people. And to make sure I don’t mess up preorders (Or as an author, you can lose this privilege) I try to get books in at least a week or two early prior to the deadline set by Amazon, etc.

This can mean *does hand math* at least five months between each book. That’s about two books a year, and maybe a novella if I can get a Meeting Sang book out, too. So if I do a Scarab Beetle book and a Ghost Bird, it is one of each, or two Ghost Bird… yeah…

And if I get sick, need to move, I have to take time out for family etc., it pushes everything back a little further. Remember where I said audiobooks? That took time, and in January I had gotten pretty sick for a couple of weeks. Writing got slower for me, so everything got out of whack.

I’m a people pleaser by nature, but I’m running up to a few issues, as you can see, with time and what people REALLY want. Faster books or better editing, preorder or no?  Is there a correct balance?

I continue to streamline the system as much as possible. I used to spend more time on Facebook and forums with readers but had to cut out a lot of it to make sure writing gets done. I get antsy, too, though. (Thus why As I Write exists, I just wanna write stories and let them get out there). I miss four books a year, too.

The books themselves need to speed up.

I think everyone is very anxious to see the boys and Sang finally getting the hang of their relationship. 🙂 But there are a few topics that come up again in questions.

1. This is a YA series. So… sex?

I had considered this and for the current Ghost Bird series as designed doesn’t have sex. That’s been the number one concern for most people when they’ve asked about ‘speeding up the books’. (Not everyone, but hang in there with me.) Just remember this is a YA series and while some contain sex, I’m keeping this particular series sensual but not really diving into sex. However…

2. This series has eight more books. We’re at the countdown.

This may contain minor spoilers in this paragraph, okay? Skip to the next one if you don’t want to know.

This series has eight books left, yes. You’ll get to see each guy’s POV book. (Yes, Mr. Blackbourne’s is last and the final book in this series.)

However, there are two follow up series after this. You’ll be able to read the Ghost Bird series in FULL as a whole series and be ‘complete’, but the story does continue.

One set will be novellas when she is +18 and will cover her relationships with each of them in a more mature way. I don’t want to spoil too much but sex will be involved, tastefully.

One set will be full books (but probably 80k-ish words each instead of 100k+), and it will contain snippets from the team in their 30s as full adults, so you see how they turn out.

3. Regarding pacing.

If you aren’t concerned about the sex (that was like 90% of the questions), just know we’re pretty much downhill from this point with Sang and the guys. And I’ve got to fit a lot in eight books. So the books are pretty much a race to the finish line to get to the end of the Ashley Waters issues, Volto, her real mom and that history, and a couple of other things going on. 🙂 The pacing has been pretty much the same since the beginning, but when books take longer between to get out, it can feel like we aren’t getting enough. (You don’t notice it reading altogether, but with the time between each book, it feels like at a crawl and then we’re waiting six months minimum for the next one.) But I’d rather not skip intimate moments and those sweet times Sang shares with the guys in realistic ways as their relationships evolve (and at different paces for each guy).

I think that’s most of the concerns, but if you want more questions answered directly, let me know via email (clstone@arcatopublishing.com) and if there are enough, I’ll answer them here or in a newsletter to hopefully help those in the future with similar questions.

 

 

 

 

 

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