Switching Gears

I love writing. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. Okay, there are parts about it I don’t like–killing off characters I’ve come to care for or, gasp, ending series I’m invested in–but that doesn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of building worlds to play in. There’s one downside I forget when I’m deep in the writing process. That’s the period after I finish one book and shove it out the door and start a new one. It doesn’t matter if the next book has already been plotted out or even drafted out. There’s a mental disconnect and redirection that takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete before I can truly dive into the next project.

There are different things I do when that happens. If the new project is the continuation of a series I’ve been working on, I often go back and reread the last book or two. Sometimes, it may also be rereading the entire series. Not only does that get my writing brain back into the “voice” of the main character and the tone of the series, but it reminds me of any dangling plot threads I need to pick up.

I also game. The problem with that is the game can be not only a time sink but also a misdirection. Playing Mass Effect or similar space/alien/exploration/war games is great if I’m going to pick up the Honor & Duty series. Playing Dragon Age 4 or similar fantasy based games helps with Sword of the Gods. But trying to write Eerie Side of the Tracks while playing Outriders is a big no-no.

So I went trying to figure out what game would be good for Designation: Frejya the other day, knowing this would be the transition week. Frejya is a departure for me in a way. It is science fiction, but there will be a touch of fantasy to it. It will have aliens, fighting, a hunt for answers and–eventually–revenge. But it isn’t what a lot of folks consider military science fiction. Nor is it straight space opera. Some of the characters be enhanced through implants. Others will be genetically modified–in ways both seen and unseen.

And, in many ways, this will be a darker series than Honor & Duty was. At least that’s how it is starting out. We’ll just have to see what happens as the series progresses through the three books that are planned. Yes, three books and three books only. (Hush, Myrtle! You don’t have a say in this.)

Anyway, getting back to changing gears. Something else I do, especially around this time of year, is look at what my schedule for the next year or so should be. Right now, Designation: Frejya is the only book currently set with a publication date. There are others coming up and I’ll post the general schedule below. But, before I do that, I want to talk about one more thing.

This year, I tried doing long, much longer pre-order windows for upcoming titles. What I’ve discovered is it did help increase the number of preorders, but that comes with a cost. The number of pre-orders I had for Destiny from Ashes was high enough I probably would have broken the top 10 in several Amazon lists and made the number 1 slot in at least one. But because pre-order numbers don’t count on the day of release toward a books rank, those preorders didn’t help the ranking and, in turn, didn’t push sales. This is a roundabout way of saying I a probably going back to just a one or two week preorder window, at least for a bit. I want to track the numbers doing it that way for a while.

Another change coming is going to be with regard to Kindle Unlimited. I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to handle it and, no, I’m not going back to Amazon only. But I am going to start doing limited time (3 mos) exclusives on Amazon KU or possibly KU-only books. It is another way of checking numbers for KU books vs. books released wide. As I figure out how I’m going to do it, I’ll let you know. If you have preferences, let me know. After all, this is for you as my readers as much as it is for my wallet.

Finally, for the (so far) tentative schedule for the next year or so. Here it is. Remember, it isn’t written in stone. My muse is evil which means she will screw with it somehow, either by rearranging the order the books come out or by throwing something new in.

  • Sept. 20, 2022 — Designation: Frejya
  • Dec. 2022 — Fire’s Fury (Tearing the Veil #2)
  • Feb/Mar 2023 — Vengeance of the Gods (Sword of the Gods #4)
  • May/June 2023 — Guardian Rising (tentative title) (Eerie Side of the Tracks #6)
  • Aug 2023 — Code Name: Walkyrie (not a misspelling) (Augment Wars #2)

Not on the schedule yet but will probably be added because 1) my muse is an evil bitch and 2) at least one of this–and you can guess which one–is already drafted out and the characters will start getting pissy if I don’t get the book released NOW!

  • The next Nocturnal Awakenings novel.
  • Panther Rising (related to the Nocturnal Awakenings series, but I’m trying to hold off on this due to some world building I need to focus on for this related series to work)
  • A couple of themed short stories (probably around July 4th and Christmas)
  • And whatever else Myrtle the (truly and completely) Evil Muse throws at me.

Now for the obligatory promo. This is Release Day +2 for Destiny from Ashes. Thank you so much to everyone who has read the book and left ratings or a review. You guys are great.

Colonel Ashlyn Shaw is on a collision course with an enemy determined to destroy her and all she holds dear. Honor demands she not turn away from the upcoming battle. Duty requires her to do whatever is necessary to protect her command and her home system. The Corps and her family stand with her, ready and willing to do whatever it takes to finally bring this war to an end.

But when the enemy turns out to be closer than she thinks, how will Ashlyn react? Will this finally be what breaks her or will it see the might of the Fuerconese Marine Corps raining death and destruction down on all who would stand against Fuercon and her enemies?

Honor and duty. Corps and family. These are the hills upon which Ash and every Marine in her command will live and possibly die as they fight to protect Fuercon and her allies.

Featured Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

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