Swear is Coming!
Swear is available for preorder now! It will be out November 9, 2016!!!!
“In the final book of the My Blood Approves series…
Alice has moved on and is settling into a new country with a new career as a vampire hunter. Finally, she’s created a stable, happy life for herself and her family, including her boyfriend Jack. Or at least as stable as her life can be, especially with a dangerous vampire cult resurfacing.
But everything she’s worked for is put in jeopardy when she receives a disturbing message – one that sends her on a quest that delves into a tragic mystery that has haunted Peter for years.”
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Now for a few questions:
Just to be clear, when will Swear will be out?
Wednesday, November 9, 2016.
Will there be another book in the My Blood Approves after Swear?
No. Absolutely not. Not ever. This is the final book in the series, and the ending has a definite finality to it. I typed “The End” when I finished it, and it meant it. I want to make this as clear as possible, so I don’t get this question a lot in the future.
Will Swear be out in paperback?
Yes, it will! Because I’m self-publishing this series, paperbacks will not be available for pre-order. I did some research on setting up pre-order for paperbacks, and while it does seem like there are ways to for it to be possible, I’m not familiar enough with it, and I didn’t want to risk any sort of pre-order debacles. So, paperbacks will be available as close to November 9th as I can make it.
Will Swear be available in other languages or audio?
I think, probably, yes. The rest of the series has been translated into many languages and audio books, so I assume that many of the same publishers that bought the rights to the past books will buy the rights to this book. But I have no guarantee on that, nor do I have any idea when they will be out. Given the fact that I just finished the book, I suspect it will be about a year, maybe more, before Swear starts releasing in other languages.
Who did the cover for Swear?
Regina at Mae I Design did the cover, as well as all the new covers for the My Blood Approves series.
Hey, I just noticed the covers for the other My Blood Approves books are different. How come? Is anything else different?
I had never been super fond of the old covers, but I didn’t want to update them until I had a plan for releasing Swear. That’s why at the beginning of the year, I started putting my plan in motion to redo the covers and get Swear out to readers. I wanted all my covers to have a more similar style and feel, so that my self-published books and my traditionally published books looked like they belonged together. As for the books themselves, I did re-edit them before releasing them, but only for minor grammatical errors, and I made no other changes to the story itself.
Do I need to read/re-read the rest of the My Blood Approves books before reading Swear?
Since Swear is the final book in a five book series (well, five and a half, if you count Letters to Elise), I would not recommend reading it if you haven’t read the other books. I tried to recap the previous books as much as possible without it weighing down the story too much, since it has been five years since the last book came out, but it’s up to you if you want to read the other books as a refresher. I don’t think it would hurt, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, as long as you’ve read the series at some point.
Will there be ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) of Swear?
There will not, and that’s basically because I wanted to get Swear to you as soon as possible. Creating rough versions of PDFs and paperbacks takes time, and then waiting for people to read them to help generate buzz (which is the whole point of ARCs in the first place) takes even longer. This would push the release date back for Swear by at least another month, probably more like 2-3 more months. And I figured you guys had waited long enough, so I decided to forgo ARCs and just get it out there as soon as it was ready. Right now, I’m finishing up edits on Swear, and after that, it needs to be properly formatted for ebook and paperback, which is why it’s up for preorder on November 9th.
Is there anything else you can tell me about Swear?
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be dropping more info and teaser quotes, so you’ll get more of a preview of what the book is about. One thing you should know is that the first four books of the My Blood Approves series take place in 2008-2009 (My Blood Approves, Fate, and Flutter are all in 2008, and Wisdom is in 2009), and the newest book is set in 2014, roughly five and a half years after the events in Wisdom. Swear was always intended to take a small jump into the future, with the original plan having it set in 2011, but when I was re-doing the outline before writing Swear this year, I realized that I had more time to play with, and I thought it would make more sense for readers to set it closer to the present day. Plus, it allows for more time for the characters to mature a bit.
Why did it take you so long to write Swear?
When I first published the My Blood Approves series, I was a young sheltered writer self-publishing them with a lot of naive hope. I thought I was prepared for criticism. I expected reviews to say things like, “I really did not like this book. I thought it was dumb.” I was not at all prepared for essay-length reviews that eviscerated every part of my books and myself. I’m not condemning the people that wrote these reviews – I’m merely stating that I was not prepared. And in the beginning, I read every single review of my books (not something I do anymore, because my sanity is important). And I will agree that My Blood Approves is not my best work. (Nor should it be – it’s the first book I ever published. My books and writing are supposed to get better the more experienced I get, and I believe they have).
But I think reading so many negative reviews eventually led me to believe that it was true, that the books were total complete garbage, that they were the cause of everything wrong with the world, and their very existence was destroying humanity. SoI hated them. For awhile, I even considered unpublishing them, but I that would only make people angrier, so I left them alone, and basically, just tried to pretend like they didn’t exist, because in my mind, they were the worst things ever, and every time anybody mentioned them, it was really just bringing up the greatest shame of my life.
I don’t really feel the same way about my other books, I think, mostly because I don’t read reviews as much anymore. I do read them from time to time, but not with the same fervor as I did initially, and my skin has gotten a lot thicker. But that’s unfortunately something that can only happen after your skin has been shredded and allowed time for scar tissue to grow.
Which brings me back to this year. I decided to re-read the books to see if I could make any headway onto Swear. Despite my negative feelings about My Blood Approves – or maybe because of them – I still desperately wanted to finish the series and put it behind me and move on. I knew people where waiting, and I hated disappointing people (while at the same time fearing that the whole series was a disappointment and that everyone would hate it anyway).
But as I was re-reading the books, I realized I didn’t hate them. I actually kinda liked them. I still don’t think they’re my best work, and they can meander at times – particularly the first book – but they had some genuinely good bits that I enjoyed, and they weren’t total rubbish. They were fun, and sometimes I think they were even good.
And that’s when I realized that the problem all long hadn’t been that the series was awful – it was that I had let negative reviews eat too much at me, and I had been unable to quiet those most critical of voices, and that had been the wedge that had driven me away from My Blood Approves. Once I realized that the books weren’t the worst thing that had ever happened, writing Swear was actually fairly easy. I already had an outline, and I did re-work it some (but the story is still true to my original and vision for the series). But it really only took me about six months to re-read, do prep work, and write Swear.
Since you finished My Blood Approves, what about the Hollows?
The Hollows is a different breed than My Blood Approve, and I go more in depth in this blog: here. But the short answer is: I always planned on My Blood Approves being 5 books. I actually planned on the Hollows only being one book. I added another because my mom asked me to, and I deliberately wrote Hollowmen in such a way that it could stand as a Happily Ever After in a Zombie Apocalypse if I wanted, or I could I write another book in the series if I wanted. At the moment, I don’t have plans to write another book in that series.
I’ve never heard of the My Blood Approves series, but I like some of your other books. Do you think I would like My Blood Approves?
Maybe? The pacing and editing is better in my newer my books, but I do think that the MBA series still has the same “voice” as my other books. I feel like you’d be able to tell it was written by me, if you’ve read several of my other books. So it’s less polished than some of my other books, but it’s still fun, and I think some of the characters are great.
One thing I will say is that the My Blood Approves series get compared to the Twilight saga, with some people saying it’s much better, and others saying it is much worse. But the comparison is unavoidable. I think that Twilight and My Blood Approves start at a similar place, but then they diverge sharply, and MBA definitely goes it’s own way.