WoW #1: Writing Advice
As some of you may know, I’ve been doing a writing advice series on YouTube. You can watch the full thing: here. I’ve decided to start posting the videos here on my website, so people don’t miss them, and I’m also going to be including a written transcript here below the video.
I’m only on my fourth video of 2022, but I thought I would go back and add the first three videos here as well. I’m starting with my first video now, and I will post the other videos and transcripts over the coming days until I’m all caught up.
For those of you who don’t want to listen to the video or just want to look back on what I’ve said, below I have a lightly edited transcript of the video:
Since this is my first video of 2022, I wanted to take a look back at 2021, and I wanted to take a look forward at what I have coming up for this year!
If you didn’t know in 2021, I published three books. The first book that I published was in January last year – The Ever After, which is the final book in the Trylle Saga, and it’s a doozy! I really loved this book, and now that the nine-book saga is complete, I really ought to do a retrospective on the worlds of the Trylle, Kanin, and Omte.
The next book I came out with last year was Bestow the Darkness. It is my first book written for adults, and it is a very, very dark gothic romance. It’s kind of steamy, with strong elements of folk horror. I really love this book, but it is different than the others I’ve written.
The final book I published last year is a re-release of Virtue. (I go more in depth about what that means and why decided to revise and rewrite a previously released book in this post here: Virtue Re-release Explained). It’s a sweet fairy tale romance, and it’s the first book in the Seven Fallen Hearts series.
So, The Ever After was the last book I released with my publisher, and I have returned to self-publishing this year. It’s been really great for me creatively, but I’m still on a bit of a learning curve (or re-learning curve?).
When my publisher and I couldn’t come to agreement about my next series, I was nervous about going back to self-publishing. The whole industry has honestly changed so much since I started way back in 2010, but it has been really great for me. It’s liberating, and I feel more bold and more connected with the choices I’m making – both in terms of writing and in terms of overall career decisions.
With a publisher, you pitch a book, and then you are contracted to write that book. So I would feel obligated to only work on that book, and I missed out on just following my whims and creativity. Sometimes, I can get inspiration, and I just want to work on that for a bit, but it often doesn’t go anywhere. They’re whims for a reason.
What I’m learning about myself is that writing things just because I want to is still a part of my process. And it’s not that I don’t want to write the books I was contracted to write. It was that I felt like I was cheating on them or something if I worked on anything else, and that became really stifling for me creatively. I needed to allow myself more freedom to express whatever ideas it is that I want to express, not just the ones that are commercially viable.
The past year or so, I have been writing so much, and I have gotten back to my roots about why I love writing, and it really has been so fantastic for me. I do have to spend more time doing things are necessarily as much fun or fulfilling – like formatting and marketing – but overall, I’m really enjoying where I’m at right now.
None of this is to say I had a bad relationship with my publisher. I don’t actually have anything negative to say about them, and I really enjoyed my experiences there. Everyone I worked with there was very kind and passionate about books, and I definitely think we put out some fantastic books together! So no regrets there.
With all that, here is what I am planning on coming out with in 2022. My main focus is going to be working on the Seven Fallen Hearts series. Virtue is book one, and like I said, it’s already out now. I am hoping to come out with the second book sometime in the next several months, but I don’t have an exact release date yet. It basically depends on when it’s finished and polished and ready to go.
There are going to be four full length novels and three shorter works (short stories/novellas), for seven works in total in the Seven Fallen Hearts series. I don’t know when they will all be out, but I am planning on the entire series being written and released by mid-2023. Hopefully sooner, but I’ll see how good I get at making (and keeping) deadlines for myself now.
I am also working on a young adult series inspired by Greek mythology called the Dynasty of Starlight. It was originally going to be a stand-alone book, but it’s growing and growing, and I’m thinking it will be at least two books, maybe three. But because of the nature of the series, I’ve decided that I want to write them all before I start publishing. I am hoping that I can get the first book out by the end of the year, but the Seven Fallen Hearts is going to be my priority, so I may have to wait a bit longer on that.
I also want to thank you all for making 2021 as good as it was for me. It wasn’t a great year, not for basically anybody, but so many of the good parts I’ve had come from the support of readers like you! So honestly, thank you all so much for all your support. Any time you read a book, or tell a friend about my books, or check it out from the library, or leave a review, you’re honestly making the writer’s day. We love you all so much! Or at least, I know I do. 🙂
Until next time, stay safe, be kind, and happy reading.
Read on in next week’s post WoW #2: Updates, Bookplates, & Yellowjackets