Before I get down to the nitty gritty, a quick apology to those reading my blog posts via Goodreads. As you can see, I’ve re-linked my main site to GR, largely because I need to streamline my online time. The first quarter of this year was pretty doable, but once April hits, I’ll be releasing a book a month (mostly novellas). Add to that my current WIP (whatever that might be) and edits plus proofs, and things’ll be overlapping like crazy. So linking sites means wonky formatting and images and videos that won’t load (thanks, Goodreads, for being stuck in the 90s with your shitty site design).
For Goodreads readers, here’s the link to the book cover.
Anyway, this post is here to introduce you all to a novella that’ll be out next week. I refer to it as Cunning Plan (Phase Three) only because this is my third attempt at hybrid authorship after a great deal of internal arguing and a lot of supportive pushing from Andy. I’ve gone over a number of concerns I’d had in the past regarding self-publishing books. They’re still there, truth be told, but I sat on this book for a long time while I sorted things out.
I suppose you can say I’ve managed to draw a line down the sand in terms of deciding what gets self-published and what doesn’t. I’m not interested in going full-on self-published, at least not for the time being. My young adult books, especially, need that extra push through my publisher’s connections with the ALA and other places. I can’t do that on my own.
I’ve got a pile of short stories I wrote years and years ago. Most of them were pieces I’d submitted to different anthology calls or literary journals and were rejected. I’ve been spending time going over them, rereading them, and figuring out how I could improve on them further. And these are essentially the kinds of stories I’d like to self-publish as novellas.
Case in point: Primavera. The epilogue was something I wrote years ago – the original-original version was written back in 2000 or 2001, believe it or not. Through the years, I went back and tweaked it. And tweaked it. And tweaked it. Then I submitted it whenever an anthology call seemed appropriate for it. I re-shelved the story, sat on it for a few more years, and recently took it out again, tweaking it further and wondering how best to make a number of elements work.
And that’s what I’ve been doing the past several weeks (months, even, on and off), alongside my usual edits and proofs, etc. From that one scene of around 2,500 words total, I was able to write a fairly complex backstory leading up to it, working a lot of fantasy elements in it as well. Some background info: the original-original version was paranormal (vampires), and subsequent versions were contemporary with no whiff of fantasy elements anywhere. Now the otherworldly elements are back, and they be out and proud, baby. I wanted it to be a contemporary-historical-paranormal erotic romance, and I got it. The final novella clocks in at around 19,600 words.
And that’s pretty much how I’m thinking of approaching any self-published story I put out. The next one I hope to get started on soon (in addition to my regular stuff) is a full-on gothic erotic romance called Guardian Angel. That one will require a lot of rewrites and so on compared to Primavera, and since it’s more of a side project for me for now, it’ll be secondary to my YA and Sheridan books. Squeezing in the time for it will be tricky, not to mention a right bitch, but I managed with Primavera, and I know I can do it again.
For this year, there won’t be a lot of titles that’ll be self-published for mental health reasons. But I want to see if I can make this work out and find a good rhythm, so I can turn this into a regular thing in 2016 and onward. It’s very likely I’ll be sticking to traditional publishing with my YA books and will shift my adult fiction to the self-published side. Considering all the issues I had the last couple of times I self-published books, I’m proceeding with even more caution (maybe unwarranted) this time around, but my goals are a lot clearer now, and I’ve placed very specific limits on them. And Andy’s there, in the background, waving pom-poms for me as I toil away, high on caffeine.
So that lovely image there is the cover art for Primavera. I wuvs it. :)