It Has a Title, My Darlings, and I’m Obsessed With Obsession, Apparently

And so, as always, my WordPress blog is behind Twitter on updates, necessitating another round of thinky-thoughts on whether or not this is worth keeping. Dunno. I’ll continue to sit on it till the days comes for me to renew my WP upgrades and so on.

Anyhoo…

My AU 19th century Romanian novel is complete, the first-ish draft currently at 57K words. It’s “first-ish” only because I revise and edit along the way, so who knows what official draft the current incarnation really is.

It also has a title: Children of Hyacinth. Because I said so. >_> Just kidding. There is, of course, a reason behind that, and you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is. Har.

A young Joshua Bell. I used this image of him as inspiration for Iulian Dalca.

So watch this space for more updates on release dates, cover art, etc. You know the drill.

I’ve also started to think about the next book, which I hope to begin work on in April, maybe even overlapping the release of Children of Hyacinth. I at first thought about writing something more lighthearted, seeing as how all of the books I’ve written that’re set in this progressive AU 19th century Europe are pretty dark. Children of Hyacinth is just as dark as the others, and I wondered if I should lighten things up a bit with the next one, which will take place in Scandinavia (maybe Norway?).

The more I think about this series of non-related books, though, the more I realize a connecting thread to some extent, and that’s the theme of obsession. I appear to be hung up (obsessed!) with it, apparently. It’s pretty obvious with Guardian Angel and The Flowers of St. Aloysius and a little more subtle in Hell-Knights. Children of Hyacinth follows the same levels of obsession as the first two books.

This song:

Encapsulates the theme of obsession the way I want to explore it in a future book. Dark, obsessive, creepy “love”. Definitely not the sort of subject to pursue in a lighthearted historical fantasy romance. So for the rom-com-ish story idea I have, I’ll have to shelve it for the time being. The story idea for the Germany novel I plan for the end of the year is definitely, DEFINITELY dark.

Unsurprisingly, the more I take the general plot apart, the more obvious the obsession subject becomes in that Germany-centric novel.

So, yeah – we’ll be dipping into another dark, gothic romance novel for the summer. Then who knows? When 2018 rolls around, I might be doing a complete 180 and will be drowning you all in comedy.

Pondering a Crap Ton O’ Stuff (Oh, and ‘Hell-Knights’)

Two-month break from blogging seemingly over, yay. Guarantee of more consistent future updates still iffy, bleargh. I’ve been on Twitter pretty religiously insofar as maintaining an online presence is concerned. Funny how I used to criticize Twitter as a never-ending cocktail party, and now I depend on it heavily for updates and just plain conversation with others (writers and otherwise).

So many upheavals in the past year led to my blogging attempts grinding to a halt. Andy and I finally took the plunge and moved out of our condo, and we’re temporarily staying with his mom while our old unit’s being fixed up for listing. This week we’re hoping the repairs, upgrades, etc., will be done, and then it’s waiting for a buyer to bite.

Since all of the craziness happened in the last two months of 2016, during the holidays, to boot, when my schedule at work got pretty damned intense, it’s safe to say my writing’s suffered from it. I’ve lagged on my progress, sadly, and when I at first hoped for a mid-February release, we’re now looking at early March or mid-March at the latest. Hell, that’s only if I’m lucky enough to keep this sluggish (and constantly interrupted) pace.

With our new, temporary living situation, writing time’s been hacked to the bone, and I’ve been scrambling to carve out as much time as I could here and there, and the end result is extremely spotty progress. And not to mention lots of blocks because the flow of my brainstorming is severely hampered. I’ve lost sight of so many plot threads and have gone back and did a major overhaul on the story, and I’m still struggling.

Part the first: regarding the next book

My original goal was to publish a long novella of around 45K words. After the overhaul, the goal post moved again to somewhere under 60K. Happily enough, as I’ve got only nine projected chapters left to write as I type this blog post, the final word count is definitely pointing in that direction.

The book’s title will be changed, as usual, seeing as how using “camera obscura” is a wee bit – uh – obscure in terms of reference. I’ve managed to work in elements of religion and mythology in the text, both of which figure quite largely in the AU 19th century I’ve established so far. The defining force in this book, which focuses on Romania, is music.

As of now, I’ve yet to settle on a final title, but I’m getting there. I’ve also got lots of new leads for a book cover. All good things to those who wait, though, and I’ll be able to treat you with the unveiling just before the book’s release. At this point, considering how far I’ve already lagged in completing this novel, I’m not going to do a pre-release listing unless I see a good reason for it.

Part the second: regarding planned future releases

When I first thought of publishing a long novella, I was hoping for a quarterly release of books in that length for 2017. Unfortunately the universe had different plans for me, so I’m back to three books every four months or thereabouts. Pretty much the same release schedule (in terms of month, not specific dates) as 2016.

So the first book of 2017 will be out in mid- to late March (Guardian Angel came out early March of last year). The next book (set in Scandinavia somewhere) will be in July (The Flowers of St. Aloysius was released in July of 2016). The third book (set in Germany) will be in November (Hell-Knights came out in November of 2016).

I won’t be projecting into 2018. One thing at a time, folks. I’m already overwhelmed by real life issues at the moment. But that’s the schedule I’m hoping to keep. I do have plans for career changes for this year, and if that pans out as hoped, I’ll have plenty more time to devote to writing.

Though I remain cryptic as to the nature of that career change, wish me luck. It would be fantastic is things go swimmingly.

Part the third: regarding the fate of Hell-Knights and a multi-format distributor of my books

Welp – I’m sure everyone by now has heard of the implosion of All-Romance E-Books. They didn’t owe me much, so I was lucky enough to be one of those authors who could walk away from the craptastic “deal” they offered as compensation for lost royalties without suffering a pretty bad financial blow.

Unfortunately it also means going back to the drawing board in finding online distributors of my self-published books from this point on. Preferably distributors who offer several digital formats of books. And that meant going back to Smashwords despite my irritation when it comes to their dreaded Meatgrinder conversion system.

At any rate, I shouldn’t complain as Smashwords has been around for a long time now, and they’ve been pretty solid as a company. Ever since All Romance E-Books went full kablooey, my sales over at Smashwords enjoyed a surge once I reinstated Primavera, Guardian Angel, and The Flowers of St. Aloysius.

So now – at long last, I might add – I finally have Hell-Knights listed over there, and here’s the link to the book page. So there you have it. I do apologize for taking this long to get my shit together, everyone. Unfortunately, as it usually happens when life throws you a curve ball, when it rains, it damn well pours.

Anyhoo, that’s it. For now. It’s a long update, but it’s also way overdue. So ta for now, my darlings, and I’ll see you again with a celebratory post regarding my current WIP soon.