TL;DR: LOTS of changes coming…
So, it’s been a long time since I’ve seriously posted anything here, made a YouTube video or made really any posts even on my personal page about publishing. There are several reasons for this, but the main reason is I’ve been fighting a kind of depression caused by some news I received a few months ago that was confirmed a couple weeks ago.
Back in October/November, the CEO of the publishing company that published both Puck’s Choice and Jenna’s Story (Cedar Loft Publishing or CLP, as I often refer to it) informed me there were some things going on and that they might need to close the company. I was asked if I might want to take over the company myself, and while I would love to run a small publishing company one day in the future, I’m not dumb enough to believe I’m ready for the responsibility at this moment, so while I said I’d consider it (depending on whether it was necessary and if so, when), I knew it wouldn’t happen soon.
Fast forward a couple months. Jenna’s Story comes out in December and the company seems to be fine. At least, I haven’t heard otherwise by this point. Still, in the back of my mind, I’m wondering how long Jenna’s Story will be out, and I lose the final bit of motivation to continue writing Hunters’ Betrayal, the third installment in the Shifters & Mages series. I’m depressed because I don’t see the point if the novel’s not going to come out. I have a contract with Cedar Loft Publishing for all five books and possibly a couple novellas, but if the company closes, the rest of the books won’t be released.
Motivation gone, I work on another book completely in a completely different genre that I’d never planned on submitting to Cedar Loft Publishing. Endless Starry Nights. I’m in love with the plot. It will need a lot of editing, but it’s a decent first draft.
Then I got sick. Really sick. Head over the toilet, unable to keep anything down kinda sick. I haven’t been that sick since I was pregnant with my youngest, and I remembered what I hated about pregnancy the most. I even had a couple people ask if I was pregnant. No. I had a horrible stomach bug the rest of my family got just as bad as mine if not worse.
Next, I got word that the LGBT anthology I was published in with three other amazing LGBT authors is going to be breaking apart and the individual rights returned to us in July, as Wilde City Press, the company the anthology’s published through is closing. The owner has health issues and the company has become too much to handle.
On top of that, as I was finally getting over my illness, I got the final ball drop from the Cedar Loft Publishing CEO. The company was officially closing. With that bit of news, I lost even the motivation to finish the last three chapters of Endless Starry Nights. I still have three chapters to write.
I have been writing but not on any of the projects I had planned. Everything’s been brand new projects drafted from dreams. I have somewhere between 6-8K written on a pirate short story I believe will fall in the Altera fantasy world and nearly 20K in another brand new novel I’m… believe it or not… pantsing (meaning I have a general idea for the story, but it’s not fully outlined as the Shifters & Mages novels are).
It’s been fun and liberating in a lot of ways, but part of me is still depressed about the Shifters & Mages series because a part of me feels it was time wasted. I realize it’s not. I’ve learned so much from publishing with a small press, but another part of me feels it was all for not.
I will finish the Shifters & Mages series. I have since come up with my next plan of action as I wait for the reversal of my rights. I have it laid out below.
- Get rights for Puck’s Choice and Jenna’s Story back.
- Write the next three novels and one novella (maybe more) for the series.
- Decide what cover artist I want to use for the books – the current one or a brand new one. I believe I know who I want to work on it, but won’t officially contact either of the artists I’m thinking about until I’m ready for publication again.
- Edit and sync all the novels with one another better. (I’ve already started putting Puck’s Choice and Jenna’s Story in a formatting program and noticing small plot holes that bother me. Both will go through another edit after I finish writing the series.)
- Publish the first three novels at the same time. (Re-release of the first two and first publication of the third.)
- Wait six months and publish book four.
- Wait another six months and publish book five.
When I publish the first three novels, I’d like to have covers, promo materials, formatting, proof copies, etc for all five novels so all I have to worry about is publishing. I’d also like to have ARC sent out to those willing to submit reviews on day one of publication, and…
Release all five novels under my own publishing company.
This is not an overnight plan. It will take time, financing and extreme planning. I’m already working out a schedule I’ll set in motion once my rights have been returned. I’m not starting on it yet because I’m focusing on other projects at the moment. I’m determined to make it work, but I want to do it right, and in the meantime I’m focusing on other projects.
So, if you’re a fan of Puck, Rand, Jenna, Darren and the rest, I assure you their stories will continue, but in the meantime, I need the break to work on other things so I can come back to them with a clear head. I’m sorry about the frustration that may cause and hope you’ll be with me when I relaunch the series.