I like being a writer.
Even better, I like that I get to do this full time now.
By the time you read this, it’s been seven months since I left my job at the end of February, 2016. I have absolutely no regrets in that decision, and there are days when I still get nervous about it, but it was the right decision for me at the time.
Even better, are all the things that have gone down this year.
As of now, I’ve released four books this year, with a fifth on the way.
My book The Lightning-Struck Heart is set to become a stage play.
My book How to Be a Normal Person is being optioned for a film. (This is still probably the single greatest news I’ve gotten in relation to my writing. Honestly, in my wildest day dreams, I thought if one of my books would ever be a movie, it’d be Tell Me It’s Real, because it’s a straight up comedy that’d be easy to make. Normal isn’t quite as OTT as TMIR, and it deals with a subject that I think is still stigmatized in the LGBTQ community: asexuality. And that is something I am going to insist will stay in. I would rather have the movie fall apart then have the asexuality aspect of it written out.)
I got to stand at Stonehenge. I cried. I don’t even care.
There have been some downsides, too, obviously. I am usually pretty transparent with successes and failures. Withered + Sere and Crisped + Sere didn’t sell like I thought they would. It was crushing, especially since this was the first time I’d ever had a book not sell well. Let me walk that back a little, because it sounds extraordinarily conceited, which I’m not. It was a humbling experience, and in the long run, it’ll be a lesson I’m glad I learned now. Do I wish they’d done better? Oh sure. I spent two years working on those books. But I can get why they’d be a hard sell. I was upset, for a little while, but that’s on me.
Given that, I announced I’m canceling any further Burn books. I’ve explained it many times already, so this will be the final time I speak of it: W+S and C+S were published by a spinoff of Dreamspinner called Dreamspinner Press Publications. When I was approached to have W+S and C+S go to DSP Publications, I was also pitched with the idea of re-releasing Burn under that banner, along with a sequel. I said sure.
But DSP Publications, for some reason, seems to confuse people. Even though I explicitly said multiple times that the books were on DSP Publications’s website, I got messages complaining people couldn’t find it on DSP’s website, which are two separate things.
People also seemed to be confused at DSP Publication’s overarching message, which is it’s geared more toward gay fiction versus gay romance. It didn’t mean that romance wasn’t a part of the book, it might not just be the sole focus. I likened it to getting a romance plus getting separate plot.
And, it doesn’t help that I wrote a violent post-apocalyptic story with lead characters with no real redeeming qualities, aside from a robot and a dog. People are apparently more squimish than I thought, and that’s okay. You need to read what makes you comfortable.
What does this have to do with Burn? I can’t see myself spending the six months to a year writing a sequel to a book that only a few people will read, when I could be spending time on other things. It sucks. I feel terrible. But that’s the reality of writing. You get some hits, and you get some misses. It also means that there will be no further books after Crisped + Sere. Some might think I’m making this decision too early or out of spite, and that’s okay. I’m not, and I’ve given this a lot of thought, but here we are anyway.
So. Moving on, okay?
For the most part, this past year has been pretty damn remarkable. And I can’t thank you enough for that. You guys have allowed me to have the good moments, and I truly appreciate it. It means a lot.
But, funnily enough, it doesn’t matter how much I release in a year, I always get the question: what’s next?
Here is what’s next.
I have one more book this year. Murmuration is out October 28th, and you can pre-order it here. There’s an excerpt that’s the first chapter on the same page, but I will beg you not to read it yet. Go into this book blind, aside from the blurb. Trust me when I say it’ll be better like that.
Here’s the pre-order link (all other sites should be available for pre-order in a couple weeks):
And then that’ll be it for 2016. I like the chances I took. Some were successful (Queen and Wolfsong—holy shit, did a lot of you read those books. WEREWOLVES AND DRAG QUEENS, WHAT THE HELL, GUYS.) Some were not. But I’m proud of them all. II’m pleased that none of them were like the other, because if I write one type of book, I would get so bored, and the work would just get sloppy. You deserve more than that from me.
After Murmuration in October, I get (in my opinion) a well-deserved break for four months. This year has been a book every couple of months. Next year is more of the same, so it’ll be nice to have this little time to breathe.
February 2017 is the third book in the Tell Me It’s Real series called Until You. It’s a 50K word novella about Paul and Vince’s wedding. Expect shenanigans and what-the-fuckery. (Also expect to meet Corey/Kori’s love interest for the final TMIR book. And Daddy’ Charlie’s new boyfriend.)
After that (and I am not going to list a date, because I might shift it for reasons) is the sequel to Lightning, A Destiny of Dragons. What can I say about this sequel? It’s…not more of the same. Let’s be real. If I’d written the exact same book again, you would have called me out for it, and rightfully so. So, it’s a little different. A little more dramatic, but it’s still a comedy, so no worries. I wrote a brand new character who you will love to hate.
After that is a 40K word novella called Olive Juice and it’s—you know what? That’s all I’m going to say on that. Best to keep it quiet for now.
The plan at this point (and keep in mind that this can totally shift), is to release the last BOATK book, The Long and Winding Road, on the sixth anniversary of the first book in August 2017. I want to see if DSP will do a limited edition hardcover for all the books and sell them together for those that want it. We’ll see. What can I say about that book? I’m almost finished. And it’s angsty in the beginning, less angsty in the middle, and downright fucking fluffy at the end.
Last for 2017 will be Lightning 3, The Consumption of Magic, out next fall. This book will cause riots. You will hate me. I am already laughing at you. I have absolutely no regrets.
And finally, what I’m working on now, and what’s next writing-wise. About to finish BOATK4 (sob! and this is THE END. NO MORE. FINITO). When that’s done, I’m going to write Lightning 4, which will be the last book in the series. At least from Sam’s perspective. (oooooh! What does that mean?!?!?)
And then, it’s to a book that I’m absolutely frothing at the mouth to start, because I already know how it begins and how it ends. I will leave this picture as a clue. I think it’s pretty obvious, don’t you?
(artwork credited to Marzzunny on DeviantArt)
That’s it! For now. Thanks again for all that you’ve done, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into what’s to come. I’ll see you here in Octorber for my next blog post, most likely to laugh at you for what you’re about to get into with Murmuration.