Sunday 21 December 2014

Novel bunny roll call

2014 draws to a close, and personally, I'm glad it does, because holy crap, it's been a story of ups and downs - whenever I thought I had settled in somewhat, something would happen that threw it all off its track. I'm a Taurus, I'm not keen on changes I can't control.

I still managed to finish the Memory of Scorpions trilogy, polish and release Return on Investment, co-write Lone Wolf and No Place That Far, and overall managed to wrap up some projects that have been with me for years. I also did some personal development (hypnosis, et al) and hope to do more of that in 2015.

As the year draws to a close (tonight is the Winter Solstice), I'm focusing on getting the Bird Book ready to go into edits. It's my one remaining "big ticket item" I want to close.

With finances what they are (and the Kindle Unlimited-induced 40% dip in my earnings),  I have to keep my eyes open for work in the conventional economy, and I'm in the running for a job that sounds like a clone of my favourite/best-paid day job ever. The second round is is early January. The idea is to pay off the house, put together some reserves, and keep writing and hoping for that break, while developing other skills. I'm at peace with all that.

Regardless of what will happen in January, I'm still planning to write 3-5 novels next year. (Ideally 5, but, well, day job.)

So, in terms of solo books, I'm looking at the following:

  • Suckerpunch - I have 20,000 words on that one and will hopefully wrap this even before the potential job offer.
  • Another WWII novel - this one spans from 1940 (Battle of Britain) to  post-WWII Germany. It's about 50% written, but the research is likely patchy, so it needs a LOT of work. I call it the "Medals books".
  • Franco's novel. This will complete Franco Spadaro's arch from Dark Soul. I have a plot for him and just need to sort out a way to do it--I can't do the same plot I've done for him back when I created him. It's way, way too problematic on all kinds of levels. This should be released close to LA Witt's official sequel to Dark Soul. Lots of Spadaros coming your way in 2015!
  • Question of Intent (QOI). This is a kinda-sorta prequel to Return on Investment. I have about 20,000 words written and it needs a serious upgrade. However, it's 100% written in Francis de Bracy's point of view. It's not a romance, more the history of romantic trainwrecks, but that's what you'd expect from him, right?
  • Yet another WWII novel. This one will be set in post-war Germany, and the bombing campaigns and civilian aftermath will be major themes. Not a feel-good novel. I'm planning to set it in my hometown - or a thinly veiled version of it. I'm still wrestling with the exact angle.

I can't commit to co-written releases quite the same way, because life happens, but Lori and I have been talking about writing the following in 2015:

  • Rolex's story. We've made a start this month and have 20,000 words. It's looking like a long novella or a short novel at this point.
  • A short Nick & Spencer story, to catch up with the boys.
  • 2-3 more Market Garden titles of varying lengths, because they're fun and we didn't get much traction in 2014.
  • Finishing up our WWII novel that's 70% done.

All of this is very much subject to change. I've been entertaining all of them in my head and they're all talking (apart from Franco, who never talks, and the last solo WWII novel, which more swirls and has no main character yet), so chances are fair they'll happen.

Right now, the main problem I could see happening is that the new day job gets seriously in the way or that the WWII research eats me alive. I've found the Bird Book a formidable book to wrestle, so I'm quite ready to expect that all historical novels will take a LOT longer than is commercially sane and healthy (Bird Book : 3.5 years+). If a book only earns for three months, it's crazy to spend six months or longer on it, but that's one of the reasons why I'm ready to take on a day job - if that's what it takes to write those books, I'm ready to do it. That was one of those tough choices in 2014. I find myself incapable of writing the stuff that sells just so I can pay my mortgage, so I need alternative avenues for that. In the end, I have to follow where the energy is, and I fully intend to do that in 2015, too.


  1. Can't wait for more in the Dark Soul series!

  2. You rocked 2014. So many great books... RoI and Scorpions ended up on my list of favorites for this year, so you basically made my reading year in genre.:P
    Is there anyone for whom KU was a success? These % drops I read about past weeks are serious.:/
    I don't know if Spadaro's story or FdB prequel makes me more giddy.
    I'd sell my soul for both.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for new job and keeping up with planned writing schedule! :)

  3. Dana - Thank you! 2015 should be very exciting on that front. :)

    Lege - Awesome, I'm glad to hear it. And - I've heard KU does well for people with lots of short fiction, but since I wrote that, the payout per borrow has dropped again, which means I'm pulling ROI from the program as quickly as Amazon lets me (early February). But people have reported up to 75% and it seems to be about 50% across the board. I'm not happy to fund Amazon's attack on Oyster and Scribd from my royalties...

    And, yay, both of those will happen. I'll do Suckerpunch first because I promised it, but I'm hoping to get to Franco by end-January. :)