October 31st. The date. Not the holiday. Three years ago on this date, 10/31/2015, I turned in final proofs on RITE OF WRONGS, my procedural thriller. That book was the last one I finished.
Yes. You read that right.
Oh, Walt and I wrote ICEFALL, had our agent shop that, then published it ourselves in 2017. (It’s currently unavailable as I get ready to relaunch the series with book two.) But that had been an ongoing project for years. As far as my solo writing career, I have not published a new book… wait, no. I have not FINISHED a new book for three years. Until now. THREE YEARS.
To. The. Day.
That’s especially telling when you realize my first published book was released in 1993 and I’ve managed to write around 60 of the things. Apparently, it took twenty-two years for me to forget how to write. Or to burnout. Which is what happened. Sure, I continued to write. A lot. No, I mean, A LOT. I’ve got thousands of words on dozens of unfinished projects sitting in Google Drive. Romance. Suspense. Young adult post-apocalyptic. Women’s fiction. Science fiction. I tried everything to get back my mojo.
I still don’t know where it went. I think it was a combination of pure exhaustion and trying to keep up with the changes in the industry. I self-published my first backlist books in 2010 when the options pretty much were Smashwords and KDP. I kept up with what was going on as the indie world exploded, but I was under contract to Berkley and to Apub which ate up all of my time. I couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities. My brain’s plate didn’t have room for more.
When I was in a position to write exactly what I wanted without a gatekeeper to tell me it wouldn’t fit in their lineup for whatever reason, I couldn’t do it. One would think the freedom would make it that much easier. One might be right in other cases.
Not in mine
And, yeah. I tried every trick anyone could think to offer. Most of which I’d already tried on my own. I’m an old hand at this gig, remember? Actually, a VERY old hand, ha. August of this year marked my quarter-century anniversary as a published author. That’s a LONG time.
Now I can only hope (heh, hope) the release of HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS signals an opening of the floodgates and that more words will come rushing out because there is no way I’m going to get a real job. I’m no longer qualified to do anything. This is all I’ve known for that quarter century. At least I’ve already got enough ideas worked out to keep me busy for another!
I hope (heh, hope) you enjoy HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS and the trip down memory lane through the Hope Springs series. You can get a copy at Amazon or read it for free (along with the entire series) in Kindle Unlimited.
(I included a bit about the writing process and what I went through during this one and losing Walt in a note to my readers. )