What I’m Writing: Whispers of the Ice, The Beacon Campaigns #4
What I’m Reading: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
What I’m Loving: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and do I EVEN need to explain why?
There were eight Fellows children. In a large family especially, every child has their role. So it was with the sons and daughters of Prawl and Prestina.
There was Prewish, the oldest. His job was to always be right. It was a heavy burden, and one that he did not shirk, even when lesser men might cave under pressure.
So in late January, I did something that I’ve never done before: I read one of my already-published books.
For people outside of a creative industry, this might seem like a strange—even absurd!—statement for me to make, but hear me out. Writers, well… we spend a lot of time working on/obsessing over our books before they’re published, and then once they are out the door, it becomes a whole game of marketing, and reviews, and marketing, and your friends and coworkers all buying a copy and swearing they’re going to read it, and more marketing, and there’s all these opinions flying around about the final product, and you’re trying to focus on the sequels but you’ve still got skin invested in the first one because we need readers in order for the sequels to sell, and… it all gets up in your head, is what I’m saying. I wrote The Lady of Souls more than three years ago. I forgot a lot of what happened in it. I even kind of forgot what level of quality the book is—I mean, I know it was the best I could write at the time, or else I wouldn’t have published it, but I also know that I’ve grown a lot as a writer since then; so does that mean that if I look back on it now, I’ll cringe and think it’s terrible? This is the fear that has been holding me back. I write a book, and then (creatively speaking) I run away from it as fast as possible, out of fear that it’ll disappoint me.
But. I mean, 2017 kicked my ass, and January was a month of recovery and reflection and spinning my wheels. Book four of The Beacon Campaigns has been a work-in-progress for a looooooong time, longer than anything since I first released The Lady of Souls. It was the Beacon book that I was half-working on when the election of 2016 hit, and it was also the book that I had the least clear vision of what it should look like, at the point that I started writing it. I knew what function it needed to serve in the larger narrative of the series, but not what shape it should fill on its own. All this combined to give me some major mental blocks to work through, and I ended up putting off finishing it far longer than I should have. To my Beacon fans: I’m sorry, you deserved better.
Soooo, like I said, I re-read The Lady of Souls. And then I read Fixing Fate. And then Heart’s Blood. And then everything that I had written so far on Whispers of the Ice, which was frankly like 3/4 of the book if I’m being honest. And what I found, far from being the outgrown mess that I had feared, was a series of books that I really really like.
This is all my long-winded way of explaining that I am back into full production mode, hard at work on The Beacon Campaigns 4, Whispers of the Ice. That’s going to be my next release, sometime in the first half of this year. It feels really good to be working this much, and it feels really good to be back in this universe, sharing space with these characters.
(If you’re a fan of the Hopefuls series instead, don’t worry, there’s plenty more planned for you, too. In the meantime, though, have you looked into the Beacons books? We’ve got girl heroes, a slow-burn f/f romance, and lots of snark and sass. 😉 )
Anyway, that’s where it all stands. Cover reveal is coming soon, and subscribers to my mailing list will get it sooner, so be sure to sign up for that. In the meantime, I’m going back to work. I’ve only gotten one writing session in today, and I’ve still got at least three more to go, so it’s onward and upward.