Hey, folks. Rather than have the cats do the update for this one, you’re getting me, the actual author, instead.
Somewhat recently, the cats posted my upcoming schedule. The focus of this post will mostly be on what’s going on in 2021, so I’m going to include the preorders and their links for those who may have missed it:
January 12, 2021: Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection (Faith Hunter, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Devon Monk, R.J. Blain) ($5.99)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple Books
March 2, 2021: Client from Hell: A Magically Hellish Comedy (with a body count) (RJ Blain) ($5.99)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple Books
May 11, 2021: Catnapped: A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) (RJ Blain) ($5.99)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple Books
At current, these three titles are the only guarantees for 2021. There will be an absolute maximum of three more novels guaranteed for 2021. If I finish things, great! I’ll send them to my editor, once I have it back to my editor, I will set up a 2-3 month preorder, as that gives me plenty of time to do final proofreading, get everything set up, and otherwise chill. (There are benefits to doing preorders, and one of those benefits is giving you, my readers, a chance to budget for the books as needed.)
Truth be told, if it wouldn’t cause a huge amount of problems and complications for me, I’d cancel a bunch of preorders and just move to that right away, but it’s not fair to the 1,000-2,000+ readers who are looking towards these releases.
So, 2021 will start this pattern.
2022 will have six total preorders. If anything else is releases, that’s great. But there will be six and only six preorders and guaranteed releases.
2023 will have six total preorders.
You get the idea.
I love writing books, but I’m, frankly spoken, fucking exhausted. I had a week off recently because I was in blinding pain due to a migraine and could not work. It was not a restful vacation, although I got to play Sims4.
To give you an idea of what the rest of my year looks like, it goes a little like this:
I must finish writing three books in July because I didn’t finish Booked for Murder on time. After I’m done this blog post, I’m buckling down and trying to get it prepped for delivery to my editor. She has the first half of the book, I just haven’t gotten the second half done yet. It needs to be to her tomorrow.
In good news, I came in at around 125,000 words for it, which is the length I wanted for the book. Hooray!
But in bad news, I have to finish Doggone Mess (which is almost completed) and A Chip on Her Shoulder (which is nowhere near completed) by the end of the month.
There will be no days off until mid August at the earliest. But then I have 5 books releasing in October, November, and December, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done on all of these titles.
I might get a few days off in here somewhere, but not likely. Wish me luck, as I will need it.
Things get better in January. I hope.
I really, really hope.
So, yeah. Brace yourselves…. there will not be twelve+ books written and published in 2021.
I want to have fun writing, and I don’t want to work myself to death. I know this will upset some people, but that’s just life. I’m sorry, but there will be longer waits for books in the future.
If I try to maintain this pace beyond 2020, realistically, I will quit publishing, because the pace is brutal, people are highly sensitive over the amount I charge per book, and while paying the bills is nice… the schedule I’m currently holding is brutal.
I just can’t do it anymore, so… don’t ask me to write faster.
(Also don’t ask me to drop my schedule. I am. In 2021, when there are not serious financial and other repercussions for doing it. When an author freaks out over a cancelled preorder, it’s a BIG deal. It’s not fun, and there are a lot of consequences we pay for them.) I MUST finish everything on my schedule on time. That’s the beginning and end of the story.
If I could without the really long list of repercussions that are worst punishments for me than just working hard, I would… but I can’t. So that’s that. I appreciate every one of you who suggestions I should just step back, but I cannot dodge these obligations.
I would not be able to sleep at night understanding I let down 1,ooo-2,000+ people per book because I didn’t work hard enough. I just am not mentally wired to accept that.
But in 2021, expect six books. That’s all I’m committing to. There may be more, there will not be less… and everything else is gravy.
So, to answer some common questions while I’m here:
1: What about the Rift King Books?
I will finish them eventually. The cost to base produce the books has been paid; I sold some precious personal items to get the money, which is set aside specifically for the production of the final books. That covers the costs of editing, etc. That does NOT cover the cost of my time, so while the books will be coming, I can’t guarantee when. I work on them as time allows. I understand there are some of you that really, really want to finish reading these books. I truly do understand that… but the reality is, there are 384 people who have purchased or read Storm Surge, the second book in the series. There are 1,120 people who have read or purchased the box set, which sells for $0.99. This is, at absolute most, 1,500 ish people who *might* be interested in the conclusion of the series. Considering it’s only sold 1,120 copies when all I’m asking is a dollar for a three-book set, it’s not something I can just work on at my whim.
They’re labors of love that will be finished when they’ll be finished.
The next Rift King World book I will be releasing is Rider of the Sun Horse, and that’s only happening first because I’ve already written 80,000 words of the book. It will be a Beast of a Book, because 80,000 words puts me somewhere near the halfway mark. it, too, gets worked on as time allows, and it is a passion project.
I do not expect it to sell, and I pay for it out of my personal play money, because I really wanted to write that book. It won’t fly. (What? I’m being honest and reasonable. Honestly… I’m considering giving Rider of the Sun Horse the July 2021 slot because it’s been a very long time since I’ve released something truly for myself, paid for out of my personal money… just because I want to.)
I love the book, and I love Lars. He’s a joy to write for all the book has a great deal of sorrow to go with the triumphs within the pages.
For Rift King fans, there is a very, very special hint or three found within the pages of the Rider of the Sun Horse, which takes place long, long before the Rift King series.
So, to the 1,500 people patiently waiting for the Rift King stories… yes. They’re coming. It will just take time. By moving to six books a year, I’m seriously hoping I can work on one or two a year between the books that put the food on the table.
2: But what about the Eye of God?
To all 188 of you who bought the original book, plus the 1,100 of you who snagged it in the box set with the Rift King books… thank you! <3
See everything above about the Rift King books, as the rest of the Fall of Erelith series will be shoved into that set as well.
3: If you are having trouble accessing books on Kobo because of the name change shift from RJ Blain to R.J. Blain, please contact me on facebook or through the site’s contact form, or even drop a comment asking me to contact you (I can see your email address even though it isn’t public information.)
I would like to take a moment to inform everytone thatI am incapableof usingmy keyboard properly because thisis what my typinglooks like if i. don’t correct it.
Look, Desmond, now is not a good time to be a little jackass about your spacebar. You are a brand new keyboard. That better put you in your place. I am an author, that obviously means I’m capable of typing properly, right? (Wrong. Seriously, y’all… I type like a drunk goose and just fix everything as I go all the time. Drunk cobra chicken who hit up a meth lab for some fun recently type typing abilities.)
And now that I have finished that little side trip, a few more things to mention before I stop procrastinating and finish Booked for Murder:
A: I fucking love fried chicken.
B: I’m buying my husband a 2020 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD for his birthday/our anniversary. I win the wife of the year award, but I lost all of Friday talking to dealerships on the phone. Eeeep.
C: Tales of the Winter Wolf? More? Please? You did 1-5, and the extended Winter Wolf Epilogue… but what about the rest?
Answer to C: (pathetic crying in a corner) I can’t find my notes they’re in a box somewhere.
But seriously, I lost the notes in a box somewhere, and every time I go to look at writing more of them, paralysis kicks in because I lost my notes in a box somewhere.
Add them to the ‘one day’ category, probably tossed in as bonus material to random other single-author anthologies as I release them.
I definitely want to write the story about how Richard ends up crashing a stolen/hijacked commercial jet, though. (Yeah, the one that is the precursor story to the Pedro story where he brings Richard to Nicolina’s apartment in Stanford.)
On a concluding note, please be patient with me for a little while. I recently fired my PA for not doing the work, so it’s me, myself, and I right now, and me, myself, and I are not the most reliable people when we have to do the job of multiple people like is going on right now.
I’m doing my best, but there was a reason I had a PA to help with my scheduling, which was one of the many tasks she dropped, so… uhm.. I’m very unorganized with my actual scheduling because I was trusting someone else to do that job for me, and it didn’t get done. And I didn’t get reminders of things I needed to be reminded about, etc, etc, etc.
So, if I have forgotten something important, please drop me an email so I can get it sorted out, and please accept my apologies.
If I had my way, I would spend 95% of my time just writing books and editing my books, but right now… I’m spending like 25% of my time writing and editing books and the rest of the time screaming into the void.
On my list is to figure out what tasks I can trust someone else to do, assuming I can work up the nerve to trust someone else to do them, because the last time I did it didn’t work out. Obviously.
I’m so sorry that things are so strained right now. I love your books, but won’t push you to write faster. Your books are the ones I go to when I can’t concentrate on a new one. Please try hard not to stress too much. Good luck with the blue truck!
RJ, as a loyal RomCom w/Body Count fan/reader/author stalker, I say this with love. You are way too hard on yourself. So you’re only going to release six books next year. So you’re going to anger people. Do you know how long some authors take to release one book, much less six? I’ve been waiting years for Book 2 in a series by a very well known sci-fi/fantasy writer who may or may not ever get the thing done and out. I’m always happy to get a new RomCom from you and have pre-ordered all the books that even remotely connect to this series. I would never tell an author to hurry up, write more, write the way I want. If I wanted to try and write, I wouldn’t appreciate a so-called fan doing that to me. I think the fans (if you want to call them that) who harass an author are few but more vocal than a loyal fan who is just leaving the author alone so we can get the books she/he is working on done. As far as your migraines, I don’t suffer but I have three family members who due suffer from them and I’ve seen how devastating they are before, during, and after. You need to take care of yourself and if a migraine hits, get away from the computer and take care of yourself. The books won’t write themselves but they will never get written if our author suffers something debilitating and can’t write so try to take it easy on one of my favorite authors.
I am so sorry you are going through all this. I absolutely love your stories. And will read anything you write. But my pleasure is not worth your health. I have no suggestions or solutions, it’s your life and your business. But please remember that you are loved by many people who appreciate your skill with stories and characters. And we will be grateful for everything you share with us, when you share it.
wow. hope it all works out for you, in the best way possible. and hope the migraines cease.
be well, Rick
I’m baffled at the entitlement of people who have the nerve to ask you to write more/faster. I’m sure that 99% of your fans just want you to be healthy and happy. Your pace and schedule seems tremendously difficult to me and I so hope you are able to slow it down at some point (hopefully soon).
Please take care of yourself, we will wait if we have to would hate for you to stop as I love all your books.
J. C. Jenkins Jr
I don’t k know what I would do without a computer. I have 10,000-25,000+ pages of writing at my disposal and growing. I hope Mrs. Blain finds her missing pages I know what it’s like to lose some pages of works. You put a lot of time into what you write, it’s like losing a piece of your heart or soul.
Grammarly Premium is something you should invest in if you’re a writer. And if you’re using a computer invest in external hard drives or flash drives to backup and protect your works. You won’t be sorry.
Good luck Mrs. Blain and all Writers out there who write for a living. You are the Bedrock of Society.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Just be aware that Grammarly and similar often offer incorrect advice. Those programs have their purposes, but they often, often, often lead authors astray, especially if they don’t actually know the grammar rules.
I do like the passive voice check, as that is usually somewhat accurate, as is the ‘repeated word’ check.
Just like to say, you cant write books when you’re dead, (or very sick either), as much as I love your books, I don’t love them at the cost of your health. You know yourself, you know what works for you, so do what you must to continue your stories and know that ther are more of us who are understaning than there are those who are unimaginitive ignorant halfwits.
Ok, I don’t post a comment very often, but I just want to say, while I do wait impatiently for your next book, I think you should give yourself a break. Your readers will still be there (I know I will) when you finish a book.
Absolutely no gripes from me on this subject. I want you healthy and happy. Six books a year is awesome. You just take care of you.
As much as I love your books I do not want you to collapse trying to do too much. The number of books you write amazes me. The fact they are all amazing boggles my mind. Thank you for each and every one.
In the course of my current relistens to the magical romcom with body count I have been reflecting on your prescience in creating a world where the CDC is so important -and vital to the country. Thank you for your work and the escape that it gives all your loyal readers.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Yeah, I was like… it… Yeah. Does this mean I get to say, “Called it?” However accidentally that was. I just added magic, figured plagues would be spread faster because magic if one were to come up, and the CDC’s infrastructure, when it works right, is absolutely ideal for that sort of thing, so I bumped up its importance and added more research. I just took structure that was already there and added to it!! Hah.
You definitely can say ‘Called it’! A gold star has been awarded to your crystal ball stand.
You are a sear! The only thing and I know it is a nitpick is that it is Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You are not making the first word plural.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
It’s a deliberate choice in my world to make it singular. It’s a singular entity, and they are not fractured like the modern CDC. You can nitpick all you want, but in the world I’ve written, you’d be absolutely incorrect.
Okay thanks for the info. You are the author and it is your world. I will stop nitpicking now.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
I do suggest the next time you read through, to pay closer attention to the functionality of the CDC; once you think about how it operates, you’ll realize the satellite approach of the Centers used in our world is nothing like what is in the Mag Rom Com world. They’re a very singular entity with a great deal more sway and power. Centers, like our world, are a conglomerate of different offices that have loose guidelines kinda melding them together in a somewhat haphazard fashion. (This is part of why it’s been so ineffective in our current global crisis. They are too fractured.)
In the Mag Rom Com world, this is not the case. All offices of the CDC are managed as a singular whole with branches, more like the FBI or other really, really well-defined organizations that are singular entities.
It’s a shame the CDC (in our world) was crippled so much on the budgeting front and it was essentially throat-slit early on.
Don’t kill yourself writing. Remember, if you do, there will be no more books at all. I am willing to wait. Want you to continue enjoying what you do. Even it there is a delay in a preorder I will get it when it comes out. Taking care of yourself should always come first.
I am sorry that you got burned by having someone to help you and they flopped. That has got to be beyond frustrating. Their job was to help/support and remind you of necessary tasks and that didn’t happen. So please take a breath.
6 books a year is amazing and I really hope that in 2021 and going forward this works and gives you enough time to be able to relax and enjoy what you are doing.
Also — yes, you get huge best wife points for getting your husband a new vehicle.
Please take care of yourself. 6 books a year is a lot! I love reading your stories and want you to keep writing for a good long while.
I’ve been enjoying the latest audiobooks of Cold Flame and Run Around. I often hear things in the audio that I miss in the reading.
Hope things go smoothly with the truck purchase. As a family who keeps cars usually past 250,000 miles, a new car in the family is always exciting, no matter who the primary driver will be.
Take care of you!
I am loving your books. I have never known of an author writing basically a book a month and not short stories either. When you publish a new book I will buy it , but you also need to be good to yourself, if you get too much on your plate you are going to have a mental and physical breakdown. You must be good to yourself and take care of yourself and also enjoy life. If you don’t take care soon you will start to hate writing because it will be too stressful, and then you will stop writing. I would rather you take care and enjoy writing whenever you publish is fine with me. I will buy everything you put out love love love all of your books and am in awe of your talent. I wish and pray you have health, happiness, and love. Everything else is gravy.
1 book, 6 books, any books.. I’ll wait. I like preorders, but if they are a source of stress, pass. What you write, when you write. THANK YOU!!!!!!!
So you only do six books a year. I would prefer six good books to twelve books that you rushed through that are only so so. Take care of yourself so you can continue to write for a long time.
Thankyou for the information re the Rift King and Erelith books. They are amazing and I hope in future more people will read them. That said, take care of yourself. We are lucky you write, so how often you write is up to you.
I absolutely love your books but I would rather have fewer books a year than you to work yourself so hard you fall ill. Your books are some of the ones I read over and over when I can’t get into a new one. They are always fresh and lift my spirits when needed. Please, please take care of yourself. I can wait.