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)
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.