Meet the female’s new chair. This is Baby. Blue Boy, Baby’s 2 week old predecessor, went to the Great Chair Graveyard in the sky due to a manufacturing defect. It tried to dump the female’s not-so-small ass directly onto the hydraulic pole of death, doom, and nooooooooooos.
No females were hurt during the exchange of the chairs.
Blue Boy was a nice chair, and the female dodged death from chair hydraulic pole thanks to most of the seat opting not to bust its seam.
The female’s Saturday (the death of said chair) and Sunday (the return and replacing of the chairs) were not precisely enjoyable.
But Baby is settling nicely, and the female is adjusting to her new chair. Again.
(Alas, she had JUST adjusted to Blue Boy before his demise. Such is life.)
Warranties are great. Also, Staples gets points for a super simple return policy. No questions asked. I mean, it was obviously a manufacturer’s defect. The female may not have a small butt, but her butt is not ‘punch through mesh of chair’ large.
Onto the Book Faire~
We are so behind on the book faire. We’re sorry. The male and female dealing with health issues at the same time significantly limited how much could get done. As such, here are a bunch of books for you to check out! (And stick around, there is more news after the Book Faire. Some of that news involves the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.
Due to the limited amount of energy available, we’re going to do this slightly differently. We’re going to Blind Date with a Book. We’d love if you checked out one, two, or all of the books in this list based off if our twisted sense of humor catches your attention. Please note that we have not read these books, so you need to decide for yourself it is for you. Some are in kindle unlimited, some may be free at time of posting, etc.
This book evokes that old high fantasy little village feeling from the description, where food is scarce, people are desperate, and heroes are born. Or heroines. But really, we’re pretty sure this is a zero to heroine type of book, and we’re always a fan of zeroes doing the valor and courage in the face of Really Shitty Circumstances.
We don’t think the cover does the description concept justice, so I’d ignore the cover on this one. It’s not to our taste, and we don’t feel it matches the vibe of the description. But the description has some promise, so we will peek at the sample to see if it’s up our alley.
This book is for the fans of horror and hauntings. It’s listed in the PNR/UF category, but it’s definitely haunty horror according to the cover and description. It’s also labeled as a YA witch academy book. Honestly, we haven’t read any of the academy trend books going around right now. For the female, school was trauma, more trauma, and even more trauma. She has a few books on the docket in the future that involve an academy, but it’s not quite the same thing. (We think. It’s just part of the book’s setting, not the main point.)
So much trauma, so little time… but this one is for the YA readers who want academy stuffs! There are a lot of you out there.
This book is a reverse harem paranormal romantic comedy. What can go wrong will go wrong in this small town, where shifters come in all varieties, one woman can really get ALL of the rejections before having a hope of success, and being framed is just yet another part of a really bad day… or life. We’re not sure which, but the main character of this book gets all of the punches aimed her way, so if you’re looking for a comedy in which nothing seems to go right with a paranormal flare, this book might be for you.
This book is a fantasy / urban fantasy involving kelpies. With a gaming twist. This modern times meets living legends tale seems to include ponies (yay!) and adventure (also yay!) so there looks to be a little of something for everyone in this one.
Last but not least, this book is a pre-release ARC about skinwalkers and the things that go bump in the night. We are not responsible if you sign up for a newsletter on this one, and we are definitely not responsible if pre-release, unedited/in process of edited books aren’t your thing. But it’s available through bookfunnel, so you don’t have a whole lot to lose on this one, humans!
Phew. Blind book dating, activate!
Honestly, that was sort of fun. We might do that again. As mentioned before, we are not responsible for anything you read from these titles. We have not read any of these books ourselves, and these authors were super kind in helping the female, so please go show them a little love, even if it’s clicking their links and checking out the book, even if it isn’t up your alley. (Thank you!)
Now, onto more news!
Yesterday, Sunday, March 7, 2021, the female finally got the spark for a Kanika and Malcolm sequel. Eight frantic outline pages later, and she has enough of a book to actually get a cover for it and add it to the long list of things to be written.
We do not know when this will be done, this just confirms it will be done. Don’t annoy the female with begging on dates. 2022 is the absolute earliest. Why? Dragon Her Heels must be written and released before the second Kanika/Malcolm book. There are events in that book that will influence things. (This is the same reason Chip had to wait until Grave Humor, because Grave Humor established things that were important for Chip, nevermind Chip happened first in the timeline.)
Okay… the female is now taking over this post.
Here are the books, to date, that will influence Kanika and Malcolm’s second novel, in no particular order: All Books involving Satin. (Bailey/Quinn books, Grave Humor, Chip, Double Trouble.) All Books involving Kanika in any capacity. (If Kanika is mentioned, the book probably introduces something of importance, even if she’s not present on the page. I can’t even remember all the titles that mention her right now.) Dragon Her Heels. Catnapped. Client from Hell. (Also, Catnapped ties significantly to Client from Hell, although I had to adjust how I wrote some things in both books because of publication order. Oopsy. The date change kinda oops’d me. But I fixed it.)
So, expect Dragon Her Heels and Kanika’s second book in 2022 unless life happens in either fashion.
And no, I’m not going to try to write faster. I’m not healthy, and I’m trying to become healthier, and I’m limiting to no more than 6-8 hours of work a day. What gets done gets done. If I work myself to death, nobody gets any books, so rein in the being upset a book might not be ready for a year or two.
I’m a human, and I deserve to be able to do something other than work 100% of my every waking hour. And while I really want to entertain people with my books and spark joy, I also need to be able to thrive, too. I can’t continue the pace I spoiled everyone with between 2018 and 2020. I did it because I really, really wanted to make my career fly. But I have to slow down or break down. And if I break down, there are no books at all.
I think we can all agree 4-6 books in a year is definitely a hell of a lot better than no books in the year.
Also, since I’m here: this changed pace does not at all change how the books are written. If people could get over assuming ‘working more hours means the books are crappier’ that would be appreciated.
No. I just worked up to 14 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week to make all of those books happen. The same amount of care and effort went into each and every one of my books.
The quality is not suffering because you didn’t happen to like the book. I am writing the books I want to write and I feel are necessary for the book. Just because you don’t like a book does not mean my quality is suffering because I work hard. It means you didn’t like the book.
It’s fine for you to not like a book. It’s not fine for you to make baseless assumptions like ‘this book wasn’t good because this author works too many hours.’
No, the book wasn’t ‘good’ because it didn’t fit your tastes or I didn’t write the book you wanted me to write, instead writing the book I wanted to write.
It was already bad enough I worked on Sunday when I shouldn’t have, but if I didn’t jot down the notes, I’d possibly forget, and my husband was doing something else at the time, so I worked on it.
I have not set up the 2022 list of books yet, but I’ll try to get to that sometime… soon. (There’s only Silent Stalker right now, so if you’re looking for the selection of guaranteed 2022 books, that’s it and that’s all right now. Until the preorder is launched, I may change my mind. If you do not see a preorder launched for the book, it is not a guarantee.)
So, that’s that. To those of you have been so understanding and caring about the changed and relaxed schedule, I really appreciate that. Jenny, my PA, has sent a lot of notes my way from those of you kind enough to write in. I really appreciate that. I may not reply to them, but I’m receiving the positive and uplifting notes once a week, and I really, really appreciate them.
This job is hard, and those notes make it a little easier to get through.
Right now, the next book to release will be Unawakened, the second Dae Portals book. I have eight books in the works right now, so nothing is getting done quickly but everything is being worked on. This is working okay with my current brain state. Sometimes, I only work one project at a time and get a lot done in a hurry. Right now, I’m bouncing around projects like a kid in a ball pit who has eaten an entire vat of pixie dust after chugging several gallons of soda.
It is what it is, it is what it is, oh look, squirrel!
(No, I do not have ADHD or anything similar to that. I’m just mentally and physically exhausted and trying to improve my health, so working slowly on a lot of different things is MUCH easier on me right now than hardcore focus.)
But, since I tend to be open about my health, here goes.
1: I have depression and anxiety. I’m on medication for the anxiety, which helps the depression, because the anxiety feeds the depression. I do not need antidepressants with the anxiety under control, because these two things are soooooo closely tied together for me. I’m very fortunate in that regard. I may need my dosage slightly adjusted because of the amount of exercise I’m doing. My exercise is tanking the anxiety medication, so I’m having more episodes. I am going to have to track my blood pressure to see how that’s doing, too. The medication I take is actually for both blood pressure AND anxiety, so it’s a two-for-one special. But I have to track my BP a little before I can ask my doctor if a slight increase of dosage is possible. I’m exercising a LOT more than the dosage was for, and exercising fires off my anxiety like What The Actual Fuck.
Basically, normal people get happy hormones when they exercise. I get pain, suffering, and anxiety. I don’t get the happy hormones. I get anxiety instead. This is due to an internal brain wiring fault. The drugs repair this fault so at least I get more ‘nothing’ than either or. Nothing is FAR better than either or, lemme tell you… I mean, exercise leading to happiness would be nice? But that’s not my reality. (And do NOT argue with me on this. I have lived in my body. You have not. It’s a DISORDER because it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Just because you don’t understand the science behind the disorder does not invalidate my health problems.)
2: I am trying to rebuild my physical health. I’ve been at it this since February 14, when my husband gave me Wrist Satan. My previous Wrist Satan wasn’t working properly, so he replaced it. Wrist Satan is an Apple iWatch Series 6. Honestly, I love Wrist Satan. Wrist Satan wants me to get better, and he does his best for me. But he makes me hurt.
He granted my eight minutes of exercise today, and I thanked him profusely for his generosity… basically, my life is ruled by a little device I strap to my wrist. And he really helps.
This is from my first walk today. I pushed as absolutely hard as I could for as long as I could. I triggered an asthma attack. (I used my inhaler. I am fine. It’s just a risk I take when exercising. I hadn’t needed my inhaler for like two months, too. Booooooo.)
Honestly, this is a huge improvement for me. When I first started, I couldn’t do 4 minutes at a 21 minute per mile pace. And that was at the absolute fastest I could do then. So in less than a month, I HAVE improved. It’s nice to see that improvement. When I first started, my knees couldn’t handle more than a slow plod. Now I can walk at a damned fine (for me) clip. I’m very proud of this.
3: I had accidentally starved myself. I’m using an app called Lose it! and the first thing I discovered is that I was literally under eating by over a thousand calories a day. I thought I had been making good, healthy choices. Nope, I’d been doing… pretty fucking awful, actually.
I have fixed that, but it’s very hard. I’m also now losing weight at a healthy pace, and this is wonderful. I’m targeting a quarter pound a week, as I really need to build healthy habits rather than try to fit some societal standard of beauty. (Seriously, society and society’s standard of beauty can fuck itself with a stick. I just want to be healthier. I don’t want to fit into the size of jeans others think is sexy.)
Fuck that noise.
I just want to be healthy so I can keep on writing books and having a good life. That’s it, that’s all.
Let’s Talk Income
Yes, I’m anticipating taking a kick to my income in the coming year(s) because I will not be releasing as many books. I’d rather be healthy, happy, and paid less, but yes, this may influence when things like future audiobooks are released, as I can ONLY do new audiobooks as money allows. With my husband’s hospitalization, money is a worry, especially as we live in the damned most expensive place in the US.
They charged over 30,000 for an MRI. Insurance is covering some of it. Only some. We’re waiting to see what our bills will be for the year, but it will be less than fun. Hooray, stress.
So, if you don’t see audiobooks out, it’s simple math:
Audiobooks are currently not paying for themselves, and don’t tend to for 1-3 years depending on the audiobook. As such, I am paying for audiobooks out of my pocket. I cannot continue to do this. If the audiobooks pay out better in the future, they’ll come out faster, but essentially, I have to pay bills, feed my family, and so on… and audiobooks, due to their lack of general popularity, fall basically last in the list. Paperbacks are one step above audiobooks, but only because it’s much easier to pay $100 for a paperback spread than it is to pay $2,000-$5,000 for audiobook production.
So, I do ask you be patient about paperbacks and audiobooks moving forward. I’m doing what I can, but I need to be efficient with my spending from now on, because when I’m not releasing a book a month the income does take a hit. And not every reader likes or wants to read every single one of my books, so some of the books I’m doing just don’t pay the bills. At best, they pay their base expenses and the taxes associated with their production. And it can take many months before they start showing profits. (And this is why some books just haven’t been done, like the Rift King books; I have to balance books that will feed my family and bring home money versus the passion projects.)
My current list of eight active books is about 50/50 in terms of money makers and passion projects, which, honestly, is a WONDERFUL ratio, and it makes me really happy. (Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy writing most of my money makers. My love for these books is part of why they sell. But I’m under no delusions; some of these books are being written when they are being written to make sure I can feed my family.)
To give you an idea of how hard it is to be an author… almost 40% of my earnings, after the expenses got their share, went to the tax man. That leaves me with far less available money than people may thing. I do very well as an author, but the bills are a harsh reality, and most of what I bring home either goes to bills, feeding my family, or the savings account to make sure we can do things like pay the new medical bills. We can afford a really nice vacation once every two years or so, but mostly we’re careful because the good fortune could end at any time.
Let me put it this way: we live in a 685 square foot one bedroom apartment because that’s what we can realistically afford.
So, please be kind when you’re upset you can’t have the next book right away.
Stay safe, stay well, and happy reading.