Photography Note: A great blue beauty of a heron posed for me in Halfmoon Bay during the Big Big Wave Event where I did not get a single photo of a large wave. (Oops.) If you want to follow my photography shenanigans, I have a Patreon specifically for that. Members get access to the photos to use almost however they want. (Blog usage is okay with a photography credit, but if you want to use pictures for commercial reasons, like selling a print, book covers, etc, you need to license the image with me.)
I’m using the money for camera lenses and photography trips. This is my hobby.
I’m sick. What I thought was just me paying the price for feeding my tummy bad Chinese (the kind that’s totally not authentic in the slightest and is delicious in its badness) turned out to be some form of plague coming to ring out the year. Whee. Add in the headache, problem with my sinuses, etc, etc, etc, and I’m having a great time.
(I’ll be fine, I just wanted to whine a little.)
2023 has been a year. We’ll leave it at that. I’ll just move onto my aspirations for 2024.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m hoping to write a whole lot and do everything else to the bare minimum. As a plot twist, I will be going to visit my husband’s family in Canada later in 2024, so that’ll make things a little complicated for writing. (I’ll still be writing, but I’ll be writing on the road, so I’ll just have to adjust my ambitious goals. No problem!)
Life changes, and I change with it so I don’t lose what’s left of my sanity.
What I’m currently working on:
Iron Unicorn, Grave Affairs, A Light in the Dark, a Pets in Space type story.
(Don’t panic about Trickster King… it is with the editor, so I can’t be currently working on it.)
I expect to finish Iron Unicorn in the upcoming weeks. I have not selected a release date, and I won’t until 99.9% of the edits are completed. Once the edits are completed, I’ll pick a date and get everything set up.
Reminder: print and audiobook editions are done as a “have time, have will, have mental fortitude” basis. Yes, I know people like the extra formats, but the ebook editions are my first priority, and I’m not holding back what puts bread on the table for the extra formats.
Thank you for your understanding.
101 Ways to Die is now available at all major audiobook vendors, including Audible, Chirp Books, and Kobo. The bonus audio material is available via my Patreon. (It is not included in the retail edition. I have made the decision that all bonus audiobook material will be routed through my Patreon exclusively.)
On the Patreon front, there are a bunch of read alongs that have started for Cindercorns and Spicy Ponies with Bite. They include the following:
- Iron Unicorn
- Grave Affairs
- Cerulean (A science fiction project, very limited posting)
- Partner in Crime
- Murder Floof
- Anything Else I Decide to Post Randomly.
As a general rule, I only leave the latest section of the WIP up (and delete the previous section when the current section is posted.) It’s an unpublished work, not a permanent perk. The point is to let people read along, so if this isn’t your jam, then it’s probbbaabllyy not going to work well for you. (I’m just being honest about it. Some people love it, others do not.)
There is now an audiobook tier that is one step above the Otters (who get ebooks.) The Sirens get E-books AND they get to listen along with older audiobooks (and gain access to the audiobook files) as they listen along.
As part of my 2024 goals, I’m going to be getting my Patreon shop in order, where I’ll be selling sets of my ebooks, audiobooks, etc. The books (and bundles) will all match retail price. (It will not be a cheaper way to get my titles; the only time that books will be cheaper is when there is a sale going on.)
I am still working with my REAM, which is essentially a subscription library where you can eternally scroll through my older books and toss pennies in my jar. The RJ Blain books are $5 a month to access the REAM library, and all of my pen names (that are on REAM) are $10 a month. REAM is where you go if you want no frills access to the backlog without needing to do anything other than have a phone or desktop and a login. (You can read right from your browser.)
REAM is good if you’re a fast reader and want to tear through older books while on a budget. Think of it as a me-only library.
The REAM folks are super nice. Please note that I will NOT be moving my WIP to REAM; it’s a better system for polished works that do not require editing/changing after posting–and I don’t leave WIP up permanently on Patreon, and REAM doesn’t really allow for that sort of functionality. But, REAM is there if people would like to make use of it!
The 2024 Publication Schedule currently looks like this (in case you missed it):
Patrick Laycal loves his family above all else, but he needs time off work from ruling over stubborn Texans. Rather than rest and relax, Pat does what he does best, sowing the seeds of chaos and progress wherever he goes.
His trip to purchase land and cattle for his projects blooms into an opportunity to forever change the Royal States, if he can somehow cultivate the child best suited to become next King of Texas—and save his stubborn daughter from the consequences of her choices.
Chronologically, this novel takes place after Taken, but due to the nature of the story, it is best read after Runaway and before the Prince of New York and New Waters.
In May 2024, I will debut the first book by Lilith Daniels, Grave Affair!
Following an accusation of being a necromancer with no way to prove her innocence, Detective Kirani Kinsley Ramons turns in her badge and flees to Dragon Heights, Wyoming for a fresh start.
In Miami, few understand the difference between a necromancer and the descendant of dragons.
In Dragon Heights, nobody cares.
With weekly rains of unusual composition, dragon-kin and human alike vying for the right to become the next dragon in town, and magic lurking around every turn, there is no better place for Kinsley to hide her skills and history.
But when the local brothel workers are attacked and the bodies of would-be dragons begin showing up with alarming frequency, Kinsley revisits her past and makes the painful decision to hunt the hunter for the sake of her neighbors and new friends.
With her trusty carbunclo kitten at her side, she delves into the dark world of dragons and the city they call home to catch those behind the attacks before they can strike again.
What she doesn’t know may awaken the sleeping beast, forever changing her destiny.
In July of 2024, I will release the second Audrey Greene novel, A Light in the Dark!
The yearly floods in Stonecreek inevitably claim lives, but when Valerie pulls a refugee from the turbulent waters, she uncovers a dark secret about her home.
For most, there is sanctuary to be had in their high-walled houses.
For outsiders shunned by those in power, there is only exile or death.
To create a better future for Stonecreek, Valerie must become a light in the dark—even if it means she joins the ranks of those doomed to be purged from the city-state’s stony streets.
Moving forward, you can expect to see these two books for certain:
Iron Unicorn: In the official Royal States timeline, this book will take place immediately following the Vampire of Montana. Iron Unicorn will also lead directly into the Prince of New York.
You can expect to see Iron Unicorn in October of 2024. (I just have not selected the date yet.)
Partner-in-Crime: this takes place immediately following the events of Dead Weight, and follows the misadventures of Lovell, the detective magicker with the patience of a saint and almost as bad luck as Jace Smithson.
I am expecting Partner-in-Crime to be ready for November of 2024.
At current, while I’m hoping to do one hell of a writing binge, I am not guaranteeing anything beyond these two books added to the lineup. This keeps my stress levels low. I’m almost done Iron Unicorn, and Partner-in-Crime is coming along nicely. As such, I’m fairly confident in my ability to have these books ready for October and November of 2024.
And yes, my goal is absolutely to do a book a month starting in October of 2024 and plowing through until September of 2025.
If more than that happens, great! If less than that happens… honestly, that’s also great.
One thing isn’t changing: I’m out to write fun, different stories for those who want a cozy warm hug in book format.
And please stop freaking out, y’all.
I am not quitting writing. I’m not even thinking about quitting writing. I am just spending my time writing, and once I have my happy writing binge, I’ll do a publication cycle.
Please do not panic. Grab your towel if needed. It’s always a good idea to have your towel at the ready. (And in the hours before and after the change of the new year… do enjoy your Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. Because if you’re gonna have a hangover, you may as well have it due to a lemon wrapped around a large gold brick that has been introduced to your head.
P.S.: I have held a first edition autographed copy of that book in my hands, and I did not have the $1,500 to buy it, and I regret that to this very day.
If I had had the money, I would have gotten it in a heartbeat. Alas, I did not have the money…
… but I got to hold it. And that counts for something, right? (Kudos to that book seller for letting me hold the precious.)
And being completely honest with everyone and myself, I won’t ever quit writing. I very probably won’t quit publishing, either. If “fans” become too difficult, I’d just slip on off into the sunset socially and continue to write and advertise on paid venues… I would just step away from everything else.
I love to write. (And I do quite love earning money doing what I love.)
The only thing that would change would be the social elements if people became unbearable with their criticism. And as a reminder… if it’s unrequested, it’s never constructive.
Be kind. Life is hard… please don’t make it harder.
May you have a wonderful and joyous 2024.