I'm lounging around on my back deck (aka, outdoor office) after getting through my morning chores and workout, wondering what the heck to do next. I figured I haven't written a blog post in a while, so maybe getting all my thoughts out of my head will help point me in the right direction.
Revenge Love is out of my hands. ARCs are going out in batches, and release day is scheduled for July 26. This is the longest I'll have to wait between completion of a novel and publication, and...I'm not good at waiting apparently, LOL.
As when Fourth and Inches was published, I told myself I was going to take a break. Maybe a week to catch up on reading, repaint my living/dining room, get some gardening under control. What did I actually do? Fixed all the formatting (front and back matter) in the Moving the Chains books and sent them off to my Dream Girl proofreader for some sprucing up.
What? Don't look at me like that! That's a solid business decision! If people who haven't yet read them decide to dive in after reading Revenge Love, I want them to be as pretty as possible! (And also, I DID manage to get in some gardening!)
You CAN give me the stink eye for getting sucked back into my own damn books and re-reading all of them over the course of four days. That's just sad, right?
Maybe. Maybe not. I stalled out after finishing the series and needed to take a break with some new, completely different characters before even thinking about writing Mike and Alex's books. Getting in deep with that group of friends again sparked all the ideas and motivation I had before to give them their own HEAs.
The problem is: they're not the only characters calling to me just now. I have two other completely separate books whose characters are whispering to me. No one is screaming; there's no fight for anyone to take center stage. And therein lies my conundrum. I have a serious decision to make, all on my own.
To be clear, I'm a book monogamist. I can't even read more than one book at a time, much less write multiple books at once. Mike and Alex have a little leeway at least, since they're in the same fictional universe. Of course, I'm tempted to put them ALL in the same fiction verse because, as a reader, I just love Easter eggs with cameos from other characters in an author's writing. (I'm looking at you, RC Boldt.)
So, I find myself in never-before-traveled territory. Which basically happens every time I turn around on this writing adventure. Leaving Rob and Evie behind was exceptionally difficult since I'd spent three years with them. Revenge Love was intended to be a story-telling bridge, and now that I've crossed it, I can go any number of directions.
I wish I knew which path to take.
For now, I suppose I'll go ahead and repaint like I planned to. Maybe listen to some new music while I'm at it and see if that doesn't inspire something. I'll jot down scenes and plot twists as they come to me, but I'm not going to force anything. When your tagline is Real AF Romance, you definitely don't want to phone in a story for the sake of meeting a publishing timeline. Some of these ideas have been simmering on the back burner since 2015, so they're not going anywhere. My mind still wanders back to them from time to time. And who knows? One of them may finally boil over.
Until then, I'll just be here, feeling like a limb has been severed every day that goes by without putting down new material.
Huh. Maybe that FINALLY makes me a writer instead of just an imposter. I'm about to publish my fifth book. That surely counts for something, right?
Lesson #10: If you can quit, you should.
I'm obviously not ready to quit yet. The nice thing about going around the block a couple times in the author car is learning to be more chill. The stories will happen in their own time. Stressing won't make them happen sooner, or perhaps more importantly, BETTER. In the meantime, painting can wait until tomorrow. I'm gonna go take a nap. Or more likely, daydream in bed because it's actually my job.
I have the best damn job. <3