Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Looming Deadlines and the Finish Line for PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS

One of the hardest lessons I've learned in the last few years is that my job is really never truly done.  Once I self-published THE FIRST DAYS, the question that was immediately asked was "When is the next one out?"  And that is the question I have heard over and over again and will continued to hear until the good Lord takes me home.

I absolutely love writing. I love the process of building new worlds, discovering new characters, uncovering exciting plots, and enjoying the movie in my mind as I translate the story into words to share with my readership. I'm always thrilled with the prospect of finishing the first draft and sending it off to my test readers. Then I wait anxiously until they send me feedback, hoping that they love the story as much as I do. Once I have their notes, I dive into the revision, reworking things that went wrong, tidying up the plot, solidifying hazy aspects, and making sure the story is everything it should be.  The it goes off to the editor and I wait again to have her feedback. More revisions, copyedits, and then finally the completed version of the book is ready for publication. It's the same whether I'm publishing a book myself or with a publisher.  I always have that final moment when I'm DONE.

When I hit that finish line, I always want to sit back on my laurels, enjoy the view, and pat myself on my back.  Release day is always extremely exciting as I wait for the first reviews to start hitting and the  emails from readers to start appearing in my inbox.

But then that question rears it's head.

"When is the next one out?"

It always takes the wind out of my sails just a little bit because it's a reminder that I'm never truly done.  There is always another story to write.  And I LOVE it.  The fact that I have a readership anxious for my next book is the most incredible feeling, yet at times the pressure for the next book can be immense.

PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS is a book I have been trying to write for years. It has always been shoved onto the back burner due to deadlines for the Tor versions of the AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy.  When I held a poll at the end of last year to decide which book I was going to work on next, THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING won.  Again, PWSK was sidelined.  

But I am finally writing the book and it is coming along beautifully. I'm so excited about how the story is developing. It's fun to be back in the world of Amaliya and the other characters, but this book is already vastly different from its predecessor.  The story has expanded outward to include new characters (and old) and it's not just Amaliya's story anymore.  Though she is the eye of the storm, there is much more at play this time around.  I'm a little nervous about how fans may react to this new book. The HEA (happily ever after) in the first book is blown to hell almost immediately in the second. Things are very dangerous and by the end of the book there will be at least three deaths.  

I'm speeding along very nicely and anticipate being done very soon. Then I'll send the second half to the test readers (they already have the first half) and wait for their feedback.

Though I have a new deadline with Tor, I am not putting aside PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS. I have anticipated how much time I have before the Tor deadline, and I'm sure I can meet it after I finish this last part of PWSK.  This book has waited too long to be born.

But I'm already anticipating the question that will hit when I finish PWSK.  

"When is the next one out?"

The answer is 2013, come hell or high water.  I fully intend to finish the final book in the trilogy and publish it in 2013.  You can even add it to your "to read" list at Goodreads.

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When that final book is released, then I will be DONE with the PWSD Trilogy. But then it will be on to the next book, the next series, the next great adventure...

 Because a writer's work is never truly done.

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