THE FATE OF THE TALA Not Yet – But Close!

This is the time of year when kitties display their cunning in knowing when and where the rising sun will hit – and their wisdom in knowing to be ready for it. Also: tongue baths and sunbaths go together. Jackson, cat guru, at your service.

So, today is January 15, 2020. But no, it is not the release day for THE FATE OF THE TALA.

For those who don’t follow the podcast, I can officially announce that THE FATE OF THE TALA is done, done, done!! It came out at just shy of 109K and is in the hands of my fantastic editor, Rebecca Cremonese. I told her not to bitch at me about how long it is; she said not to bitch at her about how long it takes. So we’ll see. As soon as I get her edits, I should be able to turn that around and get it formatted within a couple of days. I’m hoping to get it uploaded and on sale the last week of January.

And wow: that book was a difficult write. Some books go slower than others, and that one was determined to unspool at its own pace. With a Prince

It’s not just me, either, because I’ve switched over to moving some other projects forward and those are speeding right along. One thing I’ve noticed – in trying to figure out why my overall wordcount production has dropped – is that some genres also write faster for me

than others. I could see from my handy charts that 2014 and 2015 were my highest wordcount years. I went to writing full time at the end of 2015, so this was NOT the trend I expected. What I’ve realized, however – and what the chart doesn’t show – is that I also moved to writing a LOT more fantasy, and much denser fantasy, and pretty much stopped writing any erotic/contemporary. The closest I came was writing books two and three of the Missed Connections series, WITH A PRINCE and SINCE LAST CHRISTMAS, in 2017 – and, notably, 2017 was my third-highest wordcount year. It’s anecdotal data, but the correlation is enough to satisfy me.

I’d forgotten that I used to alternate writing Fantasy stories with Erotic/Contemporary ones. And that worked for me. Many of you know I hadn’t finished the last two books I’d planned for the Missed Connections series because they just weren’t selling as well as the Fantasies. But, heck, even books that don’t sell amazingly well are better than books I haven’t written! Besides which, some of my other erotic stuff – PETALS & THORNS, the Falling Under series, and the Facets of Passion books – have all continued to sell steadily. Clearly writing those has served to keep my words flowing all around.

Also, the Missed Connections books have very nearly earned out my investment – I’m only about $500 in the hole on the three books so far – so those of you waiting for Julie and Ice’s stories may yet be in luck! Also, I think I’ll write more short erotic stuff, if only as a palate cleanser. Dark Wizard, anyone? You know I’ve been stewing over that one for a long time.

For the sharp-eyed among you who noticed that 2019 was the lowest wordcount year since I began tracking (*sigh*), I attribute that mainly to taking off most of July and all of August from writing – the longest break I’ve taken in ten years! Also, everything I did write was Fantasy, one project worked up an entirely new world in a new-to-me genre, and one was the very slow moving THE FATE OF THE TALA. So it goes.

Now, off to write something erotic… ~rubs hands together in glee~

Funhouse Mirrors and Writing Out of a Dead End

THE ORCHID THRONE ebook is on sale for only $2.99! This is a great deal, so go snap it up. Pretty soon the sequel, THE FIERY CROWN will be out, so now is a good time to get book one in your reading queue. I’ll be starting to write book three soon, so now’s your chance to offer a wish list for what you’d like to see happen!

An update on THE FATE OF THE TALA: it will not be out by January 15, 2020, as I’d hoped. BUT – I am finishing the final draft today or tomorrow. Figuring time for editing, I think I’ll have it out by the week of January 27. Really really. If you’ve preordered, you’ll get an email informing you the moment it’s ready for download. For those who don’t know, I’m doing preorders through my website store only. But, once I’ve got the book live, I’ll start adding it to all of the retailers as usual. So it will be up everywhere before the end of January!

That said, because I’m so behind, we’ll be featuring the first chapter (maybe more!) of THE FATE OF THE TALA in the Dispatches from Jeffe’s Closet going out at the end of this week. So, if you don’t already subscribe, you can sign up here.

I was having a conversation with my friend, SF and horror author Kelly Robson, and she was complaining about making little progress on the story she’s writing – and how she’s realized that the scene she was working on has to go another way. She’s been listening to me struggle with THE FATE OF THE TALA all these months, so she knew I’d commiserate. She also commented on her frustration, and how she hates “going in the wrong direction.”

I totally feel her pain.

And yet…

Though that can feel like wasted effort, it’s really not. I liken it to those rooms in the funhouse (reinterpreted in this day and age as immersive experiences like Meow Wolf).  Sometimes you end up in a mirrored room. Those are really cool, with the infinitely reflecting images, but once you’re done playing and are ready to leave, finding the actual doorway can be difficult. If you’re not into smashing your face into a hard reflective surface, you pretty much have to feel your way. Poke each mirror until something gives.

The relief at finding your way out is quite the thrill!