Okay, first up, the Rider’s Revenge series is now available in Kindle Unlimited. AND I’ve dropped the prices while it’s in there to 99 cents for Rider’s Revenge, $2.99 for Rider’s Rescue and for Rider’s Resolve, and $6.99 for the entire trilogy. So if you were holding off on starting or finishing the series because you didn’t want to pay the full price for the books, you can now get them at a nice discount.
My apologies in advance to anyone who isn’t an Amazon customer. It’s a tricky world to navigate for authors like myself because Amazon requires us to not list our books anywhere else if we put them in KU. It’s highly unfair but they dominate the market and no one is checking their power so they get to do that to little authors like me and to customers.
A KU term is three months and I expect, barring some crazy unforseen surge in borrows on these books, that I will bring them back out to all stores sometime in June. So if you’re a KU reader, you have three months to borrow the books. If you’re not a KU reader and not an Amazon reader, they’ll likely be back wide in June and I’ll keep those prices low or set them that low for at least the first month they’re back wide so you too can get that deal.
Now, for the state of me. What am I up to? Will I ever write another fantasy novel again? Seriously. Come on now. What is up with that?
So. December 2021 I was gearing up to write a new fantasy novel. It was a novel that I felt required a sort of stepping away from the world so I’d started snoozing 90% of the folks I know on Facebook and I’d left author groups that can suck up my time and I was wrapping up one non-fiction book before I dedicated 2022 to the new fantasy novel.
And then…The Marshall Fire happened. I live in Colorado and at the time of that fire I lived right in the center of it all. I was very lucky. My home was spared. My dog and I left at noon so that we didn’t even see flames which made it to within a couple hundred feet of our front door. But it was still a lot to deal with.
We were out of our place for weeks because it needed to be thoroughly cleaned before it could be lived in again. And then just walking around and seeing an entire neighborhood that was gone that we used to walk through on our morning walks…
There was no direction from my home that had been spared. It was everywhere. And while nature is incredibly resilient and grass was growing over the burnt ground within weeks, even though it was February, those homes were still gone.
So that deep dive into an optimistic novel (that coincidentally was meant to start with a burned out village) didn’t happen.
Instead I wrote a bunch of non-fiction and turned that into video courses. And then did a lot of audio for some of my other stuff that’s published under other pen names. (Scroll down on this page and you’ll find my speculative fiction short stories written under the name M.H. Lee that are now available in audio, including on YouTube.)
I also wrapped up a cozy mystery series I’d been writing over the last couple years that had one last title it needed.
It was a year of what I called “closing loops”, which basically meant wrapping up all of my outstanding projects. The last cozy, the final title in a non-fiction series, etc. Wiping the slate clean, so to speak.
Of course, at the end of last year I sort of opened a couple new ones, but honestly as I sit here typing this right now I could stop on everything that’s ongoing and no one would probably say a thing about it.
For example, I just published books about Word and Excel 365 and I had planned to write ones on PowerPoint and Access, but nobody is clamoring for those. So if I don’t write them now, no one will mind. I probably do need to finish recording the audio of the cozy series now that I’m four books in on it, but again, no one is beating down my door for it RIGHT NOW. And those each take about a week so are a good thing to put between writing new material.
Which means theoretically I could finally get around to writing a new fantasy novel. And I have so many ideas that have been percolating, just waiting to be written.
The problem is, I’ve been trying to write full-time for the last few years. Hence the amount of non-fiction I write because for me non-fiction sells better, at full-price, and consistently whereas fiction tends to sell when promoted at a discount or requires a much more steady and consistent production schedule than I’ve ever met.
And each time I look at those ideas I try to look at them from a “will this sell perspective” which is just not the right way to do it. Because the answer is no?
I have tons of ideas. But they’re not all in one world. And can’t be forced into one. And I know from my experience as a reader that I don’t always follow authors to new worlds. I loved Pern, but those books about Acorna? No.
Also, if you hadn’t noticed, in the last few paragraphs I mentioned video courses, audiobooks, mysteries, non-fiction, and fantasy. I clearly have a focus issue. I can write a large number of things, so I do. Which keeps me entertained but is not the best way to build a sustainable income from writing.
So I’m at a crossroads.
A friend has a job opening that could be a good way to take that financial pressure off the writing. Maybe enough so that I could write one of those fantasy ideas with no care in the world for whether it sells or not.
But I know me. And I know that a job for someone else is a job that would take full priority over everything else. Last time I took a project that was demanding I didn’t write for that entire six months. The centaur fantasy I wanted to write never happened. (And probably never will. That was pre-Rider’s Revenge and I’ve probably internalized too much of other people’s crap at this point to write it.)
The other option would be to not take that job (assuming it’s offered) and to instead hit a hard reset on the writing. Pick one fiction name and dive in 110%. Steady releases with pre-orders, etc. The whole nine. At least four books a year, ideally more. All in one world.
And that’s where I cringe. Because that’s just not me. I triple majored in college for a reason. And would’ve probably stuck around a few more years and added a few more majors if I’d been able to.
I don’t know what to say. I finished the Rider’s series so my weird little brain has marked it as done and dusted so there’s no time pressure in my head to write the next fantasy novel. And I can’t find that solution to make me think the fantasy novels can turn into the way forward money-wise. If mass market paperback were in any way a viable option for self-pub maybe. But it’s not. So do I pivot to trade pub? But there are so many issues on that side of the business…
And now I’m just rambling. But this is the puzzle my mind has been turning over and over and over for months at this point.
How do I take who I am and what I’m capable of doing (or not capable of doing) and match that up with the world in which we all have to live and operate to find personal happiness and financial stability?
I’ll let you know when I know?