Hello booknerds and friends! I'm not a big fan of the "year in review" posts, but I figured I'd make a bit of an exception this time. Well, sort of. It should be common knowledge by now that 2018 was a HUGE year for me and book releases. Book 3 in the Monster of Selkirk series was released in October, almost an exact year after the second book in the series, and book 4 was released in late November. Just a month apart! Not to mention book 5 is slated for a January 1st release. While that’s technically in 2019, it’s so close to 2018 that I’m going to count it. A lot of you have shown amazement or expressed things like “Oh sh*t! That’s so fast!” And it is, and isn’t, all at once. Yes, it’s very rapid fire in terms of releases, but that in no way means I wrote these stories nearly as quickly. Allow me to elaborate.
It’s no secret that my dear friend and editor passed away last Christmas. We had been working on finishing up “The Machines of Theda” and I was devastated when Rob, my editor, passed away suddenly. It was hard to finish “The Machines of Theda” after that. It took months before my publisher and I even wanted to attempt it, and then when we did, we couldn’t find an editor that we were both happy with. That changed in August when Sheila showed up on the scene (she’s also a talented author herself, check out her book!). Once she got a hold of my novels, things finally started to move again, which explains the year gap between book 2 and 3, but not why books 4 and 5 came out so quickly thereafter.
While Rob and I were working on “The Machines of Theda” I was busy writing, and in fact had already finished writing the first drafts of both book 4 and 5. Don’t let the release dates fool you: I am not a lightning fast writer! I started “The Duality of Nature” and finished writing it back in 2014—this was still a good couple of years before it would be picked up by my publisher. I believed in the story and world I created so much that, even without the validation of a publisher, I was continuing Tallis’s story. In fact, I had already started writing the fifth book by the time “The Duality of Nature” was picked up by DevilDog Press and they contracted me for all the books in the series.
It takes me OVER A YEAR to write one book. This is especially true for my longer fantasy books as I have to world build and character build, not to mention jotting down the little “wouldn’t it be cool if…” flashes of lightning that only sometimes turn into plots for my stories. But because of how long I was sitting on “The Machines of Theda” it looks like I was just spitting out words like tepid coffee. Trust me, I was not. In fact, even if a book is released really close to its sequel, I can guarantee you the author had been writing that sequel long before the first book came out. But with how long publishing takes, it just looks like they did nothing but bleed words for like two months.
So why did I choose to release three books so quickly? Because I am a fan of binging: binge watching series on Netflix, binge eating when I’m in one of THOSE moods, and binge reading series. I know so many people who refuse to start a book series until every book in that series is out because they don’t want to be left waiting if they fall in love with the stories and just have to know what’s going to happen next immediately. I am one of those readers! So, because we had so many books ready and waiting when Sheila finally joined the team, my publisher was totally on board with the back-to-back releases. It was an interesting experiment in book releases, one that highlighted my inability to maintain the energy required to really market myself for that amount of time. But that’s fine! Because we decided to put a bit of a gap between book 5 and 6—the last book in the series—to let people catch up, and give me more time to work. Book 6 was the only one I wrote after getting my publishing contract, by the way.
So, there you have it, friends! A little insight into why so many books were released right on top of each other, as well as a teeny bit more insight into my writing process. So, tell me, do you binge read series/only start once the entirety of a series is available? Or do you read series even if not all the books are out yet? Let me know in the comments!