Because I get a lot of questions, I thought I’d do a status report of sorts to let everyone know where various projects stand.
Enchanted, Inc. book 9 — Enchanted Ever After
Published! It’s available in e-book in most online booksellers. The paperback is supposed to be on expanded distribution, but I haven’t found it anywhere but Amazon so far. I’m not planning to offer it on Google Play because there have been some issues there. They can be difficult to deal with in ways that affect other stores (they change prices without consulting authors, then the other stores match their prices), and I only ever sell a few copies there, so it’s not worth dealing with them.
I don’t know when the audio version will be out. We made the deal for that earlier in the year and I set the release date to accommodate their needs, but then the contract ended up in limbo, and they changed their boilerplate contract, so all the terms had to be renegotiated. I still haven’t seen it. I also don’t know about any foreign markets. My agent has offered it to the Japanese publisher, but there’s been no answer yet.
As for what might happen beyond that, I am aware that there are events in the characters’ lives that might make good stories. But at the moment I don’t have much interest in writing them. I’ve been working in that world since 2003, and that’s a long time to work on a series. I wrote most of this book about two years ago and the rest of it about a year ago, and I knew while I was working on it that I didn’t think I could write another one. While there’s stuff in the characters’ lives that might be interesting, I am fresh out of magical plots for them, and I’m not interested enough in the domestic stuff to want to write about just that. It’s possible that a new idea will hit me that I must write, and there are potential side stories about other adventures that might happen to other people in that universe. I’m not saying never, but it’s been about a year since I worked on that book, and nothing has struck me.
I’m doing some reading to research this book. I thought I had an idea for what might happen, and the research has changed the idea, so I have a lot of thinking to do. I plan to work on it later this year, and hope to get it released in maybe the late spring or early summer. That all depends on how long it takes me to write and what else ends up going on. I don’t think I’ll be able to wrap up the series with this book, so it’s possible that there will be another one after that, but I won’t know until I start writing.
The Fairy Tale series
Ah, my poor neglected stepchild. I love that world and those characters, and I have managed to sell it for audio and to Japan, but it seems to underperform. Meanwhile, my cover artist went and hit the big time, doing covers for Marvel, Star Wars comics and a Firefly piece. I’m so happy for her, but I doubt I can afford her anymore, if she can even squeeze me in. So, if I do another book, I’ll likely have to go a new direction with the covers (I’m not sure the direction I went with the covers was the most marketable. I absolutely love the art and it was just what I wanted, but I may not have made good choices from a marketing standpoint) and rebrand the whole series. I’ve sort of outlined the next book, but I don’t know when I’ll get to it. It isn’t exactly burning a hole in my brain, while there are other things that are jumping up and down and begging to be written.
Meanwhile, I have about five or six things that I really want to play with. I want to find a new traditional publisher, at least for my YA books, so I’ve been working on something new for my agent to submit. I’ve got ideas for a fantasy series and a paranormal mystery series. I’ve also got some ideas for big fantasy books that might go to a traditional publisher, but I’m hoping to raise my profile in that area first.
Oh, and I’ve got an Audible Original book that will be exclusive to audio for a year that’s supposed to be coming out later this year. It’s a contemporary fantasy with touches of romantic comedy and is unrelated to anything else I’ve done.
So, that’s what I’ve got going on and planned. Plans are subject to change based on inspiration, editorial revisions, life, etc. I’m mostly over my little existential crisis from earlier in the year. I realized that I do want to write, and I’d rather not do anything else, even if I could. I know I don’t really want to work in my old field, but I don’t know what else I could do. I registered with an agency for doing freelance work and have had no response, so it looks like I need to just stick with the writing. I just wish the business side of it wasn’t so challenging. I really do struggle with promotional stuff — a reason getting a job in my old field probably isn’t a good idea because that was my job. It does get depressing that my career seems to be moving backward, but I’m hoping I can move it forward again. The new book is doing pretty well, but it’s still only reached a tiny fraction of the number of people who read the earlier books, and most of the money I’ve made on it so far has just covered the cost of getting it published. But I’m trying to focus on the things I can control and just write without worrying about the rest of it.