Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Two Books, Seven Days

Having recently ventured into self-publishing, I have been both motivated and stressed in dealing with finishing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd drafts, editing, more editing, copy editing, formatting, cover artwork, pricing, marketing, and hey, more editing!

All of which meant that somehow, I published two very different books within a week of each other.

After which I crawled onto my couch and did nothing for many blissful hours.

When I originally planned out the writing projects I hoped to complete this year, I had thought to get PSYCH 101: ZOMBIE (P1Z) out the third week of January and VIBRANTLY COLORED (VB) out late March. Then I decided I wanted to have VC ready for an event, so I pushed that publishing date to the end of February - after all, I'm self-publishing. I can do that. But then there was a delay with my cover art for P1Z and I ended up needing to push back my Book Release Party.

That's when it hit me - if I worked intensely enough, I could have BOTH books for the same release party. Because of shipping times (and there are not many options when you buy directly from the distributor), I knew that meant I had very little time to finish VB - maybe two weeks to finish editing and formatting. Fortunately, I'd already gotten someone to do the cover art a few months earlier, so I wasn't too worried about that (it was my dad, and I felt okay to bug him about getting it done on time). 

I buried myself in editing - both for VB and any last minute edits for P1Z. When the artwork came in for P1Z, I took a break from VB to upload and finish the final steps before publishing. As soon as I was done, I jumped back to VB and kept going, finishing up in the afternoon and receiving the artwork that same evening (my dad got a litle stressed out after all!). Again, I followed all the steps and happily pushing the button that gave permission to publish.

Then I went and collapsed, but just for a few minutes. After all, I had to go teach writing shortly after.

But the next morning, while looking at the release dates on Amazon for my books, it hit me - I had somehow published two books within SEVEN DAYS of each other - what?!!? No wonder I was exhausted.

But apparently not that exhausted, because now my brain can't stop thinking about other projects I get to return to and future events, such as my renamed 'Book(s) Release Party'. The year is really rolling now.

During this process, I've learned you can not only change your deadlines to suit your needs, you can also push yourself to meet them, even if the deadlines are all mental. Doing what I love is worth the extra time. It takes focus, dedication, and willpower, but anything worth having should.

It's only February, but I've been told I've done so much.

Ah, but all these stories in my head tell me - there's so much more to do.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Unexpected Sequels

So my newest book, PSYCH 101: ZOMBIE is now out (yay happy dance). 

But writing a sequel to PLAN B: ZOMBIE was most definitely not on my writing to-do list after PBZ came out. In fact, I was quite adamantly sure that, after having published three books in the previous six months, I deserved a nice break to plan out my next year, including events I wanted to attend. In-between events, I thought I'd spend some time, finally, working on several long-term writing projects that I'd pushed aside while feverishly writing DEPTHS OF PERCEPTION and finishing PBZ.

But what I want and what comes out on the page are not often the same thing.

In this case, there were more zombie stories wanting to come out, because I kept thinking, zombie reform would probably produce some internal mental issues from the stresses associated with controlling an appetite that exists for brains. So when I started writing, a few scant weeks after PBZ came out, another zombie story rolled out - or rather, another twelve zombie stories. 

This time around, however, all the stories wanted out at the same time while a huge part of me wanted a break from satire and a return to dark fantasy or sci-fi. So I decided to start all of them. At once. I opened twelve new Word docs and wrote anywhere from 100-500 words for each one. Then I had to finish them, had to follow a new deadline, had to let the characters breed and breathe their way out of my head.

So despite having started the sci-fi/fantasy mash-up, the biographical play, and the three fantasy epics I'd already started, I worked instead on my zom-com sequel, P1Z - what?!

But here it is, out at last, and I'm incredibly thankful that I listened to the characters, to the movements of my fingers as I typed satire, farce, and tongue-in-cheek silliness instead of robot takeovers, the beginning of the world, dragon awakenings, and mage families. Because looking at both books side by side, I know I made the right choice. Those other stories are still sitting, somewhat less patiently in my head, but they will come, too. And I'll translate their broken thoughts and shattered dreams soon enough.

In the meantime, I get to laugh at zombies, and hopefully you will, too. 

And you know, that's not such a bad way to start off 2014.