Lots of news this month.
First up, for those of you who weren't aware, I just released two shorter stories under my own name, C.D. Watson: A Mutual Feeling, a SciFi Romance, and Intersections, a Fantasy Romance. Both of these were intended for my collection of Weird Romances (Romancing the Weird), but were so long, I decided to publish them on their own.
Any subscriber of either of my Lucy Varna newsletters had a chance to pick up a free short story for pre-ordering A Mutual Feeling or Intersections. "Time after Time," offered to subscribers of my SciFi Romance newsletter, is a Steampunk flavored, historical time travel Romance. "Brian," offered to my Fantasy/Paranormal Romance newsletter subscribers, is about a young woman who encounters a series of bizarre coincidences in the men she meets. If you pre-ordered A Mutual Feeling and/or Intersections and haven't yet claimed your free short story, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your pre-order receipt attached and I'll email your story to you.
For those of you who didn't pre-order either of my newest stories and thus missed a chance at picking up the short stories, never fear. "Time after Time" will be published in Romancing the Weird. "Brian" has been sent off to a small press for inclusion in an anthology. If it's not picked up there, it will also be included in Romancing the Weird.
The audiobook edition of Cemetery Hill (Sunshine Walkingstick, Book 3), written under Celia Roman, is now available at Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. Rebecca Winder, the narrator, did a great job with it, as usual. Some of the parts are just downright creepy, thanks to her narration, which is exactly what I intended.
Rebecca also narrated the audiobook edition of Intersections, which will be out soon, and will begin narrating Dreaming of a Dark Christmas as soon as her schedule clears. I feel so fortunate to be working with such a talented voice actor, and an all around nice person to boot.
Don't forget to pre-order Dreaming of a Dark Christmas, which will be out on December 15th. In case you missed it, here's the post discussing the creation of my first short story collection, as well as the individual stories. I had a great time pulling the stories together and hope y'all enjoy these darker glimpses into three of my series, plus a brand new, non-series-affiliated story.
Speaking of short stories...
Around the first of October, I set a mini-challenge for myself to complete fifteen short stories between October 1st and November 30th. Unfortunately, I ran into a couple of crises, including my editor falling ill and needing some extra support and help. No worries! He's mostly better now, or at least he's riding his bicycle again, so that's good.
I did manage to finish five stories, three for the Christmas collection and two for Romancing the Weird. I worked on several more and may finish another couple by the end of this month, so I count the challenge a win even if it wasn't completely successful.
In an effort to prioritize my time and run a more efficient business, I've temporarily (probably) moved the ebook editions of all my Lucy Varna titles exclusively to Amazon. This should reduce the amount of time I need to spend on things like digital file and online retailer maintenance.
I've also decided to hold off on doing any more GoodReads giveaways for a while. Don't get me wrong. I love giving books away, but my time is really limited during the holiday season. Hopefully those can resume sometime after the new year.
The next release after Dreaming of a Dark Christmas will be The Gathering Storm (Daughters of the People, Book 6), written under Lucy Varna. I still haven't set an exact release date yet, but it will probably be published on the last Friday of the month. Yes, The Gathering Storm will definitely be released in January, even if I have to walk to Seattle and hand the finalized manuscript in at Amazon myself.
Redemption (Daughters of the People, Book 6.5) was supposed to be the next (novel) release after that. I'm working on it, yes. The first scene is done and the story itself is about halfway developed.
Remember my post, "Rediscovering the Joy," in which I recounted some of my struggles to write over the past couple of years and how hard I've been working to get my writing back on track?
Yeah, I'm still working on that.
One of the major problems that caused such a hard break in my writing process, and subsequently lead to a less productive schedule with fewer books being released, was my switch to a firm publication schedule, away from a system where I published a new novel roughly every other month without long-term planning as to which books would be published when.
For some idiotic reason, I'm having a hard time sloughing that mindset off and re-embracing my old outlook: Write what moves me, publish frequently, publish what's ready. The latter worked very well for me. This new way? Not so much.
Unfortunately, I've also fallen into a habit of saying that I'm going to work on XYZ story next. Every time I write one of these posts, I sincerely mean to not do that, and every time, I completely forget and tell y'all this story or that one is underway.
The truth is that what I'm working on, what moves me, constantly changes. And that works for me. I love being able to switch between story worlds, and when I do, my creative juices run high and I'm able to consistently write well and often. Which, of course, translates into more stories for readers.
So, once The Gathering Storm is off my plate, I'm going to work hard on remembering what worked for me and forgetting what doesn't. No, scratch that. I'm already doing it. Tonight, I've worked on a story about Fate Hunter (a minor character in Alien Mine) and will likely write a scene in "Red," a dark and twisted short story. Yes, I'll also work on The Gathering Storm and probably Redemption, too, but I've found that if I don't work on stories that excite me, I can't write.
I know this is frustrating for readers who really want me to pinpoint when a story is going to be released. Please trust my process. Remember, the easier it is for me to write, the quicker you'll get the stories you really want, plus a few surprises along the way. All will work out, I promise. At least two series will be finished in 2018, three if I have my way, and I may throw one or two of those surprises at you in between. Stay tuned. The fun is just beginning.