2017 has been a busy year for me and I’m thrilled (and relieved) to say I’m finally done with the Leftover Girl series. Book # 5, Fate of War, recently released and I can finally take a break from writing. If only I could get my mind to stop thinking about the next story.
Yes, there’s always a next story. But that’s for the next post.
I’m happy with Fate of War and how it ended. This wasn’t words on a page for me; it was a real journey and all along I kept a clear picture of how it would end. Every person that reads these books is taking the journey with me. For me, there’s not much wishing I could go back and make changes. Maybe I made the story too convoluted at some points, but I can’t help myself when it comes to a complex story. Sorry, I’m an engineer. Designing programs is my safe zone. Oh, the beautiful logical equations. This is where I want to live, the happy place where I can construct my web of secrets and lies and work in hints throughout the series.
It’s been an interesting journey and I hate to admit I’ve learned many must-haves of self-publishing are not strengths of mine. Like self-promotion. I took several marketing classes in school, but book marketing is still a mystery to me in many ways. Unfortunately, no one seems to have that magic formula of what it takes to sell books.
So, now what? I’ve finished the series and now it’s time to get down to the business of selling books.
But what happens if the books don’t sell? (other than me biting my fingernails, wiping the sweat from my head, and having to at some point face my sales dashboard on amazon)
If I don’t sell books, what’s next? Well, when I started the process of self-publishing I didn’t think about what comes next. I didn’t even think about book # 2 beyond the fact I had an idea for a series and I knew how it would eventually end. The characters and their backstories were already fleshed out in my mind. I can hear these people talking. I know their fears and I feel their triumphs. That’s the beautiful thing about reading a great book. I never know if a book is going to be great until I read it. Sometimes I read a summary and think wow, that’s a great idea. But the pages always tell the story. Can I connect with the characters? Do I care about their motivations? Am I willing to spend half the night staring at the screen of my tablet, anxious to know which promises from the summary will come true?
In no way am I saying what I write is great. I’d be happy with 1/10 of great or even 1/100 of great. But it’s my outlet. Writing is the way I can take all the less than desirable parts of life and turn them around. Like a movie that didn’t go quite like I’d hoped. Everyone has a different vision, but in my vision I get to replay the story in all the glory I’d hoped for.
Now… now I wait. No, it’s more than waiting. Now I forget that I achieved one of my greatest personal goals and open the laptop. I don’t stare at the blank screen for long. I make my chapter outline for the next book. I start from page one with no fear because now I’m sure I can write a book. I’ve tasted the high of finishing a story and I’m ready to make the next one better.