Time for another update

It’s been a while since I gave an update of my works in progress, so here we go! May was an incredibly busy month thanks to the release of two novels, but now things have quieted down and I’m trying to focus on writing.  While work, health concerns and personal life continue to make meeting my goals difficult, I’m trying my best.

So here’s as of  June 15:

  • Book 3 of the Oddities series, 41,526 words, estimated final length 95k.
  • Fae Fortunes (gay paranormal YA), currently at 56,918 words, estimated final length 65k.
  • Deena and the Professor Part 9 (as Trudy Judd, BDSM serial), currently at 2133 words, final estimated 10k.

Once I complete one of these projects, then I’ll probably work on another installment of my Hard Hat short stories between Gary and Tim, construction workers figuring out a relationship together.

After that? I’m not entirely sure. I still have a lesbian mystery series set at a college knocking around inside my skull, or something new may come along, demanding to be written. We’ll see. I know I have 3 more books in the Oddities series featuring a new set of main characters. Beyond that, again I’m not sure if I’ll end the series or keep going. I tend to be somewhat of a “pantster,” meaning I write by the seat of my pants with only a vague idea of the path. I always have some idea of the ending, but it’s the journey that is a mystery.

 

And now I’ll get back to it!

 

 

Life’s Hurdles

January was a disaster.

I started a new job making less than half what I made before in a call center where every second is monitored and controlled. (No really!) It’s a large financial institution, so they’re very strict. It’s basic customer service and what I was doing in my twenties, so I feel like I’ve leapt back a decade. I’m trying not to feel like a loser, which is difficult because I’m not even making enough to pay all the bills.

Then on top of that, on Friday the 20th, while driving at night in pouring rain, I was sideswiped by another driver who took off afterwards. And it wasn’t my car, but my partner’s car, and therefore her insurance, so I felt even worse. Car’s now in the shop so we’re having to share and she’s having to drive me to and from work. I’m fine, but I really didn’t need this crap.

Then we both had the flu. Recovered now, but all of this meant that my writing and editing goals for the month went right out the window.

And guess what? My fun still wasn’t over!  The first week of February, while my partner was driving my car, some old lady backed into it. So that’s another car to fix and another having to deal with an insurance claim. Again, happy that nobody was hurt, and this time there was a driver at fault who had insurance. But UGH!!!  Enough already!

I’m not even going to bother posting word counts at the moment. Just know that the third Oddities book is coming along okay–it’s at about 19,000 words in the Word document, plus a bunch of pages that are hand written and need to be typed in. I’m in the second round of line edits for the second Oddities book, which is set to be published May 29. And I’m slogging (SLOOOOWWWLY) through the first round of edits for my weretiger m/m novel, set to be published May 15.

So just letting everyone know that I haven’t disappeared, but my online time these days is almost nil.

The last news is that I received my rights back from Torquere Press for my m/m/m novella, “Friday at the 7-Eleven.” I have someone to format it and I’m working on a new cover, and then I’ll republish it. (It’s still up on Amazon under Torquere. I’ve asked that they take it down.)

Thank you for all the reviews. That’s one thing that’s helping me get through this difficult time. I appreciate all of them.

 

2017 Writing Goals

Every year I try to make a list of goals that I want to achieve with my writing. (I also have monthly and daily goals. It keeps me on track.) In 2015 I had my best writing year ever, writing over 200,000 words. I knew I’d never match that in 2016 with working from home and my partner’s health issues, so the goal I set for 2016 was 185,000 words.

I didn’t make it, but it wasn’t too bad a year. In 2016, I wrote a total of 152,421 new words on books. I don’t count blog posts, editing, or any other words for promotional purposes, just new words on novels and short fiction.

My other goals were to:

  • complete edits for Murder Once Seen and promote it:  Done
  • finish and submit Book Two of the Oddities series (Fraud Twice Felt)– done
  • finish and self-publish my m/m weretiger novel–done, except I chose instead to submit it to Riptide, so they’ll be publishing it
  • finish and submit my YA m/m novel–not done
  • finish and self-publish my 3rd pen name erotica serial romance–7/10 parts done and published, almost done with Part 8.
  • finish the fantasy novel in my first pen name–lol, still not done. Lowest of my priorities.

2017 Goals:

So now, since I know I’ll be deep in editing for the first quarter of the year on two books coming out in the next six months, plus since I’m starting a new job tomorrow and don’t know what my writing schedule will be, I’m going to keep my writing goals for 2017 conservative.

My goal for 2017 is to write 150,000 new words.

In addition, my goals for 2017 are to complete editing and promote the books Forest of Thorns and Claws and Fraud Twice Felt, finish the YA m/m paranormal book and submit it, complete the last parts of the Deena erotic serial romance, write the 3rd Oddities book, and maybe, just maybe finish the never ending fantasy novel.

 

Current Projects:

1. Forest of Thorns and Claws (weretiger M/M), completed, final length 65k: Developmental edits submitted, awaiting line edits. Currently scheduled to release 3/20.

2. Fraud Twice Felt: The Oddities Book Two, (gay paranormal), completed, final length 98k: Working on line edits. Currently scheduled to release 5/29.

3. Fae Fortunes (YA M/M paranormal), currently at 52,813, estimated total 65k.

4. Deena and the Professor (Trudy Judd, BDSM romance), 7 out of 10 parts written, almost done with Part 8 which is currently at 10,800. Estimating 12k for Part 8, 10k for Part 9, and 9k for Part 10.

5. A Conspiracy Uncovered: The Oddities Book Three (gay paranormal), currently at 12,096, total estimated 95k.

6. Fantasy novel currently at 87,257 words, total will be 110k.

If I total up the words needed to finish all these current WIPS, it comes to about 138k. So there’s my year, basically.

Blog Tour Day 2, and another giveaway!

First, here are today’s stop for the blog tour for the gay paranormal romantic suspense novel, Murder Once Seen (Book 1 of the Oddities Series), just released yesterday. Remember, you can win a $20 Riptide Publishing gift card by posting a comment to any of the blog tour posts!

December 13:  Alpha Book Club

December 13:  Booklover Sue

December 13:  Diverse Reader (Guest Post and Review)

December 13:  The Dark Arts

December 13:  Prism Book Alliance (Guest Post: Writing Space)

**In addition, I’m offering ONE autographed copy of the trade paperback of the book on Goodreads, today through December 27 (U.S., Canada, and U.K.) Go enter the giveaway now!**

Enjoy!

murderonceseen_tourbanner

Done!! Another book turned in.

At last!  Book Two of the Oddities Series, Fraud Twice Felt, is written, has undergone the initial edits, and is off to the publisher. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the first book, Murder Once Seen, which will be on December 12. I have no idea when the second book will come out, but I’m thinking maybe some time next summer, if edits go well.

Now that Book Two is out of the way, I’ll be working on the outline for the third book, A Conspiracy Uncovered. I created a document to organize all my notes about the minor characters in the series, the world, and plot notes. Book Three will delve more into the larger plot arc spanning the entire series, but I have to be careful not to give too much away too soon. That’s always the tricky thing with mysteries. I’m going to try and write this book as quickly as possible, because I ended Book Two with a lead-in. (Not exactly a cliffhanger, but definitely a hook.)

If I’m really inspired (and Halloween tends to be a very inspirational time for me), maybe I’ll write a Derwin/Elliot drabble to post here on my blog. I’m still really loving these boys. (For more about them, see my post about Uke/Seme). Elliot in particular has really come into his own in Book Two, and I’m excited about his journey for Book Three.

In October I’ll also be making some changes to the weretiger novel that I finished months back, after a request for some developmental edits.

It’s a touch early since I’ll still be making words today, but as of now, this is where the various WIPs stand:

Current WIPs:

(1. Fraud Twice Felt [The Oddities Book 2, paranormal M/M suspense], finished at 97,470 words, edited and turned in to publisher.)–done

2. Forest of Thorns and Claws (weretiger M/M). Received the notes back from the publisher, will work on developmental edits in October.

3. Fae Fortunes (YA M/M paranormal), currently at 46,852 words, estimated 65k.

4. Deena and the Professor (Trudy Judd, BDSM romance), Seven out of 10 parts written, first 7 parts published, currently at 4442 words on Part 8 (estimated to be 9k).

5. Fantasy novel currently at 82,821 words, total will be 110k. Right now this one is the lowest of my priorities.

elliot_new-copy

 

The Romance Arc

I’m writing the almost final chapter of my 2nd Oddites book (other than a short epilogue), which also happens to be the final love scene. I never write sex just for sex’s sake–I like my sex scenes to also move the plot along, especially the romance plot. Things that happen during intimacy often mirror what’s happening in other parts of one’s life (things like control or loss of control, denial or acceptance, trust or distrust). Even outside of BDSM, there’s also something quite powerful about the act of topping. Or bottoming.

When I was writing my first mmromance full length novel, I didn’t really understand the romance arc. Oh, I knew that my two leads had to have flaws that had prevented them from falling in love and all that. I just didn’t entirely get how their romance arc beats were supposed to work and intertwine with the mystery/suspense plot. I have to give thanks to my editors at Riptide for helping me develop that in my first book. I still didn’t truly understand it until I read Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes. She put it all into very simple terms (with lots of fun 80’s music references).

Basically it was summed up for me in one line. “Love conquers all.” The heart of the romance arc is that love finds a way to overcome whatever external obstacles there are between the two characters, but more importantly also overcomes whatever internal barriers there may be. Understanding that, I’m getting a whole new perspective of my characters and their relationship. I wrote an entire chapter over the weekend that I never expected to write, which was mostly about them, their hopes and fears, and dealing with the emotional aftermath from the climax scene. I’m really happy with it.

Anyways, with each new book, I’m learning something new, and improving all the time.

Just about to hit 98,000 words. Less than 3000 words to go to finish this thing.

A Race to the Finish–WIP progress

Ah, September!  Finally an end to the 100 degree nights that is summer in Arizona. Nevermind the 100 degree plus days. Those won’t end until October. But at least the nights are starting to be bearable.

September also means something else–that I have less than one month left to finish, edit, and turn in the 2nd Oddities book, Fraud Twice Felt. I originally estimated it would be 90k, much like the first Oddities book, but my villain proved stronger than I anticipated, the climax much larger and more complicated, and so I find myself now sitting at 91k, going, “Crap! I need to get this thing finished!!”  I estimate about three chapters to go in order to finish the thing. Editing?  Ergh. May not have time for much of that.

So here’s where all the works in progress currently stand:

 

Current WIPs:

1. Fraud Twice Felt (The Oddities Book 2, paranormal M/M suspense), now at 91,682 words, NOW estimated to be about 100k. ACK!  Due to publisher by October 1.

2. Fae Fortunes (YA M/M paranormal), currently at 45,563 words, estimated 65k.

3. Deena and the Professor (Trudy Judd, BDSM romance), Seven out of 10 parts written, first 7 parts published, currently at 2862 words on Part 8 (estimated to be 8k).

4. Forest of Thorns and Claws (weretiger M/M). Received the notes back from the publisher, will work on developmental edits as soon as the 2nd Oddities book is done and turned in.

5. Fantasy novel currently at 81,675 words, total will be 110k. Right now this one is the lowest of my priorities.