LAST MAN OUT has dropped on AUDIBLE!
I figure that’s the first thing on most minds here, so there’s the link! Tim Pabon is back in the narrator’s chair, as so many had hoped, and I’m deeply glad to have him.
As a quick update on other releases: paperbacks for both Last Man Out and Wandering Monsters: Run Like Hell are still in the works. I apologize for the delay there. Paperback is my preferred medium, too. When my original provider (CreateSpace) was absorbed by Amazon, their services for formatting and such were shut down. I’m working all this out myself now, and I’m getting there but it has been a bit of a learning curve. Still, it’s all on the way!
In some other writerly-update stuff: I’m plugging right along on new books. I’ve also been pondering my productivity as a writer, and I’ve come to a realization that I’ve been pushing myself awfully hard for the last couple years. I used to give myself a break between books. A couple weeks at least, generally not like a whole month, but a chance to recharge and change gears for the next novel.
The last time I gave myself a real break was 2016. I wanted to do National Novel Writing Month that November, so I tried to give myself a break for a fresh start. I plugged right along on a silly, fun, smutty post-apocalyptic novel…and then the election blew all that for me. Election night pretty much hit me like food poisoning. I couldn’t do happy and fun after that, so I switched gears. That’s where No Medals for Secrets started. Everything after that has happened one right after the other, often starting before the last project finished. I’ve overlapped rather than making clean breaks.
I realized the other day how something else has been at work on that pace: It’s the questions about when the next book will be out. That should be a happy thing for a writer to hear. I want people to want more of my books. It’s encouraging, it’s a huge relief, it makes me feel appreciated…
…and yet, my immediate, instant gut reaction to that question is “I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry,” every time. I don’t feel like, “Yay, people want more!” even though I know intellectually that I should. Instead, I think, “Oh god I’ve gotta get that book out! I’m slacking! I’ve only put out one book this year!” …except for how that’s, like, how authors usually work. Certainly when they write longer books like I do. That reaction is gut-level, it’s emotional, and yet it’s there.
My daily minimum goal is 1200 words, 5 days a week. Obviously I try for more and typically I’m more like 1500 or so, 2000+ on a good day. 1200 lets me feel like I at least got into work and punched the clock like an adult. I’m faster than some writers. I’m slower than others. I am also fully aware that comparing oneself to others is the path to misery and madness. A book is done when it’s done.
Last week I missed basically a day and a half, because reasons. This week has been slower, also because reasons. Logistical stuff. I don’t feel bad. It’s not a block. But I think I’ve realized I don’t need to push myself quite so hard and it’s okay to take breaks. So the next books are coming along pretty well — I’m perhaps a third of the way done on the next Good Intentions and somewhere between a third and halfway through the next Wandering Monsters, and yes, PMF will continue. But I think it’s okay not to take every “When’s the next book out?” like it’s a push. I’m gonna keep writing. It’ll happen.
Two final notes:
- VOTE. Please, for the love of everything good, vote. Specifically, vote for Democrats. It’s the straightest path out of this fucking dumpster fire we’ve been living in for the last two years.
- Why yes, I am at work on the next Good Intentions. Do you miss that crew? I do. Enough that they come to mind when I see artists available for commissions. Sylessae worked this up for me amid some holiday work. Happy Halloween!
Super excited for the Audible release. Grabbed it as soon as I saw your FB post. I love the consistency with which you’ve been keeping up with GI and PMF. They’re amazing series. But take breaks! Please take time to relax and reduce stress after a release, or whenever you need to. This is important no matter how much you like your job.
Thanks for the releases, the artwork, the updates. Happy Halloween and I look forward to buying all your content whenever you’re able to release it, even if it takes some extra time so you can have some holidays.
On the one hand, you should definitely take breaks. Just on a purely selfish level, I don’t want you to burn out.
On the other hand, I think we need to see this silly, fun, smutty post-apocalyptic novel, dammit.
Can’t wait for the next “Good Intentions”, but would rather have quality over rushed quantity! Enjoy all you’ve done so far (at least on Kindle – do you publish elsewhere?).
Have a great weekend!
Thank you! Currently, everything is exclusive to Amazon so I can be on Kindle Unlimited. That said, everything except Wandering Monsters is available in audiobook form through Amazon, too.
(I apologize if this appears twice. I tried posting it, but it didn’t appear for at least half an hour, so I tried again.)
Glad to hear you’re still at it, and overjoyed to see the Lorelei art! I can’t get enough of GI, and that sketch was a wonderfully pleasant surprise. I well appreciate the pressure you feel, and that defensive gut reaction when someone asks when the next book will be out is something I’ve experienced often. For my part, I’ve found that it comes on strongest when I feel lost or that I’m not making good progress, but it goes away when I come up with a plan to be more productive or regain a firm idea of where I’m going with my story. Or when I’m just working too hard to notice. And getting feedback always, always energizes me.
In that vein, let me say that I have high expectations for the next GI book. Please don’t feel pressured by that; I mean it in the best possible way. The power of your story is such that it doesn’t need to risk the fate of the world to be riveting. The interpersonal and character development arcs are nothing short of beautiful, and the insights you incorporate into your narrative are real, honest, and profound. I love the characters, I love the crew, and I love the way you’ve set up your world for bigger and better things in the books to come.
I’m not the type to say “I have high expectations” without explaining a bit of what I mean. You’ve laid out a lot of breadcrumbs for us, and I eagerly anticipate all the ways your story could develop. If it’s all right, here are a few of my thoughts on what I’m hoping to see:
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR GOOD INTENTIONS 1-4
Lucifer: You’ve hinted at him just a handful of times, and my impression of him is as this brooding figure stewing in a corner of hell is very strong. “Never comes to meetings” and “is kind of a dick” did the job. (I quite enjoyed Lilith, by the way. I dearly hope she’ll get to meet Alex.) I can easily imagine him getting off his throne and going looking for Alex in the real world, if only to take his measure. After all, he’s the reason four of Lucifer’s peers have been knocked off in less than a year. Perhaps he’ll even swoop in, kick Lilith to the curb, and take hers, Baal’s, Azazel’s, Sammael’s, and Belial’s turf. I can’t imagine he’d just ignore Lilith grabbing that much territory (I’d guess he hates being upstaged, and I could imagine Lilith overextending). I can easily picture Lilith showing up at Lorelei’s door after losing all her gains, just to give Lorelei a scare while taking a moment to catch her breath before going to ground.
Alex: You seemed to be hinting at something major at the end of the last book, with how he was able to damage a skeleton that survived an airstrike and all the centuries prior. (Which I found completely believable in the context of the world you’ve created.) I have to wonder if it has something to do with the “immortal blood” staining his hands. It could just be that he’s a pure soul, but I wouldn’t be disappointed to learn there was more to it than that. In that vein, I also wonder if he’s been changed by it somehow. Perhaps … becoming immortal himself? (That would nicely solve the issue of how Lorelei and Rachel plan to keep him around forever.) I adore the steadily deepening relationship between him, Lorelei, and Rachel, both the physical and emotional aspects. I can’t wait to see more. I’m also curious if being bound only to an angel will affect him.
Lydia: Oh god, I want to see her again. I don’t know what she’s going to do, but I can’t wait. You set that up wonderfully! The story is so much more exciting with Lorelei’s personal nemesis back on the board.
Leviathan: This one really intrigues me. Something bigger than the Pit, that ‘currently’ sleeps, and that therefore may awaken. I imagine something is keeping her quiescent. Perhaps something to do with the crowns? And since four dukes of Hell recently bit the dust, I can easily imagine something happening there. Or perhaps it has something to do with the skeleton? It’s this particular thread that gives me anticipation for an eventual “fate of the world” confrontation.
Zafirah: Pure joy to read. A wonderful complement to Rachel. I can only assume we’re going to learn more about that mercenary team and Lorelei’s involvement with them when Zafirah calls on Alex for her favor. That shadow cabal (I’m assuming they’re demons, if only because their call-sign was “Six”) and the skeleton are the only elements that have me honestly stumped, but I’m willing to wait because you set up Zafirah as an agent capable of shedding more light on them. Well done.
Seattle’s Circles: As far as every Practitioner in Seattle is concerned, Molly and Onyx survived the Brotherhood, a gaggle of vampires and werewolves (I’m assuming Sierra gets full the story and passes it on to Kate), and now the Light. And they’re on first-name terms with a demon and an angel. Just typing it all makes me laugh. There has to be a reaction, even if it’s subtle. You could go any number of ways, but I admit I’m hoping for something more than avoid-them-like-the-plague. Maybe people just start coming to them, figuring they know a lot more than anyone else. It would be wonderfully fitting if they eventually become the new nexus for Seattle’s Practitioners, like Elizabeth once was.
On a final note, I so enjoy your love scenes. They’re hot, steamy, and fun, and perhaps best of all, they feel genuine. Maybe it’s the level of care you put into your writing, or maybe it’s the depth of emotion you let us glimpse in them, but they feel like an essential part of your narrative. I’ve seen reviews that say you could’ve done without some of them, but I respectfully disagree. There wasn’t a single one that I felt was gratuitous. All of them revealed something about a character or illustrated a change, whether in them or one of their relationships. They’re also smoothly written and absolutely sizzling. For my part, I say keep them coming. The best part about this series is the love story at its core.
Thank you so much for all of this! I love hearing what my readers are thinking.
For what it’s worth, some of what you’ve noted here is very much part of the next book. Not all of it, mind you, but some of your expectations are on the right track. 🙂
My pleasure! Thanks for the hint! I’m a Seattle native myself, and an aspiring writer of high fantasy. Nothing published yet, but I hope to change that soon. I’ve spent the past year taking classes in fiction writing under Scott Driscoll (“Better You Go Home”), though I’ve been striving toward becoming a writer for more than a decade, ever since high school.
I hope this isn’t too forward of me, but I’d be happy to be a source to bounce ideas off or discuss your story, if you’re so inclined. I love talking about scenes and plot. I’m not sure how such an arrangement might work (I don’t expect you’d just open up about sensitive story information to someone who posted on your blog), but I’d be very interested to correspond with you. Scott has an amazing amount of knowledge about the craft of writing (in every genre), but his focus is broader, not geared solely toward genre fiction. One of many things I’ve learned from him is that writers benefit greatly from mentors and writing groups, and while I’d never be so bold as to ask you to mentor someone you’ve never met or divulge story details to someone you didn’t yet trust, I thought I’d reach out and at least try to establish you as a contact. I considered sending this to your email, but I wasn’t sure how you’d respond to such a message out of the blue. At least this way you know I’ve read GI thoroughly–and enjoyed it immensely.
Don’t worry, I’m not asking with the intent to bombard you with questions about every little facet of your writing, beg you to read my manuscript, or take up onerous amounts of your time. The last thing I want is to detract from your productivity.
And in case you wondered, that thousand-word post I made on the GI series wasn’t at all planned. I regularly check your blog for any news about GI, and seeing that art of Lorelei just set my imagination on fire. As I said, your story has marvelous potential, and the world you’ve crafted is one I very much enjoy. If your answer is no, for whatever reason or even none at all, I completely understand, and I will remain a firm fan.
You forgot abaout Amanda from days of high adventure. she should be back to Seattle afther the end of book 3. I for one want to aee the interaction between her and the witches 🙂
I’ve greatly enjoyed both the Good Intentions and Poor Man’s Fight series. I’m re-listening to the PMF series before starting the latest since it’s been a while and I want to refresh myself on the world before diving into Tanner’s new adventure. I’m also eagerly awaiting the next Good Intentions book, but I do think it’s important not to push yourself too hard. I’m a firm believer that writing should be fun and inventive and that’s difficult to do when you’re putting a lot of stress on yourself to finish. As a fan of your work, somewhat impatient for the continuation of the story of characters I’ve grown attached to, I implore you to take it at your own pace. We’ll be here when you get done.
Love the books, I got hooked with GI way back before you had any other books available.
One criticism is the art on the covers of the GI books is pretty average. The fan art above is so much better than the book covers. Especially our favourite Angel, her depictions don’t do any justice to the descriptions in the books.
Paper copy of Last Man Out?? Please? Pretty please?
We got through all the formatting stuff today, as it happens. Probably gonna play with it just a little more to see if we can shrink the page count (and therefore the cost) but the hard part is done now. I’m super sorry it has taken so long but it’s moving now.