Weekly Round Up 2/7

Sunday: I started to work on the outline for the book I was calling Fury. I’d been drafting it without a set outline, and I was having a lot of anxiety about it, because I was pretty sure that all the twists were fairly obvious, and that everyone was going to see them a mile away. I did that for about a half hour, and then I took a break, and I began thinking that maybe I didn’t feel like writing that book after all.

But I was feeling like I had to write it, because I’d told everyone that I wrote contemporary thrillers now, and I’d even changed my bio to basically say that.

So, I was like, “Is that all that’s holding you back? The fact that you’ll look like a liar for not delivering what you promised?”

I changed my bio. And then I said to myself, “Okay, self, what do you want to write?”

And my self said that it wanted to maybe write a story about escaping from a polygamous cult, or it maybe wanted to write Horns (again, only this time in a fantasy setting, so that it would be more like Reign), or that it maybe wanted to write the zombie epic fantasy that I’ve been keeping on the back burner for ages. Of these, I chose to write about the polygamous cult, because I’ve been reading a ton of those kinds of books for the past week.

One thing that I should understand about myself is that I don’t create well when I feel like it’s an obligation. By announcing to the world what genre I would write, I had created an obligation, and I soon felt rebellious and didn’t want to do it anymore. So… from here on out, I’ll write about whatever I feel like writing about, in whatever genre I feel like writing. I know that’s annoying to readers. Trust me, I am a reader, and I know exactly what it’s like to find a writer that I like and then realize that they only wrote three of the kinds of books that I like, and that the rest of it is stuff I’m not into.

Jennifer Armentrout comes to mind. I love her Lux books, and I also really like her new series about demons and gargoyles. I tried one of her contemporaries. Blech.

But that’s okay, isn’t it? I mean, you guys are smart enough to read descriptions and decide for yourselves whether or not this is something you’ll want to read. If you don’t like werewolf books, you can steer clear of the Cole and Dana books. If you don’t like space opera, you don’t read Release. I’m kind of at a point right now where I have so many books that it’s not feasible for someone to discover me and read all of my books right afterwards. I mean, you could do it, but after five or six or twelve of them, I think you’d get pretty sick of my voice and want some variety.

Anyway… *covers head with hands* This next book is sort of, kind of, a, um, romance.

I know. I wrote that big post about how I didn’t want to write romance anymore. And right then, I swear to God, I didn’t, and I didn’t think I would ever want to write about it again. Here’s the thing, though. Every book I write is always centered on a relationship, and if it’s not a romantic one, it’s at least one that involves sexual attraction. When I said I didn’t want to write romance, maybe I meant that I didn’t want to write to a formula or something. I want the freedom to decide if there’s going to be an HEA or if someone dies tragically. I want to allow the heroine to have good sex with someone who’s not the hero. I don’t want the, um, obligation.

See, here’s the thing. I was having this obsessive thought that kept telling me that the reason that my books weren’t selling was because I wrote things that were abnormal. I wasn’t appealing to the status quo, and so that was why I wasn’t making much money. To correct this, I felt like I needed to find something mainstream that I could write that would allow me a lot of freedom.

I thought thrillers would be mainstream.

But then I realized what I wanted to write probably wasn’t mainstream, because I couldn’t find very many books that were the kinds of books I was looking for. I felt like I went through all of them in about a month and then all that was left were the procedural series books, which isn’t really what I’m into.

Anyway, at some point I realized that I was being stupid. A) What I was writing was not that weird and out there. It was for some people, but I don’t even like those people, and I don’t even want to write books for them. B) There was no way I was ever going to know why my books weren’t selling. C) I was being an idiot, because my books were selling, they were just selling less than they had in the past. D) There was really no reason to KEEP THINKING ABOUT THIS, because it was driving me nuts and I was getting nowhere.

Right. So, I felt much more freedom after getting through that thought process and leaving it behind, and with freedom comes zillions of story ideas, and…

Okay, look. I feel GUILTY, all right? I feel guilty for abandoning the book. I’m trying to make excuses for myself, but I feel like I might just be a lazy slob who gives up on stuff when it’s hard and it’s possible that I don’t deserve to live or something.

Damn. I think that’s my OCD talking again.

Monday-Tuesday: I began working on creating my polygamous cult, which is a mixture of several different radical groups. I used a lot of background from the Children of God (or the Family International, as they’re sometimes called), the Amish, and, of course, the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints.

This was simply pure bliss. There was nothing on earth more fun than doing this. Creating a religion is probably my new favorite pastime.

On Tuesday, I had a Bookbub ad for The Killing Moon, and it did very well, topping out at #135 in Amazon store and #68 in the Nook Store. It’s still selling, so I’m hoping to have a good month and maybe get together enough money to fix Aaron’s car. 🙂

Wednesday: I started drafting, but I got a late start, because the power was out in our house in the morning and afternoon due to ice. So, I only got about 2,000 words.

Thursday. I did 8K in four sessions.

Still having fun. Okay, guys, well, I’ll see you next week.