Ahead of the curve, booyah! And all was right with the world again.
Had kind of a mixed day, but got some good writing done in the evening. I love writing at night when everything is quiet. I finish most of my books at night, not just because I can’t stop, or am writing an average of +7k words at those times, but because there are no distractions, and when I’m in the zone, things keep happening. Like that my cat gives up at 2am to send me to bed, and ends up leaving me a (later) icy cold, stinking present in there that not only requires me to wash the duvet, but also clean the mattress and consequently have no place to crash when sleep finally becomes mandatory. Good times! Happened with the release of Unity, no kidding.
Made French toast myself for the first time, after recently discovering it at a local restaurant. No, we don’t usually have that here, but we of course have a lot of similar dishes. Made it with real Canadian maple syrup that my dad got me when he was on vacation over there. I think I’ll have to send him over the ocean again soon. Or amazon. I think the big A will do for now.
Finally finished writing that conversation, ending with some of the usual Bree hamster wheel introspective paranoia. That I was at first hesitant to write because I recently made the mistakes to read that single one four-star review where someone complained about too much introspective rambling. See, this is why I don’t read (a lot of) reviews, even when they’re good, they tend to screw with my head. I love them, and take great pride in watching their numbers grow. Particularly the bad one-star reviews are always good for a laugh–I mean, really? You got the book for free, read two pages, took a snap judgement because of that, and now you’re so offended by that perceived version of the book that you feel like crapping yourself all over the review page? Because, gasp! How dare a woman writer write something realistic that might contain sex! GASP! Has to be romance, and needs to be burned at the stake. I’m so sad that you never got to read on to book #5 and the parts where someone once said, “Liked it, but didn’t care much for the almost zombie rape.” (I’m paraphrasing here, should have taken a screenshot!). Well, I think neither the zombie nor human involved in that did care much for it, either. Can I let you in on a secret? That very first chapter of GF#1: Incubation, that zap-a-year-into-the-future mall panty raid? I put that up there deliberately for two reasons. Well, three, really:
1: I have almost no zombies in that book, while the rest of the series is teeming with them. By now you know WHY we needed that first book and all the action and non-action that happens in it: because it’s the very backbone of the plot. Of course that limits the scope of what happens massively with just a single POV the story is told from, but it’s easy to fill in the gaps bit by bit later… if you dare read on and don’t make snap judgments about the writer’s inability to build her world (yup, that was a three-star). You could say… it’s deliberate! But really, it wasn’t. It was the consequence of writing a different book and then deciding to watch the world burn, so I missed out on A LOT of the initial outbreak. Never really bothered me as I was much more interested in exploring the consequences of what the remaining humans did. Plus it makes for great, dramatic “what happened on that bridge!” references from all sides. Ah, good times…
2: I know that some people are allergic to sex, and while the books aren’t romance (for that, the plot would have to revolve about the central couple becoming a couple, and you could easily cut Nate out of the entire series and it would be just as strong. Just have the Ice Queen kick Bree’s ass into learning to take care of herself, and use the rest of the cast for the bickering and comedic relief), I always knew I wanted to have some R-rated stuff in there. You know, the gore, the violence… still bothers me that American ratings are more dependent on the level of heat and language than overall sense of the movie. Also the reason why you got that single explicit sex scene in the first book. I figured, if people can handle that, I’m good. Why make them abandon a series they’ve invested hours and money in if I can sort them within a few pages or the first book? Best for everyone if we part ways early if that’s not your thing.
3: That one is more of an afterthought but still true: Some people are (reportedly) triggered by strong female characters, and while Bree has her moments in the very first book, it takes her a lot longer to grow into the size shoes she’s stomping around in now. For that also the intro chapter is a promise. This is what it’s all about, this is what you will eventually get to read. Love it? Awesome! Not so much? That and the very first chapter are both inside the 10% reading sample you get for free, always, from amazon, and the Intro’s also posted on my website. There’s no excuse! Or so I thought until yesterday (see above). Oh well.
As you can likely tell from the levity that’s in my tone (I hope? Does that translate? Oh noes! I’m 75% happy at the moment, the idea of either more French toast or ham and eggs in my very foreseeable future is raising that to 100%!) I’m having a good time right now. Writing 3.5k last night helped a lot to make me feel like a legit writer again, even if it’s still on the short side of what I’d like to accomplish this month, or any month, really. I’ve also decided to embark on a side project once I’m done with the book and some of the short stories. Maybe in tandem with the short stories, not sure yet. Let’s face it: I’m never going to write much sex under this penname. I like leading up to it, and I sure as hell will defend my stance that, realistically, it will still be happening in the apocalypse! Come on, people, that’s life. But I can understand readers not necessarily wanting to read it, at length, in minute detail (way to kill that innuendo, eh?), and after over 2 years and almost 8 books I’m happy to say, yeah, don’t really need to write it in these stories beyond the lead-up. But I’ve crunched my numbers last night (aka looked at my Amazon KDP dashboard and changed the view to my romance alter ego only) and realized that my old work still makes enough each year to pay for a vacation, with a single promo all year and unattended since I published the last one between GF#3 and GF#4 in February 2016. That’s more than a lot of Indie authors make, while promoting the shit out of their work (fun fact: I don’t believe that beyond a certain, rather limited point promo really helps. As in, spamming FB groups with your links and attending parties and shit. Amazon, or whatever other platform you publish on, makes up for 90% of what will happen to your numbers. Goose that with targeted promos like advertising in newsletters and doing some stuff that’s focused, like a blog tour or event where many authors pitch together to generate some buzz, but that’s it. 10% of your money AND time is what should, at max, go into promo! 90% is writing the next book! Spend those extra free hours chatting with readers you already have. They deserve it, and it’s fun!). I know, I’m an eternal tease about my past as a romance writer, I deliberately don’t post the links or tell you the penname because I don’t like to be judged on my smut. But I miss writing it. I have an upcoming ghostwriting gig lined up to do some romance, but looking at those numbers made me realize that I’m already making about half of what I will be making then, with next to zero effort (let’s discount the 1.5 years it took me to write those six books and bunch of novellas, shall we?). I might still do the ghostwriting, but I also plan to write at least one, maybe even a bunch, of smutty books next year, kind of like a palette cleanser. Yesterday evening has once again proven to me that time isn’t the commodity that I’m lacking when my word count falls short of what it needs to be. It’s focus. And guess what this 1500+ word morning ramble blog post is? A stellar way to focus my mind and get it where it needs to be to get some more words done! Paradoxical maybe, deeply routed in habit establishment for sure.
Someone a while ago asked me about my writing habits and superstitions. Here’s the one that’s proven true over and over again:
If I write before noon, I will write a lot that day. Or, if I write over 1k words, I will write more that day, given it’s before 10pm.
Also fun fact, the story I will likely use to grease my writing gears was planned as a rather violent, bloody revenge thriller. Now, if the female lead won’t cut apart her cheating fiancé but just break up with him, it will be romance! Another fun fact: readers usually pick up on shit like that, and this is why my romance only sells a fraction of my horror. I never said I was a GOOD smut peddler! But I love reading it when my mind’s too broken for everything else, and I like writing it when I have something else that constantly wears me down to work on but need a breather. I love Bree, but damnit, woman, you drive me bonkers sometimes! Hope you enjoyed that little regression into my old school vocabulary, before I learned to pretend to be from the other side of the pond.