Zombies, Kicks & Giggles

The not-so wise words of Adrienne Lecter

Category: monthly recap

November (+NaNoWriMo) 2017 recap

A little late this month but hey, you get an extra week of December for free!

November has been a weird month for me. Productive, but weird. I wrote just over 50k words plus 19k on the blog, coming to a very neat 70k, which makes it in the top 2 productive months of the year. I “won” NaNoWriMo! I accidentally finished a novel as I realized my plot was too long for just one book and I’m now adding all the details in I skipped over (or hadn’t seemed necessary it the time). I also went swimming on 18 days out of 30, swimming over 22 hours. I’ve cleaned up my diet somewhat; sleep has been mostly good except for a few days. I’ve been socializing more than I expected. Overall, a pretty amazing month!

Doesn’t entirely feel like it, which makes me wonder: am I just sabotaging myself, or is it due to the shit ton of exercise that I’m doing that my mood has been mostly stable of late, letting me coast through the days at a max of 10% meh, which is feeling pretty normal and healthy to me. So, yay!

I’ve split books before but never like this. I’ve also re-written books, but also never like this. Not too fond of the process as I’m def. a first draft writer (meaning, for me, writing that very first version of the story is where the fun is). Editing is painful; sifting through it all now in detail and adding content is… taxing. But it also gives me a lot of opportunities to improve, that’s something I really like, and might get into. Just yesterday I realized I need to write two characters out of the story again. Didn’t really need them, and I’m not just dragging them along to kill off at least one of them (I think you’ll thank me later. You can take a guess now if you want. It will be pretty obvious once the book is out). It’s funny how sometimes, things change. Usually, unimportant characters push themselves to the forefront. This time two decided to take a step back. Means more changes but I think the story works better this way.

Book sales have been surprisingly good in November, for being the 3rd post-release month. Must be doing something right. I’m right now trying to learn more about copywriting so I can write better descriptions for my books, but mostly to run ads. While GF8 is going to the editor and beta readers, I will be starting a new campaign of ads and see if that helps sales. Not sure how much of a factor that is since most of my money comes from KU and I feel like KU readers are less receptive to ads, but let’s see! I know, terribly exciting for you, but that’s part of my job as well, as CFO and head of the marketing department of my own little business here.

I’ve also signed up for attending a conference near London in February. All Indie authors, that will be interesting. I knew about it before, then forgot, then was reminded, and when I found a good deal on flights and a hotel close to the venue I jumped the gun last Friday. It’s not that I’m averse to staying at a spa / conference hotel but I’m now paying as much for three nights as I would have for a single one, and it’s closer to the train station so that I don’t need to learn how to use the uber app. Yes, I might be at the forefront of independent publishing but I’m still not trusting these newfangled smartphone thingies! And get off my lawn! Instead I will make a day-long detour with the tube and national rail rather than a 10 minute taxi ride. I think every Brit reading this will now be convinced that I’m insane. But I get to visit London on my travel days while I leave my baggage at the train station, so that’s nice, too! I’ve been to London book fair twice now and will attend in 2018 as well, but this conference is different. It’s back-to-back business for Indies stuff with some craft info in the mix, but all centered on how we do our thing. Plus, I maybe get to brag a bit about my numbers. Or not. Many people attending will have been outselling me by a lot for years. Always good to learn from the success stories in your chosen field, I say! I’m both scared and excited about this. Don’t really like meeting strangers. Considering there will be 95% introverts attending, I think we will all be fine (after breaking the ice and babbling incoherently for the first 30 mins).

Not much else I can say, you already got waaaay too much behind the scenes with the NaNoWriMo blog posts. And that’s okay, but still scary as hell for me. I’m not someone who is, on the long run, comfortable with getting too familiar with people when I can’t gauge their reaction. Let’s not do that again. I know you prefer book updates, anyway.

As for what to expect on the blog in December:
– audiobooks (finally! Post is all done, just need to proof it one more time)
– burnout (a hotly discussed topic in the community at the moment, and maybe you’d like my take on it, seeing as you had to sit through an extended, 10-month waiting period last year)
– preorders & why I don’t do them / what my overall publishing process looks like

… and maybe more, particularly if I happen to come across something I feel like might be fun explaining. Writing non-fiction helps a little to appease the fiction Gods. At least in November it kept me writing. Of course, now I’m re-writing, which is hell, and I will take any excuse not to have to do it at the moment… like now… Shutting up now so I can get through the first chapter of revisions, then hop into the pool, and hopefully not work through the entire long weekend ahead (tomorrow’s a publish holiday here, thanks, Roman Catholics!)

Q4 Plans

Instead of boring you with a September recap (hint: September was kind of a dud for me) I’ll entertain you with what I have planned for the remaining quarter of 2017!

But first, a very, very short recap of what happened in September, because I’m a glutton for punishment. Beware, personal stuff ahead.

Exhaustion hit me like a freight train at the beginning of the month. You’d think that after publishing 13 other novels, I’d expect this to happen, particularly after a very, very productive summer, but noooooo. Not only was I toeing a mini-burnout from several months of constant productivity, but as usual, the release was strong, but numbers only started to really pick up in week 3 post-release. A lot of writers who still have a day job dream of doing it full-time. Let me tell you, if you’re all in, waiting until you have the data to start crunching the numbers is excruciating. Or maybe that’s just me. Don’t worry, most of my fretting was for naught, but it adds a nice layer of stress. Of course then karma had to swoop in and remind me that good things come to writers of gory horror stories, and one of my all-time favorite authors shared a promo I was running, giving it a great kick that still keeps burning. Yes, I once again embarrassed myself fangirling all over Bobby Adair. I swear, if I ever meet him in person, I will apologize. But I have no regrets!
Then there was the vacation in Italy (I posted a pic in the new facebook fan group, and the header image is taken from our room’s balcony as well), which was amazing, but since my mind was still on a bender, it took until the last few days for me to really come down and relax. Then, of course, within hours we left the sunny, warm late summer beach of Bibione and drove home to November weather Vienna. Cue in the worst case of SAD I’ve had in years! I’m a little better now but damnit, I’ll need a long, sunny October to get me ready for actual winter!
Oh, and this week I bought a new motorcycle after selling my old one. You only live once, as they say!

Now what’s the plan for the next three months:

  1. Finish the 8th Green Fields book (that is still without a title)
    Sounds easy (and it looks good and almost complete in my head, just today I worked out a few more pivotal scenes), but I still have 50-70k words to write, which is possible, but means I need to do a lot of writing. Did I mention I bought a new bike?
  2. I will be doing NaNoWriMo in November again. I was planning to write the first novel in a new series, but since I got the go-ahead for my Patreon project from my accountant, I will instead write 50k words of short stories for Patreon instead! Yes, I know it’s called National NOVEL Writing Month, but considering I’m a pro, I think I can cut myself some slack. Plus, 50k short stories would make up about half a year for monthly stuff on Patreon, so it would take off a lot of priority tasks for the start of 2018. I could also launch my Patreon in January 2018, so that’s another bonus!
    Short stories that will be included in this are:
    – What the gang was up to while Bree was gone in GF#5, Resurgence, Nate’s POV
    – How Bree and Nate met (alternating POVs, so we get some backstory from before from both of them. And there will be two versions, a smutty and not quite that explicit one, for everyone to choose their poison)
    – A story from Pia’s POV that ties into hints that are dropped early in GF#8
    – Maybe the backstory of Sadie and Bates, but not sure about that yet. Might get a little raunchy as I would write it from his POV
    – Either Burns’s or Andrej’s POV of the parts early in GF#5 that Bree blacked out on. That’s going to be super fun and uplifting! (/sarcasm)
    – Something that happened at the bunker during the first winter – either a late loot run to Cody, a typical training day for Bree, or someone being a nuisance in connection to the apple-sauce-pocalypse.
  3. Someone has to proofread and edit all this! And while I have a kickass team of beta readers and the best editor in the world, that someone will also be me! I might have mentioned that before but I hate proofreading with a vengeance! Also, the audio version GF#7, Affliction, should be ready for proofing soon as well! Looking forward to that for real!
  4. Depending on how much October will bleed into November (90% chance), and November into December (depending on how long it takes me to need to write something longer than a couple of pages with a given setting – 50% chance) December might just be the month to finish what needs finishing. I plan on publishing GF#8 in December as well, so that will easily eat up a week, plus cue in another round of exhaustion after that… and Christmas, my least favorite holiday of them all!
  5. Or I get everything wrapped up on Nov 30, and December is all free for the next novel! Might be GF#9, might be the first of a new series (still trying to decide between three possibilities. Maybe four. My mind is a crowded place!)
  6. I have a lot of socializing going on:
    Winter of Zombies blog tour, a 30 day-long zombie extravaganza all over facebook, and blogs!
    – November to Dismember at the Reading Horror facebook group – my day is Nov 29
    – and some more interviews I’ve signed up for. I should compile a list one of these days…
    – Oh, and there’s that matter of that anthology coming out on October 10. Almost forgot! (Just kidding. I’d never forget!)

If you haven’t joined my super duper Fan Club on facebook yet, do so now! It’s a great place to stay up to date with information, and it won’t get swallowed up by endless processions of cute cat pictures! Unless I post a few of my cats. Promise, never more than one or two at a time! Great stuff going on there right now! Including me being a dork, but what else is new?
You can read an exclusive teaser for GF#8 in the group, and more to follow.

On the future of the blog:

Not sure what I will be doing with this. Right now, the fan group is the best place to share information. Of course, I can share the blog posts there, too. I still have some written that need editing before posting. I will get there eventually. I will also be sharing stuff all through November for the events, and I have, tentatively, considered abusing the blog for an accountability thing for NaNoWriMo, kind of a way to give you a real-time behind-the-scenes update how things are going (an almost-guarantee for me to get stuck, but hey, not the craziest idea I’ve had this week!). We’ll see! Not fretting this. Just telling you that if you want to stay up to date, the fan group is the place to go, also for blog updates.

August 2017 recap

August has been crazy, just like July, only different. And that pretty much describes the state I’m in right now.

Tl:dr version: I published a book! I wrote a huge chunk of the next! And now I need a vacation!

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July 2017 recap

To describe my July with a single word is easy: mental. As in me, going, completely.

The tl:dr version: GF#7 is written, GF#8 is started, and I’m about dead.

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June 2017 recap

 

Note: I’d like to make this a regular monthly feature. Maybe the writing part will end up on my Patreon page (exclusively, including more background info and teasers) once I launch it. We’ll see. No actual content here, but as much of a cohesive update as you’ll likely ever get.

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