Hi everyone! Long time no hear. 😉
A lot has happened since my last update in December. More medical problems for myself, my Uncle died, my Dad retired from his job and both of my kids went through some things that required some extra time, attention and love from Mom. In other words, life happened.
You know what didn’t happen? Writing. Not just because of what was listed above, but because I got the case of writer’s block from hell. One might think that I suffered from writer’s block because of all the aforementioned life problems. The truth is, while they were a contributing factor, they were not wholly the reasons why.
I’ve learned something about myself.
And it was a very important lesson. I cannot force words in a story.
You might wonder what I mean when I say that. Simply, if my heart is not in the story, if the characters are not speaking to me, then I cannot tell their story properly. I tried to force stories for both the Ex Ops and Big Bad Bite series… and I ended up with thousands of words that will never again see the pages.
I also ended up with a lot of frustration, heartache and depression over it.
Depression – the elephant always in the room no one wants to acknowledge. Well, it was here and in my face. I beat myself up on a daily basis because in December I promised you all I would write more in my existing series worlds and give you all the books and characters I knew you wanted from me.
But I couldn’t do it. I hated everything I wrote and that in turn made me resent myself and my characters. Characters I once loved with every fiber of my being.
This is where it gets scary.
I got so down about it all I almost quit writing altogether.
There’s a lot of pressure in this business. Pressure to make readers happy. Pressure to use the right editor, get the perfect cover and deliver a story that will blow reader’s socks off. Pressure to keep current in this oversaturated book market by publishing book after book. Most of all, the pressure I put on myself to do the best that I can do because I will accept no less from myself.
Between my personal life issues and all the writing pressures I folded like a cheap suit. Self-doubt flooded in and I found myself thinking on a daily basis, “Am I really good enough to do this?”. I convinced myself that indeed, I was not good enough to write and produce in this crowded market with all of these superstar authors surrounding me.
It felt like all I was doing was making mistake after mistake and that the solution was to step away from my writing career.
Then like a superhero swooping in to save the day, Chelsea Camaron gave me a dose of tough love.
Suck it up buttercup and get your ass back to work. You can do this.
She reminded me that you don’t just give up when things get tough, you fight harder.
I was also blessed to receive some amazing advice from Milly Taiden. She encouraged me not to give up, but to embrace my dreams again. To stop focusing on everything I felt like I couldn’t do and instead focus on what I could do. If my heart wasn’t in it to write Ex Ops and Big Bad Bite Series books, then write what was in my heart to write.
Which brings me to the point of this letter to you, my readers.
Please don’t hate me. I can’t always give you what you want. And trust me when I say that’s as disappointing to me as it is to you. I struggled to even face this reality on my own much less the amount of emotion I have poured into this letter of explanation. I wish for nothing more than that I could sit down and finish out both the Big Bad Bite and Ex Ops Series.
As of right now, though, they’re on hold. I’m not saying that I am giving up on them completely, because I’m not. One day, there will be a Declan Sullivan book. One day, there will be an Alec Ivanov book. And yes, I would also like to write Jaxon Wall, Vera Ivanov and a few other characters from those series. But it’ll be a while before you see them. I am so, so sorry.
Again… please don’t hate me!
Until then… there will be other books. I’m going to write what’s in my heart and the characters that are speaking to me. They’ll be standalones because I do not plan to start anymore series any time soon. I’m hoping with every particle in my body that you’ll understand this decision and bear with me. I also hope that you give these new books, when they come out, a try.
I don’t have a title yet, and I’m reluctant to tell you what I’m writing, but what I will tell you is this: it’s different and it gives me the good kind of shivers. I love what’s going on in my head and down on paper so far and all I can hope is that when it publishes you’ll love it too. I am overcoming my own demons and the elephant on my chest doesn’t get so much power. Every day the words are coming and I am feeling stronger from it. So please give this girl a little time, a lot of understanding, and know that I want to give you the best book I can for my next release.
Until then my friends, thank you for everything. Reading my books, your notes of support, and most importantly (or hopefully) your patience and understanding. I’m a real life flawed human being and all I can do is be the best me I can be. Please know that I welcome all comments, messages and emails and will return them as soon as I’m physically able to do so.
P.S. I LOVE YOU ALL.
P.P.S. I’ll be sending another blog post out in about a week about my next release on 4/12/18, co-written with the super fabulous Abbie Zanders!