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March Roars In… Without My Next Book

March may have roared in like a lion outdoors, but not so much for the inside angst of my author life. Today’s blog post should have been, was supposed to have been, about the launch of my next novel of the Other Worldly series, Altogether Alien. It’s altogether annoying, frustrating, and disappointing that it is not, due to absolutely nothing within my control. Just like the crazy weather.

Therein lies the rub.

This morning I find myself asking, is the seemingly unnecessary delay causing me to hit burnout? Or is the burnout actually due to this exasperating delay?

Perhaps it’s something else entirely? I just read a Writer’s Digest piece while sipping my first cup of coffee on how authors should not put all their eggs in one basket. It began by noting how some authors freaked out over the transition mess (a blatant euphemism by me to avoid profanity and snark) at Twitter, since it was their sole mechanism for book promotion.

Not so, me, as I at least have this blog on my website. And I still promote on Facebook, but only to FB friends, not the general bot-ridden public.

This eggs-in-one-basket bit also noted that increased chances for burnout can also occur by only focusing on one type of project or genre for a sustained period of time. Uh-oh.

Is three years a sustained period of time? Because I published my first novel, Alienable Rights, right about now (actually it launched on time in February) in 2020, though I began the first draft in late 2017. Since then, I’ve published four more in the Other Worldly series, all of which launched when expected. Now here I am, waiting on the sixth, wondering if the process is worth the angst.

Usually, I’ve dealt with any lulls in life or in publishing by beginning the next book—and completing it quicker than I imagined I would. But what’s the point of finishing fast like a cold blast of March wind when one has no control over timing or professional engagement of editors, publishers, printing companies or mail carriers?

Alas, I’m not sure which of the latter it is I’m waiting on now, but for some unknown reason, I have not received the print galley—as in the first copy of my paperback novel from the printer. Until I do so and can give the “okay” to my publisher, they can’t give the go-ahead to launch my book via online booksellers.

And call me crazy or simply driven so by the insane March wind, but is it too much to ask to receive a prompt or at least timely response to a polite email inquiry? These days, it feels like I’m just screaming into the wind to obtain answers about delays, because this latest with the print galley hasn’t been the only one for Altogether Alien.

So, I sit here wondering if it’s just that my mail was misdelivered—yet again.  Because it happens far more often than it should. Another subject rife with anger and frustration at absolute gobsmacking incompetence.

But, back to the issue of writing in one genre or project for a sustained period of time. In my defense, I’ve sort of blown all over the map when it comes to genres in my supposedly fantasy category with a subgenre of speculative fiction. Yet I can’t deny that the Other Worldly novels are one project. A project I have loved, until now.

Should I halt the series for a spell and focus on another idea I’ve had on the back burner? One that involves turning a real life happening here in Vegas into an expanded fictional tale that imagines the inner life of one particular female character. Is there a publishing term for that? I think Truman Capote started it.

Or should I pause on writing in general and engage more with life going on all around me? I had to do that in 2022 due to a residential move. It resulted in only one book being published last June, Alien Sensation.

As, indeed, it looks as if there will only be one book published this year, Altogether Alien, though who knows when?

This frustration over seemingly unnecessary delay and lack of timely communication may play a large part. Reality is, it’s not the creative process that’s tediously being blown about by the winds of uncertainty, it’s everything else.

Because I just learned that UPS claims it dropped the print galley off at my front door yesterday afternoon. It didn’t. And after much diligent digging via overly complicated UPS messaging, I’ve realized the printer used my old address. Why? Did my publisher not update this information using the updated info I provided them a year ago? This didn’t happen with Alien Sensation published in June. I guess I’m lucky it didn’t, given the crapshoot this process has turned out to be.

Now, who knows when Altogether Alien will launch or when I will receive a response to my email inquiry as to why this happened via my publisher? The answer is…you guessed it…blowing in the wind. And I’m trying not to blow a gasket.

2 thoughts on “March Roars In… Without My Next Book”

  1. Melissa Tackett

    Breath. Let your mind go When you write. Maybe some free writing to help get the juices flowing?

    Whatever you do we ate behind you.

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