What Now?

For the last month I’ve been focused on little else but meeting the publisher’s deadline for A DESOLATE HOUR, the third book in my Point Pleasant series. Wall-to-wall writing marathons each weekend plus late nights at the keyboard helped me deliver the manuscript on time.

Celebration time, right? Yes…and no.

Part of me is excited by the prospect of being able to start something new, but the other part is saddened to see the series end. The biggest lesson I’ve learned? Never undertake writing a series while working fulltime. Kudos to anyone who can juggle both, but it’s beyond my time management skills. The deadlines are too tight, not to mention I’m tired of using concealer to hide the dark circles under my eyes. Bleh!

Now that the dreaded “D” word is behind me, it feels weird not to have to produce on demand. For the last year and a half I’ve been writing based on deadlines and suddenly all that pressure is gone. A wide open road ahead. I’m bummed about saying goodbye to my characters (even the Mothman) but am looking forward to starting something new. And one of the characters from the last two novels could easily spin off into his own series.

Oh wait—did I say series? Let me rephrase—he could be spun off into new tales. As much as I see the potential for him to be a repeat character, I don’t want his saga turning into a series based on deadlines. I’ve had my fill for a while.

A notepad with pen under the word Write in large letters

I remember when Kensington first offered me a contract for all three books. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be challenging. I also knew if I walked away from the opportunity I would regret the decision. Now that it’s over and mostly done (there are still edits), I feel like I’ve taken strides forward in my journey as an author. I’ve also learned that I can write on demand and when push comes to shove, can deliver a finished manuscript in under four months. Who would have thought?

All of that aside, I’m looking forward to the release of book 2 in the series, A COLD TOMORROW, which rolls out on December 20th. I hear it makes a great Christmas gift and is available for pre-order right now. Yes, that’s a blatant hint, folks. 🙂

In celebration of UFO visitors (did I mention there are UFOS in A COLD TOMORROW?) here’s another graphic Kensington did for me. I love that my book is tucked in along with Greg Olsen’s and Lisa Jackson’s latest releases. Now if we could just push TOMORROW to their level of sales, LOL! 🙂

A collage of thriller novels available on dark background with creepy house

Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble. I can’t wait to start blogging about new projects. I just need to decide which one and….what now?

54 thoughts on “What Now?

  1. Congratulations on finishing your latest book! I’ve just completed my 4th manuscript and I admit to feeling a bit lost when I sent it to my editor.
    Holding the final draft of my work in my hands is amazing, but it means starting all over again, which I find exhilarating and terrifying!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sending congratulations back your way, Lizzie! And I know exactly how you feel when you say starting over again is both exhilarating and terrifying. I have a sense of accomplishment but I also have that sense of “what now?” LOL. At least we both picked a good month to wrap things up with the holidays looming. A new year is a great time for new writing projects! 🙂

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    • Hi, Jacquie. I had a huge chuckle over another one bites the dust! Thanks for the congratulations and the sing-along (even in text). I’m going to use the rest of the month to start thinking about what I should tackle next. I’m pretty jazzed by the prospect of getting started!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on finishing the novel. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of A Cold Tomorrow and eagerly await the release. And as for a series, I’m about to begin book 2 of a series. The good news for me is that I’m Indie published, so I don’t have a deadline (except my own). However, I don’t want to take two years like the first book.

    Enjoy some time of relaxation and I can’t wait to hear what you have planned next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the congrats and the pre-order of A COLD TOMORROW ,Joan. UNSEEN MOTIVES is queued up on my Kindle and ready for me to start reading tonight, so it’s good to know book 2 is in the works.

      I’m going to enjoy a few weeks of reading and relaxation in December and then start January with a new project. Just talking about it has me jazzed…er, I just have to figure out what is before diving in, LOL!

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  3. Congrats, Mae! Big sigh of relief. And I’m so ready for A Cold Tomorrow. I know what it’s like to try and decide what to work on next. I’ve been working on my next WIP “outline” (read: write through the plot until it makes sense 😀 ). Played hooky last night, tho’–my Christmas present to myself came in the mail (iPad Air 2 (yes, I’m finally joining the cult with hopes of using the iOS version of Scrivener)) so of course I had to play with it 😀 Tonight, back to work 🙂

    LOVE that Kensington tucked your book in with those other! Woo-hoo!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for all that excitement, Julie, and oooh….what a nice goody you have with an iPad Air 2! I have an iPad Mini, but I still haven’t learned how to use Scrivener on my computer, let alone the iPad. Maybe I should toss that in with the things to do in 2017? Hmmm…

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  4. Congrats on finishing! I can definitely relate although I’m just working part-time. Since going back to a part-time job, I’ve written almost nothing and read so much less 😦 My friend, you are a rock star 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Thanks for that, although I am NEVER going down this road again…at least not until retirement rolls around. The first book was a breeze, the second book was rough, but the third was insane.

      And, hey, you read more than anyone I know. I’m jealous of that, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know you juggle your own two series, Staci, and can relate. This is a first for me, and I’m glad I didn’t back off from the experience, but it’s been a lesson learned. Those deadlines (especially the last one) were a killer!

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  5. Happy you made your deadline! And glad you’ve finished an entire series. Congratulations! I hope the books build up steam and attract new readers for you. Series are supposed to help build an audience, and you have such great characters, I hope people find you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One reason I like self-publishing is that I only have to meet my own deadlines. However, it can also cause one to procrastinate. But I, like you, work full-time, and it’s really hard to write at the same pace as those who write full-time.

    I ordered my copy of A Cold Tomorrow a long time ago.

    I do want to mention right here in front of God and everyone else that I think you should be one of those authors who writes full-time. You’re better than many popular authors, and one day I hope you get that big break you deserve. Then I can say “I knew Mae when….: 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, wow, Lauralynn, thank you, thank you for that kind praise. You’ve really made my day. It means so much when you produce something that others can and do enjoy. The best and most satisfying reward to an author!

      And I know you can relate to the juggling a full-time job with a second (writing career), PLUS you have an editing career tossed in on top of it. It’s a lot of anyone.

      If I hadn’t had contracted deadlines, I honestly don’t know I could have pulled off three books in a little over a year.

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  7. Congratulations on your accomplishment! I know how I felt after Red Clay and Roses. I experimented with several different things before The Naked Eye Series came up. Even though RC&R was only a standalone book, I was a bit burned out by the darkness and sorrow. Hitting a lighter note with Naked Alliances brightened my world. It’s so hard to decide what to do next. This is a series and, so far, I am not bored with it, but I’m also not on demand to meet deadlines. My biggest pressure come from meeting marketing deadlines. I think as creative types, we want to explore our capacity, see what we might be able to come up with, and keep those juices flowing. That’s one reason I want each book in this series to be uniquely it’s own story…so the plots change up with threads of other books and the same characters carrying it through. Good luck with your future endeavors. I’m excited to see what you come up with next 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Susan! Meeting marketing deadlines are also rough. Sadly, once the book is finished, the work is far from done as you know. I know you’ve been doing a lot with marketing Naked Alliances and sometimes all of that work can be every bit as draining as a manuscript deadline.

      Sending you wishes for success with your series too. I’m glad to hear you’re still going strong with it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. For she’s a jolly good fellow, for she’s a jolly good fellow
    For she’s a jolly good fellow , which nobody can deny!!!!

    I join all the above congratulations! You did it. Enjoy some free time, especially that Christmas is almost here.
    I understand the feeling of emptiness after handing the last draft. But, after all it’s such a great feeling to know you managed to beta the deadline. A cold Tomorrow is one of your best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Thanks so much, Carmen. I loved the “serenade” 🙂 I have to admit there were times when I really sweated this deadline, thinking I might have bitten off more than I could chew, but I didn’t have an option other than to tough it out and make it work. I definitely plan on relaxing and enjoying Christmas and the holidays. YAY!

      And, I’m thrilled you like A COLD TOMORROW. It holds a special place for me 🙂

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  9. Mae, congrats on all your achievements — especially while working full-time. That’s really amazing, and exhausting, so I hope you’ll get to spend some time celebrating and recuperating. 🙂 I always have a post-partum kind of reaction when finishing a book, but I usually need to start a new one right away, because I’m feeling behind. After I finish the edits on this current story, I’ve promised myself (and Endora!) we’ll “retire” for the rest of the month. She prefers that to a “break”, because she can have a splashy comeback after a retirement. After a break? Not so much. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now THAT sounds like Endora, LOL. And I know she’ll come back with a plethora of fanfare 🙂

      Thanks for the congrats. I admit to being burnt out, but I am looking forward to something new the beginning of the year. BTW, I picked up a copy of your latest (I get your newsletter and actually pre-ordered). You’ve been busy, too! 🙂

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    • Hi, Sherry! I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the series. I know I will miss the characters and story lines when I move onto something else. It’s hard saying goodbye, yet exciting at the same time. And a cozy blankie with a hot toddy and a good read is definitely on my agenda this month! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!

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