Writing in a Different Direction

After a whirlwind seven weeks following the release of Cusp of Night, life has been falling into a steadier writing pattern for me. Anyone with a book release knows the amount of work that goes into promotion, something authors have to juggle on top of a regular writing routine. Cusp did strong coming out of the gate then slowed for a bit, but seems to be picking up again. YAY! On top of that, several reviewers commented they had discovered my Point Pleasant series after reading Cusp and planned to purchase it. That’s exactly how a release and a back list should work. I couldn’t be happier!

While promotion was going on, I distracted myself by writing in a different direction. I have a backlog of short stories I wrote in my early to middle thirties that I decided to clean up for possible publication. And, wow, did they need cleaning! It’s amazing how much I’ve grown as a writer since then. It goes to show that we’re always learning and polishing our craft. I’m still not sure what I’ll do with the shorts. Cobble them together for an indie release or perhaps look for a few paying markets.

I noticed that when I had a lag of twelve months between A Desolate Hour, the last book in my Point Pleasant series, and Cusp of Night, the first book in my Hode’s Hill Novels, I saw a decline in sales. I cleaned up the shorts so that I have a buffer if I end up in that position again. My series books usually come out within six to eight months of each other. That twelve month stretch produced a dry spell I don’t want to hit again. I’m also already thinking ahead to a new series so I have something to pitch to my publisher when the time rolls around.

Friday, I’ll be leaving on vacation for a full week. My regular readers are used to my routine of disappearing on the weekends, but this time I’ll be gone for a full week and unable to comment on the blogs I usually follow. I’ll miss all of you, but am looking forward to the time away. My husband and I will be visiting family in Raleigh, and then in Virginia Beach. I’ve arranged a pet sitter for Raven, and of course, I’ll be taking a writing tablet and my Kindle on on the trip.

pretty black cat on a gray cat tree

Raven on one of her cat trees. Think she’ll miss me?

When I return, I hope to refocus on Eventide, book 3 of Hode’s Hill. I have several blog posts I need to prepare for Story Empire and for the January release of End of Day, but other than that, I’ll be back to my regular writing direction after my July foray into short fiction.

Drop a line and let me know how your writing life has been going!

65 thoughts on “Writing in a Different Direction

    • Hi, Priscilla! Thanks for the well wishes.
      I touched base with my cat sitter today so I feel better about leaving Raven in her capable hands. I’m going to miss the heck out of that cat while I’m gone. We are so bonded! 🙂


  1. Enjoy your time away. I’m sure you’ll come back refreshed and ready to captivate our imaginations once more. My books seem to spike out of the gate, then flatline. Part of that is my fault for not constantly promoting them. I need focus to produce new works, and that’s what I’ve been doing this summer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I always feel I have to constantly promote to, but like you said–we need time to write as well. I always seem to produce better in the fall, so hopefully, I’ll be in major writing mode by September, LOL.
      Thanks for the well wishes and kind words.
      And I know you’ve been writing up a storm 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great idea to get the shorts ready, Mae. My sister recently released a collection of shorts in between her regular releases and it worked well for her. Enjoy your vacation! We will miss you but will all still be here. R&R is so good for the soul!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hopefully, you’re having good weather, Jen. I want to get away from rain, LOL.
      Thanks for the well wishes, and so glad to hear you’re looking for to the rest of the HH series 🙂


  3. I like your idea of releasing short stories between books to keep interest. I just did that but didn’t make that connection. I have several shorts from long ago put away I’m going to work through. You are so right about evolving as a writer and going back to older work! Have a wonderful vacation Mae and thanks for sharing a Raven pic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Denise, it was such an eye-opener to look at those old stories and go through them with MY red pen, LOL. It was fun too, and I think it’s a great idea to have a few set aside for fill-ins between releases. Wishing you well with yours.
      Thanks for the vacay wishes and Raven says “Hi!” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Nicole! So great for you to drop by and share. 🙂

      Yes, I couldn’t believe how much my style and voice has changed since those old stories I wrote in the past. I also noticed I had a fair amount of telling going on back then. Never noticed it at the time, and apparently, the writing group I was part of didn’t either. Oy!

      Wishing you all the best with polishing your own stories.
      And I am thrilled my book covers have captured your attention. Thank you for checking them out! 🙂


    • I’m still waiting on fame and the perfect balance, Jacquie, LOL.
      Raven is deficiently going to need a new toy or treat. Lately, she’s been getting bored with everything…well, except exploring the garage. Maybe that’s her vacation 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Mae! Congrats on the new release going so well and getting into a writing routine. As for me, I’m on my second week of retirement. Yay!!! I couldn’t be happier. I haven’t gotten into a writing routine as I’ve been a total couch potato so far, taking a little break and just being lazy. I am reading a lot.

    Next week, I hope to get into a routine of exercise, house decluttering, and writing. I hope to finish my WIP in a couple of months while also researching for another book series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Kim, I am so jealous!! It must be wonderful to be retired. And you need enjoy yourself a bit before you buckle down into a routine. It sounds like you have all kinds of wonderful things planned, and not just with writing. Congratulations!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Mae,
    I’m excited for your initial success of Cusp of Night. After pulling my hair out and stressing more than necessary, I’m leaving my last book as is. If it never takes off, oh well. I hope you enjoy your vacation and come back refreshed. BTW I’m also writing some short stories and working on a new manuscript. HUGS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Chuck! Thanks for all the kind thoughts.
      I’m so sorry you were doing so much stressing over your last book. Maybe it is best to look ahead and focus on something new. You can still promo the other from time to time as you move ahead. The short stories and the new manuscript sound like a positive step. Wishing you all the best. HUGS!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on the new stuff–OMG, 6-8 months between releases? I need to seriously step it up! And yay, another HH in January! I’m still trying to get going even after my retreat; I think there’s been a lot of family stuff working through my head with the auction and future sale of my childhood home. Lots of memories and ghosts, lots of grieving. I do finally have a plot that “feels” much better than what I started with, so once the kids are off to school (whew!) I plan to hit it hard.

    Enjoy your vacation week! (P.S. You know Raven will be upset you left her for so long 😉 You’ll have to compensate with giving her LOTS of attention when you get back 😀 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • That 6-8 months is my publisher’s schedule when we do a series. It was a struggle the first time, but now I’m adapting.

      It has to be hard saying goodbye to the family home. I remember when my mom sold ours. It was definitively an adjustment.

      Glad you have a plot you’re happy with. Wishing you happy writing and flowing ideas. And yes, you’re right about Raven–extra cuddles and lavish attention when I get back 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Rebecca! Thanks for dropping by and for the wonderful comment about Cusp. I love what the artist did for this one. And, yes, breaks help keep the creativity flowing! 🙂


  7. I’m happy to read you are not the only one who notices a change in their writing pattern when looking over older work. I dug out some of my older stuff that I wrote a dozen years ago and it was fascinating to see where my head was at the time.

    We grow. We learn and most of all we improve. That’s the best part.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Bryan! So great to have you drop by my blog abode 🙂

      Improvement is definitely key. I think the more we practice our craft, the more we learn and grow. I was amazed in the difference a few decades can make, LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Diana. Just got back and am playing catch-up. Vacation was wonderful. It also allowed me to read several wonderful books, including Legacy of Souls. I left you a 5-star on Amazon and GR. You outdid yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay! Thanks so much for taking on the second book, Mae. I’m doing a happy dance, of course. I’m also in catch up mode from vacation. Oh my. Slightly swamped to say the least. Try to keep the vacation glow, my friend.


      • I’m going to try to carry that glow into the work week with me, Diana. Might be challenging, but I’m going to give it a go.

        And I LOVED your series. So many good characters. I loved Raze, but there was something about Johzar that really struck a chord. Such a complicated, unique character. Well done!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m finally taking a break… Sister from TX just left after two wonderful weeks we had together. Time to get some reading in and work on my poetry book too. Planning to remain in somewhat of a break mode through September. Raven is looking so cute and our Midnight has been enjoying our summer company as much as we are. YAY for kitties and company! ❤ xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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