Writing and Resolutions (Alternatively: So long, 2015!)
I’ve mentioned this before, but I love the holidays. I do. I go a little nutty starting in October and the fun doesn’t stop until…now. December 26, I’m ready to get back to my life. In fact, Aaron and I returned home last night from Christmas festivities and immediately de-Christmassed the house. For the first time since September, my home looks normal again. Granted, the décor is a bit different, allowing for new artwork I received over the holidays, but I’m ready to get back to my schedule as I know it.
This year is also the first where I wasn’t entirely in the “Christmas spirit”, but I also wasn’t depressed. With me, it’s usually one or the other. I’m either full-on holiday mode, or immersed in Seasonal Affective Disorder. This year I was beige, and I think this is due to how crazy this month has been. My father, who remains very ill, was hospitalized for a week and a half. He’s supposed to resume treatment in his clinical trial in less than two weeks, but his immune system was, at last word, completely shot due to his particular cocktail of chemotherapy. I am one of his primary caretakers, and as my doctor said, one of the easiest ways to make yourself sick is to spend too much time taking care of others. The hospital stint is almost an entire week behind us, but with so much adulting to do this year, it was hard to disengage and embrace the season’s festivities.
As I said, though, I wasn’t depressed. I was exhausted, drained, and I hit a wall a few times, but I wasn’t depressed. I enjoyed our Christmas, and not just because Aaron spoiled me rotten. My gifts from my loving husband this year included a set of four wine glasses etched with my Sinners & Saints logo, a replaced/upgraded my wedding band, and a gorgeous print of the Windsor Ruins, which made an appearance in Lost Wages of Sin under a different name.
It’s expected, as the year winds down, that even those of us not prone to making resolutions start leaning in that direction. One of my 2016 resolutions is going to be to take more time to recharge, and to keep writing as much as possible, because that’s the way I remain sane. And my list of writing to-dos is considerable. I have officially received the rights back to all titles previously with Ellora’s Cave; Insatiable Need and Insatiable Craving will hopefully be re-released by the summer, after I have the chance to revisit both titles. Blackout, formerly Elevated Exposure, was re-released in August, and Dark Solace, formerly Midnight Solace, was re-released, well, today (though Amazon has it for pre-order)…and I’ve decided to make it perma-free. The FREE price-tag hasn’t made it to Amazon yet, but it’s free on Smashwords and All Romance (so feel free to report it to Amazon that there’s a lower price elsewhere to help expedite the price adjustment). It’s such a short story that it seemed better and fairer to readers to offer it as a Rosalie Stanton sampling.
This means that I’m really only with one publisher now: Totally Bound. Well, two publishers, counting Kensington, since they acquired Lyrical Press a while back and I opted to let them keep Moving Target. I am incredibly happy author at Totally Bound—my editor, Sarah Smeaton, is amazing. I couldn’t imagine partnering with anyone else for the Sinners & Saints series. She truly understands and enjoys the world, which is a win all on its own, but she also strengthens each book with her insight and attention to detail.
I believe, though, in looking forward to 2016 and my new writing goals, that I’ll be self-publishing all non-Sinners & Saints work. The whys come down to three primary things:
Price control. This is the big one. With so much competition, I want to be able to offer readers a price in line with other e-books. While my old-school line of thinking believes that a higher dollar amount on a longer book is reasonable, I understand that’s not the world we live in anymore. I want readers to feel comfortable taking a chance on me. The Sinners & Saints series is my home and my preferred world, but readers have no reason to try it out at its current price-tag, especially without having had a taste of what they’re getting in tone or style.
Creative control. This one should be self-explanatory, and this is something I have at Totally Bound to a reasonable degree. But I like the idea that I can write over 100k and not worry how this will affect the price-tag, and my books are getting longer and longer. I also like knowing that I can write about the things that are important to me—that nothing is off limits, and I wouldn’t have to censor myself. I don’t mean writing taboo—none of the things that would otherwise appear on a “do not submit” list. But religious or political themes that are considered edgy? Sure. I’d love to be able to not feel like I have to adjust in order to be marketable.
I’ve been burned before.
So what’s on the horizon for 2016? Well, I am planning on finishing Sinners & Saints #5 in January. I’m also going to really dig into at least one contemporary project, as well as Sinners & Saints #6, edit and release Hellion, and work on the re-releases of four books. Whether all four will be re-released in 2016 is a different story—like I said, I’m aiming in summer for at least two of them. I’d like to think everything is achievable this year, but if 2015 has taught me anything, it’s that life is truly unpredictable. I’d be further along in my 2015 writing goals were it not for…well, a lot of things I didn’t anticipate this time last year.
I guess my writing resolution for 2016 would be to write as much as I can. My 2016 word-count goal is 200k. It’s not much to some and a shit-ton to others. To me, it’s taking what I did in 2015 and upping it a bit. If I can hit 200k in 2016, it’ll be upped to 250k or 300k in 2017. Seems fair.
I hope everyone has had a lovely holiday season. Here’s to next year.