Writing and Life: What I’ve been doing for the last year

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Now that I’ve fully transferred my site over to a new server and have re-posted all my old blogs, I thought I’d give you an update about what’s been going on with me for the last several months.

This post will probably be a little all over the place because I’m summing up nearly 12 months of crazy events and life changes. Bear with me.

It’s been more than a year now since my latest novel Gauntlet was released and I found out the publisher was discontinuing the series. I wrote about that here and here in more detail, if you haven’t read those posts already.

While I was struggling to write after getting dropped by my publisher, the rest of the year got really busy for me.

I do freelance writing for companies on the side, and it was suddenly taking off. It was great opportunity since I was still bringing in royalties but didn’t have a current book contract. I chased that for a while as I struggled to get back on track with my books.

In the summer, I got engaged.

In the fall, I sold my house. This was a little heartbreaking for me. I’d only lived in that house for a few years and ended up making a good profit when it sold. However, it was the first home I’d owned by myself. I landed my agent and my first book deal in that house. My dreams came true in that house.

More than that, I did everything on my own. I proved to myself that I could financially and physically take care of a house alone. It was amazingly empowering. I was proud of everything that I had accomplished in that house, both with my career and otherwise, and it broke my heart to leave, but it was time to move on.

In January 2018, I got married.

Here’s me, all dressed up.

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Photo by The Michigan Wedding Photographer.

My husband is Eric Freitas. He’s a professional artist and horologist. It’s so wonderful to be married to another creative. He completely understands the ups and down of this kind of field, from the fury of inspiration to the crushing blow of rejection. However, since we’re different kinds of creative, it never feels like we’re competing. Instead, we get to admire each other’s work in awe without ever feeling threatened or outdone, all while riding the highs and lows of a creative life with someone who knows exactly how it all feels.

I wanted to elope and skip all the drama of weddings but felt bad about excluding my family from the day. After many discussions with my hubby-to-be, we decided on an intimate wedding with immediate family only. Planning a small wedding was still incredibly stressful, especially for a pair of introverts who just want to stay home and create things.

All this – selling my house, planning a wedding, managing my freelance business – ate up a lot of time.

In between all the “life” things happening over the last year, I had taken a stab at a handful of books, from different categories and genres. At the end of the day, I kept coming back to the same one — an adult fantasy novel that’s been in my head for years.

Now that the whirlwind of last year is over and I’m settling into my new life, I’ve finally been able to flesh out what this story really is. I love it. It’s pushing my writing to another level. Whether it sells or not, this book is changing the way I understand writing.

My husband has read just about everything I’ve written, including stories that never saw the light of day. Whenever he reads something new from me, he’s always complimentary and encouraging me to keep going.

When I gave him the first chapter of this new book, though, something changed. Instead of his typical: hey, I really like this, he came back to me, clutching the papers in his hand, with only one thing to say.

“Where’s chapter two?”

When I explained to him that chapter two wouldn’t be done for a while – I was still drafting and building the rest of the book – he said, “But… you know what’s going to happen, right? So, you could just tell me.”

There was a hunger in his eyes, a need to know what would happen next to these characters and this world I had created. That’s when I knew I had something. I mean, I knew I loved this book but how other people respond to a story is something completely different and almost impossible for an author to judge themselves.

For the last few months, I’ve put everything else on the back-burner to focus on it completely. If you’re a fan of my Arena series, this new book will be very different in terms of characters, plot, world, and overall scale.

Arena was very “tight” – tight timeline, limited characters, a linear plot and just enough world-building to get by. This was intentional when I wrote it. I wanted the reader to hyper-focus on Kali and her team as they raced to the top, as if the reader was on that ride to stardom with them.

This new book is much denser with a more complex plot. It’s second-world fantasy so the world-building much, MUCH heavier. However, it’s still a book by me, so it’s fairly fast-paced and voice-y. As I progress further on the book, I’ll share more about it with you in future posts.

For now, I just want to say thank you. Thanks to all my readers who have been patient with me as I sorted through my writing struggles and all the changes I went through over the last year. Thanks to my agent for understanding about my constant switching between various novels and my incessant, stupid questions.

And of course, a special thanks to my hubby for becoming the first, and biggest, fan of my new book. Sometimes, your enthusiasm is what pushes me through a rough writing day.

That’s all the updates I have for now. As time goes by, I’ll be sharing more and more. Again, thanks for sticking with me through this ride and I can’t wait to share more about my new book with all of you.

4 responses

  1. I’m so excited to see that spark is back and you are excited about this project! I already can’t wait to read it. You are so talented and beautiful inside and out that I only wish you amazing things. I know you don’t even need good wishes becuase you’ll just go out there an get it yourself. Xo

    Like

    • Thanks Bling! It’s not guaranteed to get released; my agent has to get a publisher interested first — but hopefully!

      Also – there’s almost no romance in this one, so I think you’ll be pleased. 🙂

      Like

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