Mostly all you’ve seen from me in years now are snippets and promos for others. Today I finally sent in a novel I finished writing almost five years ago. What took me so long? Glad you asked.
When I finished this at the end of 2018 beginning of 2019 there was a lot of turmoil going on. For one there was the whole fiasco with a certain publisher. While I am forever grateful for them giving me my first break, I will equally be forever disappointed in how that ended up. Hell it took me over 2 years to ask for my rights back because the depression was paralyzing.
Topping that was the utter failure of Blood Red Roulette. I’ll be honest, I still don’t get why it was stillborn. Maybe it was the rumblings of what was going to happen with the publisher. Maybe it was bad marketing (I tried but I definitely feel it was lacking). Maybe it was vampire burn out.
That said, vampires tend to do well. It had an amazing cover. And it was literally dead on arrival. I can count on my fingers how many reviews it got and I’m not sure I saw much payment at all. That took the wind from my sails. Was I a bad author?
I could rationalizing some of my others not doing fantastic. A polycule urban fantasy set in the 1930s is pretty niche, after all. But a modern day vampire story set in Vegas, I would have thought it’d do better. Hell I’ve had better sales on novellas and short stories than that novel.
Not going to lie, that crushed me. I had worked off and on for 20 plus years to get that story told the way it was in my head. I had been excited to share it with the world. That failure was gutting.
Just as I was picking myself up from that Covid hit. While you’d think we’d be reading more locked up in our houses, what I was seeing in social media was the opposite. Author after author – some relatively big names too – bemoaning having a release during lock down. We might be learning how to bake in our lock down time but apparently we weren’t buying books. I shelved the idea of self pubbing then.
2021 broke me a life changing accident in Feb. I destroyed my leg, nearly lost if I’m truthful about it. It took about a dozen surgeries to put it back together over the course of more than a month. I was hospitalized for over two months. I had to relearn how to walk. The leg has stents in it to keep the blood flowing below my knee. The nerves were severed and I can’t feel my calf and much of my foot.
2021-2022 was dedicated to recovering from this. I put off a novella I owed Ninestar Press (I DO need to get back to that) I did noodle with short stories (especially in 2022) even published a few but novels have now been back burnered for years. I started to blow the dust off my novel These Haunted Hills set here where I live. I edited it slowly, as meticulously as I could as I’ve lost most of my beta readers.
I finally sent it out. I feel like I’m starting at the beginning again. That’s not entirely true of course, I have a decade of experience good and bad behind me. I have high hopes for this novel. I have a duology I need to return to. I need to get another novella edited and rewritten because I think it has potential but it has problems. I have the framework of a novel that is also nearly 20 years old, started when I lived in Florida after yet another life changing injury. I think that might be why I’ve never pursued that one (then again when I first started things they were mostly only pubbing m/m and this is m/m m/f and unapologetically bi).
Am I back? I would like to think so. I am at least trying. Am I afraid? Yes a little but I’m also trying and at the end of the day I would rather try and fail than not try at all.