Yes, I promised Warped before I took a hiatus from Blended and concentrated on M&M.
Yes, I am reneging.
#1: I’ve published nearly 1,800 pages of Blended in 2014. I think I’ve earned a pass.
#2: I tend to emulate my characters. Writing a Bipolar drug addicted police officer is not a small feat while maintaining your own level of sanity. As of late, I’ve been suffering with the manic portion of my character’s condition. I cannot concentrate on anything for longer than a few moments. To write, one must be able to sit for large amounts of time and be completely within their minds. I can only read the beginning of a book, and then I lose interest at this point. It’s like my mind has been invaded by a swarm of thoughts that just will NOT settle down into something conhesive.
#3: I’ve already written over 100,000 words of Warped. (Restraint is 97,000 in its current state). Warped will be nearly 1,000 pages in length if I write it while inspired, with patience, and without rushing. I want to enjoy what I write, but if I don’t, the readers will feel the emotions infusing the page.
#4: I promised myself I’d NEVER rush-write again, and that is a promise to myself I will never break. I wouldn’t be in this situation if I hadn’t wrote how I did earlier in my career. But I can call upon my ignorance. I. Am. NOT. Ignorant any longer. I have been wizened beyond my years through trial and error and shit writing.
#5: I’ve written well-over a million words since I began Restraint. I’m positive I’ve evolved in my craft, and M&M deserves better. The series deserves the level of writing I am currently at, not what is currently published, silently embarrassing me.
#6: we are coming up to the one-year anniversary to the release of Integrated, the last M&M book I published. If I were to take my time, making Warped as incredible as I believe it will be (hard-hitting, raw- gripping, and emotional), it would be nearing 2 years for the next M&M book. Some authors don’t write a 1000 pages in several years, and to expect me to crank it out in a few months without harsh consequences is madness.
#7: Erica needs a break. I’m drained. Tapped out. The muse is not amused, or inspired, or awake. I slept for hours last night, finally, realizing it’s been ages since I slept longer than 4 hours at a time. It isn’t healthy. It’s a delicate balance: creating books to sell to the masses, versus taking care of yourself. I write book that my fans are hungry to read, but I don’t have a lot of devoted fans in my niche writing. So it takes a LOT of releases to earn squat. But at what cost? My sanity? My health?
#7.5: see refusal to speed-write to crank out books to earn more money. I’d rather write a great book, the first time, and be proud of what I’ve given to the public, than to pad my bank account. I deserve more. The reader deserves more. But most importantly, the STORY deserves more.
#8: Sometimes I just can’t write anew. Sometimes I find immense joy in fixing what I’ve previously written, finding pride in making it better- more. Obviously this is obvious, since I can never leave well-enough alone. Which is why I’m going into Print books. Once in print, it’s permanent, a stopping point for my never-ending obsession with perfection.
#9: I don’t cater to the masses. My books are not for the mainstream. A notion I’m completely ditching during my M&M rewrite. Maybe if I wasn’t trying to straddle the line of normalcy versus how twisted my mind truly is, the readers would feel it, connect with the story, and want to share it with the world. So instead of trying to crank out books to sell more books to a handful of devotees, I’m going to try to write the best books to my ability, to my standards, and perhaps gain some more fans in the process. I think the payoff for all those involved will be greater.
#10: Restraint is getting refurbished: A new cover. A new blurb. A new price point. Both in print and in ebook form. It’s getting completely rewritten, restructured. Because if I demand more of myself as a writer, to write my flagship book to be one of the best books I’ve written, then I should not discount it. As with self-respect, you get what you project. If I give my own version of a masterpiece away for free, in hopes someone will one-click it, and may or may not ever even open it to read its contents, then I’m belittling my own work. If I want readers to know it’s worthy, then I’ll make sure they know its worth. I’m not saying I will never sale price the title, I’m promising it will never be FREE.
#11: I can give a way a lot of books for free or next to nothing, and they may or may not ever be read. But this avid reader/one-clicker/bookwhore, hardly ever reads the free books she collects, but one thing that is for damned sure: if I BUY it, I READ it. If I READ it, I REVIEW it.
#12: I’m pulling myself out of the rabbit hole. If I sell 10 books at the higher price point, it’s still worth more than giving away thousands of books no one will ever read. I will keep the Kindle Lending, Prime, and Unlimited. I will sale price my books for promotions. Books, just because they are offered in ebook form, does not make them any less valuable than one sitting upon the shelves. It still took the same amount of time to write, edit, buy the cover, pay the cover artist, pay Uncle Sam his cut, maintain an at-home office. If the writer is good, then the book will be better. The good writer with the better book shouldn’t have to lower their prices to compete with books of a lower caliber.
I’m not speaking of price gouging; I’m speaking of worth. To say Good Girl is only worth 99 cents is madness. To say when it’s in its print form it will be worth ten bucks just because of the paper it’s printed on is lunacy. It’s 700 pages of my blood, sweat, and tears, of ME on the pages, and to give it away for free, or to only get 30 cents BEFORE taxes per copy…
Yes, anyone can type up a book and slap a price on it, but it takes money to be a writer and survive. It takes even more money to be a damned good writer and show it in your work. We’re all worth more. I’ve just finally figured that out.
#13: My plan, which is subject to change: All of M&M of Restraint, rewritten and republished in both print and ebook, with every book published thereafter as a permanent book. Only one try this time for the Wicked Writer. No more do-overs. I can’t survive it. I either respect and feel proud of the work I’m publishing, or it won’t be published. The first time. No rush-writing. No getting books out to have a new release and keep my links on ppl’s Twitter, Fb, and Goodreads feeds.
#14: Hero will be my next new release.
#15: My apologies, Blended Fans, but I released 4 Blended books, back-to-back, in less than nine months (1,800 pages). It’s The Mistress & Master of Restraint’s turn. But I will never go longer than 2 books per series without going back to the other. No more years of one series without giving a voice to the other.
#16: Blended is finite for a reason. It’s heavily outlined. I even know the final sentence of “THE END”. M&M could be infinite, as along as I have a palate cleanser, affording me the opportunity to give my muse room to grow and play.
17: When I catch up, or when the muse demands some space, you’ll be hearing from my pseudonym. The mystery and the suspense will be that I will NOT tell you who it is. I’ll wait, announce it, and let you all scour goodreads & Amazon until you figure it out. I call myself the Wicked Writer for a reason, and I will derive perverse pleasure as I watch you reason out who my other half is…