After more than a month of debate, both within my mind and with my betas, I threw the to-be-released series order out the window and went with my muse- for several reasons that I don’t wish to delve into. I’d originally stated that Silenced would follow The Hunter with Integrated to follow Silenced. The muse demanded I create Integrated within minutes of The Hunter making its visit to my betas. By the time The Hunter was returned for its final edits, I’d almost completed Integrated. While Integrated was making its beta run, I immediately started Hero.
As confusing as it is for readers, it was far worse for my poor mind. While writing Hero I encountered a new problem, one that I was scared to voice since I’d released titles, series order, and tentative release dates for several novels. A book formed, a book that was connected to Hero.
I awoke a week ago and said the hell with it all- I’m going with my gut.
Notice: Any timeline or deadline I’d previously released is null and void.
I’m writing one book at a time- soldiering through by my muse alone. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused you readers, but I must do this correctly the first time because there are no do-overs in publishing. Once released, it is what it is.
so this is the plan that I’m willing to voice. Definites are firm, meaning they are not subject to change. Probables are flexible, meaning they will be written but not in any specific order- they are on a ‘I’ll tell you when I figure it out basis‘.
Integrated, M&M #11 (Ezra Zeitler)
Hero, M&M #12 (Caleb Green)
Empowered, M&M #13 (TBA after Integrated’s release)
Prince (Niel Whittenhower)
Silenced (Grant Whittenhower)
Master (Marcus Zeitler)
Monster (Ava Zeitler)
Outlines created for untitled works in progress:
Dalton Fontaine Marconi (Yes, our beloved Emo is voicing another installment now that he’s grown into a man)
Julian ‘Julio’ Ramirez
What does this mean for the Playroom series? I’d planned on completing this story arc up until Master, and then writing the series in its entirety before delving into the chaotic journey of the Master of the Universe. Unless the muse goes batshit crazy again, Widow will be released after Empowered. Wayward may or may not be written immediately. It depends on the direction of the flow of the story. It is my hope that I will write the series, every other book until I reach Master, and then it will be a project beyond all projects to create Master.
I apologize for any and all confusion, and I hope to have Integrated released for a special Halloween trick-or-treat to fans.
I find myself in a precarious position. First, I must give you the sequence of my WIPs for you to fully understand my dilemma.
… and possibly Monster- Ava.
One would assume I’d be diligently at work on Silenced, being as it is the next book in my series… believe it or not, Integrated is complete and with the betas, several have returned their edits already. It’s slightly longer than The Hunter, maybe 400 ebook pages. Currently, Silenced is 10,000 words in length with a daunting outline- totally at odds with the light, sexy story I’d originally planned to tell…
The Dilemma: As a writer, you are subject to your creativity- inspiration- the muse. We have a short attention span- yes, that sounds strange coming from creatures that must have intense concentration to build worlds from nothing. But we most certainly have short attention spans. Like a shiny object to a cat, a light will catch our eye and our minds flit… “Oh, shiny- a new story to weave.”
Novelists write in intense bursts of creativity- speaking of my own experience, I can go 70 hours of non-stop writing, 50,000 words in three days… and then pass out. Burn out. After which, I tell myself to slow down, LIVE a little… experience life instead of writing about it. But the siren call is so much stronger… and I’m pulled back in within days.
As a slave to inspiration, you need to determine if your muse is truly leading you astray or towards destiny. Next, you must decide if you are being indulgent with your creativity. Are you allowing yourself to be led to greener but never better pastures, or is it the path you should take.
Here is the issue: I want, no, I need to write Hero. It’s thrumming within me- screaming. A character needs voiced while it’s still fresh in my mind… but does it truly, or am I just scared to dive into the pain that Grant has to show me when Caleb is promising… hope. For Silenced is just the beginning of Grant’s journey while Hero won’t necessarily be an HEA book, it’s pushing into one… Silenced will open up to another much more pain-filled book that I don’t know when I will be emotionally ready to write- if I’ll ever be emotionally able to write.
So here I am… I have a book completed with the one that I should be writing shelved… and then I want to skip yet another book to write the one following it. Here, have a visual,
Silenced, Integrated *completed*, Prince, Hero.
But what readers won’t understand until they get their hands on the story within… those books are so interwoven that Silenced & Prince will be written together… and The Hunter, Integrated, and Hero are simply extensions of one other….
So, do I indulge my muse, leaving me with a huge backlist of books to publish once I get their predecessors written… or do I push through and fear ruining the story I weave?
Then there is the fact that it could just be a shiny object being dangled in front of my face, enticing me, seducing me when it’s the wrong path…
My books are complicated to say the least. The beginning books not so much, but as you delve into my series, you see why I must have 5 or more books outlined in order to keep A-Z straight. So one book interconnects with one several books into the reader’s future but they are my present… all of these books encompass the same time frame and cast of characters.
When I find myself hesitant to thoroughly commit to a project, it means there is an issue. I already broke form by writing Integrated before Silenced. When I finished, I completely revamped Silenced outline from being a fluff piece to something rivaling Faithless and the soon-to-be written Master. How Grant ended up with an epic book is beyond my scope. While in awe, I’m a so pissed at my muse I could shriek while yanking my hair out!
Yet again, after enthusiastically reworking Silenced outline, Hero is calling me.
One thing you must understand, when I commit to a story, I write it in its entirety without interruption- without living. I say without living because I become my characters. Don’t get me started on the fact that I wanted to bite faces off while writing Faithless… Syn was a hard girl to have within your mind for 330,000+ words… Ugh! Cort was a breath of fresh air… Ezra, not bad, surprisingly. So when the choice is a sardonic yet playful submissive dealing with an abuse victim, an eighteen year old man-child, or a stern yet compassionate Marine…
yeah, I’m a 35 yo woman… snorts. Yeah, none of them fit the Erica profile- but amazingly so, I write men better than women. I guess I go with my gut… much to the readers’ dismay with having to wait extra months for releases, but will get a bounty of the dang things in a month’s time- like four books dropping one week a part.
And then I say, “Erica, cut yourself some slack. Big-time authors only write one or two books per year, about 200k words, tops… you’re almost writing a million words a year (I just bypassed 800k in less than 9 months, in case you’re curious). Take a fucking nap it’s 5 am and you’ve yet to go to f’n bed! Tomorrow is another day, but it’s already upon you!”
I just feel pressure.
I have pressure mounting me from every direction- it’s why I often fantasize of a world of only my creation, and get mightily pissed when yanked from said world.
I guess, in a nutshell, and it answers my dilemma, other than the pull of creation, Hero isn’t pressuring me- it’s enlivening me.
While I may write it from start-to-finish, or I may write a chunk and return to the one known as coward… who knows. But I just realized the irony that I’m debating the coward vs the hero… *rolls eyes*
The Hunter: Mistress & Master of Restraint, #10 is Live on Amazon for $4.99. Will be available on B&N shortly. You can add it to your Goodreads shelves as well. Cortez would appreciate it if you could share the links and spread the love around.
Cortez Abernathy, the modern day whipping boy. The orphan always walked alongside the man he was destined to shadow, enjoying the wealth, the indulgences, the influence, and the opportunities of the elite. Ezra Holden Zeitler was coddled, protected because he was the last of his family’s line. The heir would act out, and fearing Ezra’s tantrums and his mental illness, Cortez took the blame… the consequences… the punishments.
From the outside looking in, Cortez is selfish, lazy, and untrustworthy. Cortez tries to scream the truth, but no one ever takes him seriously- never listens. “Ezra did it!” In actuality, Cort is brutally honest while his lips twist into a charming smirk and his eyes glisten with amusement.
This life, this game, Ezra, has taken a toll on Cortez. The whipping boy only had one thing to call his own. It was inborn, a passion for words. The latest punishment rendered Cortez blocked, left to walk an endless abyss of an empty imagination. Without Cort’s ability to delve into his imaginary worlds, he was forced to live in reality.
Lost… confused… Cortez Abernathy struggles to survive.
One simple acknowledgement frees Cortez’s words. “Daddy.” The muse awakens from her long slumber and demands that Cortez go back to the beginning. Cortez Abernathy begins writing a memoir, The Hunter. As he pours his soul onto the pages, he begins to heal.
No longer lost or confused, Cortez realizes he doesn’t have to walk in Ezra’s shadow. Whether beside Ezra or without Ezra, Cortez will survive.
Jaded, Queened, and Checkmate also available in a discounted omnibus edition- QUEEN.
Begin the Playroom series with Good Girl. Playroom #2, Widow, coming soon…
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Silenced, M&M #11, Grant Whittenhower. September.
Integrated, M&M #12, Ezra Zeitler. October
Widow, Playroom #2. September/October
I updated the coming soon tab on this website. I thought I should expand on what I’m up to.
The books are listed in the order I am writing them, not the order of release. I write out of order and 3 to 4 books at a time. I will list the release order at the bottom of this posting.
The Hunter is in the final stages, and I should be pressing publish on Sunday Nite. It will be in Amazon & B&N’s hands after that. I am pushing for an August 20th release. The Hunter is the 100,000 word first part of a two part story that ends in the Grand Ballroom at Whittenhower Estates. The cover reveal, blurb, and the first three chapters are available on this website.
I am currently writing Integrated, Ezra’s story. I guesstimate that it will be around 100,000 word as well. Maybe slightly shorter. It is the second half of The Hunter, but it is not to be read immediately after. A generous release date of early October. I believe it will be earlier than that, but that depends on other factors. No more than two months will pass between the release of The Hunter-Silenced-Integrated.
Note: The Hunter & Integrated are not a twisted ride of WTF! It’s an emotional journey. The Hunter is written half in the past and half in the weeks before the explosive Christmas Meeting. Integrated is a push into the future, starting with the meeting. Combined they are the resolution for Ezra and Cortez- they’ve earned it since I’ve toyed with these two characters for 12 books. Warning: do not expect the usual. I’m just saying this because I don’t want emails and reviews and comments wanting to know where the kink is or the game playing. These books are about the characters and absolutely nothing else.
Widow: is currently 87,000 words (expected length 120-140k), read thru 4 times, and has the last of the scenes heavily outlined. M&M kept dominating my time from this story. Some if it is because I’m on the fence over a part of the storyline- omit it or evolve it- does it lend to the story or just twist it. This is the nexus novel of the series. It’s the ties that bind the next 5 books. This is pure romance. You start the book knowing how the end of the book will play out. Completely different from anything I’ve written before. But it’s necessary to glue the rest of the books together. That storyline thread is a twisted one. I fear my fans will find my detour boring if I don’t kink it up. But that isn’t what this series is about. This is real life versus M&M’s twisted insanity. I’m marinating on this while I finish Integrated and as I reread Widow from the beginning… again.
Silenced. Grant Whittenhower’s novella. It’s about his naughty exploits within the game to get a woman’s attentions. This book is a palate cleanser between The Hunter and Integrated. The blurb is currently available on this website. I will NOT be posting the first chapter of this novella- it would spoil way too much from the past books as well as the entire premise of the novella.
Prince: Niel’s book is time sensitive. It’s no secret that he has a big secret about to enter the world in less than 5 months. Niel will be the first of Generation Next to have a novel. He will be sharing it with one other character. I am debating on going against the series’ norm and writing it as a dual perspective with the mother-to-be. I won’t know until I get there.
Hero: Caleb Green, our war hero comes home to a life he hasn’t led since his eighteenth birthday. Haunted by the past, he sees something within a woman that intrigues him- pain and the eyes of a survivor, a fighter- when he looks at her he sees a mirror into himself.
Master: Marcus Zeitler, the fallen Master of the Universe. This will be a 20 year epic journey that will take me a very long time to outline, write in a piece meal fashion, and I will have to go back to the series as a whole to make sure that every detail is accurate.
After Hero’s completion, I am investing my sole focus on Master & the Playroom series. Master will be that difficult to write. Faithless took a lot out of me, and I believe this will be far worse. I will write scenes of Master while completing the Playroom series.
The Playroom series isn’t infinite as M&M is… 7 books are outlined, and only 7 books will be written. The main cast are the only ones who have a voice, with each book having 2-3 narrators.
After Master, it isn’t the end of the M&M series. I am offering resolution to the well-loved and most known characters to open up the ability to expand on the members of Generation Next (the kids) and the side characters. They are clamoring to tell their stories.
I have several projects outlined that I cannot get to since I will not write more than 2 series at once. Completing the Playroom will allow me to explore other avenues.
Very Tentative release dates:
The Hunter: August 20th
Silenced: Late September/early October
Integrated: Early October
Master: Late 2014/Early 2015
(working titles) (Narrators do not denote couples)
Wayward (Augustus, Isis, Robin)
Waver (Willow, Kieren, Devon)
Warped (?,?) <- narrators would ruin the surprise.
Wicked (Raven, Violet)
Wanted (Seth, Weston)
My brain is bleeding… seriously, that’s how it feels sometimes. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. Happy Wicked Reading, and thank you to all that interact with me on a daily basis, share my books with friends, and just make me laugh!
I’m off to enter the mind of madness known as Dr. Lunatic!
Slightly premature since I’m writing Integrated right now. But the muse writes whatever she wants, & she wanted to write Silenced’s Blurb. The cover is completed as well, but I’m not showing that yet 😉
Our Wicked Writer, the creator of our universe, refuses to have a character of less strength than she grace the pages of her books. I’ve begged, pleaded, gotten down upon my knees in supplication and batted my eyelashes at her. I even deployed my dimples, to which she scoffed in reply. Don’t repeat this, but I even offered myself to our Wicked Writer, to which she hastily palmed my forehead and shoved.
Months I annoyed her by whispering sweet nothings into her mind. When that failed, I began to silently scream. Finally she turned to me and spoke, “Grant, what the hell do you want?”
I quickly replied with, “I want a voice.” I pitifully pointed at my silent mouth and pouted. Our Wicked Writer rolled her green eye at me. “I’ll make it good,” I promised.
I was ignored. I thought and thought and thought. It tried the writer angle, to which she happily replied she would publish one of my numeral books for the masses. I am Grant Whittenhower, The Whittenhower. My pen name is James Atwater and our arrogant Wicked Writer said she’d publish one of my books in her name- the audacity. But being the weakest willed of all of her characters, I wouldn’t say as much to her face.
Finally, I appealed to her nature. For our Wicked Writer is really, really wicked. I have committed all of the seven deadly sins, some of them more than once… and several at the same time. A sardonic smile and a, “regale me with your tale,” and I knew I had her.
I’m a coward, but I’m a naughty coward. Only one person brings the bravery out of me. My first love has evaded me for twenty five years. My tale will be one of all the deadly sins, for I’ve used every sin to capture her attention.
…But this is only half of my tale, for our Wicked Writer will not allow me to voice anything that isn’t a part of the hunt and capture. In a moment of kindness, Our Wicked Writer will allow my first mistress to voice the rest of my tale, but only when she sees fit.