Update: Renegades Release and What Comes Next
Renegades of PEACE Release
As many of you know, I recently released Renegades of PEACE and celebrated the one-year anniversary of Secrets of PEACE. To celebrate, both books were free/discounted from the 27th to 30th and I ran a few promotions with various sites. The whole thing ended up being a lot more successful than any promos I've run in the past, which I was thrilled about. I sold more copies of Renegades than I had anticipated, and Secrets actually moved up pretty high in its categories for free eBooks and stayed there most of that weekend.
I just wanted to thank everyone who made the release successful, whether that was by buying a copy of the book, sharing my posts on social media, or just reaching out to say congratulations. I've been at this author thing for a year now and I'm still constantly amazed by how awesome and supportive people are. So thank you all.
Now that Renegades is finished, it's time to start working on the next thing on my endless list of creative projects. Here are my top priorities in order.
1) Right now, my first priority is to finish up the illustrations for my picture book, Cody's Wild West Adventure. I've been working on it for way too long and it needs to get done, especially with all the people who have been pestering me about it lately. Which is great, by the way. I'm glad people are interested. I took a break from illustrations last year after I realized my laptop was horrible with colors and what I was actually seeing on the screen wasn't what would actually print. I have a nice new desktop now though, with a fabulous monitor made specifically for art and graphic design, so I'm all set. First I need to go back and fix all the old illustrations, but luckily, I don't think that will be a major issue. I've set a deadline for myself to have all the illustrations finished by early October so I can start working on the publishing process, which is probably going to be just different enough from publishing a text-only book that I'll have to learn everything all over again.
2) I'm also working on a fantasy novelette set in an alternate version of our world titled Calico Thunder Rides Again. (Look who came up with a great title before finishing the story and without even having to think about it? Sometimes miracles happen.) It features a down-on-his-luck cowboy, a magical circus, a half-blind dragon, and antagonists I may have cackled in delight over once or twice as I was writing them. Basically, it's a just a fun story - maybe even a little ridiculous - and way different from anything I've written before. It was supposed to just be a short story, but the characters kind of took over and it ended up being on the longer side. Apparently a novelette is anything between 7,500 and 17,000 words, which is where this story fits, so that's what I'm calling it. I'm not sure what my publishing plans are for it yet as it's just a second draft right now, but I'm enjoying every second of working on it.
3) My third priority is the final Secrets of PEACE book. I know this maybe feels like it should be higher up on the list, but quite frankly, Renegades of PEACE was a pretty mentally and emotionally draining book to write, and I don't think anyone would benefit from me trying to force out the final installment of the series right now. I need to take a step back and recuperate a little with fun projects like the two above while I figure out what comes next. Because I'm not entirely sure of that yet. Renegades of PEACE was always supposed to be the last book in the series, but I hadn't gotten very far into rewriting it last year when I realized I wanted to write a third book. I'm excited to see what's in store for the characters but not quite ready to start writing yet
That means the book is going to take longer to finish. I don't have a specific date in mind, but I don't think it will be ready for publication a year from now, as was the case with the gap between Secrets and Renegades. That's partly due to all the other things going on in my life - including finishing up my bachelor's degree in social work - and partly just because of the story itself. There are some big ideas I want to explore but I don't think I'm equipped to do that yet. And like I said, I don't want to force it. I owe it to myself and to these characters to wrap up their story as best as I possibly can. I do have a title, though: Survivors of PEACE. Given all that the characters have gone through over the course of the last two books, it feels appropriate. They are survivors, and they'll have to keep surviving in the aftermath of everything that has happened to them in Renegades.
Thank you all for your continued support. I hope some of these new writing projects interest you, and please don't hesitate to send me a message or leave a comment below to let me know what you think.