Okay, so after my little meltdown on Tuesday I have to thank everyone who sent their warm comments and encouraging emails. Those words and my own doggedness have me back in the writing saddle, which means it’s time to take a little glimpse into the future.
Sorry, I can’t provide any useful upcoming election results, but I can take a few stabs at what’s coming up in my writing world.
So after the publication of The Return of Odysseus in May, I left my historical fantasy world of Osteria for good. So where does that leave me?
Relieved for one thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I honestly am proud of how the Domna serial (set in Osteria) and the final books of The Osteria Chronicles turned out, but as I reached the final stages of editing The Battle of Ares and The Return of Odysseus, I knew my writing style was ready for something new.
Bring on the Rebranding
It’s been a long time since I wrote the first book of The Osteria Chronicles. My writing has matured and I’ve become much more comfortable with my own “voice”.
You can see some of that voice in my more recent short stories such as Mrs. Morris Meets Death, Dragon Trouble, and The Back Room. It’s a style that’s lighter in tone with doses of my perpetual wry humor.
And it’s a style that’s heavily present in the Cassie Black trilogy I’m working on.
All this is to say, over the next few months I’ll be doing some rebranding…which sounds so corporate, right?
Don’t worry, you’ll barely notice most of the change. I’ve already started some of the work with my recent website makeover and with the updated cover on the story I use as my mailing list freebie.
This change may turn off some of you who like the slightly heavier tone of the Osteria books, but I hope you’ll at least give my new work a chance…which brings me to that new work.
Plans? Ha! What Plans!?
Sigh, why does reality have to get in the way of fiction?
I’ve been diving in and out of my Cassie Black trilogy off and on (mostly off) since 2018. But once I put Osteria behind me, the zombie/magic/mystery-filled books have been my Number One priority.
If you’ve seen me going on about these stories you’ll know how excited and happy I am with them, and how much fun I’m having writing them.
And I want you guys to have fun, which means I am eager to release these puppies!!
Book One (Cassie Black and the Undead Mr. Tenpenny) is pretty much done. It needs a couple more rounds of proofreading/developmental edits. Still, it’s already won a couple award, one of my first readers has exclaimed, “LOVED it!” and another could barely put it down.
My original plans for Book One had been to release it this fall with the others coming in Winter and Spring of 2021.
Notice I said “had been.”
See, I’ve got two pesky things throwing a spanner in the book launch works.
Thing One and Thing Two
One, is a little pandemic. You may have heard a couple pieces of news about it.
What’s that got to do with a book release, you ask? Well, because of the pandemic, many of the Big Publishers held off their spring releases, postponing them to late summer or early fall, which will make it even harder for low-budget indies like me to shoulder our way onto the virtual shelf space.
Problem Two comes in the form of the upcoming U.S. election. Supposedly this might be contentious and attention grabbing.
Okay, let’s be honest, it’s going to be a shit storm of mudslinging political ads, vicious news, struggle for voting rights, incessant emails from the candidates, bitching over the results, and likely another round of protests no matter who wins.
Are book releases going to be top on people’s minds during all this? Probably not.
Follow that up with December when our inboxes will be filled with Buy This for Christmas or Your Loved Ones Will Stop Loving You ads. Basically any time from September 2020 to January 2021 is going to be nearly impossible for a small voice to be heard.
A Cunning Plan?
I spent a fair amount of time in May and June (okay, I’m still at it) drawing up possible release/work schedules. Through all this planning I’ve done the tough thing of pushing aside my eagerness to get Cassie Black #1 out into the world, so I can decide what would be in the best interests of my writing career.
All that thinking brought me to the disappointing conclusion that it would be wisest to wait until next January or February before I release that first Cassie Black book.
Ugh, that is painful and I’m still wrestling with it.
However, this delay also means the other two books of the trilogy should be done and ready to go at nearly the same time.
So, my debate now is do I release these in rapid-release fashion with approximately six weeks between each release, or do I trickle the releases over the course of the year? It’s a debate I’m still having with myself.
The upside of all this is it’s allowing me plenty of time to come up with a strong release and audience-building strategy, and possibly too much time to play around with cover ideas (I have so many cover mock ups right now…and yes, there will be a survey!!)
Free Stuff, Audio Stuff, New Stuff!
Let’s see, what else was I thinking of in regards to the future?
Oh yes! Because I have been teasing you with this trilogy for so long and because you guys deserve a little something for being fans, I am planning on giving you free samples of the book months before release day.
It won’t be the entire first book, but it should be a big enough sample (about one-third of the book) for you to decide whether the new writing style/tone/voice is for you.
Beyond that, I am working on getting some audio versions of my short stories ready and I’ll be releasing those over the course of the year along with ebook versions which had previously only been available over on my Payhip Bookstore.
And Finally, The Future of the Blog
Despite all the advice that says blogging is pointless for fiction authors, it’s pretty much the only form of social media I can stomach…and I like doing it (most of the time), so the blog isn’t going anywhere.
I am however trying to find a more focused topic (or topics) to blog about to hopefully draw a stronger, more dedicated readership.
I do have plenty of posts in mind to draw you into Cassie Black’s world, but I won’t start dripping those into the blogosphere until we’re nearer to launch time.
The ideas I have right now are step-by-step, post-by-post insights into my own creative process with the hope that they might inspire others.
One is Tammie Writes a Short Story where I’d take you along on my story creation madness, and the other is Tammie Makes a Podcast since a few of you have asked about how that works.
Any thoughts on rebranding, the delayed publishing schedule, or anything else I’ve balthered on about above? Don’t be shy about commenting… I really do love getting your input as readers.
Don’t be afraid of the dark…humor, that is.
If you’ve got a wicked sense of humor, be sure to check out this small collection of FREE tales!