Writing the next book in a series is scary in one way and kind of nice in another.
I spent four years in the eeevil dreaded purgatory known as Queryland, writing one novel after another, querying agents and editors alike. Finally, my YA Paranormal Sugar Rush snagged the attention of three ePublishers. I compared their contracts and decided I liked Decadent’s best. I signed and Sugar Rush was released in October 2010. Some authors consider ePublishing a stepping stone to traditional publishing, but I’m one who really couldn’t care less. If my life works out for traditional publishing, fine, but I’m just happy to have a way to share my stories with the world. ePublishing works for my very busy life. I have four children and live on a Master Schedule.
I don’t know what they’re saying now, because I don’t pay attention anymore, but back in Queryland the prevailing advice was to write your novel as a stand-alone and never mention that’s part of a series. If you snag an agent, by some miracle, and the book goes onto publication and sells really well, then you might get a multi-book contract. So, I kept my mouth shut, metaphorically speaking, about the Ophelia Dawson Chronicles when I signed with Decadent at first. Can’t remember exactly, but I asked a question about my other stories of the other Decadent authors on our Yahoo group. The executive editor, Heather Bennett, noticed and said it was a question for the executive editor, which was her. And I was like, ‘Huh? But, I’m pond scum.’ Nevertheless, I emailed her about the other stories in the series and she was interested.
So, that’s how I got started writing the Ophelia Dawson Chronicles. Like I said, Sugar Rush was released in October. I also wrote a novella/short story, but I didn’t have time to do it justice in the editing before Sugar Rush. You see, Crushed Sugar is actually a *prequel,* like Star Wars Attack of the Clones is a prequel to the originally released Star Wars movie, A New Hope. It takes place over a couple of days in the September before the start of the events in Sugar Rush. It’s also much shorter at about 15,000 words and it just entered the final stages before release. I’m hoping Crushed will be out within a month, but the release date depends on many different factors aligning at once. I’m in no hurry. I have plenty of other work to do, you know.
On New Year’s Day, I started writing Sweet Bytes, the next full-length novel in the series. Its first scene starts about a week after Sugar Rush’s last scene ends. My writing style is such that I finish creating a story in my head, then beat out a scene-by-scene outline, and finally I write the first draft fast in about a month, kind of like NaNo. After that, it’s rewriting time, which is when most of the hard work is done. I’m hoping to have Sweet Bytes ready for Decadent’s editors to chomp into by April. As a book reviewer at Enduring Romance for four years, I learned ePublished authors, especially, need to be efficient and quick in order to do well.
Some readers think super-stardom is the norm because the media only talks about the mega-bestselling authors like Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling. In reality, most of us have to scratch and claw our way through the business. It’s very hard work, which is why ePiracy is so galling. But, I don’t want to get into that subject right now.
Thanks, Leslie, for inviting me to guest post. If she doesn’t mind you all knowing, she was one of my editors for Sugar Rush. She was very thorough and professional and I really enjoyed working with her. I wish her all the best in her own publication journey!
(Leslie: Thanks so much, Kimber An! And thanks for joining us here on the Dusty Rose blog!)