Happy (Late) April, friends!
I come to you today in a spirit of reflection. Every year in April I get nostalgic because April 2nd, 2011 was the day I started writing with the hope of publishing. When I look back on the person I was then, I admire her starry-eyed optimism and excitement. There are times I wish I could've prepared her for what to expect, but I also am glad I went through all I did to become who I am today.
I've talked about this before, so forgive me if you've heard the story, but when I was maybe 14 or 15 I attempted to begin writing a fantasy novel. I brainstormed some characters, some ideas, some plot... and when I came back to it a few days later I realized it was all terrible. And because I was a perfectionist child and people-pleaser, I always assumed that if I wasn't naturally good at something right away, it wasn't worth pursuing. So I thought to myself, "Writing must not be my thing," and I threw it away.
Years later, at age 26 (with a toddler in tow and baby #2 on the way) I saw a good friend of mine posting some chapters of a book she'd written on her blog. I was so impressed, even though she wasn't published yet, that she'd managed to write such a fun story. After a while I thought, "If she can do it, maybe I can to." (Thanks, Amy <3 )
And I'm so grateful I did. The first book I wrote was pretty terrible, but it got me some amazing critique partners and feedback as well as built my confidence to keep going. The second book I finished was TARGET. It was also bad (at the time) and went through many iterations and revisions to become the story I'm proud of today.
So, like I said, April makes me reminisce a little. I look back, and I look forward. Most years, I try to post this on April 2nd, but as you can see I'm a little behind this year. You'll understand why as you read on. But for now, here's a little rundown of what's going on in the DarciVerse.
The release of SUMMON was fantastic! Thank you all for your support, reviews, purchases, and praise. Seeing so many people resonate with Carina's journey means the world to me. Every character has a little piece of the author, but I feel like Carina was a particularly difficult character to crack. I'm so proud of the way her story turned out.
I did many in-person events that were a success! Mesa Book Crawl, Dragonsteel, and the Mesa Library signing to name a few. Thank you to all who came out to support me!
As far as writing, I didn't get as much done as I wish I had, and I'll address why below while I talk about the coming year.
I have done a couple of in-person events again this year so far, Mesa Book Crawl again and a signing at Half Price Books in Mesa. I'm looking forward to more later in the fall as well.
The start of 2023 was full of hope and determination for me. I knew I needed to write fast if I was going to get book 3 out this fall, so I tried my hardest to do so. Unfortunately, I don't think it's in the cards. Some developments in my family have caused me to have less and less time to devote to writing, and often when I do have the time, I don't have the mental energy. The times when those two circumstances meet have been few and far between this year.
For those new here, I am the primary caregiver for our four children, ages 5, 6, 10, and 13. Recently my duties as a mom have been more demanding than ever, and thus my time and energy to write have had to take a back seat.
There have been seasons of my life since I began my writing journey when writing had to revert to less of a priority, and they have always been temporary. I struggled a little this time, wondering--fearing--that maybe I'd lost my spark. That maybe I couldn't follow through. That maybe I'd been a fake this whole time like my imposter syndrome says I am. But I don't think that's the case. When I ask myself how I would feel if I never wrote again, my heart breaks. I have so many stories to tell, so much more to say, and many more characters to bring to life. I'm not done. I may be taking a bit of a forced break for now, but I'll be back.
My schedule as a mom will shift again pretty significantly this fall, and I hope and pray that I'll be able to take advantage of it. I will have much more uninterrupted time, so if you could send all your productive vibes my way then, I would take them. My hope is to get book 3 written this fall and have it out for you early-to-mid next year. No promises though. That is still a pretty tight schedule, but I'm crossing my fingers. I won't really know when a release date will be feasible until I have the draft completed.
Aside from book 3 though, I have other projects I'll be poking at this year. A couple are collaborations, one being a branch of my own work, and another...something else. I wish I could say more than that, but until I know how much time I'll have this fall, I can't truly commit to things yet. But just know there are plans, and I hope to have much more news for you later this year.
In the meantime, I'm grateful for your patience. I do my best to be as transparent as possible about my progress, my life, and my struggles (which are many). I hope it comes across the way I intend it, which is to be myself and to let you see behind the curtain a bit. I look forward to sharing more with you as the year goes on, and I promise, you will hear about it when I begin making more significant progress on the next book.
Thank you for being here. You make the difficult times worth the work.