Saturday, September 24, 2016

Working the Numbers

Was just posting on my author page "given my druthers I'd have at least two novels and three novellas out every year" and started to do the math. That's about 250,000 words or for me ~750 hours of the heads down writing/editing stuff. If I take two weeks of vacation, that's 15 hours a week. Definitely a part-time job on top of my full-time one. (And please note that I'm a fast writer. Don't assume this rate holds true for others. Although some writers put me in the dust, too!)

Now, if I add all the additional marketing stuff, including the conferences I should attend, then we are well into 20+ hours a week territory.

If I didn't have a full-time plus type of job, plus extra responsibilities at home, I wouldn't worry so much. But... I worry.

So, how many words have I written so far this year? About 100,000. Not great, but not too shabby either. Most of that was in novellas, which are... kinda for fun? The truth is that three novellas don't equal one novel in reader satisfaction or total sales. If I'd known how the year was going to go I wouldn't have committed to three novellas. But once you tell other authors that you'll have a story ready for an anthology, well, then you have to deliver like the Pony Express.

If I keep the same productivity level for the last quarter of the year, then I may have another 30,000-35,000 words left in me. Maybe. I've already used most of my vacation time (leave is almost exclusively used for writing projects now), but there are quite a few holidays coming up.

What commitments do I have? At this point the only hard commitment outside the main Haberdashers series is the next novella in the Mad Clan series. Most of my author friends are already planning out their release schedules for 2017, but I'm quite gun shy. Taming Chiron got a pre-order link because it was already so past due that I wanted everyone to know that it was REALLY finally coming out. The rest of the series I will probably drop like Beyonce if, ya know, Beyonce was a small-time author and very few people were tuned in to when she was releasing books.

Thanks for letting me ramble.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Certified Necromantic Mages

Hawke & Johnson, C.N.M.

Season One “Setting Up Shop"

Episode 1.1 - The Case of the Curious Ghost
Em and Theo are asked to investigate a simple haunting, but nothing is ever simple. The ‘ghost’ is alive and trapped in the underworld.

Episode 1.2 - The Painted Man
A tattoo artist uses blood magic in his inks to enslave his customers, but his gruesome ritual murders to acquire the blood leave some unhappy corpses.

Episode 1.3 - Death Takes a Taxi
A young female necromancer specializes in creating "taxis" for spirits (animate dead for them to ride in) and gets snookered by a spirit who rents a body for nefarious purposes.

Episode 1.4 - Witness For the Defense
Em has to testify at a murder trial, serving as a medium to a spirit, but they have a lot of explaining to do when the spirit turns its accusations on Theo.

Episode 1.5 - Ghost Hunters
The boys are having a hard time making rent and accept the highly publicized challenge of staying in a ‘very haunted’ mansion for 24 hours. Should they reveal the chicanery of the owners of this very not haunted house, or just take the prize money and run?

Episode 1.6 - When Banshees Cry
Theo has been having nightmares about a woman crying next to a stream. He realizes that people in the dreams keep turning up dead - and last night he saw Theo there.

Episode 1.7 - Lost Soul
Sometimes the hardest cases aren’t the gruesome ones. It can be as simple as convincing a little girl that she is dead and needs to journey to the underworld.

Episode 1.8 - Specter vs. Inspector
The Chief Inspector of Kryss has a problem. Either he's losing his mind or his shadow has started talking. And it's insight into a connected series of cases is disturbing.

Episode 1.9 - The Phantom Client
The boys are finally well known enough in Kryss that an investigator comes to them for help - an elf by the name Fedoras, who suspects that her latest client isn’t quite what he seems. Sure enough, he’s about 100 percent more dead.

Episode 1.10 - False Revenant
Fedoras is back with another problem and the boys get in over their heads with the lingering spirit of an elven mage.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sales So Far

What is a new book worth? A lot, so long as it's a full-length novel in a series. That's been my learning so far. Novellas not so much, although sales numbers (if not royalties) can be boosted substantially by doing a collection with other well-selling authors. What am I talking about? See the chart below.

See those big spikes? The first full month Trials of Artemis was out, followed by the other two books (obviously I lost some readers along the way) and then Lord Lucifer's Disciple, the novella I released in the Scandalous Summer anthology. The reaction to the novellas A Common Christmas, Fortune Said, and Sweet Tannenbaum are so mild as to not be noticeable in the whole. The most recent bump comes from releasing Trials of Artemis free on a number of platforms, while also expanding the number of platforms. And don't worry, that long, flat line at the end is months that haven't happened yet.

Among my regrets, of course, was not either preparing a number of books in advance or writing faster. Trust me, I'm writing as fast as I can. It was a shock that the Haberdashers became as popular as they did. As a series reader myself, I feel the pain for those waiting to see more in the series. The next phenomenon will be testing the response to a long-delayed book. I must assume that Saving Persephone will have even fewer sales, and will be lucky to bump the 5,000 line. Hopefully we will find out soon!

If you're a writer, what results have you seen in terms of sales of new releases and over time?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Writing in Color - When Do You Tell Your Readers What Race a Character Is?

A problem, some questions, and an excerpt.

One of the great things about writing is that you know you need a character for a scene and you might have the sketchiest idea of their role (CEO) and what you need them to do (sign a form), but then suddenly they leap fully formed onto the page and you fall in love with them. For me, Andrew Langford was such a character. But here's the part that bugs me. *I* know that Lang is black, and I kinda want the readers to know that too, but I don't want to make it an awkward, facty insert to the text. If you've read any of my books, you know that I'm NOT a very descriptive writer by nature, focusing more on dialog and action, so describing him in detail would make him stand out in the text. He's just a minor character. It would be like putting a big neon sign up and saying "OH, AND I HAVE BLACK CHARACTERS, TOO." The story is in Chicago. Why WOULDN'T I have a black character or two (or maybe somewhere around 33% of the cast, give or take)? I can't take the easy way of tossing off "it was unusual for a black man --" because there is absolutely nothing unusual in what Lang is doing here, at least in my experience. Maybe I can't point to one black guy I know who is a former professor, CEO, microbrew drinker who loves seafood, but I can put together four black guys I know and get there. (I'm in Charlottesville, you can kinda swing a cat and hit four guys who fit that profile, although it will take awhile to get all four of them in the same race. But still. One cat. I'm telling you.)

Here are my questions:
  1. Does it matter that I point out Lang is black? Twitter buddies who tweet about diversity in fiction make me think that maybe it is important, but maybe it isn't?
  2. If I do try to point it out, what should I do? The only two things I say that *might* be construed as hints (his height and brown eyes) really aren't. Some of my POC buddies have said that direct references to skin tone can be irritating. Why are we pointing that out? What color is Nick's skin? Pasty? Milky? Come on. If we don't need to mention Nick's skin tone (inferring race perhaps in the first scene he was in where we found out he had sandy hair and blue eyes), then why mention Lang's?
  3. Does it matter more to have readers understand that Lang is black since his daughter will be the heroine of one of the associated novellas? (And a bit of a blerd.)
Ok, the first scene Lang shows up in is below. Unedited and FAR from publication. You won't see this one published for a year or two and it might have the stuffing edited out of it before you see it again (or it might not). And just so you know, professionally he goes by Drew Langford, which is why Nick starts out calling him Drew. The hero/heroine of this one are Nick Carradine and Vivian Devonshire. It's very possible that Nick's last name will change...

Excerpt: Star Crossed (Goners #1 - Contemporary Romance)

Nick slid into a booth just after 11 o’clock. Enthusiasm had made him earlier than he’d intended so he had almost half an hour to kill. He pulled out his smartphone and started flying through the emails he had missed that morning while setting up this luncheon. When the waiter came by he ordered one of the house microbrewery beers. Not because he particularly liked them, but because he knew that Andrew Langford always ordered them and it was in his best interest to make Langford as comfortable as possible. Five minutes before Langford was due to arrive Nick tucked his phone back into his pocket and settled in to wait. Langford was prompt, so in just a few moments Nick was springing to his feet with a smile on his face.
“Drew!” he said warmly, extending his hand.
Nick was over six feet tall, but Langford towered over him with the build of a former basketball player. Nick knew that when asked if he used to play, the professor-turned-businessman liked to answer with the phrase, ‘I prefer to keep my physics theoretical.’ Now in his 60s, Langford still looked fit enough to consider taking up the sport any day. He was wearing a tailored suit over his tall, lanky frame and his silvery hair was close cropped. The chairman of Persephone Corporation looked cautious and speculative, but took Nick’s hand in a firm grip. “Carradine. I’ll admit that this was a surprise.”
Once they’d settled into the booth together and Langford had ordered his beer, Nick began to warm up his argument. “Drew, I know that this is a bit odd, but I’m bothered by the analysis for the merger.” Langford sat quietly while Nick outlined the benefits of merging the two companies, the older man peering from time to time at the charts that Nick pulled up on his phone. In about seven minutes Nick had outlined the first tier of his argument, which focused on shared profits. He finished with a pleasant smile and the question, “What do you think, Drew?”
Langford settled more comfortably against his seat and looked at Nick for a long moment. Nick cleared his throat and took a sip of his beer. He had a feeling that he knew how the former professor’s students used to feel.
“I think,” Langford said at length, “that you and I have met twice before this, both times at fundraisers where we spoke for a total of maybe ten minutes. Is my memory correct?”
Nick settled back as well, waiting to see how this played out. “That sounds about right.”
“Nick.” Drew Langford paused again. “By all accounts you are a very bright, very successful young man.”
“But I think you’ve overlooked that it is just as easy for me to find out about you as it is for you to find out about me.”
“Ah. I’m, uh, sure it is.”
Langford tilted his head forward so that his intelligent brown eyes peered over his glasses at Nick. “So I know that beer isn’t your poison. That, in fact, you don’t drink often, and never at lunch. When you do drink it’s most likely to be high quality scotch. Which means that you are using lowbrow psychological tricks to build rapport with me and that leaves me wondering, why do you feel like you need to butter me up? You haven’t said anything yet that I didn’t already know. You’ve said it perhaps more enthusiastically than my assistant, but it is essentially the same information.”
“Mr. Langford, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you.”
The older man’s lips twitched in amusement. “It’s Mr. Langford now?”
“It can be whatever you’re comfortable with.”
Langford rolled his mug back and forth between his large hands. “How about we make it to the end of this conversation and I’ll tell you what I’m comfortable with.”
“Based on how this is going, I assume that might be… now?”
This earned a wry smile from Langford. “Don’t disappoint me, Carradine. I can’t imagine that you only came to the table with that information and believed that I would sign whatever permission slip it is you need to review the analysis.”
Langford had made it very clear that he didn’t want a sales approach, was offended by it, so Nick set his mug aside and leaned in towards the table. “Ok, I’ll cut to the chase. If I’m successful it’s because I have good instincts. And my instincts tell me that there is something wrong here. My top suspicion is that someone got to the attorney, Devonshire. I’m not sure if it was a bribe or what.”
Langford’s eyes narrowed. “And who would gain? Who would do that?”
“That’s what I asked myself, and there are a couple of potential answers. Carradine Metals is cash poor right now and without the merger they will need to do some deficit financing, which will change some key ratios. That could leave them open to a hostile takeover by your primary competition, GHB.” Langford nodded slowly and Nick could see that he was also considering something left unsaid, that it could have been someone inside Persephone who had made the same assessment and decided that a merger wasn’t nearly as appealing as a potential takeover.
“And what do you gain by looking at the papers?”
“I’ll be able to tell if there really was anything wrong in the first assessment, or if Devonshire threw the game, as it were.”
“Ok, you have me interested. If there’s something wrong with our legal representation I want to know about that. But why should I trust you? You’re a Carradine. You have conflict of interests written all over you.”
Nick shrugged. “You checked me out, what did you sources say?”
“Well, its good you know your own reputation. Along with brilliant everyone always points out how honorable you are.”
Nick nodded.
“Still,” said Langford, “Shouldn’t I want a real investigator involved?”
“That’s just the thing,” Nick pointed out. “I’m as likely to turn over something that reflects poorly on Persephone as on Carradine. But I’m less likely to reveal anything outside of our circle. I’m the closest thing to an independent insider as you’re going to get on this thing.”
“So, you’ll promise me that you won’t share any of the information you gain from the review with anyone at Carradine Metals, or anyone who might share the information with Carradine Metals?”
“Let’s just make it simple and say that I won’t share the information with anyone because there are far too many people who could use it to their advantage.”
“Simple enough. But what if you find evidence that there is something amiss with our legal counsel?”
“Then I’ll tell you it’s time to bring in an investigator.”
Langford nodded, thinking. “If I were to ask who you would suggest I call as a character reference, who would that be?”
Nick smiled and finished off his beer. “That’s easy, my Dad.”
Langford’s brows rose. “Oh?”
“Tough, but fair. And he was my first employer.”
“You don’t think his opinion would be biased?”
“Anyone who knows us well enough to be a reference has a biased opinion.”
Langford considered that. “True, true.” He positioned his glasses better for reading and picked up his menu. “Now that our business is concluded, let’s order some lunch.”
“Our business is concluded?”
Langford peered over his glasses again. “I’m sorry, did you have some more of those pretty graphs you wanted to show me?”
“No." Nick said quickly, still feeling a bit off balance. Then amended, "I mean, I can if you want me to…”
“That’s alright. Let me have a minute with this menu." Langford gave Nick a sardonic smile. "If I order what I usually get, you’ll just have that, too.”
Nick turned his empty mug on the coaster and murmured. “Actually I don’t like scallops.”
From behind the oversized menu he heard Langford say, “Don’t like scallops? Son, you need to learn to appreciate the few places where truly fresh seafood is flown in to the Midwest.”
After they ordered Langford looked at Nick with gentle amusement. “You’re dying to know what I’ve decided.”
“You’ve decided?”
“Yes sir, indeed I have.”
“You can call me Lang.”
Nick laughed. “Oh, well, I’m glad that’s resolved.”
“Yes, you should be. Only my friends call me Lang. Now let me look at your permission slip.”
Nick pulled an envelope from inside his suit jacket that contained the legal release form Jake Hilliard had drawn up for him last night and slid it across the table to Langford. The older man opened it up and read it in detail. After a few moments he pulled a pen from his jacket pocket and signed the form with a flourish, then slid it back across the table.
After securing the form in his pocket again Nick asked, “I just have to know, what put me over the top?”
"Using your father as a reference? That was classy, Nick. Very classy."
"That's probably the first time anyone has put the word classy together with my father. He's a plumber, you know."
Lang chuckled. "Nothing wrong with that. My old man was a mechanic. Honest work is good for the soul. But speaking of fathers, do you know Vivian's?"
Nick felt a sudden cold suspicion run down his spine. "Vivian the attorney? No... Should I?"
"Mundy Devonshire is quite a force unto himself. He comes from old, old money. Likes to dabble in politics."
"Are you warning me I should be careful?"
"Warning you? No. But it might be wise to be aware of him."
"His name doesn't sound familiar, if he's what you say..."
"You're a Chicago boy, Nick. You know everybody here but you don't get out of town much. Mundy splits his time between Boston and Washington, DC."
"Is he a senator or something?"
"No, his little brother is the senator. Mundy realized there was more money, and power really, in lobbying. You can pretty much thank him for making Washington lobbying what it is today."
"That's not something I'm likely to thank him for."
"Be that as it may, he's a man you're not likely to find a lot of paper on when you go to research him. Well, other than the society papers. But don't underestimate his influence."
"Do you think his daughter is like him?"
"It doesn't matter what I think. It matters what you find out."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#RT14 Report

I realized last night that if I tweet or facebook every little thing that happens at #RT14 I will get really annoying really fast. So instead - a blog post that I can continue updating with all the kewl stuff!
Saturday 5/17
Planned: Signing 10-2 - then more driving!
Friday 5/16
It feels like a million days have already been crammed into three. The lobby/lounge is hopping all hours of the day and night.

Meet and Greet:
  • Lunch with Gretchen Rily and Jen Lilly at the Somethin' Else Cafe.
  • Drinks with the always entertaining Andrew Schaffer at
  • Evening with Rose Gordon, hanging out in the lobby again. Everyone has been fun to hang out with, but I think I'll miss Rose the most.
Other Stuff:
  • There are apparently a lot of authors who are "a big deal" that I have never heard of.
Thursday 5/15
My first full day at the conference! How many sessions did I attend??? Still none. Because reasons. Like meeting a bunch of other authors.

Meet and Greet:
  • Morning chat with Sandy Raven and Grace Callaway, two of my sisters in the upcoming Scandalous Summer box set.
  • New friends I met at the chat included Tina, Susan Hatler, and Virna De Paul.
  • Lunch with Sandy, Grace and her sister, and Tina and her husband.
  • Dinner with Rose Gordon and Dani Kristoff (who gave me a Koala bear that I will wear fo-evah).
Wednesday 5/14
First off, I drove down because OMG, the stories about my travel issues on this trip are legion. After considering planes, trains, and automobiles (and losing a $200 cancellation fee, thank you very much), I finally opted for my favorite - ROAD TRIP! Since this is a drive that I used to make every few months it was like old home week. But it's been a few years (*cough* almost 20 *cough*), so I stopped on the way down and slept like a normal person, since it's about a 16 hour drive once you do things like stop for gas or think about eating something. Because we spent all weekend traveling and I had a late afternoon appointment on Monday, I decided I wouldn't leave until Tuesday. And of course it went something like this: Monday morning, "if I leave by 7am, I can get most of the drive out of the way." Monday afternoon, "if I leave by 10am I can get a good chunk of the drive out of the way." Tuesday morning, "I need to tidy a few things and finish packing, if I leave by noon I should be good." Yeah, I left a little before 3pm. *facepalm* So when all was said and done I got here about 3pm on Wednesday - which means I missed a day of presentations right off! But that's ok, because I started meeting all my online writing buddies! And making friends in these crazy elevators.

Meet and Greet:
  • First up was Jenn Spiller (@jennspiller) who has always been awesome and actually sent me her phone number so I could text with questions. We used to live "across the mountain" from each other in Virginia but never met, then last year she moved to Texas making that whole meet thing a bit harder. Thank goodness for RT, we finally got to meet in person!
  • I was coming out of Starbucks and she was going into the gift shop, but I recognized her on first glance. Tiffany Reisz (@tiffanyreisz)! We had a hug (we're huggers!) and a brief chat. If I don't run into her again here maybe when we're both at BookCon in New York at the end of the month.
  • Rose Gordon (@Rose_Gordon1) messaged me to say she was down in the lobby and I would know her by her hedgehog bag. We met, chatted, she signed my copy of "Secrets of a Viscount," then I joined her party to go to the Pirates & Scallywags event, followed by dinner.
  • Gretchen Rily (@gretchenrily) was the first to suggest meeting up for Pirates and I met her in line for it. More hugs! She has a contagious enthusiasm for this whole event that I love catching. We're gonna have lunch on Friday. Because it is crazy how much is going on so we are doing things like scheduling lunch two days in advance.
  • Met Elf Ahearn on the elevator. We were both going up.
  • Met Christina Pilz on the bus back from Pirates & Scallywags. Apparently she's done a follow up to Oliver Twist... with a twist!
  • Met Shana on the elevator, gave her a signed card, and helped to settle the dispute between her and her husband about what sort of conference this is (they aren't here for the conference). It was the sort of resolution every marriage needs - they were both kinda right! (He thought it was contemporary romance and she had said something about historical - it's all the romance!)
Other stuff:
  • Really glad that I got into the conference hotel because it is making everything so much easier. And I've got this lovely corner room on the 37th floor with a view of the Mississippi and the French Quarter.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Down At The Bloghop: On Writing

Bloghops are some of my favorite things, and thanks to my lovely friend Kristina (aka @quickmissive), I've got a new one to participate in. Go check out hers from last week. You can check out all my buddies in my cohort because they are listed at the end of Kristina's post.

1. What am I working on?
Right this second I'm working on Lord Lucifer's Disciple, a novella in the new Haberdashers Nights series. This story will be part of the Scandalous Summer collection with a number of authors. Other than that I'm working on the fourth Haberdasher novel, Saving Persephone, which will bring us to the first major plot point in the series. What? We didn't have the first major plot point yet? Basically. There are eight more books after this, and who knows how many novellas. The Haberdasher world endlessly fascinates me.

Other than that I have about a billion books waiting in the wings of my brain. Contemporary romance, urban fantasy, futuristic science fiction, epic fantasy, mystery. If only I had more time to write!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This question feels like a total set up. Since when has an author had a clue about what makes their work special? I think the answer for my published work is that even though I'm in the Regency romance genre, I'm injecting it with a little bit of mystery and intrigue (Regency Charlie's Angels and Regency Avengers have been mentioned). But I would need my readers to tell me what they think the answer to this question really is. Feel free to leave a comment to tell me what you think. Then I'll know the right answer next time!

3. Why do I write what I do?
Because it's so much fun. Whether I'm hanging out in 1815 with the Haberdashers, modern day Dublin with an American Werechaun, or any of the thousands of other places I've been (in my own mind), I'm always having fun. Otherwise what's the point?

I also love to research, anything from crazy details in history to cutting edge science. So all of my writing is informed by that unending curiosity about the world.

4. How does my writing process work?
Typing. There is a lot of typing. Complaining, chocolate, and typing.

Seriously, I don't know what else to tell you. After years of wanting to find some secret, magical trick to writing, a sort of authorial unicorn, the truth is that it's quite mundane. Agatha Christie said she got some of her best ideas while washing the dishes. It's about discipline and focus more than anything else. Although I prefer a few quiet hours, I can write anywhere and under any conditions if necessary. I come up with ideas quite sporadically and have learned to write down outlines while they are fresh. This is part of why I love Evernote. I can type out a summary on my phone during lunch if I have to. Once I have the outline done, then it is heads down writing until the first draft is done. I've learned to do very little editing as I go along. For one thing, it bogs you down (you can edit FOREVER), and for another thing, edit brain and author brain are two very different brains. If I try to use both at once I get very boring stuff. Only author brain can come up with cool stuff even I didn't expect. Then, if the stars align, I try to do three passes of edits before even sending it to my first editor.

Bloghop RSVP
They tell me that I get to name the next four victims, er, participants. Meet four great writers so you can find out THEIR answers next Monday. (Links will be added when they accept the challenge.)
  1. Kris Silva - Editor extraordinaire, Steampunk enthusiast, Muppet chronicler, and all around fun chick.
  2. Andy Click - My co-author for American Werechaun in Dublin. One of my favorite hobbies in March was logging into GoogleDocs to watch Andy write.
  3. Gene Doucette - Author of one of my favorite series, about Adam the Immortal. It's possible we *might* be working on a cross-over story.
  4. Tina Glasneck - She bills herself as "Writer of Mayhem and Romance with a Twist of Murder." Yeah, that sounds about right. Also brilliantand enormous fun to hang out with.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

What are you doing, Sue?

This graphic has been in my head for a long time and I've finally made it a reality. There are lots of ways you can look at three-act structure, but I liked this graphic to the structure the best. As you can see, I have a layered thing going on with the Haberdashers.

What this is showing is that for any particular book in the Haberdashers series, I take into account the following (top to bottom):
  1. The essential elements to advance the overarching plot for the 12 book series.
  2. The essential elements to advance the overarching plot for the 4-book subset of the series. (Yes, to heck with the Trilogy, I have Quadrilogies! Or, as Douglas Adams would say, a Trilogy of Four.)
  3. The plot for this specific book. (We should fit that in there somewhere, right?)
  4. Resolution for the Hero's and Heroine's (H/H) problems that were set up in establishing scenes (character growth vs. specifically plot).
  5. A smokin' hot cover. (Ok, actually included the covers so you knew where we were in the series.)
As you can surmise from this, the novellas are not essential to the plot advancement of the series. They are entertaining, they reveal more about the primary characters - but they aren't essential.

If you've been keeping up with the reviews for Fates for Apate on Amazon, you'll see quite a few readers having issues with how the book resolves. Some hooks were there on purpose. Some were there that you probably didn't even notice (*writer cackle*). But I have an incredible amount of sympathy for readers who felt the ending was a bit off because I FELT IT MYSELF. There was a good bit of stomping around the house and yelling at the characters. "What happened to the plot I gave you? We've hit everything in your outline BUT YOU'VE MADE IT FEEL LIKE IT'S NOT A PLOT." Fighting with your characters is a losing proposition. Once they're tired of you, they clam up - then you get nothing.

It's ironic, really. The underlying theme for Fates is trust and betrayal. I usually trust my characters deeply, but these guys... Man, I love George and Cas, but they fought me from the beginning. I wanted more action and spy thriller stuff. They wanted to hang out and moon over each other. I wanted this to be the strongest plot-wise and tightest action-wise in order to propel us to the fourth book. But, apparently, the heart wants what the heart wants. Meanwhile, all of my other characters have been almost impossible to shut up. "Sure, you think you're done with the book, Sue, but we have another 10,000 words to put right here. So sit down, shut up, and keep typing." George and Cas? They wanted out. "Yeah, we're good. You can stop right here. Don't type anymore. It's over." So I shouldn't have trusted them. But as of yet I don't know how to get more out of them. How to find the missing element. All I know is that the more I fought them, the longer it took to write the book. Ugh.

Obviously, I'd better sit down Robert RIGHT NOW and try to get these issues worked out ahead of time for book four.

Am I Getting Better or Worse?

Haberdasher reviews as of April 6, 2014
Review Website Trials of Artemis Athena's Ordeal Common Christmas Fortune Said Fates for Apate
Pub Date 5/13/13 8/31/13 12/15/13 2/8/14 3/31/14
Amazon 4.4 4.0 4.6 4.4 3.4
Goodreads 3.75 3.77 4.21 4.17 4.07

Obviously, books that have been out longer have more reviews (and are therefore more reliable?). I'm not even sure what it all means.