The weather yesterday in New York City was great if you love snow and cold and wind and want a day off from school but terrible if you hate the snow and cold and wind and have to work from home while supervising two small children. I find myself in the latter group, of course!
The younger and I watching the husband and elder son shovel. I didn’t want to let him outside because of the 50-mile-an-hour winds (he’s only 29 pounds)!
Being on a conference call while people are demanding juice and Peppa Pig videos is pretty tough, and trying to get through almost a full day inside with minimal screen time while you are working on your day job stuff is tougher. While I was making dinner, I had them clean up about 50 pounds worth of Legos, race tracks, puzzles, and the like. However, during the day the whole house was a minefield of toys.
But, we got through it, and today schools are open again, and while we deliberately went in late to avoid the rush, getting there was not totally terrible. In any case, I wanted to make my first book, New Blood, free for yesterday for snowed-in reading. But, in the stress and insanity of the day, I forgot to announce it. In the spirit of better late than never, it’s free today as well. Please feel free to download your copy here!
Last week I finished writing Fresh Blood, the sixth and final book in the VitC series. The next day, I left for a vacation to Cape Cod. We were with family, including our two children, who are almost five and just turned one. We stayed at a house on the beach, and spent most of our time outdoors doing stuff with the kids.
My older son, buried in sand and screaming!
Me with my younger son, not buried in sand but screaming nevertheless!
At nights, after the kids were asleep, I busied myself with re-reading the entire Vampire in the City series. I wanted to take notes on the timeline, figure out what loose ends might need to be tied up, and just have it really fresh in my head for the edit of Fresh Blood. Somehow, I managed to finish the fifth book the day after we came back, and am now set to start on the second draft. While I don’t have an official release date yet, I’m thinking sometime around October 1st.
While I was re-reading my writing, some of it from about ten years ago, I was mostly struck with how much my protagonist has changed over the course of the series. In the first book she was sometimes awkward to the point of embarrassing me as I was reading it. By the last book she is much more sure of herself and proactive, instead of just reacting to the situations I put her in. Overall, I am pleased with this progression, and I hope my readers will enjoy the culmination of a series that has been very fun to write!
First, a bit of exciting news: I have finished the second draft of Cold Blood, and it’s now with my beta readers for review. Usually, it’s during this stage that I write the first chapter of the next book, which I just finished the other night. I am very happy to almost be finished with Cold Blood, as it’s the only thing I’ve written so far that has given me actual nightmares. Just by my admitting that, I’m sure those who know me can figure out the particular subject matter fairly quickly! Those who don’t, feel free to guess!
Next, a bit of nostalgic news–I just realized that it’s the second year anniversary of the release of New Blood, the first book in the Vampire in the City series. As to how many years it’s been since I actually wrote it–probably around six! It was originally written in a composition notebook and then hidden away in my desk for a few years. Then, in 2010, when I was getting rid of the desk to fit a bassinet into my bedroom, I found it. In 2011, after I had (marginally) adjusted to being a new mom, I typed it onto my computer, and finally let other people read it. The response was good, so I went ahead and published it. And today, almost four books out, I couldn’t be happier with where this little series has gone!
With the exception of cake, I have an extremely hard time finishing anything that I’ve started. I actually stopped and restarted college twice before finally getting my degree. And that was just the undergraduate degree! And let’s not forget about how I went to massage therapy school for two years, only to not take the licensing test. So when I completed the first draft of my book, New Blood, I understandably felt both a sense of accomplishment and relief. It was over!
Sadly, that feeling was short-lived, as the horror of the revision process set in. When the second draft was finished I only allowed myself a momentary respite while I sent it out to test readers. Then came the revision process, followed closely by sending it to my editor. After that was final rewrites and a painstaking read for what felt like the 37th time. And then, it was over! I handed it off to my husband, who is more wise in the ways of computers than I am, and he formatted and uploaded it to Kindle. Awesome! Done! Right?
No, wait…what about Nook? I should make a Nook version, right? And Smashwords, for people who want all sorts of crazy formats? And CreateSpace, for those who must have a paper version. Okay, all done! Finally! But wait! What’s that? I have to somehow self-market this book?
I feel like:
a) Crying and bashing my head into the wall
b) Moving on to Book Two of the series and letting this one fend for itself in the cruel, harsh world
c) Telling myself to buck up and just market the heck out of the damn book
I know you are all dying to find out which I’ve choosen. The answer is: d) all of the above.
While I iced my forehead after doing a), I managed to research marketing and write for a bit each day. Mind you, I would rather not have to do the marketing bit at all and just emmerce myself in Wild Blood (the second book), but I realize this writing business is very much an ongoing process and you are never truely at The End.