Let’s chat. And when I say “let’s chat,” what I really mean is: “let me tell you about a chat I had with myself.”
Only before we dive into that, let me say this: I just bought a keyboard (a, uh, Microsoft something-something ergonomic 4000), and I think it’s saving my ass right now. My wrists have been burning a bit lately. I don’t usually get a burn, I usually get a deep ache, but this has been burning, and it’s felt pretty gnarly.
I resisted buying a decent keyboard for about five minutes, until I realized that every day I write, oh, say over five thousand words, I fuck my wrists for the following three or four days, even if my word count drops back down to two or three. Not much of a professional if I’m refusing to drop fifty bucks on something that will enable me to write more, faster, with less pain, right? So I hit an actual store, like in my tiny town, and somehow, miraculously, walked out with a sale-priced keyboard that’s almost exactly the same as the ergonomic keyboard I had when I was a teenager. And let me say this: muscle memory’s a fucking trip. My hands and wrists know exactly how to use this puppy, to the degree that even brief transfers back to the laptop keyboard make me clumsy. I’ve been working on it for a day and a half.
Yes. I’m in love with my keyboard. No, I’m not gonna marry it, even if that human/electronics marriage statute comes through. (Because I’m saving myself for my HTC One X+, natch.)
SO here we are. Except I have the irritating slur with my capitals which leads to double-caps. The number of times I’ve corrected “WIll” today doesn’t bare mentioning.
Hey, speaking of mentioning–have I meantioned lately that The Boyfriends Tie the Knot comes out in exactly three weeks? Because it totally does. Whoo hoo! Also, Scientific Method fans, the folks who pick up TBTTK will be getting the bonus story “The Honeymoon” for free. I’m still playing with the idea, but I like it more and more. (Though maybe I only like it cause it means I get to add a fake sticker to the cover, I don’t know. “Includes the bonus story ‘The Honeymoon'” on a green star, maybe?)
I was going to release “The Honeymoon” here on the site for free, but it’s turned into quite the, ahem, seventeen-thousand-words-and-counting not-short story. So we’ll see, but I may end up selling it as smut instead. As an experiment.
Which nicely segues into our next topic.
Conversations with Kris and…Kris.
Mostly it’s Writer Kris (WK) who posts around here, because mostly that’s who I am. But Publisher Kris (PK) has been all up in my shit lately, and we’ve been changing some stuff. Like pulling all the separate episodes of The Scientific Method down and making the entire thing free (and yes, I feel guilty for people who shelled out for it, yes, but if I’d understood how to do this–read: if Amazon allowed me to just list the fucking book as free–I’d’ve done it months ago). This enabled me to clean up my author pages and clarify the series with numbers. My to-date only verified purchase review on Amazon is a gorgeous, complimentary three-star review that basically read thusly: “The writing was decent, but I was totally confused about who the story was really about.” That was for Hugh’s New Dude, because at the time there was no language suggesting it was part of a series.
(If you wrote this review, send me an email. I owe you. I’ll give you a book, any book. Oh, shut up, not you, you, the one who wrote the review and poked around and actually found my other books in order to work out what the fuck you were reading. Salut!)
Where were we?
So Publisher Kris has been all up inside and fucking around and studying the publication schedule. And that bitch ain’t happy. (Yes. PK skews female. I don’t know why, but the version of her in my head stands over WK with arms crossed and a disapproving look on her face while poor scribbling WK types as fast as zir fingers will go, trying to make product and suck less.)
PK’s not into the geeky writer project. Nope. PK’s like, “Listen, asshole. You’ve wrapping up a series you have a thousand more ideas for, and starting a separate series with all these fun characters and a theme, so what the bleeding fuck are you doing, writing a stand-alone novel? And no, don’t give me the old ‘I can make it a series, I swear’ argument, because you don’t need another series, you already have two.”
And that’s true. Most of you haven’t seen Going Home yet, but that will be out at some point soon from the Goodreads M/M Romance group, and I have a wire frame of book two for that series in my head already (I’m internally referring to it as “the Home Series” so I can have a themed title scheme like Going Home, Home Free, Home for the Holidays, etc). Book three, though, is going to be where shit gets interesting.
Some of this is basic marketing. Series books sell. Like, a lot. People who write series books and stand-alones seem to report much higher sales with their series titles. So there’s that. That’s what PK’s droning on and on about on my right shoulder.
Some of it, though? Some of it’s that I’m a series kid. I fucking love series books. I mean, just love them. My kid’s heard the plot of every Vorkosigan book ever written (thank you, thank you, thank you, LMB, for saving my hide in early parenthood, during which time I both read aloud and narrated badly the entire saga over and over again on walks, or while nursing, or just because I didn’t know what the fuck else to do with kiddo-in-lump-form). I came up reading series fiction. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Babysitter’s Club, Boxcar Children, Poirot, Holmes, Mrs Marple, Peter Wimsey. I love Stephen King’s sequels to The Shining and The Talisman.
If you’re good enough to make me fall in love with your characters, I want more. I’m a greedy reader like that.
So why wouldn’t I write both what I love to write and love to read? I dunno. I guess I have this feeling that if I love doing something, it’s probably bad for me. Or, at the very least, it’s probably not wholesome, not healthy. (I’m gonna go ahead and blame Catholicism here. Just a sort of vague notion I have that the way you know you’re doing life right is if it makes you feel kinda lousy and insufficient.)
So. So, so, so. Having said all that and yammered on for twelve hundred words when I should really be finishing “The Honeymoon,” here’s the new and improved production schedule for the fall:
August 6: The Boyfriends Tie the Knot is released!
Sometime in August 9: Going Home is released, and yes, I’ll get a book page up for it so you can at least see what it’s about. It’s one of those “the course of true love never did run smooth” kinds of stories.
September 3: “The Honeymoon” goes up at booksellers as a separate story, maybe for free, maybe for cheap. Depends on how experimental I’m feeling at the time. (Again, TBTTK folks will get this story rolled into that one.)
October 1: Home Free is released.
November 5: Bringing Home the Bacon (er, tentative title) is released.
December: Yeah, I’m not sure about December yet. I might work on getting some holiday-themed stories out mid-month. Maybe book bundles. I dunno. Do people like book bundles? I love fuckin’ book bundles, because I’d rather have fewer things cluttering up my Kindle, but on the other hand, I read the individuals of LMB’s books, even though there are bundles for a lot of them. So I don’t know if that would be worth the time/energy.
I do think we’ll be spending New Years with Will and the boyfriends, though I don’t know what they’re all gonna be up to. So all of us, me included, have that to look forward to.
Hey, who knows, maybe Going Home will get totally panned, and people will hate it, and no one will care enough about any of the characters to read another one. But I think I’ll continue on with the series at this point anyway. Sometimes you read a series because you love a series and it compels you, even when it’s not your favorite. Sometimes you write one for the same damn reason.
Whoa, this is long. Right, then. If I was a better blogger, I’d go spend half an hour tracking down some creative commons art for this post to break up all the text. But I’m a novelist, so I’m gonna go back to writing fiction.
Questions: Do you like/buy/read book bundles? Do you prefer a series, or a stand-alone? Do you like holiday themed stories? (I shy away from reading them, but I love writing them.) Do you hear voices? Do they tell you to do things? Do you see…spots? (If you caught that reference, kick me back a comment and I’ll give you a book. For realsies.)