Friday 8 September 2017

Autumn Update

Autumn greetings. How bizarre is that? Summer is officially over and the leaves are starting to fall. Summer has been a bit of blur this year. I’ve been working hard on Anthem 3 the whole time, while having major work done around the house. Thankfully, the renovations are finished, and Anthem 3 is not far behind. As I write this, I have just completed the penultimate chapter. Whoa, and my nerves are shot. What a cliff hanger to end on. So, the book is almost done. I have one more chapter to write, and then the epilogue. I was aiming to have a complete first draft by the end of September and that’s looking positive. I’m heading off on holiday in three weeks so it’ll be nice to have the book done by then.

Well, it won’t actually be done until around December. It’ll take me a couple of months to do my second draft and then a final edit. But to have a first draft finished is a major achievement.

I wish I had news on a release date for Anthem 2 but things are up in the air with the publisher at the moment. I hope to know more in the coming weeks. I delivered the second book a while back, but due to in-house restructuring, I’m not quite sure what the plan will be going forward. I’ll update here as soon as I have news.

There seems to be a lot unease in the MM community right now. I see other authors complaining about poor sales and announcing their retirement from the genre. I’ve been writing gay fiction for twenty-five years (I know, I’m not old enough, but I am) and have seen huge changes in that time. Back then there was a great print magazine market for gay stories, $200 for a 2,000-word short. Wow, they were glory days indeed. There was a pretty good publishing scene at the time. My first novel was published by Virgin books. I can only dream about releasing through such a major house now. The print market died a death over time. All of those magazines are defunct and mainstream publishers that had gay themed divisions closed their doors. eBooks came along and were massive, but they are now in decline. It seems that I’ve no sooner got used to one market before it’s gone. It’s a constantly shifting sea.

How does that affect me? Well, I’m not going to make any dramatic retirement statements. Sure, sales are not what I’d like them to be. I don’t think any authors are. Whether that’s because of piracy, a declining genre market or because readers just don’t like our books, I don’t know. I do know we’re never going to get rich writing MM fiction. I write gay stories because I love them. I take a lot of time with what I write, developing the characters and plot. I’m lucky that I don’t rely on my writing to survive. I haven’t had to churn them out just to keep the light on and that’s the way I like it. I enjoy writing. It’s not a chore.

So, we’ll see what the future holds. In the meantime, I’ll work towards completing the Anthem trilogy and giving Daniel and Elijah a great send off. I have a couple of good novella length ideas I plan to develop too, but my goal for 2018 has always been to write a mainstream, non-MM book. That hasn’t changed. I want to devote 100 percent of my energy to that novel but I won’t be silent on the MM front. Whatever happens with my current publisher, it’s certain Anthem 2 and 3 won’t be out until 2018, and with my two novellas that’ll be a pretty good release slate for next year while I work on something else.

In the more immediate future, my husband remined me last night that tomorrow is our anniversary. It's twenty-two years since we first got together. How’s that for a MM HEA? It's not that I actually forgot it was anniversary, it's that we now have three. The date we got together (Sept 9) the date of Civil Partnership (June 17) and the date we had a conversion to marriage (Dec 30). That's a lot to remember. We’ll spend a quiet weekend together celebrating.

I hope everyone else has a fabulous weekend, whatever you’re up to.

Stay focused. Stay positive. Stay safe.

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