It’s been a long time since I properly updated this blog. For that I apologise. Last year didn’t go exactly to plan with my writing. I took a break from writing romance in order to focus on a ghost story I’d wanted to write for a long time. I love horror stories and movies and I have a head full of great ideas for horror fiction. At the start of 2018 I decided to set some time aside to write one of these stories. I planned a novel of around 100 thousand words. I had a very detailed outline and well-developed characters notes and was really excited about this change in direction. And what I wrote is pretty good. Looking back on the work I like it a lot, which is not always the case with first drafts. But I didn’t count on one thing: writing horror is hard. Really.
All writing it hard. It should be and I expect it, but this was difficult in a way I hadn’t foreseen. It takes around six to nine months to write a one hundred thousand-word first draft. That’s a lot of time to spend in a dark headspace and I didn’t realise that until a few weeks into project. I only ever focus on one book at a time. I admire authors who have several projects on the go at once, but that’s never worked for me. I have to give my stories one hundred percent attention. And this story took me to places I wasn’t prepared for. It was mentally gruelling to spend all that time dwelling on such dark matters. Though I knew what I was writing was good there was a massive problem with it: I wasn’t enjoying myself.
Like I said above, all writing is hard, but it should also be enjoyable, and this wasn’t. It made me moody and gave me nightmares. Hell, I might as well say it, what I was writing frightened me. I began to jump at shadows and noises in the dark. I knew halfway through that I needed to take a break, which I did. I wrote a 30K word romance to lighten my mood. I intended to go back to the horror story straight after, but I didn’t want to. I still don’t. I hate quitting and it’s not in my nature to abandon stories. I don’t have a drawer full of half complete drafts, because I want to finish everything. But for now, this one will remain half done.
So, what I’m saying in a rambling way, is that I didn’t produce as much in 2018 as I wanted to. Though I’m disappointed, I don’t consider the time I spent on my ghost story to be wasted, because I learned from the experience. I might not have a book to show for it, but it’s helped me to realise what I can and can’t do, what I enjoy and what I don’t.
The novella I mentioned has gone through two drafts. I intend to give it another going over before deciding what to do with it. I’m probably going to submit to a traditional publisher, but I haven’t ruled out going down the indie route, like I did with Written in Scars. It’s a contemporary story about two very different reality TV stars. It’s fun and sexy with a couple of smoking hot MC’s. I love it and hope readers will too.
So, in 2019, I’m back into romance with a renewed focus. I’m currently developing the story and characters for a standalone novel. Later in the year, I have a couple of ideas for what could be the beginning of a new trilogy/series, but for now I’ll take one thing at a time and work on the standalone. I’ve got some great characters bugging me to tell their stories. I can’t wait to develop them.
The best thing to happened in 2018 was the release of books two and three in the Anthem Trilogy. All three books are now out in eBook and paperback. Don’t they look great.