Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sorry I disappeared for a while there

So, I haven't written a blog post for a while. It hasn't been intentional, it's just that with everything else going on, blogging got dropped to the bottom of the list.

What's been going on you ask? Well, for starters I was depressed over the winter. Start and end points are kind of hard to pin down, but I spent a few months fighting my own brain trying to convince myself that getting up and doing things (even my favorite things) was worth it. The short summary is that clinical depression sucks. Contributing factors were lack of exercise (thanks, extra-cold winter), stress, my dad's decline with Alzheimer's, and a crappy life work balance. I started seeing a counselor in late January early February and that combined with meditation, and making a concerted effort to get outside and move my body more often slowly made the difference (along with the weather getting nicer). To be clear, it wasn't a sudden magical change, it took weeks, months, and I had a lot of support from my close friends and family as well as a counselor. I'm also super lucky in that (at least for now) I was able to manage the whole thing without medication. Not everyone can, and I want to make it really clear that I'm not suggesting that other people should be able to manage without meds. Depression medications are life savers for a lot of people and should not be belittled or disparaged. I just happened to be able to manage without meds, and feel very fortunate for that. There's no guarantee that meditation, exercise, and grief management will work in the future. I'm glad it worked this time.

Anyway, things got bad enough that for a few weeks I couldn't even write (normally writing is the one thing I can do to come back to myself), so my plans for Victoria Marmot Book Four got completely derailed. That turned out to be for the best though. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to have to rewrite a large chunk of Book Four, and I did that, but then, after getting notes back from my editor, I realized that the whole series would be better off if I could write Book Five before I finished revising Book Four. So, that was when I hatched a plan to draft Book Five so that I could rewrite books Four and Five together. Since I'd long passed any advantage I would gain by publishing Book Four quickly (read through, algorithm love from amazon, etc.), I decided it would be best for the books and for my mental health to put off Book Four until I had at least a draft of Book Five. From there I decided that I would just finish both books together and release them both in November. Giving myself (for once) a healthy bit of lead time. 

Now, it's June, and I have half of Book Five written, and plans to finish up the second half in the next few weeks. Which means most of July and August will be for revising both books and then sending them off to my editor. September and October will be back and forth with my editor and formatting.

I will have a bit of extra formatting to do because... I plan to create a HARDCOVER OMNIBUS OF ALL FIVE BOOKS! So for those of you who prefer print to digital, there will be a nice thick tome for you to enjoy that will be substantially cheaper than buying all five paperbacks. Yay! I should have it ready in time to take to GeekGirlCon in Seattle, so come find me there to get a signed copy. Also, I'll be having a launch for the Omnibus at McNally Robinson Winnipeg for anyone who wants to show up to that. The Omnibus will get its own cover (complete with a dust jacket) and be available through all retailers, including your local indie (they will likely have to order it rather than having it in stock, but at least you won't have to resort to Amazon if you don't want to).

Anyway, things have been much better in the past two months, and the main reason I haven't blogged in that time is that I have been too busy writing, enjoying life, and learning to advertise properly. I signed up for Mark Dawson's Ad for Authors course, and so far I've been very pleased with the results. Even with the course, it takes a fair bit of trial and error to get things right, but the course has enabled me to feel confident that I am trying (and erring) the right factors, rather than just throwing money down a hole and waiting to see if causes a fish to miraculously jump into my arms (which is what FB ads felt like before). I've also entered Blade's Edge into a new contest, and it has already helped generate some publicity for the book, so that's fun (it's called SPFBO and you can find more about it here if you're interested).

That's about it for what I've been up to lately. In less writing related news I've gotten back into running a bit, and I've started doing Aerial Silks again. Other than that, life continues as normal. Hope everyone reading this is doing well. Happy Solstice!