I'm most active in those areas, especially the group, where I give regular updates. And as a result, my brain thinks I've done my job and keeps moving on with projects it needs to get done. Unfortunately my brain is wrong, and I need to rectify that.
As most might have noticed, 2021 was quite sparse in the book release department. Even more so than 2020. As in, I didn't release anything. Reborn has been out a year at this point (crazy to think about) and that was the last read from me. It wasn't my intent, but life has a way of getting in the way of the things you want to do sometimes.
Particularly with me, I needed to focus a lot on my health, both physically and mentally. 2020 had been a hard year for me. I had so much of my life change like many many other people. And it was a struggle to get back on a path I could work with. Then, 2021 came around and it continued to be a rough year for me, especially in the mental health department. I had some really bad months. But I worked through it. Then, right at the end of 2021, my family went through a scary time that took more of my time and energy. But through all of that, I still tried my damndest to get stories written. And plan for the future.
Binding Their Elementalist Update
My main focus in 2021 was Binding Their Elementalist. This story should have released only a few months after Summoning Their Elementalist. That was the goal. It was never my intent for two years to pass with no ending to Shira's, Jasper's, and Zach's story. And there is an ending! I've been working away all year on this title. It's been difficult to say the least.
I've never had a book not want to be written as much as this one. And not only was it being difficult in that department, there were parts of the story that needed to be fleshed out more than I had originally planned, making the book longer in the process. With me healing with my health, these failed attempts to finish the story were not easy on me, resulting in a compounding issue of self worth and fighting the idea of just throwing in the towel and walking away from all this story writing.
However, after all that time pushing through, I can confidently say, BTE will release the end of spring to early summer of this year!
I am officially on the last-ish chapter of this story. I say "ish" because just last week I found a major continuity error that had forced me to rearrange a few events at the end of the book that's resulting in me trying to figure out how to properly rework chapters and get the timeline flowing correctly. Not only that, but half the story has passed my alpha and beta readers' approval and gone off to my editor.
As it stands, this book is about twice as long as STE. It was only supposed to be just as long, the story needing just one extra book to be told in its entirety. This story apparently wanted to be three, however, I'm not splitting it a third time. I know there's some strong mixed feelings about a story being split up into smaller digestible sizes, which is why STE being split at all has had mixed reactions from all of you. I promise you, this wasn't me being a "money grubbing author."
Yes, I want to earn money from my books, as anyone would want to earn money after they worked tirelessly at a job. But my choice to split the story wasn't because I wanted to earn a quick buck. I felt it was the best course of action based on what I know from data on readers, reading habits, and the book world in general. Even with that said, BTE will not be split. It will just be a longer book. There are lot of downsides to this for me, but because of how long it's taken me to write this story, I believe this is a way I can make it up to all of you who have loved this series and have been so so patient with me. I really do appreciate it.
I appreciate you love this series that I started on a whim, that was just supposed to be a easier going series than some of the other books I was writing. It was supposed to be the series I could go to if I needed some feel good vibes compared to the heavier stories I was working on in my romantic fantasy worlds. And yet, these stories also wanted to take some more serious and sometimes darker turns.
I swear, BTE will be worth the wait. There's a lot that happens, and I'm so happy with the way the story has turned out even with all the surprises it threw at me. There will be announcements for preorders. I'm hoping, in the next week or two? That is my goal. I'm so focused on finishing this book, I can't really promise anything because I can't put much brain power toward anything else like getting things sorted for ebook retail preorders, hardcopy preorders, and such. But the moment that is all worked up, I promise I will make an update/announcement.
What's the plan after Binding Their Elementalist?
Good question. The answer: A LOT. After BTE I'll be returning my focus to Oracle's Path. During the days I really couldn't progress with BTE I made up for it with Oracle's Path #2: Prophecy of Unbroken Oaths. The book's path looks absolutely amazing as I planned, and I really can't wait to jump back into that world. I've got so much planned for Aviana, so many secrets to reveal about Temperance, a host of characters to bring in, and a whole lot of world for them to explore and learn more about.
On top of that, I've got 2 other new series I'm planning out. Both are shared world projects with my good friend Allyson Lindt. I can't talk about one of them, as my contract keeps my lips zipped about that one until we get closer to the end of this year, but I can share a little bit about the other.
This series is an AU earth and will either be a PNR or a romantic UF. We're still in the early stages of planning, and probably won't know the full extent of where the stories will lie until we dive into them. I'm really excited for this series. We've got so many fun plans and different takes on various popular tropes that I know you're all going to love.
And of course, there will be more LFG books in the future too. I think I'll take a small break from this series after BTE release though, given the headaches I'd received. Plus Kiara's and Darius' story isn't fleshing out in the planning stages so well, so I'm going to let them sit a bit longer before tackling their issues.
I've also got plenty of more stories to write beyond these, like more Lumaraeon stories, and completely unrelated world stories. But for now, I'm going to focus on these that I've called out, so I don't get overwhelmed, and can get you all the best books I can make.
Beyond books, what else?
Well, beyond books, I've been teasing a merch shop for a long time. That's still in the works. I've shared a number of images of product that will be available, even giving some away in my FB group and NL, but pulling the trigger on the whole deal hasn't been so easy. With all the 2021 complications that's kind of been put on a lower priority, and because I'm either doing the designing for the items or working with an artist for some parts and then its on me for the rest, my lack of free time to focus on this is showing. On top of that, I ran into some snags with making my internal website shop, so I may have to utilize Etsy until I can sort these things out. But once BTE is done, you can bet this will shoot up on the priority list. In the mean time, if you have anything you would like to see offered (beyond signed books, because that's going to be on there), feel free to reach out to me through my contact form.
I also have an event happening later this week, which I'll make a different blog post about because this one is getting too long, and it deserves it's own post.
That's it for my update!