So, I’m trying to figure out the best way to broach this subject without causing a lot of trouble for me. As some may know, there are those who peruse this blog and leap at any opportunity to tell me why I should quit. This is a post that could give them some ammunition. Might as well be blunt.
Chasing Bedlam isn’t selling very well. People seemed excited about it and I did some precision promos on sites. Many came up to tell me that they bought the book and review it. Always good to hear . . . until you see that the numbers on Amazon don’t add up. I’m left wondering if things weren’t recorded or the hype around the release was fairly empty. I mean, it was great that people were excited. Yet, that kind of made the fall a little more painful. Especially when you add in how many times I was told by someone that they read Crossing Bedlam, loved Crossing Bedlam, and would review Crossing Bedlam soon. Then nothing. I can handle a person saying they’ll review when they get to reading it or reading it and saying that they won’t review for some reason. Just don’t promise an author a review and never deliver.
Sure, this sounds like whining and . . . well, it kind of is, but I’m going somewhere with all of this. Legends of Windemere books are still selling. This is what worries me. I can’t keep that series going forever and I refuse to crank out mindless side stories and origins instead of exploring the world. The stories simply aren’t there for me. So, what if the Bedlam issue means I can’t move on from Windemere? Will the vampire stories I have next get anywhere? Should I retire Lloyd and Cassidy since they aren’t getting any attention outside of the blog?
This is a struggle because I can’t force people to read my books and Amazon has made it really hard to get reviews. It’s got my head spinning and that’s not counting when I consider that I promised an Ichabod Brooks collection. Mostly this keeps coming back to Bedlam. In a way, that was the test to see if I could succeed outside of Luke, Nyx, and the other champions. Quite frankly, I’m failing even though I’m doing the same marketing tactics. I really don’t want to make them blog only like Dawn Addison or retire them because I enjoy writing their stories. Yet, my time is short and running out. Should I have just revealed a big character change that was supposed to be a twist, but might draw some people in? That reeks of desperation in a way.
I really want to be an author who writes more for fun than money, but the pressure to ‘grow up’ and ‘get a real job’ is mounting. I’ve done the math and examined my life. A full-time job would be the end of my author career. People keep telling me not to give up, but there’s so much to tackle. My son would be with his grandparents or in after-school programs, which means I only see him for bedtime and then weekends. My wife and I will be drained from our jobs and trying to spend time together. My parents will want me to help around the house. Not to mention working out, errands, laundry, family events, holidays, and . . . where the fuck would writing fall into this? People seem to ignore the fact that I tried this path for ten years before my son was born and it was a mess. In fact, it was such a mess that nobody liked dealing with me because I refused to hide my misery. I never had time for writing beyond outlines and maybe a chapter section every few weeks. There was always noise and activity around and that was when I had an office area. Yeah, I’m no longer sugar coating things. This is what I’ve been battling since the beginning and my ‘whining’ usually results in me being told when I should be quiet. Well, I’m getting both pissed and depressed now.
Maybe I’m overreacting and Bedlam will improve or the vampires will have better luck once Windemere is done. Yet, I don’t see any evidence of this. I don’t see any moment where things will settle down and get easier. They’re looking like they’ll get exceedingly tougher and I’ve been steadily losing support as time goes on. At this point, part of me is thinking of simply limping to the finish line and making a decision then. That doesn’t leave me anything to do this year. I’ll probably write Derailing Bedlam after the April chaos and I’m still wondering about writing that ‘mystery’ story. Honestly, here’s the mystery:
Lloyd and Cassidy vs Trump
Now, you see why I was being secretive and claiming I couldn’t publish it. This isn’t exactly Trump though. When I planned the first book in Spring 2015, I made some future plots and villains. One was an exiled man getting sent back to the Shattered States and claiming to be the one to unite the country. He was arrogant, charismatic, wealthy, vindictive, and fairly short-sighted. No matter what I did, the character kept reminding me of Trump and my desire to avoid politics in my stories made me scrap it. Yet, current events keep drawing me back to the idea as a method of catharsis. The villains would be exaggerated versions of people, but you can figure it out pretty easily. So it was suggested that I write it and share it with friends. This wouldn’t be a money-making project since I don’t think publishing it would be wise given the atmosphere. All I want to do is make people smile and happy with my stories, but without making myself miserable. Guess we’ll see what happens. Maybe I can make it a summer project since I’ll have less time to write then.
Anyway, that’s the mental vomit of stress and ideas that’s been plaguing me all week.