Getting the engine started on Quicker than Blood is taking way longer than expected. Back in March I thought I was creeping up on getting into the meat of the prose, and, well…
I am in the midst of doing the last thing before I actually get into the drafting process – writing out a scene by scene outline, sort of doing the whole thing in miniature as a final kick of the tires to make sure the thing works out. So far the only significant changes to my narrative I’ve had to make are reordering a few events, and a little bit of work to make sure all the chains of causality work out.
(Specifically, a character was going to have someone’s business card in their possession for a given scene – but that scene had to get moved up, and that meant the business card business had to be removed.)
I am not sure what’s behind all this slowdown, other than quantities of ‘dealing with life’ I find extremely challenging. (As you may know I’m still getting into the swing of ‘living on my own’, and it can be surprisingly tough sometimes!) On the bright side, I have (most of) a set of new curtains up, and I think some very slight feelings of burnout I was harbouring and not talking about have started to ease off.
That’s really been the story for the whole of my Summer writing season – I arbitrarily cut the year into three four month seasons – and thankfully, while there have been a lot of productivity issues in my writing life due to the necessity of dealing with masses of errands and non-writing life things, I am also starting to hit a better balance. With luck, I can keep that balance.
I have also written my first review for SPSFC! … Which I am holding in reserve until I have a couple of other reviews to release alongside it, because that will, hopefully, take emphasis off any individual review and the nice/mean things it says.
Given that I haven’t written an actual book review for, like, five years plus, this should turn out… interesting.
What I can say is that our first three named ‘theoretical readers’ are Enthusiastic Everest, Militant Mickey, and Point-Of-View Pepper. More will be invented as necessary as I write more reviews.
Final tangent, did you know selling books is hard? Like, really hard?
It’s not something I really know how to do – I like to think I make pretty nice books, but I am not much of one for the actual selling.
All in all, Mouse Cage has sold somewhere in the vicinity of 55-65 copies in its first year. That is not a lot, and it is a little hard to admit – part of the self-publishing hustle is to always pretend like you’re doing fine and selling plenty of books, y’know?
Thankfully, as of late, I have the fine people at Fenris Books(US), whom you may have heard of, and The Book Badgers (UK), a much newer business relationship, carrying paperback copies of my books to cons and offering them for online sales. (Basically, they’re getting copies of my books wholesale and selling them on.)
I am so, so thankful that there are folks out there willing to do this. I know it’s not a huge, crazy thing, but it is incredibly validating to have people look at my books and say, ‘Yeah, I want that on my con table.’
That kind of thing, the reviews, the direct support, and the simple kindness all matter so much. You all help – whether a direct Patreon supporter, someone who wrote a review, someone who brought me into your business plans, a fan who bought one of my books*, or just random interested internet person.
(*55-65 copies may not be great financially, but at around 6 hours to get through Mouse Cage, that means readers have spent more time enjoying the book than I did writing it!)
It makes picking up the keyboard easier. It makes the dread of ‘what if I write a book and no one cares’ something I can actually confront. Knowing I can help people find entertainment and a bit of escapism and enjoyment? That makes me happy. It makes me really, really happy.
As ever, thank you for your support, and thank you for helping to bring me a joy that make the gloomier parts of writing considerably brighter.