Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where I'm at

It's been a while since I actually blogged about writing, probably because it's been a while since I've really done any. This is due in no small part to the insane upheaval of having major building work done on the house: even if I can concentrate above the hammering, drilling and radio, not to mention the constant and incessant barking of the Demon Puppy whenever there's anyone within about twenty feet of the house, which is pretty much all the time--there's also a reasonable possibility that at any given time someone will want to turn off the electricity. Which isn't really conducive to flowing creative thoughts.

Nevertheless, I'm surprised to see that on my current WIP, which according to my notes I began in March 2010, I have a wordcount of 11,000. This is something a bit different from the other books I've had published, and that's probably a bit telling, since I don't actually have a publisher for it yet. It is what I think of as 'on spec'. I do have plans for once it's finished, however. It's a romantic comedy, which is probably one of my favourite genres to read but not one I've had much success with publishing. It's set in a country house hotel and features a chronically shy heroine and an emotionally repressed hero. The working title is Confessions of a Secret Virgin. I don't know why I do these things to myself.

That's with my Kate Johnson hat on. Kate might seem to have been a bit quiet recently, because truly I don't know what to do about my Sophie Green series. It only seems to have become popular after the publisher decided not to accept any more books. Suggestions on a postcard please.

I have a submission currently residing with a new(ish) publisher in London. The book in question is the Untied Kingdom, which is a book I dearly love but which is very hard to describe or fit into a genre, which isn't exactly helping its chances of getting published. Still, my fingers remain crossed over its latest chance.

On the Cat Marsters side, I have vague plans for a sequel to Hardest of Hearts, which was enormous fun to write but didn't prove massively popular with readers. Hence my plans being vague. I'm also considering another Realms book, to follow on loosely from Mad, Bad & Dangerous, but don't have anything on that. No; tell a lie, I do have about a page, during which my heroine is born in an alleyway. It's not a page that might necessarily make it to the final cut.

In the meantime I don't have any new titles lined up, which for someone who releases as many titles a year as I do is kind of confusing. I actually tried to count up how many books, novellas and short stories I'd published in the last five years. I lost count around twenty-five. That's probably not bad, right?


  1. I can't wait to read more of your work. :-)

  2. Not bad at all!

    Re Sophie - do you follow JA Konrath's blog at all? He's had a lot of success publishing via Kindle. I don't neccesarily agree with everything he says, but there's a wealth of interesting information on his blog that might be useful to you.

  3. You can't stop the Sophie Green mysteries. You just can't, your "fan club" wants more.
    And good luck with all your current projects!

  4. Selena: first someone has to publish it! And I'm not sure if Changeling will go for a HoH sequel since it really wasn't a great seller.

    I really must stop planning series, since when they bomb I'm left with a negative space in my head for a new story.

  5. Naomi, I'll check out what he has to say, but to be honest the idea of self-publishing terrifies me: not just all the work to be done but the total lack of editorial guidance. I need someone to find all the suckage in my books and get rid of it before it's unleashed on an unsuspecting public!

  6. Sarah, I have three more on my hard drive, but if the publisher doesn't want them then they don't want them! And I'm not sure anyone else would take them on given that the reason the series was dropped was a lack of sales in the first place!

    ...see what I mean about series?

  7. I'd say it might be worth a try resubmitting the Sophies. Figure out some sales figures and point them out to the editor. Tell her you're a slow burner.

  8. I'll lead the Sophie G. campaign!
    Seriously, I think Jan is right, you've had an increase in sales recently, try again, maybe now is the perfect time for them.

  9. Well, actually I did hear from someone who emailed Samhain about the series, and was told they'd consider another book if I ever submitted. I remember pretty clearly submitting said book, and it being turned down flat.

    Which makes resubmitting quite painful.

  10. Even though they turned the book down originally, that email suggests a change of heart. I'd ping your current editor (if you have one) or Marty (if you don't) and ask whether the email means they've changed their mind.
    Can't hurt, right?
    I still don't understand why Sophie's adventures didn't sell. Of course, at least one of Samhain's "non-sellers"--and another of Jess's authors--had her second book turned down by Samhain only to be signed for a six-figure deal by a major Aussie publisher.

  11. Isn't everything in this industry all about timing and persistence. I write in series as well, or at least with the idea in mind for the following book. The only time I don't is when I'm writing a contemporary, which is few and far between.

    I'd agree, follow up with that editor again! Or find that Aussie publisher :)