Now that I’ve slept, and while people are still forming opinions on Ruth’s Baby, I thought I’d keep my momentum and go into what I’m planning to release this year.
In the next couple of weeks, I want to proof-read and edit Ruth’s Bonded again and then release it as a paperback. I’m aware there are typos, and it would be a good opportunity to plug some plotholes and make it more consistent with the larger cannon, since when I wrote it I had no idea I would be doing a series. I also want to update the cover for it. I don’t know if this would be just me, with the additional editing skills I have aquired since then out of necessity, or if it would be worth me looking into getting something done professionally (or semi-professionally). It might just be subtly better, with filters and layers and transparency and stuff, but I don’t think it would be completely different.
I would want to release my other books as paperbacks too, but I don’t want to wait too long to start on my sixth book, which will be Office Aliens 2. Depending on how sales of paper-Ruth’s Bonded go, I might try to get one paperback out a month, but I’ll decide that later. I looked at the pricing for a paperback, and they’re printed on demand, with printing costs being included in the cost of the book (so it doesn’t cost me anything to print them, which means it doesn’t matter if it sells two or two hundred copies). I think the printing costs for a book the length of mine was about £3, so I’d probably sell them for £5-£7 each, because Amazon would take a cut of the rest but I can’t remember how much.
I hope to be writing Office Aliens 2 by the beginning of May. This one is going to be called The New Guy, and it will be about a Balin hero called Ro, and his heroine Maggie. After the destruction of the Tyberius, Earth, different countries, different offices, but especially San Diego rushed to cram as many of the refugees who were en route in before the UNE closed the borders, if you remember. The New Guy is set a few days after that, when the San Diego Department of Extra-Terrestrial Immigration is groaning under the weight of processing the massive influx of hundreds of thousands of people in less than two days. A lot of departments are hiring new staff to cope, including the Enquiries office, where Maggie and Ro’s romance will take place.
Maggie is a team supervisor, and Ro is an eager-to-please new hire. If any of the enquiries select a Balin operator, they go to him. Maggie has to train him up. They’re both lovely people. I won’t say more than that to maintain the surprise 😉
The E.T. Guy was semi-politically motivated given the situation in Syria when I wrote it. Since then, Trump has been elected, and he actually did try to effectively close America’s borders, and the situation in Syria and around the world has not particularly gotten better. In Syria, it’s hard to quantify ‘bad’ and ‘worse’, so I won’t say it’s got worse. I can’t pretend that I am anything but pro-immigration, nor do I want to, but I hope that I would write these books anyway because I like the story.
I had a moment a few months ago when I thought “How can I continue? How can I write about refugees when the real world is like this?” and my answer was, go bigger. Say it. Say what you see. Make it political. Try to do good. Try to change minds, convince hearts. I know it’s just a mid-range Kindle romance about aliens, selling for a few quid, but if I can make just a couple of people more compassionate, then it’s worth it. And will I mind if Trump’s army boycott the book? Not really. I’ll miss the money, but I’m not going to collaborate with them. Good riddance.
But at its heart, it’s still the same story I thought of last year, before any of this happened. It’s still going to be about Ro and Maggie. This book is going to be full of stuff I would consider a hard sell for a Kindle romance about aliens anyway. The only thing I don’t mind revealing now is that I want to give Ro hot pink highlights on his scales and eyes. He’s not going to be much of a rough-tough alpha, though he is going to have his moments. This book is going to touch on issues of masculinity as well as politics. Maybe I’m overreaching, but it’s my book and I’m going to write it the way I want, so there. Neener neener.
Anyway, The New Guy will be longer than The E.T. Guy I think. It has a bit more going on. Lois and Zir should make a cameo or two. I think The E.T. Guy finished up at like 57,000 words, so I might guess at about 70, 000 for The New Guy? That would make it the second longest book I’ve ever written, which was UnBonded at 90,000. I wanted to release a book every three months this year, but I’m already behind, if only by a couple of weeks. But let’s be optimistic and say the end of August, beginning of September for a release date? I can already hear future-me laughing at that.
And then I hope to get the next Ruth & Gron out before the end of the year, having now adjusted my goals to three books in a year instead of four. Four would still be great though, but I think it’s beyond me. But I’m going to be tough with myself and not let myself take a break this time! It’s right on to the next thing!