What’s Next?

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!

Book 4: Ruth’s Baby!!!

It’s submitted and in review, so Book 4: Ruth’s Baby should be available for purchase in a few hours time!!!!

I think most of you guessed what it was going to be about 😛 Makes sense right? A bit obvious maybe? Here’s the cover for it:

Ruth's Baby

Surprisingly hard to find a picture of a CUTE baby in a basket (that wasn’t Jesus or Moses).

This book is 40,000 words long, so the shortest so far, and I have reduced the price as much as I can. Amazon has a price minimum in the UK of £1.99 (I’m selling it for £2) and $2.99 in the US, which I sell at anyway so…. Bummer. I am running a promotion on Ruth’s Bonded to help out. It’s selling at 99p (99c? I think?) from April 12th to 19th.

This book was also hard for me to write. I didn’t find pregnancy a compelling plot, there was always that nagging voice that she should be out kicking ass or something, and I hadn’t written those two in a long time. But I hope I did well. I wanted to show what women who go through what Ruth goes through might feel. And of course, we all wanted to see Gron with a baby!

I hope this book also levels people out about Moira, as she plays a big part, being Ruth’s best friend. I hope people come out of this book feeling warmer towards her.

And just so you know, there is some sequel teasing in the last chapter 😉

I am very tired right now.

Finished!

I’ve finished Book 4!

I just need to read over it, get rid of typos (I never get them all), and upload it. I’ll keep working on it tonight, and I think I’ll have it available for purchase before Thursday! (I’m going away for four days on Thursday so I sure hope I get it uploaded before then, lol).

But your wait is almost over! 😀 Who’s excited? I’m curious to see what everyone thinks it’s about, but if you all guess correctly, that’ll ruin my surprise….

Mea Culpa

(That means “My Bad” in Latin)

I said I’d have the next Ruth & Gron book out by the end of March…. I’m not going to. This is mostly because I foolishly set myself another writing project related to some friends’ birthdays which I had to complete by last weekend. I also just can’t keep to deadlines, it seems. So… my bad.

I’m finding this book harder to write. It’s the subject matter. I’m not very excited about it, but I think it’s something you guys are going to LOVE. I want to keep it a surprise until it’s published though. So who knows? Maybe end of April, maybe not. I had wanted to release a book every three months and I’m already behind. Terrible. It’ll have to be one every four instead.

As restitution for getting behind schedule, here’s my peace offering. Amazon have developed a function whereby you can buy kindle books as printed hard copies! I haven’t put any of mine up yet, but I think I will once this book is released. I’ll want to go through them all and fix all the typos though, eek. I’ll definitely let you guys know before I do that.

And what about a bundle? Do you think that’s a good idea? If I released the three (of four) Ruth & Gron books as one, for a lower price than it would cost to buy them separately? Or is that just annoying for the people who already own them? This upcoming book isn’t going to be the last in the series either so it wouldn’t be a complete collection…

I’m just tossing some ideas around. Let me know what you think. And sorry again for not having the book ready for when I said I would.

Next Book: Ruth & Gron 4

It’s been about six weeks since the release of The E.T. Guy so time to move on to something new! I didn’t mean to take a break, I wanted to gather some momentum, but unfortunately there was a health scare in my family that meant I had to go home for three weeks over Christmas and New Year and then it was my birthday and I had to go back to work and it all got away from me a bit. But! Back on the horse!

My next book will be the continuation of the Gandry series. I’m going to play this one close to my chest as I’m hoping for a bit of a dramatic reveal when I publish it, so you won’t be getting a cover, a title, or a first chapter out of me. What I can tell you is that Ruth and Gron will be the main characters, that Moira and her men will be present as tribe mates in the background, and that this book will probably be my shortest. I’m estimating about 40k words. On the brightside, this means it should be done sooner, right?Maybe the end of March?

I’m also hoping to sell it for less, to reflect the length of the book. However, this may not be my decision, as Amazon changed its policy last year. It used to be that I could set the price to whatever I wanted, and choose whether to collect 70% or 30% of the royalties. Now, if I want 70% of the royalties, the lowest price I can set is 2.99 (not sure of the currency). If I set it for less than that, I will only collect 30%. I don’t think anyone will blame me for not taking that option.

I hope you guys are excited! I think you’ll like this one.

The E.T. Guy Cover

Dear All,

In preparation for the book’s release, I have put the cover below. It took me forever to find a stock photo of a computer, but I finally get the pink titles I always wanted! They never seemed appropriate for Ruth & Gron :p I only wish that dumb plant wasn’t there…

I’m so close to finishing the book! Just two more chapters to go, then formatting and editing. I hope I’ll get it uploaded at the end of the weekend, so look for a Monday or Tuesday release!

the-e-t-guy