Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Heart To Heart

So, it's November 30th, and before starting this blog post, I was staring blankly at The Rook manuscript that is still in need of an ending. I'm someone who likes to keep her private life, well...private, but because this isn't the first time I've missed a deadline, I feel like I need to explain myself.

For years I've struggled with anxiety and depression. Most of the time I can write through it. But other times, I shut down. The first few days of November I felt really gung-ho, ready to work on something new after Halloween Street wrapped, and in a good frame of mind. I don't know what happened exactly, but it all came crashing down...hard. Honestly, I don't know where November went. I feel like I was absent for it.

I loved writing and releasing Halloween Street, but I realize now I should've taken some time off after October. I didn't realize just how mentally exhausted I was from the work itself and the stress of publishing everyday (especially when Amazon's publishing service was having big delays towards the end).
Earlier in the week when I posted my last blog post, I felt ok...not great, but ok. I really felt like I would have no problems finishing up The Rook and releasing it this weekend. Then on Thanksgiving I got a migraine that lasted through yesterday. Today I feel better physically, but there's still a brain fog going on and I'm struggling to deal with depression again.

I'll readily admit, writing this blog post is not easy for me. I thrive to keep my personal and professional life separate. But deadlines have become my worst enemy, feed into my feelings of failure, and overall do little good for my mental state. That's why I'm abandoning them now. I may set personal deadlines, but I'm no longer announcing release dates until the book is 100% ready to go. I feel like this is something I need to do for my own sanity and well-being.

That being said, I'm not announcing any releases for December. Just typing that out scares me a little to be honest. I'm not good at letting myself off the hook, so to speak. But I feel like I need to time to figure things out, fight this depression, and look after my health. I have a lot of plans for 2015 that I'm hoping I can still follow through with, and I feel like if I don't take this time now, I'm not going to be able accomplish even a fraction of them. I need this time to regroup, something I should've allowed myself to do in November, and instead broke down.

This is going to sound odd as well, but I might as well throw it out there too while I'm in the sharing mood. I wrote the first draft to The Vampire's Castle years ago during a tough time in my life. When I went to revisit it, rewrite it, and polish it up for publication, I realized I wasn't mentally prepared to go back to that time again. A lot of memories came flooding back, literally while rewriting the first paragraph. It saddens me, because I love the story and I hate that it's associated with a difficult time. I thought breathing new life into it would help to take the sting out of it, but I'm not ready to go there yet. For this reason, I'm delaying the series indefinitely. I might just have to work on it in pieces at a time until it's finished. Fortunately, I don't have so many hang ups with the sequels, so once I get through the first book, it should be smoother sailing.

I know this blog post is probably a bit of a downer, and I'm sorry for that. I just felt like I couldn't keep going on in the same way, making and breaking deadlines, without giving the honest reason. It's a tough topic to talk about, and I know there's many out there who struggle with these issues as well, but I also know there's still a stigma surrounding depression and other mental disorders. That's why I've never talked about it in detail and how it relates to my ability to write/publish. I love writing and I hate when anything gets in the way of it, but forcing myself to write when I'm deeply depressed saps the joy out of it. I'm not willing to sacrifice that anymore.

I hope you all can understand, and I also hope to be back with a new release soon enough. No deadlines, no pressure...just hope. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November Book Release Update

I'm gonna keep this short, as I've been extremely busy, as well as dealing with some personal issues. The Rook should be out this weekend, if all goes according to plan. I was indeed overambitious in thinking that I would also be able to release The Vampire's Castle as well this month, but hopefully I can get it out next month. I always underestimate just how crazy and stressful the holiday season is, and it makes it very hard to get as much writing done as I'd like. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get The Vampire's Castle out in December anyway.

Just wanted to post this quick update. If I don't get a chance to post again before Thursday, have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Plans (Thrillers & Horrors)

So, after coming out of the 31 Days of Halloween project in one piece, I'm eager to get right back into writing. I was originally going to take the first week of November off (more or less) since October was so exhausting, but I let myself relax yesterday for Halloween and sleep extra long last night, so I'm ready to get back into the thick of things. So below are my November plans. I haven't sat down and planned it out meticulously. This is sort of off the top of my head so it might end up changing a bit. As always, I'll keep you all posted!

November Plans:

The Disk (my suspense thriller novel) will soon be available to borrow in Kindle Unlimited. In the interest of full disclosure, the title never really took off...at all. I'm hoping maybe if readers have the option to borrow it maybe it'll garner some interest. It's been out about eight months, I think, and it was time to breathe some new life into it. For those who might be interested, although it's part of a series, the first book stands alone well. It's a little open-ended, just to lead into a sequel, but it's in no way cliffhanger. It tells a complete story.

That being said, The Rook, the first sequel to The Disk, is coming out this month. I'll probably do some sort of promotion surrounding it, but I haven't quite ironed out the details yet, but I'll post again when I figure things out ;)

Also, and I might be being a wee bit ambitious, but I really want to release my first horror novel. I'm going to be focusing a lot of horror from now on. It's really where my passion lies, it's a broad genre, and I absolutely love it. And after the surprising success of my Halloween Street series, I feel it's a sign that that's what I'm supposed to be doing.

The title of it is The Vampire's Castle and it'll be book one in the Monster Entries trilogy. It's really near and dear to my heart because I actually wrote the rough draft years ago, and it was my first horror novel and I just love the characters so much. It combines a lot of classic monsters (vampires, werewolves, witches, goblins, etc) and a lot of horror elements. It's a bit of a catch-all, but it'll be a really fun read...at least IMHO :) I grew up on the classic monsters, and my favorite movies always involved a number of them getting together like in The Monster Squad, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, etc. So, this trilogy is really my homage to those old films, and I originally wrote the book because that genre was more or less dead at the time. But I'll talk more about it closer to release. I just wanted to give you a little taste of what it will be.

So, those are my November plans so far. Two novels: one thriller, one horror. I may release more shorts down the line, but right now I really want to focus on my novels.

And that's it! I hope everyone had a great Halloween, and I'll post again when I have more news.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

The 31 Days of Halloween project is now complete. It's a little hard to believe that it's over, but it went very well (despite the few delays in publishing this past week). Some of the Halloween Street stories even hit bestseller status in the Horror Short Stories category on Amazon. Wow! Only in my wildest dreams could I have imagined my work sharing a top 100 list with the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I am shocked and humbled! Thank you so much to everyone who read my stories. You guys rock! :)



Happy Halloween, everyone! :D

Halloween Street - Day 31 of 31 Days of Halloween

31 Days of Halloween comes to a close with Halloween Street #31: Black Cat's Tale!


Short Blurb:
A black house cat, allowed out to roam just one night a year, encounters a creepy little creature and experiences his own strange adventure on Halloween night.

Buy or Borrow (via Kindle Unlimited) Here: Amazon.com

Halloween Street - Day 30 of 31 Days of Halloween

31 Days of Halloween continues with Halloween Street #30: Nighty Night!


Short Blurb:
After a night of trick or treating, a young boy is terrified to go to sleep for fear his candy will attract monsters.


Buy or Borrow (via Kindle Unlimited) Here: Amazon.com

Thursday, October 30, 2014

And again...

I know Amazon has been having technical issues the last several days, so I just want to mention again that #30 in the Halloween Street series seems to be delayed in the publishing process. It's almost 8pm where I am (I think Amazon works on PST though), and the story may not be up til tomorrow, along with #31. I'm gonna send them a quick email as that seemed to help push things along the last time, but I'm not sure how much it'll speed things up.

I'll post again when the book is up.