Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

Wow, another year gone! It's crazy to me how fast time goes.

Anyway...

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I know I haven't updated since October, but these last couple of months flew by with just so much going on in my personal life. But I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about the future, because that is what I'm really trying to focus on. I've wasted enough time beating myself up for not being productive enough over the last year, even though a lot of stuff was beyond my control, namely health issues. I'm not 100% but I'm hoping to get back to work very very soon. With a little luck, I'm really hoping to be able to release a lot more books in 2016 and play catch-up a bit. I know The Vampire's Castle was due out months ago, and it, along with several other projects, had to be shelved while I focused on getting better. That book, as well its sequels, are my top priority right now, and my current goal is to get them released over the next few months.

For now, I'm not going to talk about other books I'd like to release this year. I need to take it one day at a time and not overwhelm myself too much. Suffice it to say, I have no shortage of stories I want to tell and even ones that I've already penned that are on my looong to-do list to publish. I have a lot of work ahead of me and I am eager to get started. But I've also learned a valuable lesson in making sure to take care of myself first. And that was a tough lesson to learn because I tend to be very hard on myself. I tend to push myself past my limits, and I realize now that's a foolish thing to do. We live in a very fast-paced world, and I often get very overwhelmed with the idea that time is running out or that I'm falling behind. And that leads to a lot of negative thinking that only ends up derailing me all the more.

So, I'm trying to slow down in all aspects of my life. In fact, that is my resolution for 2016. Basically, I want to have time to stop and think clearly, time to stop and smell the roses. There are so many authors now who publish very frequently, and it creates a very competitive atmosphere in this business. But I remember when I was young, I wrote a lot, but I still took the time to really live with each of my stories. They weren't products to be churned out. They were escape pods to all sorts of different worlds, a vacation from the harshness of real life. I didn't write a lot to meet a deadline or because I was "falling behind" compared to this author or that author. I wrote a lot because they were stories I wanted to escape to and worlds I wanted to frequently visit. I don't want writing or publishing to be a source of stress and anxiety. I was letting a lot of self-doubt creep in, which can be quite crippling in any creative endeavor. So part of my resolution in 2016 is to write freely again and have fun with it. It's easy to get burdened by small details and the pursuit of perfection when creating something, but really I just want to tell stories. That's all I've ever wanted. So, I'm going to try to do just that and not get weighed down by fear or doubt.

When I started this blog post, I didn't plan to get into all of this, but I've kept a lot of it bottled up for awhile and it feels good to get it off my chest. 2015 was a lousy year for me, and oddly enough, I've heard the same from so many people. I hope that your 2015 wasn't so bad, but if it was, let's try to make 2016 much, much better. As important as I believe it is to be kind to one another, I think it's as important to remember to be kind to yourself. With each passing year, I think it's easy to reflect back and think about all the things you didn't do, didn't accomplish, and don't have. We, as human beings, just need to be gentler with ourselves. We need to forgive ourselves for what might be considered failures and move on and learn from our mistakes. Dwelling on the things that can't be changed is only wasting precious time now on things you can change. And this is something that I, myself, am going to try really hard to do.

So, with all that said, Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to a (hopefully) phenomenal 2016!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Quick Update

I know I haven't blogged in awhile, and I'm sorry for that, but I have to keep this brief. Unfortunately, my next book, The Vampire's Castle, will be delayed until further notice. I'm dealing with an illness, and I really have to focus on getting better, which means lots of rest and reducing stress. I kept postponing this post in the hopes I would feel well enough to get back to work, and it just isn't happening. It's hard to believe October is almost over already. Hoping November will be much better.

On a happier note, I was able to publish the entire Halloween Street Collection at the end of September, so if you missed out on reading it last year or wish to re-read it in full, it's available on Amazon, both to buy and borrow (via Kindle Unlimited).

I will post further updates as soon as I can.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Get "The Disk" Free This Weekend & "The Rook" Gets Released!

In celebration of The Rook being released in the next couple of days, I decided to run a free promo on the first book in The Virginia White Chronicles, The Disk!  On May 8th-10th, you can download The Disk on Amazon 100% free of charge! Just follow the link below:

Get Your Free Copy of The Disk

The Rook is currently being published on Amazon and is (or soon will be) available at this link:  The Rook by L.M. Pfalz

Description:
While trying to begin a new life in Atlantic City, Virginia White receives a mysterious package from a stranger, containing a rook chess piece. Her new quiet life turns into a nightmare when she discovers the meaning behind her “gift” and who sent it. Virginia must once again tap into her violent tendencies to defend herself, but will she go too far?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Long Time, No See

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted last. Let me start by apologizing for my absence. I had so many plans for 2015, and suddenly life threw me some curveballs that made it very difficult to write as much as I wanted to. I believe I've mentioned before that I don't really like delving into my personal life, especially when other people are involved whose privacy I wish to respect, but suffice it to say, 2015 has been rough on me so far. I admire people who are able to compartmentalize their life and their work and everything going on. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those people. I tend to set priorities and focus on what's most important at the time. Sadly, for the past five or so months that wasn't writing and publishing :(

I'm trying to move on now, slowly get back on track, and start releasing again soon. I feel so bad for delaying The Rook, the second book in the Virginia White Chronicles. Although I had always planned to make it a "slow release series", perhaps one released every 6 months to a year, I've exceeded that time, and I'm very sorry for those who are waiting for it. The good news is, it will be out in early May. I'm just wrapping up the finishing touches now.

In my last post, I talked a bit about postponing the release of The Vampire's Castle, my first horror novel. Now that we're almost halfway through the year (time flies, fun or no fun), I've decided to just wait to release it in October, the spooky time of the year. It'll be the first book in the Monster Entries trilogy, and if all goes according to plan, I will release the second and third books in November and December, so that the books come out only one month apart.

Lastly, I do have a project that I would LOVE to release this summer, but I'm hesitant to announce it in detail right now. All I will say is, it's in the horror genre and a different type of story format than I'm used to, which is both nerve-wracking and exciting! I'm gonna keep it hush-hush for now, just in case it falls through due to circumstances out of my control.  I don't want to continue to make deadlines and promises I'm not able to keep. But as soon as I'm more confident about the project getting finished, I will post the details.

As always, I want to thank all my wonderful readers. Even though I don't blog much and am hopeless at social media, I want you to know how much I appreciate you.


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.