I'm currently trying to talk myself either in or out of going grocery shopping, and I'm still not sure which I want. It is a nice (but cold) day, and tomorrow we're supposed to have snow all day, but there isn't anything I absolutely must have in order to make it through the rest of the week. I do need to get a new strand of lights before I can put up my Christmas decorations, as one died on me last year (it was only ten years old, so I don't know why it wasn't working), but that's not crucial. I may focus on work today, haul the Christmas stuff in from the garage, and then have "snow day" tomorrow if it does snow. Then I can put on the Christmas music, put up my tree and maybe start baking.
I tried writing a prologue for the current book yesterday, one that introduces the fantasy element right away and dramatizes the crucial backstory event. Now I just have to figure out if it gives too much away and ruins any surprises from later in the book, or if I managed to just drop a few tantalizing hints that increase interest in the rest of the book.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to get through all the reader mail I've been letting pile up. I only seem to manage to answer a few at a time because the questions are pretty much all the same. I suppose I could create macros and copy and paste the answers, but there's also usually at least some other little thing to respond to.
In case anyone is still wondering and hasn't heard back from me, here are the FAQs:
Will Book 5 be published?
I haven't given up on it, and my agent has some plans to pursue in the coming year, so we'll see, but at this point, no. There's a lot that could change this, though. If the Enchanted, Inc. movie does get made, that could change everything. If I sell a new series and become a bestseller, all my backlist becomes more valuable. The plague could sweep New York and the people who made the decision not to do book 5 could be gone, with different people in their place. A celebrity could be seen carrying one of my books. Etc.
Will you put it on your web site so we can find out what happens?
Would you volunteer to work for six months for free? Besides, posting it to the web might decrease the chances of it being published because then publishers will assume that the people most interested in reading it will have already read it. If a few years go by and it looks like absolutely nothing might happen, I might look into some alternative publishing possibilities, but I still haven't given up on doing it the right way.
What can we do to help make book 5 happen?
It mostly comes down to sales of the previous books, so keep telling people about them, and make sure that if they get the first book, they know about the rest. Don't post these books for free download on BitTorrent because sharing popularity doesn't equal sales. The publisher doesn't care how many people read the books. They only care about how many books sell (and it's depressing that most of the Google Alerts I get on my name or book titles are about my books on Torrent sites for free download). I don't even know how much book sales will help because it seems to be largely an issue of the publisher not wanting to do books like this. They think of these books as chick lit, not fantasy, and they see chick lit as dead. If you want to write to the publisher, perhaps the best thing to focus on would be complaining about not finding these books in the fantasy section.
Will the fourth book be published in Dutch?
So far, the Dutch publisher is saying no. Apparently, the first book sold really well, and then most of the Dutch readers who could also read English didn't want to wait for the translation and bought the English editions instead, so sales of the later books tapered off. Oddly, they say they get more reader calls/e-mails/letters for this series than for any other, but that doesn't seem to make a difference with the bean counters.
Will the fourth book be published in German?
I haven't heard anything about it, one way or another. They haven't asked for it, but they haven't said no.
Is the movie of Enchanted, Inc. going to be made?
The book has been optioned for film by a production company affiliated with a major studio, and a screenwriter has been hired to write the script. I don't know anything beyond that. The option will be ending soon, so I guess we'll find out if they renew the option or do an outright purchase at that point. It does seem like movies in this general category have done very well lately -- both romantic comedy type films and paranormal stories aimed at women. But you'll go mad trying to predict the whims of Hollywood.
Who do you want to play the characters if a movie gets made?
I'm trying to stay out of casting thoughts because I have zero say in the matter and it would only be frustrating if I had my mind made up. I try not to mentally cast so I won't be disappointed in who they do pick, and I don't want to go on record with my casting choices because that isn't fair to any actors they do pick (how would you like to go into a role knowing that the author actually had someone else in mind? Okay, maybe they don't care, but I don't want to run the risk.).
There, I've now answered about 90 percent of my e-mail. I'm still trying to get around to personal responses, but if you've written me, your question was likely answered above.