Thursday, July 16, 2015

Writing Seasons

So, the book has been out a couple of days now, and the people who've read it seem to like it (though at the moment it has the lowest star rating of all my books on Amazon). I have no way of knowing how well it's selling, but I am getting enthusiastic tweets from people who've read it and are demanding the sequel NOW, and that's one of the main things that matters. I have a feeling that if this turns out to be any kind of hit, it will be of the slow-build, word-of-mouth variety rather than being an instant smash. In a way, that's better because it can be sustained and is more organic than something that gets a lot of hype from a publisher but doesn't have any real foundation to it. It just would be nice to have something be easy, for once. Then again, I do love those difficulty points. It would be a lot more satisfying to have something become a hit on its own than to have one of those books that the publisher makes into a hit by throwing lots of marketing resources at it.

Meanwhile, I'm about halfway through this round of revisions on Fairy Tale book 3, and I'm starting to get some ideas for how to deal with the ending. I've got the cover artist on board and need to get some concepts to her.

But I'm taking some of today off for a day out at the theater. There's a Thursday matinee of the touring company of Pippin, a show I've never seen, and now that there's train service right to the music hall, I can see a weekday matinee without fighting rush hour traffic to get home. I can sit on the train and point and laugh at the people sitting on the clogged freeway. The train will probably be fairly crowded, but as I'll be boarding before downtown, my odds of getting a seat will be good.

Then I'll work tonight. This seems to be more of a "night" book anyway. I'm doing my best work after dark. Since the book is set in late November and there's snow at times, maybe there's too big a clash between a hot Texas summer afternoon and what's happening in the book. Because it takes months to write a book, it's nearly impossible to sync up the time you're writing and the time the book takes place. Even if you start at the right time, unless your book spans months, you'll end up out of whack at some point.

I have noticed that almost all my series start in late summer/early fall. I guess that's because I tend to start new projects around that time -- that sense of "back to school." That's also when I tend to take my research trips, so my sense of the locations is pinned to those times. And fall is my favorite season. The Enchanted, Inc. series starts in September, since that's when I went to New York to research it. The Fairy Tale series starts in late August, since that's when that research trip happened. Rebel Mechanics takes place in September, as well, I think because New York is really familiar to me at that time, and also because that's when I started writing it. Plus, there's that sense of change in the air that's thematic with the book.

I might mix things up in the future. One potential series starter seems to kick off in the summer in my head, and the opening scene for another involves snow, so it's probably at least late fall.

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