Yes, a vacation. I left my corporate day-job at the end of March and am working on finding my groove with writing as my sole gig. For the last few years, I’ve been in crazy-woman manic mode, putting out 4-6 novels per year along with short stories and novellas, all while juggling my corporate career and my equally important job as a mom. Something had to give, and that something, unfortunately, was me. All those hobbies and activities that make life fun got put on hold. Friends and family would think I had been kidnapped by aliens if not for the occasional book release posts. I’ve put on an alarming fifty pounds, because sitting at a computer for fourteen hours per day and existing on leftover chicken nuggets and pizza doesn’t make for a healthy body.
And the weird thing is when that’s been your life for the last two to three years, you get scared to change it. A friend asks me to meet her for happy hour and I nearly have a panic attack because clearly if I am away from my laptop for 2-3 hours, my book sales will plummet, I’ll lose my house and car, and need to live in a cardboard box and send my children to beg on the street corners. I’m forcing myself to carve out time for horseback riding, kayaking, having a margarita with friends on Taco Tuesday, etc, but I still have that song on repeat in the back of my head like a catchy Bee Gees’—”you should be wriii-iiiting, yeah.”
Unholy Pleasures (Half-Breed Series, book 4) will head to the editor next week, and I’ll get on a plane to Northern Italy where I will look at old buildings, eat lots of really good food, and shout at people in English because everyone knows that if you talk loud enough, others will suddenly understand your language. During that time, there will be no word-count goals, no deadlines, no to-do lists. Actually there will be to-do lists because I will lug my five different planners and journals on the plane with me along with an assortment of colored pens and stickers, otherwise I would have a panic attack in Italy.
But besides my planner obsession, I will relax. Now, mind you, relaxation for me isn’t the same as for other people. I’ll still post pictures on Facebook of random weird stuff. I may do a blog post. And I will write—I just won’t write with goals or a deadline. I’m going to play around with whatever I feel like, throwing words on the screen for whatever strikes my fancy. It might be the last Half-Breed series book (5). It might be Queen of the Damned (Imp book 9). It might be one of the Northern Wolves books. It might be Dark Crossroads (Templar 5), or the sci-fi, or something for that mystery pen-name, or a new series/book. Doesn’t matter, because I need this time to re-set my frantic self and settle into a more sustainable groove—one where I don’t see burnout looming on the horizon. Burnout or a heart-attack from all the pizza and ass-in-the-chair.
So, expect Unholy Pleasures either the tail-end of May or early June, then maybe some random stuff from me until Queen of the Damned comes out sometime in late July/early August. And if you haven’t yet, go buy Far From Center. Otherwise you’re going to be complaining when you read Queen of the Damned that you didn’t know X, Y, or Z. Just warning you!