I’ve been thinking over my plans for 2019. Originally, I planned to finish Draft 4 of REBEL ENGINEER by the end of December so I could start the new year fresh with a different project, but December came and went and I didn’t finish the book by the time winter break started. So I thought I would try to finish it by the end of January instead, send it off to beta readers, and then start working on my next thing while I waited for feedback. But somewhere between the end of November and now, my priorities and my plans have shifted. Originally, my immediate goal was to finish REBEL ENGINEER and self-publish it as soon as possible, but that is not the case anymore. Now, my priority is getting an agent as soon as possible (because it is the smartest possible decision I can make for my overall career right now), and I can’t do that with REBEL ENGINEER, now matter how ready it is to publish or not.
When I realized this new priority, I realized why I was so hesitant to work on REBEL ENGINEER in the month of December. It wasn’t just NaNoWriMo burnout, but the subconscious realization that there was no longer any urgency to finishing the book by a certain date since I have no immediate plans to publish it anymore. After consulting fellow authors and an agent’s advice in early December, I thought it over and eventually decided to hold on publishing REBEL ENGINEER until I have an agent, who can help me decide what to do with my steampunk series going forward, whether that be self-publish the rest of the books, or try to sell the series to a new publisher. If I jump the gun and self-publish now, then that could lock me up in the future. I think it is a better career decision long term, as much as I hate to put the project aside after working on it for so long.
So, with all that in mind, REBEL ENGINEER is going on the back-burner and going forward, I’ll be turning my attention to finishing the first draft of THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST (to be retitled as soon as I come up with something better; best contender right now is TEARS OF PEARL). Of all my current projects, it’s the one I’m most excited about and feel most confident in as far as querying agents goes. The second option is DARK LORD IN TRAINING, which is my husband’s vote for what I should try to finish next (he believes it has more mass appeal, and I’m closer to finishing it than anything else), but I’m also not as excited about it right now. I may give it a look this week and see if I want to try to finish it first (I’m at the end of the second act now, so there’s not much left to write), but more likely, I think it will be something I work on once THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST is off to beta readers.
For anyone still anticipating another book in the Chroniker City series soon, the best I can offer is my apologies. Having a publisher drop a series is just a crappy reality of the business that sucks as much for me as it does for my readers. I do eventually plan to release more novels in the series. It’s just a matter of figuring out the best method for that, in view of the long game of my writing career. So, there will be more books coming, just not sure on when or how yet.