With the completion and acceptance of “Burn the Night”: the sixth and final book in the Dark Days series, I have completed my contract for HarperCollins, leaving myself, as they politely say, between contracts. Isn’t that a nice phrase? Between contracts? It has the intimation that I will naturally get picked up for another contract in just a couple of tick tocks. So sweet.
Now, I’m just teasing and don’t mean to be condescending. I’ve just l earned that this is a hard business and that there are no givens in this business just because you accomplished something in the past. You have to continue to prove yourself and earn your keep, but that’s my opinion.
A more honest description is that I am “on proposal.” What that means is that I have currently have a book or two or so on proposal with my editor for potential publication. A proposal includes lovely things like a synopsis, book sample chapters, character descriptions, etc. Everything that a person needs to paint a clear picture of what the book is going to look like without actually writing the book first.
There is only one problem with being “on proprosal” or “between contracts”.
There is a lot of waiting in this business and I have learned to be a somewhat patient person, sort of. The one thing that has helped is that I have jumped right back into writing regardless of whether any of the books that I proposed sells. I love these ideas and characters. They are fun to me and they help to keep my mind active.
A funny thing happened as I worked on three books at the same time. I felt a lot freer than I have in a while to experiment, daydream, and doodle. When I was under deadline, I counted each minute that I had and weighed it both in time and money spent toward my goal of finishing a book that my editor was demanding. Now that I don’t have a deadline, I can work and play with anything that I want to play with. The break between contracts has given me the chance to refill the creative well, which is an absolute necessity. I’ve played in urban fantasy, paranormal romance, speculative fiction, and epic fantasy. And I’ve still got some time, so I wonder where my imagination will take me next.
While I always appreciate having the comfort of a contract at my back, this has been a surprising liberating experience in which I have gotten back to my creative roots.
In the meantime, I’m having a small signing/get-together in the Cincinnati, Ohio area if you happen to be in the area and are a fan of the Dark Days series. I will be at Panera Bread Company on Saturday, February 26, 2011 from 2 pm Eastern time through at least 4 pm. If people want me to hang out longer to chat and drink smoothies, I will be happy to stay longer.
The address is: 7150 Houston Road, Florence, KY 41042
The telephone number is: (859) 371-9010 in case you need directions. Don't bother calling them with questions about the event. There are not able to reserve a space for us, but I am confident that there should be enough room for us to be able to comfortably sit and chat. If you have any questions, leave them in the comment field or email me at Jocelynn . Drake @ gmail . com
I will sign books. I will answer questions. I will speculate. I will share secrets. I will bring goodies to hand out. I will look ahead at what's to come. Bring your questions and your own speculations. It's going to be a great time!