Saturday, March 7, 2015

Writing in 2015: Some Old and Some New

2014 was not the productive year that I had hoped it would be.  My husband and I completed a big move from Wisconsin to South Florida, we learned a new place to call home, made new friends, and I navigated my way through a new day job.  Of course, through all of that I was writing.  And writing. And writing.

However, I truly finished only one project in 2014 under the name of Jocelynn Drake -- that was the final Gage book of the Asylum Tales book. It was originally released in three parts: Demon's Fury, Demon's Vow, and Inner Demon.  However, my publisher is releasing it as a single e-book, Demon's Vengeance, on April 14, and then it will come out as a print book a little bit later.

(As a side note, if you've haven’t had a chance to give the final story a try yet, you can download the first part, Demon’s Fury for FREE as an e-book.  Go to Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, and iBookstore)

But Demon’s Vengeance wasn't the only thing that I worked on in 2014. I sometimes need a break from all the vampires, warlocks, demons, and other magical things that are running a muck.  So, I dabbled in historical romance under the name of Joy Douglass for the fun of it.  As such, I released a novella titled Stolen Kisses at Midnight and a novel titled What a Lady Treasures.

I also started about a half a dozen different projects as my attention wandered from one thing to another all year long. I've found that when I’m not under contract, I have an extremely tiny attention span.  I want to work on everything at the same time, which means that I’m not really finishing many things.

But 2015 is all about finishing projects.  It’s dabbling in some of the old and playing in some new.
First, we begin with the old…

A series is hard to let go of when you finish it.  That’s not to say you’re not happy to let go and try something totally new.  There’s an excitement that can’t be matched when it comes to creating a new world full of new and crazy possibilities.  You’re meeting new characters and taking on new challenges.  But in an old world, those other characters are close friends, maybe even family.  In some cases, you’ve spent years with them. Letting go is hard.

So when Stefan from the Dark Days series came to last year with a story to be told, it was really hard to say no.  I’d never really considered Stefan one of my favorite nightwalkers – he was always a pain in the butt, greedy for more power.  But things changed when he met Erin.  So, I am happy to report that in January, I finished a draft of Stefan’s story and I am currently trying to find a home for the book so I can share it with readers. (And yes, Danaus and Mira make an appearance in the Stefan’s book.)

Sticking with the Dark Days series, I am now working on a new book for Nicolai. The werewolf from the series needs his own happy ending.  I never felt like he got what he deserved in the series and I want to fix that.  My goal is to finish his book by the start of summer.  If I do one more Dark Days spin-off book, my hope is to complete Valerio’s story.

Shifting gears to the Asylum Tales, I've gotten a lot of questions from readers about whether there will be more books, because Gage’s ending kind of left you hanging just a little big. While I’ll admit that I haven’t put pen to paper yet on it, I am thinking about one last book that will take place about 20 years after the ending of Demon’s Vengeance.  It will also come from a completely different point of view, but it will answer the major questions that is tearing at readers.  I’ll keep you posted as to what is happening on that front.

Now, onto the new…

I love to flex my writing muscle and the easiest way to learn and grow as a writer is to tackle new genres.  Each genre has its own set of rules and expectations.  Sure it’s great to break those rules and push the boundaries of those expectations, but you can’t do that without understanding what the rules are and why they are there in the first place.

For myself, I am heading in two different directions.

One is contemporary romance.  The super sexy kind.  I’ve got this friend who is a very bad influence.  And by bad influence, I mean a fun, cool influence, who has convinced me to read a wide variety of books that I’ve never tried before.  Luckily, she has some good taste.  These awesome books have spurred me to try some new storylines and plots and relationship dynamics that I’ve never attempted before and I’m having so much fun.  The end result is that I finished a new book in February that I am currently trying to find a home for.  Fingers crossed.  If this book is sold and well received, I might try my hand at some more.

The other genre I have decided to try my hand at is fantasy.  In truth, the first long, heavily plotted original book I ever wrote was a fantasy novel. But then I started writing other things like vampires and such and I got away from fantasy.  Well, pure fantasy.  But then I made these new friends who are also bad influences.  And by bad influences I mean the kind of friends who have convinced me to play Dungeons and Dragons on Sundays.

And playing D&D has introduced me to my sweet Nanni. Nanni is a gnome bard with a playful, adventurous personality that I fell in love with instantly.  Nanni has led me down a rabbit hole of adventure and chaos and heavy writing that just soaks into my soul.  So… I have decided to co-write a fantasy novel with my husband.  And we are nowhere near done.  But maybe we’ll have a rough draft close to completion about this time next year.

2015 hold a little bit of old and a little bit of new for myself and, with any luck, readers. The important lesson I've learned is that you should always listen to your friends, even if they happen to be a “bad influence.”  Sometimes they have really good ideas.


Christina said...

Looking forward to reading more adventures of the Dark Days characters and Gage and the gang as well.

Terri Garey said...

DnD? Yay! You've come to the dark side! :) Loved Nanni's excerpt, and would love to read more about her world!

Jocelynn Drake said...

Thanks, Christina! It's been interesting wading back into the Dark Days world after having a break for the past few years.

Ha! Thanks Terri! D&D has been an interesting experience. As a writer, it's hard not having control of all the characters. :)