Looking Ahead for 2018

Right now I’m trying to get an idea of what my publishing schedule will be for 2018. (Or at least the first half of 2018. It’s hard for me to plan beyond six months.)

So this is what I’ve come up with…

Married In Haste will be out December 30

Married in Haste Ebook Cover for Website

This is close enough to January 1 that I’m adding it to this list.  This is Book 2 in the Marriage by Fate Series. Book 1 is The Reclusive Earl. This is a Regency.

This is Brad Bachman (aka Lord Youngtown)’s romance. Brad was introduced in The Rake’s Vow (Marriage by Bargain: Book 2). He was Loretta’s older brother. In this book, we see the beginning of the end for Lady Eloise.

The Rejected Groom is projected to be out late February

The Rejected Groom Ebook Cover

This is Book 2 in the Misled Mail Order Brides Series. Book 1 is The Bride Price. This is a historical western. This is Anthony (Tony) Larson’s romance. Tony is one of the twin boys of Richard and Amanda Larson. Richard and Amanda’s romance was Wagon Trail Bride (Pioneer Series: Book 1).

The Marriage Contract is expected out either March or April

The Marriage Contract Ebook Cover

This is going to be the start of a brand new Regency series.  It is Book 1 in the Marriage by Fairytale Series. This is going to be Mr. Stephen Bachman’s romance. Stephen was introduced in The Rake’s Vow, and he plays a major role in Married In Haste. He is the younger brother of Loretta and Brad.

It takes place five years after the Marriage by Fate Series, so I don’t know if I’m going to end up going back through the five years and filling them in with other series. I’ll have to see how the storylines play out.

Make Believe Bride is expected out in May or June

make believe bride

This is Book 3 in the Marriage by Fate Series. It follows Married In Haste. In this we get to see what happens to Lady Eloise in more detail because Lady Stacey (the heroine in this book) is in Lady Eloise’s group. We will get to see some old Regency characters like Catherine (from A Most Unsuitable Earl: Marriage by Scandal: Book 2), Agatha (from His Reluctant Lady: Marriage by Scandal: Book 3), Loretta (from The Rake’s Vow), and Celia (from Taming The Viscountess: Marriage by Bargain: Book 3). We’ll see some old familiar faces from the gentlemen, too, but I routinely bring them back into my Regencies.

All of my Regencies take place in the same world. If you go to this page, you will see all of the books and the order they take place.

Right now I’m hoping to add a fourth book to this series, but at this time, I don’t have a solid plot line. So  I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not.

The Perfect Wife is due out next summer (June – August)

The Perfect Wife Ebook Cover3

This will be Book 3 in the Misled Mail Order Brides Series.  This is Mark Larson’s romance.  I might or might not do a romance for Tony and Mark’s little sister, Annabelle. I have a vague idea for her, but it might not pan out.

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I had to drop three books from the list.

1. Wanted: Mail Order Husband

Wanted Mail Order Husband ebook cover

I already posted about this one. The story went off track for this one. I’m not sure what happened here. I love the premise of the story, and I want to do what’s best for it. I think when I’m done with the Misled Mail Order Brides Series, I’ll come back and see if I can get this one straightened out.

2. The Outlaw’s Bride

The Outlaw's Bride ebook cover

I’m not “dropping” it altogether. I’m just not going to have this one out next summer like I had planned. This one is going to be longer because I’m not charging a price for this book. I had some recent financial setbacks, and this has forced me to focus on books that have the best chance of making money. Since this is a rewrite of The Stagecoach Bride and I bought the rights to it from the co-author, I promised I would make this one free so that people who purchased the original won’t feel cheated by having to buy this one, too. The main story will be the same, but there are a lot of changes. I am rewriting the entire story so that it crafts around my voice. Otherwise, the other books in the series will end too different.

Right now I’m only at 16,000 words. I have a long way to go. I only get to this book if I have time. I am currently 1.5 months behind my original writing schedule, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I only manage to get 30,000 words into this book by this time next year.

3. The Rancher’s Bride

The Rancher's Bride ebook cover

Since this book follows The Outlaw’s Bride, it’s obvious why I put this on the shelf. I won’t be touching it any time in the near future.

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I understand there are some of you who are itching to read the books I’ve dropped from 2018, but the time constraints hold me back from behind able to get them out that soon. I write books that average 60,000 – 65,000 words. Some of them are in the 50,000 range and some are in the 70,000 range. But I am not a novella writer. And I can only write so fast. I know there are some really good authors who manage 1-2 books a month, but I can’t do that.

My usual book output is 7-9 a year. That’s the best I can do. I would love to be able to go faster. I thought dictation was going to allow me to do that, but I ended up draining all of my energy this summer by dictating 4,000 to 5,000 words a day. My pace is best at 2,000 to 3,000 words a day and taking 2-3 days off a week to work on non-writing activities.  So because of this, I have to be selective in what projects I invest my time into.

And as much as I’d love to say money doesn’t matter, the truth is, it does. I’m going to continue publishing wide. I was considering putting a book or two into Amazon KU, but I ended up deciding to keep publishing them on all retailers. Some of you have been with me for years, and you shop at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords. I posed a couple of questions on Facebook to find out where you are buying my books from, and I was surprised by how wide the diversity was.  I don’t want to shut anyone out.

So in order to keep things going, I am focusing more on Regencies since they sell better. I’ll still do some historical westerns. (I love both genres a lot.) I’m also going to test a higher price on The Marriage Contract. During the pre-order phase, I’ll have it marked at $2.99. After it’s released, the price will go to $3.99. I think it’ll stay $2.99 for the first couple of days after the release, but I’m not sure how long it’ll take for the price changes to take effect across all retailers. I want those of you who’ve stuck with me to be able to still get the book at $2.99. That’s why I’m not going to ask $3.99 during the pre-order phase.  I want to see if upping the price will help offset some of the loses I’ve taken from not being in KU. Since KU, I have lost almost half of my Amazon income. It’s gotten better since I’ve focused on Regencies, but it’s not what it used to be. I’m not complaining. I’m just explaining why I’m doing the price change for The Marriage Contract after it’s released.

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Finally Getting to A Storyline I’ve Been Wanting to Do For a Long Time

A long time for me is two years. In the world of writing, things happen so fast that even a year ago seems like old news. So technically, this hasn’t been a “long” time that I’ve been itching to get around to this kind of book.

This is going to be a gothic romance set in the Regency world with a Beauty and Beast spin to it. The reason I’m labeling it a Regency is because it takes place in the same world as my other Regencies. I want people to easily connect this story with the other books it belongs to.

The Marriage Contract Ebook Cover

Though I don’t have a series title on the cover yet, it is going to be Book 1 in the Marriage by Fairytale Series. Since about 2014, I’ve been wanting to do a series of books based loosely off of familiar fairytales. Up to now, I haven’t found the right setting to place all of these fairytale ideas into. The original versions of these fairytales were darker than the versions you see in the cartoons. The original versions are the kind of feel I’m aiming to dive into. In my opinion, they reach deeper into the dark corridors of the human soul.

I love doing light and comedic, but from time to time, I like to explore the darker side of life. This is why I self-publish. I don’t want to be boxed in by what a publisher wants. I want to be able to write any kind of story I want. Sometime I want light and funny. Sometimes I don’t. Self-publishing offers me the flexibility to do what I feel like at the time. It also frees me up to let the characters lead the way.

So for this particular storyline, I want several things:

I want a hero who is in deep emotional pain from his past. I want the heroine to be running from someone is trying to harm her. I want the villain to threaten someone’s life in the course of the story. In this case, I think the hero is at risk, though it might expand beyond that. I also want her to wonder if the hero killed his first wife (even though we all know he didn’t because this is a romance).  But I want the suspicion to be there. I want him to wear a mask because his face has been disfigured. I want him to be a recluse from society. I want the heroine to be with child so she’s vulnerable and in need of help. Last of all, I want there to be a happy ending despite all of the danger and mystery these two are going to face during the course of the story. Not all of the original fairytales ended on a happy note. I love happy endings, so I’m going to put happy endings at the end of all of these books.

I’ve been able to pull various elements of this entire idea in different stories. The Accidental Mail Order Bride had the scarred hero. Brave Beginnings had a villain who was suspected of killing his wife. His Redeeming Bride had a vulnerable heroine who had a newborn to care for.

It’s not until now that I can finally fit all of these elements into one story. I’m working on a puzzle of all the things I’ve wanted to put together into one story for the past two years.  All I need to do is connect the pieces together, which is already happening without me trying for it. I’m not doing any plotting. I’m letting my subconscious mind do the work, and it’s going great.

This is what pansters do. They let their subconscious brain do the creative work. I didn’t appreciate this until I plotted The Bride Price from beginning to end.  I realize plotters think pansters are nuts, but believe me, the subconscious mind is a wonderful storyteller. Authors who write by this method and learn to trust the process end up thrilled by what happens while they’re writing. The story comes together in a magical way. While working on The Bride Price, I discovered that plotting ruined storytelling for me. I actually hated writing. I couldn’t pin down why this was happening until I found out another author  who is a panster had a similar problem when she plotted a book.

I didn’t say anything on this blog about my struggle with The Bride Price at the time it was happening because I didn’t want people to hate The Bride Price. I was afraid it would influence how people read that story. But now that it’s been out, I can publicly say that book was like pulling teeth the entire time I was working on it. Going back to letting my subconscious mind lead the way has given me my joy back. I am finally having fun writing again.

Back to The Marriage Contract….

This book is going to be Stephen Bachman’s romance. I introduced Stephen in The Rake’s Vow. He was the heroine’s younger brother. Stephen also plays a prominent role in Married In Haste. I can’t tell you any more than that because there would be huge spoilers that would ruin the book, and Married In Haste is due out around December 30. Right now it’s with my awesome editing team.

Anyway, it’s fun to finally be able to fit in all of the things I’ve been wanting to put together. I’m almost at Chapter 3 of The Marriage Contract right now, and I am loving every single moment I spend in that world. Even better, I have picked which fairytale I’m going to springboard off for Book 2 in this series. That will be Cinderella, and I already have the heroine and hero picked out for that book.

As a final note, I did struggle with whether to use “fairy tale” or “fairytale”. I realize one version is used primarily as a noun and the other an adjective, but in the end, I figured I would use “fairytale” because it looks more aestetically pleasing to me. My creative side would rather do it this way, so I’m going with it. 🙂

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I decided to do NaNoWriMo This Year

But, I am going to work on three books. I can no longer work on just one book at a time. I will write slowly in one book while I’m waiting for more ideas to come, so I need at least two other books to help even things out. So I’m bending the rules to fit how I best work. I don’t know if this is technically allowed, but I figure it doesn’t hurt anyone if I do it this way.

My goal is to write 50,000 words total across all three books. So if I can reach about 16,667 words per novel, then I’ll reach my goals. Of course, I can vary that up across novels. I can do 10,000 in one and 20,000 in the others. Or I can do 5,000 in one, 15,000 in another, and 30,000 in the third. I’m not going to worry about which story gets which word count. I’m just going to write in the story until I run out of ideas for it.

If anyone else is doing NaNaWriMo, let me know so I can add you as a writing buddy. My profile is at https://nanowrimo.org/participants/ruthannnordin if you’d like to add me.

Okay, so here are the three books I’m going to be working on.

Not surprisingly, The Rejected Groom is one of them.

The Rejected Groom Ebook Cover

I’m currently at 15,124 words in this. I thought I was further along in the story than that, but it’s barely even started.  This book comes after The Bride Price. I’d love to have it out in February. *fingers crossed*

This next one follows Married In Haste. 

make believe bride

I have nothing written yet for this one. I just finished the primary edits on Married In Haste and sent it out to my awesome editing team. I ended up rewriting minor portions of this one, so it took me longer than usual to get through. I’m very happy with the way Married In Haste turned out, so I’m glad I did those rewrites.

I’m going to start another brand new book.

The Marriage Contract Ebook Cover

As I was finishing Married In Haste, I got super excited about an idea I had for Stephen Bachman (Brad’s younger brother), but his story takes place 5 years after Married In Haste. So I have to start his book in a new series. Stephen reminds me a lot of Neil Craftsman. He’s not exactly like Neil. He does have his differences. But he is one of those characters who will have to be battered up pretty good before he’s ready to be mature. I love working on characters with serious flaws that need to be worked out.

So you can probably pick up on how eager I am to dive into this story. That’s why I’m going to go ahead and do it even though this will mean I’ll be working on two different Regency series at the same time again.

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Just so everyone knows, I’m not going to stress the 50,000 word goal. I’ll aim for it, but if I don’t reach it, that’s fine. Some words is better than nothing at all.

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