For the past week, I’ve been wondering if Mitch’s Win is even worth finishing. Why? Because if I don’t write a book that is related to the Nebraska world, chances are, it won’t gather enough interest from people to make it worth the time and effort to write it. That’s why I’m trying to figure out what books people prefer and write more of those. Most people are interested in the Larson books and the Regency I just wrote. The sad reality is that I can’t just write whatever I want to write. My time is limited. I push myself hard to write six or more books a year, and when I say “push”, I mean that I stick to a pretty rigid schedule and lose sleep to make it happen.
Don’t get me wrong. I love what I’m doing, but it is hard work. Since I can only write 6-8 full-length novels a year (and since no one cares for my short stories or novellas because they’re too short), I have to decide which ideas get written and which don’t. This isn’t easy. I probably have 50 ideas in my mind (some of which are in the thriller, sci-fi/conspiracy theme like Return of the Aliens, nonfiction, fantasy realm). So it’s not all romance novels up in my head. But I will never get to write the books that most people want (and I judge this by sales because it’s my report card as a writer). My job as a writer to write books that most people want to read, so when I look at the sales report, I’m looking at what books people are voting for. Little sales = no interest; many sales = interest. And I can’t control what most people are interested in or not.
So the focus will have to be on writing more Nebraska books (and since I have plans to write at least 30 more Nebraska books in that collection and since new ideas come to me all the time, even if I did 3-4 Nebraska books a year, I’ll probably never write them all). I also came to realize a lot of people want to read my Regencies, more than I thought there’d be. So that tells me I need to write more Regencies. Regencies will have to be another area I focus on.
That is why Mitch’s Win will have to be tweaked on and placed into the Nebraska Collection. I also want it the subplot with the brother to stick, so I am going to change Mitch’s name so he’s one of Isaac’s friends. I can’t remember the names off the top of my head (sadly), but one of them will work. Then Mitch’s brother (Boaz) can end up with one of Mary and Dave’s girls, which had been my plan all along anyway. And the idea for Patty’s Gamble can be transferred to maybe Neil and Sarah’s daughter, Elizabeth (which I think will be named Lizzie for a nickname.) Hey, all of Neil’s daughters were pretty strong-willed when it came to getting their men, and Neil’s sneaky enough to go along with his daughter’s plan in order to make her happy. Neil might have been reformed, but there’s a sly streak in him where he’s be part of a scheme. Dave Larson, by the way, would not be so devious so it has to be Neil’s daughter. 😉 The new title of this book will be “Lizzie’s Gamble”.
I’m already halfway through Her Counterfeit Husband, which I’m glad I’m writing because that story has been in my head for two years and it’s one of my favorite storylines. It would just haven’t worked as a historical western. The hero’s title is much too important. That story was originally set in a fantasy world where the kingdom was in threat of being taken over by another kingdom in the midst of a battle. In Her Counterfeit Husband, I modified things so that it’s the heroine’s brother-in-law who threatened to take over by becoming the next duke when her husband died. So it’s not the exact same story I had before, but the core elements are the same, if that makes sense.
As for Bound by Honor, Bound by Love, that will finish up the Native American Romances, and I am steadily working on it. I’m not really sure where it’s heading. I mean, I have the final scene in my mind, but the stuff that happens until then is like navigating in the fog. This doesn’t usually happen to me when I write a book. Usually, the course is clear, and I know what I’m going to write next. With this one, it’s like wandering through uncharted territory with no guide. But it is coming. I saw that I put all over the place that it’s due out this summer. I will try to make it toward the end of summer/early fall but no promises. I’d rather be late on a story and make it good than be on time and have the story suck.
While I focus on writing Her Counterfeit Husband and Bound by Honor, Bound by Love, I am putting Mitch’s Win on hold. At this point, I’m not going to write another book. But when I finish Her Counterfeit Husband, I want to start on Lord Edon’s book because I’ve been wanting to do the rake who really isn’t a rake idea for a while now.