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.
“Since I can only write 6-8 full-length novels a year…..” Oh my stars, are you ever prolific! Very few authors can churn out that many full length novels in a year. It was just recently that a well known trad author was whining about having to write two a year. I have no idea how many I could write if I did this full time, but I’m thinking no more than four. LOL
I don’t know why the Nebraska series sells so much better than others. Maybe it’s because so many people got caught up in it and they want to keep following the families. The readers feel like they know these people and want to hear more and more of their stories. Sometimes we have to weigh and balance what the readers buy and what we want to write. Many authors say you should be true to your art and only write what you feel you should write. What they don’t get is that this is a business, and if a business doesn’t make money, then it can’t STAY in business. So there has to be a balance. You love the Nebraska series, anyway, right? So you have the best of both worlds…what you love and what the readers loves. And YES, keep writing the regencies. 🙂
Boy, I get long-winded sometimes. LOL
I get emails from people I’m not writing fast enough. LOL It’s a good type of email to get, but it makes me aware that I have to focus my energy into books that will make the greatest impact with the most readers. You’re right about writing being a business. If I can’t make enough to provide for my family, then I’d have to seek a job outside the home. If that happened, then I’d be doing good to write two novels a year. There’s a trade-off. It’s not easy to say no to some books, but it’s necessary.
Yes, I love the Nebraska books a lot. By luck, I’m also loving the Regencies. I didn’t think I would enjoy writing Regencies, but I like trying new things and this is one that stuck. The benefit to having a lot of interests in what I want to write is that I can pick a variety of books to write, but the drawback is that it’s been harder to define what type of romance author I am. Thanks to my report card, I’ve finally defined it: historical western and Regency author.
I love what you have to say, so talk all you want. 😀
I have purchased every book you’ve written. I can honestly say if you wrote it I don’t hesitate to buy it. I do Like the Nebraska books only because you’ve written so many and you always leave me wanting to know more. I thought you’d write a book about how Richard Larson met his wife and then there should be a book about how The Larson Parents met. See we fans know the Larson family so well that’s why people support those books. But I would like to see more books like suddenly a bride (I know you have the second book in the works) and I really thought what Nathan wants would get a second book. Lets not forget the Lewis family from An Inconvenient Marriage there are several characters that you might want to give books to. Falling in love with her husband, Todd has a sister that should get a book as well. Just some ideas I’d like to see.
Whatever you do keep writing and I’ll keep supporting you. Thanks
That’s so sweet of you, Kirsty!
I do want to write Richard and Amanda’s story and hope to when I finish up Bound by Honor, Bound by Love or Clayton’s Win. I’d like it be out either around December or January. I’m interested in doing a wagon train story, and this will be a good fit. I also like the idea that Richard starts out in love with someone else while Amanda loves him. All I know is that he marries Amanda to get her out of New York, so he chooses her to protect her, not because he loved her. Seeing how he falls in love with her will be a lot of fun. I have thought about doing a story about the Larson parents, too. n fact, I’ve thought of stories for everyone you mentioned. I keep them all written just in case I can use the ideas in the future.